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Ryan Koppelman

Silicon Valley Dad, Lawyer and Tech Geek

ratings
8
REVIEWS
2
FOLLOWING
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HELPFUL VOTES
2

  • Assassination Vacation

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Conan O'Brien, Stephen King, Dave Eggers, and others
    Overall
    (2049)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (527)

    Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

    Rachel says: "extremely entertaining and informative"
    "Distinctive Witty Historical Trivia"
    Overall

    Vowell's book is about her unusual obsession with trivia regarding the assasinations of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. She ironically self-depricates about how she has trouble finding an audience for her unusual trivia and how she is self-conscious in groups about her fascination with these historical events, alluding to a taboo about them. The irony is that the trivia is fascinating and the reader begins to understand her unusual obsession.

    She does complain about our "current president" as she calls him, but it is limited and her criticism is light and funny. Only a true partisan would be offended by her witty criticisms. She makes an extended and interesting analogy between the current Iraq war and the Spanish American war, in which McKinley was involved.

    I found most interesting Vowell's discussions of the unusual utopian "free-love" Onieda community, of which Garfield's assasin was a member. Many of her other annecdotes were just as entertaining.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • This American Life: First Day

    • UNABRIDGED (58 mins)
    • By This American Life
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Stories of the first day on the job, the first day in a relationship, the first day in school. On the first day, any first day, we're expected to live by the rules and customs of the culture we're entering, but we don't know those rules and customs just yet. These are stories of people trying to make the transition - and the difficulty of making the transition - in a new place - from outsider to insider.

    Donna says: "Squirrel Cop - you've gotta hear it."
    "Great Show"
    Overall

    This American Life is the best program in any media. I heard this episode when it was first aired as I was driving through Chicago. Squirrel Cop is absurdly funny, but the story right before it Lost at Sea is also top notch. Fantastic story telling, as always with Ira Glass and crew.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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