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thomas

I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2012

95
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 91 reviews
  • 91 ratings
  • 184 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
20
FOLLOWERS
13

  • Cat's Cradle

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Tony Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (825)
    Performance
    (510)
    Story
    (518)

    Cat's Cradle is Kurt Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat's Cradle is one of this century's most important works...and Vonnegut at his very best.

    Robert says: "KV at his best."
    "One of the Best Performances on Audible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I sure would, its a great book and a great performance by Tony Roberts.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I mean this book is hysterical, touching, thought provoking and well written. I would say Hazel encapsulated all elements of this for me, but every character is well done.


    Which character – as performed by Tony Roberts – was your favorite?

    The Hoenicker's, who really have elements of the story line in their background and characterizations.I cannot say this enough, Tony Roberts does a great job. He is an actor here, not a narrator. His nuances bring out Vonnegut's writing in a terrific way. I think it is the narration I have heard on Audible.


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

    Laugh is not the word. Hysterical, might be more accurate. This is funny and sad at the same time, which makes it so compelling.


    Any additional comments?

    Vonnegut is an important writer in American literature. This is one of his premier works and Audible does it justice. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rush: America's Fevered Quest for Fortune, 1848-1853

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Edward Dolnick
    • Narrated By Bernard Setaro Clark
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In the spring of 1848, rumors began to spread that gold had been discovered in a remote spot in the Sacramento Valley. A year later, newspaper headlines declared "Gold Fever!" as hundreds of thousands of men and women borrowed money, quit their jobs, and allowed themselves - for the first time ever - to imagine a future of ease and splendor.

    thomas says: "Wow."
    "Wow."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Rush again? Why?

    No but it has peaked my interest on other historical books covering the same era.


    What other book might you compare The Rush to and why?

    Astoria, another book in the Audible Library that describes the population of the American Northwest.


    Which character – as performed by Bernard Setaro Clark – was your favorite?

    Hard to say...he had an over the top narration style that I really enjoyed. He gave characters an inflection and style that made me laugh sometimes. I read books for entertainment and Bernard breathed life into characters that would be unbelievable expect for one thing. They all really existed.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "People Were Tougher Than You in the 1800's"


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in American History.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Peter Stark
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (102)

    At a time when the edge of American settlement barely reached beyond the Appalachian Mountains, two visionaries, President Thomas Jefferson and millionaire John Jacob Astor, foresaw that one day the Pacific would dominate world trade as much as the Atlantic did in their day. Just two years after the Lewis and Clark expedition concluded in 1806, Jefferson and Astor turned their sights westward once again. Thus began one of history's dramatic but largely forgotten turning points in the conquest of the North American continent.

    Mel says: "Where Lewis and Clark Left Off"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Astoria?

    I like history books that are told from a narrative perspective. The riveting story of how the richest man in America and one of our most famous presidents teamed to explore and colonize the Northwest was fascinating. Like America itself the story is big and contains the best and the worst of the American experience.


    What other book might you compare Astoria to and why?

    Gold Rush, another Audible title that works well in the same way. Great narrative, terrific historical perspective and solid narration. There is no ideological bent to these stories, the facts are conveyed and conveyed in an entertaining and thought provoking manner.


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

    He did a book job. He was a bit understated, but that did not bother me in the least.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Probably not, but that does not diminish the power of the story or my respect for the people who actually lived it.


    Any additional comments?

    An Audible subscription is a great way to fill in science and history information that you may not have paid attention to in school, or needed for your career. I prefer these types of books Great Courses books. This is not a lecture but a narrative that fills in the gaps you may have had about the early 1800's and how America fought for legitimacy. Good stuff, highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Dick Couch
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (325)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (287)

    With a postscript describing SEAL efforts in Afghanistan, The Warrior Elite takes you into the toughest, longest, and most relentless military training in the world. What does it take to become a Navy SEAL? What makes talented, intelligent young men volunteer for physical punishment, cold water, and days without sleep?

    Steven says: "Riveting and Relevant"
    "Very Well Done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Warrior Elite the most enjoyable?

    I am an amateur Obstacle Course Athlete and Martial Artist. I recently participated in the Battlefrog Series Obstacle Course Races organized by the Navy Seals. I highly recommend this race series. I purchased this book to get insight into Seal training and to prep for my race mentally. To say that these men are fitter than any pro or amateur athlete I am aware of would be an understatement. This book is a daily diary of the Navy Seal training, and the regiment dwarfs any NFL training camp or fighting routine. If you are interested in understanding what it really takes to being shape, both mentally and physically this book will provide some context. I enjoyed it tremendously.


    What other book might you compare The Warrior Elite to and why?

    Running with the Kenyans, Life on the Run, Inside Seal Team Six.

    Military personnel will enjoy this book and it is accessible to non-military (like myself), who are just interested in how Seal train and become Seals. Eye opening.


    Have you listened to any of Arthur Morey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He did a good job. With this type of material it is possible to sound condescending or fawning in praise. He did neither. He delivered the facts so taht the listening can absorb and understand the materiel in a clear manner.


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

    What these men endure is very impressive. As a civilian I came away with respect but also some life lessons. Everyone can give their best and dedicate themselves to their goals. This book may not be template for the average athlete but it is very inspirational.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are interested in this material, I highly recommend the Battlefrog Race Series organized by navy Seals. It is a way to interact with these men and gain insight into what we could all be if we applied the navy Seal attitude in our personal lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Charles C. Mann
    • Narrated By Peter Johnson
    Overall
    (1203)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (669)

    In this riveting, accessible work of science, Charles Mann takes us on an enthralling journey of scientific exploration. We learn that the Indian development of modern corn was one of the most complex feats of genetic engineering ever performed. That the Great Plains are a third smaller today than they were in 1700 because the Indians who maintained them by burning died. And that the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.

    Case says: "Hotly debated new theories, but NOT revisionism"
    "History 101"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to 1491 the most enjoyable?

    Mann is not a historian, as a result this book is accessible for the layman. His journalistic approach to explaining the history of the Americas is understandable and fascinating. His approach is offer a survey of different options on the subject and as a result it is devoid of agenda or revisionism. I enjoyed it immensely.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 1491?

    The entire book laid waste to fallacies about what I was taught in High School about Indian life prior to English settlement. This is not an idealized view of Indian life, rather a thorough explanation of how people developed on a continent that was free of outside influence for millions of years. Fascinating.


    What about Peter Johnson’s performance did you like?

    He could be a bit dry at times but that could be a result of the material. Since there is not real plot in this book, major portions are multi subject lectures on a topic. Not a criticism but a challenge for a narrator. I thought he did a very good job.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I rarely do that, but I did find I was listening to it when I normally would have turned it off. I think this is a good indication that it held my interest and proves how well it was done.


    Any additional comments?

    I prefer these types of book to the Great Course series. I find the book format on history and other foundational subjects is better done using this approach. i recommend this book to anyone interested in supplementing their current knowledge of history. Very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Conquistadors

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Michael Wood
    • Narrated By John Telfer
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Following in the footsteps of the greatest Spanish adventurers, Michael Wood retraces the path of the conquistadors from Amazonia to Lake Titicaca, and from the deserts of North Mexico to the heights of Machu Picchu. As he travels the same routes as Hernán Cortés, Francisco, and Gonzalo Pizarro, Wood describes the dramatic events that accompanied the epic sixteenth-century Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Inca empires.

    John says: "Good starter on Conquistadors"
    "Aptly Titled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Conquistadors again? Why?

    Maybe not again, but it has inspired me to learn more about the Inca's Aztecs and Mesa-American cultures. Fascinating.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    In the later part of the book the author describes the yearlong trek of several ship wrecked Conquistadors that were the archetype of "going native". I found this particularly interesting and provided a lot of insight into the daily lives of native people.


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

    I thought he did a great job, and he added to the story in many ways. His British accent was well suited to the primary material and his Spanish affectations were helpful in distinguishing Incas rules in particular. Well done.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I am not really a movie fan. This book is broken into 3 primary stories, all of which are well known through historical documentation. the author travels to these areas and brings the stories to life through his first person account of the terrain and people he encounters. I have a novice interest in anthropology and this provided a great introduction and overview into this subject.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is not revisionist history, nor does it attempt to rationalize European colonialism. It is a fair account of a difficult period in world history, but one that had some level of inevitability. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding more about how the Americas were formed. Very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (719)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (343)

    "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" So goes the signature introduction of New York Herald star journalist Henry Morton Stanley to renowned explorer Dr. David Livingstone, who had been missing for six years in the wilds of Africa. Into Africa ushers us into the meeting of these remarkable men. In 1866, when Livingstone journeyed into the heart of the African continent in search of the Nile's source, the land was rough, unknown to Europeans, and inhabited by man-eating tribes.

    Gene says: "Riveting"
    "A Good Listen."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Into Africa the most enjoyable?

    Well John Lee is one of the premier narrators, he could read the phone book and probably make it interesting. In fact, I am not sure I would read the book, but listening to it was gratifying and I enjoyed it.


    What other book might you compare Into Africa to and why?

    There have been some recently quality books about exploration recently. This book compares to the River of Doubt and The Lost City of Z favorably. it puts the exploration story within the context of colonization and race relations. This story however is not written as a first person account, rather as a researched narrative. I don't think it detracts too much from the story, but first persona accounts are always more compelling.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    I have heard some reviewers criticize the Scottish accent on Livingston, I thought it was fine. It certainly didn't distract from teh story. I would say Livingston was my favorite, Lee has just the right inflection to make him someone that we admire yet not quite the heroic peson we might have heard of in school.


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

    This book helped fill me in on details that I only knew tangentially. I am glad I read it. this is not powerful story, mostly because I found some of the characters distasteful. but that is the history is in reality.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible has a good collection of exploration books. This book fits nicely into any reading list that concerns itself with world exploration and the subsequent problems it has caused to the present day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2104)
    Performance
    (1057)
    Story
    (1070)

    At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

    Stephen says: "River of Doubt"
    "An Incredible Story About an Incredible Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The River of Doubt?

    From beginning to end it grabbed your attention. It was well documented, yet had a narrative that was compelling and character driven. If you can put aside that it is about a famous Roosevelt adventure this would be one of the most dramatic stories you can imagine. Cultural and economic implications that can still be felt today. Now interject one of our most famous presidents into the story and well...you have to read it to believe it. I have listened to about 150 books on Audible and I have enjoyed all of them. If don't like a book I stop listening to it and never write a review, so every book I finish I enjoy. The River of Doubt might be my favorite of them all.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The River of Doubt?

    I don't want to give anything away but every minute of this story is interesting. From the time they are planning the journey to the back story of what happens 30 years later. I particularly enjoyed the section about Rondon, a man I never heard of prior to listening to this book. His story alone is worth listening to this book.


    What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

    Superb job. John Lee and Scott Brick are among my favorite narrators and Paul Michael is now in those ranks. He was serous without being maudlin, dramatic without being melodramatic.Great job.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not in one sitting but I got through it very quickly.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a good example where a narration can be better than a reading of the book. Fantastic job audible. Thank You.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By David Grann
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (921)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (395)

    A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon. After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to find out what happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z.

    Jennifer says: "A Worthy Read for Armchair Explorers"
    "Onward to the Amazon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Lost City of Z in three words, what would they be?

    This books tells the fascinating story of world famous explorer Fawcett and his numerous treks to the Amazon. Part history book, cultural analysis and the description of a man whose maniacal quest that put himself and his entire family at risk. Fascinating.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It has to be Fawcett. The term obsessive-compulsive gets thrown around a lot today, after reading this book your definition will change. I guarantee it.


    Have you listened to any of Mark Deakins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I thought he did a good job. This is fundamentally a fist person account, and the author is a relatively young man. the author captured his enthusiasm and perspective very well. Solid job.


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

    It cannot be discounted how much courage it took the author to do what he did. From an apartment in NYC, to a trip to a sporting goods store to going to the Amazon... wow. the authors journey was fascinating and added to the back-story of Fawcett and his maniacal quest.


    Any additional comments?

    The style of the book is essentially reporting based. There is no real narrative, but several levels of history, current events and historical documentation. If you are interested in learning about this fascinating region, and the efforts to understand it over the years, you will enjoy this book. I did ad I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Bart Yasso, Amby Burfoot (foreword)
    • Narrated By Steven Roy Grimsley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    My Life on the Run chronicles the heatstroke and frostbite, heartache and triumphs he's experienced while competing in more than 1,000 competitive races on all seven continents. With the wit and wisdom of a seasoned insider, Yasso tells runners what they need to know to navigate the logistics of running in an unfamiliar country. He also offers practical guidance, such as 5-K, 10-K, half-marathon, and marathon training schedules, including his innovative technique known as the Yasso 800s for beginner, intermediate, and advanced runners.

    Amazon Customer says: "Fun and funny."
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of My Life on the Run to be better than the print version?

    I think so, narrator was very good.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of My Life on the Run?

    I am an avid runner and the life Yasso has lived is extraordinary. Every one of his stories would be enough for one person alone. But if I had to pick just one it would be Antarctic Marathon. I have run races with Thom Gilligan of Marathon Tours and and it was great to hear about the essence of these tours, which are geared toward the average person who wants to do something different on a running vacation. the camaraderie with the Russian people was heartwarming. Yasso is a great guy and running brings regular people together in a wonderful way.


    Which character – as performed by Steven Roy Grimsley – was your favorite?

    Yasso is the star. A life that could have gone a different direction. he has given back many times over to people who also wanted to find a different path, and become the athlete in all of us.


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

    I felt a deep connection with all the stories. If you have run for any period of time, either a 10k or a marathon you will immediately understand the community portrayed in this book.Yasso never comes across as boastful, he comes across as a genuine person who loves what he does.


    Any additional comments?

    This is more of a memoir. It is not overly "written" and it is not int eh same category as Born to Run or Running with the Kenyans. However if you want to understand how running became the sport it is today you have to understand how Yasso fits into that history. This is his story and every running should know it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Adharanand Finn
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (146)

    Whether running is your recreation, your religion, or just a spectator sport, Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspire you. Part travelogue, part memoir, this mesmerizing quest to uncover the secrets of the world’s greatest runners - and put them to the test - combines practical advice, a fresh look at barefoot running, and hard-won spiritual insights.

    Sharlene says: "His Curiosity is Contagious"
    "One of the Best Running Books!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    it was great. John Lee, who I have listened to many times in the Peter Hamilton series really brings Finn to life. the accents and attitudes of the African runners made me feel like I knew them. Amazing. In many ways this book is less of a running book and more of a travel book. It gets you close to another culture and does so in a non-judgmental way based on curiosity. I was sad to see it end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Running with the Kenyans?

    Each part was interesting, I found the sections where Finn was just trying to figure out what was going on as he settled into the village of Etan fascinating. These are gentle, quiet giving, people and although Finn brought his Western sensibilities with him, he integrated into the Kenyan way of life and way of thinking in a remarkable way.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    Honestly his running partners. Found these people to be very happy, without having or wanting many possessions. It came out in the characterizations and interpretation by Lee. But Finn is the most intriguing of all, his curiosity is infectious.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No I rarely do that...


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend to any runner especially if you like Born to Run. I would also recommend it to any emerging athlete, or traveler. Just a great, simple, heartwarming book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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