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phil b

houston
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 104
  • helpful votes
  • 120
  • ratings
  • Truth in Advertising

  • A Novel
  • By: John Kenney
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 287

Finbar Dolan is lost and lonely. Except he doesn’t know it. Despite escaping his blue-collar Boston upbringing to carve out a mildly successful career at a Madison Avenue ad agency, he’s a bit of a mess and closing in on 40. He’s recently called off a wedding. Now, a few days before Christmas, he’s forced to cancel a long-postponed vacation in order to write, produce, and edit a Superbowl commercial for his diaper account in record time. Fortunately, it gets worse....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Stuff

  • By phil b on 01-31-13

Great Stuff

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

Any additional comments?

One advantage of audiobooks is that you can distribute your attention among things other than the materiel. Commute, laundry, walking the dog, making a sandwich, all possible while simultaneously listening to a book. Reading however, means sitting in a chair with your complete attention on the book. As a consequence, my experience is that the comprehension and retention of the audiobook material is usually a fraction of that of a book book.While listening to TRUTH IN ADVERTISING it soon becomes obvious that this is a story to be savored, deserving of your full attention. The writing and the narration is so good that I found myself continually rewinding and replaying passages. I’ll leave a summation of the plot to others. I’ll simply say that the experience is funny, at times tragic, always for me, deeply affecting. Special mention of the narration by Robert Petkoff: it is superb. He uses accents and dramatic reading to great effect. You will enjoy this audiobook while sitting in your favorite chair, not while doing the dishes.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Old Man's War

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,081
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,090

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun and Witty Military Sci-Fi

  • By M. Spencer on 10-21-12

Lame!

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-18-07

Not what I expected. I was led to believe that this might be real hard science fiction. Instead I find an insipid tale of old people being recycled and enhanced to do battle in some far-off land against a variety of foes. The plot klunks and rattles, the characters are cardboard thin, and the dialogue is unbelievable: "he said" "then I said" "she said" on and on. Save your money for the reincarnation of Heinlien. This ain't him.

4 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • God Is Not Great

  • How Religion Poisons Everything
  • By: Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hitchens
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,291
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,529
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,459

In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris' recent best-seller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ...Though Hitchens Is!

  • By Ben Capozzi on 11-13-11

Do not narrate your own work!!!

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-04-07

Christopher Hitchens is one of our very few public intellectuals. His ruminations, especially on this important topic, must be read closely. His sentences are dense with ideas, allusions to antiquity, and logical construction.

What a shame then, that Hitchens has chosen to read this work. With his accent and adenoidal monotone, he races through the narration. The ends of many sentences get swallowed. Much of this fine book is virtually unintelligible.

Read by Scott Brick or Richard Matthews, this book would be teriffic. As it is, if you want to give this book the attention it deserves, click on over to Amazon.

55 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Only the Truth Is Funny

  • My Family and How I Survived It
  • By: Rick Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Rick Reynolds
  • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Join Rick Reynolds as he guides you through the foibles, fumbles and pratfalls of his own life beginning with his bizarre childhood. From the drowning of his father at a family picnic, to a bank-robbing stepfather, to his mother's 3 marriages and innumerable affairs, Reynolds portrays a striking picture of the lengths people will go for love and the human connection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best kept secret in comedy

  • By Martin J. on 03-25-05

Very funny stuff

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-25-05

Don't miss this one, its honest, a little sad, and hilarious.

  • The Ionian Mission

  • Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 8
  • By: Patrick O'Brian
  • Narrated by: Tim Pigott-Smith
  • Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But, this is a longer, harder, colder war than the dashing frigate actions of their early days. When a sudden turn of events takes them off on a hazardous mission, they must depend on all of their seamanship skills and Jack's proverbial luck.

Browse more Patrick O'Brian.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great Aubrey-Maturin story

  • By Marilee on 06-19-03

Be careful

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-04

This is abridged. Why anyone would want to listen to O'Brian abridged is beyond me. The joy is the wonderful attention to historical detail and believable dialogue. Search on this title to get the unabridged version. It is read by Patrick Tull; you'll feel like you are there.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Darwin's Children

  • A Novel
  • By: Greg Bear
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 17 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 381
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 199

Eleven years have passed since SHEVA was discovered in human DNA - a retrovirus that caused mutations in the human genome and heralded the arrival of a new wave of genetically enhanced humans. Now, these changed children have reached adolescence...and face a world that is outraged about their very existence. For these special youths, possessed of remarkable, advanced traits that mark a major turning point in human development, are also ticking time bombs harboring hosts of viruses that could exterminate the "old" human race. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Serious Science Fiction

  • By Jim on 07-09-05

Well...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-16-04

Ok, just ok. Interesting story but hampered by apocalyptic narration, in my opinion. The narrator uses a continuous melodramatic tone that wears on me after a bit.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Zero audiobook cover art
  • Zero

  • The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
  • By: Charles Seife
  • Narrated by: Charles Seife
  • Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 392
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

Zero - infinity's twin - is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything. Science journalist Charles Seife takes a concise and appealing look at the strangest number in the universe and its continuing role as one of the great paradoxes of human thought.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beyond Math for Dummies

  • By Kaeli on 01-13-08

Kill a tree if you need this book.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-27-04

Mr. Seife would have done better to have his book read by a professional. This sounds like a book report read aloud by a nervous junior high school student who wants only to finish the thing and sit down. As others have said, with math it's important to have the numbers and formulae in print to view and absorb at your leisure. He actually states, at one point, "if you need more information, refer to appendix B" (loosely quoted)

Calculus inspired me to my calling in the Liberal Arts. This book reminds me why.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Richard Matthews
  • Length: 18 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,500
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,116
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,071

Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Six stars

  • By mark harris on 12-24-16

an all too

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-19-03

I'm sorry for the folks who bought the abridged version of this title. Opting for Bryson abridged is pointless. His prose is already polished to a pearly economy.

If you can listen to the final 22 minutes of this book without cringing, crying, or resolving to affect change in the way all of us treat this magnificent and mysterious planet; you are a hard, hard case. With disciplined but entertaining prose, Bryson surveys the branches of science that explain who we are and how we got to wherever it is we are. Spectacular!

26 of 27 people found this review helpful