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Travis

Huffman, TX, United States
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 561
  • helpful votes
  • 23
  • ratings
  • The Rise of Humans: Great Scientific Debates

  • By: John Hawks, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John Hawks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 54 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 221

Trying to understand our human origins has always been a fundamental part of who we are. Today, with the help of dramatic archaeological discoveries and groundbreaking advancements in technology and scientific understanding, we are closer than we've ever been to learning the true story. In recent decades, it has been the science of paleoanthropology that has led the investigation, helping us make sense of this controversial subject and providing us with a richer understanding of our origins.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating and Exciting

  • By Sarah S on 06-26-15

A good primer on the history of the human race

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

Reviewed: 08-06-17

This course is a great survey of the path of human evolution, the history of the human race. It is thoroughly enjoyable as a listen but it doesn't delve very deep into the topics discussed. So, A+ for anyone dipping their toes into this subject matter, or for anyone who wants their interest piqued so that they can stimulate questions on what direction to go to for your next book on the subject. For people well versed in this subject, this is still a nice listen but won't challenge you much or broaden any horizons you likely haven't touched yet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bossypants

  • By: Tina Fey
  • Narrated by: Tina Fey
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50,929
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42,626
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42,443

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Did not enjoy the whinny quality of this book.

  • By Sharon Blunk on 11-29-17

Love Tina Fey

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-25-15

But, as much as I do, this book is really really really geared towards women. I should have seen that coming and I'm completely ok with that. I'm glad I read it but I found out rather quickly, I was not the intended audience.

3 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Redshirts

  • A Novel with Three Codas
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17,189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,109
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16,085

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing, but somehow still worth a listen.

  • By Bradford on 03-06-13

Unexpected endings

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

Reviewed: 01-16-13

Scalzi serves up another witty and fun story with lovable characters and excellent narration from the "always on point" Mr. Wil Wheaton. There's a lot to like here, especially for the obvious Star Trek TOS fan. I wish I didn't have to say it, but I don't know if this book works outside of a working knowledge of the original Star Trek series. In any event, it makes the book more enjoyable. Like an inside joke.

There is a surprise touching ending to coda 3. It's romantic and sad, and also hopeful. I would never have expected it but it came to me as a little gift at the end of an story that is otherwise mostly levity.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade
    A Duty Dance with Death
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Kurt Vonnegut
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Ethan Hawke
    
    


    
    Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
    3,592 ratings
    Overall 4.2
  • Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade

  • A Duty Dance with Death
  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: Ethan Hawke
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,592
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,188
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,206

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What more can be said?

  • By W. Seligman on 09-22-04

An excellent handling of a great book

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

Reviewed: 05-02-12

I had no expectations coming into reading Slaughterhouse Five, and as such, I wasn't immediately hooked into the storyline but rather settled into it over the first few chapters. I was turned on to this book after seeing it appear in so many "best of" lists. It also helped that professor Drout recommended it in his Modern Scholar survey of science fiction literature. I don't wholeheartedly believe this is science fiction at all. Seems to me like historical fiction about the after effects of war. Possibly about dealing with PTSD. Looking at it that way, you can see why the novel remains relevant to our time. That's not to say that the novel is only relevant because of our ongoing national commitment to war. So it goes. Vonnegut manages to construct his prose in a manner reminiscent of Hemingway, but approaches the structure of the story in a thoroughly modern way which is, at times, disjointed and appropriate to the mental state of the main character.

All that being said, readers should be cautious in taking Slaughterhouse Five at face value. It is a memoir of a broken man. It would be easy to blindly accept Vonnegut's notion that since war is ultimately meaningless, all things are meaningless, meaningless things were always meant to happen, they were designed to happen, we have no free will to do anything to stop it, our only choice is to allow things to happen to us, we have no free will at all. In my opinion, that is dangerous thinking that will lead many astray. It is important to recognize that one may very well feel like that is the way of the world when subjected to the kinds of atrocities mentioned in the book, however, if you remove free will from the equation, then the Nazis who brutally murdered innocents were as responsible for their actions as a child who dies in a fire bombing is for his own death. The author makes the case that a Nazi's job is to kill, a victim's job is to die, a bomber must bomb, and children must die. It's just the way things were designed to be. Historically speaking, it is important to document that war has the effect of sapping hope in this way... But the pitfall is to accept this as truth and not as the words of a broken man. I would suggest Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning as a counter study to this novel. There we see despair turned to hope instead of the other way around.

Ethan Hawke did a marvelous job in his performance. I was thoroughly convinced that here was a man who had witnessed so much tragedy, that his only recourse was to totally disconnect from all emotions and even to disconnect from his own reality. He delivers the harrowing events of war and the tragedy of life afterwards with a calm sort of complacency that is soothing and disturbing. You get the sense that this is a person who has accepted his fate, relinquished all hope, and decides to take what comes his way with apathy. It is, in fact, all he has left to offer. Perfectly played.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 212,382
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 198,303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197,890

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000

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

Reviewed: 09-22-11

I don't even know how else to put this. THIS BOOK IS EPICALLY AWESOME. If you grew up geek in the coming-of-age of computers and video games... This is a no-brainer. I haven't been this satisfied with spending a credit since I downloaded Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in 2008. But back to this book, nostalgia cross-referencing every aspect of growing up between probably 1975-1995. If you want to know if you will enjoy this book ask yourself this: Are you a geek? One who enjoys sci-fi and video games? Like computers? 3 yes answers should have you buying this. Here's a short list of things the book references (from memory):

TRS-80 Tandy Computers/Color Computer 3
Amigas, Commodore 64s
Atari 2600 (Extensively)
Games like Pitfall, Kaboom, Dungeons of Daggorath
RPGs/Dungeon Crawls/FPSs
Ghostbusters
Knight Rider
WWF Wrestlers
Back To The Future
Star Trek
Star Wars
Indiana Jones
Voltron and Transformers
Hacker/Computer movies
Blade Runner
Family Ties
General Hacking and Computer culture
Text messaging, L33t Speak
Gamer culture
Dungeons and Dragons
Boom Boxes, Mohawks, Acid Washed Jeans
Rush, Def Leppard, Pat Benatar, Cindy Lauper (and a slew of others)
School House Rock
Japanese/American cross culture (Manga, Cartoons, Games)

The "setting" for the book takes place in a computer simulation that reminded me of the visuals from the Scott Pilgrim Movie, particularly where things look like the inside of a video game, music notes and light coming from instruments, VS subtitles underneath P2P Fights, Things pixelate into "bonus items" when they get destroyed.

Honestly... there's so much that it's hard to remember. Quit reading this and just go download it.

551 of 660 people found this review helpful