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Matt

Tampa, Florida, United States
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 68
  • ratings
  • The Swerve

  • How the World Became Modern
  • By: Stephen Greenblatt
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,270
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,982
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,975

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis

  • By Ethan M. on 05-01-12

Talk to a Genius

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

Much like the story Greenblatt tells, my copy of "Swerve" sat on my shelf for ten years until i went back and discovered it. I wish i had picked it sooner. Very powerful. On one level, it is the idea - Lucretius' "On the Nature of Things". On another, it is the journey - how the idea came about, how it was suppressed, almost lost, re-discovered and ultimately prevailed. It reminds me of what great writing is - an opportunity to travel across centuries, thousands of miles and different cultures, to converse with a genius - and how tenuous that opportunity is.

  • The Great Train Robbery

  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: Michael Kitchen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,907
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,596
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,578

In teeming Victorian London, where lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side, Edward Pierce charms the most prominent of the well-to-do as he cunningly orchestrates the crime of the century. Who would suspect that a gentleman of breeding could mastermind the daring theft of a fortune in gold? Who could predict the consequences of making the extraordinary robbery aboard the pride of England's industrial era, the mighty steam locomotive?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • UTTERLY DELIGHTFUL!

  • By stevenk1155 on 09-20-17

More Kitchen Please!

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

Reviewed: 05-03-18

Michael Kitchen is a fantastic narrator, especially of this "Victorian" tale. Fans of "Foyle's War" take will especially enjoy his constable-like re-telling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • King Lear

  • Shakespeare Appreciated: (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)
  • By: William Shakespeare, Mike Reeves, Phil Viner
  • Narrated by: Joan Walker, Terrence Hardiman, Lucy Robinson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87

Experience King Lear as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Love the format, like the piece

  • By fred on 06-01-09

Appreciated much Appreciated

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

Reviewed: 05-24-16

What made the experience of listening to King Lear the most enjoyable?

A powerful drama made more enjoyable through the "appreciated" method of explaining the lines in play-by-play fashion. I wish more classics were presented this way.

  • The Iliad

  • The Fitzgerald Translation
  • By: Homer, Robert Fitzgerald - translator
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 620
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 578

Since it was first published more than 25 years ago, Robert Fitzgerald's prizewinning translation of Homer's battle epic has become a classic in its own right: a standard against which all other versions of The Iliad are compared. Fitzgerald's work is accessible, ironic, faithful, written in a swift vernacular blank verse that "makes Homer live as never before" ( Library Journal).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful

  • By Tad Davis on 10-08-14

Dan Stevens Rocks!

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

What about Dan Stevens’s performance did you like?

I have tried on several occasions to pick up the Iliad, - including an "abridged" version on audible, - and lost interest. With his great narration, Mr. Stevens kept the story moving and engaging. He transported it to the present, making it more accessible. I hope he decides to read more books.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

this is a powerful epic, as engaging as any action flick. The language and use of metaphor was so compelling that i found myself rewinding and replaying large sections. Ultimately purchased the hard copy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

  • By: Rebecca Skloot
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,093
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,967
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,003

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Story

  • By Prisca on 04-30-10

Mixed Bag

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

Reviewed: 01-13-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I was already familiar with the story of Henrietta Lax, so the book was a mixed bag for me. In some places, the book seemed to drone on with details that seemed superfluous. it also felt like the author was censoring herself because of her closeness to the family. On the other hand, some parts (the last few chapters especially, which dealt with Rebecca and Sonny's visit to the lab) were quite powerful and moving.

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

  • By: Lewis Carroll
  • Narrated by: Christopher Plummer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 645
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507

Since the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 and Through the Looking Glass six years later, Lewis Carroll’s nonsensical tales have delighted the world with wildly imaginative and unforgettable journeys. While charming children with a heroine who represents their own feelings about growing up, the Alice stories are also appreciated by adults as a gentle satire on education, politics, literature, and Victorian life in general.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Book, Wonderful Performance

  • By Eclectic Reader on 03-12-14

for bedtime stories, an ideal storyteller

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

Reviewed: 11-08-15

What about Christopher Plummer’s performance did you like?

Christopher Plummer has the perfect voice for this classic - gentle for the narrator, shrill for the queen, mopey for the mock turtle. one of those narrators who, more than just reading the book, adds another dimension to its enjoyment.

  • On the Road

  • 50th Anniversary Edition
  • By: Jack Kerouac
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,026
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,021

Few novels have had as profound an impact on American culture as On the Road. Pulsating with the rhythms of 1950s underground America, jazz, sex, illicit drugs, and the mystery and promise of the open road, Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "beat" and has inspired generations of writers, musicians, artists, poets, and seekers who cite their discovery of the book as the event that "set them free".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Narration and a Wonderful Book

  • By Guillermo on 09-17-09

Will Patton is Awesome

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

Reviewed: 11-06-15

What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

Patton's Dean Moriarty is electric, his Bud Lee eerie and ominous. I can't imagine any other voice telling this story. He is the beat narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales

  • By: Oliver Sacks
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks - introduction
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,532
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,987
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,985

Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Lest we forget how fragile we are..."

  • By ESK on 02-23-13

an indisputable classic

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

Reviewed: 04-11-15

Where does The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

i love science books written for laymen, even the dense books. This is not dense, more approachable than Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins or T.S. Ramachandran. i suppose by not the subject may seem, by now, a bit dated ("old hat" so to speak), but no one tells a story like Oliver Sacks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Tell-Tale Brain

  • A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human
  • By: V. S. Ramachandran
  • Narrated by: David Drummond
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 492
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 397

V. S. Ramachandran is at the forefront of his field - so much so that Richard Dawkins dubbed him the "Marco Polo of neuroscience". Now, in a major new work, Ramachandran sets his sights on the mystery of human uniqueness. Taking us to the frontiers of neurology, he reveals what baffling and extreme case studies can teach us about normal brain function and how it evolved.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great if you like understanding how brains work

  • By Michael on 12-25-11

Top Notch Brain Stuff

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

Reviewed: 05-24-14

Where does The Tell-Tale Brain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is very entertaining, and high quality neuroscience. it is fairly easy to follow, considering its topic. i would put it in the top five books of its type. i think in some ways it is better than David Eaglemen's Incognito, but would put it slightly behind Steven Pinker or Leonard Mlodniow. My only reason for giving four starts, instead of 5, is because the book feels a little light or incomplete, like Dr. R has stopped short, perhaps there is still science to be made. All that said, i would definitely buy his next book.

  • For the Love of a Dog

  • Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend
  • By: Patricia B McConnell
  • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 792
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432

Yes, humans and canines are different species, but current research provides fascinating, irrefutable evidence that what we share with our dogs is greater than how we differ. As behaviorist and zoologist Dr. Patricia McConnell tells us in this remarkable new book about emotions in dogs and in people, more and more scientists accept the premise that dogs have rich emotional lives, exhibiting a wide range of feelings, including fear, anger, surprise, sadness, and love.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • needs photos

  • By L. Adams on 08-06-07

A little thin and dated

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

Reviewed: 05-10-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I love neuroscience books and love dogs, too, so i thought this would be a good read. The author tells some great anecdotes, and can bring a tear to your eye, but there is not a lot of structure or definitive conclusions in the book. About half way through, i started wondering if maybe there was not enough research to dig deeper into the subject matter, or if maybe it could be updated with more studies (it is about 8 years old). i enjoyed parts of it, but left wishing there was more to it.