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  • 34
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  • In the Garden of Beasts

  • Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,839
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,847
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,847

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Frightening, Powerful, Deeply Thought-provoking.

  • By Chris on 06-04-11

Really Excellent

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

This book provides a unique and insightful view of arguably the most critical events of the 20th century. I have read many books about World War 2 and events leading up to the war but I have never read a book with so much personal information about the period when Hitler came to power.

  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,986
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,554
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36,441

In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Formula over fiction

  • By Evan M Carlson on 11-01-17

AI

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

This is an excellent book in every respect; great story, great narration and outstanding research.

  • The Long Walk

  • The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
  • By: Slavomir Rawicz
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 775
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 534
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 534

Twenty-six-year-old cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and sent to the Siberian Gulag. In the spring of 1941, he escaped with six of his fellow prisoners, including one American. Thus began their astonishing trek to freedom.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, well read

  • By Roger on 09-13-07

Great book and outstanding performance.

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

Reviewed: 05-23-16

Would you listen to The Long Walk again? Why?

Sure. It's an outstanding narrative.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The girl.

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

A moving performance.

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

A 4000 Mile Journey.

Any additional comments?

Would like to hear what happened to the people in later years.

  • The Information

  • A History, a Theory, a Flood
  • By: James Gleick
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 16 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,446
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,055
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,059

James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Ge­nius, brings us his crowning work: a revelatory chronicle that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant book, heroic reader, better in print?

  • By A reader on 03-12-11

Excellent Book

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

Reviewed: 02-26-16

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

It is a great scientific narrative.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Information?

The discussion of the second law of thermodynamics.

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

No.

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

Sure but it is too long for that.

  • The Limits of Power

  • The End of American Exceptionalism
  • By: Andrew J. Bacevich
  • Narrated by: Eric Conger
  • Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111

The Limits of Power identifies a profound triple crisis facing America: the economy, in remarkable disarray, can no longer be fixed by relying on expansion abroad; the government, transformed by an imperial presidency, is a democracy in form only; U.S. involvement in endless wars, driven by a deep infatuation with military power, has been a catastrophe for the body politic. If the nation is to solve its predicament, it will need the revival of a distinctly American approach.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tired of the noise?

  • By Nathan T on 11-03-09

Great Book.

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Limits of Power to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No characters.

Which scene was your favorite?

No scenes

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

No.

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent book. It provides a clear and lucid analysis of U.S. attempts to extend power into regions and situations without a strategic plan.

  • Spillover

  • By: David Quammen
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 20 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 668
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 605

The emergence of strange new diseases is a frightening problem that seems to be getting worse. In this age of speedy travel, it threatens a worldwide pandemic. We hear news reports of Ebola, SARS, AIDS, and something called Hendra killing horses and people in Australia - but those reports miss the big truth that such phenomena are part of a single pattern. The bugs that transmit these diseases share one thing: they originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. David Quammen tracks this subject around the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good story with a few slow moments

  • By K on 05-11-14

Great Book

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

Reviewed: 09-01-14

Would you listen to Spillover again? Why?

Not only would listen to Spillover again but I plan to do so within the next week. The reason I will listen again is that it contains excellent scientific information encapsulated in a very entertaining story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Spillover?

I frequently hike and hunt and I am concerned about Lyme Disease. I have read numerous explanations and discussions about the disease but nowhere did I find a description as clear and succinct as the information in this book. In fact the book completely changed my understanding of Lyme Disease.

Which scene was your favorite?

The AIDS epidemic's beginning in the early 20th century. Especially the theory that early attempts to improve African population resistance to known diseases using hypodermic needle injection without modern sterilization may have been a key factor in accelerating the epidemic. The attempt to do something good may have had a bad outcome.

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

Yes but it a little too long for that!

Any additional comments?

I especially liked the way this book is organized. I frequently go back and listen to specific topics and this book is beautifully organized with many chapters which correspond to specific discussions making it easy to go back.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Cave and the Light

  • Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization
  • By: Arthur Herman
  • Narrated by: Paul Hecht
  • Length: 25 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231

The Cave and the Light reveals how two Greek philosophers became the twin fountainheads of Western culture, and how their rivalry gave Western civilization its unique dynamism down to the present.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is a great book

  • By Gary on 04-25-14

Outstanding Book

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

Reviewed: 06-08-14

Where does The Cave and the Light rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It ranks in the top 10%.

What did you like best about this story?

The flow of historical events since 300 BC and how they relate to the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. Really excellent.

Which scene was your favorite?

The siege of Syracuse.

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

Michelangelo's letter to a friend regarding the Sistine Chapel, " I'm not in a good place and I'm no painter".

Any additional comments?

The very most interesting part of the book was William of Ockham. I had heard about Occam's razor. However, I was completely unaware of the global impact this idea had on the development of philosophy.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Third Horseman

  • Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century
  • By: William Rosen
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

In May 1315 it started to rain. It didn't stop anywhere in north Europe until August. Next came the four coldest winters in a millennium. Two separate animal epidemics killed nearly 80 percent of northern Europe's livestock. Wars between Scotland and England, France and Flanders, and two rival claimants to the Holy Roman Empire destroyed all remaining farmland. After seven years, the combination of lost harvests, warfare, and pestilence would claim six million lives - one eighth of Europe's total population.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not About Famine or Climate

  • By George on 05-24-14

Not About Famine or Climate

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

Reviewed: 05-24-14

If you could sum up The Third Horseman in three words, what would they be?

Climate, Famine not

Would you be willing to try another book from William Rosen? Why or why not?

Don't think so. Considering the title I expected this book to be about the 14th century famine and how climate caused it. However, the book is actually about the convoluted machinations of kings and nobles during this period and has almost nothing about the famine or climate. I expect the current heated discussions about climate change contributed to the selection of the title.

Which character – as performed by William Hughes – was your favorite?

The narration was good.

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

Kings and Nobles

Any additional comments?

If someone is interested in details of kings and nobles, primarily in England and Scotland, during this period the book may be worthwhile.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Elephant Whisperer

  • My Life with the Herd in the African Wild
  • By: Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,152
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,728
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,739

>When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful story, beautifully written

  • By Tango on 01-12-13

A Truly Great Book

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

Reviewed: 05-18-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Elephant Whisperer to be better than the print version?

I did not yet read the print version; however, the audio version is really excellent.

What did you like best about this story?

The book represents a unique combination of adventure, wildlife lore, insight into animal behavior and general storytelling that is absolutely great. I kept thinking it would drop off in interest and intensity, as many books do, but it did not. It is one of the best books I have ever read - listened to. And all the books I have read would fill a really large room top to bottom.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

Excellent! He conveys the spirit of the story in a compelling voice.

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

The rescue of the baby elephant and the attempt to help it recover.

Any additional comments?

I purchased a Kindle copy of this book for my 13 year old granddaughter today and I will recommend it to everyone I know.

  • Duty

  • Memoirs of a Secretary at War
  • By: Robert M. Gates
  • Narrated by: George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
  • Length: 25 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,048
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,821
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,816

From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clear and evenhanded

  • By DaWoolf on 02-05-14

A Candid and Timely View of Our Government

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

Reviewed: 01-19-14

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

Absolutely yes. It explains how our government works in a way I have not found elsewhere. It elucidates the interaction of Congress, the Administration and Foreign Governments, especially on military issues. That the book is written now, as opposed to 5 years from now, greatly enhances its value to the public.

What did you like best about this story?

The candid narrative from a person who was Secretary of Defense for two administrations Republican and Democratic. I believe Secretary Gates does his best to provide a true representation of the events described in the book. On several occasions he includes issues where he admits that he was wrong.

What does George Newbern and Robert M. Gates bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A sense of the emotional context.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

I was very surprised by the high level of influence that foreign governments have on military decisions made by our government.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful