LISTENER

Ted

PARK CITY, UT, United States
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 199
  • ratings
Woolly audiobook cover art
  • Woolly
  • The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History's Most Iconic Extinct Creatures
  • By: Ben Mezrich
  • Narrated by: Ben Mezrich

Narrator struggles with science pronunciations

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

Reviewed: 12-22-17

I don’t know whether it’s a bad editing job or just a bad narrator, but this narrator can’t pronounce Pleistocene correctly. And at one point he mistakenly says “substance” when the text clearly must have read “sustenance.” I’m a huge fan of George Church, and loved the author’s previous “Billionaires” work. Great book, but Audible needs to stop phoning it in on their production quality.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Glass Cage audiobook cover art

Bereft of Comparisons to Non-Automated Systems

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

Reviewed: 06-16-15

Any additional comments?

I work for a home automation company (Control4), so I eagerly wanted a well-grounded view of the problems of automation. Instead, Carr's book wound up being pretty thin stew.

Carr's major flaw is a lack of critical thinking. Throughout he offers numerous--sometimes frightening--anecdotes highlighting the hazards of automation, but never does he compare with non-automated systems. For example, he cites a few cases of airline incidents caused by pilots who have allegedly lost their muscle memory for flying aircraft because automation has reduced their active participation in controlling planes. But Carr then utterly fails to compare whether we had fewer pilot error instances when aircraft were less automated. With tens of thousands of aircraft aloft each day, is flying more dangerous now than they were when systems were less automated, and therefore more prone to human error? Carr provides nothing in this seemingly obvious regard. Without demonstrating that automation has made flight more dangerous based on real comparisons, Carr just comes off as Henny Penny.

Similarly, Carr tries at one point to proclaim that automation is making jobs scarce. But Carr makes this assertion without consulting modern day economists. It could be true, but I don't see a compelling case laid out. Carr only offers more doom-and-gloom postulation. Custom Electronics installation in homes--my field--is now a booming industry, and companies that deal in it can't hire skilled technicians fast enough. As another reviewer (Chet Yarbrough) points out, people may need help adapting to the change, but that does not mean we can stop the advance of automation.

I came to this book looking for a solid analysis of the negative impacts of automation. What I got was a lot of unsubstantiated hypotheses and fearful anecdotes. The only thing certain that listening to this book got me was this: Carr doesn't like automation.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

NPCs audiobook cover art

Not What I Had Hoped For...

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

Reviewed: 05-21-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I thought the premise would yield a book much more clever than this. Instead, it read as a rather mediocre fantasy novel that had only a fringe of stuff thrown in for the avid gamer.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World audiobook cover art

Go straight to the Afterword

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

Reviewed: 04-06-15

Never have I listen to an audible recording where was so obvious that the afterword was actually the foreword. It lays out the structure of the book, making it much more comprehensible. The material of the book is excellent, but by all means go to the very end and listen to the afterword. Then listen to the rest of the book. You will get much more from the history of this book tells if you do so.

Small Gods audiobook cover art

Bad Audio Quality, as w/other Discworld Audiobooks

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

Reviewed: 10-30-12

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes. If I were audible, I'd remaster the original audio to clean out the dull sound quality. Nigel Planer is too good a narrator to waste on poor audio quality.

Would you be willing to try another book from Terry Pratchett? Why or why not?

Yes, but I seldom get them because so many have the same audio problem.

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

Planer *is* the characters he portrays. (I was pleased to see that the BBC cast him in their adaptations of Pratchett's books. I hope it was because of his role in helping create the feeling of Pratchett's Discworld.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bad Astronomy audiobook cover art
  • Bad Astronomy
  • Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing 'Hoax'
  • By: Philip Plait
  • Narrated by: Kevin Scullin

Bad Narration Ruins Good Books

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

Reviewed: 08-20-12

What didn’t you like about Kevin Scullin’s performance?

Scullin wrecked this audiobook. Plait is an engaging author and speaker, but you have to know his voice and down to earth style to narrate his writing effectively. Scullin not only doesn't know Plait's voice, he doesn't seem to understand the material. Scullin misses important emphases, shows discomfort pronouncing basic terms, and overplays Plait's various puns. Early in the introductory paragraphs of the book, Plait makes his key point about the need to turn around our nation's attitude about basic scientific literacy by recounting a story of several national newscasters admitting one air that they did not understand a NASA-related news story they had just read. The irony was painful.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Some Remarks audiobook cover art

A good read for Stephenson fans...

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

Reviewed: 08-20-12

What about Jeff Cummings’s performance did you like?

Cummings gives exactly the right voice for Stephenson's prose. He gets the inflections right, and makes Stephonson's deep-dive geeking fun and entertaining.

Any additional comments?

I found this book shed light on a lot of the questions I ponder when reading Stephenson's various works. Questions like, "how did he ever come up with this?" If you have not read Stephenson, don't start with this. If you enjoyed books like Cryptonomicon, Anathem, and the Baroque Cycle, this is for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Loved Dog audiobook cover art

Lamely Woo-woo

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-11

The narrator manages to convey perfectly the exquisite, whiny moralizing of this book's tone. Listening to it, I couldn't help but think I was hearing the same ungrounded Los Angeles mindset that has celebrities promoting anti-vaccination FUD.

Compassion is an essential element to living with and relating to any domestic animal. But there are more scientific (and common sense) ways to approach dog training.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Before the Dawn audiobook cover art

Unfortunately Inaccurate

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-11

From the outset, the author makes several outdated claims. After claiming chimpanzees to be more similar to gorillas than humans--a statement that would require the author to ignore altogether what was known in 2006 from genetic and cladistic study--I gave up in fear that I might not catch other egregious inaccuracies.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful