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Martin

New York, NY, USA | Member Since 2005

72
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 217 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Life on the Mississippi

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (34)

    When Mark Twain was growing up, all he wanted to be was a steamboat man. And so Twain ran away in pursuit of his dream. Life on the mighty river for Twain consisted of paddleboats and history, poker games and gamblers, larger-than-life characters and outlandish festivals like Mardi Gras. Twain recorded it all with his keen eye for detail and biting wit.

    Kristoffer says: "Inaudible!"
    "Absolutely delightful"
    Overall

    This book got some bad reviews here, but I can't see why. The narrator was a champion storyteller and every word was clear. It's about an interesting time in American history, humorously told as the autobiography of a steamboat pilot.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By David Deutsch
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (157)

    A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe.

    Gary says: "Covers nothing to everything"
    "Surprisingly entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Beginning of Infinity?

    This may sound trite and corny, but I've believed since childhood that truth is good and falsity will inevitably lead to something bad. This book deals with how we can know the difference between truth and falsity.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It weaves together, and extracts the essence of, diverse subjects such as philosophy, politics, mathematics, and science. It also gave another nudge to my understanding of quantum mechanics by explaining it using intuitive thought experiments.


    What about Walter Dixon’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was so convincing that it sounded as though he had written the book himself.


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

    The imagined story of Socrates and his friends was very clever.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a must-read for anyone who wonders where human knowledge may lead.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Les Miserables

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1145)
    Performance
    (554)
    Story
    (560)

    Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

    Kathryn says: "one happy insomniac"
    "Great narration"
    Overall

    It amazes me that some reviewers didn't like the narrator. I thought he was over-the-top great. At one point in the story, he flawlessly imitated the voices of seven different characters in rapid conversation. Warning: this book is a marathon listen, but well worth the time. A mainly Christian worldview, with a little antisemitism thrown in at the end, typical for the time it was written, but a great story, nonetheless.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Leonard Susskind
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (187)

    What happens when something is sucked into a black hole? Does it disappear? Three decades ago, a young physicist named Stephen Hawking claimed that it did - and in doing so, put at risk everything we know about the fundamental laws of the universe. Leonard Susskind and Gerard 't Hooft realized the threat and responded with a counterattack that changed the course of physics.

    Matthew says: "Good, but has its flaws"
    "Great story, great narration"
    Overall

    I found this audiobook to be very entertaining, packed with so much information that I'll have to listen to it several times. The narrator was so well prepared that he sounded like he might have been the author. If you love science, you've got to love this book, because Susskind interweaves the work of scientists old and new. If you're religious, you might feel offended by Susskind's up-front atheism, but I found it refreshing.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Wisdom of Your Cells: How Your Beliefs Control Your Biology

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Bruce H. Lipton
    • Narrated By Bruce H. Lipton
    Overall
    (485)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (197)

    In the tradition of Carl Sagan, Rachel Carson, and Stephen Hawking, a new voice has emerged with the unique gift of translating cutting-edge science into clear, accessible language: Dr. Bruce Lipton. With The Wisdom of Your Cells, this internationally recognized authority on cellular biology takes listeners on an in-depth exploration into the microscopic world, where new discoveries and research are revolutionizing the way we understand life, evolution, and consciousness.

    Alexandre says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Highly dubious about this book"
    Overall

    The audio sample sounded good, and I thought the book would have current research in microbiology. Instead, it contains unfounded and improbable speculations, such as how cells can get "negative vibes" from interference patterns that cancel each other out and how the brain is a fractal (while disavowing any New Age influence). There are a couple of useful analogies and insights in the book, but mostly the author talks about how wrong Newton and Darwin were, and tries to revive the theories of Lamarck. I was waiting for an explanation of how a cell's environment could modify that cell's DNA, but that answer slipped away in a barrage of hand-waving about gene regulation. The author told a personal story about how everyone left the room while he was giving a lecture. Had I been there, I would have led the pack.

    14 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Pimsleur Quick and Simple Italian for English Speakers

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Dr. Paul Pimsleur
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Understand and speak Italian starting with these eight quick and simple audio lessons. You're not just learning "phrases" with the Pimsleur Method, you're acquiring essential, conversational Italian.

    A. Wright says: "great for tired brains"
    "So much better than other language courses"
    Overall

    These lessons were prepared with a great amount of care, pedagogical skill, and professionalism. Both male and female Italian speakers are used. The narrator, or instructor, has a soothing, friendly voice. The lessons are meticulously graded so that you move from easy material to more difficult. As you progress, you can simply omit the early lessons. This is impossible to do with "phrase lists", such as the Learn in Your Car courses.

    These courses are a perfect way to learn while commuting or working out in the gym. My only complaint is that Audible.com doesn't sell the complete courses. It was a waste of money to duplicate these first 8 lessons when I bought the complete 30 lesson course (from another vendor).

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Learn in Your Car: Italian, Level 1

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs)
    • By Henry N. Raymond
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The Learn in Your Car language series is the first system ever designed to teach a language in your car...or anywhere...without a textbook. And now with Learn in Your Car from audible.com, you can turn your PC, your Rio, or any mobile device into your own personal language tutor. Browse more Learn in Your Car.

    Martin says: "This has everything I hate about language courses"
    "This has everything I hate about language courses"
    Overall

    The problem with ordinary language audio courses like this is that they don't keep you at the level where learning is optimal. They go too fast or too slow. The stuff you've already learned is boring, but it's mixed in with other phrases that are too hard. You have to memorize lists of words out of context, without pronunciation checks or memory aids or explanations. Even the speaker seems bored. If your purchase criterion is the largest number of vocabulary words you can get in the shortest amount of time, then this is the course for you.

    But if you want to really learn Italian, don't waste your money on this. Pimsleur is incredibly better: professionally done, interesting, even enjoyable. Unfortunately, Audible.com only sells the first 8 lessons of Pimsleur Italian. Once you've used up those lessons, you'll want the 30-lesson level 1 course, which repeats those first 8 lessons. The first 8 lessons get you to the restaurant, but all you can order is beer and wine. If you don't want to starve, I recommend getting the full Pimsleur course.

    33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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