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PT

PA | Member Since 2006

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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5

  • All in All: An Actor's Life On and Off the Stage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stacy Keach
    • Narrated By Stacy Keach, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    Stacy Keach is known for movie roles like Fat City, American History X, the television series Titus, and of course Mike Hammer, but he's also revered in the industry as a serious actor who's passionate about his craft. In his long, impressive career, he has been hailed as America's finest classical stage actor, earning acclaim for his portrayals of Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, and King Lear.

    Carmen says: "Definitely recommend the audiobook over paper."
    "Narration could have been better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing was good enough and the story was interesting and sincere. What disappointed me was Stacy Keach's reading. He started every sentence loud or high and ended most of them in a whisper. I was frequently left wondering what could have been the last few words in the previous sentence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Johnny Cash: The Life

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert Hilburn
    • Narrated By Charles Pittard
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    The definitive, intimate, no-holds-barred biography of Johnny Cash. People don't just listen to Johnny Cash - they believe in him. Although part of his life has been told on film, there are many compelling layers to his story that have remained hidden - until now. Robert Hilburn tells the unvarnished truth about a musical icon whose personal life was far more troubled and his artistry much more profound than even his most devoted fans have realized.

    Scott says: "Great Book - Poor Narrator"
    "Pretty Comprehensive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Johnny Cash?

    The writing was pretty straightforward.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The voice recording was disappointing. I tried tuning it with my iPhone's equalizer settings but I couldn't get rid of enough bass.

    The few times I've listened to NPR, I've marveled at how extraordinarily well their microphones transmit voice. Why can't all audio books be more like that?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By William Friedkin
    • Narrated By William Friedkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    With such seminal movies as The Exorcist and The French Connection, Academy Award–winning director William Friedkin secured his place as a great filmmaker. A maverick from the start, Friedkin joined other young directors who ushered in Hollywood’s second Golden Age during the 1970s. Now, in his long-awaited memoir, Friedkin provides a candid portrait of an extraordinary life and career.

    PT says: "Informative and Fun"
    "Informative and Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Friedkin Connection?

    Long ago I read a book that was supposed to be about the business of making movies ("You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again"). It was a total disappointment. Friedkin's book is exactly the kind of book was looking for.

    I guess the thing that surprised me – aside from his apparent honesty and candor about himself, even the bad periods in his life – was that he could be so passionate about his work and so could others. People absolutely hated and loathed some movies, while loving others. There were feuds that went on for decades. All the same mix of happiness and unhappiness that the rest of us get in our lives I suppose, but I didn't think it was part of the territory when it comes to being rich and famous and successful in Hollywood. I thought you would just be happy about your accomplishments. But no, there's all the usual stuff to worry about: budgets, and money, and backing and expenditures and time and investments of all kinds. Plus the work of making a movie, itself.

    This book touches on all of it. I'm very glad I found it. I think you'll like it.


    What other book might you compare The Friedkin Connection to and why?

    Sidney Lumet's "Making Movies," which I'm reading now on Kindle — couldn't find it at Audible :-(


    Which character – as performed by William Friedkin – was your favorite?

    Oh, there was a producer...but I forget his name. Friedkin had some fun playing him.


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

    Friedkin's heart attack. And his later hospital stay with complications.


    Any additional comments?

    Well, I'm a technical writer, so I know something about writing. This book (blessedly!) follows the basics: Keep It Sweet & Simple. Tell the story. Have a sense of humor (or tolerance). Friedkin does what he should to make this book readable. Not everybody can do that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Edison: A Life of Invention

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Paul Israel
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (12)

    Armed with unprecedented access to Edison's workshop diaries, notebooks, and letters, Israel brings fresh insights into how the inventor's creative mind worked. For the first time, much attention is devoted to his early family life in Ohio and Michigan, where the young Edison honed his entrepreneurial sense and eye for innovation as a newsstand owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. These experiences underscore the inventor's later successes with new resonance and pathos.

    Michael says: "Worst narration ever"
    "Sample and Hold"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Edison?

    "How bad can it be? It's Edison, after all!" I said to myself.[Groan] It can be bad. From the first paragraph, I disliked the author's style. I ended up skipping most of Chapter One. Then most of Chapter Two. And most of Chapter Three. And then I bailed.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Paul Israel again?

    No, I can't imagine that. I found myself trying to rearrange, simplify, streamline the prose but to no avail.


    What about Raymond Todd’s performance did you like?

    He did a good job with difficult text.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Great disappointment. I'm sure it is all very factual and detailed but it is so pedantic that it reminds me why many of us disliked history textbooks when we were in school. The reading ease grade level must be around Grade 14, I'll bet. Well, I'm a fan of the Nuremberg Funnel, myself. I think reading can be fun.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm an experienced business and technical writer with a B.A. In journalism, so I am very sympathetic to the effort that must have gone into this book. I don't like leaving a negative review and I wish I could offer more positive comments. I suppose some people enjoy this (didactic?) style of presentation but it is too much for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1256)
    Performance
    (1131)
    Story
    (1123)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
    "A Great Read For The Curious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Zealot to be better than the print version?

    As a professional nonfiction writer, I am well aware of the advantages of "print" books over audio. I like audio for books that I'm going to listen to linearly – start-to-finish. Print is better for skipping around and dodging boring bits. I do not regret getting this in audio. There was no reason to move outside of the path of the text. It made sense and was developed coherently, and all of that. Plus, I thought the narration was as good as it could possibly have been.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I have had strong feelings about the disciple Paul ever since I read his writings in the Bible. They just didn't seem to fit with the teachings of Jesus. And, sure enough, this book arrives at much the same conclusions as I did. So it was nice to have confirmation of what I have believed for the last half century. And that is: Paul was all about setting up rules and conduct for the church. This was far and above the teachings part of the Gospels.


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

    This is the first time I have heard this narrator. I thought he did an absolutely excellent job.


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

    Well, for a nonfiction book, there were many "interesting" passages. For instance, all of the killing that went on in those days, and executions, and the rebellion in 66 to 70 A.D.– much of that was new to me.


    Any additional comments?

    I was raised Christian. Baptized in my early teens, became a member of the church. Went to church most Sundays, Bible school in the summers. Hated all of it.

    I read the New Testament in my early 20s. I read the Old Testament a year ago. What an eye-opener. This book is a perfect complement to that kind of inquiry, filling in an awful lot of perspective that is not available in the Bible.

    As a habitually critical reader (with a degree in journalism), I kept thinking the whole time about what the "true believers" would offer to counter what is in this book. Of course, people tend to believe what they want to believe. And I'm sure "the other side" would have plenty of arguments against this book. But I have a feeling those arguments would be flimsy and based mainly on wishful thinking and not on available facts and research.

    The book claims not to be "anti-Jesus," but rather to be an examination of the historical record with regard to the life of Jesus of Nazareth. And I think the author sticks to that premise and behaves very responsibly. It's just that he has amassed so much evidence in favor of that argument that it may sound biased. I don't see any bias. And I am encouraged to try to find other books like this to take my investigation further. And of course I can always reread the Bible. (I have the NIV in Kindle for iPad.)

    I definitely feel this book was worth my time. Outstanding.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jacob Tomsky
    • Narrated By Jacob Tomsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (354)

    Jacob Tomsky has worked in hotels for more than a decade, doing everything from valet parking to manning the front desk. He's checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late check out, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your mini-bar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. And in Heads in Beds, he pulls back the curtain on the hospitality business.

    colleen says: "credit worthy"
    "Very, Very Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Heads in Beds in three words, what would they be?

    Well told stories.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's not a comedy, but there were spots where I laughed out loud. More than a few. That's rare.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were a lot of good scenes. I suppose the end scene was most memorable.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not necessarily. It was by nature episodic, but a nice balace between vignettes and the overall story. Very enjoyable reading. (I am a professional nonfiction writer myself.)


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. Definitely in my Top Five for 2013 as of August.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11149)
    Performance
    (9640)
    Story
    (9610)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "Thorough, Balanced, Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Steve Jobs again? Why?

    I already have, kind of: A friend insisted I read this. Even though I'd read "iCon" several years ago, I liked this even more.



    What did you like best about this story?

    It seemed fair and balanced--which Steve Jobs was not! ;-)


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I did notice that the narrator's choice in emphasis often differed from the emphasis I would have put on the words in the text. I've only noticed that once before (with narrator Elliott Gould) but here it was just a minor distraction at times.



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

    Not that I noticed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank Langella
    • Narrated By Frank Langella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (152)

    Captured forever in a unique memoir, Frank Langella's myriad encounters with some of the past century's most famous human beings are profoundly affecting, funny, wicked, sometimes shocking, and utterly irresistible. With sharp wit and a perceptive eye, Mr. Langella takes us with him into the private worlds and privileged lives of movie stars, presidents, royalty, literary lions, the social elite, and the greats of the Broadway stage.

    Kathy says: "Delightful"
    "Very Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not as "sexy" as its billing--or, rather, it was more discreet than I expected. Which I actually appreciated. Made it seem much classier.

    I felt the author was being honest and sincere, no more and no less. He evaluated everyone for their good and bad traits alike. As a professional (technical and business) writer I am sensitive to bias and loaded language. Mr. Langella seemed quite straightforward.

    I was never a fan, although the latest movie I saw him in gave him a very full-blooded part that caught my interest. His voice, of course, is among the finest speaking voices recorded.

    His subjects are just about all dead. Besides avoiding libel problems, this allows for stories that are complete with endings. Beyond that, there are moments of poignant memory that are very touching. A couple of passages made me catch my breath.

    A good read, and not especially scandalous. Told with considerable dry humor. What more could you want?

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4678)
    Performance
    (1327)
    Story
    (1338)

    Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

    Kerry says: "Witty and Wonderful"
    "Not my usual cuppa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A terrible mistake has been made.

    Last week as I prepared to manage my downloaded inventory of audiobooks I found--to my horror--that I had inexplicably purchased a book I am certain I never would have bought if I had been paying the least bit of attention.

    _Eat, Pray, Love_. Gack! Just check the title. Is there a better example of pure Chick Lit on the market today? Oof. And the story sounded enough like the one about the the well-to-do Californian woman who moved to Tuscany.... I thought that would be like something from Peter Mayles but it was mostly just Whiney White Woman. I gave it up.

    But as I always say, you don't have to be smart, you just have to sit next to Stupid. As I braced myself for this girly excursion (hey, audio books aren't cheap! I wasn't going to just chuck it.), I took up a shorter book that pomised to be lighter, at least.

    Oh, it was light, all right. _I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell_ starts out with the pointless exploits of a young lout who drinks, pukes, and fornicates his way through the first chapter. The only thing worse than the writing is the narration by the author. It is the worst I have ever heard.

    I found I wasn't laughing at this guy and I wasn't laughing with him either. Where does that leave me? In fairness, I should say it did draw me in somewhat: After the first chapter, I felt like vomiting. Rereading the reviews, I see I had been warned.

    Moving on, the Chick Lit wasn't so bad. Actually, pretty good. Better than _Three Cups of Tea_--and probably more truthful. Narrated very well by the author.

    Of course, her politics are liberal but that doesn't have much to do with the story so far. (She mentions it, so I mention it.)

    [Later...]

    Now that I've finished it, I have to say it's pretty good. I didn???t get the goofy title till after I was done: ??Three countries, three themes. Duh.

    I always said, a good writer can get you interested in anything. Of course she's a best seller, so who am I to criticize. Some best-sellers are dumb. This turned out smart. And as Gilbert says in her online lecture, this could be her peak. Still, not a bad thing....

    Gold is where you find it. This was fun. Grade: ?? A

    == PT
    Sent from my iPad

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1927)
    Performance
    (1676)
    Story
    (1673)

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Melinda says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "A well-told story that pulls you in"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very interesting and entertaining. One of those books that can catch your interest if for no other reason than that it is well researched, organized, and presented simply.

    The book includes a sort of sidebar discussion of the inventors Morse and Bell. Morse's telegraph faced 60 lawsuits from others claiming credit for the invention. Bell was hit with 600 legal challenges to his claim of having invented the telephone. Such stories flesh out the social and political character of the times.

    Nicely narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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