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Mike Dowling

West Palm Beach, FL USA | Member Since 2003

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 325 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • Detroit: An American Autopsy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Charlie LeDuff
    • Narrated By Eric Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (252)

    In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age - mass production, automobiles, and blue-collar jobs - Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts. With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city.

    Avid Reader and Listener says: "WOW"
    "Compelling true crime story and very dark comedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Detroit the most enjoyable?

    The narrator captured the voice of Charlie LeDuff. Sad a world weary in a shocking world of corruption and incompetence.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Monica Conyers seemed like a bad character on a late night comedy show. I had to go to YouTube to confirm that outrageous stories in the book.


    Have you listened to any of Eric Martin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


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

    Without giving the plot away, I will say that if this were a novel, I would have thrown it away because it is impossible to believe that any story could be this sad. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it get much, much worse.


    Any additional comments?

    Charlie McDuff tells parallel stories of life in Detroit, the history of the city and his own family and friends. I listened through in a few days.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Paris: The Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Jean Gilpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (351)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (312)

    Internationally best-selling author Edward Rutherfurd has enchanted millions of readers with his sweeping, multigenerational dramas that illuminate the great achievements and travails throughout history. In this breathtaking saga of love, war, art, and intrigue, Rutherfurd has set his sights on the most magnificent city in the world: Paris. Moving back and forth in time across centuries, the story unfolds through intimate and vivid tales of self-discovery, divided loyalties, passion, and long-kept secrets of characters both fictional and real, all set against the backdrop of the glorious city.

    Kathi says: "Rutherfurd's "Paris"--C'est très bien!"
    "Spend many hours in a place you will enjoy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Paris to be better than the print version?

    I listened to the book through a purchase on Audible.com and often read along on my Nook. Mr. Rutherfurd occupied me though several sessions of the elliptical machines. British actress Jean Gilpin was a talented reader, fluent enough in French for this American’s ears, though her American voices were an odd mix of lazy and sarcastic. Is that how Europeans think we sound?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Paris?

    Mr. Rutherfurd made the entire story so good that it is impossible for me to pick out once section.


    Which character – as performed by Jean Gilpin – was your favorite?

    This book has no star because the real star is the city itself--though I will say I like Edith a bit more than the other characters.


    Who was the most memorable character of Paris and why?

    Luc was the most memorial character, though an explanation would spoil the novel.


    Any additional comments?

    Like a great jigsaw puzzle, Edward Rutherfurd hop scotches back and forth through history, introducing us to families and stories that he neatly ties together in the end. Many reviewers complained that the book did not follow a straight chronology, instead the author introduces his readers to the various aspects of the characters of a handful of fictional families from the thirteenth century to 1968. The only criticism this reader had of past Rutherfurd novels is that a particular storyline can run on too longer and become dull. In Paris, the author keeps your attention to following a theme back and forth through different time periods. Some readers compare Rutherfurd to James Michener, but where Michener reports, Rutherferd weaves a magnificent story through time.

    Only one minor criticism of the book comes to mind: Rutherfurd is not a romance writer, and his treatment of the characters in the 1920s become a bit vapid, though perhaps another reader might feel not agree.

    At 38 hours of 712 pages, Paris is not an quick read, but take that as a positive, because the length of the novel with allow you to spend many hours in a place and with people you will enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Conflict of Interest: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Adam Mitzner
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2104)
    Performance
    (1711)
    Story
    (1728)

    Alex Miller is a criminal defense lawyer leading the life he always imagined. At thirty-five, he is the youngest partner at New York City's most prestigious law firm, with a beautiful wife and a perfect daughter. When Alex's father suddenly passes away, Alex is introduced to Michael Ohlig, a rich and powerful man who holds an almost mythical place in his family lore. But Alex is surprised when Ohlig admits that he's in serious legal trouble, accused of crimes involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Melinda says: "My 2 Cents"
    "No better than a TV show"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The story wasn’t very strong. Perhaps that’s unfair because I just finished the Steig Larsson trilogy, but I wasn’t impressed with Adam Mitzner’s first effort. One of the plot turns occurred to me within the first few pages. There was only one surprise, and I might have figured that out if I gave it some thought. The story is plausible, there isn’t a deus ex machine, but the story was anything but engrossing. Scott Turow can rest easy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (959)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (225)

    Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy - both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

    Sean says: "Long, Flat, and Boring"
    "Could have been great"
    Overall

    This is an important book, but it was a bit of a trudge from time to time. I would have preferred an abridged version because Friedman tends to repeat himself. The reader’s affectation whenever he reads Friedman’s phrase “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” was annoying. If the book was read on television, I have no doubt that drinking games would be invented from the overused used phrase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David Copperfield, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (21)

    Of all Charles Dickens' novels, this is perhaps the most revealing, both of Dickens himself and of the society of his time. It is little wonder that Dickens said of it, "of all my books I like this the best; like many fond parents I have in my heart of hearts a favorite child. And his name is David Copperfield."

    Debbie Yee says: "What an introduction to Dickens!"
    "31 years later I read it again on my Ipod!"
    Overall

    I was a assigned David Copperfield in high school, and I wondered how I would feel about the book more than thirty years later.

    Narrator Frederick Davidson captures many voices and presents the in an enjoyable fashion. Dickens is as I remember him, a stuffy crusader with an ability to create wonderful and unforgettable characters.

    Invest in the long version. You'll get the houyse clean, organize your CD colledction, and maybe drive halfway around the country....but you will not be bored.

    Mike Dowling
    West Palm Beach, FL

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Tom Daschle, Michael D'Orso
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The 107th Congress faced a time like no other in the life of the nation. This was the era of the first presidential election to be decided by the United States Supreme Court, the fifty-fifty Senate, the horror of September 11, the war on terrorism, corporate scandals that shook the economy, the inexorable move toward war with Iraq, and other dramatic events, all leading up to the historic midterm elections of 2002.

    Mike Dowling says: "Good book, terrible narration"
    "Good book, terrible narration"
    Overall

    Daschle's writing is probably not as egocentric or hyperbolic as Stephen Hoye?s read, but the combined package often makes the Senator sound foolish. The book is interesting, but rather self-serving and oddly familiar at times. Daschle has a very important role in the events of 2000-2002, and his views are worthwhile. That?s the good news and it makes the book worthwhile. On the other hand, Daschle presents his role and his life as if the reader is completely familiar with all things Daschle.

    This may be an unfair criticism because of the breathless and overacted read by Stephen Hoye. Hoye?s pregnant pauses and exaggerated intonations make even the smallest event sound as if it took place on December 7, 1941. Paul Harvey sounds monotone next to Hoye. The book would have easily earned an extra star if it were not for the narration.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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