LISTENER

Paul

Kitchener, ON, Canada
  • 144
  • reviews
  • 542
  • helpful votes
  • 144
  • ratings
  • Doctors and Near-Death Experiences, Vol. 2

  • By: Jenniffer Weigel
  • Narrated by: Jenniffer Weigel
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 3

A compilation of podcasts broadcast on WGN radio in Chicago, called I'm Spiritual, Dammit! Volume Two.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Misleading Book Title

  • By Paul on 08-12-18

Misleading Book Title

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

The opening interview featuring Dr. Scott Kolbaba will be of greatest interest to the follower of ND experiences.

Weigel's other guests, for the most part, veer off into woo-woo land with their forays into alternative medicine or new-age crystals territory. P.M.H. Atwater, who has always struck me as a big phoney, comes across as little more than a trumpet section for her own cascade of books on the topic.

Interestingly, those guests who mention the name of Dr. Raymond Moody, a credible pioneer in NDE documentation, all claim never to have heard of the man or his books prior to commencing their own NDE-related gigs. We're left with the unspoken suggestion that they were led into this field through mystical events that befell them in their own lives. Some of these guests offer interesting or helpful comments, but generally, the interviews do not pursue the stated topic.

There are subsequent references to Near Death Experiences, but apart from Kolbaba's discussion, these are mostly peripheral references to the subject. This book is a major disappointment.

  • The Butchering Art

  • Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
  • By: Lindsey Fitzharris
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 947
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 871
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 871

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of 19th-century surgery on the eve of profound transformation. She conjures up early operating theaters - no place for the squeamish - and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. They were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. A young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not one boring moment!

  • By WRWF on 12-22-17

Bring Smelling Salts

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Take your cue from the book title. This is an excruciating, occasionally gory examination of the development of the science and art of medicine that will make you glad that you live in the 21st century. Pity our ancestors on whom these medical pioneers practised.

Narrator Ralph Lister - no relation, I presume - delivers the book in a growly, often shouting voice. The whole thing is kind of scary.

  • Pandora’s Lab

  • Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong
  • By: Paul A. Offit MD
  • Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 297

Pandora's Lab takes us from opium's heyday as the pain reliever of choice to recognition of opioids as a major cause of death in the United States; from the rise of trans fats as the golden ingredient for tastier, cheaper food to the heart disease epidemic that followed; and from the cries to ban DDT for the sake of the environment to an epidemic-level rise in world malaria.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very interesting

  • By Aceaussie on 01-29-18

Illuminating

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Pretty good outline of well-intentioned scientific projects that went awry, or at least led to unintended consequences. Some of these events are well known, such as the autism/MMR vaccine train wreck launched by Andrew Wakefield's severely flawed UK study, while others are something of a surprise.

Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring, for example, dramatically advanced the global environmental movement, and led directly to the prohibition of the toxin DDT. Turns out, however, that zero tolerance for DDT was not such a good idea. All in all, this is an easy listen and though relatively brief, is a surprisingly comprehensive examination of the horrors that continue to fly out of Pandora's Box as science makes its shaky way forward.

  • Blood Work

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,456
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,463

Thanks to a heart transplant, former FBI agent Terrell McCaleb is enjoying a quiet retirement, renovating the fishing boat he lives on in Los Angeles Harbor. But McCaleb's calm seas turn choppy when a story in the "What Happened To?" column of the LA Times brings him face-to-face with the sister of the woman whose heart now beats in his chest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Blood work kept my blood rushing

  • By Book and Movie Lover on 01-04-10

Wood Work

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

This is a plodding, mildly interesting murder mystery with a quirky plot twist.

Protagonist McCaleb is moderately appealing, but love interest Graziella (sp.?) is a wooden replica of a woman.

Dick Hill's performance is the single bright light in this colourless landscape.

  • 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 7,610
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,103
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,067

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

Not My Cup of Tea

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

Reviewed: 07-15-18

Cummings's tale is a sad slog through his childhood, described in lock-step with his life as an acclaimed actor. The victim of his father's grotesque grip on reality, young Alan struggles to get through each day, never understanding his father's animosity. As it turns out, neither does his father.

What was Mother thinking? She owed it to her children to remove them from that dreadful home.

The extraordinary amount of time spent on Grandpa's story detracts from the book, making it seem much longer than six plus hours.

  • As the Crow Flies

  • By: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,291

When Charlie Trumper inherits the barrow his grandfather used to peddle fruit and vegetables in turn-of-the-century Whitechapel, England, he inherits his enterprising spirit as well. Charlie's deeply held ambition to raise himself out of the poverty of London's East End is destined to be realized, but there are many obstacles to overcome, including a tour of duty at the front in World War I, where he encounters the man who will become his lifelong enemy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Becoming a Fan of Jeffrey Archer

  • By DWR on 05-04-16

This is a pretty good story.

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

Reviewed: 07-15-18

The structure is somewhat confusing until you sort out the fact that various narrators are telling the same story, jumping from time period to time period, eventually moving from the trenches of World War I to the sixties. The point-of-view variation enriches the plot and the characters as they move in lockstep through the same events.

John Lee's narration is excellent, his women often hilarious.

  • In Harm's Way

  • The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
  • By: Doug Stanton
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,465
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,309
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,300

On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and dementia. By the time rescue arrived, all but 317 men had died. The captain's subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating

  • By Clarence Sparks on 10-22-16

Failure at the Very Top

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

Reviewed: 06-20-18

I did not think that I would be able to bear to listen to this dreadful story; however, author Doug Stanton presents the grim facts in as palatable manner as is possible, given the nature of the awful events. It was a bearable listen, even for the faint of heart.

It is clear that Captain Charles McVay conducted himself in a heroic manner throughout the ordeal. It is likewise clear that navy brass cast all blame onto Captain McVay in an attempt to mask their own miserable failure to keep track of one of their ships. Shame on them.

Mark Boyett's narration is excellent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • One Good Dog

  • By: Susan Wilson
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman, Rick Adamson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 897
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 903

Adam March is a self-made “Master of the Universe.” He has it all: the beautiful wife, the high-powered job, the glittering circle of friends. But there is a price to be paid for all these trappings, and the pressure is mounting—until the day Adam makes a fatal mistake. His assistant leaves him a message with three words: your sister called.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A cynic and a cynical dog - PERFECT!!

  • By Shelby on 12-30-10

One Moderately Good Dog Story

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

Reviewed: 06-01-18

The story focuses primarily on protagonist Adam March, with bits of Chance's history and commentary injected at key points in the narrative. The story is OK, and Chance is voiced to perfection by ... Berman? Adamson?

Protagonist March's narration is an uneven, somewhat flawed component of this audible book. Prior to his redemption, Adam's story is read with an irritating degree of teenage petulance and resentment. It's difficult to imagine that the speech of a grown, successful businessman would give way to the word-punching, pouty delivery of a cranky teen, even after his spectacular fall from grace. The mispronunciations are eyebrow-raisers: "cordon blue" while emphasizing his mastery of French pronunciation, the surname Dufresne (also French) rendered as "Dufrezen", and such gaffes as "low-ling" for the word lolling. There are several others.

That being said, there are worse ways to spend 8 hours and 23 minutes.

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 87,629
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 81,225
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 80,849

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book and perfect narration

  • By Marilyn Armstrong on 12-15-16

A Winner

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

Reviewed: 05-21-18

74,367 reviewers can't be wrong. Let me add my 2 cents' worth and give Trevor a big thumbs up. What a great story.

  • The Brethren

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 11 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 993
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 463
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458

In a minimum security federal prison known as Trumble, three former judges who call themselves the Brethren are quietly writing letters to unsuspecting victims of a monumental mail scam. Much to their delight, the money is pouring in. But now they've ensnared the wrong man and the Brethren's days of marking time are over.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Grisham to Date

  • By M.W. on 03-04-03

Here Comes the Judge!

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

Reviewed: 05-19-18

This is an engaging story, deftly delivered with Grisham's wry humour, and his pointed observations on the judicial/legal establishment, political figures, and pretty well any other pompous ass.

Love Frank Muller's narration and am saddened to learn from a fellow reviewer that he has died; so sorry to lose him.