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Charles E. Grant

Seattle, WA USA
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  • 53
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Of Human Bondage, Volume 1 audiobook cover art
  • Of Human Bondage, Volume 1

  • By: W. Somerset Maugham
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Of Human Bondage is one of the greatest novels of modern times, and it is certainly Maugham's greatest achievement. It was published in 1914, when Maugham was at the height of his creative powers. The story concerns Philip Carey, afflicted at birth with a club foot, and his passionate search for truth in a cruel world. We follow his growth to manhood, his educational progress, his first loves, and the wrenching tragedies and disappointments that life has in store for him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Men Only

  • By John on 04-12-07

Flawed Narration

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-18-11

As with many of the other reviewers I couldn't get past the narration. The narrator's voices for women and children are irritating. They all sound as if they are about to pass out from emotional exhaustion. Just as you are getting used to the character's voice in a long speech, he'll switch back to his normal speaking voice for a brief linking phrase like "she said", then drop back into the whimpering character's voice again. I found this too jarring to tolerate. I'd recommend buying one of the other versions available on Audible.

  • Quantum

  • Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality
  • By: Manjit Kumar
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 877
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 674
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 668

Quantum theory is weird. As Niels Bohr said, if you aren’t shocked by quantum theory, you don’t really understand it. For most people, quantum theory is synonymous with mysterious, impenetrable science. And in fact for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. In this tour de force of science history, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly written account of this fundamental scientific revolution.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Biographic facts not explanations.

  • By Terezia on 07-11-11

Excellent survey of early history of quantum th.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-31-10

If you study quantum mechanics as an undergraduate, you will generally get a nicely packaged product with all the rough edges trimmed off, maybe a paragraph or two about the history of the subject, and almost no treatment of the philosophical underpinnings of the theory or its philosophical implications. This book would make an excellent companion to a physics course in quantum mechanics, though I think it can also be enjoyed by a general reader. It is an excellent survey of the history of the subject touching on work by Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Born, Pauli, Dirac, Heisenberg, de Broglie, and Schrodinger. Short biographies are given for each of the key players, but the real plot is the evolution of quantum theory, as it is patched and re-patched, driven into ever deeper water by experiment after experiment.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Tales of Unrest

  • By: Joseph Conrad
  • Narrated by: Walter Zimmerman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Two colonial officers extol the benefits they are bringing to an African village in the form of "quays and warehouses, and barracks-and billiard-rooms". A French republican who has fathered three idiot sons makes his peace with the Church: only to have an idiot daughter. A woman chooses not to leave her husband...but he leaves her. Such are the ironies of Conrad's earliest short stories.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Very poor sound quality

  • By Charles E. Grant on 07-05-10

Very poor sound quality

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-05-10

I had just finished "Within the Tides" and was really looking forward to listening to this book. Unfortunately this seems to be a digital dub from a consumer grade cassette recording. I gave up after five minutes because the sound was so bad, and the reading so flat.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Accidental Billionaires

  • The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
  • By: Ben Mezrich
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,014
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 361
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 365

The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook. The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost, and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Infotainment, poorly written

  • By Charles E. Grant on 12-24-09

Infotainment, poorly written

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-24-09

This book is too poorly written to be worthwhile novel, and contains too much invention to trust as a non-fiction business biography. I'm as much of a sucker for a business narrative with reconstructed dialogue as anybody, but this books carries that gimmick way too far. The author admits in the introduction that he has simply made up whole conversations and incidents. Long sections consist of Mark Zuckerberg's supposed thoughts and internal dialogue, which is a neat trick since Zuckerberg declined to be interviewed for the book. To be fair, at least some of these sections are clearly labeled as supposition, but it's a darn lazy way to write a biography.

The writing is really over the top: "Dead silence. A moment frozen in time. A single paragraph on a single page in a book that spanned three centuries of pregnant, frozen, moments like this".

Check out "Stealing MySpace" for a similar book which is better written, and has more respect for facts.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Leviathan

  • By: George H. Smith
  • Narrated by: Craig Deitschmann
  • Length: 2 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Leviathan is a vigorous defense of a strong central government that was originally published in 1651, just after the English wars of 1642-49. This presentation explores the social and political turmoil during which Leviathan was written, including an examination of the radical political philosophies spawned by opposition to Stuart monarchy in England. It explains the materialistic foundation of Hobbes' philosophy and how this influenced his theory of man, society, and government.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Dissapointed

  • By Charles E. Grant on 10-04-06

Dissapointed

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-04-06

This books is fine, but the title is deceptive. It is not a reading of "Leviathan", but a "Cliff Notes" type summary of "Leviathan" with illustrative quotes. It's a decent summary, but I was looking for the actual work. I suppose I should have been alerted by the brief length. Oh well, I'm better prepared now to read the real thing.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • High Noon

  • The Inside Story of Scott McNealy and the Rise of Sun Microsystems
  • By: Karen Southwick
  • Narrated by: Sneha Mathan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10

Both entertaining and instructive, High Noon offers valuable lessons for taking charge of your destiny and succeeding in a fast-paced, unpredictable, and even hostile environment. It is the inside story of Sun Microsystem's rise to power, from its shaky start in Silicon Valley through its transformation under the aggressive and inspirational leadership of Scott McNealy.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Puff Piece

  • By Charles E. Grant on 08-26-06

Puff Piece

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-26-06

I hung on for a couple of hours, but eventually gave up on this one. It read like a side-bar profile for Time Magazine put together by SUN pr. It's not that I was looking for a hatchet job, but this was cringingy flattering. I thought that "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" was a much better example in the same genre.

As other have remarked the sound levels leave something to be desired too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful