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Member Since 2014

  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 275 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015

  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Andrew Roberts
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of more than 50 million people. Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won? Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the war - the grand strategy and the individual experience, the cruelty and the heroism - as never before.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A very interesting book with some shortcomings."
    "Good performance, weaker story"

    This history is interesting as far as it goes, but the focus is heavily on Europe and the Nazis. The Pacific Theater is given such cursory attention that I found myself wondering if the scope of the book had changed during the writing. By the end, I felt as if I knew many of the Nazi generals intimately -- not something I necessarily wanted -- whereas the quirky Japanese leaders are almost entirely ignored.

    Andrew Roberts justifiably dedicates long chapters to the Nazi - USSR conflict, the scope of which was apparently unappreciated for decades. But comparably historic battles in the Pacific are given mere paragraphs, and many fascinating cultural aspects of that conflict are not mentioned at all, even in passing.

    I'm also sorry to say that the author's biases are readily apparent. He is not overtly anti-American, but subtly and consistently so. He never misses an opportunity to mention, for example, that American soldiers ran from battle on at least one occasion and also committed rape. Yet he provides no comparable information on other Allied troops, other than the Soviets.

    I suspect his neglect of the Pacific is related to this bias. He does detail the conflict in Burma, which is edifying, as it has probably been largely overlooked in other WWII histories. But this simply allows Mr, Roberts to linger lovingly on marginally effective British jungle heroics while minimizing the American initiative on the high seas. He gives the Americans full credit for producing huge quantities of weapons, but he could hardly fail to do that.

    The American soldier -- whose toughness was amply demonstrated, especially in the Pacific -- is not given much credit in this book. For a deeper appreciation, I recommend UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand.

    Christian Rodska does a fine job of narration. He is a gifted mimic of Winston Churchill, and this is especially enjoyable. He is less successful with Roosevelt and other American accents.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Bleak House

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First published in monthly parts from March 1852 to September 1853, this novel follows the fortunes of three pedestrian characters; Esther Summerson, Ada Clare, and Richard Carstone. The story they tell embondies Dickens' merciless indictment of the Court of Chancery and its bungling, morally corrupt handling of the endless case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, giving the novel its scope and meaning.

    UU Ma says: "30 hours was too short for me"
    "Simon Vance is phenomenal"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bleak House to be better than the print version?


    What other book might you compare Bleak House to and why?

    David Copperfield. The same great Dickens-Vance combo.

    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters are individualized, and truly brought to life with his subtle accents. His characterizations are never over the top -- just perfect.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Law and disorder.

    Any additional comments?

    Charles Dickens should have been knighted. Simon Vance's salary is probably too low.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • End This Depression Now!

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Paul Krugman
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro, Paul Krugman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Great Recession that began in 2007 is now more than four years old - and counting. Some 24 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, and at recent rates of job creation we won’t be back to normal levels of employment until late this decade. This is a tragedy. Do we have to accept it? "No!" is the resounding answer given by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman in this call to arms. We have seen this situation before and we know how to fix it; all we lack is the political will to take action.

    Michael says: "Listen to this before you vote!"
    "Clear, timely, and inspiring"

    EVERYONE should read this book. It's easy to understand, funny, compassionate, and exactly the right prescription to end the suffering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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