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Joe

HOOVER, AL, United States
  • 25
  • reviews
  • 49
  • helpful votes
  • 54
  • ratings
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Elijah Wood
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,039
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,116

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

Awesome Story! Awesome Reader!

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

Reviewed: 03-27-18

After reading/listening to Huckleberry Finn, there is no doubt, for me, why this is often considered one of the great American novels. It's a story that can teach us about ourselves, even today. A good story in and of itself, but for me, it captured the reality that we are then the sum of who made us. More clearly, we can become something better than we were taught. Huck was taught to view black people as property, but he eventually comes to grips with their humanity - something that may only be for the young in his time. Regardless, I found the book quite enjoyable and profound.

But then there is Elijah Wood's performance. Mr. Wood easily made this one of my favorite listening experiences. I will now be looking for more signature performances in Audible.

  • Already Gone

  • By: John Rector
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 122
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 112

Jake Reese is a writing teacher at an American university. He lives in a small brick Tudor close to campus with his art-buyer wife, Diane. His life is quiet - ordinary even. And he likes it that way. But it wasn’t always quiet. Jake’s distant past was a life on the streets, inflicting damage and suffering on more people than he can count. And now someone from his past, it seems, has come looking for him.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • My time is already gone!

  • By T.D. on 07-11-12

Unoriginal and boring. Go watch TV instead.

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

Reviewed: 03-12-18

Audible requires that I use 15 words, but the 7 words in my title are more than adequate. This book is a waste of time. Nothing is redeemable. Plot? Bad. Dialogue? Bad. Narrative? Bad.

Go to your next "To-Read" book and forget you ever had an itch to read Already Gone. You've already invested more time into book than you should just by viewing this bad review.

  • 12 Rules for Life

  • An Antidote to Chaos
  • By: Jordan B. Peterson, Norman Doidge MD - foreword
  • Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,325
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,008

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book.

  • By Dallas Booher on 12-17-18

A must read for the self critic

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

Reviewed: 02-20-18

Dr. Peterson boils down life to have a single constant - misery - and yet this book has given me hope beyond measure. Dr. Peterson has a way of distilling the truth out of the chaos and presents in a way that will undoubtedly affect all who read it honestly. I could not recommend this book with more fervor.

  • Boys Will Be Boys

  • The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty
  • By: Jeff Pearlman
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168

They were America's Team - the high-priced, high-glamour, high-flying Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s, who won three Super Bowls and made as many headlines off the field as on it. Led by Emmitt Smith, the charismatic Deion "Prime Time" Sanders, and Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, the Cowboys rank among the greatest of all NFL dynasties.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • This is a football book right?

  • By Aaron on 12-07-09

Redskin Fan Approved

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

Reviewed: 03-17-17

I found the background stories of the infamous 1990's Dallas Cowboys to be fascinating. I wasn't so much surprised that women, drugs, and a fast-and-loose lifestyle were common, but the absolute debauchery that was their culture, especially following the 1994 Super Bowl, was at a level I had not ever previously conceived. My wildest teenage dreams never came close to a typical Cowboys party. In the last few years, I have watched two seasons of Dwayne Johnson's Ballers series on HBO but I honestly just took that for typical HBO sex appeal. In truth, HBO looks extremely tame compared to Pearlman's account of the lifestyle of NFL's demi-gods. Equally interesting was the characterization of owner Jerry Jones who can be easily summarized as a rich old man with an ego bigger than his massive bank account.

As a lifetime Washington Redskins fan, I'm not quite sure how I even picked this book up. And while I admit that I selfishly and naively enjoyed learning all the disgusting details of the loathsome 'Boys (as if Washington didn't have its own tawdry personalities) it was a much more interesting read than I could have predicted. Highly recommend to any football fan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • One of Ours

  • By: Willa Cather
  • Narrated by: Kristen Underwood
  • Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 57

Claude Wheeler resembles the youngest son of an American fairy tale. His fortune is ready-made for him, but he refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his crass father and pious mother, all but rejected by a wife who reserves her ardor for missionary work, and dissatisfied with farming, Claude is an idealist without an ideal to cling to. It is only when his country enters the First World War that Claude finds what he has been searching for all his life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Coming of Age/World War I Story

  • By Jay Quintana on 07-02-15

Claude search

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

Reviewed: 03-07-17

Would you listen to One of Ours again? Why?

Yes. In fact, I plan to. I feel Cather has delivered a meaningful novel but I am too ignorant to translate it. I have marked this as re-readable because I want to read it again a few years from now. I would to relive Claude's struggle and perhaps understand him better than I did this time around. He deserves as much.

What was one of the most memorable moments of One of Ours?

There are several memorable moments to this book. There was the time when Claude first found happiness in education - and then his father callously broke him. The last scene in the book was also quite memorable....but has admittedly caused me much confusion. I won't go into other examples so as not to spoil the story but they also don't seem to matter. I have fully accepted that I probably do not quite understand the book....but the more I think of it the more I question whether the book is about Claude at all....that it is instead about the change in American culture and customs from an Agricultural based economy to a more technology and convenience driven economy. I remain quite confused on the title.
,

How could the performance have been better?

Underwood's performance was very mechanical to me. Part of the joy of audiobooks is the benefit of having a bit of emotional play to the narration. Underwood was dry and business-like. I also didn't like how her voice made Claude's voice seem more feminine and tender.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It left me confused. It has been awhile since I have thought so much about a book after reading it. I have read dozens of reviews from others; 3-4 analyses of the book; a terribly-written college essay found on the internet. I feel like the book wants to tell me something and I want to hear it....I'm just not ready yet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Mental Game of Poker

  • Proven Strategies for Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance, and More
  • By: Jared Tendler, Barry Carter
  • Narrated by: Jared Tendler
  • Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 478
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 408
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 402

The mental game may be more important in poker than in any other form of competition. It's one of the only games in the world where you can play perfectly and lose-again and again. Hundreds of poker players have turned to mental game coach Jared Tendler's revolutionary approach to help them play their best, no matter how badly they're running. In this book you'll find simple, step-by-step instructions and proven techniques to permanently fix problems such as tilt, handling variance, emotional control, confidence, fear, and motivation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best resources for aspiring poker pros

  • By Greg on 10-03-13

Lessons for Poker. Lessons for Life.

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

Reviewed: 03-07-17

What did you like best about The Mental Game of Poker? What did you like least?

What I like about this book is what I like about poker. The skills necessary for good poker play are also very helpful in everyday life. Tendler states what poker is honestly and uses that as the basis for his strategy to help players play better. I believe he has a firm grasp of what poker players are thinking and their mental blocks to the game.

I think some of the concepts, like a warmup before playing, are not well developed. I am in no position to judge what would be good but to simply say: Step 1, review your goals, Step 2, take a few deep breaths, Step 3, get to playing. Yeah, that didn't have enough meat to it to warrant ink on a page......or 0 and 1s in a digital audiobook.

Would you recommend The Mental Game of Poker to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, though I think what I like about it would be lost on anyone that wasn't familiar with the game of poker. Having said that, for a poker book, this book had a noticeable lack of technical poker in it but again, that's the point. This book was as much a way to approach life as it was about improving your poker game.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jared Tendler?

No idea.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Terrible question for a self-help book.No, I would not go see it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Word of Mouse

  • By: James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein
  • Narrated by: Nate Begle
  • Length: 4 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

What makes Isaiah so unique? First, his fur is as blue as the sky - which until recently was something he'd never seen, but had read all about. That's right - Isaiah can read, and write. He can also talk to humans, if any of them are willing to listen! After a dramatic escape from a mysterious laboratory, Isaiah is separated from his "mischief" (which is the word for a mouse family), and has to use his special skills to survive in the dangerous outdoors, and hopefully find his missing family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By momofthree on 06-04-18

A great intro to chapter books!

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

Reviewed: 03-07-17

What did you love best about Word of Mouse?

The vocabulary. Every page was packed full of sentences with new words for my child to learn. And each word was written such that it the new word could be self-defined fairly easily. It was a good enough story but the words were what made it great to me.

What other book might you compare Word of Mouse to and why?

I don't know. :-/

What does Nate Begle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nate tries very hard to read the emotions of the words and I think he does a great job. We had the book and the audiobook.....my daughter preferred Mr. Begle's voices than my own. I'm trying not to be too jealous of his apparent superior talent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did not, but my daughter laughed the whole time. We listened on the way to school in the morning and I read to her a chapter or two before bedtime. Her eyes were always wide open (admittedly not ideal for bedtime reading!) and eager. She laughed often and was frightened for Isaiah during his many adventures.

Any additional comments?

Simply to strongly recommend this book.

  • Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

  • By: Richard P. Feynman
  • Narrated by: Raymond Todd
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,661
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,133

With his characteristic eyebrow-raising behavior, Richard P. Feynman once provoked the wife of a Princeton dean to remark, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" But the many scientific and personal achievements of this Nobel Prize-winning physicist are no laughing matter. Here, woven with his scintillating views on modern science, Feynman relates the defining moments of his accomplished life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilarious and inspiring

  • By Brad Grimm on 11-09-09

The interesting Mr. Feynman - Not so interesting.

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

Reviewed: 03-07-17

What disappointed you about Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!?

I think what I disliked most about the book was the feelings I got that he knew how smart he was. And this further frustrates me because he clearly is one of the smartest people ever to have lived. By itself, there isn't anything wrong with that. I should be proud to count him among one of the great Americans....and I do. It just wasn't fun to read about. Perhaps I'm ultimately jealous of his intelligence and his fervent and often satiated curiosity. How nice it must be to be curious about something and then figure it out; the rest of us just typically give up. Still, I didn't like feeling inadequate and put down upon (he often asks to himself "How can that be?" and "Why would they do that?"). At other times, he would use false pride and accuse himself of being dumb. Well, if he's dumb then what does that make me?! Still yet another time, he was frustrated that Board of Education didn't weigh his opinion more important than others citing concerns about averaging out the opinions of too many people. My point is that there was an inconsistency that grated on me and to me it all felt rather pretentious. In fact, the majority of the book felt like a series of pretentious journal entries...and I suppose that's what memoirs are. Maybe biographies aren't for me.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Boys Will Be Boys by Jeff Pearlman.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Raymond Todd?

How about this....I wouldn't NOT listen because it was Raymond Todd.

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

Mr. Feynman's take on the educational system in America is spot on. Though his life was certainly very interesting to himself, it was like reading someone's version of a dream they had. Perhaps his life was so incredible it seemed too incredible. But his discussion about the American education system and the process for curriculum, though short, was very interesting.

  • Dad Is Fat

  • By: Jim Gaffigan
  • Narrated by: Jim Gaffigan
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,067
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,200

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads

  • By Sean on 05-17-13

Funny, but a bit repetitive.

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

Reviewed: 02-06-17

Jim Gaffigan is a favored comedian of mine. I find his material, particulaly about kids, to be spot on. I don't have five kids, but I do have four, so much of his stories I could directly relate to. However, as much as I enjoyed it, I felt it grow tiring and repetitive. Everything IS harder with lots of kids and Gaffigan describes many of life's common undertakings (i.e., school, restaurants, vacations, etc.) with the joyous burden of doing so with his litter. The trouble is that it is all pretty much the same in each situation. I can only imagine how a reader with one child, or no children, would grow exhausted with how exhausting five children are. It would have been better to cut out a third of the essays. Moreover, I am pretty sure this book was more or less his comedy routine written down. I'm certain I've heard these jokes verbatim in the past.

  • A Game of Thrones

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 33 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100,358
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86,840
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 86,770

Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King's Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert's name. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse - unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season. Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Review of First 5 Books

  • By DCinMI on 09-12-13

Entertaining, but....

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

Reviewed: 07-10-15

Where does A Game of Thrones rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I feel as far as audiobooks go, this one was done quite well. It was immersive and Mr. Dotrice performed it extremely well.

What other book might you compare A Game of Thrones to and why?

Lord of the Rings seems the most likely comparison due to the epic nature and "similar" worlds the books inhabit.

What does Roy Dotrice bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Dotrice does his best - and he does it well - to bring about the tone of the characters. Moreover, it seems consistent throughout the book and seems to include character backstory. It's had to describe but Dotrice had command of this book and I hope he returns for Book 2.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. 34 hours is a bit long for one sitting.

Any additional comments?

I began reading Game of Thrones after watching Seasons 1-5 of the HBO series. Sadly, Book 1 and Season 1 are nearly identical...and by that I mean I got nothing new from the book and hadn't already received from the show. I had heard they were very similar but usually there are ideas and actions that can't be replicated in a series or a movie. I hope the rest of the series doesn't read like the script.