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E. Ravelli

Santa Clara, CA USA
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 96
  • helpful votes
  • 280
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A People's History of the United States audiobook cover art

Cheerless

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

Reviewed: 06-07-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Executive summary: depressing. Wanted to hang myself after the second chapter. Seems that there's no end to human depravity according to Mr. Zinn. Start taking Prozac a month before you read the bloody book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Lawrence in Arabia audiobook cover art

Really Wanted to Like This

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

Reviewed: 09-09-13

Heard about "Lawrence in Arabia" in an interview of Scott Anderson. Sounded interesting and what with my being a T.E. Lawrence fan…

T.E. Lawrence is fascinating, and the information Mr. Anderson presents is engrossing. The historical context is presented particularly well. But the story is destroyed by its uninspired and annoyingly amateurish writing. So much so it gets in the way of the story.

The narrator does a journeyman's job, but it gets outright silly when doing voice characterizations.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

Civilization audiobook cover art

Interesting POV, Unsubstantiated Speculation

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

Reviewed: 03-18-13

Whether or not one agrees with Niall Ferguson, he's always interesting. "Civilization: The West and the Rest" is an entertaining look at why Western Civilization developed its preeminent world position, a look at history through different eyes. He weaves historical facts into well thought out theory. But, a few premises are too narrow to be the full truth, particularly his praise of Martin Luther who was a despicable, neurotic bigot. Still, I recommend the book because it's thought stimulating. Mr. Ferguson reads somewhat speedily, but he's one articulate man.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Intercept audiobook cover art

Better Luck Next Book

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

Reviewed: 02-05-13

I love "Law & Order." "The Intercept" reads like a Dick Wolf script, and that's not a good thing. The story is repetitious, derivative, and bland up to the final few minutes. What makes Mr. Wolf's scripts great are the actors in the "Law & Order" TV series. They the characters to life, make them compelling. But, there's nothing captivating about any of the characters in this novel. Nothing. The book reads like a script.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

No Easy Day audiobook cover art

Truth is Stranger than Fiction… Not This Time

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

Reviewed: 09-20-12

Who wouldn't want to know more about the Navy SEALS and bin Laden? Right? The story has so much promise.

Unfortunately, "No Easy Day" is the most boring, trivial, simplistic account of nothing. Go ahead. Waste your money and time to read/hear the same things you already heard from news accounts and Mark Owens' "60 Minutes" interview. There's nothing new here. And, the platitudes… Don't get me started.

Holter Graham did the best he could reading this novel.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

The House of Silk audiobook cover art

Banal

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

Reviewed: 06-19-12

Mr. Horowitz is not the writer Doyle was. The writer does mimic Doyle's style, but, unfortunately, the story is predictable and bland. The one bright spot is the narrator; Derek Jacobi is terrific.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor audiobook cover art

Predictable

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

Reviewed: 04-02-12

Like most Clancy novels, "Act of Valor" is a middlingly written great story—only without the great story. The story is predictable, melodramatic, and needlessly technical. A reader knows who's going to be killed halfway into the story. The dialog is laughable, particularly between husband and wife.

Maybe the movie is better. The screenwriters have better editors.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

St. Peter’s Fair audiobook cover art

An Escape

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

Reviewed: 01-03-12

Elis Peters writes literate novels that assume the reader is intelligent. The Brother Cadfael stories are well thought out very well written. The characters are believable and the stories plausible. "St. Peter’s Fair" isn't Peter's best novel, but in a world of gratuitously gruesome and vulgar entertainment, her historical fiction is always an escape.

I thought that a woman reader portraying male characters might not work, but Johanna Ward does a wonderful job. Enjoy!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Steve Jobs audiobook cover art

Wearisome Prose

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

Reviewed: 12-03-11

There are no surprises in "Steve Jobs." His history, management style, and persona were legend in Silicon Valley before this biography was written. Okay, the relationship with Joan Baez surprised me, but that was it. And, who would turn down an opportunity like Ms. Baez?

Don't expect any deep business or personality analyses in this biography. The stories are interesting, but the writing tedious. The author's lack of technological knowledge prevented him from painting a fuller picture of Steve Jobs in context.

I hope Mr. Isaacson's other biographies are better written than "Steve Jobs." The writing is repetitive, unpolished, and rushed to press without sufficient editing. Did I say repetitive? If I had a dollar every time the phrase "Jobs was furious" was used, I could retire.

The reader was patronizing, sluggish, and sounded as though he were reading a children's bedtime story.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Liberty audiobook cover art

No More Mr. Coonts

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

Reviewed: 10-11-11

"Liberty" is one of the most mediocre books I've ever read. The story is simplistic, the plot implausible, the characters uninteresting, and the writing ungifted. Mr. Coonts patronizes his readers by filling in obvious narrative with excruciating, unnecessary detail and gratuitous violence. The dialog is particularly laughable. Mr. Coonts' style? Don't use one word or a sentence when you can use five.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful