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Mark

ONTARIO, CA, United States | Member Since 2012

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 189 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (18293)
    Performance
    (14115)
    Story
    (14061)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "I Love Tina Fey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just listen to the first minute. If Tina Fey's sense of humor doesn't strike you by then, you are hopeless. If it does, welcome to a wonderful world of happy self-deprecation that will go by all to fast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 14 Minutes: A Running Legend's Life and Death and Life

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Alberto Salazar, John Brant
    • Narrated By Danny Pardo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The narrative follows Alberto’s boyhood in New England, his rise to stardom at the University of Oregon, his dramatic victories in the New York City and Boston Marathons, his long malaise due to injuries, which resulted in a near-suicidal depression; his resurgence due to intense spiritual experiences and discipline; his close alliance with Phil Knight and the Nike corporation; and describes his numerous near-death experiences.

    Mark says: "Terrible and Distracting Narration"
    "Terrible and Distracting Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alberto Salazar, though born in Cuba, was raised in the Northeast in America and has the accent of an average American from that area. This story is told from Mr. Salazar's perspective. Does his inner voice have this much trouble with his native language?

    Danny Pardo (the narrator) has, at best, a weak grasp of the English language. His reading sounds more like the hopeless fumbling of words spoken without any understanding of their meaning. Like someone in a high school language class reciting a dialog for the first time, complete with incorrect emphasis on most words and often totally ignoring punctuation. This so monumentally distracting, it is impossible to judge this book on any other merits.

    Maybe it's a well written book with a great story about an interesting guy, who knows.

    Purchase at your own risk.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Lopez Lomong
    • Narrated By Brandon Hirsch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (187)

    Running for My Life is not a story about Africa or track and field athletics. It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible: faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more. Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable.

    AudioAddict says: "Interesting and Inspirational"
    "Powerfully Moving Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lopez Lomong's story of success and triumph in spite of ridiculous odds will move you to tears every ten minutes or so. If it doesn't, you may not be able to cry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bartender's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ivan Doig
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (340)

    The Bartender' s Tale stars Tom Harry and his 12-year-old son, Rusty, who live alone and run a bar in a small Montana town in the early 1960s. Their lives are upended when Proxy, a woman from Tom's past, and her beatnik daughter, Francine, breeze into town. Is Francine, as Proxy claims, the unsuspected legacy of her and Tom’s past? Without a doubt she is an unsettling gust of the future, upending every certainty in Rusty’s life and generating a mist of passion and pretense that seems to obscure everyone’s vision but his own.

    B.J. says: "If you love a good story ..."
    "Outstanding Narration Brings Everything to Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David Aaron Baker reads this story extremely well. As well written as it is, and how well each character is developed, I doubt I would've been nearly as interested without Baker's telling, his great and distinct voices (with the exception of one ridiculously Mickey Mouse sounding voice), and the heart that lies behind everything he says. Ivan Doig describes each character and surrounding so well it's easy to imagine the town, and the people. The story itself isn't particularly memorable, but I still cared about the characters.

    Overall, worth a listen, just not something that'll stick with you very long after.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Green, David Levithan
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews, Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1125)
    Performance
    (907)
    Story
    (915)

    One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

    FanB14 says: "Another John Green Hit"
    "MacLeod Andrews Overdoes Levithan's Cliches"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This co-written YA book alternates chapters between John Green's Will Grayson's perspective (narrated by an understated and very enjoyable Nick Podehl) and David Levithan's Will Grayson's perspective (narrated by a ridiculously overacting MacLeod Andrews). It took a lot to continue listening after Macleod Andrews' second chapter and book's fourth. While Levithan's first few even chapters are written about as cliche as a teenage character can be, MacLeod does the material no favors by insisting on overemphasizing just about every word he says with the most ridiculous inflection imaginable. John Green's Will Grayson is decidedly more relatable and better read by Nick Podehl. Green's Grayson isn't the most intriguing character John Green has ever written, but he comes across as real and I found myself caring about him. Green's best character is Will's best friend Tiny Cooper who really ends up being a main character in both stories.

    Even as Levithan's chapters even out and the story comes together, there's nothing particularly memorable here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1874)
    Performance
    (1694)
    Story
    (1697)

    During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

    FanB14 says: "Eagles Victory"
    "Very Well Done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very well done but absolutely nothing like the movie. Same characters, only more real and flawed, with a similar story although drastically differring in parts. Both versions are good, it's easy to see why the broad changes were made to these hard to like characters in an effort to appeal to more people, but be clear before you get started, THIS IS NOT THE MOVIE. If you can get past this truth, as it took me awhile, you'll enjoy yourself very much.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • In a Sunburned Country

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2160)
    Performance
    (725)
    Story
    (724)

    Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion on the Appalachian Trail resulted in the best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now, we follow him "Down Under" to Australia with this delectably funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance that combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. More from Bill Bryson.

    Larry says: "Laugh out loud funny"
    "Bryson Charming as Ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bill Bryson isn't the most talented narrator, perhaps he should leave this to someone else, but he sure is a charming writer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Covey
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Covey
    Overall
    (5604)
    Performance
    (2604)
    Story
    (2601)

    Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been a top seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Celebrating its 15th year of helping people solve personal and professional problems, this special anniversary edition includes a new forward and afterword written by Covey that explore whether the 7 Habits are still relevant.

    Scott says: "A true guide for life"
    "Great Way to Start a New and Better Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the author's narration leaves something to be desired, his messages are universal and extremely helpful in every day life. I listened to this book 6 months ago and since then, things just seem better. Listen, be happy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (8731)
    Performance
    (6842)
    Story
    (6873)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Amazon Customer says: "Word Thief"
    "Great Story, Great Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters are wonderful and their world is one often overlooked in stories of war.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1150)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (393)

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "Easily The Most Interesting Founder... Easily"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alexander Hamilton seemed a strange and sort of periphery figure in so many stories surrounding the revolution. After listening to McCullough's John Adams and hearing Hamilton constantly mentioned as a behind the scenes foil, or as the brains behind so many plots, I wondered why I didn't know anything about him. I mean, I knew he died in a duel with Aaron Burr, but that's about all.
    After 37 plus hours of just the most interesting life imaginable I realized only 5 days had passed. This guy really didn't leave the tri-state area after he came to New York when he was 16 and he still managed to be in the center of nearly every major moment in American History from 1776 to 1800. He became a Captain at 19 and a Lieutenant Colonel by 21, he was a key figure in convincing the New York public to go to war while he was still in college. Without him, there is a very good chance the constitution wouldn't have been ratified and, without his financial system, our debt would've probably crushed our little country before it even got going. I thought George Washington was the first President, turns out Hamilton pretty much ran things. Then, the guy dies in a duel with the Vice President! This was 37 hours well spent, I'll have to come back to this next year when my heart stops beating so damn fast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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