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Austin

Olathe, KS, USA
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 108
  • helpful votes
  • 37
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  • The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster

  • By: Winston Churchill
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,508
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,803
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,791

Churchill's history of the Second World War is, and will remain, the definitive work. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant! Only Churchill could have done this.

  • By John M on 10-30-08

Exquisite, awe-inspiring. A new favorite.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-10

This audiobook repaid many experimental purchases which have proven unworthy. It is majestic, insightful, and wonderfully autobiographical. Winston Churchill recounts the pre-war years from a vantage near (but not at) the top, and as an influential leader with many burdens and cares, his intimations of fear and regret are very moving. There is a reason he was voted #1 in the BBC's "100 Greatest Britons" in 2002, above Shakespeare, Newton and Darwin, and it is a treat to listen, wrapped, as if seated with the great man as he recounts his celebrated exploits first-hand.

Churchill's prose is often muscular and warlike, as was the man himself, despite his pinched voice and stature. Thus I think Christian Rodska has done a better job of narrating this work than the author could have. Who needs fiction with such grand history? As Churchill's closing lines declare, "Facts are better than dreams."

You will be intrigued, frightened, inspired. You will get chills.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Consolations of Philosophy

  • By: Alain de Botton
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 439
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291

Alain de Botton has performed a stunning feat: He has transformed arcane philosophy into something accessible and entertaining, useful and kind. Drawing on the work of six of the world's most brilliant thinkers, de Botton has arranged a panoply of wisdom to guide us through our most common problems.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cheering, empathic, helpful

  • By Austin on 11-11-09

Cheering, empathic, helpful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-09

Sometimes our opinion of a book indicates what we are, moreso than the book. Alain de Botton's reflections are for those people who are in touch with their pain, great and small, and who are inclined to solve their problems by understanding them. Frankly, philosophy's greatest value might be to raise the heads of the downtrodden--to console them, not to allow them to look down their noses at others. Forget what snobs are saying about the use of "Philosophy" in the title, both here and on bookstore sites. If you're a person who examines his or her life seriously, then you will find helpful and invigorating ideas about your existence by an articulate, sensitive author. Botton even addresses snobbery. Oh, and the narration is great; Vance at his best.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • What I Believe

  • 3 Complete Essays on Religion
  • By: Bertrand Russell
  • Narrated by: Terrence Hardiman
  • Length: 2 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162

Remarkably relevant, beautifully written, and filled with wit and wisdom, these three essays by Bertrand Russell allow the listener to test the concepts of the good life, morality, the existence of God, Christianity, and human nature. "What I Believe" was used prominently in the 1940 New York court proceedings in which Russell was judicially declared "unfit" to teach philosophy at City College of New York. "Why I Am Not a Christian" concludes that churches throughout history have retarded progress and states that we should instead "look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in." Finally, "A Free Man's Worship", perhaps the most famous single essay written by Russell, considers whether humans operate from free will.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Logic

  • By Charles on 03-23-04

A brilliant breath of fresh sense!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-01-09

Accessible, rational, interesting. Russell is the most insightful and sensible author I've come across. I desperately wish we could get more of him in audio form.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • On the Nature of Things

  • By: Lucretius
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163

This famous work by Lucretius is a masterpiece of didactic poetry, and it still stands today as the finest exposition of Epicurean philosophy ever written. The poem was produced in the middle of first century B.C., a period that was to witness a flowering of Latin literature unequaled for beauty and intellectual power in subsequent ages. The Latin title, De Rerum Natura, translates literally to On the Nature of Things and is meant to impress the reader with the breadth and depth of Epicurean philosophy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Masterpiece

  • By Lawrence on 11-23-08

Beautiful translation, masterful narration.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-17-08

For novelty, beauty and insight into a great Roman mind, this is a worthy purchase. Charlton Griffin is awesome, especially for Roman literature. His bold and assertive style captures the Roman spirit.

Also, I hear this is the best translation. Lucretius' introduction, an invocation to Venus, is majestic.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Nicomachean Ethics

  • By: Aristotle, David Ross (translator)
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

In the Nicomachean Ethics (so called after their first editor, Aristotle's son Nicomachus) Aristotle sets out to discover the good life for man: the life of happiness or eudaimonia. Happiness for Aristotle is the activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. Virtue is shown in the deliberate choice of actions as part of a worked-out plan of life, a plan which takes a middle course between excess and deficiency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Austin on 03-04-06

Wonderful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-06

Nadia May's clear and fetching voice brings us this most ancient, complete and instructive of works, by the old master himself. The translation is equally lucid. As for a review of Aristotle's writing, I shall refrain, as it is an experience indescribable. Do not skip this one!

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief History of Time

  • By: Stephen Hawking
  • Narrated by: Michael Jackson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,407
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,253
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,228

This landmark book is for those of us who prefer words to equations; this is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge, the ongoing search for the secrets at the heart of time and space. Its author, Stephen W. Hawking, is arguably the greatest mind since Einstein. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, where he has spent the last 20 years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Professor Hawking has transformed our view of the universe. A Brief History of Time is Hawking's classic introduction to today's most important scientific ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Easily Digestible Presentation of Complex Topics

  • By James on 05-19-04

Uncommonly good!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-16-05

As you already know what this book is about, I will tell you how it affected a student with limited mathematical background and none in physics. Well, it was wonderful- this is one of the only audiobooks for which I must abandon all other sources of distraction. Hawking's descriptions and analogies are spot-on for my taste, and I rarely had to re-listen to any of it to grasp the concepts.
The narration is good too. Jackson, thankfully unique from most stoic-sounding professionals, actually gets caught up in what he is reading! I believe that speaks volumes, as it were, about the book itself. Even (and perhaps especially) if you're not a fan of these topics, take this chance to culture yourself with this mind-expanding prize.

31 of 32 people found this review helpful