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kyle

Poway, CA, United States | Member Since 2006

ratings
45
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • Forge of Darkness: Kharkanas Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Daniel Philpott
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (135)

    Forge of Darkness takes listeners to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness, and tells of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in the fall of the Malazan Empire and surrounds one of the Malazan world’s most fascinating and powerful characters, Anomander Rake. It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, where Mother Dark reigns above the Tiste people. But this ancient land was once home to many a power...and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, longs for ascendency and Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but she has taken another Consort, Lord Draconus.

    Michael says: "A Precursor Epic Fantasy - A Rewarding Beginning!"
    "Not for the commute"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had hoped that in ten years the author would have learned to write a less disjointed plot. He has not. I still found myself forgetting who the characters were and where they fit into the plot. This book, like all of this author's books, demands attention, and getting distracted for a few minutes leaves you lost in a land of square pegs and round holes. Obfuscation is not art.

    However, the joy of this book is also its weakness. The command of the English language displayed in this book is stunning. It merits the comparison to Jack Vance's Dying Earth; the very complexity of the language creates a sense of other-worldliness that, combined with imagery, creates a captivating world and a captivating story. Like Vance (or like Shakespeare for that matter), this book is a high-effort, high reward read.




    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Assembling California

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John McPhee
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    Thirty years ago, the theory that continents are comprised of drifting plates—plate tectonics—evoked more scorn than serious research. Today, this revolutionary theory continues to dazzle and challenge geologists and laymen alike. Assembling California explores an area uniquely demonstrative of the plate tectonic theory: California, which according to “tectonicists,” is breaking apart at its seams.

    Darwin8u says: "Subduction leads to orogeny zones in California"
    "Enjoyable but Disojinted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've read the the rest of the Annals of the Former World, you will no doubt get this book. I enjoyed it, but the mix of history and geology in this one is a lot clumsier than it is in the other books. The book is most similar to Rising from the Plains, in that it seems to contain more anecdotal history than geology. The difference is that McPhee doesn't fuse the anecdotes and the science seamlessly like he does in most of the other installments. If you're new to the series, I'd recommend starting with Basin and Range.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Selling America Short: The SEC and Market Contrarians in the Age of Absurdity

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Richard C. Sauer
    • Narrated By Ken Kliban
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    During his dozen years as an SEC attorney, author Richard Sauer opened and supervised some of its most notable financial cases-investigations that took him to a dozen countries and returned hundreds of millions of dollars to American investors. While a partner at a major law firm and, later, a hedge fund manager, he saw firsthand the follies and failures of our system. Now, in Selling America Short, he shares his extraordinary experiences with you.

    PHIL says: "A standout -- informative AND entertaining"
    "Inconclusive and Misnamed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There isn't really anything wrong with this book, but you can probably find a better use for your credit. Contrary to the title, short selling and market contrarians play a minor role in the book. Most of it is about the author's time as an SEC enforcement attorney, and the main problem with that is that the investigations this guy participated in are still going on, with no end in sight and no relevance to most of us. It was more appalled at the ineffectiveness of the SEC than excited at a whodunit story. Short selling and market contrarians only come in when short sellers pestered him to launch investigations into the issuers they had shorted, and when he left the SEC to work for a short selling hedge fund that eventually went under. If you're looking for something captivating like The Big Short (which I was) look further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Paramhansa Yogananda
    • Narrated By J. Donald Walters
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Listeners will be awakened by deep spiritual truths within this famous poem as Walters sings the verses, reads the quatrains, and follows each with Yogananda's expanded, clarified meaning.

    kyle says: "30 Minutes of Poetry, 6 Hours of Inane Commentary"
    "30 Minutes of Poetry, 6 Hours of Inane Commentary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this version of the Rubaiyat would have the poem itself as well as some background or translation notes to help understand the meaning of the quatrains. I was wrong. The vast majority of the book doesn't seem to have anything to do with the poem. The book follows the following format for each verse:

    1. The verse is beautifully sung (30 sec each)
    2. Explanatory notes on people or objects mentioned directly in the poem (30 sec)

    After that, there is several minutes of commentary that was utterly meaningless to me. Maybe I'm too Western or lack the appropriate background, but the thrust of the commentary is thus: "Omar meant blah blah blah central oneness of the universe blah blah blah your mmmmmmm penetrates the depths of false existence yada yada yada." In short, unless you are specifically looking for the hippie-yogi interpretation of the poems that comprises 90% of the book, you will enjoy another version more.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Henry Cloud, John Townsend
    • Narrated By Dick Fredricks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (74)

    The wounds inflicted by an "unsafe" person can go deep. If you've ever been in a relationship where you were used, abused, or abandoned, then Safe People is for you. It will help you make wise choices in relationships from friendships to romance. You'll discover why good people can get tangled in bad relationships. And you'll learn how to avoid repeating your own mistakes and how to pick safe, healthy people for the friends you make and the company you keep.

    Diana says: "Excellent analysis of Safe and Unsafe People"
    "Full Disclosure: This is a Very Christian Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this book on the recommendation of a friend without really reading the description. I did not know quite how Christian this book was before I bought it. I think many of the insights in the book are valuable, but the authors seem to assume you are enthusiastically Christian to begin with. As a non-christian, I found the constant Bible references, moral certainties, and ad librem assertions to distract from the self-help value of the book. Caveat Emptor.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • March to the Sea: Prince Roger Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Weber, John Ringo
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1112)
    Performance
    (570)
    Story
    (572)

    Prince Roger MacClintock, Tertiary Heir to the Throne of Man, was a spoiled rotten, arrogant, whiny, thoroughly useless young pain in the butt. But that was before an assassination attempt marooned the Royal Brat and his bodyguards on the planet Marduk, and before they had to march half way around the entire planet, through 120-degree heat and five-hour rainstorms in jungles full of damnbeasts, capetoads, killerpillars, and atul-grak, not to mention hostile peoples, to make their way back to port.

    Mark says: "Good Ole Sci Fi"
    "Weber's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read most of David Weber's books and enjoyed this series the most. The series has all of the exciting elements we've come to expect from Weber, but what really sets it apart is that it sheds a lot of the triteness found in his other books. The story does not rely on the main character conveniently developing new abilities just in time to save the day. Prince Roger is, in fact, deeply flawed, making him a much more interesting character than perfect, goody-two-shoes Honor Harrington (in my opinion). That the book retains the fast paced action and the political aspects of the Harrington series while vastly improving characterization makes this Weber's best yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirty Years War

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By C. V. Wedgwood
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (82)

    Initially, the Thirty Years War was precipitated in 1618 by religious conflicts between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire. But the conflict soon spread beyond religion to encompass the internal politics and balance of power within the Empire, and then later to the other European powers. By the end, it became simply a dynastic struggle between Bourbon France and Habsburg Spain. And almost all of it was fought out in Germany. Entire regions were depopulated and destroyed.

    Judith A. Weller says: "One of the World's Great History Books."
    "Disjointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading this book I can't tell you anything more about the Thirty Year's War than I already knew; the author failed at storytelling. I've read tough histories (e.g., Thucydides) before, but this book abandons all pretense at chronology. The chapters themselves are coherent, and many are well written. However, the book reads as if the various chapters were scattered to wind and then those that were recovered were stitched together in approximately the right order with great stretches of the narrative gone. More than once I reacted to the disclosure of a date like "What?! its 1640? I though we were still talking about 1626!"

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Childhood's End

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3056)
    Performance
    (2084)
    Story
    (2117)

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

    A User says: "Food for Thought"
    "Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the great works of science fiction. It is imaginative and adventurous without the comic-book quality of so much other Soviet-era science fiction; It is also thoughtful and philosophical without being dull. The performance is great in that the narrator fades into the background of the story. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (1279)
    Performance
    (1068)
    Story
    (1063)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
    "Horrible Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I understand that this is a children's book, but the narrator reads it as if he's playing peek-a-boo with an infant. I shut the book off after a few minutes because I couldn't stand it. Do yourself a favor and listen to the sample before buying.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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