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Cheimon

New York, NY USA
  • 33
  • reviews
  • 152
  • helpful votes
  • 492
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  • How Dogs Love Us

  • A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
  • By: Gregory Berns
  • Narrated by: LJ Ganser
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,012
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 862
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 866

How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very slow going

  • By AMG on 11-27-15

Barely any science, bogged down by logistics

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

Reviewed: 01-02-16

Despite the lukewarm reviews, I couldn't resist this book, and if you skip the first ~five and a half hours, the rest is mostly worthwhile.

But the scientific conclusions are better suited to an article than a book, and instead of using the remaining space for background on neuroscience and animal cognition, Dr. Berns overburdens the book with logistical details, tangents and bureaucratic stories that are frankly not very interesting. Even the parts of the book dealing with the dog training are not terribly compelling - I am sure video of the sessions would be delightful, but the writing does not measure up.

My impression was that Dr. Berns, a scientist more than an author, was given a firm page target to hit and - perhaps lacking the time to do additional, deeper research - fills it with a vast amount of irrelevant detail that distracts and has no bearing on the story. In addition, I was struck by how unintuitive he seemed to be around his own dogs, given how much pride he takes in calling himself a "dog person". This detracted from his credibility.

Overall, while I am very excited about the science, this book was a disappointment. There are articles available that sum up the results more concisely, and other books on dog cognition are a much better investment of listening time.

PS on skipping ahead: Even in the last two hours, an entire chapter is devoted to a dog who did not participate in the MRI experiments falling sick and dying. While obviously very sad, this story still feels out of place, like a "this also happened that year so I will put it in the book". No connection is made to the central questions, even though it would have served as a great basis to talk about grief in humans and dogs from a neurological perspective.

  • The Disappearing Spoon

  • And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,448
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,436
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,445

Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining

  • By James on 10-12-10

Disappointing - rambling from tangent to tangent

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

Reviewed: 11-11-15

Yes, there are tales of madness, love and history in here, but they are barely connected at all, neither by time, nor really always by chemistry. The author jumps around, keeps getting distracted by shiny tangents that have very little to do with the thrust of his stories. The book contained some entertaining tidbits, but left me very unsatisfied overall.

In addition, I noticed a few sloppy errors on dates and names - made me wonder if there was equally sloppy research in areas where I wouldn't have noticed.

The narration was alright, but this really, really, really is not a book that calls on the narrator to do voices. A Stalin quote can just be read, it does not need a fake Russian accent.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The New Yorker, April 6th 2015 (Evan Osnos, Stephen Rodrick, Steve Coll)

  • By: Evan Osnos, Stephen Rodrick, Steve Coll
  • Narrated by: Dan Bernard, Christine Marshall
  • Length: 2 hrs and 7 mins
  • Highlights
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

In this issue: "A Calculated Risk", by Steve Coll; "Fibreglass Menagerie", by Ian Parker; "Born Red", by Evan Osnos; "The Nerd Hunter", by Stephen Rodrick; and "Dear Diary, I Hate You", by Alice Gregory.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • BRING BACK THE MOVIE REVIEWS!!!!!

  • By Cheimon on 04-07-15

BRING BACK THE MOVIE REVIEWS!!!!!

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

Reviewed: 04-07-15

They are essential listening!! And only ten minutes! You can fit them in! Please bring them back!!!!

Also, please bring back the overview in the beginning - it gives a better sense of what the stories are about and it's helpful to have a sense if I'll be interested in the whole issue or just a part of it from the outset.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Lone Survivor

  • The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10
  • By: Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson
  • Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,025
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,112
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9,131

Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • True Tale of Courage and Honor

  • By docJ on 03-15-13

A must-listen despite fake-accented narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-29-15

Bad narration is a small price to pay for an unbelievable, profoundly inspiring story that will probably stay with you long, long after the narrator's voice has faded.

But seriously, Hachette, are there no Texan narrators? Or Southerners who sound at least vaguely Texan? Or really any narrator who can do a Texan accent that will not sound like he's constantly making fun of his war hero subject? Apparently Mr. Collins is from New Jersey. If there's ever a second audio edition, I nominate MacLeod Andrews.

  • Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas

  • How Jay Sarno Won a Casino Empire, Lost It, and Inspired Modern Las Vegas
  • By: David G. Schwartz
  • Narrated by: Eric Martin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 245
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 218
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 222

Sarno's casinos - and his ideas about how to build casinos - created the template for Las Vegas today. Before him, Las Vegas meant dealers in string ties and bland, functional architecture. He taught the city how to dress up its hotels in fantasy, putting toga dresses on cocktail waitresses and making sure that even the stationery carried through with the theme. He saw Las Vegas as a place where ordinary people could leave their ordinary lives and have extraordinary adventures.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Listen - Thanks to Dr. Dave

  • By Andrew on 09-08-14

Oddly... dull. Not a good 'Intro to Vegas'

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

Reviewed: 03-29-15

To my surprise, this turned out to be a fairly boring book. Schwartz does little with all the literary fodder Las Vegas of the 60's and 70's provides and largely stays on the surface of his characters, their relationships and all the political tugs and pulls. While he certainly does a fine job recounting the life of Jay Sarno, it's all just information, and often too much of it. Where are the major themes, the connections, the grand whole that modern biographies paint so magnificently?

This may very well be valuable reading if you are a Vegas expert already and Sarno is a missing piece of the puzzle for you. But if you, like me, know very little about the town, this is too specific and narrow a book to open it up much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, Second Edition

  • By: John L. Esposito
  • Narrated by: Neil Shah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, there has been an overwhelming demand for information about Islam, and recent events - the war in Iraq, terrorist attacks both failed and successful, debates throughout Europe over Islamic dress, and many others - have raised new questions in the minds of policymakers and the general public. This newly updated edition of What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam is the best single source for clearly presented, objective information about these new developments, and for answers to questions about the origin and traditions of Islam.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fairly flat and superficial - expected more

  • By Cheimon on 01-11-15

Fairly flat and superficial - expected more

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

Reviewed: 01-11-15

The book is set up as a long series of Frequently Asked Questions - sadly, the answers don't extend beyond the typical FAQ format either. It is a very basic bird's eye view of some of the history, religious tenets and practices in Islam.

Given Professor Esposito's resume, I was hoping for a deeper and more coherent religious and sociological perspective. Instead, he remains at the very surface of belief and history.

In addition, he weaves in a steady undercurrent of perhaps necessary, but just very tired-sounding affirmations of the peacefulness of Islam and of the overwhelming majority of those who practice it. That's all well and good, and probably can't be said often enough (even within a single book), but that can't be ALL everyone needs to know about Islam? I, for one, would like to know more.


(Perhaps this is just not meant to be an audiobook... the questions do not build on each other very much, so a lot of information is repeated in various spots. Maybe a good book to have on the shelf for the odd Islam question that might come up, not a very satisfying listen though.)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Ulysses

  • By: James Joyce
  • Narrated by: Jim Norton
  • Length: 27 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,655
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,300
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,273

Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ulysses (Unabridged)

  • By Peter Deane on 01-22-09

All-in, transformative performance

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

Reviewed: 11-23-14

Jim Norton takes this classic to a new level. It's a pleasure, likely even a welcome aid in understanding to first-time readers and an exquisite, enriching new experience to those who are well familiar with the text. Think of this audiobook as performance rather than mere narration - much like reading Hamlet will not keep you from enjoying it on stage, prior study of Ulysses does not make this audiobook any less worthwhile (quite the opposite).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Feminine Mystique

  • By: Betty Friedan
  • Narrated by: Parker Posey
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 725
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 629
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 625

The book that changed the consciousness of a country - and the world. Landmark, groundbreaking, classic - these adjectives barely describe the earthshaking and long-lasting effects of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. This is the book that defined "the problem that has no name", that launched the Second Wave of the feminist movement, and has been awakening women and men with its insights into social relations, which still remain fresh, ever since.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Most boring narration

  • By Cate Terblanche on 03-14-16

Important first-hand report from the past

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

Reviewed: 11-21-14

At its most basic, The Feminine Mystique read today is a reminder of how fundamentally our society has changed in two short generations, how many perspectives, mindsets and ambitions we take for granted today that might have been deemed actually harmful or even dangerous only sixty years ago. (Of course, it is equally stunning how many of the questions Friedan poses remain open today, though that is more general knowledge.)

Sadly, the narration is not up to par. I wish they had chosen a professional narrator instead of a celebrity. Ms. Posey's voice lacks inflection and is often too casual. A few odd direction/editing choices don't help either.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

The Color Purple audiobook cover art
  • The Color Purple

  • By: Alice Walker
  • Narrated by: Alice Walker
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,089
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,303

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 - when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate - and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister", a brutal man who terrorizes her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a story!

  • By Nothing really matters on 06-12-14

Narration by author - its own work of art

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

Reviewed: 10-07-14

No matter how often you have read the book, watched the movie, seen the musical - your "The Color Purple" experience and appreciation cannot be complete until you have listened to Alice Walker narrate her own work. The skill with which she captures her characters and their times and the subtlety with which she conveys the changes that define them, make this performance a work of art in its own right. The novel got under my skin all over again.

  • Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

  • The Untold History of English
  • By: John McWhorter
  • Narrated by: John McWhorter
  • Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,030
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,573
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,551

A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great for casual linguists

  • By Anderson on 01-11-10

Very dry for those with mere casual interest

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

Reviewed: 06-20-14

For linguists, I am sure this is well worth the five hours - for me, it was tough to get through. McWhorter digs deep into a large variety of old European languages and nuances of vocabulary and grammar that go well beyond what I was looking for.

The narration by the author is a huge bonus though because pronunciation of so many very foreign or old words is crucial, I doubt another narrator could have performed this nearly as well. His occasional laughs at his own jokes are unnecessary, but forgivable.