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BK

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 105
  • ratings
  • Bad Blood

  • Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
  • By: John Carreyrou
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 9,325
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,459
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8,441

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes' worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extreme retaliation against former employees

  • By Greeny on 05-29-18

Wow on all counts!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

An amazing and deeply worrisome story that shows how easily people can be convinced to ignore the evidence of their own eyes... no matter how great the cost -- and how easy it is to game the system. The "villains" here are true avatars of our young, techno-centric century: driven, insular, controlling, paranoid, even sociopathic. That said, I found it hard to feel much sympathy for their "victims" who had ample and repeated warning but chose to ignore it. The story is well-told -- thorough, good pacing, fair, and insightful -- and the narration superlative. Not the kind of book I typically enjoy but I'm very glad I picked it up.

  • Winter

  • By: Ali Smith
  • Narrated by: Melody Grove
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

In Winter, life force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to Ali Smith's sensational Autumn, Smith's shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory, and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter. It's the season that teaches us survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stellar and magical!

  • By BK on 07-07-18

Stellar and magical!

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

Reviewed: 07-07-18

Not enough stars! I loved this. It's like experiencing one of Shakespeare's comedies through quantum lenses. Yeah, I know: That makes no sense at all. But it captures the joy of the book -- the delightful characters, the bending and twisting of time, the playfully transcendent aura that hovers over everything, the humorous authorial interjections, the assumption of disguises, the comic resolution... I loved "Autumn" equally as much and I am ready to follow Ms. Smith anywhere. A special shout-out to narrator Melody Grove whose performance is nothing less than miraculous. What a splendid pairing of author and reader!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • IQ

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,007
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,682
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,664

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IQ way better than OK

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-21-16

What a performance!

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

Reviewed: 11-24-17

IQ is the first book in a new mystery-ish series set South Central LA: a tough neighborhood wracked by crime, gangs, and drugs. The setting and characters are fascinating, particularly the eponymous IQ (Isaiah Quintabe) who has a special gift for solving crime. Other reviewers will tell you what you need to know about the plot. As for me, I'll just say that the performance by Sullivan Jones was nothing short of miraculous. Talk about special gifts: Jones inhabited the characters and made a really good story come to life in a great audible book. I will definitely listen to the sequel, "Righteous." I'll be following his career with interest.

  • Dark Territory

  • The Secret History of Cyber War
  • By: Fred Kaplan
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102

As cyber attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best narrator - Malcolm Hillgartner

  • By Greg Davis on 07-20-16

Terrifying and necessary

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

Reviewed: 04-29-16

I was hoping for a clear, concise overview of cyber war, etc., and man, this book delivered! From Ronald Reagan's question after watching the Matthew Broderick movie "War Games" ('Could this really happen?') to Snowdon and beyond, Kaplan lays it all out: the personalities, developments, conflicts, omissions and errors, the resistance to change, and so much more. The book left me deeply shaken... and wishing desperately that everybody in Congress would read it ASAP. Too much of what we and our political representatives believe about the cyber world is based on what we see on TV and in the movies. The reality is very different and much more sobering. Don't be put off by fears of jargon or agendas. The book is clearly written and the narrator does a superlative job. (And now I need to find something light to listen to -- maybe something from a different, less complicated century!)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Burial Rites

  • A Novel
  • By: Hannah Kent
  • Narrated by: Morven Christie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,003
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 935
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 935

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cannot stop thinking about this book

  • By Sam - Audible on 11-04-15

Outstanding performance, marvelous book

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

Reviewed: 03-01-16

Any additional comments?

A starkly beautiful recreation of the events following a real murder conviction in early 19th century Iceland. Kent's evocation of the land, climate, social structure and lives of her characters is remarkable -- it's a world I've never encountered before (though I have been to Iceland and would go back in a second!). I was particularly struck by the complexity of her main characters, by how frequently I found myself expecting them to do one thing only to see them doing something else. It starts off a bit slow and quiet, but stay with it and let its power work you.

A VERY special shout out to Morven Christie's performance in reading the book. She is nothing less than amazing. I heard her once before, "Codename: Verity." I didn't know when I downloaded it that it was a YA novel, but it turned out to be quite good. I was so enthralled by Ms Christie's performance that I resolved to check out anything she does.

  • The Relic Master

  • A Novel
  • By: Christopher Buckley
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 494
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 450

The year is 1517. Dismas is a relic hunter: one who procures "authentic" religious relics for wealthy and influential clients. His two most important patrons are Frederick the Wise, elector of Saxony; and soon-to-be Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz. While Frederick is drawn to the recent writing of Martin Luther, Albrecht pursues the financial and political benefits of religion and seeks to buy a cardinalship through the selling of indulgences.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic -- and hilarious

  • By Actor on 12-17-15

Just plain fun!

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

Reviewed: 02-07-16

Any additional comments?

This is exactly why I like audio books. The story itself is great fun: full of events that are improbable, impossible, and endlessly engaging -- kind of like Princess Bride, in a way. James Langton deserves a special call-out: His performance is one of the best I've heard. I'll definitely be looking into other books he's read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Code Name Verity

  • By: Elizabeth Wein
  • Narrated by: Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,604
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,977
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,957

Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book

  • By Suzn F on 07-21-13

An unexpected delight

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

Reviewed: 11-07-13

Any additional comments?

I rather stumbled onto this book, having no idea that it was a YA title. It was a happy accident. The story itself is a good one, with intricate plot twists, suspense and interesting characters. Most noteworthy of all were the performances. They were nothing short of brilliant in bringing the characters to life. I will give any book read by either woman very serious consideration.

  • The Golem and the Jinni

  • A Novel
  • By: Helene Wecker
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,223
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,288
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,276

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!

  • By Tango on 04-26-13

Brilliant performance!

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

Reviewed: 09-17-13

What did you love best about The Golem and the Jinni?

I went into this somewhat skeptical about the premise, fearing that it might be too whimsical for my taste. To my delight, it turns out to be well-written, smart and thought-provoking. The performance is nothing less than wonderful. I can't say enough about the extraordinary job Mr Guidall did in bringing the characters to life.