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Jim

  • 20
  • reviews
  • 40
  • helpful votes
  • 33
  • ratings
  • Power Ball

  • Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game
  • By: Rob Neyer
  • Narrated by: Rob Neyer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

The former ESPN columnist and analytics pioneer dramatically recreates an action-packed 2017 game between the Oakland A’s and eventual World Series champion Houston Astros to reveal the myriad ways in which Major League Baseball has changed over the last few decades. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid overview of Baseball in 2018

  • By Tyler Burch on 11-21-18

Should Have Hired A Pro Reader

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

Reviewed: 04-12-19

'Read by author' is usually a red flag and proves to be true again with this. The author has a slight lisp and sibilant S; the combination makes it hard to concentrate on the content. Perhaps someone made the bad decision to save on narration costs. Love the idea here but I'm going to return this and read the book.

  • Shining City

  • A Novel
  • By: Tom Rosenstiel
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 70

Peter Rena is a "fixer". He and his partner, Randi Brooks, earn their living making the problems of the powerful disappear. They get their biggest job yet when the White House hires them to vet the president's nominee for the Supreme Court. Judge Roland Madison is a legal giant, but he's a political maverick, with views that might make the already tricky confirmation process even more difficult.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Of All the Surnames...

  • By Jim on 03-08-19

Of All the Surnames...

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

Reviewed: 03-08-19

Why did the author choose to name the protagonist "Rena?" Ninety nine percent of the time the story refers to the character by his surname. And every time, and I mean every time it registers in my brain as being a female. Of the thousands and thousands of surnames, why that one? It's like he named the character Frank Rose, Frank Jane or Frank Belinda etc. Story is fine but I wish Rosenstiel would take a mulligan. Yes, a small thing perhaps but it's really annoying, at least for an audio rendition.

  • Hitmaker

  • The Man and His Music
  • By: Tommy Mottola, Cal Fussman
  • Narrated by: Chazz Palminteri
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 49

Much has been written about Tommy Mottola, one of the most powerful, visionary, and successful executives in the history of the music industry. He discovered, developed and launched the careers of many superstars, including Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Gloria Estefan, and is credited with creating the "Latin Explosion". He has had the privilege of working alongside Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, Aerosmith, Tony Bennett, and Ozzy Osbourne, among other music giants.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Chazz Palminteri should stick to movies.

  • By Karl J. Wulff on 02-17-13

Inept, Annoying Performance and Subpar Content

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

Reviewed: 12-24-18

After having this in my library for a few years I thought I'd try again but still found Chazz Palminteri's reading amateurish and annoying. I thought he was supposed to be some hotshot actor but his over-the-top New York accent is annoying and as grating as his inept delivery that's brimming with mispronunciations and unrhythmic cadence. Just hoping "the boys" don't break my knees for this. I would, however, have appreciated such knowledge before I squandered a credit long before Audible's return policy. Even the content is top-heavy with Hall and Oates and Mottola's marriage to Maria Carey. Who cares? That's personal business and he evidently thinks we're interested. I thought this was supposed to be about producing and the record biz but too much is uninteresting fodder for the fanzines and TMZ. And who knew that Hall and Oates were tantamount to the Second Coming? Gimme a break.

  • Baseball History

  • The History of Baseball Along with Fascinating Facts & Unbelievably True Stories
  • By: Ace McCloud
  • Narrated by: Joshua Mackey
  • Length: 1 hr and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

Would you love to explore the incredible and exciting history of baseball? Whether you want to learn amazing and interesting facts about baseball history, discover some of baseball's greatest events and stories, or be thoroughly entertained as you learn how baseball has evolved over the years, this audiobook will give you everything you need to know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great stories in Baseball History fun to listen to

  • By Blaine Hart on 02-06-16

Absolutely painful

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Who is this for? Evidently for someone who knows nothing about the game. Even if that's the case, this hash of mismatched facts and misinformation is poorly laid out and often insulting. This "reads" like a high school book report. If you're even a casual fan, chances are you'll learn nothing. Even if you know very little about the game you'll probably find this work confusing. Moreover, the book's reader should have taken the time to learn the correct pronunciation of Nap Lajoie's name.

  • A People’s History of the World

  • From the Stone Age to the New Millennium
  • By: Chris Harman
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 29 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 95

Chris Harman describes the shape and course of human history as a narrative of ordinary people forming and re-forming complex societies in pursuit of common human goals. Interacting with the forces of technological change as well as the impact of powerful individuals and revolutionary ideas, these societies have engendered events familiar to every schoolchild-from the empires of antiquity to the world wars of the 20th century. In a bravura conclusion, Chris Harman exposes the reductive complacency of contemporary capitalism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well written and compelling!

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-13-17

Soporific Narrator

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

Reviewed: 07-29-18

Sorry to say that Napoleon Ryan is among the worst narrators I've ever endured. I've been an audible member for years and have a library of a couple of hundred books at least. Ryan is the reigning king of boredom. I'm sure he's a wonderful person with many fine qualities but I'll never again go near anything he reads. One asks why.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Perfect Wave

  • More Essays on Art and Democracy
  • By: Dave Hickey
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11

When Dave Hickey was 12, he rode the surfer's dream: the perfect wave. And, like so many things in life we long for, it didn't quite turn out - he shot the pier and dashed himself against the rocks of Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, which just about killed him. Fortunately, for Hickey and for us, he survived, and continues to battle, decades into a career as one of America's foremost critical iconoclasts, a trusted, even cherished no-nonsense voice commenting on the all-too-often nonsensical worlds of art and culture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hickey's Essays Are Enlightening and Extraordinary

  • By Jim on 06-17-18

Hickey's Essays Are Enlightening and Extraordinary

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

Reviewed: 06-17-18

MacArthur Fellow, writer, art critic, songwriter, lecturer and art curator Dave Hickey presents his astonishing insights on a variety of subjects from Disney World to surfing in California as a youngster; Susan Sontag; jazz musicians; his own work and so much more. Despite some esoteric references (usually about artists and fine art) he's never supercilious. In fact, he offers a voice that's at once down-home and urbane. No idea if he had an extensive formal education or is an autodidact. I'd place my heavier money on the latter. Regardless, these essays are enlightening and edifying. I have all of Hickey's books and consider them part of my ongoing education. I'll take everything cerebral he has to offer. Also, reader Joe Barrett is the perfect choice here. I know it's blasphemous not to go all warm and runny about Scott Brick, who does a good job, but Barrett IMO eclipses any reader in the audible stable. He's literally pitch perfect.

  • Citizen Kane

  • A Filmmaker's Journey
  • By: Harlan Lebo
  • Narrated by: Tom Zingarelli
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

With the 75th anniversary of Citizen Kane in May 2016, Harlan Lebo has written the full story of Orson Welles' masterpiece film. The book explores Welles' meteoric rise to stardom in New York and the real reason behind his arrival in Hollywood and unprecedented contract with RKO Studios for total creative control. It also delves into the dispute over who wrote the script; the mystery of the "lost" final script; and the plot by Hearst to destroy Welles' project through blackmail, media manipulation, and other tactics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Book was great. Narrator was an amateur!

  • By katherine on 07-07-16

It's Bern STEEN!

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

Reviewed: 12-03-16

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

I thought I knew what there was to know about Kane. I've read many books about the film and have seen it probably forty times. This book offers the most comprehensive and detailed analysis ever. Mr. Lebo evidently obtained access to the late Welles' files. Lebo's research was extensive and exhaustive.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Citizen Kane?

Must say Zingarelli's mispronunciation of Bernstein (one of the most important characters in the film, moreover Welles' life) is unfortunately the most memorable.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Zingarelli?

Anyone else in the world. How about Mike Tyson or Bevis and Butthead? Sorry, Mr. Zingarelli but obviously you did no homework whatsoever. I cringe every time you pronounce Bernstein incorrectly. That's just one example.

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

See above. The narrator, although the marvelous and meticulous research and revelations offset a lackluster narration.

Any additional comments?

I hesitated to write a bad review of Zingarelli. He's probably a very nice man with many fine qualities and I don't want my review to be a factor in costing him future work. But IMO, he was dreadfully miscast for this reading. Or maybe he just didn't care enough to screen the film. Nevertheless, any Welles or Citizen Kane fan will come away with enhanced appreciation for the great artist's creation.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Quick Red Fox

  • A Travis McGee Novel, Book 4
  • By: John D. MacDonald
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 558
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 495
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 493

It was the standard blackmail scheme. For years, sultry Lysa Dean's name on a movie had meant a bonanza at the box office. Now a set of pictures could mean the end of her career.When first approached for help by lovely Dana Holtzer, Lysa's personal secretary, Travis McGee is thoroughly turned off by the tacky details. But being low on cash, and tenderly attracted by the star's intriguingly remote secretary, McGee sets out to locate his suspects -- only to find that they start turning up dead!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good yarn but showing its age

  • By Kindle Customer on 05-25-12

Robert Petkoff IS Travis McGee

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

Reviewed: 07-26-15

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

I love all of MacDonald's Travis McGee series and thought Darren McGavin was a splendid choice for Trav. But Robert Petkoff is a truly brilliant actor whose protean talent covers so many different voices and characters. I know George Guidell and Scott Brick are supposed to be the "kings of audio" and they're quite good although Brick's interrogative inflections drive me nuts. He phrases questions awkwardly IMO. But Petkoff is masculine as McGee, yet delivers the erudition of Meyer, and portrays females flawlessly without the fey inflection Guidell uses. As wonderful as Mr. Guidell is, he evidently has just one female depiction in his arsenal. In addition, Petkoff covers other male characters with insight and definition. He "paints pictures." I've been an audio book listener for nearly forty years and have never experienced a better reader than Petkoff. Richard Crenna was excellent in The Hunt for Red October but I read where he prepared for months. Ed Asner is also quite good but reads few audio books. Joe Mantegna is great fun as Spenser, but no one IMO has drawn a bead on a series as has Robert Petkoff. Don't know a thing about him, except that he's a big talent.

What did you like best about this story?

MacDonald's philosophy and his talent for story structure.

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

See rave review above.

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

Extreme reaction? Really? Every time I do cartwheels all the change falls out of my pockets. Next question, please.

Any additional comments?

Robert Petkoff is an audible book treasure.

  • Cinnamon Skin

  • A Travis McGee Novel, Book 20
  • By: John D. MacDonald
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

When Travis McGee's friend Meyer lent his boat to his niece Norma and her new husband Evan, the boat exploded out in the waters of the Florida Keys. Travis McGee thinks it's no accident, and clues lead him to ponder possibilities of drugs and also to wonder where Evan was when his wife was killed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of McGee

  • By Me & My Girls on 12-01-12

Petkoff is Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 04-16-15

If you could sum up Cinnamon Skin in three words, what would they be?

Complex but always fascinating story.

What did you like best about this story?

I'm a MacDonald/McGee fan.

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

I used to think Darren McGavin ( a fine actor) was unbeatable as McGee in those abridged versions, but Bob Petkoff IS Travis McGee. He has wonderful distinct voices for all the characters. He's a major talent and in three decades of audio books I've never heard a better reader.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

All good

Any additional comments?

I just hope they don't replace Petkoff they way they screwed up the Spenser novels by using alternate talent to Joe Mantenga like Michael Pritchard. Just doesn't work. What are they thinking?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business

  • By: Frank Rose
  • Narrated by: Marlin May
  • Length: 21 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 67

For decades, hidden from the public eye, William Morris agents made the deals that determined the fate of stars, studios, and networks alike. Mae West, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Danny Thomas, Steve McQueen--the Morris Agency sold talent to anyone in the market for it, from the Hollywood studios to the mobsters who ran Vegas to the Madison Avenue admen who controlled television.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Whew...finally finished it

  • By sylvia mason on 08-26-16

Talentless reader detracts from excellent book.

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

Reviewed: 04-13-15

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

Yes, the subject material is fascinating.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It was a broad overview of the William Morris Agency and too many characters to name just one.

How could the performance have been better?

The reader has all the inflection of a dial tone. It was difficult to concentrate on the story because he read so poorly. I can't believe a book with such extraordinary and interesting subject matter was given to someone with virtually no talent. His diction was fine, but he had zero personality and one had to make a conscious effort to dismiss his lackluster ability. What were they thinking? His reading undermines this fascinating book.

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

How to read a book like a junior high school C-student.