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Ray

Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.

West Deptford, NJ, United States | Member Since 2013

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 78 reviews
  • 104 ratings
  • 332 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2015
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  • Ragtime

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By E. L. Doctorow
    • Narrated By E. L. Doctorow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (460)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (337)

    The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears.

    Catherine says: "Ragtime and Doctorow are compelling"
    "As Hipnotic as Ragtime Music"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Ragtime in three words, what would they be?

    Fact-fiction perfectly intertwined.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ragtime?

    The Model T in front of the fire house.


    What does E. L. Doctorow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The author has the perfect cadence when reading his excellently descriptive prose.


    Who was the most memorable character of Ragtime and why?

    Colhouse Walker, the Ragtime


    Any additional comments?

    I found the rhythmic prose of the author to have been perfectly enunciated by the narrator, the author himself.

    I usually don't care for historical fiction, but found this story compelling enough to overcome the conflict between fact and fiction. As I listened to the book, I would occasionally check the factual basis of the story.

    I was ready to dismiss the concluding chapter, but in the end liked the way it tied the strings of the story together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Best Revenge

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Ben Riller is the most successful producer on Broadway, but his newest production is in danger of closing before it opens. In his stressed-out condition, Ben is hearing the voice of his long-dead father, and they're having a running argument about life, love, and other people's money.

    Ray says: "DISAPPOINTING"
    "DISAPPOINTING"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping to learn more about the job of a Broadway producer. Instead I learned of a producer who taked with his dead father and sought investors in organized crime. Don't believe that this will make it to Broadway no matter who produces it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ray Kurzweil
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (695)
    Performance
    (557)
    Story
    (553)

    For over three decades, the great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine.

    Sean Gately says: "Great Idea, terribly slow and painful listen"
    "BRILLIANT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have found the theories to be brilliant although I did not fully understand all of the support material. Well worth the effort for someone who wants to think "outside the box".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By William J. Mann
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system.

    BlackNurvana says: "Sounds like an annoucement"
    "LIZ, LIZ, LIZ"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did Tinseltown by the same author. I felt that there was too much attention to the Taylor Burton relationship. Also I got tired hearing about her jewelry. A bit less star worshiping would have been appreciated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By William J. Mann
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (273)

    By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America's new favorite pastime and one of the nation's largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence; yet Hollywood's glittering ascendancy was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies - including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.

    Steven says: "Everybody's a dreamer..."
    "WELL DONE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book covers some history with which I was not very familiar. Although I could not see the footnotes, it seems to be very well researched. After listening to the book, I have been wondering how Hollywood has changed since its earlier days. I enjoyed the book enough that I plan to listen to the author's biography of Elizabeth Taylor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5083)
    Performance
    (3030)
    Story
    (3014)

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Ted says: "Just Right!"
    "INTERESTING LEGAL TALE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of the works of Michael Connelly. However I like his Harry Bosch character better than Mickey Haller. This Lincoln Lawyer Haller book is interesting and well written. Still, I wasn't expecting the twist at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alan Turing: The Enigma

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Andrew Hodges
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    Overall
    (328)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (283)

    It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This classic biography of the founder of computer science, reissued on the centenary of his birth with a substantial new preface by the author, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.

    Sara says: "A Fantastic Biography For The Patient Listener"
    "BOOK TOO LONG AND TOO TECHNICAL"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    the book would have been much better for the general public if it had been shorter and much less technical.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Talk: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Michael A. Smerconish
    • Narrated By James Edward Thomas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    Stan Powers finds himself at a crossroads. Poised to take the last step in his unlikely ascent to the top of conservative talk radio, his conscience may not let him. Set amid the backdrop of "the most important presidential election of our lifetime", Powers - as the most influential voice in Tampa’s hotly contested I-4 Corridor - holds the key to Florida, and therefore the Oval Office. His on-air attacks singlehandedly put an abrupt end to the top candidates' main competitors in the primaries, and now he is in the singular position to influence who wins the highest elected office in the world.

    J.Cozzens says: "Good Read"
    "LACKS DEPTH"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some interesting insights about the operations of the media, but little of depth on fixing the polarized political system. I haven't seen Michael's program on CNN, but did see him on MSNBC. He has a good on air presence, but this book lacks depth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Believer: My Forty Years in Politics

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By David Axelrod
    • Narrated By David Axelrod
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (123)

    The man behind some of the greatest political changes of the last decade, David Axelrod has devoted a lifetime to questioning political certainties and daring to bring fresh thinking into the political landscape. Whether as a child hearing John F. Kennedy stump in New York or as a strategist guiding the first African American to the White House, Axelrod shows in Believer how his own life stands at the center of the tumultuous American century.

    Thug4life says: "Love letter to Obama"
    "ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed the story along with its descriptive detail. I was a close observer of the Presidential Elections of 2008 and 2012. It was interesting to hear about it from the inside. As a white American, I had hoped to see a bit of diversity in the holder of the nation's highest office. Why not a BLACK, FEMALE, HISPANIC or JEWISH president? We got a Catholic with John Kennedy. It was my guess that the next to make the leap would be a female, and I suspected that she would emerge from the Vice-Presidency. How pleased I was to find that a black man would emerge from a short stint in the Senate and directly leap onto the big chair.

    David's inside account helped remind me of and better understand Obama's victorious Marches. My only recommendation would be that the book should have been read by a professional reader. Axelrod's sleepy voice is a bit distraction over a book of this length.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Deborah Blum
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1485)
    Performance
    (996)
    Story
    (985)

    In The Poisoner's Handbook, Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.

    Aaron - Audible says: "CSI eat your heart out"
    "PLENTY OF ARSENIC BUT NO OLD LACE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well researched and interestingly presented. More than I wanted to know about poisons. Until I listened to this book, I was unaware that the government was responsible for using poisonous alcohol to add to illegal spirits during Prohibition. Some interesting tales of people being poisoned and eventually the poisoner being caught.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba...and Then Lost It to the Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By T. J. English
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (629)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (323)

    Havana Nocturne takes listeners back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island's brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom. But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others.

    Rob Mack says: "History with Spice!"
    "GOOD HISTORICAL LOOK WELL WRITTEN"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I had lived during the Cuban Revolution, I had only a vague understanding of its circumstances. I was unaware that organized crime was really running the economy of the island. I had heard that Meyer Lansky was the Jewish Treasurer of the mob but didn't know how much of his influence was centered on Cuba. I also was unaware of the rivalry between Havana and Las Vegas.

    I found the book well researched and entertaining. It is too bad that Fidel Castro didn't take his fortunate opportunity to turn the island into a true democracy. Unfortunately he turned out to be little better than his predecessor, although he did get rid of the Mob influence. Havana, the Mob, gambling and sex are the main themes of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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