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David Enzel

Chevy Chase, MD USA
  • 20
  • reviews
  • 55
  • helpful votes
  • 141
  • ratings
  • Ally

  • My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide
  • By: Michael B. Oren
  • Narrated by: Michael B. Oren
  • Length: 16 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287

Michael Oren served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. An American by birth and a historian by training, Oren arrived at his diplomatic post just as Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton assumed office. During Oren's tenure in office, Israel and America grappled with the Palestinian peace process, the Arab Spring, and existential threats to Israel posed by international terrorism and the Iranian nuclear program.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth Listening To Whether You Agree or Disagree

  • By David Enzel on 07-05-15

Worth Listening To Whether You Agree or Disagree

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

Reviewed: 07-05-15

As a native born American and a naturalized Israeli citizen Mr. Oren is in a unique position to explain Israel to the U.S. and to explain the U.S. to Israel. He is an excellent narrator and I feel I learned a lot about what it is like to serve as Ambassador to the United States. What also comes through loud and clear is how important the ties are between Israel and the United States. I enjoyed the audiobook very much and recommend it to anyone who cares about the relationship between the United States and Israel.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • An Officer and a Spy

  • A Novel
  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 16 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,010
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,014

Paris in 1895: Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of 20,000. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus' guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top Notch Historical Fiction

  • By Ryan on 03-18-14

Superb Historical Fiction

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

Reviewed: 04-24-14

What made the experience of listening to An Officer and a Spy the most enjoyable?

This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. Before listening to this audiobook I knew only the broad outline of the Dreyfus Affair. The twists and turns are amazing and exciting. It is sometimes hard to believe this all really happened. Robert Harris's writing is superb and thoroughly researched. The book has a lot of detail which added to my enjoyment. While listening I felt I was actually in France.

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed learning about an important chapter of French history and the intrigue of the story. The ending is amazing and left me wanting more, despite the length of the audiobook. I had a hard time taking breaks.

Have you listened to any of David Rintoul’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first time I have listened one of David Rintoul's performances but it won't be my last. He is an amazing narrator -- among the best I have heard. His intonation and pronunciation are perfect.

If you could rename An Officer and a Spy, what would you call it?

High Intrigue in France

Any additional comments?

I have read some negative reviews here and I must say I don't agree. I recommend this audiobook highly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Einstein's Cosmos

  • How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time: Great Discoveries
  • By: Michio Kaku
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,417
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,261
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,265

A dazzling tour of the universe as Einstein saw it. How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku, leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller, shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science. With originality and expertise, Kaku uncovers the surprising beauty that lies at the heart of Einstein's cosmos

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • history ,science with a human dimension.

  • By steve on 08-24-13

Assumes a Certain Knowledge of Physics

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

Reviewed: 02-16-14

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would only recommend this to a friend well grounded in physics.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have explained the significance of Einstein's accomplishments in simpler terms.

What three words best describe Ray Porter’s performance?

It was good but uninspired. i had no trouble following his narration but it did not draw me in.

Do you think Einstein's Cosmos needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, what's here is already too technical in my opinion.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed learning about Einstein's human side but I think there are better books for this.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Sports Gene

  • Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
  • By: David Epstein
  • Narrated by: David Epstein
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,316
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,156
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,153

Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success, Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Epstein writes! He scores!

  • By Cynthia on 08-17-13

Lots of Useful Information But Too Technical f

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

Reviewed: 02-16-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I learned about the science and finance of sport and gained a new appreciation.

Would you be willing to try another book from David Epstein? Why or why not?

Probably not. He got more technical than I wanted. I am a casual reader on this topic.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Epstein?

I can't name anyone but someone who can imitate people much better than David Epstein. I also felt Epstein spoke to quickly.

Could you see The Sports Gene being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No, way too technical.

Any additional comments?

Epstein is brilliant. I think he needs to consider who his audience is more than he did. Or maybe I am just not his audience. I am not sure but it is one or the other.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Royal Flush

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,254
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,786
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,745

With its posh clientele in the country for the summer, Georgie's housecleaning business has fizzled. So she tries hiring herself out as a dinner and theatre companion. But her first client has quite the wrong idea. To avoid further scandal, Georgie's shipped home to Castle Rannoch, where her summer plans include honoring a promise to Her Majesty to keep Castle Rannoch's divorcedhouseguest from seducing the Prince of Wales.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth a credit

  • By Marie on 02-09-13

A Wonderful Series Beautifully Narrated

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

Reviewed: 02-16-14

What made the experience of listening to Royal Flush the most enjoyable?

The narration and the dry sense of humor of the author.

What did you like best about this story?

The humor and learning about English royalty.

Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is pretty much par for the course, which I think is quite good. The books are fun and a nice diversion.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Royalty moonlights as detective.

Any additional comments?

I listen to a Royal Spyness Mystery to relax and to laugh. I am always sorry when they end.

  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

  • By: Robert M. Gates
  • Narrated by: George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
  • Length: 25 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,012
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,792
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,788

From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clear and evenhanded

  • By DaWoolf on 02-05-14

Parts Were Interesting But Longer Than Needed

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

Reviewed: 02-06-14

What did you like best about Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War? What did you like least?

I liked Secretary Gates's description of internal deliberations with the Bush and Obama Administrations. However, he was very reserved about his assessments of the various Generals and Admirals with whom he worked. It sounded scripted. He is candid about his assessments of Harry Ried and Joe Biden. There wasn't much on overall US military strategy worldwide. I appreciate that Secretary Gates cares about US troops but he didn't need to say it thirty or more times.

If you’ve listened to books by Robert M. Gates before, how does this one compare?

This is my first book by Robert Gates.

What does George Newbern and Robert M. Gates bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narration was very good but a little stilted. The interview between the producer and Gates really sounded scripted. The questions posed were easy ones. I did not get much from that interview that wasn't in the book.

Could you see Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I don't think this would be a good movie or TV series. It is a personal memoir.

Any additional comments?

I am glad I listened to it but wish Gates had edited his work more. I was also glad when it was over.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Aleppo Codex

  • A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible
  • By: Matti Friedman
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 69

A true-life thriller about the journey of one of the world's most precious manuscripts - the 10th-century annotated Hebrew Bible known as the Aleppo Codex - from its hiding place in an ancient Syrian synagogue to the newly founded Israel. Using his research, including documents that have been secret for 50 years and interviews with key players, AP correspondent Friedman tells a story of political upheaval, international intrigue, charged courtroom battles, obsession, and subterfuge.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • don't quess at pronunciation of foreign words

  • By dlb on 05-28-12

A Detailed Story of an Unsolved Mystery

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

Reviewed: 01-28-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Although I learned about the Aleppo Codex I really didn't learn what happened to it. Along the way the author discusses his dead ends at great length. To me this is like reading a mystery without finding out who committed the crime. If I had to do it over again I would not listen to it.

Has The Aleppo Codex turned you off from other books in this genre?

The author feels the need to recount almost all his efforts. My interest is limited to those that bore fruit.

Which scene was your favorite?

The author makes a strong argument that the official Israeli story of what happened to the missing pages of the Aleppo Codex is not the full story. Beyond that there is nothing but supposition.

Do you think The Aleppo Codex needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

A follow-up book is warranted only if significant new information comes to light.

Any additional comments?

I felt the narration was quite good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hatching Twitter

  • A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
  • By: Nick Bilton
  • Narrated by: Daniel May
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,593
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,394
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,391

Twitter seems like a perfect start-up success story. In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company. Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Shakespearean Drama

  • By Francesca on 11-09-13

Thoroughly Researched; Not That Interesting

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

Reviewed: 01-12-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I wanted to learn more about Twitter and I accomplished that. There is less to know than I imagined. I heard a lot about internal rivalries that weren't very interesting to me.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Just how small and vulnerable Twitter really was and maybe still is. The pettiness between the founders seemed childish and uninteresting.

What about Daniel May’s performance did you like?

Daniel May has a good deep voice and his inflections were just right.

Was Hatching Twitter worth the listening time?

I would say marginally so. The book isn't nearly as interesting as the inside story of Amazon, Apple or Google.

Any additional comments?

The book made me think less of Twitter as a company and I expect to now spend less time on Twitter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Japantown

  • A Thriller
  • By: Barry Lancet
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 305
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 288
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 284

In this "sophisticated international thriller" ( The New York Times Book Review), an American antiques dealer turned reluctant private eye must use his knowledge of Japanese culture to unravel a major murder in San Francisco - before he and his daughter become targets themselves. San Francisco antiques dealer Jim Brodie receives a call one night from a friend at the SFPD: An entire family has been senselessly gunned down in the Japantown neighborhood of the bustling city.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lancet is about to be discovered

  • By David Shear on 12-20-13

Just couldn't get immersed in this mystery

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

Reviewed: 01-07-14

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

To me the whole story seemed contrived and unrealistic. I felt as though this was mystery by the numbers. This wasn't my cup of tea but someone else might like it.

Has Japantown turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I like mysteries but this one just wasn't for me. I did learn things about Japanese culture, which I appreciate.

What aspect of George Newbern’s performance would you have changed?

The narrator has a nice voice but to me came across as flat and uninspired. Competent work though.

What character would you cut from Japantown?

I felt all the characters lacked depth. Rather than cut a character I would like to have seen the main characters developed more fully -- what motivates them at a deep level?

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • My Promised Land

  • The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
  • By: Ari Shavit
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 20 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 603
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 529
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 532

Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too important to be ruined by its narration!

  • By James on 10-13-14

Insightful; Thought-Provoking; A Bit Long

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

Reviewed: 01-04-14

What made the experience of listening to My Promised Land the most enjoyable?

I learned a lot about the history of the State of Israel and where the country is now from someone in his late 50s who has witnessed a lot and researched many aspects of Israel he did not personally experience.

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

Although Mr. Shavit candidly discusses Israel's shortcomings it is clear throughout the book that he loves Israel and wants it succeed - as do I. Although I understand Israel better than I did before I listened to the audiobook, the path forward for Israel remains foggy and hard to see. This is not the fault of the author, but it does in my opinion argue for a shorter, more tightly written book. Some of the book sounds like stream of consciousness.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator has an accent similar to the accent of the author. I feel the accent made the audiobook harder to enjoy. I know the author is Israeli and don't need to reminded of that with every word narrated.

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

The book is too long to listen to all in one setting. The book is also in my opinion significantly longer than necessary. The book would have benefited from a good editor. For example, the discussion about the Tel Aviv night club is much longer than necessary. Yes, there is a lesson there but the club is one venue in a city with many night spots.

Any additional comments?

I am glad I listened to the book. It combines a love of Israel along with a rare and candid overview of the country's weaknesses.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful