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  • 5
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  • The Elephant Whisperer

  • My Life with the Herd in the African Wild
  • By: Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,143
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,719
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,730

>When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful story, beautifully written

  • By Tango on 01-12-13

Very well done.

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

Reviewed: 04-16-15

This is a fascinating story about rescuing and raising a herd of elephants. It's quite moving in some parts. I had picked this up while back and neglected to listen to it for a long time, I wish I hadn't put it off because it's fantastic.

  • Our Final Invention

  • Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era
  • By: James Barrat
  • Narrated by: Gary Dana
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 593
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 521
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 524

Artificial Intelligence helps choose what books you buy, what movies you see, and even who you date. It puts the "smart" in your smartphone and soon it will drive your car. It makes most of the trades on Wall Street, and controls vital energy, water, and transportation infrastructure. But Artificial Intelligence can also threaten our existence. In as little as a decade, AI could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies are pouring billions into achieving AI’s Holy Grail - human-level intelligence.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Kind of chilling

  • By Keegan on 04-11-15

Fascinating and a bit scary.

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

Reviewed: 06-19-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Our Final Invention to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version. I picked up the audibook because it was plugged on TWiT a lot and I wanted to understand it.

What other book might you compare Our Final Invention to and why?

I don't know. It's a dire warnining about the possible consequences of ongoing research in the AI field. There's lots of fictionalized stories like this (Asimov's classics come to mind) but this is a non fiction book.

  • The Skies Belong to Us

  • Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking
  • By: Brendan I. Koerner
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 356
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 323
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 324

A shattered Army veteran and a mischievous party girl, Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow commandeered Western Airlines Flight 701 as a vague protest against the war. Through a combination of savvy and dumb luck, the couple managed to flee across an ocean with a half-million dollars in ransom, a feat that made them notorious around the globe. Koerner spent four years chronicling this madcap tale, which involves a cast of characters ranging from exiled Black Panthers, to African despots, to French movie stars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very entertaining and engaging audiobook

  • By S. Perry on 07-13-13

A lvery interesting case

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

Reviewed: 04-17-14

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Skies Belong to Us?

When they finally go through with their plan. It's absolutely insane and doesn't make a whole lot of a sense a Kerkow, who was not the crazy one, had to have realized that, but she went along anyway.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It kept me interested. I'm too young to remember the rash of hijackings that occurred in the 1960's and 70's, so while this isn't necessarily a detailed historical overview, it was very interesting to me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dead Hand

  • The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy
  • By: David E. Hoffman
  • Narrated by: Bob Walter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

This riveting narrative history of the end of the arms race sheds new light on the frightening last chapters of the Cold War and the legacy of the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that remain a threat today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent and terrifying.

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-17-14

Excellent and terrifying.

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

Reviewed: 04-17-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If that friend has an interest in Cold War politics and the politics around WMD development and use (safe to say most do not) then absolutely.

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

I have not. I have since purchased another book he narrated though, I enjoyed him.

Any additional comments?

The subject is a bit scary and I don't think a lot of people realize just how bad the USSR was at disposing of or securing their WMD as the collapse of their government happened.

  • A Long Way Gone

  • Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
  • By: Ishmael Beah
  • Narrated by: Ishmael Beah
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,070

This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than 50 violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now 26 years old, tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Author's voice

  • By B. Bunt on 11-01-13

Fascinating and tragic story

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

Reviewed: 04-17-14

If you could sum up A Long Way Gone in three words, what would they be?

Sad yet hopeful.

What did you like best about this story?

I like that he was able to be rescued from the life of child soldier and go on to present about these issues at the UN.

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

It's his memories. One thing is when he signs some of the songs that made him happy as a kid, you can tell they still do.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident

  • By: Mark Manson
  • Narrated by: Fleet Cooper
  • Length: 1 hr and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,186
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,041
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1,041

Everyone knows confidence when they see it; but seemingly no one can actually describe what goes into it or how to get it. The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident is an unconventional way of looking at one of the most basic and obvious human traits and what one can do to gain a little more of it without feeling like a phony. Laughter included.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A More-Than-Pleasant Surprise

  • By Anthony A. on 01-03-14

Unless you want to be a PUA tool, useless

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

Reviewed: 04-17-14

Would you try another book from Mark Manson and/or Fleet Cooper?

No. This was really bad.

Has The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident turned you off from other books in this genre?

I've been going through a lot of changes in my life and I figured a self help book aimed at my demographic would be a little beneficial. It is not. It has turned me off the genre.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Fleet Cooper?

I don't know. Hulk Hogan.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Sadness, really. It quickly descended into "Pick Up Artist" levels of stupidity. Which is not what I was looking for. It shouldn't be what any sane man is looking for.

Any additional comments?

Just terrible.

  • Worst Ideas Ever

  • A Celebration of Embarrassment
  • By: Daniel Kline, Jason Tomaszewski
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 3 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 787
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 716
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 717

From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure or a political one, Worst Ideas Ever uncovers the ridiculous stories behind mistakes so huge, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself that they actually happened.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Wears out quickly

  • By Sara on 04-28-14

Hindsight: The Book

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

Reviewed: 04-17-14

What would have made Worst Ideas Ever better?

This book has nothing interesting about it. It's just a list of things that happened. Many of them are only bad ideas in hindsight.

Seriously, they talk about MLB promoting the Homerun race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sossa as one of the worst ideas ever. How? Because it was revealed after the fact that they had taken some PEDs?

The book actually starts off amusing, but it quickly descends into the authors listing things that 1) were not bad ideas and 2) that the authors don't know ANYTHING about. The computer section almost made me have a stroke.

Has Worst Ideas Ever turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes. This was terrible.

What aspect of Patrick Lawlor’s performance would you have changed?

He was actually fine. He sounds a bit condescending at times, but I guess that's sort of the point of the book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No, not really.