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Jacob Ford

Western East Village
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 15
  • ratings
  • Station Eleven

  • By: Emily St. John Mandel
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,880
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,221
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,226

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Alternative Dystopian Viewpoint

  • By CScott on 12-20-16

Facts plus Wonder

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

Reviewed: 02-23-19

Just the right tone for the end of civilization. Sometimes a little too much dwelling on symbols until we’re sure to have gotten in. And then annoyingly little dwelling on some plotwise kindling in the end.

But oh well. Do read it; it’s a nice one.

  • St. Marks Is Dead

  • The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street
  • By: Ada Calhoun
  • Narrated by: Carla Mercer-Meyer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

St. Marks Place in New York City has spawned countless artistic and political movements. Here Frank O'Hara caroused, Emma Goldman plotted, and the Velvet Underground wailed. But every generation of miscreant denizens believes that their era, and no other, marked the street's apex.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Awful reader.

  • By Judith on 11-06-16

If you can, listen at the subject

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

Listen as you pace Saint Marks. It’s really a comforting balance of footnoted history and soothing anecdote.

  • Universal Harvester

  • A Novel
  • By: John Darnielle
  • Narrated by: John Darnielle
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 645
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 614
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 609

Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It's a small town in the center of the state - the first a in Nevada pronounced ay. This is the late 1990s, and even if the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut, there are still regular customers, a rush in the late afternoon. It's good enough for Jeremy: It's a job, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Genius.

  • By Toadguy on 04-10-17

Author’s Lovely Melodrone

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

Authors have a way of reading their words without performing them. Pronouncing then without proscribing emotion. It’s a good thing, like trusting a single typeface to tell the ensure story of book, despite all tones and emotions, which it will.

  • Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo

  • By: Nicholas de Monchaux
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 63

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface in July of 1969, they wore spacesuits made by Playtex: 21 layers of fabric, each with a distinct yet interrelated function, custom-sewn for them by seamstresses whose usual work was fashioning bras and girdles. This book is the story of that spacesuit. It is a story of the triumph over the military-industrial complex by the International Latex Corporation, best known by its consumer brand of "Playtex" - a victory of elegant softness over engineered hardness, of adaptation over cybernetics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Supple Triumphs Over Hard

  • By Susie on 06-02-14

Has a lot, missing a few things

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

Like a more academically dense and daylong 99% Invisible episode, the thoughts and conclusions and births of traditions that have become just another part of life today, from a time where the birth of new traditions was just another part of life.

What’s missing: a PDF companion with all the images and figures. You get embarrassingly lost hearing text read to you that was clearly designed to be set next to the image being discussed.

What’s strange: each layer (chapter) can’t quite decide if it’s self-contained or linear with its neighbors. They reference each other in both directions and contain redundant information, but are labeled in sequence and at least seem to be trying to build up some overall story. The lesson: just don’t be confused when a chapter briefly recaps something to you which you thought you’d heard a whole chapter on an hour ago. That’s exactly what’s happening, and you didn’t miss or misunderstand anything.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  • By: Douglas Adams
  • Narrated by: Martin Freeman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,699
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,097
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,094

Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • In love with the girl

  • By Dusty Harrison on 10-15-15

The most self- and extra-referential of all the Hitchhiker’s Guides

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

Reviewed: 05-16-18

Martin’s a lovely reader, the book has sci fi’s only good and cute romance that not academically metaphoric, and the only annoying bit is the stock musicy interludes they insist on inserting between random chapters.

  • Jony Ive

  • The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products
  • By: Leander Kahney
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 819
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 728
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 727

The best-selling author of Inside Steve's Brain profiles Apple's legendary chief designer, Jonathan Ive. Jony Ive's designs have not only made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world; they've overturned entire industries, from music and mobile phones to PCs and tablets.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A history of apple though the lens of design

  • By Scott Stamile on 04-16-15

Good, simply

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

Reviewed: 12-02-17

This book is so simply and well written. It does not overembellish. It does not dumb down. It is not boring nor is each chapter written as an isolated story sometimes repeating information from a previous chapter (I felt Walter Isaacson’s Jobs biography did this a bit). It celebrates a designer and his work without over-glorifying simple things or suppressing the joy and fun and happy mistakes of the process.

Leander scrapes up all he can scrape up from a famously secret company, and Simon reads the book at just the correct pace. It’ll feel slow at first, but it’s correct. I recommend resisting the urge to speed it up.

  • Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

  • And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House
  • By: Alyssa Mastromonaco, Lauren Oyler
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Mastromonaco
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,617
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,307
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,300

If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would sound something like this. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is an intimate and admiring portrait of a president, a candid book of advice for young women, and a promising debut from a savvy political star.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging and funny

  • By Jean on 04-06-17

Kitsch Worth Trying

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

Reviewed: 08-10-17

The writing here is okay, and it does pain me to say this because I do think Alyssa is a person I’d like to spend a day with.

The writing is awkward, with good stories strewn in strange places for vague reasons which I think involve morals. Some anecdotes are way overcooked with explanation and exposition, while others which seem to have real West Wing grit end up annoyingly dry.

The final chapter is actually titled “Conclusion.”

So a lot (though not all) of these chapters read like the front flap of a book in an airport newsstand, but, yes, I do think they are worth reading.

It’s a good book, with good stories, and proves that every confident and inaccessibly dream-achieving person is dealing with the same anxiety, annoying dietary restrictions, dying cats, and requests to get other people Diet Coke that you are dealing with yourself.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The One Device

  • The Secret History of the iPhone
  • By: Brian Merchant
  • Narrated by: Tristan Morris
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 528
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 487
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 484

How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? Veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the inside story you won't hear from Cupertino - based on his exclusive interviews with the engineers, inventors, and developers who guided every stage of the iPhone's creation. This deep dive takes you from inside One Infinite Loop to 19th century France to WWII America, from the driest place on earth to a Kenyan pit of toxic e-waste, and even deep inside Shenzhen's notorious "suicide factories".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • TECH PORN AT ITS BEST

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-11-17

A hint at what this generation might be studied for

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

Reviewed: 07-30-17

Don’t listen to this for prose. Don’t listen to this for scandal. Definitely don’t listen for its weird cover art. Listen because it credits the thousands who invented the iPhone, and not any one inventor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • McCain's Promise

  • Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain
  • By: David Foster Wallace
  • Narrated by: Henry Leyva
  • Length: 3 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

Is John McCain "for real?" That's the question David Foster Wallace set out to explore when he first climbed aboard Senator McCain's campaign caravan in February 2000. It was a moment when McCain was increasingly perceived as a harbinger of change, the anticandidate whose goal was "to inspire young Americans to devote themselves to causes greater than their own self-interest".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • David Foster Wallace's Best Nonfiction Work

  • By Shiran on 03-07-13

It’s dangerous territory,

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

Reviewed: 04-23-17

but listen to this gently as DFW’s parting words. Not exclusively or cryptically or in any coded sort of way—it is an essay on being on the trail and not a suicide note—but it is notably DFW’s last published work, before all subsequent published works would have to be qualified as posthumous.

Try to stay awake.

  • David Foster Wallace: In His Own Words

  • By: David Foster Wallace
  • Narrated by: David Foster Wallace
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

Collected here for the first time are the stories and speeches of David Foster Wallace as read by the author himself. Over the course of his career, David Foster Wallace recorded a variety of his work in diverse circumstances - from studio recordings to live performances - that are finally compiled in this unique collection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best book on Audible!

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-07-16

Undisregardably good

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

Reviewed: 04-16-17

I assume the professionally talented audiobook narrators, when they are alone together sipping hot toddies in their private high-fidelity dens, critique DFW’s slow and hummy reading voice. But I think it is right. I do not demand a book be vocally performed any more than I demand each character’s quotations be printed in a bespoke color.

DFW is reading aloud, at times guiding or inserting a paratextual sentence, and it feels good.

N.b., which stands for nota bene but really just means by the way: this audiobook contains all the content of the Consider the Lobster (or at least the DFW-voiced extent of it), so budget your credits accordingly.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful