LISTENER

Jim Foley

St. Louis, Missouri, USA
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 11
  • ratings
  • The Killer Angels

  • A Novel of the Civil War
  • By: Michael Shaara
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,500
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,709
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,720

After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • GOOD-BYE, GOOD LUCK AND SEE YOU IN HELL

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 06-30-16

Oh, crud, am I giving this five stars?

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

What did you like best about this story?

I don't like to give anything five stars but this was a darned good experience for me on many levels - the history, the entertainment, and the example of good writing - moving tales engaging characters on both sides, a well-architected story in which the characters remained amazingly distinct and clear, plus some great American English prose. Hearing the history presented this way brings it to life and makes these characters and events recognizable when I see them in other venues - much more than simply reading a dry paragraph in a textbook. An enjoyable, expanding, and worthwhile investment.

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

Good voices that helped keep the large cast of characters clear in my head. Enough accent to provide color and atmosphere to the reading. Not overacted, which is appreciated, but enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Free Will

  • By: Sam Harris
  • Narrated by: Sam Harris
  • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,774
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,449
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,403

A belief in free will touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LIFE/ WORLD Altering sophisticated thinking!

  • By Ellen on 04-23-12

Nice short argument

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

What made the experience of listening to Free Will the most enjoyable?

Sam Harris presents good arguments in a way that comes off as passionate but reasonably objective. This was not a long listen, but a worthwhile short listen that stirred things up and made me think.

  • Bertrand Russell and A.N. Whitehead

  • By: Paul Kuntz
  • Narrated by: Lynn Redgrave
  • Length: 2 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Bertrand Russell and A.N. Whitehead co-authored a seminal work in logic entitled Principia Mathematica. Russell wrote on virtually every aspect of philosophy, with particular contributions in ethics (where he championed important innovations). Whitehead developed one of the great philosophical systems of the century, attempting to harmonize science and values and to reconcile religion and philosophy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book

  • By Jim Foley on 12-07-15

Good book

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

What did you like best about this story?

I was looking for some short books on the founders of the Analytic tradition in philosophy, and this was helpful to me. Nice short interwoven biographies of these two philosophers with notes on their work and how it fit into the times and the progression of Western thought. I agree with another reviewer that Russell got more coverage but not overwhelmingly so. It was a nice mix.

What about Lynn Redgrave’s performance did you like?

Clear, pleasant, well suited to the British academics who are the subjects of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Investigating Wittgenstein

  • By: Giles Fraser
  • Narrated by: Philip Rose
  • Length: 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 6

Curious, confounding and brilliant, Wittgenstein is a philosopher whom people find it easy to get obsessed with. In Investigating Wittgenstein, Giles Fraser explores the secrets of his attraction. The How to Believe series explores the teachings, philosophies and beliefs of major thinkers and religious texts. In a short, easy-to-access format, leading writers present new understandings of these perennially important ideas.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting But Author's Christian Focus Seems TMI

  • By Rich S. on 06-06-15

Not sure what this book is.

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

As other reviewers have noted, this is an odd book, perhaps expanded from a paper or a memoir by someone who had been obsessed with Wittgenstein earlier in life and then, at some later time, had to resolve that with a conversion to strong Christianity. If you are looking for a relatively brief overview of Wittgenstein's life and work, consider Bartley's "Wittgenstein". This book is an unusual hybrid of memoir, Christian theology, and selected portions of Wittgenstein's work, sewn together into a short book that doesn't have a clear purpose or audience.

Has Investigating Wittgenstein turned you off from other books in this genre?

Nope.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Investigating Wittgenstein?

Nothing against the author, who seems very smart, but I don't think I'd have published this book at all. I don't understand the theme of it. If some of the personal stuff had been taken out, it might be part of a long textbook at a Christian university on resolving Western philosophy to Christian theology.

Any additional comments?

Sorry, I do not recommend this book.

  • 14

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,990
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,330
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33,337

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't Get Killed By This Place

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 06-20-13

Somewhat fun

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

If I had to sacrifice some memories to free up some brain cells, I'd be willing to sacrifice this memory. It was a clever premise, with some cool ideas before it was all over, and a sort-of fun story, but the author ddin't seem to understand the novel form or some of the basics of storytelling. For instance, the first few chapters just laid out characters, one after another, without really drawing me in or telling a story. That went on for too long, without any hint of a theme, or any reason to care about the characters, or anything amiss in the world, or a sense of conflict to resolve. Eventually I did like one or two of the characters and the interesting ideas. I might consider reading other books by this writer at some point.

What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

Clear reading, easy to listen to, some "acting" but not over the top.

Could you see 14 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Actually, yes, if it were made into a movie they'd keep the good parts and present it more artfully - might be good.

Any additional comments?

I think most people here give three stars if they don't think much of a book. In this case, I'm going with two stars, but I think the writer is capable of better work and I may check him out again.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Storytelling Animal

  • How Stories Make Us Human
  • By: Jonathan Gottschall
  • Narrated by: Kris Koscheski
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 184

Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. It's easy to say that humans are "wired" for story, but why? In this delightful and original book, Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life's complex social problems.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

  • By Carole T. on 10-04-12

A nice thesis, some new stuff, not difficult

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

Would you listen to The Storytelling Animal again? Why?

Possibly, since it had some good examples and anecdotes, and the central ideas seemed valuable to me.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Simple thesis with a lot of good examples.

Any additional comments?

Kept my interest while walking in the woods; a couple of good afternoons.

  • Wittgenstein

  • By: W.W. Bartley III
  • Narrated by: Jim Denison
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in Vienna in 1889 and died in Cambridge, England in 1951. He was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • light on philosophy, heavy on biography

  • By Julian on 03-26-17

A nice brief coverage of Wittgenstein

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

What did you love best about Wittgenstein?

I wanted to know more about Wittgenstein the person, as well as his philosophy and his place in history, but I didn't want to read a lengthy biography or a philosophy textbook. This was a good compromise. He's a pretty inspiring individual in many ways, and the author clearly responded to that without going overboard. As for the philosophy, I'll probably re-listen to the chapter(s) that describe the two stages of his philosophy and how they fit into the thought of the times.

What about Jim Denison’s performance did you like?

He's a good reader with a good European delivery. His German was good, but his French was mangled. But overall a very good reading and good audio quality.

Any additional comments?

For me this was time well spent, and not a difficult listen.

  • Casino Royale

  • James Bond, Book 1
  • By: Ian Fleming
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,407
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,328
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,323

For James Bond and the British Secret Service, the stakes couldn't be higher. 007's mission is to neutralize the Russian operative Le Chiffre by ruining him at the baccarat table, forcing his Soviet masters to "retire" him. When Le Chiffre hits a losing streak, Bond discovers his luck is in - that is, until he meets Vesper Lynd, a glamorous agent who might yet prove to be his downfall. This audiobook includes an exclusive bonus interview with Dan Stevens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bond. James Bond.

  • By Troy on 09-19-14

A good book in its own right

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

Would you listen to Casino Royale again? Why?

In a few years I might listen to it again. It's fun to experience the book where it all began, of course. But regardless of that it's a good read, well-performed, and short - I like short books. :)

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

No, there was enough material to fill the time. I enjoyed looking forward to getting back to it.

Any additional comments?

If it hadn't been the famous James Bond, I'd have liked it a little less. But it does stand on its own - good details about spycraft and the 1950's, plus a lot of surprisingly good prose. I had no idea Fleming could write such great English. Good stuff.

  • Legacy

  • Forgotten Son, Book 1
  • By: Warren Murphy, Gerald Welch
  • Narrated by: Rob Noble, Mike Lykins, Renea Wilson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 57

For over five thousand years, there were always three binding rules for all Masters of Sinanju: 1) Payment is always in gold. No checks. 2) There is only one Master and one pupil. 3) No woman will ever be trained in Sinanju. Sunny Joe Roam will throw the last two rules out the window in order to fulfill his tribe's oldest commitment. He will train both Stone Smith and his half-sister, Freya Williams, in the deadly art of Sinanju, ushering in a new era for the tribe.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great continuation of life after Remo Williams

  • By medicman on 06-08-15

Didn't expect much but was still disappointed

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

Would you try another book from Warren Murphy and Gerald Welch and/or the narrators?

No. I might go back and try the Destroyer series again, by Murphy and Sapir, just to see whether the books got worse over time or I just outgrew them. But nothing ever again from this new series or this team of Murphy and Welch.

What was most disappointing about Warren Murphy and Gerald Welch ’s story?

I was looking for a good martial-arts adventure novel, and I liked the Destroyer series in high school., so I tried this. The Destroyer was ridiculous but cheesy good fun. This book, however, was way over the line - poorly thought out, with plot elements carelessly manhandled into position with little thought of credibility. There was almost no attempt to add any authentic details or believable characters, motivations, situations, or even technology. I tried to go along for the sheer fun of it, but it was impossible to care about these characters or this farcical situation. This was like something phoned in by a stoner. And definitely not a martial-arts novel.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

If this book had been fifteen minutes longer I'd have never finished it.

Any additional comments?

Someone is trying to cash in on the success of the earlier books. But instead of doing something better, they threw this together, badly. Sorry to bear bad news; I promise I'll do at least one positive review of something else to make up for it. :)

  • Economics in One Lesson

  • By: Henry Hazlitt
  • Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,564
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,054
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,048

Called by H.L. Mencken, "one of the few economists in history who could really write," Henry Hazlitt achieved lasting fame for his brilliant but concise work. In it, he explains basic truths about economics and the economic fallacies responsible for unemployment, inflation, high taxes, and recession.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New to Economics? Start here!

  • By Ferg Merkl on 10-12-07

Conservative editorial, not an economics textbook

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

Reviewed: 02-17-15

What did you like best about Economics in One Lesson? What did you like least?

I mistakenly thought this was a basic textbook on economic theory - a good starting place or refresher. But it's not. Instead, it's a series of of arguments in favor of post-WWII conservative economic policies. It doesn't start with "what is economics" like a real course, but dives right into critiques of high taxes, big government, etc. It makes some good points, but it's so one-sided that it seems untrustworthy. Also, it's from the mid-1940's, and some of the proposals are obsolete. If the author had limited himself to teaching basic economic theory, the book would have aged better, but since he's arguing for specific doctrines, it's out of date. If you're very conservative, you might like hearing these arguments for what you already believe. If you're looking for an even-handed objective book on economic theory, I don't recommend this.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful