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Tony Youngblood

Nashville, TN | Member Since 2010

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 214 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Alexandra Horowitz
    • Narrated By Alexandra Horowitz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Alexandra Horowitz’s brilliant On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes shows us how to see the spectacle of the ordinary - to practice, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it, "the observation of trifles". On Looking is structured around a series of eleven walks the author takes, mostly in her Manhattan neighborhood, with experts on a diverse range of subjects, including an urban sociologist, the well-known artist Maira Kalman, a geologist, a physician, and a sound designer. She also walks with a child and a dog to see the world as they perceive it.

    Freddy says: "Cataract Surgery for the Senses"
    "Great Topic, Writing & Narration. Poor Editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book because I am fascinated with the subject of how viewpoint shapes the world for the viewer. This book seems tailor made for me.

    The writing is engaging, and the narration is refreshingly excellent for books narrated by the author. I would give Horowitz five stars for narration, but sadly, Audible does not let me separate performance and production.

    My only quibble is with the editor. Some sentences feature a long pause for no particular reason. Other gaps are rushed. Horowitz's rhythm is quite good, but I suspect the editor grew complacent and forgot that some pauses are not intentional (pausing for a drink, the pause before a punch in, etc) and left them in without really listening.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Paul Collins
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1009)
    Performance
    (833)
    Story
    (832)

    In Long Island, a farmer found a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discovered a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumbled upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime were turning up all over New York, but the police were baffled: There were no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era's most perplexing murder.

    deborah says: "Great look at NYC crime, forensics, and journalism"
    "Great book, great performance, terrible editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a wonderful book, and William Dufris is a very engaging narrator with excellent character voices. The problem is the editing. For example, most chapters begin without a sufficient pause from the previous chapter. The editor does not leave enough room for the listener to reflect on what was just said. This also leads me to wonder if the quality control is up to snuff, although this is hard to discern without reading along.

    Pacing is the editor's art, and this editor nearly ruined a first-rate book read by a first-rate narrator. It's a shame I have to give the performance 2 stars since the narrator deserves 5. But until Audible makes production a separate star rating, this is what I must do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The War with the Mein: Book One of the Acacia Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Anthony Durham
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (853)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (414)

    A deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, while the Mein also unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to his separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire, this time on the basis of universal freedom.

    Glen says: "Thumbs up!"
    "Poor production mars possibly entertaining book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't really comment on the quality of the book itself. I had to stop listening after a few hours in. Why?

    Two reasons.

    First, the narrator reads the book as if he were a Shakespearean actor at a community playhouse, very hammy and very distracting.

    Second, the audio editor did a terrible job with the pacing. Even the chapters are read with no break between the sentence before and after. Normally, there's a 4 second pause between chapters. Here, there is NO pause.

    I'll give this book another try if a different team makes another production of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Too Big to Fail

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Andrew Ross Sorkin
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1128)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (488)

    A real-life thriller about the most tumultuous period in America's financial history by an acclaimed New York Times reporter. Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true, behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami.

    Laura says: "Surprisingly Revealing"
    "Great Book -- The Read's Pacing is too Brisk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed Too Big to Fail, however, I felt the information-dense material could have used a slower pacing between important lines. The audio editor did not leave enough room between paragraphs to let the material sink in. I found myself rewinding this book to catch missed details moreso than any other I've listened to on Audible. The editor also left in so many breaths that they become a source of constant distraction. Half the number of breath noises and an editor more skilled in the art of pacing (or less rushed, you pick) would have served the material better.

    The narrator did a fairly good job. I would rate his performance a 3.5. The two stars I listed above are for the editing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Statues That Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Terry Hunt, Carl Lipo
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (223)

    The monumental statues of Easter Island, both so magisterial and so forlorn, gazing out in their imposing rows over the island’s barren landscape, have been the source of great mystery ever since the island was first discovered by Europeans on Easter Sunday 1722. How could the ancient people who inhabited this tiny speck of land, the most remote in the vast expanse of the Pacific islands, have built such monumental works?

    C. Telfair says: "Love Those Mysterious Islands!"
    "Excellent Book, Great Narrator, Careless Editor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Statues That Walked again? Why?

    The Statues That Walked is a compelling and persuasive challenge to Jared Diamond's thesis in Collapse that the people of Easter Island committed ecological suicide. Actual archaeologists, Hunt and Lipo spent years on the island analyzing the evidence to conclude that the Easter Island natives were in fact great conservationists. For example, they invented a method of stone-spreading to reduce erosion and foster plant growth in soil Europeans would have deemed barren. Most compellingly, the authors challenge the idea that the statues were moved horizontally from quarry to destination using massive amounts of wood for ramps. (Diamond theorized the islanders chopped down their forests to make ramps!) How were the statues moved? They walked. You'll have to read the book to find out how!

    The narrator is very effective, and I don't give HIM two stars for performance. I give two stars to the audio editor. There's a section of the book where the same sentence is read twice in a row -- most likely the reading from the end of one day and the beginning of another. Such a glaring mistake means there are likely plenty of other errors waiting to be discovered, and I encourage Audible to fix the error as soon as possible (if they haven't already done so).


    What other book might you compare The Statues That Walked to and why?

    This is a great companion to Jared Diamond's Collapse.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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