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Kevin

Powell, OH | Member Since 2001

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 330 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • The Roving Party

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rohan Wilson
    • Narrated By Shaun Grindell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    1829, Tasmania. John Batman, ruthless, single-minded; four convicts, the youngest still only a stripling; Gould, a downtrodden farmhand; two free black trackers; and powerful, educated Black Bill, brought up from childhood as a white man - this is the roving party, and their purpose is massacre. With promises of freedom, land grants, and money, each is willing to risk his life for the prize. Passing over many miles of tortured country, the roving party searches for Aborigines, taking few prisoners and killing freely, Batman never abandoning the visceral intensity of his hunt.

    Cynthia Brown says: "Transported to another world and time"
    "Unbelievably narration; pitiful, dark writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Roving Party? What did you like least?

    This was a "telling" of two cities with a narrator that puts in a stellar performance but unfortunately is reading a pathetic story. I have been an audible listener for a long time and this was one of the best narrated book I that have ever heard; hats off to Shaun Grindell as this narrator was a master at changing his voice to mimic the speaker's accent. Unfortunately the story line was just too dark, meaningless, and pathetic to fully enjoy. Spoiler alert...it's a story of one group of people hunting and torturing another group of people for no apparent reason. We get lot of gory descriptions of human upon human cruelly, but these come with very few insights into why these people behave like animals. All people who are students of the world know that bad things happen. Non-stop vivid descriptions of these does no good to anyone without an explanation into the mindset of why these things happen.

    I guess I now know that Australia has had bad people do bad thing to the indigenous populations just like many other places around the planet; unfortunately I wasted almost 8 hours of listening to gleam this obvious fact with no further explanation. Oh well, at least I heard and thoroughly enjoyed one of the next great narrators of books.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Rohan Wilson again?

    Very unlikely. It will be a long time before I seek out Australian literature again.


    What about Shaun Grindell’s performance did you like?

    This guy is the real deal. I was thoroughly impressed with his ability to change"voice" for each character. I look forward to his next book and and only hope he gets something worth reading.


    Could you see The Roving Party being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No - it gratuitous violence; albeit with a flowery Australian dialect.


    Any additional comments?

    I am really shocked that Alan Cheuse recommended this book. I guess I will take his recommendations in the future with a grain of salt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbo
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    Nilly is the new kid in school, but he doesn’t let that or his tiny size slow him down. After all, he has his smart mouth, quick wits, and fearless nature to see him through. Nilly quickly makes two special friends: Lisa, a girl whose own best friend has just moved, and Doctor Proctor, who has (1) a tragic past (including lost love and betrayal) and (2) a talent for inventing things like industrial strength fart powder.

    Dawn says: "GREAT story!"
    "GREAT Listen: Especially first listen by child"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder the most enjoyable?

    Don't be turned off by the potty-humor. This is a VERY good story for both adults and kids to listen to together. In someways, it's an amazing story about how kids and adults can share an amazing moment together. My son couldn't wait to listen to this! He would actually get up early before school and want to listen to it while eating breakfast (and he hates getting up early). Listen to this with your kid on a speaker and you will share a great story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narrator had an amazing ability to switch voices between characters. Dr. Procter had the most amazing "wobbly" voice that was pure fun to listen to.


    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    GREAT voice! He made a good story GREAT!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It's about 4 hours. This is a bit much for a single sitting, but maybe in a long car trip. If not, don't despair and just find a couple of days in a row to listen to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Ann Lee
    • Narrated By Denise Washington Blomberg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    While America is still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis, a high unemployment rate, and a surge in government debt, China's economy is the second largest in the world, and many predict it will surpass the United States' by 2020. President Obama called China's rise "a Sputnik moment" - will America seize this moment or continue to treat China as its scapegoat? Mainstream media and the U.S. government regularly target China as a threat. Rather than viewing China's power, influence, and contributions to the global economy in a negative light, Ann Lee asks, "What can America learn from its competition?"

    Gee Eng says: "Very important message for US but wrong solutions"
    "Lots of Good Points - a bit Condescending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The author would benefit readers by trying to "bring them along" to see things from Chinese perspective rather than make the audience feel they were being lectured at...which is how it felt.


    What did you take away from What the U.S. Can Learn from China that you can apply to your work?

    There are two sides to every story! If you work hard to suspend one's own biases you can get something from this story. Just remind yourself that the key skill of a good negotiator is not convincing the other party of your perspective, but rather see the issue from their perspective and help them see that you take them seriously.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1038)
    Performance
    (923)
    Story
    (925)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "Post-apocalyptic story with something for everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I was initially hesitant to listen to this simply because it was post-apocalyptic, it's not really a genre that I seek. I admitt that I didread "The Road" and thought that I didn't really want another gratuitous repeat of the emotional anxiety from that book. BUT THIS BOOK IS DIFFERENT! Rather than the inevitable climax and demise of a father-son relationship like "The Road", this book is about the growth and maturation of human relationships with some characters at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. The first half of the story is really between two men (with a dog in the middle) who are as unlikely allies as I have every come across. Somehow, opposites attract and they make it work (Think George S Patton and Martin Luther King, Jr.). There are some damn funny dialogues interspersed by moments of sheer terror (just remember to BREATHE). The last half of the book is about the book's protagonist Hig (i.e. MLK, jr.) risking all and willing to do whatever it takes (killing be damned) to show that love is the ultimate goal. It's a strange paradox that is captivating to listen to and ponder...what would I do in such a bizarre world.If you want to ponder this question in our own life, than I strongly suggest you listen to one of the best stories and performances I have listened to from audible in many years and covering many books. Don't be dissuaded by the post-apocalyptic time frame, this story is perfectly applicable to the human interactions of the people, cultures, and nations today.


    What about Mark Deakins’s performance did you like?

    I love a performer who can change his voice so dramatically and effortlessly when two charaters are in a dialogue. This is the true mark of a great book reader. I sure don't want to listen to "Character A said blah, blah blah, and Character B responded blah, blah, blah.VERY nice job!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was too powerful. I needed to think about things in between events. It's hard to go from a death-filled scene to a love scene without a break.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Clayton M. Christensen
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (149)

    Great companies can fail: not because they do anything wrong, but because they do everything right. Meeting customers' current needs leads firms to reject breakthrough innovations, "disruptive technologies", that create the products and opportunities of the future.

    3.14 says: "See "The Innovator's Solution" Instead"
    "Good for Techies, not so applicable to Pharma"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I am in the Pharma industry. Getting to market fast or first is not always an advantage for us. We don't have the luxury of market first and tinker with improvements second. We have to get the safety and efficacy of drugs pretty close to perfect the first time. Otherwise, our competitors learn from our mistakes and come in behind us and eat us for lunch. This is a concept that was lost in this book.

    If you are producing tech gear (main example in the book was hard drives) than this book is more for you.

    Bottom line: Know Your Market!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5671)
    Performance
    (3612)
    Story
    (3624)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    FanB14 says: "Artful Surprise"
    "Better to try and lose than grey twighlight"
    Overall

    Just like the famous Teddy quote, this book will give courage to anyone willing to "go for it" when the consequences of failure are dire but the alternative to not trying is self-betrayal. Cleverly written from "first dog" voice and beautifully narrated. I'll bet most will read this compelling story quickly but ponder it's message for a long time. Don't miss this one.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3754)
    Performance
    (1695)
    Story
    (1706)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: You thought he was a stodgy scientist with funny hair, but Isaacson and Hermann reveal an eloquent, intense, and selfless human being who not only shaped science with his theories, but politics and world events in the 20th century as well. Based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein, Walter Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos.

    Henrik says: "Surprise: Two books in one!"
    "Science and Spirituality"
    Overall

    "God doesn't play dice" could be the alternate title of this book. This book has a very professional (i.e. historical) writing style that nicely blends the hard facts of science and the soft reasoning of religion in Einstein's life. Examples of this include full descriptions of the "thought experiments" that were the basis of Einstein's theories and the personal conflicts that he struggled with in politics. There is no thrilling conclusion to this book as most will start the book already knowing it's conclusion. However, if you are interested in connecting the dots in between the beginning and the end than this is the book for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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