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Spencer

North Attleboro, MA, United States | Member Since 2004

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 201 titles in library
  • 49 purchased in 2014
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  • Rebellion: Star Force, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1988)
    Performance
    (1813)
    Story
    (1821)

    Rebellion is the turning point in the great interstellar war between all living creatures and the machines. Star Force is on the side of the machines...but for how long? In the third book of the Star Force series, Kyle Riggs learns just what kind of war Earth is caught up in. At the mercy of the Macros, his marines fight against new alien races, big and small. They battle the innocent and the vile alike, until their situation becomes grim. Rebellion is a military science-fiction novel by best-selling author B. V. Larson.

    Amazon Customer says: "Awesome,and original."
    "Larson just gets better and better with each book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Rebellion rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    What started off in volume 1 as very good is now, by volume 3, established classic. Incredible. Not an easy adventure. Like John Carter, it's just one damn thing after another, but how very orginal, and yet, how very personal and real.Words don't do this third novel justice.

    And Mark Boyett is a fantastic actor. His characters are played with sensitivity, humanity and the "best and brightest" intelligence. He and Larson bring to us the entire future of humanity, remarkable as it is, and yet so very much like today.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11689)
    Performance
    (10899)
    Story
    (10909)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "An instant classic. Move over Brave New World."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    The performance by Will Wheaton, first and foremost. Then, the incredible story, so current and compasisonate, a true adventure.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It sweeps you away in to a dystopian future, but offers hope. You are really pulled into the perilous game our protagonist gets himself into. He's a little too smart for his own good, but smart enough to save humanity!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Very extreme. Both. There were tears, fear, and joy.
    Cline and Wheaton really have mastered the construction and performance of the characters and the situations.

    Even if you have never picked up a game controller in your life, strap yourself in for a wild ride.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Malcolm X: The Last Speeches

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 39 mins)
    • By Malcolm X
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    "Any kind of movement for freedom of Black people based solely within the confines of America is absolutely doomed to fail." Speeches and interviews from the last two years of Malcolm X's life.

    Spencer says: "Remarkably parallel to the speeches of Hitler"
    "Remarkably parallel to the speeches of Hitler"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Malcolm X and/or the narrator?

    Having read and listened recently to the speeches of Adolph Hitler and these of Malcom X, I am struck by their similarity.Malcom X does a great job pointing out the evil of racism.


    But his answer is another form of racism.Hitler pointed out the poverty of the German people at the hands of the Versaille Treaty, but his answer was to blame the Jews...racism.That is not an answer. It's what got us into this mess.


    The color of your skin is not the determining factor that you are either an oppressor or a victim. Anyone can be born into that state, but that state is created by the behavior of others, not you. It is only by conditioning that we adopt the state we are born into. At some point we realize we have a choice.


    What we do with it, how we overcome it and help our brothers and sisters overcome it is all that matters. How we find our voice and help others find their voice and stand their ground in confidence of principle, that is how we solve the problem.But you can't stand on principle when you call those white folks who hold the same principles white devils.


    Malcom did a great job pointing out the subtle psychological effects of this kind of treatment, being the victim of folks who always thought they were better, folks who without even thinking assumed and acted as though they deserved more and you deserved less, year in and year out, generation in and out. But his answer is another form of racism.


    You can hate the white devil without hating the compassion and virtue of many whites. But not according to Malcom X.


    The white color of skin denies any recognition of compassion. He takes that as more important than acts of kindness, brotherhood / sisterhood and compassion.


    Malcom X is a relic of a world where you identified some great virtue in the people in your own community, nation, or group and claim their right as a group, hoping to establish your own nation, on one continent or another.


    But we don't live in that world anymore. As President Johnson said "The world has become a neighborhood before it has become a brotherhood."


    So we must become that brotherhood.


    Malcom saw the many different colors in the Muslim faith. But he refused to acknowledge that possibility here in America.


    Once you choose hatred over recognition of virtue, regardless of the color of someone's skin, you automatically deny virtue's place even among your favored group. When you hate people who also are compassionate and trying to help, merely because of the color of their skin, merely because other whites have oppressed, and many others have simply silently participated by consent, you are automatically reinforcing the bigotry you decry.


    So, what has gotten us where we are today is the philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr., plated with Malcom X's refusal to accept any form of prejudice from whites. Ultimately, we must get to the brotherhood spoken of by Reverand King. But to do so, we need to remind each other that while peaceful means are most certainly preferred, the first choice, at some point when they are not honored, then any means at all to redress on going oppression becomes acceptable.That point was Mr. X's great contribution. It stands as a truth today and for all nations and peoples.


    His second major contribution was to encourage blacks to watch their dollars. To make sure they go back into their own community, and not poured out into the White community. That lesson is as vital today as ever, for all of America, as we watch our economy handed over to China by our own spending at Walmart....


    But Malcom's bigotry is now nothing but a historical relic. And entirely unacceptable. Fighting for freedom, defending onself at the point of a sword, if needed, that is a legitimate point. More importantly, people of all colors now live together and work together in all nations.


    History is rapidly moving beyond that race isolationism Mr. X. promoted. Only relics today, such as Mitt Romney, still are living in that past..



    What was most disappointing about Malcolm X’s story?

    Poor sound quality. The depth of Mr. X's bigotry.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Great Speeches of the 20th Century

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Bob Blaisdell
    • Narrated By Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and others
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    A great speech can stir the soul and inspire a nation. This compact and affordable anthology gathers complete speeches and selected excerpts from memorable addresses by Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Ronald Reagan, Elie Wiesel, the Dalai Lama, César Chávez, and many others. Includes three selections from the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

    Spencer says: "Not as packaged"
    "Not as packaged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No speeches by Martin Luther King Jr, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Malcom X, Ronald Reagan or Elie Wiesel. Only speeches from other American polticians arguing such things as the policy of the Gold Standard.


    Has Great Speeches of the 20th Century turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Only by Bob Blaisdell


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    No.


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

    Informed me about the debate re: the gold standard.


    Any additional comments?

    I probably should request a refund.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Sir Winston Churchill
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    Overall
    (1365)
    Performance
    (774)
    Story
    (770)

    Churchill's history of the Second World War is, and will remain, the definitive work. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction.

    John M says: "Brilliant! Only Churchill could have done this."
    "Amazing, eloquent and surprising history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Second World War the most enjoyable?

    The historical events, presented with sardonic humor and in great detail, along with Sir Winston's views of them, are just amazing to hear. And there are surprises here. Sir Winston explains how, in actual practice, the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles were NOT burdensome to Germany, and a few other gems that are uncommon among the common history of WWII. Also, quite incredible and enthralling are the events leading up to WWII, the desire for Pacifism, a noble goal, the growing machine of Blitzkrieg, and how ill timed and ill judged kindness and sentiment among nations who refused to see what was happening, led to disaster.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sir Winston himself.


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

    Rodska does a wonderful job as Sir Winston, and the various characters. His depiction is subtle, direct, powerful and sublime. He brings the entire world before you,Eminently easy to listen to, he communicates so much of the torment among civilized peoples struggling to realize that an unimaginable tyranny is developing in their midst. You feel the fear, and Sir Winston's frustration, as well as the insanity of Hitler and company.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when the Prime Minister of England, Neville Chamberlain, realizes that his recent years of effort towards peace were completely misguided. And as a great gentleman, his efforts to admit it publicly immediately, turn about and make change, but all too late. Yet, bound by his poor judgement, the errors continue to mount. It is a heart breaking moment when a well intentioned man, promoted beyond his capacity, fails his country and the world. Churchill and Rodska depict these moments with complete respect, but honors above all the truth and the desperation mounting at the time. Rodska, in his own brilliance, depicts Mr. Chamberlain's heartfelt sentiment, befudlement and shock at events, his resignation to honesty and duty, yet poor judgement. You hear a man of simplistic nobility surrounded by events he doesn't understand, yet, sticking to principle, tries to weather through. Rodska delivers a wonderful and moving performance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas
    • Narrated By David Strathairn, Richard Dreyfuss
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (46)

    The Lincoln-Douglas Debates made history and changed its course through seven legendary match-ups between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas during the 1858 Illinois senatorial race. Although he lost the election, Lincoln's gift for oratory and his anti-slavery stance made him a nationally known figure, and led to his election to the presidency in 1860. Never before presented in audio, these debates and great statesmen are brought to life by narrators Richard Dreyfuss and David Strathairn.

    Dale says: "Great fun"
    "Intrigue Intellect, Layered politics and performan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Lincoln-Douglas Debates the most enjoyable?

    Listening carefully, it becomes clear that both Stephen Douglas and Lincoln avoided stating their positions clearly. And yet, by the attacks they make on one another we learn the true positions of the other. Lincoln, through both Douglas's attacks, and Lincoln's own defense, emerges as a scheming strategist who took on the infamy of slavery in well arranged political skirmishes, but in large public meetings found ways to avoid altogether any comittment to his views, both the political and financial implications of ending slavery and establishing equality. At one point Lincoln states "well, I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I haven't given it enough time, though I hope to do so." and this after his own party has established as its platform the eradication of slavery as an institution. Keep in mind that Lincoln was one of the founders of the Republican party!

    As the debates proceed, it is clear that Douglas really means to uncover both Lincoln's true intent and the political manueverings he is using to hide his plan. Douglas also wants to leave it up to the voters, but does not shy away from his own prejudices about blacks, and his protectionism for slave owners and the business of slavery. Try as he does to be liberal minded, his own position emerges with crystal clarity. It is an amazing tour de force display of both positions.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    SPOILER ALERT:

    Stephen Douglas. Both his rhetoric, and Richard Dreyfus' tour de force performance. You see in Dreyfus' Douglas the representation of big business interests and racism couched in the language of concern for the little guy and equality for all people. He does an amazing job demonstrating Douglas' sense of self-rightouseness and fairness, and his dogged determination to raise Lincoln's schemes, which border on unconstitutional, to the public eye.

    Lincoln, Douglas proves again and again, doesn't want to leave the choice to the people on this issue. He means to irradicate Slavery. And Douglas, with perfect prescience, states clearly this will tear the country in two, which it did.

    We are left with an incredible admiration for Lincoln, who really meant to give full and unequivocal morale and legal equality, including voting rights, to blacks, while never admitting it publicly.

    In one telling passage, Douglas relates the incident of seeing a wealthy black man and his daughter riding in a beautiful carriage with a white driver. Douglas comments with fearful shock and sarcasm (and I paraphrase) : "this is the equality Lincoln wants! If you want this kind of equality, then Lincoln's your man!"

    What is amazing is how current these very dynamics are today: Romney vs Obama. The identical story has been played out over a hundred years later, and the dynamics are still in force.


    What does David Strathairn and Richard Dreyfuss bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Straithern's Lincoln is beautifully balanced sincerity and brilliance, that actually are used by Lincoln to hide his true intentions from the full glare of public light. Lincoln knew this was an uphill battle, against major financial and racial interests. He was a gurreilla warfare warrior, winning specific legal battles step by step, never admitting his aim in public. Amazing.

    Dreyfuss' performance is actually more accessible, a tour de force. He is channeling Stephen Douglas, with all the moral furor and high ground that Douglas gave himself. It is an amazing performance. You hear Barry Goldwater, Mitt Romney, George Bush Jr., Dick Cheney and Richard Nixon's sentiments echoed in his portrayal, and understand the deeply rooted elements of racism wrapped in the self-delusional arguments of fair play and free choice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Awed by the depth of the portrayals and the depth of these dynamics in current events.


    Any additional comments?

    I have learned a little more about Lincoln, the guerrilla warrior, the disimulator, the politician.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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