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Petr Kubat

Ostrava, CZ
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 43
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Tripping the Night Fantastic audiobook cover art

Funny adventure story that was high

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

Reviewed: 08-04-19

I really enjoyed it. Not long, witty, enjoyable listening. I wouldn't use 'who dunnit' as main genre to describe it. I was expecting kind of detective story, which this definitely is not. This more of 'unexpected adventure of few people on ordinary day, with a little help of weirdly harvested drug'.
But I didn't mind and enjoyed it. The story was engaging, interesting ideas were used and it was funny. All I am expecting from light reading.

The narrator was chosen well, his impression of characters was natural and I would like to hear him again.

Disclaimer:
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Elastic audiobook cover art

Very different Mlodinow

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Mlodinow is scouting different fields of science in his books and this one is again quite different. It has Mlodinow's style of interesting, easily digestible reading about science. This time it's about brain and our thinking.

I was reading this book right after Thinking fast and slow where we are shown how irrational our thinking and behavior often is due to 'system number one', the fast thinking. Mlodinow is basically talking about the same system, fast thinking, but he is showing how important it is. How its irrational properties can help our lives in different aspects. What problems arise without it.

He talks about novelty seeking, how it became a big thing only recently, how is it connected to our brain and its reward system and how reward system even works.
He talks about thoughts, what they are and how can you be aware of them and observe them - suggests 3 basic mindfulness practices.
He talks about computers and their lack of anything that would be reminiscent of elastic thinking. How information is processed in brain, how it relates to what computers do, how it relates to behavior of social insects.
He suggests interesting thinking exercise for challenging our strong beliefs in order to make our minds more open and elastic. Also suggests some practices for simple relaxing to let our brain be curious and continues describing frozen thinking and how it affects experts in their fields. And how you can use it to cheat when playing board games with friends :-)
Then he goes through some interesting examples of different people and their thinking.
The book closes with yet another set of suggestions of how to elastize your own thinking.

Mlodinow was narrating this audiobook himself and it was great, as I always like authors reading themselves.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Artemis audiobook cover art

Go! Loonies, go!

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

Reviewed: 11-28-17

I want to go there! F*ck Mars, Moon is behind the corner and here we have evidence it will be fun!
It was rather light and easy reading, it was funny and entertaining.
The image of the city on the Moon fascinates me, so reading this was a treat for me. I had to read it right away as it came out!

There was considerably less science here compared to Martian, but the plot was very different. I guess author didn't want it to be plain copy of Martian.

Notable points: how sightseeing works, what happened to stuff left behind by astronauts, internet on the Moon, how heating works outside the city on the Moon, what effects has vacuum on human body and of course - jumping!

I am glad that they chose female narrator as the main character Jazz is young woman. And she was excellent - she took me deep into the story and her accents for different characters were fabulous.

Overall - loved it. Looking forward to the next one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Andromeda Strain audiobook cover art

Great science fiction

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

Reviewed: 11-28-17

As I read in some reviews before I chose to read this book, I learned that it is hard scifi. I wasn't previously aware of what this style represents but after I read this book I can surely claim that I love it.
I was little worried when I read in the reviews that the book isn't much fun, but it wasn't a drawback, rather a benefit. The story remained serious and focused and I was enjoying every bit.

The story began mysteriously with almost horror touch. This won me almost immediatelly.
The middle, main, part was more descriptive with focus on the detail of the processes. That may sound boring, but it wasn't. It was as exciting as the opening.
The finish was ... no, I wouldn't spoil it in any way :) I will just say: the pace gradually increased and I liked it!

I also worried about the technology in the book. That it may suffer from its early release (1969) and reading it in 2017 will be affected. But the story isn't taking place in future but directly in its time - 1960s. So the problem with obsolete technology didn't even arise because they used technology that was available.

Next thing I wasn't sure about before I read it was amount of politics. Somehow I acquired the impression that there will be lot of politics involved and I will be bored. Not true, not sure why I thought that. There is politics involved, but in very limited amount which is kind of neccessary for the story and is not a problem.

Narrator's voice matched the style of the book. It didn't seem so at the beginning and it took me a while to get used to his voice but in the end I think his style added to the somewhat dark and mysterious atmosphere.

Overall - great book and I will definitely search for something similar.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Brain Myths Exploded audiobook cover art

Great book full of interesting information

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

I liked this book a lot. Chapters were clear and quite basic, very well suited for anyone interested, even for beginners. I had no problem following the topics.
Each chapter/lecture is focused on single topic.
Each topic is based on some wide-spread myth about brain (i.e. left/right hemisphere dedicated to logic/art, we use only 10% of brain) and it serves as a lead to a deeper discussion. This "by myth" separation seemed rather artificial (as is the title) and not really necessary, but I didn't mind it. Lessons were very well done nevertheless.
There is two parts of this piece - the first is audio book, the second is pdf. Pdf contains additional 'material' in form of questions and suggested readings at the end of the lectures. Audiobook lacks this but it is in the name of fluency and indeed, audiobook flows as normal book.
Narration is done by the author which I always like. Her narration is natural and although there are several slips of the tounge left in the narration (which I haven't experienced in other audiobooks) it wasn't bad at all. It maybe even added more personal feel. I was just a bit surprised to hear it.
Overall, I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the science of brain. Great book full of interesting information.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales audiobook cover art

Eye-opening book

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

Reviewed: 10-05-17

This book shows so many ways how our brain can dysfunction (or overfunction), the stories are almost unbelievable. One will definitely enrich his life by learning about these conditions. I think the way author tells the stories is really touching. It gives completely different view on people with brain abnormalities. The patients are described in very empathic way, author is making them exceptional rather than weird.
Stories of patients are short and relatively simple. And interesting and enjoyable above all.
There is a short gloss on the discussed topic before each chapter and after each story. These tend to be quite heavy on "big" words and as foreign reader/listener I had hard time grasping these sections.
Narrator was very comforting. His narration was perfectly matching delicate topic.
Overall I would recommend this book to anyone, it really opens eyes to the way how brain works in many aspects.

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) audiobook cover art

Great story with awesome storyteller

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

Reviewed: 09-17-17

I was immediately grabbed by the story. Idea is very intriguing, was quite novel to me and I was definitely bobified :)
There are several lines in the story, each with different style (action, exploration, negotiation), each giving different feel by introducing different problems. This separation keeps the pace high so the reader isn't bored.
Technology in the story isn't the main thing. Although there are lots of different technological surroundings on which the story is based, the book doesn't go scientifically deep into the detail of any. I think this makes it a bit more accessible for wider audience and makes it a bit less geeky. But I wouldn't say it is neglected either, so I didn't mind.
Narrator is absolutely stunning. I was amazed how smooth and natural his narration was. He changes voices for different characters gracefully so the audiobook is completely free of any complementary comments like "… Bob said", which adds significantly to the fluency of the narration. Also his voices are great.
Overall I enjoyed this audiobook greatly and would recommend it to any sci-fi fan who likes humor and references to our geek-culture.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Moral Landscape audiobook cover art

Weird structure

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

Reviewed: 09-09-17

I like Sam's Waking up podcast so I am quite used to Sam's arguments and his reasoning. And I tend to agree with most of his arguments in general. So I wanted to read this book to have some structured view on this one topic. But this is not it. I found this book to be quite unstructured. Sam spends time arguing his opponents, other ideas or religion, rather than explaining his point of view extensively. Overall I had different expectations and thus I was partly disappointed. But on the other hand I wouldn't say that the book itself is bad. I just like different structure better. Author narrates the book himself which I always like the best. However sometimes the narration was quite quick and also Sam assumes listener/reader already has basic knowledge of philosophy.

Sapiens audiobook cover art

Absolutely captivating

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

Reviewed: 09-07-17

I've never been so fascinated by history. This is no ordinary lesson from history. Author provides new points of view on important events in time. These new points of view are so unexpected (at least for me they were) that you can't stop listen. I would even compare it to a thriller. Author's conclusions are often quite depressing, but in a way that you want to know more about it. Also, author's ability to present any topic unbiased, or maybe more precisely, with exactly same level of interest and concern, was enthralling - money, science, empires, capitalism, Buddhism, evolution.

Narrator was fine, very comfortable.

War of the Worldviews audiobook cover art

Not a typical book

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

Reviewed: 09-01-17

I am glad that such a book exists. Usually one reads about something without direct counter-arguments. This way, although also not ideal, one can see two world views explaining same topics and even addressing each other's arguments.
As both authors are also the narrators, this audiobook is much more valuable for me. None of the narrators is probably the best you can listen to, but this way it is much more enjoyable anyway.