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Pam

Virginia, USA | Listener Since 2004

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 134 ratings
  • 233 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • Crime and Punishment

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St. Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law.

    Doreen Fleming says: "Absorbing tale"
    "Almost Wish I'd Gotten the Full Version"
    Overall

    This abridged version was a very good listen. The story is timeless, yet gives an interesting view of 19th century St. Petersburg. The narrator did a great job, although his British accent (made Cockney for the rougher characters) was a bit disconcerting for this American reading a book about Russians.

    It makes me wonder what the other 20 hours in the full version contained, and whether it would have been worth it. But then again, my short attention span has never made it past the beginning of a Dostoevsky novel, so I probably made the right choice.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Linked: The New Science of Networks

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (854)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (121)

    Albert-Laszlo Barabasi traces the fascinating history of connected systems. Understanding the structure and behavior of networks will forever alter our world, allowing us to design the "perfect" business or stop a disease outbreak before it goes global.

    Alex says: "Network theory for beginners"
    "Not a Mathematician"
    Overall

    I'm not a scientist or a mathematician, and this book reminded me why. It was a bit dry in places, and the math often seemed to prove the obvious - that networks are not always random, but rather some nodes are more connected than others. Could have been said in a much shorter format. Also, it seemed to confuse some issues, like web pages vs. Internet infrastructure. Still, this book gave some interesting things to think about.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (588)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    When scholars write the history of the world 20 years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004", what will they say was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing?

    Anthony says: "Most important book of the decade"
    "Don't turn it off after the first chapter."
    Overall

    The first chapter: yeah, yeah, we get it. Technology has changed the world.

    But the rest of the book provides a good definition of globalization, and provides some thought-provoking insights on economic issues. The good news is that it is from a not-necessarily-economist point of view.

    There seemed to be a lot of categorizing and simplifying, but I guess that is what over-important authors do. Too many anecdotes and quotes bogged it down a bit. The the writing also seemed to be a bit patronizing at times, which was not helped by the narrator's voice.

    Definitely get the abridged version; I don't think I could have made it through 19 hours.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of War [Blackstone Version]

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sun-Tzu, translation by John Minford
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver, Ray Porter
    Overall
    (476)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (162)

    For more than two thousand years, The Art of War has stood as a cornerstone of Chinese culture, a lucid epigrammatic text that reveals as much about human psychology, politics, and economics as it does about battlefield strategy. The influence of Sun-Tzu's text has grown tremendously in the West in recent years, with military leaders, politicians, and corporate executives alike finding valuable insight in these ancient words.

    David says: "Excellent book on tactics and strategy"
    "Tough Read"
    Overall

    I can only comment on the first part, the raw reading of the text, since I wasn't able to get through much of it. It is definitely not for listening to while driving. Obviously, Sun Tzu's writing is not straight forward modern western commentary, rather an eastern expository on principles of fighting and war which repeats itself and speaks in metaphor. The narrator's voice was also difficult to listen to, because it was slow and somewhat monotone. Although this may convey Sun Tzu's mood, it was not enough to keep me engaged.

    33 of 40 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
    (5463)
    Performance
    (2488)
    Story
    (2486)

    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"
    "Don't do it audio"
    Overall

    I had to give this at least two stars because I couldn't make it past the first hour or so to see if it really is helpful or not. It has been an influential book, so the principles are worth knowing, but probably better digested in a skim-able book.

    I agree with other reviewers who point out the painfulness of listening to Stephen Covey speak about this stuff. His tone also put me to sleep, and seemed condescending. But then again, I can't stand listening to Garrison Keillor's commentaries either...

    Really, I'm afraid slow pace of the author and the narrative indicated that the ideas might not be all that revolutionary.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Azar Nafisi
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (143)

    For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families; others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail.

    Jayne says: "A wonderful story"
    "Better than a dry history"
    Overall

    Not knowing much about Iran, I feel I learned alot about the Iranian people and the revolution from this book. Nafisi weaves a great narrative with personal stories about herself and her friends and students. I personally could have done with less of the literary review that was omnipresent and a bit detailed at times. I agree with another reviewer that the narrator's voice gives life to the story, but her accent (it was almost pretentious in the pronounciation) did get a little grating toward the end. Definitely worth a listen if you want to know more about life in Iran for almost two decades after the revolution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Susan Orlean
    • Narrated By Susan Orlean
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (7)

    My Kind of Place takes listeners on a series of remarkable journeys in a uniquely witty and sophisticated travel audiobook. In this irresistible collection of adventures far and near, Susan Orlean coducts a tour of the world via its subcultures, from the heart of the African music scene in Paris to the World Taxidermy Championships in Springfield, Illinois, and even into her own apartment, where she imagines a very famous houseguest taking advantage of her hospitality.

    Erik K says: "Wonderful listening, but the music!"
    "Not Really Travel Writing"
    Overall

    These stories seemed more of the human interest type than "travel writing." However, they were very interesting and entertaining. The wide variety of topics, from a tiger lady in NJ to fertility trekkers in Bhutan, were well narrated. Orlean was sure to give educating background and context to each of her stories, while also putting a human face to the issues. Well worth listening to!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
    • Narrated By Ken Borgers, Sal Giangrasso, Charlton Griffin, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (383)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (89)

    The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9-11 Commission, was created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002. This independent, bipartisan commission had the task of producing a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the attack, including preparedness and immediate response, and providing recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.

    SLP says: "Absolutely Outstanding Historical Document"
    "Well written for gov't doc, but long and tedious"
    Overall

    This is an important work and gives good insight into the interagency and intelligence processes, the origins of the Islamist extremist threat, and the events of 9/11. Because it offers more detail than most people can probably bear, it may be better to buy the book so you can skip the parts that are not interesting to you. The narration is questionable at times, but bearable. Worth the price.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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