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Tom

sailor tech

NJ, USA | Member Since 2013

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 266 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015
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  • The Sun Also Rises

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1170)
    Performance
    (780)
    Story
    (795)

    The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the story introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. Follow the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of the 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates.

    Gerald says: "Bravo Papa!"
    "Dry reading of a story that seems stuck"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Sun Also Rises? What did you like least?

    I liked the characters and the story setting. The descriptions of bullfighting and scenery were great. Really got a feeling I was there. On the bad side, I did not know why I was there. The whole story kind of seemed aimless.


    Would you recommend The Sun Also Rises to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. The reading of the story was too lethargic. Made the whole story just seem listless. I much prefer the other Hemingway books. For Whom the Bell Tolls was fantastic.


    What didn’t you like about William Hurt’s performance?

    Too lethargic. Seemed like all the characters were William Hurt. Other narrators seem to do a better job making the characters more unique in the reading.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. I would like to see the scenery in a movie. Despite the light plot, Hemingway paints with his words and the beauty of the places shine through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Doug Ordunio
    Overall
    (1187)
    Performance
    (933)
    Story
    (943)

    Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology.

    Jeremy says: "Informing, Interesting, and Boring all in one"
    "Explains How Civilization Succeeds and Why"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fascinating book on the history of civilizations. If someone holds a prejudice about certain races or people being superior based on the fact that their culture dominated the world, then this book will put a major dent into that thinking. Jared Diamond makes a compelling case that the societies which came to dominate the modern world did so by advantages in their environment.

    Overall, this book helped explain why some societies came to dominate others. It was not due to an innate advantage in intelligence from one population to another. Instead, certain areas of the world were easier to civilize than others. Once a society had the means of producing excess food, civilization could advance. Some people were conquered, while others adapted to new technologies and advanced it themselves.

    I would definitely recommend this book to any reader interested in how today's societies came about. It will help debating racists that claim that one race's conquering another means they are innately superior. For me, this book gave a foundation in early civilizations that is lacking when studying them independently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Autobiography of Santa Claus

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jeff Guinn
    • Narrated By John H. Mayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Jump on Santa's sleigh for a journey though 17 centuries of Christmas magic!

    Bryan says: "A story that will be in my heart for years to come"
    "Fictional History with Common Facts Tied In"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book will be familiar to people that know about the history of Christmas. The author takes the historical facts and weaves them in with fictional characters to make a nice story. I highly recommend listening without the kids before sharing as the author gives some people from history immortality and that may not fit in with a child's knowledge of history. It certainly would be tough for a child to explain this story to his or her friends.

    The story itself is entertaining and is a nice trip through history. If you like Christmas stories in general, this will make a nice addition to your collection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christmas: Philosophy for Everyone: Better than a Lump of Coal

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Fritz Allhoff
    • Narrated By Gregory Itzin
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    From Santa, elves and Ebenezer Scrooge, to the culture wars and virgin birth, Christmas - Philosophy for Everyone explores a host of philosophical issues raised by the practices and beliefs surrounding Christmas.

    Tom says: "Gets You Thinking"
    "Gets You Thinking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nice collection of essays on Christmas. If you study the subject, this will be a good read to further your knowledge and have more questions than when you started. If you are looking for a nice Christmas story, this may not be the best story. Overall, this worked for me as someone who knows the history of Christmas and was looking to gets varied opinions on the subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Douglas R. Egerton
    • Narrated By Eric Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    A groundbreaking new history, telling the stories of hundreds of African-American activists and officeholders who risked their lives for equality - in the face of murderous violence - in the years after the Civil War. By 1870, just five years after Confederate surrender and 13 years after the Dred Scott decision ruled blacks ineligible for citizenship, Congressional action had ended slavery and given the vote to black men. That same year, Hiram Revels and Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American U.S. senator and congressman respectively.

    Tom says: "Counter to Fictional Accounts"
    "Counter to Fictional Accounts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a compelling story about Reconstruction. It does not touch much beyond the social issues of reconstruction and its effects on the South. What the story excels at is showing the promise of the post Civil War reforms and how those reforms were ultimately rolled back by the South still fighting for its old order. Rather than move forward from the Civil War, the South regressed back to many of its problems and put off true social change for 100 years.

    Particularly helpful is the way the book went beyond the 1880's and includes how the historians and fictional writers of the early 20th century tried to rewrite Reconstruction as a vengeful act of a few northern Republicans. Civil rights were not revenge. They were a right for the southern citizens and this book explains how close we were to that change and then how it was all rolled back.

    I enjoyed the book and learned more about the time period. I wish the author had spent some more time on the northern social issues during this time. To put little focus on them leaves out the southern argument that Reconstruction was imposing a social order on the South that the North did not have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By A. J. Langguth
    • Narrated By Tom Perkins
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    With Abraham Lincoln's assassination, his "team of rivals" was left adrift. President Andrew Johnson, a former slave owner from Tennessee, was challenged by Northern Congressmen, Radical Republicans led by Thaddeus Stephens and Charles Sumner, who wanted to punish the defeated South. When Johnson's policies placated the rebels at the expense of the freed black men, radicals in the House impeached him for trying to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

    Rodney says: "Mediocre"
    "Wandering through history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story wanders through politicians around the civil war. Seems a chunk takes place before and during the war. While it does give a decent history of civil rights from 1865-1876, it is not a reconstruction history.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Godforsaken Sea

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Derek Lundy
    • Narrated By Michael Tezla
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    The Vendée Globe, a grueling four-month sail around the world, traveling through the wild waters of the Southern Ocean, is the most demanding and dangerous sailing race on the planet. In November 1996, 14 men and 2 women competitors set out on this ultimate human endeavor. Godforsaken Sea chronicles their solitary battles to stay alive against 6-story waves, bone-chilling cold, ice-laden seas, and their own physical and mental limitations.

    R. Barton says: "Race or survival"
    "Thrilling Tale of the Sea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fantastic book. It transports you from boat to boat, describing the trials that these solo sailors face in this great race. When the author opens a window to a particular incident, he does well to close it out. You really get a feel for the race and what drives these sailors to make the toughest passage around the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breaking Seas: An Overweight, Middle-Aged Computer Nerd Buys His First Boat, Quits His Job, and Sails Off to Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Glenn Damato
    • Narrated By René Ruiz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (60)

    Do you have a dream you must pursue, but everyone says it's unrealistic? Or that you're not qualified? Too old, too out of shape? Or you don't have the "right experience?" Glenn Damato was a 41-year-old software instructor who sought to exceed the bounds of his comfortable but humdrum existence. He embarked on an adventure for which he was miserably unprepared. Why did he do this? How did he answer the ancient human question: how do we jump-start growth in our lives? We become something we were not.

    Michael says: "If it fly's floats or f.... - its cheaper to rent"
    "Pointless and Condescending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was the worst I have ever listened to. From the start, the author is condescending to everyone that is not presently mirroring his thinking. His descriptions of the people around him are mostly negative and he tries to portray himself as superior to everyone else. He often talks about his desires in life and within minutes is criticizing the people that live the way he just claimed to desire.

    I was able to persevere through the arrogant ranting in the first half by waiting for his failures to come out. I laughed at the author, not with him when he made mistake after mistake.

    If you are a sailor there is very little to get from this book. What he writes about is usually wrong. His disasters at sea (if you call cruising along the West Coast at sea) end when he has to get the boat back to San Diego alone. Somehow with a crew all his mistakes are made and when he is alone he becomes some sort of sea dog. It makes the whole book suspicious when his best moments come without a witness.

    There is no sailing knowledge to be gleaned from this book. If you think eating an overcooked hamburger and drinking a lot of coffee is an accomplishment, this book will give you plenty of similar feats. If you are looking for a book where the sailor respects the sea and longs to be part of it, you will not find it here.

    I wish I could purge this book from my memory.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Imperfect Passage: A Sailing Story of Vision, Terror, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Cosgrove
    • Narrated By Peter Powlus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Michael Cosgrove had a beautiful family, a successful career, and a lovely Southern California home overlooking the Pacific Ocean. At the age sixty, he decided to leave that all behind to sail around the world. In spite of his romanticized vision of rugged individualism and salty tales to share with his grandchildren, Cosgrove quickly realizes that sailing around the world isn’t going to be as easy as he’d imagined.

    ReneeS says: "Disappointing"
    "Conquering the Seas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is about a man who has a crisis and decides to sail. I did not like how this was just a thing to accomplish for him. He often would say things like conquering the storm or achieving the tough passage. I definitely would not want to be this guy’s friend. He is arrogant and always right. He even talks about hitting a right of way boat and then says that the other boat set him up. That is a convenient excuse for being negligent and then running away from his responsibility.

    He does have an interesting story to tell. His descriptions of the sailing experience and some of the tough parts were well written. He has some epiphanies that are worth hearing about.

    His story was inconsistent at times and barely believable. Read this book with caution. This is not about someone who loves and appreciates the sea. He is not very knowledgeable about sailing. It is a sixty year old man who decides to sail away and considers any accomplishment as conquering something. The book focuses more on his thoughts than the sailing I was hoping to read about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (734)
    Performance
    (571)
    Story
    (572)

    Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail.

    Janice says: "See you in the winner's circle"
    "Fun, filled with facts, good performance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was just a great story. I love the periodical facts that go along with the story. I love this author and the performance keeps the book intact.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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