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Mark Freeman

Member Since 2003

94
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • Nature Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Lee Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (118)

    Honey Santana, impassioned, willful, possibly bipolar, self-proclaimed "queen of lost causes", has a scheme to help rid the world of irresponsibility, indifference, and dinnertime sales calls. She's taking rude, gullible Relentless, Inc., telemarketer Boyd Shreave and his less-than-enthusiastic mistress, Eugenie, into the wilderness of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands for a gentle lesson in civility. What she doesn't know is that she's being followed by her Honey-obsessed former employer.

    Pamela says: "Well worth the wait!"
    "VERY disappointing -- don't bother"
    Overall

    This is not merely below Hiaasen's usual standards, but genuinely bad. I don't understand what happened -- his other work is so consistently entertaining. Read Skinny Dip, or Skin Deep, or Stormy Weather....just not this!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Confederacy of Dunces

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By John Kennedy Toole
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1836)
    Performance
    (857)
    Story
    (859)

    The hero of John Kennedy Toole's incomparable, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic classic is one Ignatius J. Reilly, "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter". His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.

    Jon says: "Well Done"
    "I was sorry it ended"
    Overall

    This was fantastic, both as a book and as an audiobook. My wife also loved it. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Promise of Sleep

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By William C. Dement
    • Narrated By Jeff McCarthy
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (24)

    Healthful sleep has been proven to be the single most important factor in predicting longevity. And yet we are a sleep-sick society, ignorant of the facts of sleep - and the price of sleep deprivation. Dr. Dement takes us on a fascinating tour of the sleeping body and mind in this eye-opening program.

    Kelly says: "Great things to know"
    "Pretty good -- not great, but pretty good"
    Overall

    Dement is at his best when he's talking about sleep research and the various experimental results he's witnessed over his long career. It's fascinating stuff and it comprises a large part of this book, which is why I think the work overall is pretty good. I'm glad I listened to it.

    I don't give it a 5, however, because of two flaws. (1) Dement's commentary is often quite repetitive -- at the beginning and end of every section, for example, Dement drones on about how people don't realize how important sleep really is. OK, OK, we get it. (2) Dement name-drops and congratulates himself a lot. Many times, you get statements like this (paraphrasing): "When I was invited to testify before Congress, I told them how So-and-so, my good friend and distinguished colleage at Stanford, had made the remarkable discovery that...." or "In 1998, I won yet another grant from such-and-such charity, proving again the need in modern America for innovative sleep research." The book would have been better without such self-congratulatory indulgences.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Fast Food Nation

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Eric Schlosser
    • Narrated By Rick Adamson
    Overall
    (1285)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (157)

    To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of postwar America. Fast Food Nation is a groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that may change the way America thinks about the way it eats.

    Bruce says: "Should be required reading for all"
    "Uncritical alarmist rant"
    Overall

    Don't be misled into thinking, as I did, that this book would offer a critical, well-reasoned, and empirically supported analysis of the fast food industry. It is an alarmist rant about nutrition, capitalism, suburban sprawl, the influence of big business in politics, urban blight, and other loosely connected themes, sprinkled with a twist of conspiracy theory. (Did you know that Walt Disney and Ray Kroc were in the same ambulance unit in WWII? Coincidence? This book thinks not.)

    The author's commentary on the implications of our "fast food nation" is so frustratingly blind to counterarguments that I found myself ranting back at my iPod. For example, the book declares with apparent horror that 85% (or something like that) of the job opportunities created for teenagers in the last two decades were in fast food restaurants, and those jobs only pay MINIMUM WAGE. OK....but were these teenagers going to get higher paying jobs if the fast food industry had not grown? Or would they simply have been unemployed, or employed in other, more dangerous minimum wage jobs? I don't know, but the answer certainly is not in this book.

    I should add, too, that the reader in this recording has the grating habit of imparting melodramatic stress to a word or phrase in nearly every sentence (or so it seemed). The combination of this performance and the author's absurdly simplistic analysis was unbearable. I finished only about 3/4 of the book before I couldn't take it any more and deleted the whole recording.

    87 of 150 people found this review helpful

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