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  • The Omen Machine

  • A Richard and Kahlan Novel
  • By: Terry Goodkind
  • Narrated by: Sam Tsoutsouvas
  • Length: 15 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,821
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,530
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,531

An accident leads to the discovery of a mysterious machine that has rested hidden deep underground for countless millennia. The machine awakens to begin issuing a series of increasingly alarming, if minor, omens. The omens turn out to be astonishingly accurate, and ever more ominous. As Zedd tries to figure out how to destroy the sinister device, the machine issues a cataclysmic omen involving Richard and Kahlan, foretelling an impending event beyond anyone’s ability to stop. As catastrophe approaches, the machine then reveals that it is within its power to withdraw the omen....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing Return to a Great Series

  • By William on 11-08-11

Simply awful.

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

Reviewed: 09-01-11

A real struggle to get through. Save your money/credits. Goodkind has milked the Sword of Truth universe dry and is just going through the motions. The plot is paper-thin, the dialogue is plodding and agonizingly repetitive, the characters (which had been compelling early in the series) are 2dimensional.

Tsoutsouvas is a good narrator, but he's got nothing to work with here.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Better

  • A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
  • By: Atul Gawande
  • Narrated by: John Bedford Lloyd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,004
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 999

Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive for best performance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. His stories of diligence and ingenuity take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to labor and delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating and Well Read

  • By L. M. Roberts on 05-23-10

Unfocused & Rambling

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-20-09

This book is meant to address the science of human performance in medicine. It is, instead, an unfocused collection of anecdotes seasoned with facts drawn from the history of medicine (Semelweiss & Lister). I think the intent was to use each case to illustrate larger principles or themes, but this simply didn't happen. The stories seem randomly selected; they neither standout singlely for the wisdom they contain, nor do they build one upon the other. It would be like a research paper that's all methodology, but no results, no discussion, no conclusion.

The sections on efforts to eradicate polio and good CF programs vs great CF programs are especially long on exposition, and short on synthesis. Battlefield medicine is tough & expensive; we've had to work harder, spend more and try new things to get better survival results.
General surgeons in India don't have all the same resources as in North America, but they're willing to improvise.

The book ends(it doesn't conclude)with the authors tips on how to get better - "become a positive deviant." These don't appear to be based on the previous 7.5hours. More like, 'everything I need to know about improving my health care organization I learned in kindergarten.'
-talk to people
-listen to them
-write things down
-don't whine
-do things differently

12 of 16 people found this review helpful