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Kingsley

Henely Brook, Australia
  • 249
  • reviews
  • 230
  • helpful votes
  • 1,175
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  • Stoicism for Beginners: Gain Wisdom, Cultivate Perseverance, and Become Unflappable

  • By: Dean Cohen
  • Narrated by: Kevin Theis
  • Length: 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Stoicism is predominantly a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to happiness for humans is found in accepting this moment as it presents itself, by not allowing ourselves to be controlled by our desire for pleasure or our fear of pain, by using our minds to understand the world around us and to do our part in nature's plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best overview I’ve seen yet.

  • By Adam on 05-05-18

Best overview of stoicism I have read

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-18-18

Dean Cohen's Stoicism for Beginners is a very good overview of stoicism and its history. He breaks it down very well, explaining what stoicism is, what it's practices and beliefs are, and also the history of stoicism from across the centuries, outlining the different 'ages'/'types'. It was well organised and had a good flow to the writing and the structure.

I found the book to be more of an 'about' book, rather than a 'how to' book, which is something I appreciated, but it will depend what you are looking for.

Narrator Kevin Theis is overly energetic in his reading. Excitable. Every sentence is strong and forceful, which means if everything is forceful, then nothing is. Otherwise he was fine - well paced, clear and fairly easy to listen to.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Zombies, Ghosts, a Psycho and a Fight

  • By: Paul S. Huggins
  • Narrated by: Fox Druin
  • Length: 1 hr and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

Whether it's fighting off a horde of zombies from a stately home, a brief visit to Hell, a solitary existence in the aftermath of the apocalypse, a frightening ride home from work during the early hours, or a bar fight, its all here in bite-size chunks. Six short stories of horror, terror, and violence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A zombie walks into a bar during the apocalypse

  • By Ray Johnson on 04-04-18

Six short stories of horror

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-18

This book collects 6 short stories, ranging from 7 minutes to half an hour in length. There is zombie apocalypses, visits to Hell, deranged drivers, and bar fights. Even with the repeated topic of the apocalypse in a few stories, the author doesn't repeat himself, with each story standing well by itself. The books are of varying interest, often with fun twists in the tail.

I enjoyed narration by Fox Druin. His British accent is smooth and easy to listen to. He seems well paced, and with no issues. There is occasionally an audio affect applied (when someone yells, for example) but it's not distracting or an issue.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Screening Stephen King

  • Adaptation and the Horror Genre in Film and Television
  • By: Simon Brown
  • Narrated by: Peter Lerman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Since the 1970s, the name Stephen King has been synonymous with horror. His vast number of books has spawned a similar number of feature films and TV shows, and together they offer a rich opportunity to consider how one writer's work has been adapted over a long period within a single genre and across a variety of media - and what that can tell us about King, about adaptation, and about film and TV horror. Starting from the premise that King has transcended authorship, Screening Stephen King explores the impact and legacy of over 40 years of King film and television adaptations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Analysis of adaptions and the King brand

  • By Kingsley on 05-16-18

Analysis of adaptions and the King brand

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-18

In Screening Stephen King author Simon Brown looks at the history of adaptions of Stephen King's work - to the big screen and the small screen. Starting with early works - the adaptions that were still coming out before King was well known, he examines how the phenomenon that is Stephen king affects adaptions of his work and how they are presented to the public.

One of the major themes of the book is looking at Kings as a writer vs King as a brand - while King writes a variety of books, not just horror, he is most well known as a horror author that the 'King' brand is used for adaptions that are horror based. Horror movies emphasise King in their marketing, while 'serious' and non-horror adaptions shy way from King. Stories like Stand By Me and Shawshank Redemption avoided the King brand as much as possible, to avoid the correlation with horror stories, as they are not horror. He looks at how much is branded King also depends on how previously King branded things have sold - if 'King' is in vogue, then the branding of something as Stephen King (not matter how unrelated - such as The Lawnmower Man) is applied. When 'King' is not doing well the branding was avoided.

The book does a great in depth look at King, the adaptions and their impact on movies and each other.

There are some spoilers to his works. I am a part time reader of king, not one of King's a constant readers, so there was much in this book the 'spoiled' some of the books or adaptions I have not yet got to. That didn't concern me, but it may concern others interested in this book. So fair warning.

Narration by Peter Lerman is good. I had previously listened to another book he narrated and it was very stilted. This still has a small amount of that, but no where near the same amount. That makes me believe the fault was with the writing style of the other book, not Lerman. Generally here he is well paced, flows well and easy to listen to.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Mob Fest '29

  • By: Bill Tonelli
  • Narrated by: Kevin Gallagher
  • Length: 1 hr and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

According to the Encyclopedia of American Crime, "Perhaps the most important criminal conference of the American underworld was held during three days in May 1929 in Atlantic City", during which "the overlords of American crime discussed their future plans" at an event that was "earthshaking in its effect on the development of American crime syndicates". It's a great tale starring Al Capone, Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky, and Nucky Johnson, who inspired Boardwalk Empire. This story has everything...with maybe one small exception. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The facts about a famous meeting.

  • By cosmitron on 05-06-18

True Lies

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-14-18

In 1929 all the organised crime bosses from across America met in Altantic City to carve up the nation and agree to terms with one another... or maybe they didn't. Bill Tonelli examines the history of this fateful meeting and the claims (most written decades later) about what happened, who was there etc. And his conclusion is that while something happened, it's not the giant meetup that it is made out to be. Oft quoted sources have for decades been debunked, yet are still used. Contemporary articles from the period of the meeting don't give the impression of anything like what the common belief is (did the reports not notice the other 50 mob bosses there when they reported?). Maybe the 1929 story is, like many gangster stories, a large lie that no one disputed, because it worked well for reputations to it to appear true.

Bill Tonelli writes in an extremely conversational tone, that seems almost out of place with the investigative work being done by him. The structure is a little strange, book ending with a discussion of the cover photo - another event that is in question. The first half is basically a textual analysis of other books and places where this has been written about, pointing out faults and errors. The last half is the author putting together what he believes actually did happen, based on the information he could uncover.

An interesting book, well worth the time. It was very well researched.

Narration by Kevin Gallagher is good. Well paced and easy to listen to. He does do voices, emotions etc. for the 'characters' and quotes in the book, which makes it really easy to follow what is the author and what is from quotes. It also makes for an entertaining read. I really liked his work for making a non fiction book come alive.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Anthem

  • By: Ayn Rand
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kollins
  • Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

Anthem is a dystopian fiction novella by Ayn Rand, written in 1937 and first published in 1938 in the United Kingdom. The story takes place at an unspecified future date when mankind has entered another Dark Age. Technological advancement is now carefully planned and the concept of individuality has been eliminated. A young man known as Equality 7-2521 rebels by doing secret scientific research. When his activity is discovered, he flees into the wilderness with the girl he loves. Together they plan to establish a new society based on rediscovered individualism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A writer well before her time.

  • By cosmitron on 05-02-18

Living without Individuality

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-14-18

I'm not a fan of Ayn Rand's beliefs, but she does certainly know how to write interesting stories (even if Atlas Shrugged needs a sharp editor with even sharper scissors). 'Anthem' is a short story that shows her ability to write interesting stories, characters and settings.

'Anthem' is set is a dystopia future where there is no individuality, there is no 'I', people do exactly what they are told for work, think what they are told to think, live how they are told to live, etc. Everyone has numbers, not names. It is told in a first person POV, but with the main character (Equality 7-2521) referring to himself as 'we' for by his number, never by 'I'. But slowly Equality 7-2521 is discovering his own thoughts and ideas, and love.

Narration by Kevin Kollins is good. He is faster paced than most (which is likely why this version has a short running time than other version of the book) but is easy to follow along with and easy to listen to.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing

  • History of Computing
  • By: Marie Hicks
  • Narrated by: Becky White
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

In Programmed Inequality, Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, labor problems grew into structural ones, and gender discrimination caused the nation's largest computer user to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Old age problem of Female Inequality.

  • By cosmitron on 04-25-18

Interesting mix of gender politics and computers

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-11-18

'Programmed Inequality' covers the history of computers in Britain, from Bletchley Park in World War Two through to the 1970's. It focuses strongly on British Tabulating Machine Company (BTM) and International Computers and Tabulators (ICT). It's main premise is that women did a large amount of the programming and computing work throughout many of those decades, but have effectively been ignored and forgotten by history, or 'downgraded' to just data entry type work rather than true programming and development. The women were also regularly passed over for promotion, or forced to train their male replacement, due to an expectation that once they marry they will leave the workforce and thus they shouldn't be invested in. The book also looks at gender relations in relation to the workplace in general, covering the union movements and fight for equal pay and recognition. It touches on the wider events of the time, but mainly focuses in the impacts on hte computing industry.

For the book subtitle of "How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing" it very much proves the first half. The second half is harder to prove and somewhere that I felt the book didn't over as well. It is true that the British computing industry suffered, and that ICT has issues - this is presented well and clearly. It is likely very true that if BTM and ICT has capitalised on their female workforce, rather than overlooking them, they would have been much stronger. What is missing from the equation is showing a nation or company that did capitalise on that and thus got ahead. To say the British lost out by discarding women is true, but so did everyone else. Britain didn't lose to the Americans etc because America used women but Britain didn't. The focus on the scope of Britain only means that there is no wider view of looking at places that did it better and succeeded because of it. That means that while it is likely that not discarding women might have saved the British computer industry, it is hard to prove as we don't have a counter case to actually compare against.

The writing itself was okay, although rather academic and dry. I've read (listened to) may university Press books and they range from very academic in writing to some very free flowing and conversational books. This is very much on the dry academic end of writing.

Narration by Becky White was good. Well paced and easy to listening to. She took a text that was rather dry in style and made it engaging and interesting.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Simulation Theory Explained: Are We Living in a Simulation?

  • By: Austin Waters
  • Narrated by: Ron Welch
  • Length: 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Simulated reality is the hypothesis that reality could be simulated - for example by quantum computer simulation - to a degree indistinguishable from "true" reality. It could contain conscious minds which may or may not be fully aware that they are living inside a simulation. This is quite different from the current, technologically achievable concept of virtual reality. Virtual reality is easily distinguished from the experience of actuality; participants are never in doubt about the nature of what they experience.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Are you real ?

  • By cosmitron on 05-01-18

Doesn't really explain just bombards with ideas

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-11-18

'Simulation Theory Explained' doesn't really explain anything. It is more just a barrage of a list of reasons why it could be true, without fully explaining the items of the list. It drops a whole lot of premises for it's argument without giving any good explanation for where those premises come from. It also felt like the logical from some of the premises to the if-so-then of the next premise wasn't actually there. It's a leap that the author assume without backing it up well. Maybe the arguments have good basis, maybe they don't. But this book doesn't have the time in it to build that depth. The list is basically an introduction of what will be discussed in later chapters of the book, but those chapters never come.

The latter half of the book tries give a little more detail around the history with René Descartes and Nick Bostrom (it also touches on the work by Ludwig Boltzmann and the Boltzmann Brain, but doesnt actually mention his name). It would have been better to have some of this information up front as it does better to explain where the idea came from and what it actually is.

Overall the book is too presumptuous and too quick to gloss over ideas.

Narration by Ron Welch is good. Clear and well paced, easy to understand. No issues with it.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Day of the Destroyer: A Just Cause Universe Novel, Volume 3

  • By: Ian Thomas Healy
  • Narrated by: Leslie Howard
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

A City in Darkness - Four Lost Souls Seeking a Light - July 13, 1977 - The lives of four super-powered people become irrevocably intertwined when the lights go out in New York City, plunging their world into chaos. The superheroes of Just Cause, grown soft and complacent without any supervillains to challenge them, must overcome their personal demons as well as uphold the law in a lawless land of rioters, arson, and murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If Garth Ennis wrote a comic book novel . . .

  • By Ray Johnson on 04-22-18

Delving into the history of Just Cause

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-18

As a warning this book does open with a rape very early, and that rape does drive much of the story. If that is an issue, then this book should possibly be avoided. Which would be a shame, because it is a enjoyable book and a great entry into the Just Cause history and universe.

Unlike the first two books, which focus on Mustang Sally, book three steps back to the silver age of Just Cause, to the 1970's, when they were on top of the world. It tells in detail some of the history only briefly touched on in some of the other books. Despite it being a prequel and some of the information not being known there is still a lot of tension and excitement in the telling.

The blurb states "The lives of four super-powered people become irrevocably intertwined when the lights go out in New York City, plunging their world into chaos." yet this event doesn't actually occur until well into the book - past halfway. The first half is setting up the various characters - existing Just Cause members, new members, someone searching to join JC, and the villain of the piece.

Like her work on the other books narration by Leslie Howard is really enjoyable. She is well paced, giving emphasis where required and matching her reading pace with the mood of the story. She provides voices, accents, emotions etc to all the characters, really bringing them off the page. I would not hesitate to pick up another book read by her.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Battle of Thermopylae

  • 300 Spartans and the Forgotten Citizen-Soldiers Who Fought with Them
  • By: HistoryIn60
  • Narrated by: Harriet Seed
  • Length: 1 hr and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Most people know about the Battle of Thermopylae, even if they don’t recognize the name. During the second Persian invasion of Greece, 300 Spartans fought against Xerxes I’s forces on a narrow mountain pass. With such cinematic details, no wonder this sensational battle inspired the blockbuster film 300. However, both the film and popular imagination miss many important details about this battle. This concise history sheds light on the thousands of Greek citizen-soldiers who fought alongside the Spartans, forever changing the course of Greek identity and nationhood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A quick entertaining History lesson.

  • By cosmitron on 04-28-18

Short useful overview of Greece and Thermopylae

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-01-18

The Battle of Thermopylae is reasonably well know, although at least in the immediate future any knowledge people have of it will be tainted by Frank Miller's 300. The book explains how while there was 300 Spartans there were also thousands of others there too. Still greatly outnumbered though.

This book covers not just the battle but also gives background on the various nation states involved, giving a strong context to the battle and the war. About half the book is setting the scene, discussing the nations, the politics, the cultures etc that brought them to the battle. There is a whole lot of setup.

It goes through the details of the battle and also some of the aftermath and why it is important. It also does some textual criticism looking at the various sources and if they are accurate or not.

Is it comprehensive? No. But To cram so much info into a one hour piece is a great achievement.

Narration by Harriet Seed is okay. Well paced, she is easy to listen to. In the early chapters there was a slight hissing noise in the background of recording, but this does disappear after a chapter or two. She does also repeatedly mispronounce some well known names of the time - particularly historian Herodotus, but also Darius. It distracted me from the text somewhat.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • The Code: A Man's Rules for Living Life, Having Fun, and Getting Dressed

  • By: Carolyn Strauss, Jack Dale
  • Narrated by: Jack Dale, Carolyn Strauss
  • Length: 2 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

In the current cultural narrative of rules for behavior and interaction, The Code is a refreshing examination of the guidelines that can keep young men from making mistakes. Even when the consequences of those mistakes may not become relevant or public for years. The Code is an indispensable collection of honorable rules to live by. Boys will listen and learn from it. "Guys" should be guided by these rules to become men. Men should give it as gifts to those who can still use a little extra help. Women should listen to it to see the world through a man's eyes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Common sense for future Manly Men

  • By cosmitron on 04-11-18

A great guide for growing up

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-30-18

The Code provides some simple rules and guides to follow to help a male grow from being a guy or a boy, into being a man - someone that acts maturely, with deference and patience. Author Jack Dale separates boys from men not by age but by those who are mature and act in a way deserving of respect. There are many adult males who are not men.

There is a lot of common sense in here, but it is also useful to have it written out. Some of the rules are better than others, and each can be assessed by the reader for themselves (the first rule/guide is "think for yourself" after all).

The book would be good for teens and young adults who are trying to find there way and learn what it means to be a respectful part of society.The book is a good mix of guidelines and anecdotal examples. As a father of two boys I can see myself using this books to help guide my kids. Even as an adult and a man (by the criteria of this book) I find it to be a useful reminder.

Carolyn Strauss adds a section at the end of each chapter. While having a female perspective is a nice idea her input basically boils down to "yes, females find it attractive if you do this". It felt rather reductive, as if guys would only care about this if females found it attractive, or that if it is attractive or not is the most important input a female can have to the situation is if it is attractive to them or not.

The two authors also narrated and did a fine job of it. Well paced, clear and easy to understand. I didn't actually realise it was author narrated at first, I thought they were professionals doing it.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.