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Pandora

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 81
  • helpful votes
  • 156
  • ratings
  • Mother Earth, Father Sky

  • Ivory Carver Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Sue Harrison
  • Narrated by: Holly Fielding
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

In a time before history, in a harsh and beautiful land near the top of the world, womanhood comes cruelly and suddenly to beautiful, young Chagak. Surviving the brutal massacre of her tribe, she sets out across the icy waters off Ameria's northwest coast on an astonishing odyssey that will reveal to Chagak powerful secrets of the earth and sky...and the mysteries of love and loss.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Aleutian reader, liked the story

  • By Pianomom on 05-13-14

A Moving Tale of Survival

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

Reviewed: 12-12-16

My first exposure to this book came as a supermarket impulse buy by my mother, a pulpy paperbacks she then dropped in the suds while reading in the bath. I picked up the replacement copy when I was a young girl, never anticipating how it would shape me as a woman and a human. Survival alone in such a harsh time and place as ice age Alaska makes for a gripping read on its own, but Mother Earth Father Sky also offers a moving story of cruelty and tenderness. Hearing about the foods, clothing, tools, beloved possessions, and language of this people was fascinating. Empathizing with the hardships of womanhood, emotionally deepening. I for one loved the narration, and where others found it monotone, I perfectly suited a simple and ancient story. This intimate and detailed immersion into a world and culture so far removed and so rarely explored is a treat for those who, like myself, feel a calling to know the human experiences of others.

  • 1177 B.C.

  • The Year Civilization Collapsed
  • By: Eric H. Cline
  • Narrated by: Andy Caploe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,737
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,583
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,573

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wanted to Like... And Did!

  • By Brett M Miller on 09-12-14

Tedious

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

Reviewed: 12-12-16

I read another reviewing describe exactly my difficulty with this book, namely that I could not for the life of me stay engaged. Every two sentences I would need to actively recommit myself, then stray. I didn't mind the narrator's performance, it was actually what sold me on the book. I would be hard pressed to point to the problem, but feel perhaps that the writing is simultaneously far too detailed and not enough. It just starts in at you with myriad names and dates but fails to help you anchor them which a sense of time, geography, or personality. Perhaps I have been spoiled by long format lecture series which explore a single topic exhaustively, which ground a reader with a solid, multifaceted understanding of the subject, so they walk away able to educatedly and independently glean insights, juxtapositions, and overarching themes. Sadly, I never felt immersed by this book, and for what I already know of the subject recognized this book only ever to skim the surface and rapidly move on.

  • The Better Angels of Our Nature

  • Why Violence Has Declined
  • By: Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 36 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,655
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,096
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,063

We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'd kill for another book this good

  • By Eric Nicolas Morgan on 11-11-11

Important

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

Reviewed: 09-27-16

My grandmother used to bemoan the world's "going to hell in a hand basket," as is the time honoured heritage of every passing generation. My experience is that the majority of people are very poorly oriented in human history, and this can leave anyone of any age experiencing the same fatalism. The so called advancement of civilization is such in the face of serious and legitimate criticisms, ecological devastation, social stratification, genocides and colonialism, etc, etc. I hold this book as deeply important for demonstrating that, contrary to all our intuitions, to everything we see on the news, and to my grandmother, that things can and are getting better, that we can improve the world for everyone, and that we should not give up aspiring to that end.

  • The Girl in the Spider's Web

  • A Lisbeth Salander Novel, Continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series
  • By: David Lagercrantz
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,338
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18,305

In this adrenaline-charged, up-to-the-moment political thriller, Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are back. The troubled genius hacker and crusading journalist thrilled the world in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which have sold more than 80 million copies worldwide.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • So thankful we still have Lizbeth!

  • By AudioAddict on 09-04-15

Fan Fiction

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

Reviewed: 09-27-16

I had been told by a friend that the late Stieg Larson's manuscripts for a fourth book had recently been finished and published, so when I saw this book advertised on Audible's front page, I assumed this must be it, and eagerly downloaded. My own mistake. Reader be warned, this is not a work of Larson. I had often wondered how on earth Larson would up the stakes next, when still assuming the work to be his I thought you perfect and pertinent that it be with a look at the NSA. Regrettably, the strength of Larson's writing is lacking, and soon had me suspecting my error. Perhaps the author cannot be blamed, as Larson was a master of his craft, and emulating his style would be a challenge for anyone. The characters we have come to know feel anemic somehow, wanting for some vivacity breathed into them in them by the original author. While the idea of facing Salander with personality on the autistic spectrum is interesting, the degree to which the child is idealized is a detriment to plausibility and therefore to the reading experience. I rate this book somewhere between bad and ok.

  • Books that Matter: The Prince

  • By: William Landon, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: William Landon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286

Should leaders be feared or loved? Can dictators give rise to democracy? Should rulers have morals or wear them like a mask? Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince puts forth unsettling questions like these, whose answers redefined centuries of political wisdom. But what does it really mean to be Machiavellian? These 24 lectures are more than just a close reading of one of the great books of Western history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Context

  • By Ben Hutton on 01-09-18

A Fascinating Primer for the Curious Reader

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

Reviewed: 09-27-16

Machiavelli's name, when dropped, never fails to intimidate, impressing upon all listening that the speaker must really know their stuff. Nodding, feigning understanding, each then scuttles away, making a mental memo to google the aforementioned historical character and gain this super power for themselves. But the enjoyment of Machiavelli's trademark adjective was overshadowed by that of his life and story within the first few minutes of this book. In truth, the very fact that no one really seems to know too much about Machiavelli, which I had expected to lend me such conversational auctoritas (if you will), is now a torture, as this series left me eager to talk about him. It's made me, I suppose you could say, a fan! The lecturer clearly has a strong affection for the man, which adds to the pleasure of listening. I have yet to read the Prince itself, hoping first to find a primer for the material before making the attempt. This book is exactly what I had hoped, and comes highly recommended! My one regret is not looking into this fascinating and important thinker sooner.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • The Beatles

  • The Biography
  • By: Bob Spitz
  • Narrated by: Alfred Molina
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 575
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 326
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332

Even before the Beatles hit the big time, a myth was created. This version of the Beatles legend smoothed the rough edges and filled in the fault lines, and for more than forty years this manicured version of the Beatles story has sustained as truth, until now.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Put Away Your, Hunter Davies

  • By James on 12-05-05

Exciting Read

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

Reviewed: 09-27-16

All these decades later the mania is still infectious, and does grip the reader as they listen. It's funny, I'd read this book in paperback years ago, and remember it being a tome. In audio format, I wished it could have been longer. I would not have minded perhaps more statistics, actual sales numbers, more insights about the group's impact globally, to parallel the fascinating stories of the individuals involved. A great read and listen.

  • The Name of the Rose

  • By: Umberto Eco, William Weaver - translator
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett, Nicholas Rowe, Neville Jason
  • Length: 21 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,196
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,202

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. But his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths that take place in seven days and nights of apocalyptic terror. Brother William turns detective, and a uniquely deft one at that. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon-- all sharpened to a glistening edge by his wry humor and ferocious curiosity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The meaning of the mystery & mystery of meaning

  • By Ryan on 02-14-14

Surprisingly Unremarkable

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

Reviewed: 09-27-16

For all the acclaim and enthusiasm surrounding this book, I found it surprisingly unremarkable. The story, mystery, and characters failed to really grip me as I'd anticipated, and certain theological passages were downright sleepy. William stood out as a unique personality from among the cast, a rational, critical, penetrating mind persevering in a superstitious, thought controlled world, but the brilliant sleuth is certainly not a trope readers won't have met before. Also, several very small possible historical inaccuracies did raise my antennae, and I do find it implausible that what is heralded to be the largest library in Christendom wouldn't be readily known to a contemporary reader whether named or not. All in all, kinda boring. Book receives a solid rating of meh.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Story of Medieval England: From King Arthur to the Tudor Conquest

  • By: Jennifer Paxton, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Paxton
  • Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,443
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,313
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,293

These 36 lectures tell the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period in the history of England. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of the governed, it was a period that put into place the foundation of much of the world we know today. As you journey through this largely chronological narrative you'll see key themes emerge, including the assimilation of successive waves of invaders, the tense relationship between kings and the nobility, and the constant battles over money and taxation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm sad it's over!

  • By Claudia Murray on 04-24-14

Could Have Been Better

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

Reviewed: 10-31-14

I am someone who has read dozens of books on other cultures and necessarily their religious practices, and done extensive studies into the Abrahamic traditions. I also realize fully the integral role Christianity played in Medieval Europe. But I am an atheist, and the obvious and overwhelming bias in favor of the church, enormous amount of the book spent discussing the minutiae of the church, and the value judgement inherent in the frequently used terms "sins of the flesh" and such made for an uncomfortable reading experience. At one point Paxton even mentioned taking care to "tread lightly" as after all the figure in question was a saint. I'm sorry, but that absolutely should not matter in the objective academic discussion of events and deeds. Even Ghandi can be, should be, and is criticized by rational adults. Other Great Courses featured professors who treated religion in terms of historicity, and this personally would have made for a much improved experience.

This aside, the information was interesting, the lives were memorable individually, and I appreciate my deeper understanding of the greater geopolitical context. I would have loved if the topics could have been delved into more deeply.

Not the best Great Course but a decent primer.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Industrial Revolution

  • By: Patrick N. Allitt, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Patrick N. Allitt
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 845
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 837

From electric lights to automobiles to the appliances that make our lives easier at work and at home, we owe so much of our world to the Industrial Revolution. In this course, The Great Courses partners with the Smithsonian - one of the world's most storied and exceptional educational institutions - to examine the extraordinary events of this period and uncover the far-reaching impact of this incredible revolution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly entertaining, balanced, comprehensive

  • By Quaker on 12-03-14

And Excellent Read for Broader Historical Context!

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

Reviewed: 10-28-14

For anyone educating themselves in history, this book as a great source of historical context, and a wonderful illumination of the threads that connect the past with today.

Allitt could go a little too far into details, dates, and specifics at times, information that no one but real enthusiasts will easily remember, and my mind would start to wander. However, I thought I had, as I think most people do, a reasonable grasp of the industrial revolution, and this course enlightened me to quite a lot of new insights.

It was fascinating to hear the revolution split and contrasted by region, Britain versus the United States, and again versus India and China. What was also very insightful was the the course carried on much longer than I had anticipated, from wrought iron to microchips, drawing a continuity between two revolutions that I'd never considered. Attill does well in demonstrating the importance of certain tiny elements, like standardized threads on screws, to the workings of the whole industrial machine. The information was also quite holistic, illustrating many different factors from cultural attitudes in antiquity to geopolitics.

Allit is clearly an advocate of industrialization, and makes a number of provocative anthropologically based arguments, but does not flinch from the hardships and controversies.

All in all, while this course could occasionally stray into droning, I would recommend it. It taught me much about something I thought I knew, and definitely enriched and deepened my understanding of history and the world today.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

  • By: Robert Garland, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Garland
  • Length: 24 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,539
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,036
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,002

Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tantalizing time trip

  • By Mark on 08-21-13

One of the Best Things I've Ever Had from Audible!

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

Reviewed: 10-28-14

As the title indicates, this is unequivocally one of the best listens I've ever had the delight of finding here on Audible!

Knowing a thing or two about anthropology, I had one or two very minor quibbles with one detail or another, (specifically whether pre-Neolithic Revolution life was characterized by fear and suffering, where fossil evidence shows the rampant rise of malnutrition and disease afterwards indicating a lower quality of life for several millennia) but there are always debates in this field. These are, however, far, far, over shadowed by Garland's profound humanity, conscientiousness, and care. There were a number of times his heartfelt compassion for right's of men, women, children, and the disadvantaged literally brought tears to my eyes. There were a few times I think Garland had tears in his eyes! His critiques of the discriminations of ancient attitudes towards sexual identity, culture, class, etc., are canny, and obviously informed by a genuine empathy and open mindedness. They are not the natural insights of someone who is posturing these qualities, and it was refreshing to hear.

Garland himself has a staggered sort of way of speaking, one brought on I think by fervour, and which I found quite charming. He is entertaining and articulate.

The course often employs a second person narrative, and this walkthrough of ancient life was almost like a dramatic exercise or hypnosis. It draws you right along, puts you right in the shoes, and is very effective, absorbing, and quite fun.

The information fed my curiosity for the minutiae of day to day ancient life, while also providing enlightening geopolitical context. It was also lovely to hear such up to date information, including homonids like the recently unearthed Homo Floresiensis.

This course was engaging, educational, entertaining, inspiring and insightful. I can say something of this series which I think to be the truest compliment, that is that I've learned so much by it. I've come away with more from this course than many of the myriad books I've read collectively, and never felt my mind stray for a moment. Garland has only two courses here on Audible, the other of which I gobbled up immediately, sincerely cannot wait for his next.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful