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Aggressive Joe

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 9
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  • Hocus Pocus

  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: LJ Ganser
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 176

Eugene Debs Hartke describes an odyssey from college professor to prison inmate to prison warden back again to prisoner in another of Vonnegut's bitter satirical explorations of how and where (and why) the American dream begins to die. Employing his characteristic narrative device - a retrospective diary in which the protagonist retraces his life at its end, a desperate and disconnected series of events here in Hocus Pocus show Vonnegut with his mask off and his rhetorical devices unshielded.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun, zany and worth the read!

  • By Anonymous User on 12-09-17

It's not a Slaughterhouse Five, but still fun.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I think this is an overlooked title from Kurt. He was in full form and still a ton of fun with this book. I mowed through it very quickly.

  • When Montezuma Met Cortés

  • The True Story of the Meeting That Changed History
  • By: Matthew Restall
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 16 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

In 1519, the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortés first met Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, at the entrance to the capital city of Tenochtitlan. This introduction - the prelude to the Spanish seizure of Mexico City and to European colonization of the mainland of the Americas - has long been the symbol of Cortés' bold and brilliant military genius. Montezuma, on the other hand, is remembered as a coward who gave away a vast empire and touched off a wave of colonial invasions across the hemisphere. But is this really what happened?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Flawed, but worth it for those interested.

  • By Aggressive Joe on 02-16-18

Flawed, but worth it for those interested.

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

It is still good for people who love history, but too dry for those that just want a good story.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Like British historical writers, the book is a little too dry. I mean, a small group of soldiers walked into Mexico and toppled a civilization in a short period of time. Shouldn't that be interesting? Would that be siding with Cortes if more imagery and a more sweeping story were presented?

What about Steven Crossley’s performance did you like?

It is my American exceptionalism here, but the word 'war' is very short and has an 'a' in it. Why is it the English way to pronounce it as a dramatic version of 'wore'?

Any additional comments?

The writer has made this his life's work, which I absolutely respect. But he gets too carried away with some issues that do not seem to make sense. Such as:

- The Aztecs were a wonderful, sophisticated society, who only heinously killed some people, and not everyone like we were led to believe, and their use of slavery was apparently okay.

-It was the brilliant Montezuma that outsmarted the conquistadors and baited them perfectly into his trap. Silly conquistadors.

-Since record keeping was so great in the Caribbean in the early 1500's, we know that Cortes was a nobody whose only talent was his ability not to die.

-Somehow the United States was inserted into this a few times for negative purposes. What would his native Britain know about colonialism?

-It wasn't 400 Spanish soldiers, more like 2,000 that helped fold the largest civilization in South America...........how unimpressive.

The chapter on slavery was enough condemn Cortes and his fellow conquistadors, the author's other takedowns of Cortes come across as speculative and petty.

I would love to have the author's response to this. Thanks,

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Beautiful Ruins

  • By: Jess Walter
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,849
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,569
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,563

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • My mind wandered

  • By Ella on 11-25-12

The Best Fiction (audiobook or traditional) Ever

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

Reviewed: 12-10-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Beautiful Ruins to be better than the print version?

The audio version was amazing. I absolutely loved it.

What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

He did a great job!

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

Probably not as 17 hours of anything would be tough. But I moved through it quickly. Incredibly enjoyable.

Any additional comments?

I don't do much fiction, but this is now at the top of the list for me. It was an amazing story that will be with me for a long time.

  • The Son

  • By: Philipp Meyer
  • Narrated by: Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,808
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,814

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching examination of the bloody price of power, The Son is a gripping and utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American west with rare emotional acuity, even as it presents an intimate portrait of one family across two centuries. Eli McCullough is just twelve-years-old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his Texas homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him as a captive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer

  • By Mel on 06-04-13

Great Historical Fiction of the Southwest

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

Reviewed: 11-22-15

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

It is extremely violent, but is great at providing an image of Texas and the Southwest during wild times. It really draws you in.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It was really interesting how each of the primary characters had such different circumstances and challenges despite being in the same family and same location.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Oblivion

  • Stories
  • By: David Foster Wallace
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 14 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 171

In the stories that make up Oblivion, David Foster Wallace joins the rawest, most naked humanity with the infinite involutions of self-consciousness--a combination that is dazzlingly, uniquely his. These are worlds undreamt-of by any other mind. Only David Foster Wallace could convey a father's desperate loneliness by way of his son's daydreaming through a teacher's homicidal breakdown ("The Soul Is Not a Smithy"). Or could explore the deepest and most hilarious aspects of creativity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Just 2 Fast & Huge & ALL Interconnected 4 Words

  • By Darwin8u on 08-22-12

Overly-worded stories with no endings

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

Reviewed: 11-22-15

What would have made Oblivion better?

As lauded, Wallace was clearly very intelligent, but is seams like he is trying to beat you over the head with it. He is so wordy and goes into intense descriptions that seem to be completely unnecessary. I don't know if these stories had been writing exercises never intended for publication? The stories have no endings!!!

Which character – as performed by Robert Petkoff – was your favorite?

Despite the head-scratcher of a book, the narration was incredible. I can't imagine being tasked to have to record the reading of this book. Hope he was paid well.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • In the Kingdom of Ice

  • The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
  • By: Hampton Sides
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,167
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,975
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,976

In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: The North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever." The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Took a long time to develop

  • By Brandon on 02-20-15

Loved It!

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

Reviewed: 11-22-15

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

Absolutely. It was a great, detailed, well-written story. I really got sucked in. It didn't feel too long or too short. The toil the explorers went through to make scientific progress was unbelievable.

What other book might you compare In the Kingdom of Ice to and why?

Not sure. I haven't bought many nonfiction adventure stories like this one. I plan to continue finding stories of the genre.

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

He did a great job.

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

I really wasn't familiar with the story and didn't know how it was going to end until it was read out to me.

Any additional comments?

Out of a few dozen audio books that I have purchased, this might be my favorite.

  • The Book of Alpha

  • 30 Rules I Followed to Radically Enhance My Confidence, Charisma, Productivity, Success, and Life
  • By: David De Las Morenas
  • Narrated by: Millian Quinteros
  • Length: 1 hr and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 193

Every man comes to a crossroads at some point in his life. He can keep his head down and live a life marked by stagnation, fear, indecision, loneliness, and self-doubt, or he can break free from the crowd and live a life marked by growth, abundance, courage, success, and happiness.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Total Waste of Time

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-16-15

David "Slays Women".

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

Reviewed: 11-21-15

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The title doesn't say anything about hooking up with women. That is clearly his main bit. Could be helpful for a young "bro".

What could David De Las Morenas have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He is clearly a professional book writer that cobbles some junk together and sells it cheaply on Amazon/Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful