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Alan

Bath, Virgin Islands (U.S.)
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 82
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • The Rational Optimist

  • How Prosperity Evolves
  • By: Matt Ridley
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,192
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 927
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 933

Life is getting better at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people's lives as never before.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful Case for Things Looking Up

  • By Darkcoffee on 06-09-10

An antidote to the modern disease of pessimism

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

Reviewed: 02-23-13

Beautifully written, accessible and lively account of the underlying factors that have governed human development, the factors that seek to undermine it and why we have cause for optimism about our future.

This is a wide-ranging book which uses economic, historical and biological evidence to cast doubt on the perpetual doom-mongers that dominate popular discourse.

A fundamental strength of this book is that it explains the mechanism underpinning growth, innovation and prosperity. Few people have a grasp of this mechanism and, so he argues, they underestimate its ability to improve our well-being and argue for policies which harm or undermine its operation.

This is not a simplistic ideological book of the Right. In fact, he is critical of some aspects of capitalism and envisions a future world that follows Marx's principle of 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their need'. An enlightening and thought-provoking book.

The only disappointment was the narration. There were some shockingly bad mis-pronouncations which seemed to suggest that the narrator knew nothing or cared little about what he was reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Race

  • Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
  • By: Tyler Hamilton, Daniel Coyle
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,078
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 953
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956

Here is an explosive book that takes us, for the first time, deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to succeed that they would do anything—and take any risk, physical, mental, or moral—to gain the edge they needed to win. The Secret Race is a riveting, courageous act of witness from a man who is as determined to reveal the hard truth about his sport as he once was to win the Tour de France.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping and fascinating

  • By Alan on 09-09-12

Gripping and fascinating

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

Reviewed: 09-09-12

I normally spread my listening of a book out over a few weeks but the honest, detailed and shocking story that is told meant that I got through it in less than two days.

The book gives an exceptionally good sense of how riding and doping at the professional level worked. The detail about the relationship between riders, doctors and the UCI provides a compelling story about what made professional cycling tick.

For fun I'd suggest you listen to Armstrong's It's Not About The Bike and then listen to this book. The image Lance portrays of himself in the former and the picture painted of him by Tyler could not be more different.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Cold, Cold Ground

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 1
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,439
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,114
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,094

Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s. Living first in Harlem, he found employment as a construction worker, barman, and bookstore clerk. In 2000 he moved to Denver to become a high school English teacher and it was there that he began writing fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a stunning book

  • By Alan on 01-17-12

What a stunning book

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

Reviewed: 01-17-12

What made the experience of listening to The Cold, Cold Ground the most enjoyable?

The author of last year's Audible.com's Best Mystery or Thriller strikes again, only this book is even better. There is an enormous degree of sublety and sophistication in this book, both in the plot and the vivid atmosphere created of 1980s Northern Ireland. McKinty always treats the reader as intelligent in his unwillingness to paint a black and white picture of the 'troubles'. He also builds a drum-tight plot which weaves fictional and true characters together. There's a lot of tounge in cheek humor at the expense of some of these character's bloated egos, too.All of these features make this a brilliant book, but the superb narration by Doyle works to make something sublime.

What other book might you compare The Cold, Cold Ground to and why?

Stuart Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast. Detail, sophistication and grittiness

Which character – as performed by Gerard Doyle – was your favorite?

Gerry Adams

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely

69 of 70 people found this review helpful

  • Fifty Grand

  • A Novel of Suspense
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Paula Christensen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 710
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 353
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 345

An illegal immigrant is killed in a hit-and-run on a frozen mountain road in the town of Fairview, Colorado. No one is prosecuted for his death and his case is quietly forgotten. Six months later another illegal makes a treacherous run across the border, barely escaping with her life. She finds work as a maid and, secretly, begins to investigate the death of her father. But she isn't a maid, and she's not Mexican.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Anxiously Awaited

  • By David on 05-04-09

McKinty at his best

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-19-09

Be in no doubt, this writer has talent. Like his other books, 50G is beautifully written. There's mountains of wit, intelligence and world-weary knowledge in this book. The intricate and entralling plot builds to a crescendo which left me stunned. Easily the best book I've listened to this year.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Movie Tie- In)

  • By: Aron Ralston
  • Narrated by: Aron Ralston
  • Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 330
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65

One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told, Aron Ralston's searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning and Emotional

  • By Tim on 09-17-04

Quite annoying, ultimately.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-09-05

My symapthy for him faded fast when it became clear that he had been reckless in taking few provisions and failing to tell anyone where he was going. I then became increasingly irritated I listened to his rather vacuous 'deep thoughts' while he stood there with his arm trapped. It was glaringly obvious what he needed to do all along and I got fed up waiting for the inevitable. I came to the conclusion that Aron is not a very bright man. If you want real suffering, listen to 'The Worst Journey'.

Alan

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Proving Ground

  • By: G. Bruce Knecht
  • Narrated by: Stanley Tucci
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

The Proving Ground is more than one of the most exciting adventure stories written in years. It is also on incisive look at the forces that continue to draw men who have triumphed on land to risk everything at sea.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This story really floats my boat!!

  • By Gregaud on 03-11-03

Spoilt by incredibly annoying music

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-05

Perhaps I was expecting too much after listening to wonderful books like 'The Worst Journey in the World' and 'Into Thin Air' but it all felt rather superficial. Partly this is due to the fact that the book is quite short and the descriptions are inevitably brief. I really found it difficult to get a sense of the trauma they must have gone through since the book is too busy describing events rather than building a sense of what they were enduring. All of this, however, pales into insignificance against the unbearably annoying music and sound effects. What was the point?