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As my Wimsey takes me

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 71
  • helpful votes
  • 156
  • ratings
  • The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons

  • The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Henry Leyva
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 796
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 798

Early studies of the human brain used a simple method: Wait for misfortune to strike - strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, horrendous accidents - and see how victims coped. In many cases their survival was miraculous, if puzzling. Observers were amazed by the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed, altering victims' personalities. With the lucid, masterful explanations and razor-sharp wit his fans have come to expect, Kean explores the brain's secret passageways.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Detailed but not overly Technical

  • By Michael on 05-06-15

Interesting

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

Reviewed: 11-28-17

information and personal stories. Unfortunately, I did not care for the voice of the narrator.

  • Stuff Matters

  • Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
  • By: Mark Miodownik
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,631
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,277
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,266

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly good

  • By D. MacLeod on 01-29-15

Love the voice!

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

Reviewed: 10-08-16

My whole family was fascinated by this uncommon knowledge, and I especially appreciated Michael Page's pleasant voice.

  • The Waste Land & Four Quartets

  • By: T.S. Eliot
  • Narrated by: Paul Scofield
  • Length: 1 hr and 34 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 263
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204

These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Schofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Help -- I can't stop listening to this

  • By Louis on 05-19-10

Suppose I could possibly be biased...

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

Reviewed: 06-10-16

Eliot is (along with Yeats) my favorite poet.
'The Waste Land' (along with '1916')
And Paul Scofield is (was) :-( one of the greatest actors of all time. He his voice would make a phone book sound good!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Frankenstein

  • The Modern Prometheus
  • By: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  • Narrated by: Jim Donaldson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 662
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 613
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 612

Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Includes introduction and commentary by Mary Shelley. Required reading for any fan of science fiction and horror genres. A classic.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great performance of a timeless classic

  • By Michael A. Russell on 05-28-12

Finally off that "Must read before you die" list

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

Reviewed: 03-19-16

Mary Shelley was certainly a gifted (if wordy) writer. Horror is not my genre, but I think I would have enjoyed this reading more had it been half as long and had the narrator not attempted foreign accents. They were terrible- think Monty Python's French knight!- laughably bad and very nearly incomprehensible.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How the Irish Saved Civilization

  • The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
  • By: Thomas Cahill
  • Narrated by: Liam Neeson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 1 min
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202

Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization, they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task. As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Audio Quality So Bad I Can't Listen

  • By CoffeeIV on 12-19-14

Wishing for more...

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

Reviewed: 03-16-15

If this were unabridged, I could whole-heartedly give it five stars. Liam Neeson is fantastic!

  • Gulp

  • Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
  • By: Mary Roach
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,165
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,830
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,836

Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: The questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome, quirky read!

  • By Heather on 06-24-14

Lots of interesting information

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

Reviewed: 02-18-15

I almost gave up on this one (glad I didn't) because of the narrator's voice. She has an almost child-like sound throughout, which is inappropriate for this book. When she used different 'voices' to distinguish people in conversation, it pulled me right out of the narrative. Very distracting.

  • Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway

  • By: Dave Barry
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 4 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

Understanding the urgent need for a deeply thoughtful, balanced book to explain our national political process, Dave Barry has not even come close. Though he himself has covered many campaigns, run for president several times, and run for cover at the rainy inauguration of George W. Bush (the man will spare nothing for his art), Barry has instead outdone himself.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I Love everything Dave Barry, BUT...

  • By As my Wimsey takes me on 03-04-13

I Love everything Dave Barry, BUT...

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

Reviewed: 03-04-13

Dave Barry is one of only a handful of contemporary writers who can make me literally laugh out loud. He is insightful without being preachy. Unfortunately, this narrator was so bad I had to make myself listen all the way through- he uses a rising inflection at the end of sentences, making statements sound like questions. I find that habit extremely annoying. If it doesn't bother you, go for it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Schindler's List

  • By: Thomas Keneally
  • Narrated by: Ben Kingsley
  • Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

In the century's darkest time, one man became the most unlikely of heroes. German-Catholic industrialist and Nazi Party member Oskar Schindler used his wealth and influence to save the lives of more than 1,300 Jews who would have otherwise died in the concentration camp at Plaszow. Here is the story on which Steven Spielberg based his powerful motion picture. If you like this, try Ursula Hegi's Stones from a River.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Abridged books just don't cut it!

  • By Dona on 11-13-11

Would be perfect...

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

Reviewed: 11-03-11

... if unabridged! Kingsly blew this out of the water! Goose bumps, tears, pounding heart- he made me feel it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Heart of Darkness audiobook cover art
  • Heart of Darkness

  • By: Joseph Conrad
  • Narrated by: B. J. Harrison
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 23

While Europeans go mad, corporations turn tyrannous, and the legend of a great ivory hunter is dangled before him, Marlow observes everything with a keen eye as we journey with him into the Belgian Congo and the Heart of Darkness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great read of a classic novel

  • By M. on 01-07-09

Good story

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-05-11

This is a really great book, just don't like this narrator. He's done a lot of short stories- To Build a Fire is the only one I liked.

  • Anthem

  • By: Ayn Rand
  • Narrated by: Paul Meier
  • Length: 2 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 725
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 465

Rand's Protagonist, Equality 7-2521, describes a surreal world of faceless, nameless drones who "exist through, by and for our brothers who are the State. Amen." Alone, this daring young man defies the will of the ruling councils and discovers the forbidden freedoms that prevailed during the Unmentionable Times. In other words, he finds and celebrates the power of the self. In doing so, he becomes the prototypical Rand hero, a bold risk-taker who shuns conformity and unabashedly embraces egoism.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Disappointment

  • By smarmer on 10-07-14

A must-listen!

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

Reviewed: 02-24-10

This is one of the very few books I prefer on audio. Some passages literally took my breath away. Fantastic story, perfect narration.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful