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tthomson53

Richmond, VA, United States
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 172
  • ratings
  • Bull by the Horns

  • Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself
  • By: Sheila Bair
  • Narrated by: Joyce Bean
  • Length: 16 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

Sheila Bair is widely acknowledged in government circles and the media as one of the first people to identify and accurately assess the subprime crisis. Appointed by George W. Bush as the chairperson of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 2006, she witnessed the origins of the financial crisis and, in 2008, became - along with Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and Timothy Geithner-one of the key players invested in repairing the damage to our economy.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting but hyperbolic

  • By David F. on 01-25-16

If you like Geithner and Paulson, steer clear...

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

Reviewed: 05-21-15

I was able to listen to only 60% of this, because I got tired of Bair's sanctimonious diatribes against Tim Geithner and, to a lesser extent, the others who plowed bold ground to save us from financial Armageddon in 2008-09. She viewed her role as head of the FDIC narrowly and was a stickler for the rules, which wasn't the approach required when the walls and bridges were burning down - so thank goodness she was left out of the loop in most of the critical decision-making done by Geithner, Bernanke and Paulson. Her conservative approach to bank regulation and supervision is entirely appropriate, but she does herself no favors by playing the ostensible victim of an old boy network, rarely admitting she was wrong, failing to see the perspective of her antagonists, and railing against dramatic actions taken in the name of financial stability with her naive, Midwestern "gee whiz", "oh I'm shocked" mentality. Geithner and Paulson left the personal animus out of their books, and Bair would have done well to do the same. See "Joseph's" review of June 9, 2014, on Goodreads for a more detailed and evocative telling of my feelings about this book. Bair wasn't done any favors by the narrator, who sounds just like Fraser's ex-wife "Lilith" and piles on the righteous indignation through her reading.

  • The Blood Gospel

  • The Order of the Sanguines, Book 1
  • By: James Rollins, Rebecca Cantrell
  • Narrated by: Christian Baskous
  • Length: 17 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 926
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 822
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 831

An earthquake in Masada, Israel, kills hundreds and reveals a tomb buried in the heart of the mountain. A trio of investigators - Sergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant but disillusioned archaeologist - are sent to explore the macabre discovery, a subterranean temple holding the crucified body of a mummified girl. But a brutal attack at the site sets the three on the run, thrusting them into a race to recover what was once preserved in the tomb's sarcophagus: a book rumored to have been written by Christ's own hand....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Surprising Disappointment

  • By Jean on 01-15-13

What a disappointment!

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

Reviewed: 02-03-15

I tried this on the basis of someone's recommendation of Rebecca Cantrell. I'm having to quit at about four hours because of the juvenile and hackneyed plot, infantile dialogue and horrible narration. I'm going to put Baskous on my list of narrators to avoid.

  • Life After Life

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 15 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,924
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,535
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,545

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exhilarating, breathtaking book

  • By Kareol on 08-13-15

I Think I Missed a lot...

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

Reviewed: 10-07-13

I liked this book a lot, as it's extremely well written and tells interesting stories about a likable character who has a wealth of interesting experiences over a lifetime beginning in 1910. But the book's structure frustrated me. Not because I got lost as one after another of Ursula Todd's many lives (and deaths) morphed into the next and time shifted accordingly, but because I expected to see more obvious connections and threads in and between her many stories, as one does in Colum McCann's "Transatlantic", the best book I've read in a while. As in "Transatlantic", where real-life characters such as Frederick Douglass and Senator George Mitchell make more-than-cameo appearances, Eva Braun and Adolph Hitler figure in an interesting story line in "Life After Life", adding to its appeal to me. Don't be put off by my three stars, which would have been 3.5 if I'd had the flexibility; try this one for yourself. Having read a number of reviews after finishing the book (the "Most Helpful" reviews currently on Amazon.com are very helpful), I realize that I probably missed many of the literary, religious and other allusions which others say lie under the surface of "Life After Life". You might not.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Beautiful Ruins

  • By: Jess Walter
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,847
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,567
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,561

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • My mind wandered

  • By Ella on 11-25-12

What's all the fuss about??

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

Reviewed: 01-12-13

This barely deserves two stars, in my opinion. A sentimental fiction that revolves around Hollywood characters in 1962, the present, and in-between, with Italy thrown in for good measure. None of the characters is rememberable, the use of Richard Burton (with a fiction created around him that's almost too stupid to bear) is beyond the pale, and the constant time-shifting is schizophrenic. Even the male protagonist, Pasquale, is unremarkable, and I spent the whole book waiting for him to make a correct decision - or any decision, for that matter. The way the author wraps up the tale, updating us on what happened to all the characters, suggests that he had a publishing deadline to make and had to deal with them all in one chapter instead of many. Why this book got so many great reviews is beyond me.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Sidetracked

  • A Kurt Wallander Mystery
  • By: Henning Mankell
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 624
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406

While tracking a demented serial killer, Detective Kurt Wallander is beset with obstacles: a department distracted by the threat of cutbacks and the frivolity of World Cup soccer, a tenuous relationship with a widow, and an unshakably haunting preoccupation with a girl who set herself on fire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripped again...

  • By Rebecarol on 02-10-08

Another great story marred by poor narration

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

Reviewed: 09-13-11

This is another great story about a very depressive detective. Unfortunately, Dick Hill seems to be the narrator for all of the Wallander novels. He's fine when speaking like a real man, but he slips so easily into an infantile, nasal voice when speaking for just about everyone except Kurt Wallander, which ruins them as real characters. His female impersonations are a joke for the same reason. I'm afraid I'm going to have to default to the written word for the most recent four books in the series. I can't stand Hill any more!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful