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R. Smith

MN United States
  • 28
  • reviews
  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 39
  • ratings
  • The Short Stories, Volume II

  • By: Ernest Hemingway
  • Narrated by: Stacy Keach
  • Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 93

Before he gained wide fame as a novelist, Ernest Hemingway established his literary reputation with his short stories. Set in the varied landscapes of Spain, Africa, and the Americam Midwest, this definitive audio collection traces the development and maturation of Hemingway's distinct and revolutionary storytelling style: from the plain bald language of the first story to his mastery of seamless prose that contained a spare, eloquent pathos, as well as a sense of expansive solitude.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Flat out amazing

  • By chris on 11-30-07

Superb performance of superb stories

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-27-18

Great stories. Narration is outstandingly excellent. Truly a great performance. Old favorite stories brought to life.

  • This Is Your Brain on Music

  • The Science of a Human Obsession
  • By: Daniel J. Levitin
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 775
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 434

In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music - its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it - and the human brain. Levitin draws on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Neuroscience for the right brain

  • By Paul Mullen on 09-12-07

Superb! Highly recommend this audio book!

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

Reviewed: 07-03-17

Not only does this cover a lot about the science of how we relate to music, it includes information that gave me a lot of general insight into our minds. This is a superb book, and I highly recommend it to people who want to increase their appreciation for music, and to people who make music.

  • Musicophilia

  • Tales of Music and the Brain
  • By: Oliver Sacks
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 829
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 492
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 486

Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does - humans are a musical species.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must for music lovers

  • By Shimon on 11-19-07

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-03-17

This is mostly a memoir of anecdotes. I didn't get anything out of it, and can't recommend it.

  • Unnatural History of the Sea

  • By: Callum M. Roberts
  • Narrated by: Callum M. Roberts
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Humanity can make short work of the oceans' creatures. In 1741, hungry explorers discovered herds of Steller's sea cow in the Bering Strait, and in less than thirty years, the amiable beast had been harpooned into extinction. It's a classic story, but a key fact is often omitted. Bering Island was the last redoubt of a species that had been decimated by hunting and habitat loss years before the explorers set sail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb! A unique and important history

  • By R. Smith on 02-07-17

Superb! A unique and important history

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

Reviewed: 02-07-17

This is a very good book. It's mostly about the history of man's exploitation of the sea. For example, whaling and over-fishing. There are not many books about the history of how over-fishing and over-hunting in the past has created the environment we have today.I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in fisheries, marine mammals, and the history of maritime exploration and commerce.

The first book I read by Callum Roberts was Oceans of Life, which is also superb, and is more focused on the oceans as ecosystems.

  • How Music Works

  • By: David Byrne
  • Narrated by: Andrew Garman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 795
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 710
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 705

Best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the iconic band Talking Heads, David Byrne has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the insightful How Music Works, Byrne offers his unique perspective on music - including how music is shaped by time, how recording technologies transform the listening experience, the evolution of the industry, and much more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Art Eats Itself

  • By Audio Gra Gra on 05-04-16

Good insights into how music affects us

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

Reviewed: 02-07-17

A very well done book. Lots of good insights about how music affects us. The influences of how and where the music is performed is a particular topic of focus. The importance of music education. Very thoughtful, and much is based on the life experience of the author, who is a successful musician with broad experience.

If you don't like Talking Heads or pop music, don't be dissuaded from listening to this. It's about music in general.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The History of Country Music

  • Where Did Country Music Come From?
  • By: Lynette Barton
  • Narrated by: Hairl Hensley
  • Length: 1 hr and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Country music grew up in the mountains of Appalachia, in the cotton fields of Georgia and Mississippi, the car and truck plants in Detroit, and in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. It was - and is - the music of the people. Hairl Hensley tells of Jimmy Rodgers and the Carter Family; of Bob Wills and Ernest Tubb, whose music played in honky tonks...and Roy Acuff , whose music was heard in Madison Square Garden; of the Girls of the Golden West, but also of Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent summary of Country music in the USA

  • By R. Smith on 01-13-17

Excellent summary of Country music in the USA

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

Reviewed: 01-13-17

A lot of information in a relatively short presentation. This is a history of many important milestones in the popularization of country music. It's not an academic piece that goes back to the roots music of immigrants. It's more about the show biz and recording aspect that we are familiar with. For an audio book less than two hours long, it's packed with well organized information.

The performance is superb. The narrator is great. The background music makes it even more engaging.

  • The Music Lesson

  • A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music
  • By: Victor L. Wooten
  • Narrated by: Victor L. Wooten
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 819
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 720
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 718

"'Boy, do I have a lot to learn!'" Anyone who's ever picked up a musical instrument of any kind - from the first caveman banging rocks to that little kid at the guitar shop - has thought that. I know I did. I'd been trying for years to break in to the music scene, to show everyone my chops, to make my mark. And I was good. But I wasn't great. I knew that there was something wrong. Then the teacher showed up...."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprise like no other!

  • By Tomas on 11-23-10

Excellent! Highly recommended.

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

I gained tremendously from this book and followed up by watching Mr. Wooten's Groove Workshop. His approach to teaching music is superb. Wooten is best known as a bassist, but he is a musician first and the lessons in this book apply to any instrument and any kind of music.

The book is about learning music, and it's written as a novel, but the music lessons in the book are solid and something everyone studying music should know.

The performance is outstanding. There are multiple characters serving to do the narration, and it's so well done that other audio book producers should use it as a model.

The audio book is thoroughly engaging from beginning to end, and I just wish there were more stars I could give it.

This audio book is a work of genius.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Music Theory: from Absolute Beginner to Expert

  • The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Learning Music Theory Effortlessly
  • By: Nicolas Carter
  • Narrated by: Bryan Howard
  • Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 122
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 121

Have you ever been put off by music theory or thought that is too hard to learn? If the answer is yes, then this book is the answer for you. It covers everything that anyone who plays (or wants to play) music, and wishes to become better as a musician, should know. This is the most comprehensive book on music theory that you can find today. Not only that, but this book is written in a way that is really easy to follow, understand and internalize all the concepts explained.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Title is misleading & no audio examples

  • By JS on 02-25-17

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

I highly recommend this book. I didn't think that an audio book would work very well for this subject, but it does. I'll listen to this again.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Jazz Standards

  • A Guide to the Repertoire
  • By: Ted Gioia
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 21 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

Written by award-winning jazz historian Ted Gioia, this comprehensive guide offers an illuminating look at more than 250 seminal jazz compositions. In this comprehensive and unique survey, here are the songs that sit at the heart of the jazz repertoire, ranging from "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Autumn in New York" to "God Bless the Child," "How High the Moon," and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Gioia includes Broadway show tunes written by such greats as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, and classics by such famed jazz musicians as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great info, but not ideal in audio format

  • By Patrick on 08-30-14

Not recommended as an audio book

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

This is a very tedious audio book for people who listen to audio books while driving. The basic pattern is that each of the standards is covered in a short chapter. That's good. However, the references to recordings at the end of each short chapter ruin the experience. If the audio book were to be re-done without the references to recordings, it would be greatly improved. If each chapter began with a short audio clip of what the tune sounds like, it would be a five star book.

It's a good idea, a good story, and good narration. I hope my review does not negatively reflect on the narrator because he does a fine job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Blues: A Very Short Introduction 

  • By: Elijah Wald
  • Narrated by: Dalton Mobley
  • Length: 4 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

Elijah Wald is one of the leading popular music critics of his generation. In The Blues, Wald surveys a genre at the heart of American culture. It is not an easy thing to pin down. As Howlin' Wolf once described it, "When you ain't got no money and can't pay your house rent and can't buy you no food, you've damn sure got the blues." It has been defined by lyrical structure, or as a progression of chords, or as a set of practices reflecting West African "tonal and rhythmic approaches", using a five-note "blues scale". Wald sees blues less as a style than as a broad musical tradition within a constantly evolving pop culture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great flow and golden nuggets!

  • By mathew on 11-14-17

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

This is an excellent audio book. Not only does it trace the history of blues, but it also has a separate history of how blues and jazz are intertwined, and a section on how blues and country music are intertwined. Very well done. I will listen to this again at least once more. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn the history of the blues. Great narration too.