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P. Smith

  • 28
  • reviews
  • 175
  • helpful votes
  • 29
  • ratings
  • Island

  • By: Aldous Huxley
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 817
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 739
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 734

In his final novel - which he considered his most important - Aldous Huxley transports us to the remote Pacific island of Pala, where an ideal society has flourished for 120 years. Inevitably, this island of bliss attracts the envy and enmity of the surrounding world. A conspiracy is underway to take over Pala, and events are set in motion when an agent of the conspirators, a newspaperman named Faranby, is shipwrecked there. What Faranby doesn't expect is how his time with the people of Pala will revolutionize all his values and - to his amazement - give him hope.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great narration for a great book.

  • By AndrewL on 09-21-16

Tune in, turn on, drop out!

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

Reviewed: 04-25-18

What disappointed you about Island?

Very dated

Which scene was your favorite?

The opening scene

What character would you cut from Island?

The new raja

Any additional comments?

This is one long paean to Timothy Leary’s, “Tune in, turn on, drop out.” Published in 1960, at about the same time. Having lived through that era, I have some sympathy for his point of view, but not worth the time in the 21st century. And having it end in despair was just too much!

  • Lost Connections

  • Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions
  • By: Johann Hari
  • Narrated by: Johann Hari
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,070
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,900
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,894

From the New York Times best-selling author of Chasing the Scream, a radically new way of thinking about depression and anxiety. What really causes depression and anxiety - and how can we really solve them?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Are we turning the corner....

  • By jaga on 06-07-18

Good book. Too much personal story for the topic.

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

Reviewed: 04-14-18

There is a great deal to be learned from this book. Especially regarding the insane modern approach to depression. But he strays well into neo-Luddism with some of his stories. Especially the, "noble savage" segment about the native Americans, whose war mortality rate was upward of 25%. Depression is a real problem, but a little perspective is in order. With starvation, war and murder all at all time lows in human history, a return to the bloody past is hardly a recipe for success. But if you ignore this, and focus on the facts, you will learn a lot.

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • God

  • The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction
  • By: Dan Barker
  • Narrated by: Dan Barker, Richard Dawkins, Buzz Kemper
  • Length: 15 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 311
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 281

Originally conceived as a joint presentation between influential thinker and best-selling author Richard Dawkins and former evangelical preacher Dan Barker, this unique book provides an investigation into what may be the most unpleasant character in all fiction. Barker combs through both the Old and New Testaments (as well as 13 different editions of the "Good Book"), presenting powerful evidence for why Scripture shouldn't govern our everyday lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally, we hear what is not cherry-picked.

  • By Abraham R. on 09-13-16

A great reference book.

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

Reviewed: 04-14-18

If you enjoy hoisting the religious in their own petards, this book will certainly help.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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 4,349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,814
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,783

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

Plenty of facts to counter the doomsday crowd.

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

Reviewed: 04-14-18

Tired of doom and gloom? This is a great antidote. Towards the end he goes over the top with undocumented opinion. But overall a terrific book. And for the most part, extremely well documented.

  • Tandia

  • By: Bryce Courtenay
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 26 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,159
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,548
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,553

Tandia is a child of all Africa: half Indian, half African, beautiful and intelligent, she is only 16 when she is first brutalized by the police. Her fear of the white man leads her to join the black resistance movement. With her in the fight for justice is the one white man Tandia can trust, the welterweight champion of the world, Peekay. Now he must fight their common enemy in order to save both their lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thanks for this wonderful collaboration

  • By Thomas Andrews on 05-17-06

Doesn't live up to, "The Power of One."

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

Reviewed: 03-03-18

My third Bryce Courtney book, and least favorite. Too much boxing, too much over the top coincidences, and too silly an ending. It's OK, but after "The Power of One," a disappointment.

  • Wesley the Owl

  • The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl
  • By: Stacey O'Brien
  • Narrated by: Renée Raudman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Written with the same heartwarming sentiment that made the memoir Marley & Me a runaway best seller, biologist and owl expert Stacey O'Brien chronicles her rescue of an adorable, abandoned baby barn owl - and their astonishing and unprecedented 19-year life together.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I loved the story of Wesley the Owl

  • By Cheryl on 05-21-09

Great story, well find

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

Reviewed: 09-15-17

Would have given this 5 stars but for the bit about humans communicating via mental telepathy with birds. Other than that, a moving story of one loving, owl obsessed woman whose obsession proved to be a life saver.

  • Ep. 3: Sarah Silverman

  • By: Jonathan Katz, Sarah Silverman, H. Jon Benjamin, and others
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Katz, Sarah Silverman, H. Jon Benjamin, and others
  • Length: 12 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 664
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 580

[Contains explicit content] Sarah Silverman tries to figure out why she doesn’t want kids. Ben wants to generate social media buzz.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love

  • By CathyGrace on 06-10-17

Wasn't even funny. short waste of time.

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

Reviewed: 08-30-17

Did not enjoy this at all would not waste my time in it. I usually like audible comedy.

  • An Economic History of the World since 1400

  • By: Donald J. Harreld, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Donald J. Harreld
  • Length: 24 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,071

Most of us have a limited understanding of the powerful role economics has played in shaping human civilization. This makes economic history - the study of how civilizations structured their environments to provide food, shelter, and material goods - a vital lens through which to think about how we arrived at our present, globalized moment. Designed to fill a long-empty gap in how we think about modern history, these 48 lectures are a comprehensive journey through more than 600 years of economic history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good content, tough to listen

  • By Rick on 10-27-16

Great Courses...NOT!

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

Reviewed: 01-12-17

What would have made An Economic History of the World since 1400 better?

Actually discussing some economics. This author seems not to have any desire to discuss anything but preaching the dogma of Keynesian theory

What do you think your next listen will be?

No idea, but non fiction

What three words best describe Professor Donald J. Harreld’s performance?

Biased, boring, simplistic

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger, disappointment

Any additional comments?

So much lacking. So much misinformation. Example: he righty states that the British starved the Indian subcontinent for their cash crops, but when they did the same to the Irish, he blames the Irish, not mentioning that there was plenty of food to feed the Irish but it was shipped back to England to make whiskey and rye. nor that the British. we're determined to depopulate Ireland. he seems never to have heard of many of The economists of the 19th and twentieth century, Schopenhauer, Von Mises, Von Hayek, Rothbard, etc. These economists don't fit his world view that governments should control all things economic. he lauds the Soviet Union for its " progressive" economics, failing to mention the millions deliberately starved to death by these policies.
I have been listening to great courses for at least 30 years, since the days of cassette tapes. Never before have I been completely disappointed. this is NOT a great course. This's is not even a mediocre course. this is economic brainwashing 101

24 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes

  • The Heirloom Collection
  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 58 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,495
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,018
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,016

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales are rightly ranked among the seminal works of mystery and detective fiction. Included in this collection are all four full-length Holmes novels and more than forty short masterpieces - from the inaugural adventure A Study in Scarlet to timeless favorites like “The Speckled Band” and more. At the center of each stands the iconic figure of Holmes - brilliant, eccentric, and capable of amazing feats of deductive reasoning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Table of Contents & Audible Part/Chapter Notes

  • By SantaFePainter on 11-18-13

Best way to enjoy these books.

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

Reviewed: 11-22-16

Have tried reading this in the past. Could never get into it. With the excellent multiple voices and inflections this was quite enjoyable. I do fiction only rarely.

  • The Johnstown Flood

  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,898
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,211

At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel

  • By Susan K Donley on 06-17-05

Fascinating story of this tragedy.

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

Incredibly well researched. Woven into a touching story of ordinary people dealing with an epic disaster.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful