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Cameron

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  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 26
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  • A Brief History of Vice

  • How Bad Behavior Built Civilization
  • By: Robert Evans
  • Narrated by: Tristan Morris
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 376
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373

Guns, germs, and steel might have transformed us from hunter-gatherers into modern man, but booze, sex, trash talk, and tripping built our civilization. Cracked editor Robert Evans brings his signature dogged research and lively insight to uncover the many and magnificent ways vice has influenced history, from the prostitute-turned-empress who scored a major victory for women's rights to the beer that helped create - and destroy - South America's first empire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Funny and somewhat informative

  • By Neuron on 08-20-16

Hilarious and interesting with surprising heart!

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

Robert Evans' dive into mankind's debauched history with mind altering substances is richly detailed and wonderfully heartfelt. His glib writing style is genuinely funny, but manages not to become disrespectful of the material. His accounts of his own attempts to recreate classic methods of drinking, smoking, or otherwise ingesting insane concoctions bring an extra layer of fun to the work.

While the book mostly avoids the all-too-common trait amongst non-fiction works to cram in extraneous chapters to pad the page count, I did feel that some of the chosen subjects didn't fit very well with the overall theme. That aside, I look forward to more from Robert Evans!

  • Heart-Shaped Box

  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Stephen Lang
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,421
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,918
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,921

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, a thing so terrible-strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet. For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost. It's the real thing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yikes! Five stars for fright

  • By Lesley on 02-23-07

Is it a good book? Yes. Is it scary? No.

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

Heart Shaped Box is a fun, unique ghost story with characters and a narrative that grow on you over time. It's refreshing in that it doesn't have any lofty aspirations as far as prose or themes, and in that it isn't trying to present a meta narrative about horror as a genre.

It's a fairly surface-level little spook fest about characters with difficult pasts coming to confront their demons both figurative and literal. It's not particularly frightening, but there are some chills to be found. While I was, at first, skeptical about the characters and the main hook of the story, I ultimately bought in for the ride and wasn't disappointed.

The narrator is easy to listen to and modulates well between characters, however, there are musical interludes every hour or two where I assume the audio CDs used to begin and end. It would have been nice if they had removed these before this release as they are jarring and unnecessary.

  • Ghost Story

  • By: Peter Straub
  • Narrated by: Buck Schirner
  • Length: 22 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,246
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,136
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,135

For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past - and get away with murder. Peter Straub's classic best seller is a work of "superb horror" ( Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time - and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story! The Best of Peter Straub

  • By Jaimie on 07-17-12

No fun.

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

I read horror because it is thrilling and fun to be frightened. Unfortunately, I find it nearly impossible to be chilled by a book, or even to enjoy it at all, when it is populated exclusively by unlikeable characters who all have a vague disdain for one another. This is the issue that I have with Ghost Story.

There were some scary moments, no doubt, but they were all ultimately weightless because I couldn't care less about the fate of the "Chowder Society." A fairly accurate metric for how much I enjoyed a book is if I increased the playback speed to get it over with quicker and, if so, how early on I did so. For Ghost Story it was about the half way point, which was a new record for quickest "ah screw it" moment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Chasing the White Dog

  • An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in the Moonshine Capital of the World
  • By: Max Watman
  • Narrated by: Max Watman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

In Chasing the White Dog, journalist Max Watman traces the historical roots and contemporary story of hooch. He takes us to the backwoods of Appalachia and the gritty nip joints of Philadelphia, from a federal courthouse to Pocono Speedway, profiling the colorful characters who make up white whiskey's lore. Along the way, Watman chronicles his hilarious attempts to distill his own moonshine - the essential ingredients and the many ways it can all go wrong - from his initial ill-fated batch to his first successful jar of 'shine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully written and narrated, poorly recorded.

  • By Cameron on 04-18-16

Wonderfully written and narrated, poorly recorded.

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

Reviewed: 04-18-16

Max Watman's tale of the world of moonshine then and now is dripping with enthusiasm and energy. His effortless transitions between, and beautiful portrayals of personal experience, historical narrative, and technical analysis kept me with my headphones tucked in my ears with no regard for personal safety or socially acceptable standards of behavior. It is a testament to his artistry that the work keeps the listener rapt despite significant recording issues. While most productions have a noise gate that will keep the listener from having to listen to distracting in-breathing and page flipping, this sounds as if it was recorded without the benefit of an engineer, especially during the few times in which a mistake and rereading wasn't cut out. Despite these issues, well worth a purchase. I will be reading more Max Watman!

  • Trading Bases

  • A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order)
  • By: Joe Peta
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 141
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 126

An ex-Wall Street trader improved on Moneyball’s famed sabermetrics to place bets that would beat the Vegas odds on Major League Baseball games - with a 41 percent return in his first year. Trading Bases explains how he did it. After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta was out of a job. He found a new one but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down. In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated, Peta started watching baseball again. That’s when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fascinating book, but buy the print version.

  • By Cameron on 04-18-16

A fascinating book, but buy the print version.

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

Reviewed: 04-18-16

With lively energy and a passion for the material, Joe Peta guides the reader through his journey from investment banker to investment better. His prose style is compelling, and he holds just the right mix of anecdote and analysis from cover to cover. The issue is that he does so with a myriad of statistics which, when read one by one, become incredibly tedious and difficult to interpret. Strongly recommend this book, but only in its print form.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Log from the Sea of Cortez

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207

The Log from the Sea of Cortez is the exciting day-by-day account of Steinbeck's trip to the Gulf of California with biologist Ed Ricketts. Drawn from the longer Sea of Cortez, it is a wonderful combination of science, philosophy, and high-spirited adventure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful Book

  • By Stuart on 10-07-17

Devoted Steinbeck fans only.

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

Reviewed: 02-26-16

This book is a fascinating recount of an enviable voyage through the gulf of California, but it loaded too heavily with detailed accounts of aquatic life and sailing equipment for anyone but an avid Steinbeck readers to really enjoy. Having said that, the beautiful account of the Californian and Mexican coast is truly captivating, and the trademark Steinbeck tangents into observations about life and humanity are worth the effort. Unfortunately, it never quite reaches the level of Travels with Charlie, a book to which I would direct those listeners who want to be whisked away on a journey, but who haven't the patience for several hours of talk about isopods.

Joe Barrett needs no praise from me as he is one of the most prolific audiobook artists around, and his performance here is second to none.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Wolf of Wall Street (Movie Tie-in Edition)

  • By: Jordan Belfort
  • Narrated by: Eric Meyers
  • Length: 20 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,029
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 934
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 936

By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could. From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids who waited at home and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king, here, in Jordan Belfort's own words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called the Wolf of Wall Street.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting story of extraordinary life - Too long

  • By Jjftx on 03-27-14

Fun at first, but wears out quickly.

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

Reviewed: 02-26-16

Jordan Belfort's unapologetically narcissistic and high-strung recount of his debauched life in the junk bond market starts out with a fun energy that kept me sufficiently enthralled. This energy quickly turns caustic, however, as the book hits almost no other note during its 20+ hour run time, and becomes exhausting as his likable scamp act falls away to reveal the monster beneath.

Other reviewers have pointed out Eric Meyers' narration as grating, especially when he performs the voices of women. I blame this on the material as Belfort paints nearly everyone else in his life as a one-dimensional dunce/unlikable fiend, and Meyers is merely bringing this aspect of the work out in his performance.

This may be one of the only times that I recommend finding an abridged version of a work. Trust me, you'll get the gist.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: Henry Strozier
  • Length: 17 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

More than three decades after his death, John Steinbeck remains one of the nation's most beloved authors. Yet few know of his career as a journalist who covered world events from the Great Depression to Vietnam. Now, this original collection offers a portrait of the artist as citizen, deeply engaged in the world around him. In addition to the complete text of Steinbeck's last published book, America and Americans, this volume brings together for the first time more than 50 of Steinbeck's finest essays and jouralistic pieces.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really good Steinbeck journalism.....no kidding!

  • By Doug on 07-26-14

A valuable tour of Steinbeck's best non-fiction

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

Reviewed: 02-25-16

America and Americans is a still-relevant discussion of some of our culture's most important topics, and some just for fun. All of the skills of the literary master are on display here as he paints a scathing view of 20th Century America while still retaining a hopeful tone and an unrelenting faith in humanity. The Penguin collection of the works does an excellent job of contextualizing the pieces without providing too much interpretation. Henry Strozier's baritone voice lends the weight to the text that it deserves.

Highly recommended for fans of Steinbeck or thought-provoking journalism.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A People's History of Baseball

  • By: Mitchell Nathanson
  • Narrated by: Robert J. Eckrich
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

A People's History of Baseball, probes the less well-known but no less meaningful other side of baseball: episodes not involving equality, patriotism, heroism, and virtuous capitalism, but power - how it is obtained, and how it perpetuates itself. Through the growth and development of baseball Nathanson shows that, if only we choose to look for it, we can see the petty power struggles as well as the large and consequential ones that have likewise defined our nation.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Drab history of the least fun aspects of baseball

  • By Cameron on 02-25-16

Drab history of the least fun aspects of baseball

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

Reviewed: 02-25-16

Using an overly verbose and showy prose, A People's History of Baseball drags the reader through the class struggles, racism, economics, politics, and litigation that surrounded baseball for the past 150+ years. Rather than revealing an engaging new set of facts surrounding the underbelly of baseball, the author spends a great deal of time conjecturing on the motives surrounding baseball's biggest moments. A somewhat valuable exercise, perhaps, but does little to "[probe] the less well-known but no less meaningful other side of baseball." I bought the book looking for a behind-the-scenes look at the less reputable side of pro ball. Instead I got all the same stories told over again with all of the fun squeezed out of them.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful