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Charlie Jenkins

New Orleans, LA
  • 29
  • reviews
  • 65
  • helpful votes
  • 110
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  • An Unfinished Life

  • John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
  • By: Robert Dallek
  • Narrated by: Richard McGonagle
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 303
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 195

An Unfinished Life is the first authoritative single-volume life of John F. Kennedy to be written by a historian in nearly four decades. Drawing upon firsthand sources, freshly unearthed documents, and never-before-opened archives, prizewinning historian Robert Dallek reveals more than we ever knew about Jack Kennedy forever changing the way we think about his life, his presidency, and his legacy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Biography - Neccessarily Disappointing

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-24-03

It's abriged and doesn't say so

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

Reviewed: 12-13-18

I feel tricked out of my credit. This book is abridged and not labeled that way. I'm buying the Kindle ebook and reading it instead. Don't make the same mistake I did.

  • Eisenhower in War and Peace

  • By: Jean Edward Smith
  • Narrated by: Paul Hecht
  • Length: 28 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,338
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,202

Author of the best-seller FDR, Jean Edward Smith is a master of the presidential biography. Setting his sights on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Smith delivers a rich account of Eisenhower’s life using previously untapped primary sources. From the military service in WWII that launched his career to the shrewd political decisions that kept America out of wars with the Soviet Union and China, Smith reveals a man who never faltered in his dedication to serving America, whether in times of war or peace.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good, although biased, biography

  • By Mike From Mesa on 10-15-12

I'm stunned

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

Reviewed: 12-13-18

I had no idea. Growing up all I ever heard about Dwight D. Eisenhower was that he was quiet, conservative and grandfatherly. But really he was a maverick known for telling the biting truth. His enemy was not Democrats but McCarthyists within his own party. He was a five star general, which is why his number one goal was building lasting peace. He desegregated the South, built the highway system and made a lot of progress towards ending the Cold War, only to ruin the peace he'd worked years for on one bad day. While I was bored by a lot of his military career, I was very moved by his idealism, rationality and moral leadership as President. He was the kind of unifying American statesman that we can only dream of today. If you can get to the second part of the book it's a story Americans of both parties should hear.

  • Mark Twain

  • A Life
  • By: Ron Powers
  • Narrated by: Ron Powers
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Mark Twain founded the American voice. His works are a living national treasury: taught, quoted, and reprinted more than those of any writer except Shakespeare. His awestruck contemporaries saw him as the representative figure of his times, and his influence has deeply flavored the 20th and 21st centuries.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boring

  • By Carol on 01-11-06

An amazing life frustratingly abridged

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

I've listened to the abridged version and read the original book. Both are good. Neither is perfect. The original could be the most thorough, complete Twain biography. Read it if you really want to dig into his whole life. But, it could have used an editor, because the information wasn't laid out as smoothly and selectively as one would hope. Powers slavishly recorded details that didn't seem to add anything, and he brought in a baffling parade of people that only appear once or twice. However, when it was abridged for audio the editor kept most of Twain's coming-of-age story and writing, as well as most of the really colorful adventures that shaped his legend. But, it gutted his marriage and family life. The connecting passages - We skip ahead in our story several years. Twain is now married and has a daughter - made clear that real meat had been cut as well as the fat (and it had been.) I wish there was a happy median which sliced out all the dry sentences and kept the full personal story intact.

  • The Dark Side of Genius

  • The Life of Alfred Hitchcock
  • By: Donald Spoto
  • Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach
  • Length: 23 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 177

Acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto explores the roots of Hitchcock’s obsessions - with food, murder, and idealized love, among others - and traces the origins of his incomparable, bizarre genius, from his childhood and education to the golden years of his career. Based on interviews with his writers, actors, and longtime associates, and on exhaustive research, The Dark Side of Genius is the definitive biography of Alfred Hitchcock.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hitch's life and phobias keep you "Spellbound"

  • By bookbug on 12-24-12

The definitive biography

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

Reviewed: 08-29-18

Positives: This has been the classic Hitchcock biography for most of 30 years. It's frank and very specific about his salacious personal problems, as well as his personal traumas and behind the scenes conflicts, but it's credible. It contains a scholarly examination of his production practices and the thematic content of his films.

Negatives: The narrator is very low key, almost robotic. The author belabors some of his over-arching points.

  • Murder at Fenway Park

  • By: Troy Soos
  • Narrated by: Johnny Heller
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

Reporting for his first day as a Boston Red Sox player, Mickey Rawlings discovers a faceless body in the empty stadium. When police name him as their suspect, he knows he must clear his name or give up baseball and his freedom. But nameless foes are trying to silence him with warnings that become increasingly dangerous. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, Troy Soos creates delightfully authentic ballplayers and places them in believable, colorful settings.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Baseball mystery in 1912

  • By Byron on 06-06-14

A better baseball novel than a mystery

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

I was excited to read a novel about a player on the Red Sox in 1912 - one that touches a little bit on the world of the city during that time. And the baseball scenes were fun. But, the mystery was just okay and the romance wasn't very good. It was Soos' first novel, and he was able to check the basic boxes. He just hadn't developed his skill set very fully yet. The writing is simple, the characterization straight forward. I haven't read any later Soos books so I can't say whether he developed.

  • Bygone Badass Broads

  • 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World
  • By: Mackenzi Lee
  • Narrated by: Lucy James
  • Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Based on Mackenzi Lee's popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome history, heavy-handed political agenda

  • By Charlie Jenkins on 07-08-18

Awesome history, heavy-handed political agenda

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

Reviewed: 07-08-18

This book contains 52 great five minute biographies, none of them concerning the usual suspects. You can read about Cleopatra or Amelia Earhart lots of places. This is a sampler of people you probably haven't heard of, which is exactly what I wanted. There have been some powerful/influential women of all races and religions going back thousands of years and here are the details. The brevity makes this an easy listen. It's straight forward and concise enough to be accessible to kids, but it's very informative to adults.

Beware: If you chafe at being lectured about social justice, this author may be a challenge for you. She's not the kind of historian who lets the facts speak for themselves. She shares her views. IMO everyone would benefit from having a broader knowledge of history. She clearly has a passion for inspiring disenfranchised women, which is noble. But, making visitors form outside that group feel welcome doesn't necessarily seem to be her priority.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

  • A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
  • By: Mark Manson
  • Narrated by: Roger Wayne
  • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98,718
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86,589
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86,106

For decades we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F*ck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is - a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A book for 20-somethings, but not me

  • By Bonny on 09-22-16

A book that could save your soul

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

Reviewed: 12-24-17

If you feel lost, scared to live, scared to die, too broken to try anymore, unwilling to stop trying for the perfect life while there's still an ounce of life in your body - in other words, if you're a Millennial living in 2017 - listen to this book at least once. In the shortest form, it's about how legitimately tormenting first world problems can be, where they draw their power from and how to stop giving a f*ck about things that don't matter. It's about the illogical ideas that are particularly acutely felt by Millennials and what thought patterns they most need to stop if they want to be truly happy. And it's about why we're so afraid to succeed. I'm sure real change will require returning to it several times as you try to begin implementing the real changes it talks about. But, it's just five and a half hours, and even listening to it once will probably lift a few ounces of the burden you feel, giving you some intelligent concepts.
Perhaps enough to justify one Audible credit. (Those are hard to give up for just any book!)

  • What Dreams May Come

  • By: Richard Matheson
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 490
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 375
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 375

What happens to us after we die? Chris Nielsen had no idea, until an unexpected accident cut his life short, separating him from his beloved wife, Annie. Now Chris must discover the true nature of life after death. But even Heaven is not complete without Annie, and the divided soul mates will do anything to reach each other across the boundaries between life and death. When tragedy threatens to divide them forever, Chris risks his very soul to save Annie from an eternity of despair.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Poor ending

  • By Randall on 01-10-11

Not your typical novel

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

Reviewed: 12-23-17

Part travelogue, part philosophy book, part textbook, part novel, What Dreams May Come is a little bit more than a simple adventure story. That high school English teacher who advised you to show, not tell would no doubt have a fit as Matheson rambles on for page after page with Chris asking his guide questions about the afterlife, and his guide answering them. The novel is very talky. Much of the book has a New Age/Eastern spiritual bent and it may seem airy fairy to some readers. On the other hand, other readers might find here a core text to study as they think about theology. Still a third reader might tune in and out of paying attention and just focus on the story of the protagonist and their situation. My guess is, they will love the book less than the former people, but may still find a cool fantasy story here. This book has a lot to like - just know that it will feel bloated by exposition and tangents according to traditional standards.

0 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Elsewhere

  • By: Gabrielle Zevin
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Morris
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149

Elsewhere is where 15-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn 16, not 14 again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting concept

  • By Arleen on 12-04-05

Beautiful novel

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

Reviewed: 12-20-17

This is a YA novel but not a children's book. It addresses tough questions with a lot of honesty and maturity, the world is wonderful, the characters matter. The ending packs a real punch. Like, wow, who cut the onions? The flaw is that the narrator sounds like she's 8, which is too young for the book, despite the fact that the actress is actually 35. Sometimes that makes the story more haunting, but other times it makes the novel feel more childish than it actually is. Still, if you liked The Lovely Bones and What Dreams May Come? give this one a try even if you are an adult. It's a younger, sweeter but still worthy cousin of those other two.

  • A Gift of Time

  • By: Jerry Merritt
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,313
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,969
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,953

When Micajah Fenton discovers a crater in his front yard with a broken time glider in the bottom and a naked, virtual woman on his lawn, he delays his plans to kill himself. While helping repair the marooned time traveler's glider, Cager realizes it can return him to his past to correct a mistake that had haunted him his entire life. As payment for his help, the virtual creature living in the circuitry of the marooned glider, sends Cager back in time as his 10-year-old self.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Smart and original

  • By J. OBrennan on 12-29-17

Not my cup of tea but it may be yours

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

Reviewed: 12-18-17

Having neither the background or the inclination to fully understand hard science fiction I found parts of this book a bit academic. But if that's your bag, you may rate it higher than I have. This book spends a fair amount of time mulling the math, science and philosophy of time travel. Some of the emotional moments land better than others for me, but this novel shows a fair amount of ambition to be more than a breezy summer read. It attempts to have gravitas, twists and turns, brains and heart. It's Jerry Merritt's first novel, and I wouldn't be surprised if the author becomes quite strong as he refines his abilities to let him fully pull off everything he wants to do.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful