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Stephen

Woodway, TX, United States
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 28
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  • 7
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  • I'm Feeling Lucky

  • The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
  • By: Douglas Edwards
  • Narrated by: Douglas Edwards
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,493
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,239
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,234

Comparing Google to an ordinary business is like comparing a rocket to an Edsel. No academic analysis or bystanders account can capture it. Now Doug Edwards, Employee Number 59, offers the first inside view of Google, giving readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. I'm Feeling Lucky captures for the first time the unique, self-invented, yet profoundly important culture of the world's most transformative corporation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely worth a credit

  • By Stephen on 07-20-11

Definitely worth a credit

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-20-11

This follows the author from his hire when Google was a startup until the IPO. It's a parallel story of Google the company and his personal odyssey from being a key player at the beginning to slowly becoming marginalized, and finally shown the door.
Recounting successes and failures, it's fascinating to hear the accounts of when AOL and Yahoo! were the big fish, and Google had to swim carefully to keep from upsetting them.
It's also a fascinating account of being in a company when it's an infant and there are no walls, and watching the company become a corporation. Anyone who's been in an organization during a growth phase has been in the situation where it goes from being this wide open playing field and you can talk to the "big boys and girls" anytime you wish, to watching walls spring up, things start to divide, and finding yourself boxed on the wrong side of the wall. The previously friendly faces are replaced by new people that make power plays to take your authority and slide you into the outer circle until the day you sit across from some person you don't know, being informed you no longer have a place at the company where you were once a key player.
I don't know how much you'll learn about business from this book, except that the founders of Google believed strongly in certain things. They pushed hard for their beliefs, but as much as they tried, Google eventually became another corporate entity. It was still different in a lot of ways, and they challenged a lot of traditional business thinking.
There's more there, I think, than the author intended.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Schulz and Peanuts

  • A Biography
  • By: David Michaelis
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

Charles Schulz, the most widely syndicated and beloved cartoonist of all time, is also one of the most misunderstood figures in American culture. Now, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis gives us the first full-length biography of Schulz: at once a creation story, a portrait of a hidden American genius, and a chronicle contrasting the private man with the central role he played in shaping the national imagination.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not as dark as you've heard

  • By B. Steele on 05-03-08

Excellent for any Peanuts fan

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-10

For those of us who grew up reading Peanuts, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and Lucy seemed like real people. They were, in reality, products from the imagination of Charles Schulz. Michaelis does an excellent job of revealing the man behind the strip.
It is a three dimensional picture of a very talented man who found his true love, cartooning, at an early age. He had a difficult time dealing with the messier aspects of life, and retreated from them. In the end, the Peanuts characters seemed more real to him than the people who surrounded him. It is a sympathetic portrayal, but it does not canonize Schulz.
IIRC, the book was somewhat controversial when it came out, as it covered two extramarital affairs by Schulz and his oldest daughter's abortion. These are discussed.
Of more interest is the description of the characters from the strip and their real life influences. Lucy, for example, was representative of his first wife. In her relationship with Charlie Brown, she berated him and pulled the football away from him. With Schroeder, she smothered him with love, but he was oblivious, and quite happy without her. Both of these were aspects of their married life. An excellent listen, and the reader is good.

  • American Gods [TV Tie-In]

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 20 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,736
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,333
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,355

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Charming mystery, romance and epic

  • By Jody R. Nathan on 11-26-03

Okay, but not his best

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-09

Neverwhere is more compact and interesting. Gaiman does an excellent job of creating strange underworlds that coexist with the normal world. In American Gods, I believe he descends into grossness for the sake of grossness, and gratuitous sex for the sake of gratuitous sex. There's also a delight in the darkness that bothers me.
It could have been his best work, but it is marred by these flaws.
It's definitely worth a listen, but I found myself being too embarrassed to listen to some parts of it, thinking, "why am I wallowing in this?"

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Coraline

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 3 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,139

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close. The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scary, but interesting for both adults and kids

  • By Melise on 03-19-08

Excellent story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-28-09

The book is spooky, yet childlike. It's quite similar to the movie, although the secondary character "Wybie", was not in the book. Gaiman reads his own books, and does an excellent job. The background music was produced for the book, and suits the mood far better than the canned music used in many books.
If you like spooky fantasy stories in the thirteen+ age range, this is an excellent choice.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful