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Septimus MacGhilleglas

  • 25
  • reviews
  • 76
  • helpful votes
  • 143
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  • Basin and Range

  • Annals of the Former World, Book 1
  • By: John McPhee
  • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 322
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167

To geologists, rocks are beautiful, roadcuts are windowpanes, and the earth is alive, a work in progress. The cataclysmic movement that gives birth to mountains and oceans is ongoing and can still be seen at certain places on our planet. One of these is the Basin and Range region centered in Nevada and Utah.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow.

  • By Julie on 10-12-04

Most soporific narrator EVER!

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

Reviewed: 01-04-18

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

As much as I love geology it was very hard listening to this guy read. He has all the fire of a poorly educated Baptist preacher who wonders why everyone snores during his ash dry sermons. This was a great mistake to buy when the book itself would have been much more satisfying.

What other book might you compare Basin and Range to and why?

The Old Testament
God kills everyone in the end.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He was so monotone and lifeless like an automaton that the book became increasingly tedious.

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

The content was great, the performance was absolutely terrible.

Any additional comments?

There should be a warning about operating heavy machinery or driving while listening to this book...

  • Origins of Life

  • By: Robert M. Hazen, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert M. Hazen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255

Four billion years ago, the infant Earth was a seething cauldron of erupting volcanoes, raining meteors, and hot noxious gases, totally devoid of life. But a relatively short time later-only 100 million to 200 million years-the planet was teeming with primitive organisms.What happened? Now you can find out-in a series of 24 vibrant lectures from a leader of the NASA-supported team studying the origins of life in the universe and also one of the nation's foremost science educators.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Excellent Lecture of Life's Origins

  • By Kevin on 07-06-15

Robert M. Hazen is quickly becoming my favourite.

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

Reviewed: 12-20-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Most assuredly. As I work in a museum I go from biology, paleontology, ornithology, anthropology and geology. We have about 10,000 kids from preschool to college come through our doors every year. Dr. Hazen's books and papers have been a great help for me in answering not only common questions but those intriguing ones that come out of left field.

What about Professor Robert M. Hazen’s performance did you like?

The man is seriously intelligent and it shows in the incredible ability to take the most difficult premise and explain it in a way that is easily digestible and memorable.

  • The Modern Scholar: Geology

  • The Story of Earth
  • By: Professor Kate Zeigler
  • Narrated by: Professor Kate Zeigler
  • Length: 4 hrs and 49 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108

Geology is often thought of as simply the study of rocks. In reality, geology is the study of our planet on all scales, from microscopic to planet-wide, and ranging in time from almost instantaneous events, like earthquakes, to the glacially slow motion of the tectonic plates. Everything we know about our world from a geologic perspective is based on information locked into the rock record and the job of a geologist is to tease out that story through a wide variety of observations. This insightful course explores a range of topics that help to tell the story of Earth and to explain the discipline of Geology and the role of the geologist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • interesting, informative and well presented.

  • By Steven Mark on 01-09-16

I work in a museum and I found this amazing!

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

Reviewed: 12-20-17

Would you consider the audio edition of The Modern Scholar: Geology to be better than the print version?

I'm not sure I would find it better as a printed version would have illustrations which would make the material more understandable to the common layperson but the audio book was very well thought out and explained in wonderfully simple terms.

Which character – as performed by Professor Kate Zeigler – was your favorite?

Ummm... Professor Kate Zeigler?

Any additional comments?

These review structure questions really suck when the book is science based. Who the hell thought this was constructive?

  • The Forest Unseen

  • A Year's Watch in Nature
  • By: David George Haskell
  • Narrated by: Michael Healy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121

In this wholly original audiobook, biologist David Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window into the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Each of this audiobook's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful stories

  • By Eleanor B. Hildreth on 08-03-15

I was sad when I got to the end that there wasn't more of it...

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

Reviewed: 10-24-17

An informative and delightful book, in a class of rarities that you regret ending too soon. The narrator was sublime and the descriptions of the mandala elegantly portrayed by an astute observer. This book belongs in every biology class.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich

  • A Leo Tolstoy Short Story
  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Bill DeWees
  • Length: 2 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 306
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 271
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 267

The brilliance of this story is in how a normal bureaucrat, a judge in this case, has a small accident that winds up gradually taking his life. As he deals with this incident, with hope at first and then despair, he comes to terms with his family, his life, and the mediocrities that we all suffer with, except for the exceptional few. This story rings a particularly poignant note for those in early middle age facing the next part of their lives. This story is considered Tolstoy's best.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book, Great Price, Good Narration

  • By Michael on 03-05-13

A Russian story with a (somewhat) happy ending.

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

Reviewed: 07-17-13

Any additional comments?

The novella begins a few moments after Ivan Ilyich dies. A number of people have gathered to mark his passing: judges, family members and acquaintances. However, these people cannot understand death, because they cannot really believe that they will ever die. They only praise God that the dying men is not him, and then start considering how his death might be to their advantage them in terms of money or position.

The novella then takes us back thirty years. We see Ivan in the prime of his life. He is the middle child and lives a life of studied mediocrity. He studies law and becomes a judge. Along the way, he completely expels all personal emotions from his life. He does his work objectively and coldly. He becomes a strict disciplinarian and father figure (that the Russian head of the household ought to be).

He is also a jealous and pole-climbing sort of man. He is intensely happy when he gets a job in the city, where he can buy and decorate a large house. While decorating, he falls and hits his side. Although he does not know it at the time, this injury will facilitate the illness that eventually kills him. He becomes bad tempered and bitter--he refuses to come to terms with his own death. Through his final illness, Gerasim (a peasant)stays beside the his bed and becomes his friend and confidant.
Only Gerasim can understand Ivan's problems. The rest of his family either think that he is a malingerer or a bitter old man. But, Gerasim offers kindness and honesty. Ivan begins to look at his life with fresh eyes. He realizes that the more successful he became, the less happy he was. He also wonders whether he has done things that were right. He had been living his life on auto-pilot: doing and saying everything that was expected of him.

He agonizes over this, unable to break away from his belief that the kind of man he became was the kind of man he should have been. Then he sees a bright, white light. He begins to feel sorry for all those around him, realizing that they are still too involved in the life that he has left to understand that it is artificial and ephemeral. He dies in a moment of exquisite happiness.

  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

  • By: Jules Verne
  • Narrated by: Peter Husmann
  • Length: 18 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,443
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,339
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,346

A mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, master harpoonist Ned Land, and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil join the expedition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A classic that everyone should read.

  • By John S on 07-18-13

The genius of Jules Verne that continues to inspir

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

Reviewed: 07-17-13

Any additional comments?

The plot of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas is essentially simple: Three men set out to capture and explain the unexplainable. Instead they are captured and encounter a brilliant madman who travels the seas seeking revenge and beauty. The men cannot continue in such a manner, so they risk their lives to free themselves.
A good portion of this novel is mere entertainment. Verne spends paragraphs explaining geography and marine life. These descriptions do little to advance the plot except when characterization is revealed through their observation. The amazing thing of this and indeed all of his novels is Verne's ability to fortell inventions that had yet to be made. Electricity for power, the scuba tank, and the submarine were not to make their appearance for many years after the novel was published in 1870.
The pioneering submarine designer Simon Lake credited his inspiration to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,and his autobiography begins "Jules Verne was in a sense the director-general of my life." William Beebe, Sir Ernest Shackleton, and Robert Ballard found similar early inspiration in the novel, and Jacques Cousteau called it his "shipboard bible".
The aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont named Verne as his favorite author and the inspiration for his own elaborate flying machines. Igor Sikorsky often quoted Verne and cited his Robur the Conqueror as the inspiration for his invention of the first successful helicopter.
The rocketry innovators Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Goddard, and Hermann Oberth are all known to have taken their inspiration from Verne's From the Earth to the Moon.Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders, the astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission, were similarly inspired, with Borman commenting "In a very real sense, Jules Verne is one of the pioneers of the space age".
Polar explorer Richard E. Byrd, after a flight to the South Pole, paid tribute to Verne's polar novels The Adventures of Captain Hatteras and An Antarctic Mystery by saying "It was Jules Verne who launched me on this trip."
The preeminent speleologist Édouard-Alfred Martel noted in several of his scientific reports that his interest in caves was sparked by Verne's Mathias Sandorf. Another influential speleologist, Norbert Casteret, traced his love of "caverns, abysses and underground rivers" to his avid youthful reading of Journey to the Center of the Earth, calling it "a marvelous book, which impressed and fascinated me more than any other", and adding "I sometimes re-read it still, each time finding anew the joys and enthusiasm of my childhood".
The French general Hubert Lyautey took much inspiration from the explorations in Verne's novels. When one of his more ambitious foreign projects was met with the reply "All this, sir, it's like doing a Jules Verne", Lyautey famously responded: "Yes, sir, it's like doing a Jules Verne, because for twenty years, the people who move forward have been doing a Jules Verne."
Other scientific figures known to have been influenced by Verne include Fridtjof Nansen, Wernher von Braun, Guglielmo Marconi, and Yuri Gagarin.
The real genius of this work, besides its incessant entertainment, lies in its ability to present technological advancement as the potential demise of man. This is an unnerving subject for the 19th century world which was riding high on the effects of the spreading Industrial Revolution.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Clash of Kings

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 37 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54,125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46,324
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 46,280

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I'm hooked, but narration...

  • By Peter on 04-02-13

An Astounding Epic Story Set to Become a Classic

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

Reviewed: 09-17-12

What did you love best about A Clash of Kings?

The writing and character development is amazing. You start reading and find that you simply cannot put it down. I listen to the audiobook and read it on my Kindle after work a second time and enjoy it just as much. Not many books can do that.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jon Snow the Bastard of Winterfell. Though he was always unfortunate in his birth and despised by his father's wife, he still took all the ills afforded one of his station and came to be as honourable as his sire.

  • The Odyssey

  • By: Homer, Robert Fagles - translator
  • Narrated by: Ian McKellen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,796
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,523
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,512

The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!

  • By Arthurian Tapestry on 05-06-12

This is easily one of the best I've ever heard.

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

Reviewed: 10-02-11

What did you love best about The Odyssey?

Ian McKellen's talent as a narrator is astounding. His cadence and inflections are sublime. The only complaint I have is the 3 seconds of electronic organ noise separating the books. This is one of the few books that I could listen to over and over.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • American Gods [TV Tie-In]

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 20 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,839
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,493
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,517

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Charming mystery, romance and epic

  • By Jody R. Nathan on 11-26-03

This is truly a masterpiece.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-06-11

Not often does one find a book that is not only intelligently written, but thought-provoking, educational, and quotable. This is one of those rare convergences, where, contained within is everything we love about books. It is so many different genres flawlessly rolled into something extraordinary. I believe this is destined to become a new favourite novel by a gifted writer. This is a masterpiece. The narrator is absolutely incredible. Well done to both gentlemen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

  • By: Ernest Hemingway
  • Narrated by: Stacy Keach
  • Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 103

The ideal introduction to the genius of Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories contains ten of Hemingway's most acclaimed and popular works of short fiction. Selected from Winner Take Nothing, Men Without Women, and The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories, this collection includes "The Killers," the first of Hemingway's mature stories to be accepted by an American periodical.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extraordinary reading.

  • By Septimus MacGhilleglas on 05-18-11

Extraordinary reading.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-18-11

Stacy Keach, who I am proud to say I've met when he was playing Ken on "Titus" is an amiable and talented individual. Reading Hemingway, he is absolutely superb. My kids were fascinated by the stories and absorbed by Mr. Keach's telling of it. Truly sublime.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful