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Stewart Gooderman

San Francisco, CA
  • 28
  • reviews
  • 155
  • helpful votes
  • 42
  • ratings
  • McTeague

  • By: Frank Norris
  • Narrated by: Wolfram Kandinsky
  • Length: 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

McTeague, a strong but stupid dentist, marries Trina, introduced to him by her cousin Marcus Schouler. When Trina wins $5,000 in a lottery and increases the sum by shrewd investment, Schouler, who had wanted to marry Trina himself, feels cheated. In revenge, he exposes McTeague's lack of diploma or license. Forbidden to practice, McTeague becomes mean and surly, but the miserly Trina refuses to let him use her money, and they sink into poverty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Long-Awaited Audio Book

  • By Steven Lambert on 09-22-09

Surprisingly alluring

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

There have been many people who have been critical of the reader of this work of fiction. I am not one of them. In fact, I found his reading to be nothing short of perfect. He kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. I had known the basic plot via reading up on the silent film Greed which was based on it (it was recently on TCM but I couldn't stay up to see it). Nonetheless, I had a hard time breaking up my listen due to the sheer allure of the reader's performance.

It is an interesting work of fiction. Yes, there are racist undertones, but so has Dickens' Oliver Twist. And attitudes in the 1890s were very different than today. I think the ending is a bit brusk, and the flow of events reminds me of Oscar Hammerstein's treatment of Edna Ferber's Show Boat (half the show just dramatizes Ravanel and Magnolia's love affair, and then swiftly goes into Ravanel's desertion, Magnolia on her own, and the reunion). But it was a very enjoyable listen.

  • Brotopia

  • Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley
  • By: Emily Chang
  • Narrated by: Emily Chang
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197

For women in tech, Silicon Valley is not a fantasy land of unicorns, virtual reality rainbows, and 3D-printed lollipops, where millions of dollars grow on trees. It's a "Brotopia," where men hold all the cards and make all the rules. Vastly outnumbered, women face toxic workplaces rife with discrimination and sexual harassment, where investors take meetings in hot tubs and network at sex parties. In this powerful exposé, Bloomberg TV journalist Emily Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals, why bro culture endures despite decades of companies claiming the moral high ground (Don't Be Evil! Connect the World!)--and how women are finally starting to speak out and fight back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful, Infuriating, and Important

  • By Lavina K. on 02-11-18

Astonishing Look at Silicone Valley

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

Reviewed: 02-23-18

As a person who works in health care in San Francisco, I was eager to learn more about those who earn their living in the technology field. This book did not disappoint. It should be read by every woman *and* man who either work or aspire to work within the many walls of technology. Many of us know that women had a harder time of it in technology, but the reasons were vague. This sets the out: how the barriers started and how and why they continue.
The author read her text fairly well.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • It's Even Worse Than You Think

  • What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America
  • By: David Cay Johnston
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 351
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304

No working journalist knows Donald Trump better than David Cay Johnston, who first met the 45th president in 1988 and has tracked him ever since. Featuring Johnston's renowned skill in bringing government policy to life, this crucial book explains how our daily lives will be affected by the actions of the Trump Administration. This book is essential listening for all Americans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Trump is a Shit

  • By Mark on 04-09-18

Well written and documented.

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

Reviewed: 02-04-18

David Cay Johnston knows Trump better than Trump knows himself. And he takes his knowledge gathered over many years and pairs Trump's lies and deceits with facts and actual quotes to show what a con man Trump is and, more importantly, how he is letting his administration destroy, yes destroy, our country and all that we hold sacred (and take for granted.)

The introduction is by Johnston himself and I would have vastly preferred him reading his own book to narrator Danny Campbell. I found Campbell's recitation somewhat banal and boring.

Finally, there are some very sloppy edits.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fire and Fury

  • Inside the Trump White House
  • By: Michael Wolff
  • Narrated by: Michael Wolff, Holter Graham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,343
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,248

With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as credible as one would like.

  • By Jerry R. Nokes Jr. on 01-29-18

I Claudius Redux

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

Reviewed: 01-18-18

First, kudos to Holter Graham for a truly outstanding narration, one of the best I've heard in an audiobook. Clear voice, well enunciated words, maintained superb sentence structure. An absolute pleasure to listen to.

Second, I must pronounce my prejudice: I cannot stand Donald Trump. I'm a 67 year old native New Yorker who knows full well all the shenanigans Trump has been a part of over these many years. This book reinforced every one of my feelings about this loathsome individual.

As I listened, I kept on getting the feeling that I was listening to a modern day "I Claudius." The lies, the back stabbing, the jockeying for position and power, and the depravity. All that was missing was the actual poisoning (we're more civilized than that today, I hope.) So on one hand, it made for a very entertaining story. On the other, it made for a truly frightening feeling that this wonderful country of ours in being torn apart, not only by a chief executive who never in a million years should have been put in the position he now holds, but by a group of people who know he's as dangerous as an atomic weapon, yet support, lie, and cover up for him putting party first, and the good of their own country last.

A word to the author: when shall we expect a sequel? So much more has happened since the events in this book, that I hope you are readying at least an update.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Everybody Behaves Badly

  • The True Story Behind Hemingway's Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises
  • By: Lesley Blume
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 335

In the summer of 1925, Ernest Hemingway and a clique of raucous companions traveled to Pamplona, Spain, for the town's infamous running of the bulls. Then, over the next six weeks, he channeled that trip's maelstrom of drunken brawls, sexual rivalry, midnight betrayals, and midday hangovers into his groundbreaking novel The Sun Also Rises. This revolutionary work redefined modern literature as much as it did his peers, who would forever after be called the Lost Generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Book

  • By Michael Scanlon on 07-04-16

Interesting Background Material

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

Reviewed: 07-25-16

Lesley Blume does a fine narrative about Hemingway's life that lead to his writing his first great work, "The Sun Also Rises" as well as its effect on Hemingway's future life and the people he interacted with during this period. Happily the Epilogue goes into some detail on the people upon whom Hemingway based his characters, many years after the book was released in 1926. For people who have read various materials on Hemingway's life, there may not be much that is new here. Yet, Blume presents Hemingway straightforwardly, warts and all.
I think the narrative could have been condensed somewhat, but this may be the fault of the narration by Jonathan Davis, who is inconsistent in his reading speed. Sometimes his pace is so slow, I got very close to double-timing the playback.

18 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • I Got the Show Right Here

  • The Amazing, True Story of How an Obscure Brooklyn Horn Player Became the Last Great Broadway Showman
  • By: Cy Feuer, Ken Gross
  • Narrated by: Robert Blumenfeld
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Guys & Dolls...The Boyfriend...How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying...Can-Can... These are just a few of the many Broadway shows produced by the legendary Cy Feuer, who, in partnership with the late Ernest H. Martin, brought to life many of America's most enduring musicals. Cy Feuer was at the center of these creations, as well as the films based on two of Broadway's most exceptional musicals, Cabaret and A Chorus Line. He was the man in charge, the one responsible for putting everything together, and - almost more important - for holding it together.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating but flawed.

  • By Stewart Gooderman on 08-15-15

Fascinating but flawed.

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

Reviewed: 08-15-15

First, the title is a sham. Cy Feuer is not the Last Great Broadway Showman. I think that nod could go to David Merrick or Cameron Mackintosh since they both produced Broadway shows past Feuer and Martin's careers.

The book is interesting in seeing how tenuous producing a Broadway musical can be. What I was longing for, and never got, was what happened with the genesis of such major flops as Whoop-Up!

As this is a personal memoir, one needs to go to other sources to get more information about the shows that Feuer & Martin put on or almost put on. For example, regarding Pipe Dream, Feuer never mentions that Richard Rodgers early on developed an extreme dislike for him which is one reason they were pushed out of the picture. Also, regarding The Music Man, Feuer fails to realize that show he would have produced would probably have not been the same show that Kermit Bloomgarten ultimately produced.

The narration is less than stellar. Mr Blumenfeld tends to rush in parts, slurring his words.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Magazine

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Hastings
  • Narrated by: Ramiz Monsef
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44

The year is 2002. Weekly news magazines dominate the political agenda in New York and Washington. A young journalist named Michael M. Hastings is an intern at The Magazine, wet behind the ears, the only one in the office who has actually read his coworkers' books. He will stop at nothing to turn his internship into a full-time position and has figured out just who to impress: Nishant Patel, the international editor, and Sanders Berman, managing editor - both vying for the job of editor-in-chief.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • CURRENT and ENERGY that is hard to contain

  • By Darwin8u on 06-26-14

Overall Disappointment

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

Reviewed: 08-02-15

It is, of course, always dangerous to critique work by an author that was never meant to be seen in the form in which it was ultimately published. We don't know if Michael Hastings ever intended for this work to be published at all. The problem that I see in reading this book is that not one single character is sympathetic in any way, except perhaps Chipotle, the man who transformed himself into a woman after his genitals were blows away in an ambush in Iraq. And even he, by this feelings against Cindy Sheehan, loses sympathy. Even the so called writer of the narrative eventually sells himself out and betrays the very people he works for. And it seems that Hastings, in his effort to not make the book overly long, suddenly, in a page or two, tells what ultimately happened to everybody after stopping the narrative with no real ending.

It's quite obvious that Hastings knows how to write graphic sex scenes. But, as others have pointed out, it begins to border on turning the book into a cheap smut novel.

Ramiz Monsef's narration is not a narration. It is a true, extraordinary performance. I constantly got the sensation that I was in a theatre listening to a stage performance. That's how good it was. Without it, I think the book would have decended into being crass and crude.

  • Wisecracker

  • The Life and Times of William Haines, Hollywood’s First Openly Gay Star
  • By: William J. Mann
  • Narrated by: Bo Foxworth
  • Length: 16 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

In 1930, William Haines was Hollywood's #1 box-office draw - a talented, handsome, and wisecracking romantic lead. Off screen, however, protected by a careful collaboration between studio and press, he was openly gay with reporters and studio chiefs alike. Here is Haines's virtually unknown story - rich with detail, revelations, and scandal - about silent movies and talkies; his lover Jimmie Shields, and their fifty-year relationship.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Juicy, Thoughtful and One of a Kind!

  • By Lucian Siedler on 01-06-15

A Story That Needed To Be Told

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

Reviewed: 07-19-15

What a fascinating life! Yet so few people really know of William Haines today. The author is right when he states that when you come down to it, this is a love story of a couple who just happen to be of the same sex. No different than the great enduring marriages you hear or read about from the humblest to the mighty. Joan Crawford was right in stating that their's was "The happiest marriage in Hollywood."

If there was one thing that I'm at odds with, and even Mr Haines is guilty of this, is that William Haines is considered a film actor primarily in the silent film era who became a famed interior decorator. I see him as the opposite, a world famous interior decorator who earlier in life did some work in film.

I've seen some of his films and they are okay, with the best one being Show People. Even today, it holds up as being a very good film, and had Haines not been his own worse enemy and took acting seriously, he could have gone on to become a great character actor, even with his lost hair and this weight gain.

I think the book is recorded well, with the exception of glaring edits with variable sound quality.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • 1920

  • The Year of Six Presidents
  • By: David Pietrusza
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 20 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 126

The presidential election of 1920 was among history's most dramatic. Six once-and-future presidents--Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, and Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt--jockeyed for the White House. With voters choosing between Wilson's League of Nations and Harding's front-porch isolationism, the 1920 election shaped modern America.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fascinating view into the US at the end of WWI

  • By D. Littman on 12-31-09

Fascinating but incomplete

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

Reviewed: 07-05-15

The election of 1920 would have been unimportant had it not been for the fact that its participants affected our political history for the entire first half of the twentieth century. And often not in the noblest of ways. But the book points out how our history has been shaped by the most improbable of events, eerily repeated in the Bush/Chaney election at the dawn of the 21st century.

I agree with several of the criticisms put forth by other readers: that of the incomplete telling of our society around this election. There is some: women suffrage, black rights, socialism, but the 1920s were more than this. It was a period of women's liberation, wealth inequality, lack of government control, and isolation that are nearly off handedly touched on.

And there seems to be a certain prejudicial slant to the proceedings. Wilson and Delano Roosevelt (Democrats) are written to look particularly bad, whereas Harding's sins are touched on, but never developed, until the various people in Harding's cabinet are exposed briefly in the last chapter consisting of "what happened to them all." Harding was an adulterer, and his administration was riddled with scandal. The Teapot Dome scandal was brushed over in a few words, whereas Delano Roosevelt's disastrous handling of perversion in the Navy was given an entire chapter. Very little, in fact, was written about Harding's three year administration.

So, in all a very good book, but could have been much better.

The recording is beautifully produced, although you can hear the edits. The reader's diction impeccable.

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Elijah Wood
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,193
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,369
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,343

A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful Narration

  • By Michael Balzoa on 03-11-11

Phenomenal!

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

Reviewed: 06-28-15

A classic, and deservedly so. And still hysterically funny. Twain's use of the black epithet is simply a non-issue. That's what blacks were called prior to the Civil War. How else would Twain refer to them?

Elijah Wood's narration is simply superb. I don't think anybody could have performed Twain's masterpiece better. Well recorded as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful