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Colin

San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 188
  • helpful votes
  • 61
  • ratings
  • The Divide

  • American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
  • By: Matt Taibbi
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,186
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,196

Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends - growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration - come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Capitalism and Democracy Collide

  • By Michael on 04-20-14

Very compelling; not a fan of the narration style

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

Reviewed: 02-26-16

Taibbi certainly makes his point. Very well researched, and very well written so that a banking-industry layman like myself can grasp the implications of what he is relaying. He also makes very effective use of concrete examples to demonstrate the differential treatment in two increasingly distant American groups.

Criticisms: I've read other accounts of the banking bail out, and while they don't leave you glowing with pride, there are some rejoinders to Taibbi's all-out criticism that he doesn't address (though he does take the legal justification head on). It's a great account, but certainly it is biased. You may not like it if you are a republican of the country-club variety, but you may as well check it out anyhow so you hear the full thrust of Taibbi's case.

My lowest score is the performance. Porter seems to be a very capable narrator, but I think he made a tactical mistake. Nearly every revelation or accusation (and there are many) is delivered in a tone of such fierce condemnation that you find yourself resisting it. I find it far more effective to use the understated approach. Let the audience seethe from the facts alone. It may be counterintuitive, but it works better if you're looking for a reaction.

  • Elon Musk

  • Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
  • By: Ashlee Vance
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43,941
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,263
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,187

In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley's most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs - a real-life Tony Stark - and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new makers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of competence porn

  • By Tristan on 08-20-16

Good one with some flaws--but well worth it.

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

Reviewed: 12-31-15

Seems I agree with some of the other reviews. I really love biographies, and this was a good one--but not great. I avoid autobiographies because I want to hear all the dirty parts as well; it's not that I take joy in them, it's that it makes our heroes more human.

With that in mind, this falls a little short. Yes, you do hear many of the criticisms about Elon, and sometimes in detail, but quite often the author explicitly takes Elon's side. When I hear "...but the more I dug into it the more I realized that" Elon was in the right, basically (paraphrasing here), I think "Why does she need to take a side?" Other parts of the book sound like long advertisements for Elon's companies.

Still, Elon's story is fascinating, and it is well told here. I also have a new-found respect for him. He literally wants to save the human race, and he's not joking. He cares nothing for money except to the extent that it helps him achieve what he's dreamt of always doing. He truly seems to be willing to risk it all--in fact he has--to achieve what should be impossible. Yes, he's an insanely demanding workaholic, but think of it from the perspective of believing--truly believing--that this work is crucial for the good of mankind. It's a bit of curveball I didn't expect. Plus, he's an absolute genius, which seems to be the source of his intolerance for those that aren't.

All of this paints a complex picture, but puts him miles below someone like Steve Jobs on the d*ckhead scale. He's someone I can root for. Put it this way: if my niece or nephew's role model in life were Steve Jobs, I'd be devastated; if Elon, not so much.

Only other quibble is that it seems a bit short, but as far as I can tell it's the best book out there on this truly captivating innovator.

  • Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone

  • The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson
  • By: Hunter S. Thompson
  • Narrated by: Phil Gigante
  • Length: 17 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 360

“Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone showcases the roller-coaster of a career at the magazine that was his literary home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Buy the ticket...this is a great compilation.

  • By Shaun on 11-21-11

Near perfect.

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

Reviewed: 07-22-15

This doesn't follow a single narrative, but if you like Hunter Thompson, you owe it to yourself to get this. It's the cream of RS contributions. The only tragic thing is that the narrator is so good at capturing Hunter and his frantic, brilliant explosions of writing that I wish he had narrated all of Hunter's books on Audible. I'd love a re-narration of some of the classics by Phil Gigante. I'd buy them all. Anyway, this one is a must listen.

  • Inherent Vice

  • By: Thomas Pynchon
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty
  • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 900
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 673
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 670

It's been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy", except that this one usually leads to trouble.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you enjoyed The Crying of Lot 49...

  • By Phil Selman on 08-22-09

Bizarre, but supposed to be.

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

Reviewed: 06-25-15

I watched the movie first (the opposite of what I typically do). The book explains a lot more and includes lots of side plots omitted from the movie, but it’s soured by ridiculously cheesy jokes that keep coming every chapter. Despite omitting all of this (save one or two lame jokes), the movie retains the “groovy,” goofy vibe the author meant to set. The single narrator does a great job at capturing the different voices of all the characters (and there are a lot), but of course the movie is better at that. So even though the movie will leave you scratching your head even more than the book will, I think I liked it better. Bottom line: go see the movie, then check out the book if you want more. I'm glad I did both.

  • The Son

  • By: Philipp Meyer
  • Narrated by: Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,973
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,977

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching examination of the bloody price of power, The Son is a gripping and utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American west with rare emotional acuity, even as it presents an intimate portrait of one family across two centuries. Eli McCullough is just twelve-years-old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his Texas homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him as a captive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer

  • By Mel on 06-04-13

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 04-26-15

I had sworn off audible books after a number that under-delivered (I continued to use my subscription but only for newspapers and magazines). This book has turned me around, and I'd love to read more like it.

There are plenty of well-written reviews online from various newspapers; I can't improve upon them and won't give anything away (some of them give away too much). Suffice it to say that the author has worked hard to shape this into a fascinating, historically significant, and compelling story about Texas and the settling of the American West--and his work has paid off. The narration is spot-on too; each narrator seems perfectly chosen for the character they play. And there is plenty to contemplate once you've read the last page, about certain not-fully answered questions and why it's best they were left that way, about who if anyone was right and who if anyone was fully wrong, and about what this family's story tells us about ourselves and our nation. It will certainly leave you wanting more.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Open

  • An Autobiography
  • By: Andre Agassi
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 18 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,833
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,053
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,048

From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography. Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just an Incredible Story!

  • By Patrick on 12-13-09

Well this is just weak.

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

Reviewed: 04-09-13

Parts of the story are interesting, particularly his upbringing under his father, but the book cannot be recommended. Agassi will not strike you as a particularly bright guy, and his stories are lame. Couple that with a narrator who insists on whispering everything, and you've got yourself a painful read. The prologue alone is enough to put most to sleep. If you decide to stick with it (like I did), you'll only have wasted time that could be spent listening to something better.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Our Mutual Friend

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: David Timson
  • Length: 36 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 919
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 636
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630

A mysterious boatman on the Thames, a drowned heir, a dustman and his wife, and a host of other Dickens characters populate this novel of relationships between the classes, money, greed, and love. The 58 characters are presented with remarkable clarity by David Timson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Masterpiece

  • By A. Millard on 11-13-07

Not one of his better ones to say the least

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

Reviewed: 02-02-13

What's the best I can say? A generous number of literature hours for a single credit! But . . . this story is really sappy, really long, and basically just lame. The narrator, David Timson, is fantastic as usual, but lipstick can only do so much on a pig. Stick with Dombey & Son, the Pickwick Papers, Bleak House, and Martin Chuzzlewit (in that order).

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • An Ancient Path

  • Talks on Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S. N. Goenka
  • By: Paul R. Fleischman M.D.
  • Narrated by: Paul R. Fleischman MD
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

Author and psychiatrist Paul Fleischman gave these talks in Europe and America in 2007. He gave them to various audiences, and the nature of each audience partly shaped the contents of each talk. For example the Boston talk was to mental health professionals in the USA, and the Freiberg talk was to "Mindfulness" researchers in Germany. The content of the talks reflect those circumstances. Several question and answer sessions are included.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • very helpful

  • By BT on 05-02-18

Wouldn't buy this one again

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

Reviewed: 10-10-12

Whoa.......................that narrator was tough to take. Just listen to the sample. Maybe that ruined the content for me, but the content didn't strike me as all that great either. I've read a bunch of these types of books and listened to a few here as well. Mindfulness in Plain English is still the best book I've read in print, even though (or perhaps because) it sticks to the basics. Beyond that printed book, The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young is one you can listen to, and for me it's about forty times better than whatever comes in second place.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Great Expectations

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 18 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,062
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,775

One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens’ dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Performance of a classic!

  • By Steven on 08-18-13

I like his other books way better.

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

Reviewed: 09-01-12

So I'm in the minority. I was forced to read this in high school (very abridged), didn't remember much of it, then I "discovered" Dickens recently and have been on a tear reading (listening to, more accurately) everything I can get my hands on. Maybe I don't like this one because it's the first first-person-narrative book of his I've read, but I feel like Dickens is less observant, or I guess the character is. In books like Dombey & Son, Pickwick Papers, Bleak House, Martin Chuzzlewit, and others, Dickens fills every pocket of a room with color--every character with minute behaviors. I didn't get as much of that in this one. (I thought the beginning chapters were strongest and most enjoyable, and I love Joe Gargery!)

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Dombey and Son

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: David Timson
  • Length: 39 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 395
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392

Dombey and Son is vintage Dickens and explores the classic themes of betrayal, cruelty and deceit. Dombey's dysfunctional relationships are painted against a backdrop of social unrest in industrialized London, which is populated by a host of fascinating and memorable secondary characters. The complete and unabridged novel is brought spectacularly to life by veteran reader David Timson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Hidden Dickens Gem

  • By eileen on 01-15-12

Awesome

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

Reviewed: 07-31-12

Just when you think you've found your favorite narrator, you stumble upon another who is equally amazing. Timson brings it all to life. I haven't read all of Charles Dickens's books (at least in unabridged versions), but I've read many of them, and while I love them all this one is the best yet!