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Matthew Groom

Port St. John, FL
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 42
  • helpful votes
  • 97
  • ratings
  • Potatoes on the Moon

  • I Spent a Week Probing the Alien Landscape of Idaho
  • By: Jim Goad
  • Narrated by: Jim Goad
  • Length: 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

What do most people think of Idaho? Well, see, that's the problem - they don't think of Idaho. Despite its breathtaking natural beauty and the fact that it's crammed to the gills with eccentrics and freethinkers, Idaho may as well be the moon as far as the rest of America is concerned. Jim Goad recently spent a week in Idaho mingling with state troopers, political extremists, collegiate progressives, and heartbreakingly friendly locals.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Someday, I will have to visit Idaho.

  • By Matthew Groom on 11-28-17

Someday, I will have to visit Idaho.

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

Reviewed: 11-28-17

Jim Goad has a wonderful way of pointing out how bigoted you probably are about things that you never really cared enough about to give much thought to. In this brief work, he gives us a perspective about Idaho that will probably expose the ignorance that all who have never visited that state and country probably harbor.

  • Clausewitz's 'On War'

  • A Biography: Books That Changed the World
  • By: Hew Strachan
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 29

Perhaps the most important book on military strategy ever written, Carl von Clausewitz's On War has influenced generations of generals and politicians, has been blamed for the unprecedented death tolls, and is required reading at military academies to this day. But On War, which was never finished and was published posthumously, is obscure and fundamentally contradictory. Hew Strachan, one of the world's foremost military historians, answers these problems in this fascinating book.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Deceptive

  • By Newell on 01-17-08

This is NOT Von Clausewitz's work....

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

Reviewed: 07-01-16

...but rather, a biological review of that work and a general overview of the period and the man. I felt deceived by the realization of this, since the author's choice of title, the cover, and the description provided by Audible gives no real indication of this. Rightly, this book should have been called "ON VON CLAUSEWITZ: An In-depth Investigation of His Classic On War"

If you are hoping to hear an abridged version of the classic treatise, this is not it. It is not a bad book, but if you have not read some translation of Von Clausewitz's On War previously, then this book is wholly unrelatable and confusing, since it's more of a study guide or review of it rather than a discussion of its ideas. Many years ago, I read some of "On War", and was still only loosely aware of much of what us referenced here.

  • Suttree

  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 20 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 905
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 811
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 813

No discussion of great modern authors is complete without mention of Cormac McCarthy, whose rare and blazing talent makes his every work a true literary event. A grand addition to the American literary canon, Suttree introduces readers to Cornelius Suttree, a man who abandons his affluent family to live among a dissolute array of vagabonds along the Tennessee river.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Challenging Read/Listen, Narrator Outstanding

  • By Riley A. Vann on 03-07-13

A series of vignettes of the damned

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

Reviewed: 06-30-16

Cormac McCarthy seems to have written this as a meditation against drink. This is a story without heroes, where nobody ever makes the right choices, and their suffering is made worse by that knowledge. McCarthy is masterful in creating an atmosphere of the choking, filthy miasma and all-consuming poverty of drunkards, fiends, perverts, thieves, and losers circling the bowl of a district in Knoxville, TN called McAnally Flats in the 1950's.

All of the characters are very much like long festering roadkill one happens upon when walking somewhere; exactly as you found them when you leave them. If you like morals and character development and clever dialog, this is not for you.

If you like to feel slightly nauseous and wishing you could take a shower when you read, or if you have ever wondered what your life might feel like if you simply gave up, spent every dime you had on awful, low-quality spirits, and woke up sore throated, under a tree in a junkyard, covered in vomit, sunburnt, bug-bitten, reeking of piss and shit and semen which is hopefully your own, then this book will give you some idea of what you have to look forward to.

  • Shantaram

  • By: Gregory David Roberts
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 43 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,641
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,966
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,975

This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Do Not Miss This

  • By Jamie on 06-19-06

Vibrant, compelling, and thought provoking.

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

Reviewed: 02-20-15

Shantaram is a wonderfully complex and entertaining story that is so detailed in its scope and vivid in its descriptions that it should be considered a modern classic. Perhaps that is not strong enough. When you read most classics, they rarely live upto the hype surrounding them, which Gregory David Robert's work has no problem exceeding.

The performance of the narrator, Humphrey Bower, is perhaps the best single-actor performance I have personally experienced. The vast and diverse cast of characters each has their own unique voice, tone, inflection, and accent which are so expertly delivered that you forget it is just one man delivering them.

I usually try to think if some sober, detached reason to dislike a work, even one which I enjoy, but I have no negative points to note. Five stars because I cannot elect to offer six.

  • The Ghost Map

  • By: Steven Johnson
  • Narrated by: Alan Sklar
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 812
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 512
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 511

This is a thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding

  • By Cheryl Crane on 01-14-07

It was okay until the end

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-04-08

This audiobook is a somewhat interesting account of the deadliest out break of Cholera in London's storied history of outbreaks. It gives an interesting account of city life for lower class Londoners of the day and insights as to how the medical and scientific community of the day operated. It gets a bit dry after the first half, and the ending of the book leaves the subject almost entirely to speculate about the future threats of bioterrorism and nuclear warfare.

The "Conclusion" and "Epilogue" of this audiobook are full of proselytizing about the greatness and moral superiority of city dwellers who are apparently more intelligent, more tolerant, more environmentally conscious, just all around better people. This was written by an inhabitant of NYC who says he would only move after 50,000 people had died in a viral catastrophe, and then only reluctantly.

He also theorizes that cities are more likely to survive a long term shortage of oil, since people in cities don't drive cars as often. This is laughable. How does food get into the city? ON A TRUCK. Also ships. How does it get from the port? ON A TRUCK. What do trucks (and most ships) need to run? Oil and gas.

There is also a good bit of detail about how viruses work and how the microbial world operates, but this books insight is greatly damaged by implying that people who believe in God are superstitious obstructionists, since God cannot be proven, but people who are not willing to betray a peaceful and spacious existence outside of cities are an affront to mother Gaia, since Gaia is DEFINITELY real. No proof required.

Other than the political proselytizing and speculation, this is an okay book.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution

  • By: Kevin R.C. Gutzman
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 326
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194

Instead of the system that the Constitution intended, judges have created a system in which bureaucrats and appointed officials make most of the important policies. While the government claims to be a representative republic, somehow hot-button topics from gay marriage to the allocation of Florida's presidential electors always seem to be decided by unelected judges. What gives them the right to decide such issues? The judges say it's the Constitution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best PIG to date

  • By Matthew Groom on 05-16-08

The best PIG to date

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-08

I have read or listened to nearly every one of the "Politically Incorrect Guide" series since I first found Thomas E. Woods Jr.'s "Politically Incorrect Guide to American History". While all of these books are good, some are better than others. If I had to pick one for it's historical insight, accurate articulation of ideas and concepts, and fascinating evaluations of legal rulings, it would be Kevin R. C. Gutzman's "Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution". I would consider this book a "must read" for anyone interested in American History or the US Legal system.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful