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andrew

Bountiful, UT, United States
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  • The Disappearing Spoon

  • And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,218
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,240

Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining

  • By James on 10-12-10

Chemistry's Many Uses Include Entertainment

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

Reviewed: 08-22-12

You will laugh, gasp, learn how to successfully and unsuccessfully poison people (team it up with "The Poisoner's Handbook", the story of the first metropolitan modern toxicology labs for more there). This one is a digest that keeps amusing and amazing. The periodic table is not as dull as you remember. Its a short book that can be listened to repeatedly, and actually, its about time I spin through again. Too many tidbits and tales to pick any highlights, unless its the kid trying to build a nuclear reactor in his toolshed and his mom being mad at the authorities for shutting it down and dampening his enthusiam at a sensitive age.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Enemy at the Gate

  • Habsburgs, Ottomans and the Battle for Europe
  • By: Andrew Wheatcroft
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 470
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 359

In 1683, an Ottoman army that stretched from horizon to horizon set out to seize the "Golden Apple", as Turks referred to Vienna. The ensuing siege pitted battle-hardened Janissaries wielding 17th-century grenades against Habsburg armies, widely feared for their savagery. The walls of Vienna bristled with guns as the besieging Ottoman host launched bombs, fired cannons, and showered the populace with arrows during the battle for Christianity's bulwark.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Absorbing Clash of Cultures and an Epic Siege

  • By Jefferson on 02-10-12

Takes a While to Wade In

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

Reviewed: 08-22-12

I had several false starts with this book. Another one read by a very deep voice which is not typical and hard to tolerate at first. Powerful and seems to overwhelm the ears, but once I settled in, this was not a distraction and the book is very strong. Probably more depth of knowledge and specificity than most general listeners will want. It is a target audience sort of thing. Not sweeping, it goes into great detail. And that is what I wanted for this period as it intrigued me and I knew little about it. This might be the definitive study of the campaign and era. Loved the stuff about the Scythians. And there is vivid detail on battle: so if you are squeamish then just know heads will roll, but is certainly not a gore-porn book that makes splatter the focus.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Life of Pi audiobook cover art
  • Life of Pi

  • By: Yann Martel
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,223
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,987
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,053

Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best audio of the year for me

  • By Theresa Ann McIntyre on 06-04-03

Great Performance, Right Medium for this

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

Reviewed: 08-22-12

Apparently this is going to be a big budget movie with lots of effects. Seems unecessary to me. The author describes everything so poignantly that seeing it on screen could not improve the images, for me anyway. I trust Hollywood to ruin the thing anyway. This narrator is picture-perfect, and I love the book. Will definitely need to explore this author more in the future, when I find the time. Some people do not like the ending...I am unsure why. I thought that was great too. Such a unique story, and it is so difficult to produce something this strange and new, seemingly, these days. Fantasy on the high seas and castaway literature is a genre though I guess, so its not wholly new. But great adventure and details on zoos and animals.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Emperor of All Maladies audiobook cover art
  • The Emperor of All Maladies

  • A Biography of Cancer
  • By: Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 20 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,680
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,681
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,680

Written by cancer physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies is a stunning combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms our understanding of cancer and much of the world around us. Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a novelist's richness of detail, a historian's range, and a biographer's passion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spectacular!

  • By Paul on 11-25-10

Long is the only drawback

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

Reviewed: 08-22-12

This book was very good for quite a while, though there is not much of a natural history of cancer until modern times. Brief mentions of it were made by Galen and others from ancient eras, which are blurbed in an early chapter. Then you get an exhaustive and extensive history of cancer in the last century. The chapter on breast cancer was amazing, with mad scientist horror stories, and a pulp comic sort of feel to some of these procedures that were done to poor women. The chapter on the Jimmy Fund was informative and entertaining, as it was long before my time, but I liked hearing how the radio fund drive was invented and hit it off. And all the little tricks like renaming a boy Einar, "Jimmy" to make him sound more all-American. But the latter chapters just felt tacked-on to me. I wanted more brevity than detail by the end. Narration is good. I did finish the book by mixing in some other books to reduce listener fatigue, and admittedly, I have to do that with many if not all books, when listening more than a few hours each week. So its certainly worth the listen.

  • Where Good Ideas Come From

  • The Natural History of Innovation
  • By: Steven Johnson
  • Narrated by: Eric Singer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 864
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 604
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 599

What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ambitious

  • By Roy on 12-08-10

A Great Author

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

Reviewed: 08-22-12

It has been a while but I am reviewing this before I close the account for future readers. I know I liked this book and it skips about like the old show "Connections" (not that old), where it flits from idea to idea like a butterfly to flowers. So if that is going to bother you, and you want in-depth on a single subject, then look elsewhere. I have liked all this author's books and this one is narrated very well with a "normal" reading, not stuffy, no strange voice, no over-drama, no monotone. How novel of an idea, no? General intellectual interest with flairs of history and science, this one felt more like a survey if I recall correctly and touches on the author's previous topics (Dr Snow and Priestly). Of the 3 books I have read by this author I prefer the book on Priestly "The Invention of Air" best and would rank "The Ghost Map" second if not for some super-baritoney narration.

  • Fooled by Randomness

  • The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,440
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,549
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,539

This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work, and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great information but...

  • By Ken Premo on 03-26-14

The Better Taleb?

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

Reviewed: 08-22-12

I think of the two Taleb books I listened to, I prefer this. Both are interesting, with inspired and creative thought experiments and new ways of looking at problems and such, but the actor here did a better job of being likeable, and not coming off as vain and pretentious and holier-than-all. So it was easier to listen to and I think truer to who Taleb probably is. Other books of interest might be the "Freakonomics" books if you like this or wonder if you will like it. This does not guide you on how to get rich or predict the future, if that is what you are looking for. Its just a general interest intellectual book.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Collapse

  • How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
  • By: Jared Diamond
  • Narrated by: Christopher Murney
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,372
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 488
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 495

In his million-copy best seller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: what caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • an fascinating book, but better on paper

  • By Rebecca on 04-11-05

Great Book

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

Reviewed: 08-22-12

A well-researched and eye-opening book that I think makes fair arguments and puts forth a bold hypothesis. Something of revisionist history but all grounded in facts. A strong book about environmental impact and how people and culture think generally and never see the catastrophe coming. Pertinent and would be interesting even if one does not believe in global warming. The opening about Montana was devastating to that state. I'd have thought he had a vendetta against Montana, but again, it was all just plain researched facts about their economy and how the state is run. It has been awhile so I do not remember every chapter, but I know it touched on the Mayans and I remember finding the Easter Island chapter a highlight. The book is well-narrated though the actor's voice is so deep and unique it takes some getting used to. The type of voice used on 15 second promos for bloody made-for-TV dramas is maybe not the best for a longer work, but he does a good job and eventually anything is normal, even an ice cold swimming pool, you know?

  • Short Stories

  • The Nostalgia Collection
  • By: Jerome K. Jerome, Louisa May Alcott, Saki
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Edward Hardwicke, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

CSA Word continues its ever-popular series of classic short stories, featuring writers such as Jerome K. Jerome, Louisa May Alcott and Saki, read by such respected and revered readers as Derek Jacobi, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • cracking stories, but no table of contents!

  • By Frances on 03-27-11

Spectacular Series

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

Reviewed: 08-22-12

Love all these collections. Great performances, good selections of stories that aren't basic tenets of high school that will call up bad memories. Very diverse and entertaining. Been listening to them while hiking on low volume so the bears don't get me. They have greatly improved tedious long trails. Also great just sitting in an armchair.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Short Stories: The Vintage Collection

  • By: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Saki, Thomas Hardy, and others
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi, Martin Jarvis, Hugh Laurie, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 70

The fifth volume in CSA Word's massively popular complete and unabridged ‘Short Stories’ collection is bound to please. With something for everyone this collection of classic stories read by only the best-suited and most established readers will delight the ears as a vintage wine excites the gullet; The Vintage Collection is audible gold. Features eye-catching typographical series design.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb Collection and Production

  • By andrew on 07-14-12

Superb Collection and Production

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

Reviewed: 07-14-12

Cannot recommend this one highly enough. All the stories have been excellent. Funny often, witty, everything you could want, with a great mix of authors and narrators- all well matched. Huge scope and variety. These are not ones you'll get necessarily everywhere else but they are perfect as short stories. They really show what the form can do. But without relying on those few short stories you'll have been forced to read in every grade at every school. Head and shoulders above other collections I've tried so far. Even the eras are mixed- older to modern. Congratulations to the compilers, producers, and narrators for really doing justice to great authors! And my thanks.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Classic Chinese Short Stories, Volume 1

  • By: Lin Yu Tang, Feng Meng-lung, P'u Sung-ling, and others
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 37

China has been a wellspring of storytelling for over 2,000 years. Sadly, this fantastic literature is little known in the west outside the halls of academia, though a handful of recent 20th century authors have attained a respectable following. The stories in this volume date from the sixth century A.D. to the early part of the 20th century, and will give the listener a good feel for the subject. Astonishingly, the Chinese enjoyed from the earliest times many of the genres we take for granted today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great story collection

  • By Zaubermond on 04-30-13

A Change of Pace

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

Reviewed: 07-14-12

A good mix of stories, but with heavy sound effects mixed in with the narrations, sometimes bad sound quality, and it is quite brief. Mostly this is fun if you are studying short stories and want to see how the Chinese variety vary from more familiar British ones. The first story was my favorite I suppose, and there is one about a canary that is told in a repetitive predictable and dull fashion. Its a pretty lean production in that you get few stories for your buck, and on the whole, I'd advise actually to just go to a library and find a volume of Chinese stories to peruse if you are curious. Not a bad buy necessarily.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful