LISTENER

Philip

Kapelle, Netherlands
  • 37
  • reviews
  • 193
  • helpful votes
  • 192
  • ratings
  • Razor Girl

  • A Novel
  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: John Rubinstein
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,147
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,871
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,871

When Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield - the eponymous Razor Girl - and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book this year!

  • By green ice cream garden on 09-19-16

Fantastic surreal Hiaasen novel!

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

Reviewed: 05-01-17

Great book, great narrator. In my opinion, Hiaasen's best since "Nature Girl". Great plot, with another bunch of very interesting and messed up characters. Classic, yet very current, Hiaasen.

  • Nutshell

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 63

Nutshell is a classic story of murder and deceit, told by a narrator with a perspective and voice unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master. To be bound in a nutshell, see the world in two inches of ivory, in a grain of sand. Why not, when all of literature, all of art, of human endeavour, is just a speck in the universe of possible things?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilarious, thrilling story

  • By Benjamin Myers on 10-28-16

Riveting perspective on the plotting of a murder!

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

Reviewed: 04-30-17

Having a fully conscious as-yet-unborn baby provide the first person perspective on the plotting of a murder, is absolutely unique. Definitely my book recommendation for this month!

Both the writer and the narrator have done a great job.

  • How Pleasure Works

  • The New Science of Why We Like What We Like
  • By: Paul Bloom
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Johnson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 556
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 221
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 219

Yale psychologist Paul Bloom presents a striking new vision of the pleasures of everyday life. The thought of sex with a virgin is intensely arousing for many men. The average American spends over four hours a day watching television. Abstract art can sell for millions of dollars. Young children enjoy playing with imaginary friends and can be comforted by security blankets. People slow their cars to look at gory accidents, and go to movies that make them cry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everything You Ever Would Want to Know

  • By Roy on 08-01-10

Misleading title & disappointing book

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

I found "How Pleasure Works" by Paul Bloom very disappointing. First of all, the title does not cover the content at all. The book should have been called "The essentials of Essentialism", as that it what the author discusses over and over again (would have been OK to get the main ideas of that in 30 minutes). There are very few new ideas in the book, and the author does not seem to fully comprehend (or give credit to) Plato's ideas, group selection in evolutionary biology, or "confirmation bias" (Kahneman).

I tried listening to the book, and got about halfway through before aborting my mission. What put me off (besides the misleading title and the author missing the point on some key ideas) is that he seems to be obsessed with the topic of cannibalism (hoping to sell more books with stories of blood and violence?) and inserts Biblical quotes at random that do not add anything to the story whatsoever.

I recommend that you turn to much more valuable books on evolutionary biology and/or behavioral economics if you want to learn How Pleasure Works!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • When Nietzsche Wept

  • By: Irvin D. Yalom
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael Garcia
  • Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335

Josef Breuer, one of the founding fathers of psychoanalysis, is at the height of his career. Friedrich Nietzsche, Europe's greatest philosopher, is on the brink of suicidal despair, unable to find a cure for the headaches and other ailments that plague him. When he agrees to treat Nietzsche with his experimental "talking cure", Breuer never expects that he, too, will find solace in their sessions. Only through facing his own inner demons can the gifted healer begin to help his patient.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An immortal book !

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-06-15

Become who you are!

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

Reviewed: 09-14-16

I have thoroughly enjoyed the "When Nietzsche Wept" audiobook, and found both the story as well as the performance excellent! A great "teaching novel" by Irvin Yalom, addressing big life questions that are very recognizable. Nice blend of philosophy and psychotherapy, and an engaging plot where the lines between therapist and patient get very blurry. I got a much better insight into the works of Nietzsche through this book, he truly seems to be one of the founding fathers of "self-actualization". Hats off to Yalom, who manages to make a book that is 80% dialogue and 10% monologue (diary entries, patient reports) fascinating!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • F--k It

  • The Ultimate Spiritual Way
  • By: John Parkin
  • Narrated by: John Parkin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 117

F--k It has taken the world by storm, helping countless people to let go, stop struggling and finally do what they want; to ignore what everyone else is telling them and go their own way. This now classic book has been updated with inspirational new material from John C. Parkin. For the first time in audio, John shares his irreverent but important wisdom with the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • f-it

  • By jer on 08-29-18

Many brilliant, plus some useless spiritual ideas

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

Reviewed: 07-01-14

I really enjoyed big parts of this book: the importance of "zooming out" to put things in perspective, not sweating the small stuff, not sweating the medium stuff either, and contemplating whether what you think is big stuff in your life is really that important. These parts made me rediscover the wisdom that you can't please all the people all the time.

What seriously turned me off in this book is the risk of turning into someone that finds nothing whatsoever important in life when you say fuck it to EVERYTHING, and becomes a lethargic, passionless, apathetic person.

In short: the "stepping away from what does not matter" part is good, but for ideas on how to build your life around the few things that are truly important you are better off turning to Covey's 7 habits, or Tony Robbins....

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Sweet Tooth

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 169
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 146
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 142

Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb and surprising

  • By Christopher on 02-06-13

Espionage - romance - literature - all in one!

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

Reviewed: 11-04-12

Ian McEwan is one of the most intelligent, sophisticated, and enthralling authors of our lifetime. If you have read or listened through any of his previous masterpieces like "Solar", "Amsterdam", "Enduring Love" or "Saturday", then you know (partially) what to expect, though each novel definitely has its very definite style, theme and twist. No "production line" or "template" approach with this author!

"Sweet Tooth" is a tale around Serena Frome - her university years (studying mathematics, but with more of a passion for literature), her entrance into the UK Secret Service MI5, and the tale of her first big assignment in MI5: recruiting author Tom Haley (through a charity type setup) to write a novel promoting freedom of speech and providing a counterweight against communist/socialist novelists.

"Sweet Tooth" is a celebration of literature, science, and love. I enjoyed the way it is crafted, with many "stories in a story" (Serena reading the short stories that Tom has written). Very, very cleverly done. An excellent representation of the 1970s Cold War environment.

I strongly recommend this book, both for readers/listeners who try Ian McEwan for the first time, as well as his long-time fans!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Beak of the Finch

  • A Story of Evolution in Our Time
  • By: Jonathan Weiner
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239

Rosemary and Peter Grant and those assisting them have spend 20 years on Daphne Major, an island in the Galapagos, studying natural selection. They recognize each individual bird on the island, when there are 400 at the time of the author's visit or when there are over a thousand. They have observed about 20 generations of finches - continuously.Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating in-depth look at evolution in action

  • By Philip on 05-15-11

Fascinating in-depth look at evolution in action

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-15-11

A wonderful science/biology book that combines depth (the Galapagos finch study by Rosemary and Peter Grant) and breadth (impressive overview of Darwin's discoveries, and work by his scientific followers). Accessible to a non-biologist like me, while at the same time introducing many new concepts and insights from field studies. At times, the book seems to be written in a thriller style, with cliffhangers and plot turns that make you look forward to the next time you can spend time with this excellent book. Highly recommended.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Solar

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 49

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. A compulsive womaniser, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. But this time it is different: she is having the affair, and he is still in love with her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Squeamishly entertaining

  • By Prue on 06-13-10

One of the best Ian McEwan novels!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-10

"Solar" far exceeded my high expectations. I consider myself an experienced reader of McEwan's novels, having gone through the excellent "Amsterdam", "Enduring Love" and "Saturday". In my opinion, "Solar" is the best among this impressive peer group of novels. I might be prejudiced, as green technology is one of my areas of interest, but it is not just the excellent insights on technology that make this book truly Great. Professor Michael Beard's character is a dramatic one, at times reminding me of tragic Shakespearean protagonists.

Beard is a man with a cognitive claim to fame (his Nobel Prize) that is quickly gathering dust, and who more than offsets this achievement by pretty much screwing up everything else in his life: obesity, lack of social intelligence, marriages and breakups, cover-ups of his vile deeds, general "untidyness", etc.

As usual (he's done similar things in earlier novels), McEwan introduces a dramatic plot turn that is defining the rest of the novel. After that, the decay of Michael Beard seems to accelerate.

A great novel with a nice structure incorporating flashbacks, well narrated in the audiobook version, and ending with an insightful interview with the author.

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stillness Speaks

  • By: Eckhart Tolle
  • Narrated by: Eckhart Tolle
  • Length: 2 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,854
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,308
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,287

This long-awaited second book by renowned spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle goes deeper into the teachings so eloquently and clearly expressed in his first book, The Power of Now.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Anonymous User on 06-03-07

This is how a book on spirituality should be

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-10

Listening to "Stillness Speaks", written and narrated by Eckhart Tolle was a wonderful experience. This audiobook actually gives you the chance to contemplate the key learnings in real time, by introducing the much needed silence during the audiobook. I needed to get used to that for a bit, but then found it to be an excellent way to "absorb" this book. Eckhart Tolle would probably tell me I still used too much cognitive reasoning instead of just "being", but hey, I am making progress. :-)

There are so many profound insights in this book, you have to listen to it for yourself. Multiple times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Letting Go of God

  • By: Julia Sweeney
  • Narrated by: Julia Sweeney
  • Length: 2 hrs and 6 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,874
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 757
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 754

Julia Sweeney says she was a "happy Catholic girl" when, one day, she walked into church and signed up for a Bible-study course. "What an eye opener that was!" she says. Equally comedic and insightful, Letting Go of God is Sweeney's brilliant one-woman show about her struggle with her faith.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Brilliant Personal Journey of Discovery

  • By Mark on 12-09-06

Humourous account of a great journey

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-10

Julia Sweeney shares the account of her search for meaning, religion and spirituality. She puts into words what many of us must have been thinking about for a long time. Humourous and well researched. She shares some very personal and profound thoughts. Highly recommended, a good companion recording to Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion", though Dawkins does a better job at explaning Darwin's insights, however that is only a minor point in the grand scheme of things.