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Sir Vases

Miami, FL | Member Since 2012

  • 4 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 80 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Eric H. Cline
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians.

    Jacobus says: "The next "Best Popular Book on Archaeology" award?"
    "No Great Insights"
    What would have made 1177 B.C. better?

    This book has no insights into the history and talks little of the collapse of civilization.

    What was most disappointing about Eric H. Cline’s story?

    It has little to do with the title. It sounds like a continual recitation of silly ancient names, like reading all the begats in the Bible. It recounts some facts but does little to give a historical perspective.

    What does Andy Caploe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Andy Caploe is a very professional narrator with a well modulated speaking voice, but he is not a good choice for this book. He would be better suited selling reverse mortgages to seniors or counting down the pop top 40. His tone is overacted interestedness, which does not come across as genuine and sounds like he is reading the book to 3rd graders.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    This book makes you realize that a good historian does more than tell what happened. This could have been a good book in the hands of a better historian.

    Any additional comments?

    I would like a refund, please.

    11 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Selfish Gene

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

    J. D. May says: "Better than print!"
    What disappointed you about The Selfish Gene?

    No substantive content.

    What was most disappointing about Richard Dawkins’s story?

    Did not learn a thing from this book.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Painful to listen to.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?


    Any additional comments?

    Beyond me why anyone would want to read this author.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bill Bryson Collector's Edition: Notes from a Small Island, Neither Here Nor There, and I'm a Stranger Here Myself

    • ABRIDGED (17 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson

    In the first of three essays included in this audiobook, Bill Bryson decides to move his wife and kids back to his homeland, the United States, after nearly two decades in Britain. But not before taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. The result is a hilarious social commentary.

    Annette says: "My second of three (so far) Bill Bryson books"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Bill Bryson has written some amazing stuff (Summer of 1927) but this isn't it, particularly I Am a Stranger Here Myself. These are mundane tiresome essays following the same boring formula: there is some routine task, such as filling in a tax form, that has bewildering jargon that Bill can't understand, leading to some absurd result. Har Har Har.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I am still a fan of Bill Bryson, but this is one that could have used some quality control.

    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Bill has a kind of John Malkovich tone, with a slight British accent. It's an OK performance and nice that the author bothered to perform it himself (probably to save money).

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Not everything an artist writes is brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (61 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson

    Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

    Diana says: "Glad I finally decided to read it"
    "Great Russian Novel. Very effeminate narrator."
    Would you listen to War and Peace again? Why?

    Maybe if I were hospitalized or incarcerated and had nothing else to do. It's certainly one of the great novels but jeez is it long.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of War and Peace?

    The character sketches of Napoleon are so powerful and lifelike, I really felt what it was like to be in the presence of the brilliant Napoleon Bonaparte.

    How could the performance have been better?

    It should have been explained to the narrator that this novel is Russian, not British. The Russian soldiers and peasants have cockney accents, the Russian nobility sound like they are from the English countryside. The male characters sound like British Mr. Magoo's, the female characters sound like breathy ingénues. The narrator is very effeminate, British and langorous, but a competent reader. It takes a while to get past the narration. This is nevertheless a great novel and well worth reading.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not a chance. This was one longgggg longggg book 60 hours long. That's 2 hours a day every day for a month.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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