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Steven

Oakland, CA, USA

31
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 32 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Russell Shorto
    • Narrated By L.J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (806)
    Performance
    (334)
    Story
    (336)

    Nearly 40 years ago, a New York State Library archivist discovered 12,000 pages of extraordinary records from the original Dutch colony on Manhattan. After decades of painstaking translation, the documents became the primary source for this breathtaking history of early New York.

    Pen Name says: "Loved it!"
    "Wealth of Information, but Continual Repitition"
    Overall

    This book by Russel Shorto holds a wealth of information related to the pre-English colonies in North American. At many times during this audiobook, I was fascinated by the information about the people of the New Amsterdam colony, and by the interesting relations to Dutch politics during the 17th Century. For this, the book is worth the listen.
    However, what for me was very, very annoying was the continual repitition of multiple re-phrasing of statements like this: "And now we can see why New Amsterdam, and its multi-cultural state and ideals, truly formed the identity of what we now call the United States of America, and specifically the melting pot known as New York," etc etc. I believe that it is a shortcoming of the author to constantly remind his readers of the importance of the content of the book without allowing the content to stand on its own. If you can overlook the fact that at the end of nearly every chapter you are reminded of the importance of the New Amsterdam colony to the founding of the values of New York city, and therfore American itself, then you probably will enjoy this book very much.
    Keep in mind that the book is dramatized, historical non-fiction and that the author has filled in the gaps between actual historical documents to present to the reader a "compelling tale," based of a historical anthropological research done by other individuals (duly credited in the book).

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Pattern Recognition

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (987)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (264)

    Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.

    Laura says: "Not Unabridged"
    "Another Great Work by William Gibson"
    Overall

    I have been a fan of William Gibson since his award-winning book Neuromancer. Patter Recognition was also my first audio book, so my comments might be tainted by these facts.

    Pattern Recognition starts off like a roller coaster ride, moving one rapidly through names, places and settings. So much is presented at first, that it might seem like you missed something, but with patience and dedication to the listening of the full story, a rich weave of mystery can be heard.

    Unlike his earlier sci-fi or cyberpunk novels, Gibson is placing us in a more contemporary world, which I personally like because one can compare his world to "our" world almost directly and THAT leads the listener to a comparitive awareness, in regards to issues of advertisement and popular culture.

    Patter Recognition is also about the nature of believing in either science, pseudo-science or mystery, as a substitute for religion. How this occurs is through a description of a community based on common interests, even if that "interest" is a mystery and open to debate by this same community. I can't say any more about it without beginning to devulge the story. Sorry, you are just going to have to listen to the audiobook for yourself!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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