LISTENER

R. Hackett

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
The Moral Animal audiobook cover art
  • The Moral Animal
  • Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
  • By: Robert Wright
  • Narrated by: Greg Thornton

Rather dry and academic read

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

Reviewed: 03-21-13

What did you like best about The Moral Animal? What did you like least?

It reinforced my knowledge in this area.

Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Wright? Why or why not?

Not really, as I found this book rather "dry" and academic.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator was fine, but I did not care much for the content of the book itself (I did not feel as though I learned anything new). I recommend reading "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion" by Jonathan Haidt. He covers much the same "territory", but in a much more engaging way, drawing on contemporary events and situations. Moreover, Haidt offers compelling support for the concept of group selection, seemingly at odds with Robert Wright.

Do you think The Moral Animal needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I don't see how there is a need for any follow up to this book.

Any additional comments?

I thought that the way the author drew inferences from a single case (Darwin's biography) to illustrate aspects of evolutionary psychology at work lessened the fields scientific credibility. Many of the inferences he drew from Darwin's life were too much of a stretch for me.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Signal and the Noise audiobook cover art

Not really anything new.

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

Reviewed: 02-27-13

What did you like best about The Signal and the Noise? What did you like least?

It was clear and generally well presented (accessible to a wide audience). I was well aware that people generally are not good at making predictions, relying too heavily on their heuristics and biases (e.g. failure to use prior probabilities as called for by Bayesian statistics); and the importance of putting "band widths" around probability estimates. I also thought that much too much text was devoted to each of the major topics covered (e.g. weather forecasting, political forecasts, economic forecasts, picking stocks, gambling/poker strategies, etc.). These sections could have been considerably shorter.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

"Is that all there is?"

Which character – as performed by Mike Chamberlain – was your favorite?

N/A

Could you see The Signal and the Noise being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

Any additional comments?

Generally disappointing, in that it did not expand my knowledge -- though I don't fault the book, as I've read widely in this area.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest audiobook cover art

Engaging and multi-faceted; not at all predictable

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

Reviewed: 10-05-12

Would you listen to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest again? Why?

No, there are so many other books I would like to read.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Sure; this is not a predictable story, and many things are going on simultaneously.

Which scene was your favorite?

The court scene toward the end of the story when all unravels

Any additional comments?

The narration was truly superb.

War Horse audiobook cover art

Truly engaging, emotionally and intellectually

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

Reviewed: 06-19-12

Would you listen to War Horse again? Why?

No, because there are so many other books on my list to "read".

What other book might you compare War Horse to and why?

Charlotte's web by E.B. White, as it brings you inside the mind and soul of a non-human entity (spider versus horse), and both stir the emotion while at the same time providing much" food for thought".

Which character – as performed by Dan Stevens – was your favorite?

Can't say. All characters extremely well portrayed.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh no, I seldom have the time to listen to an entire book in one sitting; but this is a short book and would lend itself to listening in one sitting compared to many others.

Any additional comments?

I quite enjoyed this book. Very engaging emotionally and intellectually.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Heaven Is for Real audiobook cover art

Inspirational

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

Reviewed: 05-29-12

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This story was engaging and inspirational, but I could not help but wonder to what extent biases may have been weaved into the facts and interpretations of the experiences purportedly shared by the child because his father was a pastor. The story is very simply told, and perhaps this has much to do with the success of the book.

Would you be willing to try another book from Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent ? Why or why not?

Not likely as I think he had a particularly engaging narrative to offer with this first book. I cannot imagine what he might take up as a follow-up book

What does Dean Gallagher bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Not sure. He did a fine job reading the book.

What else would you have wanted to know about Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent ’s life?

nothing

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the book. A simple and inspirational narrative. Certainly gets one thinking about the "after life".