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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

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 63 reviews
  • 88 ratings
  • 312 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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  • The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David A. Price
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (435)

    The Pixar Touch is a lively chronicle of Pixar Animation Studios' history and evolution, and the "fraternity of geeks" who shaped it. With the help of visionary businessman Steve Jobs and animating genius John Lasseter, Pixar has become the gold standard of animated filmmaking, beginning with a short special effects shot made at Lucasfilm in 1982 all the way up through the landmark films Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, and others.

    Cameron says: "If you like Disney, Pixar, or Apple..."
    "Computer animation history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Pixar Touch again? Why?

    It is not the type of book that warrants another listen. I have listened to books about Google, Apple, and Amazon and this account fits well with the other corporate histories.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Not only was the book a history of Pixar, it was also a history of computer animation and the problems that had to be overcome.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The book does not consist of scenes.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Some great characters in animation. It would have been nice to see visual examples of some of the technical problems and how they we're overcome.


    Any additional comments?

    The author spent considerable time discussing some of Pixar's greatest hits, such as Toy Story, Finding anemone, and Cars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1976)
    Performance
    (1818)
    Story
    (1830)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "ALWAYS IN THE SHADOW OF A LIFELONG STRANGER"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The shadows that some people make can last throughout some other’s lifetime. That is the case presented in the novel, REVIVAL, by Stephen King. Jamie Morton first enters the shadow of Charles Jacobs at age six and remains in Jacob’s shadow as long as Jacobs is alive to cast the shadow and even after his death.

    This isn’t my favorite King novel. It will take some dedication to stay with it throughout. Still, it is a fascinating story that intertwines, religion, coming of age, drug addiction, medical quackery, small town family life and the after-life.

    David Morse does an excellent job with the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1842)
    Performance
    (1648)
    Story
    (1659)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "FORMULA GRISHAM"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gray Mountain follows the formula of most of John’s novels. It is a David and Goliath morality tale where David must mount an attack in the judicial system against the excesses of greed, often represented by unscrupulous corporate interests. Here, David is a former Wall Street female lawyer named Samantha who takes on Goliath, the greedy coal companies of Virginia. With a few twists and turns, you can guess how the tale will end.

    Some of the early negative reviews may be an indication that the formula has been over used. Since I like Grisham’s descriptive style, I am willing to stick with him and the formula for the foreseeable future. Most of these excesses of greed need to be exposed and Grisham's narrative is good at exposing them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Michael Bruce, Steven Barbone
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Philosophers don't just make claims, they give arguments. Does the existence of evil call into doubt the existence of God? Show me the argument. Will living a just life lead to happiness? Show me the argument. Philosophy starts with questions, but attempts at answers are just as important, and these answers require reasoned argument. Cutting through notoriously dense and verbose philosophical prose, the authors set 100 famous and influential arguments in context, including key quotations

    GBL says: "Great book, but not for listening!"
    "TOO DEEP"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like philosophy and was really looking forward to this book. I especially wanted to see which arguments were selected. However, I found that the arguments were presented in too technical a manner. The syllogistic reasoning is too difficult to understand at the pace of the reader's presentation. One reviewer suggested that a printed version would be better. I agree, but feel that even a written version would be too deep for the non-philosophy major. I was wasting my time so I stopped half way through the work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Amy Alkon
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (204)

    We live in a world that's very different from the one in which Emily Post came of age. Many of us who are nice (but who also sometimes say "f*ck") are frequently at a loss for guidelines about how to be a good person who deals effectively with the onslaught of rudeness we all encounter. To lead us through this this miasma of modern manners, syndicated columnist Amy Alkon - The Advice Goddess - gives us a new set of manners for our 21st-century lives.

    G. House Sr. says: "Hilarious and a Direct Hit - Must Listen"
    "Interesting Insights"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although much of these insights are common sense, they are presented as a fresh way to view situations. My only problem is grabbing the correct insight as the situation presents itself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Richard P. Feynman
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (74)

    Designed for non-scientists, Six Easy Pieces is an unparalleled introduction to the world of physics by one of the greatest teachers of all time.

    Matt says: "Unintelligible"
    "NO EASY PIECES OF PIE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These lectures should be accompanied with the illustrations that the professor uses for illustrative purposes. Thus it would be good to listen to the lectures while viewing a book that has the diagrams.

    The audio quality of the first lecture is very poor. The technology should exist for enhancement. If that isn't possible, then a professional reader should be inserted.

    Although the lectures were designed for the non-physics student. As a non-physics major, I found some of the material very difficult to understand.

    This book will require considerable effort on the part of the listener.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (520)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (370)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    "Book is a Well-Oiled Machine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A well written and well narrated Mob book. This is my first listen to Don Winslow and I wish that there was an entire Frankie Machine Series. Would have enjoyed separate books about Frankie's Spring, Summer and Fall.

    Will try the author's private eye series soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cop Town

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (790)
    Performance
    (654)
    Story
    (665)

    Atlanta, 1974: It's Kate Murphy's first day on the job, and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she's not cut out to be a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can't handle a gun, and she's rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt she'll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind.

    Ronna says: "Women cops in bigoted 1974 Georgia"
    "COPOUT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had trouble paying attention to this book. Can't believe that some listeners gave it five stars. Not sure it deserved the two that I give it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • South of Broad

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1232)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (433)

    Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of 13, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him

    Pamela says: "Authors Need to Review Pronunciations"
    "A CONGREGATION OF MISFITS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my second book by Pat Conroy (Beach Music was my first) and I have found the two works equally delightful. Although I am not a writer, I am very envious of Conroy's extensive vocabulary. If words are symbols of thought, Conroy has a way of arranging them into beautiful mosaics of insight and entertainment.

    The characters are rich and endowed with all of the frailties of real life, these aren’t "cardboard cutouts". Conroy’s love affair with Charleston, South Carolina reminded me of the book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and its host city, Savannah, Georgia.

    The book focuses on the great themes of race, religion, the South, coming of age and death.

    I am sure that this book isn’t for everyone. Still, if you appreciate a writer who can paint a vivid, insightful and entertaining picture, the book is for you.

    As I listened to the book, I wondered how much of it was drawn from the author’s personal life experiences. Perhaps all books of this nature are autobiographical, whether so stated or not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Strip: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (149)

    An aging but formidable strip-club owner, Claudiu "Manco" Kapak, has been robbed by a masked gunman as he placed his cash receipts in a bank's night-deposit box. Enraged, he sends his half-dozen security men out to find a suspect who is spending lots of cash and is new enough to Los Angeles not to know he was robbing a gangster.

    Barry says: "Great book overall"
    "TEASE OF A STRIPPER"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first Thomas Perry book. I especially enjoyed the ending, although I wasn't sure where the story was headed till we got there. I agree with the reviewer who said that there were times he didn't know which character to pull for. Occasionally I had to remind myself what I already knew about a character. Look forward to another book by TP.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil's Punchbowl

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (613)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (289)

    As a prosecutor in Houston, Penn Cage sent killers to death row. But as mayor of his hometown - Natchez, Mississippi - Penn will face his most dangerous threat. Urged by old friends to try to restore this fading jewel of the Old South, Penn has ridden into office on a tide of support for change. But in its quest for new jobs and fresh money, Natchez has turned to casino gambling, and now five steamboats float on the river beside the old slave market, like props from Gone With the Wind.

    Corinne says: "Not his best but Iles can't be bad"
    "PENN CAGE WINS AGAIN"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Greg Iles always holds my interest. This book shows the ghostly underside of life along the Mississippi. It is a compelling and engaging story. I don't agree with the negative reviews of narrator Dick Hill. Dick gives the work the depressing feel that it deserves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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