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M. R. Harrah

Member Since 2010

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 114 ratings
  • 239 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • A Farewell to Arms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (796)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (451)

    The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.

    Valerian says: "This is not unabridged"
    "Depressing but great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Farewell to Arms again? Why?

    I would. I really enjoyed John Slattery's performance, and the characters are believable and real and sad.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really like character development more than plot, and the people in this story seemed well-rounded, believable, complex in their motivations, and varied. Having said that, there were plenty of plot developments as well.


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

    He has a great voice, and he deals with the Italian well. He also doesn't overdo emotion in his narration, which is particularly well suited for the narrating character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Don't want to spoil it, but the ending.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Separate Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Knowles
    • Narrated By Spike McClure
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Even though the war had thrown a shroud over the outside world, Phineas and Gene remained untouched by it. In the summer of ’42, the Devon school was a lot like Camelot, fairly bursting with adventure and promise. As much as Gene resisted it, there had been something eternal and unforgettable about that summer. And by the time he understood what life without Phineas could be—it was too late.

    Stephen says: "Good story, Worst narration ever! Read the book!"
    "Wish I had actually read this in high school"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters are complex and well-developed.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The scene where Gene is outside Finny's hospital window.


    Any additional comments?

    We all were supposed to read this when I was in the 10th grade and like so many other books, I didn't bother and just read Cliff's notes and faked my way through. My loss. This is a good book with deep, emotional themes about coming to understand yourself and who you are.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (646)
    Performance
    (526)
    Story
    (517)

    The first new collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens since 2004, Arguably offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers, widely admired for the clarity of his style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell.

    David says: "Grab it"
    "Not atheist food"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens better?

    It's hard to say, because I was hoping for different material than I found, and the error is mine.

    If what you want is to read elegant writing about a variety of topics - particularly reviews of other people's work - and you like the writing style of Hitchens, I imagine this would be a fantastic book, and judging from the reviews of others, my suspicions are well-founded.

    But I was looking for material similar to "God is not Great" and was disappointed. Again, my error.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Player Piano

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (181)

    Kurt Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a super computer and run completely by machines. Paul's rebellion is vintage Vonnegut - wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality.

    James says: "Not Vonnegut's best effort."
    "Definitely not Vonnegut's best work, but ok"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I have been going through Vonnegut's catalog (slowly) and got to this one. I'm glad I read other things he had written before this, or I might have falsely concluded that "I don't like Vonnegut." As it happens, I read Slaughterhouse before this (like most readers, I'd imagine) and so I was more disposed to enjoy this.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I thought it was kinda weak and didn't live up to the premise.


    Was Player Piano worth the listening time?

    Yes, but again, I'd say check out other things by Vonnegut if you are new to him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, And Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jay Heinrichs
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    Thank You for Arguing is your master class in the art of persuasion, taught by professors ranging from Bart Simpson to Winston Churchill. The time-tested secrets the book discloses include Cicero's three-step strategy for moving an audience to action as well as Honest Abe's shameless trick of lowering an audience's expectations by pretending to be unpolished. But it's also replete with contemporary techniques such as politicians' use of “code” language to appeal to specific groups and an eye-opening assortment of popular-culture dodges.

    Julie Longpre says: "I love the concepts that are being discussed"
    "Enjoyed this and learned some things"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Thank You for Arguing?

    The material was not presented as a dry lecture, but was peppered with fun anecdotes, interesting asides, self-deprecating humor, and witty comments.


    Any additional comments?

    A lot of good information about rhetoric and how to make a persuasive argument for what you want.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Half-life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Samuel Arbesman
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (56)

    New insights from the science of science Facts change all the time. Smoking has gone from doctor recommended to deadly. We used to think the Earth was the center of the universe and that Pluto was a planet. For decades, we were convinced that the brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. In short, what we know about the world is constantly changing. But it turns out there’s an order to the state of knowledge, an explanation for how we know what we know.

    Davin V. Jones says: "Author misrepresents what an actual 'fact' is."
    "Misleading title"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would have liked it to include more incidents and information about how things we take to be facts cease being so. The book was far more about the accretion of new facts and how we can predict that than it was about the retirement of old facts that are no longer considered true. Of the discussion that there was about facts going away, it was more about facts that were not actually proven to be errors...they tended to just become obsolete and irrelevant but still basically true.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Brief History of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Stephen Hawking
    • Narrated By Michael Jackson
    Overall
    (1355)
    Performance
    (579)
    Story
    (576)

    This landmark book is for those of us who prefer words to equations; this is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge, the ongoing search for the secrets at the heart of time and space. Its author, Stephen W. Hawking, is arguably the greatest mind since Einstein. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, where he has spent the last 20 years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Professor Hawking has transformed our view of the universe. A Brief History of Time is Hawking's classic introduction to today's most important scientific ideas.

    Jeff Parent says: "Great book, but...."
    "Narrator is terrible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Stephen Hawking and/or Michael Jackson?

    I would read another book by Hawking but will be avoiding other books narrated by Jackson.


    What other book might you compare A Brief History of Time to and why?

    Readers might consider "A Universe From Nothing" by Lawrence M. Krauss. It's also related to cosmology and brings complicated science to the masses...Krauss's book has the advantage of being more current, and being read by the author himself.


    What didn’t you like about Michael Jackson’s performance?

    He has an obnoxious tendency to pause mid-sentence and even mid-phrase, to include uh's and er's, and use strange inflection as if he were unfamiliar with and bored by the material.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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