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Gerardo A Dada

Austin, TX, United States
  • 95
  • reviews
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  • 212
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  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 105,774
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 97,991
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 97,529

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing special.

  • By Suzette Flynt on 12-10-18

Very enjoyable story of his childhood in Africa

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

Trevor is a comedian, but this is not a funny book. It's a bit more heartbreaking as it details the hardships of apartheid Trevor and his family went through.

Mr. Noah is the narrator. He is an excellent communicator so the book was very enjoyable. I could have listened for many more hours. I was kind of sad the book had ended, wanting to learn more about the rest of his story and wanting to hear more from him.

His story is inspirational in that he became very successful in spite of the challenges he faced. It's a great story about the sacrifices his mom made and the education she gave him to make him the man he is today. There are many lessons in the book but they are not explicit.

This is easily a book I can recommend, but it does not make the must-listen-to list.

0 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Here I Stand

  • A Life of Martin Luther
  • By: Roland H. Bainton
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336

Martin Luther entered a monastery as a youth and as a man shattered the structure of the medieval church, speaking out against the corrupt religious practices of the time. His demand that the authority for doctrine and practice be scriptures, rather than popes or councils, echoed around the world and ignited the great Reformation. Accused of heresy and threatened with excommunication and death, Luther maintained his bold stand and refused to recant. In his crusade to eliminate religious abuses, he did more than any other man to establish the Protestant faith.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The classic Luther Biography well read.

  • By Rindt on 01-14-13

Interesting and useful but long and too detailed

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

This is a good book. I am not an expert on Martin Luther hut the book felt very complete, properly researched and accurate. It avoids judgment by trying to state facts and events in a fair and independent tone, for the most part. I learned a lot about Martin Luther and the evolution of Christianity.

My first problem with the book is the monotonous tone of the narrator, who follows a set rhythm that makes you want to sleep. It is mostly devoid of emotion and emphasis.

The second problem is the author is at times too focused on stating facts and sharing every detail, as if he wants the book to be very complete and not omit any detail he has researched - instead of telling an enjoyable story. In other words, it is written by an historian, not a storyteller.

Still, it is not a bad book, and I listened to all 11 hours of it. I recommend it with the caveat I have not heard or read a better book on the topic but there might be a more enjoyable, more useful book out there.

  • The Development of European Civilization

  • By: Kenneth R. Bartlett, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Kenneth R. Bartlett
  • Length: 24 hrs and 32 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196

In almost every way that matters, historical Europe was the laboratory in which the world you now live in was conceived and tested. And you'll be living with the consequences for the rest of your life. These 48 lectures lead you through the doors of that laboratory and guide you through the development of Europe from the late Middle Ages through the eve of World War II.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Development of Some European Civilizarion

  • By Sunshine Reader on 02-23-15

Fantastic detailed and insightful European history

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

I have read and listened to many history books. This was easily one of the best.

The lecturer is knowledgeable and passionate. His narration was enjoyable. Even though there was a lot of detail, I was never bored during the 24 hours and 32 minutes.

More importantly, I learned a lot. Professor Bartlett provides context and a unique point of view as he explains not only the historical events, but how the mindset and knowledge of the Europeans evolved across the past few centuries.

It's really an amazing feat to condense so much history and so much knowledge in only 24 hours. I highly recommend this book.

  • American Ulysses

  • A Life of Ulysses S. Grant
  • By: Ronald C. White
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 27 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,087
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,933
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,919

A major new biography of the Civil War general and American president, by the author of the New York Times bestseller A. Lincoln. The dramatic story of one of America's greatest and most misunderstood military leaders and presidents, this is a major new interpretation of Ulysses S. Grant. Based on seven years of research with primary documents, some of them never tapped before, this is destined to become the Grant biography of our times.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Absolutely Superb Work

  • By Michael J. Nardotti, Jr. on 11-05-16

Fantastic - one of the best audiobooks

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

American Ulysses is a fantastic book: insightful, personal, deep and masterfully narrated.
It's a long book at over 27 hours, yet I was never bored. The level of detail is perfect, the narrator keeps it always interesting. I learned a lot about history and about Grant himself, probably the best president in the history of the United States.

  • Infidel

  • By: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Narrated by: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Length: 16 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,719
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,935
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,941

This New York Times best-seller is the astonishing life story of award-winning humanitarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A deeply respected advocate for free speech and women's rights, Hirsi Ali also lives under armed protection because of her outspoken criticism of the Islamic faith in which she was raised.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Tough, Candid Assessment

  • By Paul Mullen on 02-18-08

Inspiring. Educational. An incredible book

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

Reviewed: 05-13-18

Her story is unique, very valuable and enlightening. It's a book that touches on many important and controversial personal, religious and social topics. Whether you agree with her views or not, it's a great read.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dare Not Linger

  • The Presidential Years
  • By: Nelson Mandela, Mandla Langa, Graça Machel - prologue
  • Narrated by: Adrian Lester
  • Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

In 1994 Nelson Mandela became the first president of democratic South Africa. Five years later he stood down. In that time he and his government wrought the most extraordinary transformation, turning a nation riven by centuries of colonialism and apartheid into a fully functioning democracy in which all South Africa's citizens, black and white, were equal before the law. Dare Not Linger is the story of Mandela's presidency, drawing heavily on the memoir he began to write as he prepared to finish his term as president but was unable to finish.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • No story, just a bunch of information

  • By Gerardo A Dada on 05-13-18

No story, just a bunch of information

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

Reviewed: 05-13-18

I had just finished Mandela's first book, which was inspiring. I eagerly listened to this one, but I was disappointed.
First, the narrator speaks in this low, monotone voice. Maybe he thinks it make him interesting, when it actually makes the read boring and difficult to hear.
Second, there is no story. no drama, no lessons. It seems like somoene collected all the info they had on Mandela and grouped it in a 'book' organized by topics. Sure, there are a couple interesting nuggets, afer all it is Mandela we are talking about. It's just not a good book on which to spend 13 hours.
I fast forwarded maybe half of the chapters.
Get a better book, there are plenty.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Finding My Virginity

  • The New Autobiography
  • By: Richard Branson
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 909
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 825

In Finding My Virginity, Sir Richard Branson shares the secrets that have seen his family business grow from a student magazine into a global brand, his dreams of private citizens flying to space develop from a childhood fantasy to the brink of reality, and his focus shift from battling bigger rivals to changing business for good.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More than a story of money.

  • By randell carlson on 05-31-18

I was expecting a lot more

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

Reviewed: 11-21-17

Fun and engaging read. Sir Richard Branson is an incredible person and an accomplished businessman. This book could have been called Sir Richard's incredible list of feats. And that's great, but I felt like there was not enough focus on the person, not many stories of failing and learning, no life lessons. Just stories of success after success. Maybe it's my fault. I wanted to learn more about Richard the human, how he thinks, how he learned, how he matured. My biggest criticism is for the narrator. Especially for a guy who started in the recording industry, for a book about passion and excitement, why would he choose a narrator that sounds like a politician with no emotion? It took away from the book, for sure. At the end, it's an OK read, but there are probably better books in your wish list.

  • The Swerve

  • How the World Became Modern
  • By: Stephen Greenblatt
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,341
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,045
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,037

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Too many swerves

  • By A reader on 05-20-12

A long read on a failed premise

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

Reviewed: 10-09-17

First, this book has an excellent narrator. It's a long book, but it is well written so it is interesting most of the time, except it goes into too much detail into many aspects, as if the author wanted to prove its knowledge by the number of pages.

If you have never read anything about the 15th Century or the Renaissance, you may find all these detail interesting, including long descriptions about how monks were dedicated to copying and maintaining books.

Listening to this audiobook you will probably spend a couple hours learning about the failings of the church during this era, which are well documented, which starts to set the tone for the fundamental point of the book: The poem On the Nature of Things, written in the first century, re-discovered in 1417, an event that is overly over-documented in the book.

The poem’s central idea is that the world is made of random events, the universe was created randomly, by chance. It’s interesting because it accurately describes scientific facts like atoms many centuries before they were scientifically discovered. However, it has an aspect of pseudoscience, which is not surprising coming from a poet in ancient times.

The whole book is centered on the idea that this God-less reality where everything is physical and random will set you free from superstitions and allows humanity to focus on the Epicurean pursuit of pleasure. It’s a very long stretch any way you look at it.

The author claims the poem influenced the modern world, but I find those links very weak. In fact, the while he claims De Rerum Natura influenced Einstein, while he wrote about the invisible architect whose work is evident in how things, from atoms to galaxies, work. Einstein wrote "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." recognizing the matter is not black and white and that science and religion converge.

If you want to learn about the Renaissance, the book The Medici, by Paul Strathern is a much more accurate, much richer account of the Renaissance, including the failings of the Church, and its role in the creation of our modern World.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • City of Fortune

  • How Venice Rule the Seas
  • By: Roger Crowley
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214

The rise and fall of the Venetian empire stands unrivaled for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. In City of Fortune, Roger Crowley, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author of Empires of the Sea, applies his narrative skill to chronicling the astounding five-hundred-year voyage of Venice to the pinnacle of power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Wonderful Listen

  • By Scot on 06-12-14

A military history of Venice

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

Reviewed: 04-26-17

I was a little disappointed in that this book covers mostly military history. but it is good. There is a lot of detail of battles and military actions, but it was always entertaining and insightful. The details add context and color to the stories. feels like a well researched book.
It left me wanting more. more stories, especially as it focuses on a somewhat narrow time frame. I was left wanting a book that would cover Venice's art, culture, architecture, and society - most of which are not talked about in this book.

  • The Power of Broke

  • How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage
  • By: Daymond John, Daniel Paisner
  • Narrated by: Daymond John, Sway Calloway
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,146

Here, the FUBU founder and star of ABC's Shark Tank shows that, far from being a liability, broke can actually be your greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur. Why? Because starting a business from broke forces you to think more creatively. It forces you to use your resources more efficiently. It forces you to connect with your customers more authentically and market your ideas more imaginatively.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book for those who need inspiration.

  • By ddsharper on 10-28-16

Inspirational entrepreneur- with a caution...

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

Reviewed: 01-05-17

Daymond is a good guy. He is a solid entrepreneur. The book is very personal, very real. It includes some very interesting points about Damond's life and his guerilla marketing tactics, which I loved, along stories for other entrepreneurs including some featured in Shark Tank.

Any Shark Tank fan will find this book entertaining, interesting and useful. Now to the caution...

Like most books on entrepreneurship, this one talks about following your dreams, ignoring critics and the value of persistence. The reality is that more often than not entrepreneurs have failed ideas, or don't have the right business plan, to make a business successful. And they would be better off closing the business than continuing to pursue a dream that will never come.

Entrepreneurs need more financial discipline, need better ways to test the potential of ideas, understand the profit potential of every business, have a financial plan if not a full business plan, and know when to pull the plug.

28 of 36 people found this review helpful