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  • How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
  • By: Jared Diamond
  • Narrated by: Christopher Murney
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,372
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 488
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 495

In his million-copy best seller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: what caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • an fascinating book, but better on paper

  • By Rebecca on 04-11-05

A classic

5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-26-12

Any additional comments?

I have now seen a tv show based on the book, read excerpts of the book, and listened to the full audio version. I must say that while the topic lends itself nicely to a visual presentation, I got the most out my Audible version. Why? It forced me to examine things too easily glossed over by a reader's eye half-fixated on the clock and visuals that too easily molded my tv-tuned gaze into a kind of flashy tunnel vision. The most important issues raised by Diamond really require the reader to hit the pause button and ponder. It is in these moments that extrapolations become most vivid because they are very personal and immediate. Yes, one could summarize the main themes and points of this book rather quickly, but that would be a shame. The book should be taken in slowly and its final pages should serve as the beginning of any reader's exploration of the matter, not the end.

  • Fooled by Randomness

  • The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,432
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,543
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,532

This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work, and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great information but...

  • By Ken Premo on 03-26-14

Fooled by Random House

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-09-09

After nearly 2 hrs of listening I had to give up. There are endless teasers about "what's to come" but very little is ultimately delivered. What little there is comes capped by unbelievable shoddiness: "and I imagine that few of those people today are . . ." How about doing a little investigating and THEN writing a book? Random House published this "outline for a book" and fooled us all.

16 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • The Stranger

  • By: Albert Camus
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 3 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,276
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,616
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,616

Albert Camus' The Stranger is one of the most widely read novels in the world, with millions of copies sold. It stands as perhaps the greatest existentialist tale ever conceived, and is certainly one of the most important and influential books ever produced. Now, for the first time, this revered masterpiece is available as an unabridged audio production.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Is amorality bad?

  • By Rolando on 03-10-14

fine reading

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-16-07

Another classic makes its way to audio in fine form. If you haven't read The Stranger since high school, you may be surprised by which details you remembered and which you forgot (something of a Rorschach in that respect). Regardless of recall, however, you are apt to get more out of this book the second time around, especially because of the version used and the narrator who gives the work a proper and penetrating rhythm that can be missed by the hurried eyes of a reader working the page.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

The Means of Escape audiobook cover art
  • The Means of Escape

  • Stories
  • By: Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Donada Peters
  • Length: 2 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

With the death of Penelope Fitzgerald in 2000, the literary world lost one of its finest, most original, and most beloved authors. Completed just before her death, The Means of Escape was Fitzgerald's first new book since the best-selling The Blue Flower. Never before have her short stories been collected in book form, and none of them has ever appeared in the United States.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not The Bookshop

  • By Michael on 08-25-07

Not The Bookshop

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-07

If your only exposure to Fitzgerald is The Bookshop, you may find this collection of odd shorts disappointing. Too much effort is put into trying to devise clever endings or stoke literary quirkiness that calls attention to itself; it quickly becomes tiring. Having said that, the lead Sakiesque story is a winner by any standards and deserves a listen. The others are good for when you want to experiment a bit. Approach it with that attitude and you may discover something worthwhile (but wait until this one is offered at sale pricing so you're in the right frame of mind).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful