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David Bogosian

Glendale, CA USA
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 90
  • ratings
  • Greater Than a Tourist - Rotterdam Zuid-Holland Netherlands

  • 50 Travel Tips from a Local
  • By: Rikki Srichankij, Greater Than a Tourist
  • Narrated by: Glen MacDonell
  • Length: 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

Greater Than a Tourist: Rotterdam Zuid-Holland Netherlands, by Rikki Srichankij, offers the inside scoop on Rotterdam. This audiobook will give you tips from someone who lives at your next travel destination. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Truth in advertising?

  • By David Bogosian on 12-18-18

Truth in advertising?

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

Reviewed: 12-18-18

All 50 of the tips offered herein pertain to Rotterdam; nothing is said about Zuid-Holland in any way. I found that rather deceitful, frankly. The tips are potentially useful, some are for cafes or specific things to do. They definitely are not the typical list of museums, churches, etc. Overall not a bad little title, but it is very very short and as an audio book (to which you cannot easily refer), of little practical value. The reader should have polished up his Dutch pronunciation skills before embarking on this.

  • Eye of the Beholder

  • Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing
  • By: Laura Snyder
  • Narrated by: Tamara Marston
  • Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 30

"See for yourself!" was the clarion call of the 1600s. Natural philosophers threw off the yoke of ancient authority, peered at nature with microscopes and telescopes, and ignited the scientific revolution. Artists investigated nature with lenses and created paintings filled with realistic effects of light and shadow. The hub of this optical innovation was the small Dutch city of Delft.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Historical book about the evolution of optics through the eyes of two geniuses

  • By Memi on 04-12-17

Unique perspective, but needs to be tightened up

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

Reviewed: 10-28-18

For Vermeer fans, this book offers a sort of mini-biography, including lots of little everyday details as the cost of bread, the magnitude of his debts, the typical price of his paintings, etc. For those (like me) who knew nothing about van Leuwenhoek, it give a lot of insight into a man who, though less enigmatic than Vermeer and whose life is far better documented, is fully as intriguing and interesting a character. There are no breakthrough revelations about Vermeer, but one gets a very rich picture of what his life may have been like.

But the book drags on, it goes too far afield in chasing down details. I found myself skipping forwards repeatedly, and not feeling like I had missed anything. Would have been far better at 2/3 its current size. The narrator does very well, and to her credit tells us when she is on a footnote and when the note has ended, something other narrators are (incredibly) unable/unwilling to do. She keeps sounding interested in the subject, even when I've lost interest.

  • Never Let Me Go

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,225
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,669
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,683

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Be patient; it will pay off

  • By Kc on 05-23-05

Tedious and tiresome

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

Hard to believe the same person who wrote "Remains of the Day" wrote this as well. It took a supreme act of will to endure to the end, but by then I was tired of the same repetitive literary tricks, jaded by this great mystery that really was not much of a mystery to begin with, and had lost all ability to suspend disbelief in the myriad pieces of the story that simply did not make sense. This is an appallingly bad book. Much credit goes to the reader who managed to pull off the performance with poise and a modest amount of interest, but you could sort of tell she was getting bored too.

  • The Path Between the Seas

  • The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
  • Length: 31 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,300
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,167
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,175

The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. McCullough expertly weaves the many strands of this momentous event into a captivating tale.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing accomplishment in history

  • By HEIDI GOMEZ on 04-27-16

Awful narration, but interesting subject

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

The subject is fascinating and would make an ideal book, but McCullough's treatment somehow falls short. It seems to dwell too long on too many areas of peripheral interest, but he does bring out some of the fascinating characters associated with the history of the canal. One problem for an audio book is that there are too many characters, and you can't easily go back a few pages and figure "who was that guy?" He would have done well to limit the narrative to maybe 2/3 of the people and help us follow along better. And the narration is simply appalling. He sounds like he is trying to read this for a class of third graders: much too slowly, with very little animation or color. You are stuck for 31 hours, anyone else could have read this in 24 I dare say.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Conservationist

  • By: Nadine Gordimer
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 35

Mehring, a rich, powerful and vital industrialist, has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer. But his possessions refuse to remain objects: his wife, son, and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; and even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm. Nadine Gordimer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, paints a portrait of a man both reckless and calculating, left only with the possibility of self-preservation.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • New chapter?

  • By Mark on 07-30-15

Simply awful

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

Reviewed: 02-22-18

The author is good at crafting language, but the story is... well... there isn't one. It jumps around, it has no thread to follow, it's confusing and ultimately deeply boring with nothing to say. The narrator does well with the various ethnicities, but is often unclear in her enunciation, with uneven dynamics that make listening even more challenging. I endured through about half the book and then gave up.

  • Guns, Germs and Steel

  • The Fate of Human Societies
  • By: Jared Diamond
  • Narrated by: Doug Ordunio
  • Length: 16 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,068
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,226

Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A story all should know, not all can endure

  • By Daniel on 12-19-11

Interesting but too long

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

Reviewed: 02-20-18

The book explores some fascinating questions and has very interesting points to make; it just takes far too long to make them. There is a lot of repetition along the way, and many unnecessary tangents which would have been best omitted. The narration is flat, monotonous, and adds nothing to keeping the reader's interest. An abridged version by a better reader who at least pretends to be interested in his subject would be a welcome improvement.

  • The Tea Planter's Daughter

  • The India Tea Series, Book 1
  • By: Janet MacLeod Trotter
  • Narrated by: Sarah Coomes
  • Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197

Lush, green, fragrant: the Indian hills of Assam are full of promise. But eighteen-year-old Clarissa Belhaven is full of worry. The family tea plantation is suffering, and so is her father, still grieving over the untimely death of his wife, while Clarissa's fragile sister, Olive, needs love and resourceful care. Beautiful and headstrong, Clarissa soon attracts the attention of young, brash Wesley Robson, a rival tea planter.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Book 1 indeed!

  • By David Bogosian on 09-30-16

Book 1 indeed!

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

Reviewed: 09-30-16

Before investing 15+ hours in this book, do know that the plot lines will not be in the least bit resolved, but you'll just have been set up for book 2 (and maybe 3, I don't know). Having said that, I very much enjoyed the book. The author does not betray any great in-depth knowledge of Indian topography, flora, or culture; that aspect is a little disappointing. Nor, despite the continuous references to tea throughout the story, does she enlighten us about what makes for a good tea, or the nuances of its production, blending, and distribution. The story, while set initially in India, quickly transitions to Newcastle, England, and remains firmly there for the rest of the book. The primary story, perhaps, is that of two sisters struggling against some rather cruel and unfortunate strokes of fate, and by dint of the elder sister's doggedness and tenacity, managing to overcome them. The story is an epic one, beginning in the protagonist's early adulthood and continuing through (at the end of book 1) to her being age 33. The follow-on will surely take us through another decade or two. It is very much an old-fashioned type story, with many fortuitous coincidences that stretch one's credulity and a predictability that becomes evident from the first few chapters. Yet it is endlessly varied and kept fresh, as new characters come and old ones fade out, and there is constant drama and tension that keep you wanting to move forward.

A word on the performance: not very well done, I'm afraid. The reader over-enunciates and her sense of timing is frequently dead wrong and inappropriate to the context of what is being said. Her rendering of male voices is clumsy and unconvincing; most of them sound badly constipated and stiff as wood. Indian characters are not realistic sounding, but she does sound plausible with her north English lower class accents. Fortunately, the plot carries the listener forward and one learns to overlook the weakness of the reading.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • At Home in Mitford

  • A Novel
  • By: Jan Karon
  • Narrated by: John McDonough
  • Length: 19 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,082
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,619
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,594

It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's 60 years old.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Sara on 01-29-14

Overblown, soapy, and lacking a core

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

Reviewed: 08-28-16

This, I'm sorry to say, is not a novel. It does follow a central character (Father Tim) but it has no central story with some sort of arc. Instead, it's a loose collection of individual episodes or anecdotes, all revolving around Father Tim, and all involving a huge cast of characters that form the townspeople and parishioners. Characters rise to prominence and then fade into obscurity, over and over again. People you thought would be key characters from the start of things end up lost and forgotten. Story lines you thought would provide a structure and a core to the book end up being little anecdotes that vanish into the ether.

E.g., it starts out with an elderly parishioner donating a painting to the church. Some think it may be a Vermeer, so a huge to-do is stirred up involving an appraiser. But, it turns out not to be a Vermeer. End of story, at about hour 2. There is one very slight reference to it way later, but nothing more. Supposedly Fr. Tim marveled at its beauty and was hoping it would turn out not to be a Vermeer so he could hang it in the church, and yet it's virtually never again mentioned. Many other examples of the same, where you are constantly disappointed looking for a thread to follow.

The characters are all genial, all kindly, all excessively good natured. The town is an idyllic paradise where even the homeless and marginal are good people. The rector (pastor) is full of good intentions, loves all his parishioners and they all love him. It's a nice idea, and one may enjoy such fare for 5-6 hours, but for 20? No thanks.

The writing is flat and uninspiring. Many little verbal motifs are repeated in amateurish fashion; I can't count the number of times we encountered a "crackling fire" in the hearth.

The bright point here is the narration, which is superb. Characters are rendered accurately, consistently, and with a charming southern drawl which sounds very appropriate to my California ears (having not spent many days in North Carolina).

  • Language A to Z

  • By: John McWhorter, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John McWhorter
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,365
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,239
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,210

Linguistics, the study of language, has a reputation for being complex and inaccessible. But here's a secret: There's a lot that's quirky and intriguing about how human language works-and much of it is downright fun to learn about. But with so many potential avenues of exploration, it can often seem daunting to try to understand it. Where does one even start?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A genious Miscelany of linguistic topics

  • By Jacobus on 05-06-14

Dreadful

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

Reviewed: 08-11-16

This course embodies all that is wrong in modern culture. To wit:
1. The lectures are far too short (15 min) presumably to accommodate the video-gamer's attention span.
2. The lecturer's delivery is so fast paced, it's dizzying and difficult to comprehend.
3. The delivery also suffers from his desire to throw in clever asides that are often not clever, not amusing, and simply distract from the point at hand.
4. The topics are random, unrelated, not developed.
5. The author has way too high an opinion of himself, comes across smug, self-righteous, overly familiar, gratingly condescending.

In short, a sort of potpourri of light little anecdotes of modest educational or entertainment value, but not a serious introduction to a serious subject.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works

  • By: Robert Greenberg, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Greenberg
  • Length: 24 hrs and 53 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 975
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 890
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 872

Over the centuries, orchestral music has given us a category of works that stand apart as transcendent expressions of the human spirit. What are these "greatest of the greats"? Find out in these 32 richly detailed lectures that take you on a sumptuous grand tour of the symphonic pieces that continue to live at the center of our musical culture.These 30 masterworks form an essential foundation for any music collection and a focal point for understanding the orchestral medium and deepening your insight into the communicative power of music.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If they cut off both hands, I will compose music..

  • By Kristi R. on 02-01-15

Fabulous survey of classical music

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

Reviewed: 08-11-16

Greenberg is easily the best of all the Great Courses lecturers I have listened to: entertaining, witty, very knowledgeable, and clearly enjoys communicating his knowledge. The course covers the broad span of western music in a very useful way. We can all quibble about his choices; I personally felt he over-emphasized the 20th century, most of which lectures I sampled and skipped. The presentation suffers from his premise that each lecture should be self-sufficient, leading to innumerable repetitions of the definition of sonata form, for instance. And if you haven't heard his other series, you will never truly understand sonata form because he can never get into its definition in any great depth. Nonetheless, you will get a sense of how music developed, learn many fascinating anecdotes about these composers whom we idolise so much, and generally enjoy yourself in the process.