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Buretto

Tokyo, Japan
  • 117
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  • 284
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  • 227
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  • Antifa

  • The Anti-Fascist Handbook
  • By: Mark Bray
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

As long as there has been fascism, there has been anti-fascism - also known as "antifa." Born out of resistance to Mussolini and Hitler in Europe during the 1920s and '30s, the antifa movement has suddenly burst into the headlines amid opposition to the Trump administration and the alt-right. In a smart and gripping investigation, historian and former Occupy Wall Street organizer Mark Bray provides a detailed survey of the full history of anti-fascism from its origins to the present day - the first transnational history of postwar anti-fascism in English.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Forthright justification for a contentious stance

  • By Buretto on 12-14-18

Forthright justification for a contentious stance

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

Reviewed: 12-14-18

The book is unapologetic in its presentation of what it views as the core goals of antifa movements throughout history. That being the fight against oppressive, racist, fascist philosophy, recruitment and deeds, wherever they spring up, and as soon as possible. It does not back down from its detractors, defending it tactics, convincingly in my opinion, that the defense of the oppressed and aggrieved takes precedence over the niceties of *civil* society. I'm fairly certain that conservatives, or those who lean even more to the right have no interest in the book, or its explanations, (any more than to post 1-star negative reviews). And it is a tough listen for liberals and progressives, challenging some core beliefs about what the goals for a better society ought to be and how to get there. For me the most compelling part was the notion that antifa groups are not intrinsically extremist, expansive movements, but rather necessary reactions to truly dangerous fascist and exploitative factions seeking to solidify power. This is easily verifiable, as one can measure the activity of antifa as directly proportional to the instigating fascist activity.

You don't have to believe everything you read/hear in the book. The author himself confesses there is a lot of contradictory advice from the various proponents of antifa. But it is important to know what the movement is, what the goals are, and why they feel they need to use the tactics they do. If nothing else, the section on the tricky question of what constitutes *free speech" is very thought provoking, and should be worthy of spurring dialogue amongst progressives and liberals (not holding my breath on conservatives or moderates). All in all, very informative... convincing in parts, troubling in others. But always engaging.

  • That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound

  • Dylan, Nashville, and the Making of Blonde on Blonde
  • By: Daryl Sanders
  • Narrated by: Graham Halstead
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8

That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound is the definitive treatment of Bob Dylan's magnum opus, Blonde on Blonde, not only providing the most extensive account of the sessions that produced the trailblazing album but also setting the record straight on much of the misinformation that has surrounded the story of how the masterpiece came to be made. Including many new details and eyewitness accounts, as well as keen insight into the Nashville cats who helped Dylan reach rare artistic heights, it explores the lasting impact of rock's first double album.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book...But the Narrator?

  • By Jeff Levy on 12-02-18

Sometimes I forget how great Blonde on Blonde is

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

I'll admit like most Dylan fans, that my opinion of a favorite Dylan album changes constantly. Street Legal, sentimentally, as the first album that I ever purchased, Blood on the Tracks for its heartbreaking brilliance, Time Out of Mind, for the amazing resurrection of the master storyteller. Not to mention, periods when I feel nothing other than listening to John Wesley Harding on a loop, or Desire, or Infidels. So, it's easy to forget how genius an album Blonde on Blonde is. It's almost too perfect musically, and historically, so I guess I kind of put it aside thoughtlessly.

This book chronicles the Nashville sessions creating Blonde on Blonde, and it's thoroughly enjoyable. I feared an overly technical account of the times (to be fair, it does go a bit Wikipedia in moments). But digressions into speculation on the origins of the songs are kept reasonably limited. A few references are made to Sara, Edie Sedgwick or Nico, and to whom a particular song is directed. But thankfully, not a lot of time is spent on that, more on the music and the musicians.

  • The Death of Hitler

  • The Final Word
  • By: Shaun Whiteside - translator, Lana Parshina, Jean-Christophe Brisard
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker as the Red Army closed in on Berlin. Within four days the Soviets had recovered his body. But the truth about what the Russian secret services found was hidden from history, when, three months later, Stalin officially declared to Truman and Churchill that Hitler was still alive and had escaped abroad. Reckless rumors about what really happened to Hitler began to spread like wildfire and, even today, they have not been put to rest. Until now. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Actually does play out like a novel

  • By Buretto on 12-12-18

Actually does play out like a novel

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, half expecting it to be another half-baked exercise in speculation. (A subtitle like *The Final Word* tends to be a red flag, indicating perhaps the authors are trying a little too hard to convince us). To be honest, there is a fair share of enthusiastic amateurism (meant in the best possible way) about the book. That kind of eager willingness to tell a story beyond the restrictions of cold, scientific inquiry or rehashed historical reports. But it works. Weaving between the maze of present-day Russian bureaucracy, the reminiscences of erstwhile Soviet bureaucracy, and the account of the last days of Hitler and his entourage, it keeps the listener engaged throughout. Of particular interest was the unravelling of the motivation behind the secrecy and disinformation about the evidence.

  • Why Marx Was Right

  • 2nd Edition
  • By: Terry Eagleton
  • Narrated by: Roger Clark
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

In this combative, controversial book, Terry Eagleton takes issue with the prejudice that Marxism is dead and done with. Taking 10 of the most common objections to Marxism - that it leads to political tyranny, that it reduces everything to the economic, that it is a form of historical determinism, and so on - he demonstrates in each case what a woeful travesty of Marx's own thought these assumptions are.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Brilliant Narrator

  • By Stephen on 08-11-18

Excellent, but perhaps a less strident narrator?

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

Let me start by stating that the narrator perfectly suits the material. The voice is emphatic and very commanding. But I fear that may be a bit of an impediment to the message. The reasoned explanations and dismantling of anti-Marxist rhetoric sometimes gets lost in the intensity of the presentation. At times it really sounded like old-time Marxist bombast, when my impression going into the book was that it was meant to be a bit more sophisticated and refined in tone. Perhaps I was wrong with that assumption. But, as far as the contents of the material, it was outstanding.

  • Ned Christie: The Creation of an Outlaw and Cherokee Hero

  • By: Devon A. Mihesuah
  • Narrated by: Stephen Floyd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

Who was Nede Wade Christie? Was he a violent criminal guilty of murdering a federal officer? Or a Cherokee statesman who suffered a martyr’s death for a crime he did not commit? For more than a century, journalists, pulp fiction authors, and even serious historians have produced largely fictitious accounts of “Ned” Christie’s life. Now, in a tour de force of investigative scholarship, Devon A. Mihesuah offers a far more accurate depiction of Christie and the times in which he lived.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Skip the first chapter

  • By Buretto on 12-06-18

Skip the first chapter

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

Then you might as well skip to the final chapter. It's usually a bad idea to spend the entire first chapter of a book railing against how everything that has ever been written about a subject is wrong, derivative and biased. Particularly when that chapter takes up nearly 1 hour of a book that's only 7 hours and 16 minutes long. We certainly know that the vast majority of historical accounts of interaction between natives and whites have been skewed unfairly to glorify the latter.

I'll admit that my knowledge of Ned Christie was passing at best upon starting this book, but being assaulted by the screed of the first chapter was off-putting to say the least. But I carried on, hoping perhaps to learn something. What follows are numerous chapters of tangential incidents and characters, Only until the final chapter does any semblance of a coherent story emerge. That clocks in at about 1 hour and 24 minutes. And the recriminations about sloppy or biased reporting continue, the whole way along. I'm genuinely seeking to learn about an important person in Cherokee and American history, but I can't escape these rants against unfair reports (which I came into the book with virtually no knowledge of anyway!). To tell the truth, when these tirades become so vehement, I start to question the objectivity of the current storyteller. Perhaps that's unfair, but it's an honest reaction. But the greatest sin of the book is that even when it gets to the meaty part of the story, it's just not that engaging. It seems like a full accounting of the story could have been done cleanly and concisely in half the time.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Native Ground

  • Indians and Colonists in the Heart of the Continent
  • By: Kathleen DuVal
  • Narrated by: Daniel Adam Day
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Author Kathleen DuVal argues that it was Indians rather than European would-be colonizers who were more often able to determine the form and content of the relations between the two groups. Along the banks of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers, far from Paris, Madrid, and London, European colonialism met neither accommodation nor resistance but incorporation. Placing Indians at the center of the story, DuVal shows both their diversity and our contemporary tendency to exaggerate the influence of Europeans in places far from their centers of power. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Muddled message

  • By Buretto on 12-05-18

Muddled message

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

Judging by the summary and my own outside research of the author, I believe the intention of the book was to confer respect upon native peoples by detailing agency and control of their own destinies, and subsequently how European dependence belies the long-held perception of the newcomers civilizing natives. However, by repeated reference to natives tribes as *deceptive* and *manipulative* in dealing with Europeans, the book left a distinctly uncomfortable feeling of absolving European aggression. It does make concessions to transgressions (more to English and Americans, than to French and Spanish), but it feels like forced criticism. For the overall history, pretty good, 3 stars, seems fair..

  • Godforsaken Grapes

  • A Slightly Tipsy Journey Through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine
  • By: Jason Wilson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Horvath
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

There are nearly 1,400 known varieties of wine grapes in the world - from altesse to zierfandler - but 80 percent of the wine we drink is made from only 20 grapes. In Godforsaken Grapes, Jason Wilson looks at how that came to be and embarks on a journey to discover what we miss. While hunting down obscure and underappreciated wines, he looks at why these wines fell out of favor (or never gained it in the first place), what it means to be obscure, and how geopolitics, economics, and fashion have changed what we drink.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Useful for a casual wine taster

  • By Buretto on 12-05-18

Useful for a casual wine taster

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I bought this book as a resource for investigating new wine regions for travels with my father, who is closer to being the true connoisseur. I think the book provided some good ideas for further study. The author has a personable style, though his reliance for pop culture references seems a strained effort to establish common man bona fides. And there are a lot of references to hipster sommeliers, seemingly without awareness of his own hipster-ish tendencies. But all in all, a likable trip through wines and vineyards, and assurances that you needn't be overly impressed by wine snobbery.

  • The Coen Brothers

  • By: Adam Nayman
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12

From such cult hits as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski to major critical darlings Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and Inside Llewyn Davis, Ethan and Joel Coen have cultivated a bleakly comical, instantly recognizable voice in modern American cinema. Film critic Adam Nayman carefully sifts through their complex cinematic universe in an effort to plot, as he puts it, "some Grand Unified Theory of Coen-ness." The book combines critical text with a visual aesthetic that honors the Coens' singular mix of darkness and levity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant companion!

  • By Buretto on 12-05-18

Brilliant companion!

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

For fans like myself, I think most of the information and analysis of the Coen Brothers' films is fairly well understood, but some of the insights could be useful for a newcomer. There are a few tidbits of myths and myth-busting, but the bulk of the book consists of the synopses, themes and threads running through their films. While that may at first seem tedious or academic, let me state categorically, it's not. After every segment, I desperately wanted to go back and watch each film again. Every.Single.Time. (Yes, even including Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty!). And I learned to enjoy the gimmick of listing the percentage of constituent parts of the films upon their introduction. It's well worth the time for fans of the Coen Brothers. And for those people who claim that they *don't get* the Coens' films, even after multiple viewings, it may help guide them into a new appreciation.

  • Not My Father's Son: A Memoir

  • By: Alan Cumming
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,033
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,512
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,476

With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Part of Saturday

  • By George Knight on 12-16-14

Heartfelt and deftly woven story

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

Reviewed: 10-22-18

While I'm not overly familiar with Mr. Cumming's work, I know enough of him for this memoir to have caught my attention. And it's one of those rare instances when the sample audio actually helped me decide to choose it! Aspects of his life, regarding his relationship with his father and search for understanding of his maternal grandfather are intricately woven together, along with other periods of significance in his life. The accounts he gives of his childhood are honest and raw, and his journey to understand where he comes from, and why, is quite engaging. My only quibble would be the attempt to tie his own life, and recklessness in it, with his grandfather. That connection seemed a bit tenuous (and frankly, unearned), but it did help to complete the circle. All in all, well worth the time.

  • Turn Right at Machu Picchu

  • Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
  • By: Mark Adams
  • Narrated by: Andrew Garman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876

Writer for the New York Times and GQ, Mark Adams is also the acclaimed author of Mr. America. In this fascinating travelogue, Adams follows in the controversial footsteps of Hiram Bingham III, who’s been both lionized and vilified for his discovery of the famed Lost City in 1911—but which reputation is justified?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good book for history enthusiasts

  • By Elizabeth on 08-26-12

Surprisingly entertaining!

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

Reviewed: 10-21-18

I got this book on a discount campaign, and figured it would be good filler material, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It's part travelogue, part historical investigation, and part cultural mystery. There were a few points that could have been improved with the story and performance, but nothing that detracted from the enjoyment of the book.