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Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.

Sydney, Australia | Member Since 2012

  • 52 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 114 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Cantor

    Early in his career, A.J. Jacobs put his Ivy League education to work at Entertainment Weekly. He emerged five years later knowing which stars have fake boobs, which stars have toupees, which have both, and not much else. This realization led Jacobs on a life-changing quest: to read the entire contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica, all 33,000 pages, all 44 million words.

    Steve James says: "What were they thinking?"
    "thoroughly enjoyable"

    I found this book extremely informative and entertaining. The writer doesn't just list everything he read in the encyclopaedia.He recounts how the things he learned, directly affected his life. And he does so very well. His account is riddled with subplots and characters played by family members. I love how the knowledge he gains is put towards his desperate attempts to impregnate his wife. I enjoyed the effects this project had on his family and friends and even work colleagues. There is so much to learn from this book, a second read will help retain some of that knowledge. But the first time is very enjoyable none the less.
    The writer has a great sense of humour, a little bit cheesy at times, but that's expected considering his career. And it's always great when the writer narrates his own work. Over enthusiastic at times, but it works for the piece. Very entertaining and informative. Lots of fun, very clever, well wrapped up in the end, and you'll get a lot out of it. Nice one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Badass

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ben Thompson
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser

    Throughout history - from the bone-crushing age of antiquity to the sack-tearing modern era - there have been larger-than-life ass-kickers with a natural talent for unleashing their epic bloodlust on anyone who crossed them. They built empires, smashed armies, and ravaged civilizations for wealth, glory, and ultimate supremacy. Sometimes villains, sometimes heroes, sometimes criminally insane, they had one thing in common: They were all Badass!

    Saud says: "Not Bad, if You're into that Sort of Thing"
    "Finally, someone blends history with entertainment"

    I don't know what other people have said about this book but I loved it. The writer uses colourful modern vernacular to spice up the boring bits. He keeps calling people "dumb-ass" and the like, which I think might get tired for some people but I liked it. He was also successfull in bringing the ancient world into current day hypotheticals. Comparing some ancient adventures to how someone would have handled it today. Overall it was quite clever and well done. Even though it was written as if it was the only way teenagers would enjoy history, it was actually quite informative. Definitely worth a read for a good laugh and some easy education.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Anthony Bourdain
    • Narrated By Anthony Bourdain

    Last summer, The New Yorker published chef Anthony Bourdain's shocking, "Don't Eat Before Reading This." Now, the author uses the same "take-no-prisoners" attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable audiobook, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike.

    Holly says: "Kitchen Confidential"
    "very informative and very funny, great stories"

    I'm glad that Anthony narrated this. It's always better to let the writer tell his own stories. He dlievers them with more gusto and character than someone else would and it certainly pays off. You can hear the passion in his voice when he's describing his hilarious experiences. His wealth of knowledge also pays off. You can take a lot from this book and have a lot of fun at the same time. Even my wife loved it and she hates audiobooks. If you like this you have to get the "Waiter Rant". Two thumbs up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jerry Oppenheimer
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From Boise to Beijing, Mattel's toys dominate the universe. Its no-fun-and-games marketing muscle reaches some 140 countries, and its iconic products have been a part of our culture for generations. Now, in this intriguing and entertaining expose, New York Times best-selling author Jerry Oppenheimer places the world's largest toy company under a journalistic microscope, uncovering the dark side of toyland.

    Ron says: "Shock journalism at it's best"
    "Shock journalism at it's best"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book, it was very well researched but it was a shame that none of the executives it "rubbished" agreed to an interview. The only reason it lost 2 satrs for me was because it was too one-sided. I understand that if you write a book describing all the bad things a company has done, it would not look good for the company. But as a business owner, I realise that there are always 2 sides to every story. Some things are just unforgivable, but other things only seem that way on the surface.
    This book was very informative, shocking, amazing, and more. The title is perfect, the author deserves his spot at the New York Times, because this reads like an extended article. At times it even reads like a full editorial, where "fact" becomes "opinion", especially when he uses language like "fancy-shmancy". The narrator's voice was really annoying and robotic in the beginning but she settled into it nicely. This book is a bit long but definitley worth considering. Good stuff.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Up Till Now

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By William Shatner
    • Narrated By William Shatner

    William Shatner gets the joke about William Shatner. In fact, most of the time he's the one telling it. His self-effacing attitude, so perfectly parodied in the bombastic character he now plays on Boston Legal, is one of the reasons for his huge popularity. While best known for his creation of Captain James T. Kirk, William Shatner has been a working actor for more than half a century. As funny, charming, and self-deprecating as the man himself, this book will delight his fans of all ages.

    Ron says: "Brilliantly done"
    "Brilliantly done"

    Very good. He doesn't devote the book to Star Trek, which is something I was worried about. He gives each of his characters a good, in-depth, look in. He has some amazing behind-the-scenes stories with hilarious outcomes. He illuminates some of the more hyped up events of his life. The death of his wife, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed this. He delivered it the only way you would have expected him to. Very well written, brilliantly narrated. Definitely a must buy for anyone who ever saw him in anything. Well done, Shatman!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Glenn Beck
    • Narrated By Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, Steve "Stu" Burguiere

    Idiots can't be identified through voting records, they can be found only by looking for people who hide behind stereotypes, embrace partisanship, and believe that bumper-sticker slogans are a substitute for common sense. If you know someone who fits the bill, then Arguing with Idiots will help you silence them once and for all with the ultimate weapon: the truth.

    James says: "Good facts...average humor"
    "I was expecting more from the author and title"

    Why on Earth did he need to have 3 narrators, this was a mistake. He didn't use this method in his other books. I didn't think this one was anywhere near as good as his first book title "An Inconvenient Book" which was more informative and funnier. But, the "ADD moments" get really annoying and the 3 narrators don't do this book any favours. The acutally content of the book is informative but it stretches in parts. And again Beck is openly a pure-blood conservative.
    Not bad, but not as good as I was hoping.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems (Unabridged)

    • Abridged/Unabridged (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Glenn Beck
    • Narrated By Glenn Beck

    The world is a mess. It seems that everywhere listeners turn, there's another problem. What is needed now are solutions. If only there was a man who could simplify things, cut through the rhetoric, and fix everything. Then, if he was just able to put all of that insight into something that people could a store and, that would great. Wait a minute!

    Sheila says: "Funny & Thought Provoking"
    "Tell us what you really think!?!"

    He doesn't mind speaking his mind does he?!? The only problem with that is that he tends to go overboard with his dramatizations. Even though he admits he's a pure blood conservative, he certainly has a flare for melodrama. For me, living in Australia, I can see why he'd work well as a radio DJ, but give him a soap box and he'll jump on it. He is funny in many parts and he does use some good statistics, but even he admits: "Statistics don't lie, but liars use statistics". This is good for opposing views backed up with evidence, and it is quite funny throughout, but I have to say the "ADD moments" get very frustrating. But this one is certainly better than his 2nd one - "Arguing With Idiots"

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Matrix and Philosophy

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By William Irwin, Editor
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Rick Adamson, Jennifer Jay Myers

    The choice is yours, and you'll have to live with the consequences for at least the rest of your life. Will you take the blue pill - skip this audiobook and go on thinking of The Matrix as just a movie? Or will you take the red pill - listen to this book, and find out just how far down the rabbit-hole goes?

    Alan Rither says: "Be prepared for serious philosophical thinking"
    "Too many cooks spoil the broth"

    The problem with combining multiple authors who right about the same topic is the risk of repetition. And unfortunately this one suffers from it greatly. I am not saying there was nothing to gain from reading this book. There are many great insights into the human condition and the massive number of symbolic references the movie boasts are certainly brought to light and justified well. But there are too many instances where one essay goes to explain one theory and the next essay by a different author encompasses the same views.
    Overall, I did enjoy this book regardless of the same thing said over and over.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Science of Superheroes

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Lois Gresh, Robert Weinberg, introduction by Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman

    If the planet Krypton had a gravitational field strong enough to account for Superman's amazing strength, would it be possible to launch a rocket ship from the planet's surface? Could evolution actually produce X-Men? The Science of Superheroes takes a lighthearted but clearheaded look at the real science behind some of the greatest superhero comic books of all time.

    Shaquille says: "To much irrelvent information"
    "Loved it"

    Very interesting, funny, informative, entertaining.
    You have to have a slightly open mind, but most of the stuff was justified. This book attempts to explain and theorise at the same time, and it does well. There is a tonne of useful scientific knowledge to gain, and there are some interesting facts that are brought to light. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I'm not a HUGE comic book fan. Before the theory comes out for each superhero, there is a brief history which I liked. Nicely done over all.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Life

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Bill Clinton
    • Narrated By Bill Clinton

    President Bill Clinton's My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public. It is the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written, and a testament to the positive impact on America and on the world of his work and his ideals.

    Drayton says: "Less than I expected"
    "good effort, very interesting"

    I'm an Aussie so I don't get much of the inside story where I live. And I realise there are two sides to every story, but it was great to here Bill's side of things.
    He reads well, and the language is good. His history is certainly interesting. But more obviously I was looking for the same thing everyone else was... answers, remorse, pride, etc. He gives it all, from his early carrier to his marriage with Hillary. There were a few things missing, but I'd have to assume they'd be explained in the "unabridged" version. Still, I liked this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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