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Mark of the Christian audiobook cover art

Read everyday to keep devils away.

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

Reviewed: 02-05-19

This book is brilliant. An articulation of the sharpest point (the whole point) of Christianity that sadly is often obscured by the day to day of living.

I don’t know if I’ll actually read this book every single day for the rest of my life (probably just long enough to memorize the key points and then revisit)... but there are most definitely worse ways to spend the time. It’s about an hour long and after you become familiar with the text you can speed up the recording to refresh.

My new daily devotion will be this book: or the second half of Schaeffer’s Art and the Bible.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus audiobook cover art

Game Changer

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

This book is one of the rare books I have read that have been life changing. As Nabeel fought against coming to Christ out of concern for his family, his struggle echoed my own as I was reluctant and AM reluctant to cause any stress for my wife. Anyways as Nabeel asked God for visions I felt desperate and searching in my own way. Walking past several icicles I felt a strange compulsion that it was a sign in response to one of several spiritual questions I faced. The answer was Luke 3:1-6 which seemed a directive to receive baptism. I don’t believe this was a coincidence other circumstances considered... but even if that’s all it was, For Me, it was at least a proof to the uncommon and miraculous of Nabeel. I hope to use this book as a guide and recommendation to those closest to me, that I may receive baptism with their support.

Save the Cat! audiobook cover art

If you only read one...

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

This shouldn’t be the only book on screenwriting you read, but it may be the only one you’ll keep coming back to.

It’s shockingly astute if you can reject the myth that writing is a magical process. And, if you can overcome a writer’s ego that the “laws” of this craft can ACTUALLY be articulated most accurately by phrases like “Save the Cat” or “pope in the pool.”

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Mao audiobook cover art

Comparable to Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago

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

Reviewed: 12-06-15

What made the experience of listening to Mao the most enjoyable?

On the whole, that this book exists, and that the truths about sinister dictators like Mao will eventually come to light. Though Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago was told in the first person from someone "on the ground," and Mao was told by researchers, it wasn't lost on me that Jung Chang's relatives experienced the terrors of Mao firsthand. In a way, this didn't make the book "enjoyable" so much as "revel in the justice" of this book existing.

For the American left that view Mao as some sort of cultural hero this book should set you straight, and for the American right that view modern China as some sort of ingenious state-capitalism machine -- it would also likely set "you" straight in the realization that "state authority" only comes on the tail of "state violence." Whatever one's political persuasion may be, if you're able to stomach the horrors without brushing them away as the bias of the author, you'll find this book an extremely rewarding experience.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mao?

Mao's demonic poems about enjoying and hoping for the destruction of the universe. I've seen reviewers that were critical of the book claiming it wasn't "balanced" yet, what type of "balance" are they looking for if what they mean by balance is omission?

The most memorable event (in hindsight) was a communist party event where the audience basically "clapped down Mao" in order to avoid a famine; this memorable even because the setup for a payoff which was a massive and violent purge where Mao avenged himself against those whom basically clapped against him.

Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favorite?

Awesome narration -- no characters, but his voice was strong and made you feel as if you could "stand up" to all the terrible things Mao was doing.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I listened to it in less than 2-weeks, but the horrors and atrocities committed by Mao made frequent breaks necessary.

Any additional comments?

I listened in a midst of listening to other histories of a relatively similar time period -- strangely, this book made me question Franklin Delano Roosevelt's legacy as such a "wonderful president" considering all that's presented here, even though that was not the purpose of the book. This book is a great standalone history of the forces that shaped modern China, but also feels like the missing puzzle piece in terms of World War II events that helped shape not only modern China but the balance of power in the world thereafter.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Gulag Archipelago, Volume l audiobook cover art

MUST READ

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

Reviewed: 12-06-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Gulag Archipelago, Volume l to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but because this is a review for all three volumes, I must point out that I wouldn't have had the stamina to read the three volume work. That said I feel that this should be required reading for American politicians and planners of any sort... Why? because all too often planners get caught up in the dream of creating utopias -- in Solzhenitsyn's staggering work, he tells the stories of those whom were ground up in the gears of a utopia -- or perhaps more appropriately, a real world dystopia. If anyone had an inclination to think that most contemporary dystopian stories wax a little stupid, this massive 3 work volume will make contemporary dystopian fiction impossible to listen to -- and I mean that in a good way. Fact has been said to be stranger than fiction, and in this case much more terrible. Gave me new perspectives on how to look at histories, especially revisionist ones of ancient societies especially given that so little is known to the outside world of those doomed to life in the gulags.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author, there are no character's per se. I liked the author very much though because he was able to tell his story with an almost poetic (and sometimes humorous/ironic) flare that helped make the horrors he was describing more palatable. Not palatable in the sense of being acceptable, but he helped shield you with such a way that while the horror was never lost on you, you were also unable to look away.

What about Frederick Davidson’s performance did you like?

He captured the irony of the author perfectly. The nuances and inflections also helped convey the character. If I were reading this silently in my head, I think the book might've been too depressing and difficult to complete. That said, there is an abridged version which I plan to purchase for my own home library at some point.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A real world dystopia.

Any additional comments?

It's difficult at times to get through because sometimes it will make you feel like you're losing faith in humanity, but just when you feel like you're ready to give up -- the author redeems you with his sharp wit and philosophical perceptions that provide hope and also "scale" for the troubles we face in our own lives. After listening to this, I definitely feel I've become more solemn and less neurotic in my own approach and dealings with things that are out of one's hands.

56 of 57 people found this review helpful

The Unfettered Mind audiobook cover art

Better than Art of War

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

Reviewed: 12-06-15

Where does The Unfettered Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Compared to books of similar length and type, I'd say this is perhaps my favorite.

What did you like best about this story?

It's not a story, but basically Buddhist advice. It's very concise and can be abstracted to apply to a whole host of situations; this is what I had hoped for and why I listened. In the sense of well told and contemporarily applicable abstractions, I found this better than Sun Tzu's Art of War which though more famous seems more forced to fit contemporary situations. Soho's book is more "airy" so in a sense perhaps more difficult than Art of War (which I presume is why it's less famous) yet at the same time, I found it more fruitful in helping provide new perspectives on things.

Have you listened to any of Roger Clark’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First time I believe, but he did a solid job conveying the wisdom in a non-pretentious voice. The content was the words of the sage and thanks to Roger Clark were delivered as such.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I don't think they could, but don't let that dissuade you.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator audiobook cover art

Not just for Financial Types

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

Reviewed: 12-06-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, definitely. I'd recommend this to EVERYONE interested in finance, and anyone that has an interest in how the world works. Though the book is obviously for a financial audience, it is truly a classic because the advice present can easily be abstracted to apply to any field. One could skim over technical analysis and focus only on the parts that apply to the narrator mastering himself and come out a winner.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator?

When I felt/had the realization that today's stock market is no different than the one discussed in this book. Sure, the "bells and whistles" have changed, the face of things perhaps -- but the underpinnings of how the market works and the internal struggle one must go through in order to come out on top doesn't.

What does Rick Rohan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Many times I forgot that Rick Rohan was "just the narrator" and often felt as if Edwin Lefevre/Jessie Livermore were whispering in my ear.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions, but many "a-ha" moments.

The Big Sleep audiobook cover art

Basecamp for Noir

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

Reviewed: 12-06-15

Where does The Big Sleep rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I've listend to over a hundred books so it's hard to rank this as a top ten in comparison with Dostoevsky, or Solzhenitsyn... however, this is the "one" book that I selected to give me a flavor of detective stories -- I picked this over many contemporary authors and wasn't disappointed. I had read Mickey Spillane works in print though and thought those were slightly more entertaining.

What did you like best about this story?

The protagonist's point of view, and descriptions of Los Angeles.

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ray Porter did a stellar job reading, you feel like a movie is playing in your mind.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I can't recall a moment where I laughed or cried, but it was solidly enjoyable and waxed "sexy" at times without ever becoming grotesque.

Any additional comments?

This would probably be a great audio listen for a flight from New to L.A. especially as the flight is about as long as the book. Would be cool to listen to this before visiting California for the first time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Cave and the Light audiobook cover art
  • The Cave and the Light
  • Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization
  • By: Arthur Herman
  • Narrated by: Paul Hecht

Brilliant Tour through History

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

Reviewed: 12-06-15

What did you love best about The Cave and the Light?

Though I suspect that author favored Aristotle over Plato, he did a very solid job of not seeming biased. Often times authors will go out of their way to NOT be biased which typically ends up revealing bias in favor of the contrary viewpoint. In the Cave and The Light, the author seemed (to me) to prefer Aristotle over Plato, but also was valued Plato. He highlighted both favorable and unfavorable incarnations of these philosophers throughout history.

What did you like best about this story?

The vast breadth of this work. I had read "Secret History of the World" which was a much more esoteric telling of world history, but comparing these two books -- Aristotle Versus Plato was much more intellectually satisfying, whereas the other work felt more fluffy. If you'd like to stand on a mountain and have a bird's eye view of philosophical history, this book is the perfect "lens."

Which scene was your favorite?

There was no scene in particular as it was non-fiction, but his summaries of other works throughout history including Wealth of Nations, The Prince, and Origin of the Species felt spot on (among other analysis he presented).

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Nothing particularly moving in an emotional sense -- except maybe the recognition of how extensively history repeats itself.

Any additional comments?

I'd highly recommend this. Not only for its own content, but for the fact that it's a great spring board for looking into other works.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

We audiobook cover art

Inspired 1984 and Brave New World

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

Reviewed: 12-06-15

What did you love best about We?

I can't say I loved this book, but it the writer's sense of irony was pretty entertaining.

What other book might you compare We to and why?

1984 because George Orwell self admittedly based 1984 on "WE" and he also accused Aldous Huxley of basing his Brave New World on it, though Huxley denied it and Orwell alleged that Huxley was lying. I personally feel that WE is superior to both 1984 and Brave New World, but not as good as Ayn Rand's Anthem -- but only because Anthem was done seriously whereas WE was more of a satire. As far as satires go, this one is tops.

Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

The primary character (I can't remember his name offhand, but it's a number instead)/

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I don't want to include a "spoiler" but the ending was pretty moving. It was hopeless and bleak but not as hopeless and bleak as other stories of this nature might be; in particular I liked the ending here better than that of 1984, Brave New World, and better than Harrison Bergeron.

Any additional comments?

If you're interested in serious dystopian and/or political fiction and enjoy reading non-fiction about totalitarian regimes, this book is for you.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful