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Robert

Castro Valley, CA, United States | Member Since 2000

ratings
30
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
98

  • Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson
    • Narrated By Marsha Mercant, Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (356)

    Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception.

    Andrew says: "Insightful study of human behavior"
    "A Great Listen - As Long As You Listen"
    Overall

    A fascinating discussion of cognitive dissonanance, something that affects every single one of us; not only the people we disagree with. I'm sure that this book will confirm your prejudices if listened to casually but if listened to with as an open a mind as you can muster it will cause you to begin to re-evaluate your own memories, beliefs and relationship with the 'truth'. A wonderful opportunity to 'look in the mirror'.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Bleeding Edge

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Thomas Pynchon
    • Narrated By Jeannie Berlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (92)

    Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethics - carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people's bank accounts - without having too much guilt about any of it. Otherwise, just your average working mom - two boys in elementary school, an off-and-on situation with her sort of semi-ex-husband Horst - till Maxine starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm....

    Robert says: "A fine wine in a dirty and cracked glass"
    "A fine wine in a dirty and cracked glass"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Ever since V in 1963 Thomas Pynchon has written superb novels and Bleeding Edge does not disappoint in anyway. He spins a dazzling web of a plot populated with engaging characters and conveying a powerful message for our times. An excellent read


    How could the performance have been better?

    Its hard to imagine a worse selection of narrator than this. She was presented with excellent material to perform but delivers it in a croaking monotone with no discernible sensitivity for timing or inflection rendering a fine novel almost unbearable. Its hard to understand how this performance escaped the studio. This narration made me buy my first hard copy novel for years.


    53 of 56 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2114)
    Performance
    (1445)
    Story
    (1454)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    russell says: "Endurance"
    "A Powerful Reading of A Seminal Story"
    Overall

    The story of the 1914-17 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition is one of the most inspiring tales of human endeavour and leadership that can be found. I have read books on this subject many times and I was deeply impressed with Simon Prebble's narration. A "must listen"!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Inherent Vice

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Thomas Pynchon
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (134)

    It's been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy", except that this one usually leads to trouble.

    Philipp Marian Selman says: "If you enjoyed The Crying of Lot 49..."
    "An Everyman Pynchon"
    Overall

    Whether you loved it, hated it or never even knew about it before, Pynchon artfully captures SoCal in the late sixties as it begins to fade into media pastiches and the fogged memories of those who were there at the time. As always Ron McLarty does a superb job of narration. Not my favorite Pynchon but a great read.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Aimee Bender
    • Narrated By Aimee Bender
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (356)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (112)

    On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents' attention, bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother - her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother - tastes of despair and desperation.

    Victoria says: "I'm Going to Read the Actual Book"
    "A thinly stretched story broken by the reader"
    Overall

    I pride myself that I finish every book I purchase from Audible but this one came the closest yet to being abandoned part way through. The central idea for the story is facinating but the author seems utterly unable to deal effectively with it. Couple this with a narrator whose reading and voice verge on the irritating and the result fails to merit even a single star.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Broken Teaglass

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Emily Arsenault
    • Narrated By Eileen Stevens, Oliver Wyman, Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (658)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (196)

    The dusty files of a venerable dictionary publisher, a hidden cache of coded clues, a story written by a phantom author, an unsolved murder in a gritty urban park: all collide memorably in Emily Arsenault's magnificent debut, at once a teasing literary puzzle, an ingenious suspense novel, and an exploration of definitions: of words, of who we are, and of the stories we choose to define us.

    Ed says: "Enjoyable Book with Great Characters"
    "Certainly Repays Attention"
    Overall

    This book may well not be an instant crowd pleaser but is all the better for it. A charming and somewhat eccentric blend of a commedy of manners, a romance and a mystery within the setting of an office of lexicographers makes for a delightful read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Calculating God

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1885)
    Performance
    (1285)
    Story
    (1297)

    In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho.

    Ione says: "Interesting book, very enjoyable narration"
    "A Good Story Spoilt in the Telllng"
    Overall

    This book has a strong story at its core but I feel that it is weakened considerably by the preaching manner in which it is written. This tone seemes to have been picked up and amplified furher by the narrator. An interesting read but not an enjoyable one.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Dreamcatcher

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    Overall
    (1799)
    Performance
    (553)
    Story
    (565)

    "The genius shines through...flat-out riveting." (Publishers Weekly)
    "Makes for great midnight reading." (The New York Times)
    "Dreamcatcher is a comeback and an infusion of rich new blood into King's body of work." (Amazon.com)

    Click the sample icon to hear an extended excerpt from Chapter One of Dreamcatcher!

    Murray Zetterholm says: "King Fans Will Love Dreamcatcher"
    "My first and probably my last"
    Overall

    My first King story and it was a definite disappointment. This work seems to contain the basis for a good novel but I can only surmise that the author's fame has deterred his publishers from directing him towards the much needed assistance of an editor. The story is streched far too thinly on the apparent premise that cheap and tawdry embellishment will be taken by the readers for depth. The plot, characters and storyline are in there to be found but the author has buried them too deeply in the mire to make this an enjoyable read. I can only hope that the author's reputation was based on much better fare than this.

    5 of 12 people found this review helpful

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