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Delano

  • 28
  • reviews
  • 249
  • helpful votes
  • 49
  • ratings
  • Caravan of Dreams

  • By: Idries Shah
  • Narrated by: David Ault
  • Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

Caravan of Dreams distills the essence of Eastern thought in a feast of Sufi stories, sayings, poems, and allegories collected by one of the world's leading experts in Oriental philosophy and Sufism. Idries Shah builds up a complete picture of a single consciousness, relating Eastern mythology to reality, illuminating historical patterns, and presenting philosophical legends in this unique anthology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome Narrator

  • By Ulrika Eriksson on 11-26-15

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

I found his "Way of the Sufi" inspiring, but this book is mainly dull essays by Shah himself, not classic Sufi material.

  • Pivotal Decade

  • How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies
  • By: Judith Stein
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 14 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

In this fascinating new history, Judith Stein argues that in order to understand our current economic crisis we need to look back to the 1970s and the end of the age of the factory - the era of postwar liberalism, created by the New Deal, whose practices, high wages, and regulated capital produced both robust economic growth and greater income equality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book should be required reading before voting

  • By Delano on 01-27-18

This book should be required reading before voting

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

Reviewed: 01-27-18

The book argues that US government policy from the 1960s-70s explains why barely anything is made in the USA anymore, showing how one president after another (from both parties) let economic ignorance and "free-market" ideology set policies that sold off US workers and consumers for the benefit of finance and diplomats. It helps if you know some basic economics, but you learn much more. The payoff is enormous because the same issues are still being debated today, with just as much ignorance.

  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century

  • By: Thomas Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer (translator)
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 24 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,545
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,175
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,162

What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Audio format still useful to get the gist of it

  • By Kazuhiko on 06-14-14

Dense but worth it

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

Reviewed: 04-27-17

The last 1/3 is the most interesting. This book really makes clear what exactly is unequal and what practical difference it makes.

  • The Long 19th Century: European History from 1789 to 1917

  • By: Robert I. Weiner, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert I. Weiner
  • Length: 18 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 338
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 297
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299

Few periods of history offer such captivating complexity as Europe in the long 19th century between 1789 and 1914. From the idealism of the French Revolution to the power of the Industrial Revolution to the chaos of World War I, this fascinating whirl of events, personalities, and forces formed the foundation for the modern world.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More of a Good Course than a Great Course

  • By Flavius on 11-02-15

For middle schoolers

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

Reviewed: 03-07-15

Much too slow, much too simple. The speed of speaking isn't thoughtfully slow, but rather sounds like he adds unnatural pauses in between words in case his audience is trying to write everything down. The amount of information included in each sentence is , to the point where it sounds like he's just trying to fill up time by putting in filler sentences that restate the obvious. I can only guess that he's trying to make the lectures as simple as possible, but nothing for adults is ever this simplistic. Average middle school students (and probably younger children) would find this easy.
I've listened to perhaps ten "Great Courses" audiobooks, and have never found it so hard to keep going. Right now I'm at lecture four and feel like every minute has been a waste of my time. Don't know how long I'll keep listening.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Introduction to the Study of Religion

  • By: Charles B. Jones, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Charles B. Jones
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

The religious experience is an extraordinarily powerful force that can define and shape the communities it creates. Over the course of 24 lectures, Professor Jones takes a vibrant first look at the discipline known as religious studies and shows how other fields-sociology, psychology, anthropology, and phenomenology-have tried to explain the complex relationship between individuals, cultures, and faith.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good overview

  • By Luke on 08-26-13

Serious but accessible introduction to the field

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

Reviewed: 02-19-14

Having read other books on religious studies before, I find that this course does an excellent job of introducing all of the most influential ways of looking at religion. It conveys as well a clear sense of how the field has changed over time, and does so from a very balanced perspective.

Compared to the other courses and audiobooks available on the subject, this is exceptional in how serious and up-to-date its treatment of the material is. It could be better, though. Some people I think have complained that it is "too theoretical." The problem is not too much theory, but rather a bit more emphasis on where each theory came from and not enough on how it has been used more recently. Thus, much time is spent on the biography of each thinker and the particular cases he (always "he") considered. For example, we hear a lot about how Emile Durkheim thought religion helped create social unity among Australian aborigines, but almost nothing about how many scholars have subsequently drawn on his ideas to examine religion and communal ties in other societies, including our own.

The speaker is very engaging--I always listened to this while commuting or doing chores, and never found myself losing track of the lecture.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A New History of Christianity in China

  • By: Daniel H. Bays
  • Narrated by: Christine Marshall
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

A New History of Christianity in China, written by one of the world's the leading writers on Christianity in China, looks at Christianity's long history in China, its extraordinarily rapid rise in the last half of the 20th century, and charts its future direction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, unbearable to listen to

  • By Carolyn Iga on 09-16-14

Accessible, balanced overview of a complex subject

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

Reviewed: 02-02-14

Bays is a solid scholar in this field, and he has clearly made an effort to present the nuances of this topic in a way that even listeners who don't know specialist terminology or even basic Chinese history can follow his points.

Considering that this is a history book, the narrator does a decent job of avoiding monotony. I very much appreciate that she took the time to learn how the q's and x's in Chinese words are supposed to sound. Oddly she didn't bother with the consonants, so that most of the time she says "Tang" like she's ordering orange drink in Cincinnati.
I also wince every time she pronounces "bas-relief" as "bass-relief"--the word comes up several times--but this is minor.

  • The Philosophy of Science

  • A Very Short Introduction
  • By: Samir Okasha
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent introduction

  • By Jamie on 06-26-10

Useful ideas, lifeless reading

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

Reviewed: 12-24-13

This give a solid, if simple, introduction to this field of philosophy--a good preparation before listening to the Great Courses lectures on the topic.

I think the book is actually fairly well-written and often witty, but it comes across as a bit dull because of the reading. I often wonder whether or not this is actually read by computer software, in an experiment to test whether or not customers can tell the difference.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Steve Jobs

  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Dylan Baker
  • Length: 25 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,066
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,172

Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting man

  • By Jeanne on 11-13-11

Simplistic and repetitive

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

Reviewed: 12-01-13

A two-dimensional portrait. Seeks simple explanations for each of his actions.
Not a minute goes by without hearing "passion," "desire for control," or "hardware and software should be closely integrated."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Difference Engine

  • By: William Gibson, Bruce Sterling
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 390
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 347
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 351

The Difference Engine is an alternate history novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. It is a prime example of the steampunk sub-genre; It posits a Victorian Britain in which great technological and social change has occurred after entrepreneurial inventor Charles Babbage succeeded in his ambition to build a mechanical computer called Engines. The fierce summer heat and pollution have driven the ruling class out of London and the resulting anarchy allows technology-hating Luddites to challenge the intellectual elite.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Starts strong, falls off

  • By Delano on 04-22-13

Starts strong, falls off

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

Reviewed: 04-22-13

First of all, Simon Vance does an amazing job with this book. All kinds of British accents, and he nails each of them. The perfect ideal of expressiveness without melodrama from start to finish. So this is what a professional sounds like. If only I could get serious nonfiction books narrated with this level of talent.

The novel: written by two people, and it shows. It gives the impression that they worked together for a while, agreed to work separately on the rest, and then both mailed in half-baked work when they ran out of time. The first 1/3 is absolutely gripping and fascinating. The next 1/3 is a mediocre action story climaxing with a gunfight in a burning warehouse (the ultimate action cliche). The last 1/3 is told as a series of disjointed fragments revealing large chunks of leftover plot, as though the writer didn't have time to weave them together to give pacing and complexity.

I felt the book was worth my time, but ended up mourning the much better novel that could have been if the high standard of the first section had been kept up.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Sun

  • The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb
  • By: Richard Rhodes
  • Narrated by: Richard Rhodes
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186

Richard Rhodes' landmark history of the atomic bomb won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Now, in this majestic new masterpiece of history, science, and politics, he tells for the first time the secret story of how and why the hydrogen bomb was made, and traces the path by which this supreme artifact of 20th-century technology became the defining issue of the Cold War.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Abridged??

  • By Delano on 04-17-13

Abridged??

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

Reviewed: 04-17-13

It would be much better to have the entire book. They cut out one of the parts I had most wanted to hear; apparently he discusses the reasons why thermonuclear bombs aren't made as destructive as technologically feasible. Who knows what else is missing from this version.

Otherwise the book is quite good, a nice balance of technology, biography, and politics. And a good reality check on what nuclear stockpiles really entail for society.

Rhodes is not the smoothest reader in the world, but I enjoyed hearing the author reading his own writing.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful