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Ian

Kendall Park, NJ, United States
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 110
  • helpful votes
  • 290
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  • Griftopia

  • Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
  • By: Matt Taibbi
  • Narrated by: Patrick Egan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 689
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 465
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458

The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn’t past but prologue. The stunning rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street in the bubble-and-bailout era was the coming-out party for the network of looters who sit at the nexus of American political and economic power. The grifter class - made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding - has been growing in power for a generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • News In America

  • By Jerome on 11-23-10

Matt is Angry

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-19-10

I've read some Taibbi - and he's a frustrating read. For example, the reviews above this are *both* correct The best thing about Griftopia is also the worst: Matt is now so entrenched among the "common person," he has lost perspective of where we are as readers. Taibbi does a great job of decoding some bank "definitions" and moves. And at the same time, Matt is close to Lewis Black inasmuch as his opinions come through in ways where I ask: MATT, next book, just write from the gut, and make the issue your OWN. In other words, Taibbi has strong and ultimately interesting - but he is slippery where fact meets opinion. What a relief from the glut if taking the banking establishment too seriously. Is he right about Ayn Rand and objectivism? He made me think - which is what one gets in only the best of books. MOST EXCELLENT: he reads it.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • The Trillion-Dollar Conspiracy Unabridged

  • How the New World Order, Man-Made Diseases, and Zombie Banks Are Destroying America
  • By: Jim Marrs
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 494
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 347

The New World Order. Hitler referred to it in his diaries. President George H. W. Bush foretold of it in his speeches. Formed by a secretive global elite, the group seeking this new order has taken hold of the nation and perhaps the world. Its influence pervades every reach of American society, from the products we buy at the grocery store to the topics of evening news programs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • True or not, he does connect the dots

  • By John on 07-12-10

True or Not, do not read at your own risk

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-10

The history of the inevitable failures of "central banks" dating to the 16th c. is analyzed with binding speed and clarity, more importantly, proof is offered for every fact asserted.
To the extent that author Marrs was writing on information and belief, as I believe he did in hi THEE RISE OF THE FOURTH REICH, another fantastic audible.com selection, it comes right down to one assertion, as was so memorably spoken to Tom Cruise by Jack Nicholson to Tom Cruise: "*you can't *handle* the truth."
Jim Marrs is saying: I am telling you the truth, but most people *cannot handle it* - and candidly, by 1/5 of the way through my head was spinning.
I'm sure there are many who feel the same but do not want their identity connected to this work of boldness.
/is/

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • The Omnivore's Dilemma

  • A Natural History of Four Meals
  • By: Michael Pollan
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,448
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,867
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,863

"What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another, this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great presentation of a moral dilemma

  • By MCRedding on 02-07-09

Instant Classic Nonfiction

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-06-06

First, as the reviewer who actually heard author Pollan speak live notes, I agree that Scott Brick's reading of this book is *outstanding*--Brick has the talent of reading long sentences--many of which might be arcane or esoteric if simply read om page, and emphasize the important phrases--like reader Grover Gardner, the reading is brilliant.
I inhererited my Uncle Larry's book addiction---so I've read all that are on the list now (6 May 2006)--and the list is as streong as ever. This is a shockingly fantastic book.
The presentation is: Obective, Socially responsible, Overwhelmingly well-researched with proof in detail.
One reviewer wrote that Scott's delivery was "snobby" and "overread." So it is not for everyone, I know. This material is fact intensive, politically charged, and impeccably researched-the Sample is indicative of this long book--I listened and I thought: "Audible's first instant *classic*"---especially when you consider the price of the book-- If you are interested in this type of material: anthropology, politics, human nature, I could not recommend this more highly.

18 of 25 people found this review helpful

Self-Made Man audiobook cover art
  • Self-Made Man

  • One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back Again
  • By: Norah Vincent
  • Narrated by: Norah Vincent
  • Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 259
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 65

Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me) and Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed), Norah Vincent absorbed a cultural experience and reported back on what she observed incognito. For more than a year and a half she ventured into the world as Ned, with an ever-present five o'clock shadow, a crew cut, wire-rim glasses, and her own size 11 1/2 shoes, a perfect disguise that enabled her to observe the world of men as an insider.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Abridged

  • By Holly on 09-25-11

An Excellent Book, read by the author

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-13-06

The book is masterful and compelling. Also, one of those that is enhanced, especially given the book's premise, at least x2 because it is read by the auther.

Now, to be frank, I had seen the author interviewed on the Colbert Report--and Steve Colbert dominated the [interview] to the point that one couldn't get an idea what the book was about.

What the book is about is a woman turning herself in to a man for a *year and a half*. Incredible. I've read Black Like Me (masterpiece) , Nickel And Dimed In America (the most keen social commentary on the "living wage" for middle aged people entering a new field around). Ok--take the premise of Nickel & Dimed--a strange person trying to get a job out of nowhere (freelance writing) in their 40s. *Now add* the element of the woman looking for the job--and taking a series of "Red Bull" jobs, not only turning herself male--the author went with a beard, deep voice, men's glasses, proper handshake--*and* date and recite a sharp analysis of modern gender issues.

The author joins a Robert Bly-esque group--then, takes us as far as a Robert Bly-esque retreat.

My prejudice was shattered: I thought this would be a male bashing tantrum. Quite the contrary. The book is written with the most keen empathetic compassion for people in general, no matter the gender---and then highlighting with a honed precision what is really going on. Not to give away the end of a non-fiction book, I must say that after the 18 months the author says: *I'd rather be a woman!* Understatement.

Severely highly recommended.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Side of the Game

  • My Life in the NFL
  • By: Tim Green
  • Narrated by: Tim Green
  • Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

Even the most avid football fans don't know what goes on behind the locker room doors. Now, 8-year NFL veteran Tim Green takes you behind the scenes for an insider's view of the game, complete with all of the humor, the pathos, the horror, and the wonder of the NFL experience. He shares some of the day-to-day details of life in the NFL that will captivate any fan and doesn't hesitate to examine the game's troubling problems such as racism, steroids, AIDS, and gambling.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • the author was always reading

  • By Ian on 01-13-06

the author was always reading

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-13-06

Tim Green's audiobook is hampered only in that as of this date one can only download it as an "audio 2" format--so the sound is very early radio.

So said, this book is by a man who was always reading through his career in sports. Other althetes would soothe themselves in whatever way they could during offtine--Mr. Green took jokes for it as a multi-year defensive linmeman for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s.

Mr. Green's established a football career and at the same time was going to law school--so his reading of his own work is highly credible as a presumption.

I'm a lawyer and a 35-year NFL addict (Jets fan-so I must be addicted)--and this book could not have been better. Insights into things as cool as why it's not that great to win in the playoffs to none of the nonof the guys wear cups to what they really yell, miked and unmiked, during the game, to how much of the game is really segregated.

I would put this in a class with the new book about Belichick by Halberstram--though, personally, I found this I found this more persuasive and entertaining. Check out samples on that for personal taste. Moneyball and the Phil Jackson and Lombardi books are this good. I'm waiting for audible.com to acquire "Juiced."

Oh--the Faye Resnick book is niot to go unmentioned--truly an experience--one of the best on audible, period, for its relation to sports and pure blindness and vanity.

Ian Schneider, New York

5 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 34 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,357
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 475
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 482

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

CHILLING

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-05

I would most strongly suggest that to get an *idea* of how petrifying the state of the Earth is in the eyes and fact presentation of the author, skip to the last 45 minutes of the book-- *first*-- which cuts to his Twelve key points that are common to geat society's death (throughout history) and signals thereof. As the US (us). There is no way to read this book and think that we are anything more than the Aztecs on their last hair.

While this is a book that I believe *must* be read by any American with a conscience (or a book similar hererto), I come away with one conclusion: The United States, in the author's eyes, is in the proverbial final dance of re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic. While the author concludes after reeling off 8 hours of depressing fact after mortifying horrible fact, and then another sign that we are all [Going Down], he has the NERVE to conclude in a wistful way that "[we still have time to change the course of human events]," a conclusion that rings hollow and disingeneous after his mountains of terrifying FACTS and cogent arguments.

A truly horrifying book. But if you can "handle the truth," please know that I recommend it most highly.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

The Gulag Archipelago audiobook cover art
  • The Gulag Archipelago

  • Volume I Section I: The Prison Industry, Perpetual Motion
  • By: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

In this masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn has orchestrated thousands of incidents and individual histories into one narrative of unflagging power and momentum. He combines history, autobiography, documentary and political analysis as it examines in its totality the Soviet apparatus of repression from its inception following the October Revolution of 1917. Hear other volumes from The Gulag Archipelago

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listening to the Gulag A. in Moscow

  • By Gene on 03-04-03

Required Reading

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-20-05

The "greatest" generation craze and the "war" on terrorism have eclipsed the most evil regime of the 20th century: the Russian barbarians, and the East, mysterious, dangerous, left therefrom.
This book, quite simply, in print, or as brilliantly narrated here, in a riveting gripping fashion that makes one listen 8 hours at a time.
Frankly, I was embarrassed that I had not read this book.

Could not be more highy reccomended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Are Men Necessary?

  • When Sexes Collide
  • By: Maureen Dowd
  • Narrated by: Maureen Dowd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17

Four decades after the sexual revolution, nothing has worked out the way it was supposed to. The sexes are circling each other as uneasily and comically as ever, and now the New York Times columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for incisive commentary about the mysteries and muddles of sexual combat in America sorts through the confusion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Insanely Brilliant

  • By Ian on 11-16-05

Insanely Brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-16-05

I have been an Audible.com customer for years, and I have to rate this as an immediate top 10 choice. I'm a lawyer who's worked for the government, and this book is the best since that PJ O'Rourke thing back in the 80 (Confederancy of Dunces?). This time, the analysis turns the mirror, in a the biting way only a mirror can, to the bizarre contemporary behavior in th eoh so overrated land of sex relations. And it's *right on*.
This book, read by Miss Dowd, is the nest social commentary out there. Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Christopher Hitchens fans: this is simply brilliant. Absolute 5.5

Note: I, as a man, was forced to listen to much of Miss Dowd's savagely brilliant analyis on "slow" mode on my iPod--she's too quick, and some points made are so well done that it's worth hearing them slowed up a bit.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

  • By: Hunter S. Thompson
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,571
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,942
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,942

In Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (inspired by a friend of Thompson) are quickly diverted to search for the American dream. Their quest is fueled by nearly every drug imaginable and quickly becomes a surreal experience that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. But there is more to this hilarious tale than reckless behavior, for underneath the hallucinogenic facade is a stinging criticism of American greed and consumerism.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too Much Fear and Loathing

  • By Hugh on 05-21-11

One of the best on Audible

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-23-05

This book oon the drug counterculture in california iin the early 70s is a masterpiece as written.
The reading is as good or better--
Brilliant--if you are in any way interested in this American period sociologically.
Almost done with it---definitely will listen again.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful