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  • 13
  • reviews
  • 37
  • helpful votes
  • 96
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  • Breakthrough

  • By: Michael C. Grumley
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,527
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,326
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,314

Deep in the Caribbean Sea, a nuclear submarine is forced to suddenly abort its mission under mysterious circumstances. Strange facts begin to emerge that lead naval investigator, John Clay, to a small group of marine biologists who are quietly on the verge of making history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • AMAZING!!!

  • By FocusedOnTheJourney on 07-22-17

Call it "Unscientific Fiction"

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

This author should do more research; the science is not only improbable in the extreme, but predictably bad, like a failed "Star Trek" episode. And the writing! Who said, "That's not writing, that's typing"?

  • The Square and the Tower

  • Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook
  • By: Niall Ferguson
  • Narrated by: Elliot Hill
  • Length: 17 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 426

Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers, and field marshals. It's about states, armies, and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Power? Does it come from hierarchies or networks?

  • By Ted on 04-25-18

Not his best by a long chalk: Read Steven Pinker.

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

Reviewed: 02-05-18

As much as I've enjoyed Niall Ferguson's other books, this one is a clunker. To begin with, he cherry-picks historical evidence worse than Michel Foucault in his prime. The core of his thesis appears to be based on network theory, but his actual analysis seldom seems to use it; he seems more like a social scientist waving a math book around from a podium. The exposition rambles badly; many times I found myself thinking, "Why is this germane?" I detected enough factual errors, particularly in his descriptions of the history of computer networks and the history of the Iraq war, to make me wary of any other interesting claims he might make. His anti-Islamic diatribes were not only shocking vitriolic but seemingly greatly in excess of what would be warranted to support his arguments.

All in all, read Steven Pinker, a scholar that Ferguson appears to take pot-shots at whenever possible.

Oh, and the narrator. His voice lacks what singers call a “point”, and every phrase is uttered with breathless intensity. His pauses for “air quotes” were long enough for cat-naps.

15 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Incomplete Nature

  • How Mind Emerged from Matter
  • By: Terrence W. Deacon
  • Narrated by: Brian Holsopple
  • Length: 24 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 37

As physicists work toward completing a theory of the universe and biologists unravel the molecular complexity of life, a glaring incompleteness in this scientific vision becomes apparent. The "theory of everything" that appears to be emerging includes everything but us: the feelings, meanings, consciousness, and purposes that make us (and many of our animal cousins) what we are.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well written, dense, the best book ever on the subject

  • By Taowin on 06-04-15

Should be called "Incomplete Philosphy"

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

Reviewed: 02-11-16

This book exhibits most of what's wrong with modern philosophy, especially regarding the sciences. In particular, the book follows a typical form of many philosophy books; the stages are:

1) Review the literature, emphasizing relatively obscure philosophers and scientists, usually to validate the author’s bona fides as a scholar in the field, but providing nothing truly new.

2) Create a rash of neologisms (e.g. telodynamics, autogen, telogen) that constitute a semantic forest of poorly differentiated concepts. He completely fails to offer comparisons to semantic terms from other authors.

3) Build on the basket of neologisms to create higher and higher levels of abstractions. Unfortunately, these new levels are postulated without clear examples from scientific data. Ultimately, no testable hypotheses are offered and story ends with demands for others to provide the “details”—that is, what should be the actual substance of any serious addition to the field of study.

His work is well written and interesting at points. Sadly, this is not enough. There are many other recent works on the subject of consciousness that are actually grounded in modern science.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Wild Inside

  • A Novel of Suspense
  • By: Christine Carbo
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,646
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,420
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,414

For fans of Louise Penny, C. J. Box, and Nevada Barr comes a haunting crime novel set in Glacier National Park, where one man finds himself on a collision course with the dark heart of the wild and the even darker heart of human nature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mystery, Thriller, Suspense & The Great Outdoors

  • By Sara on 09-18-15

Good premise, poor execution

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

Reviewed: 12-30-15

This book began interestingly enough, but the author failed to provide sufficient depth of detail and sub-plots to sustain the overall direction of the story. In particular, she repeatedly fleshed out scenes with repetitive "internal dialog" from the main character about the death of his father. By mid-way through the book I was almost ready to give up. The plot's resolution was not compelling.

The author should remember that "character is behavior" and allow more action and interaction to build her characters.

  • Ark Royal

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,337
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,043
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,035

Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good solid effort at a Space Opera

  • By Jim In Texas! on 08-05-14

Sci-Fi from the '50s

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

Reviewed: 02-17-15

This tedious, low-tech story of a alien invasion lacks the multiple plot lines and varied characterization that mark the works of authors such as Alastair Reynolds and others. It's a one-dimensional crawl through an old-fashion space war. Not only do the starfighters have human pilots (who would be reduced to jelly by G-forces), but they "over and out" each other on radio, just like on 50's TV! The author needs a short course in physics. Ships fly in and out of wormholes with no more time lag than a trip to San Francisco.

  • A Vision of Fire

  • By: Gillian Anderson, Jeff Rovin
  • Narrated by: Gillian Anderson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 690
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 654
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 650

Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O'Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India's ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Caitlin is sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father - a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Much more than I expected

  • By Jo on 08-03-15

Pointless plot, slow development. Skip it.

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

Reviewed: 10-28-14

This plodding, ill-conceived book appears to be an attempt to start a series. I'll never know because I just couldn't force myself to finish it. In spite of Gillian Anderson's narration, the "new-agey" plot was unfocused, slow and, ultimately, irritating. Even their use of actual source material was poorly researched. However, the characters were reasonably drawn and generally the best part of the book. I can't really remember being so disappointed by a book on Audible before.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Influenza

  • The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
  • By: John M. Barry
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 19 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,952
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,254
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,261

No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping and Gory

  • By Nancy on 07-01-08

A good story needing an editor

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

Reviewed: 09-11-13

The story of the "Great Influenza" is an important one, and this book attempts to tell it well. Unfortunately, it is about 30% too long for the source material used, and the narrator reads every sentence as if it were the last line of an epic poem. More information about the plague around the world would have helped, as well as less influence on certain of the scientists who contributed little. The author sermonizes too much, and the narrator's style exacerbates this tendency. I enjoyed it most of the time, but often wished it were shorter.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record

  • By: Leslie Kean
  • Narrated by: Heather Henderson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 483
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 393
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 397

With the support of former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, investigative reporter Leslie Kean draws on her research to separate fact from fiction and to lift the veil on decades of U.S. government misinformation. Throughout, she presents irrefutable evidence that unknown flying objects - metallic, luminous, and seemingly able to maneuver in ways that defy the laws of physics - actually exist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the Best Books on UFOs That Is Out There

  • By Niels J. Rasmussen on 08-19-14

Repetitive and stale

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

Reviewed: 06-12-13

The author rehashes older UFO incidents from the '40s through the '90s but spends most of her time reiterating her proposition that the US government and military are conspiring to hide the truth. OK, I'm shocked to discover what I've already known for 40 years.

There's no new information here, and the combination of the author's obsession with conspiracies and the reader’s monotonous voice make this almost a “must skip”.

I was hoping to get a serious update on the state of the UFO/UAP phenomenon. Instead I found a stale polemic.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Justine

  • The Alexandria Quartet
  • By: Lawrence Durrell
  • Narrated by: Jack Klaff
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

Set amid the corrupt glamour and multiplying intrigues of Alexandria, Egypt, in the 1930s and 1940s, the novels of Durrell's Alexandria Quartet (of which this is the first) follow the shifting alliances - sexual, cultural and political - of a group of quite varied characters. In Justine, an English schoolmaster and struggling writer falls in love with a beautiful and mysterious Jewish woman who is married to a wealthy Egyptian.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent/ with fine narration

  • By Alan on 03-31-11

Brilliant writing, exotic locale, great narrator.

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

Reviewed: 05-29-13

Durrell's Alexandra Quartet (Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, Clea) ranks as one of the seminal works of 20th century English fiction. Although understanding the setting might require a little research for some readers, the depth of these books, dedicated to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, surpass (IMHO) even Ulysses. Jack Klaff's versatile and sensitive narration exceeded expectation.

I'm not sure why the Quartet only ranked as 70th (out of 100) on the NY Times "Best Books of the 20th Century" list; my suspicion is that the usual not-set-in-NY biases were at work. Among the thousands of books I've read, I struggle to remember a novel or set of novels of such stunning beauty, complexity and human understanding.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Little White Death

  • By: John Lawton
  • Narrated by: Sara Coward
  • Length: 17 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

1963. England is about to explode. An ageing hack defects to Russia. A cabinet minister resigns. A young woman takes an overdose. A Harley Street physician blows out his brains. Commander Troy investigates. But what with the sex and the drugs, he finds that he's up to his neck in the mess, personally and professionally. The damn thing might blow up in his face, and the English can be so unforgiving of a good scandal.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • BORING

  • By Benjamin on 08-22-06

Lawton does it again.

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

Reviewed: 09-05-12

This is another entry in wonderful Alex Troy series. Lawton's revival of the world of England from the late '30s to the early '60s is among the most faithful I have read. Each novel covers a span of that time and contains snippets of actual modified history, lending the stories a compellingly fresh quality.

If you aren't familiar with London or English history during those years or are unfamiliar with English slang, some parts of this novel may be somewhat difficult. The writing is first-rate and the characterization, while somewhat more colorful than real life, is interesting and vivid.

The reader, Sara Coward, is wonderful. Her steady, controlled performance makes this book a joy to listen to.

I highly recommend this book to Anglophiles, particularly those with an interest mid-century history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful