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Ben

Waterkloof South Africa
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 29
  • helpful votes
  • 183
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  • Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money

  • By: Pat Flynn
  • Narrated by: Pat Flynn
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 849
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 774
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 769

Stop rushing into businesses born from half-baked ideas, misguided theories, and other forms of self-delusion. A lack of proper validation kills more businesses than anything else. As Joel Barker says, "Speed is only useful if you're running in the right direction." Will It Fly? will help you make sure you are clear for takeoff.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's an amazing book

  • By Otto on 03-26-16

Not Useful When Travelling

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

Reviewed: 03-26-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. The general concept might be fine, but I listen to books while driving.
The author pretty soon asks for you to visit his website to fill in a worksheet before proceeding. Since this wasn't immediately possible, I put off listening for a while.
Eventually, I went to the website. It seemed to be geared to sell me a bunch of unrelated stuff. The worksheet wasn't all that useful either.
I lost interest in the rest of what the author might have to say.
I am busy. There are many other books to listen to...

Would you listen to another book narrated by Pat Flynn?

No

Do you think Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, please don't.

  • The Seventh Sense

  • Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks
  • By: Joshua Cooper Ramo
  • Narrated by: Joshua Cooper Ramo
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 647
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 574
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 573

The digital age we live in is as transformative as the Industrial Revolution, and Joshua Cooper Ramo explains how to survive. If you find yourself longing for a disconnected world where information is not always at your fingertips, you may eventually be as useful as the carriage maker post-Henry Ford. It's practically impossible to know where the marriage of imagination and technology will take us (sorry, Betamax and Kodak), and the only certainty is that in the networked world we will only become more intertwined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ridiculously Relevant

  • By Abhinav on 05-21-16

Boy, Ramo sure has read a lot of books...

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

Reviewed: 11-19-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. The book took a fairly simple observation or two and found a zillion examples to - kind of - support or illustrate it. I worked all the way through to the end, hoping that Ramo would come up with some brilliant, useful conclusion, but in the end it was like "So, be aware of this in your life..."

Has The Seventh Sense turned you off from other books in this genre?

If the genre is someone's capstone reading report, then yes, it has turned me off from the genre.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Obstacle Is the Way

  • The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
  • By: Ryan Holiday
  • Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,265
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,188

We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn't be this way. There is a formula for success that's been followed by the icons of history - from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs - a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book I wish I had 25 years ago

  • By Jason DeFillippo on 05-08-14

Good book; Should have hired a pro reader

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

Reviewed: 11-19-16

Would you listen to The Obstacle Is the Way again? Why?

No. The concepts of stoicism were well-illustrated, but I would rather return to the original works next.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

There is a reason why people turn to professionals to write books, and to different professionals to narrate books.

This is an excellent example of that. In a long stretch of the reading, the author seemed to be suffering of a near-fatal sinus infection -- yet he kept going... (How about taking a break and reading it again when you feel better?) Happily, he recovered after a long while, but his diction and enunciation of words were still extremely unpolished, shall we say...

  • God's Problem

  • The Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question - Why We Suffer
  • By: Bart D. Ehrman
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganzer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 483
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 311
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310

In times of questioning and despair, people often quote the Bible to provide answers. Surprisingly, though, the Bible does not have one answer but many "answers" that often contradict one another.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Despite "Suffer the little children"

  • By Kaeli on 05-03-08

Well, That Cleared Up a Couple of Questions!

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

Reviewed: 09-30-16

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

If a plane goes down, killing 400 and one survives unscathed against all odds: Hallelujah, it's a miracle! Right? Right?
After failing to find any good answers myself, I have wondered what the Bible really says about why bad things happen. Now I know, and it is fascinating (especially his take on the stories of Abraham and Job.)
As Ehrman says, most people develop their own comforting set of views about why bad things happen, and what God's role is in this. Ehrman pretty much knocks these props away by very carefully reading exactly what the Bible says.
So, I would recommend this book to someone who is actively wondering about this, but not to any old unsuspecting civilian.

  • The Now Habit

  • By: Neil Fiore Ph.D.
  • Narrated by: Neil Fiore Ph.D.
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,657
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,151
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,128

If you are a professional, manager, student, entrepreneur, writer, or homemaker, this audiobook will help you achieve your goals more rapidly, whether they are large, complex challenges or the small, essential tasks of everyday life and work. If you now work effectively, even though you have too much to do and too little time, The Now Habit will show you how to prioritize your goals to allow more time for guilt-free play.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A keeper

  • By Ron on 03-17-07

Wonderful Insights, Weird Reading Improved by 1.25

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

Reviewed: 09-30-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

After fixing up the narration by increasing the reading speed, I found the author's insights to be very valuable. Especially the link between procrastination and fear of failure, and the need to understand the rewards from procrastination (what do you think you win by delaying action? If you understand that about the problem, then you can start to dig deeper into solving the problem.) Interesting insights, if you are willing to look past the narrator's difficulties.

How could the performance have been better?

A professional narrator would have been much better. The current narrator seemed to be managing some kind of speech or cognitive impediment (so sorry to have to point this out), which is manifested by weird mid-sentence pauses and a very slow reading speed.
Turning on 1.25 X reading speed made the whole thing much better, and allowed me to get past the narration difficulties to enjoy the real insights.

Was The Now Habit worth the listening time?

Yes!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Panzer Commander

  • The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck
  • By: Hans von Luck, Stephen E. Ambrose (introduction)
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,795
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,676
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,674

A stunning look at World War II from the other side.... From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front - von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers. Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Reads like Forrest Gump ( a fiction )

  • By Randall on 11-08-16

Wonderful new perspective; Best narration ever

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

Reviewed: 07-26-14

What was one of the most memorable moments of Panzer Commander?

It was wonderful to hear this perspective from the other side of the conflict (I listened to the book while re-watching Band of Brothers). Hans von Luck was a professional soldier who did an extremely tough job with determination, discipline and high intelligence. The question here is naturally how someone like that could work within the Nazi cloud, and do the Nazi bidding? His contemplative reflection of his own role goes a long way to answering the question for this man at least.

What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

Pinchot's use of a German accent was a spot-on choice, and immaculately executed. His gentle tone also went a long way (rightly or wrongly) to shaping my impression of Hans von Luck himself. I immediately looked at all the other books Pinchot has narrated, and have already picked another one.

Any additional comments?

If you want to see how a refined man of great intelligence could be drawn into the Nazi strategy even though he did not share their ideology, and continue to execute his military assignments with astonishing professionalism even though he knew the war was lost years before, this is the book for you.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Wizard

  • The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius
  • By: Marc J. Seifer
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 22 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,956
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,664
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,641

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Well researched book; a bit overwhelming

  • By Robert on 05-18-13

Fascinating inventor, overly sequential story

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

Reviewed: 06-30-14

Would you try another book from Marc J. Seifer and/or Simon Prebble?

I would look with caution at Seifer's other works given the plodding style with which he approached this fascinating inventor's life.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I listened with great interest to the first half of Tesla's career, but in the latter stretch I gave up eventually because there seemed to be too little editing happening as to what was really significant or interesting, and what was really just stuff that, you know, had happened.

Any additional comments?

I echo some of the other commenters' views that mentioned the amount of unfiltered detail in the latter parts of the book. It became less than gripping in the latter half.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Gilead

  • By: Marilynne Robinson
  • Narrated by: Tim Jerome
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

From the author of Housekeeping, Gilead is the long-hoped-for second novel by one of America's finest writers.

Chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the top six novels of 2004.

In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames' life, he begins a letter to his young son, a kind of last testament to his remarkable forebears.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Dour Reading Failed to Resonate

  • By Ben on 11-27-13

Dour Reading Failed to Resonate

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

Reviewed: 11-27-13

What disappointed you about Gilead?

I was very interested in listening to this book, but the dour reading style of the narrator induced a profound depression in my soul. Maybe it's an accurate rendition of the character's voice, but I had to cut and run before the first chapter was out.

Independence Day audiobook cover art
  • Independence Day

  • By: Richard Ford
  • Narrated by: Peter Marinker
  • Length: 20 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 2

Frank Bascombe, in the aftermath of his divorce and the ruin of his career, has entered an "Existence Period" - selling real estate in New Jersey and mastering the high-wire act of normalcy. But, over one Fourth of July weekend, Frank is called into sudden, bewildering engagement with life. Independence Day is a moving, peerlessly funny odyssey through America and through the layered consciousness of one of its most compelling literary incarnations, conducted by a novelist of extraordinary empathy and perception.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why has no-one else discovered this gem?

  • By Ben on 04-25-13

Why has no-one else discovered this gem?

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

Reviewed: 04-25-13

What did you like best about this story?

I had heard podcasters recommend Independence Day, but had always been put off by the lack of reviews on Audible. Wrong!

Richard Ford turns out to be an amazingly insightful and empathetic writer. I heard Roth say the other day that a novelist should write without fear or shame. This is what Ford does so very well. His characters express so acutely the dilemma of people who have had a couple of decades behind them, and now must face up to past regrets and failures while also working out how to deal with the rest of their lives.

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

I don't think I have heard Peter Marinker before, but his narration is perfect for this novel. He delightfully inhabits each character's voice, without actually doing voices, if you know what I mean. It is the merest inflection or tone that does the trick. I'll look out for his other performances from here on.

  • Bring Up the Bodies

  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As good as the Wolf Hall

  • By Elain on 06-02-12

Read Wolf Hall, listened to Bring Up the Bodies

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

Reviewed: 11-20-12

Would you consider the audio edition of Bring Up the Bodies to be better than the print version?

Both books were excellent. I whipped through Bring Up the Bodies without listening to any of my usual podcasts (which is saying a lot!)

What did you like best about this story?

The human and political intrigue was gripping throughout.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

I loved the dry assuredness of the narrator!