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Patrick

  • 79
  • reviews
  • 1,282
  • helpful votes
  • 95
  • ratings
  • Zen Guitar

  • By: Philip Toshio Sudo
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

Each of us carries a song inside us, the song that makes us human. Zen Guitar provides the key to unlocking this song - a series of life lessons presented through the metaphor of music. Philip Sudo offers his own experiences with music to enable us to rediscover the harmony in each of our lives and open ourselves to Zen awareness uniquely suited to the Western mind. Through 58 lessons that provide focus and a guide, the listener is led through to Zen awareness, with quotes from sources ranging from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellently Simple and Refreshing

  • By Patrick on 12-14-17

Excellently Simple and Refreshing

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

Reviewed: 12-14-17

I've been playing advanced level guitar now for 20 years and I highly recommend this book to anyone who plays, or even is thinking about learning to play the guitar.

Zen Guitar is one of the most important and enjoyable books out there covering playing an instrument. The concept of zen is familiar to many, and this book is certainly laden with familiar concepts, but it manages to relate those concepts incredibly well to the art of learning, practicing, and playing an instrument (not necessarily guitar; this book applies to any instrument... it is not an exercise book), all the while reminding you that those very same concepts seamlessly overlap into everyday life, and stretch far beyond the scope of playing an instrument.

Overall: This is a broad range of mental techniques that can change a person's perspective when applied to an instrument. That's what makes it different than the other books out there. There's really no technical knowledge, just spiritual and overall well being as the goal. I really can't say enough good things about this book. If you play any instrument at all... or hell, even if you don't... give it a shot.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • My Year of Running Dangerously

  • By: Tom Foreman
  • Narrated by: Tom Foreman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,967
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,956

As a journalist whose career spans three decades, CNN correspondent Tom Foreman has reported from the heart of war zones, riots, and natural disasters. He has interviewed serial killers and been in the line of fire. But the most terrifying moment of his life didn't occur on the job - it occurred at home, when his 18-year-old daughter asked, "How would you feel about running a marathon with me?"

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ESPECIALLY Good for Those of Us Who Don't Run!

  • By Gillian on 04-12-16

Entertaining for Runners & Non-Runners

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

Reviewed: 12-07-16

I hate running; I'll admit it. I can't stand it. It can be boring, exhaustive, and just down right painful. So why did I choose this book? I asked myself that same question. Yet, the more I listened to this book, the more interested in running I became. Soon, rather than walking my dog in the evening, I was running with my dog instead. The author's experience is more extreme than my own – he ran 2000 miles in his first year as Quinquagenarian which included a bunch of half-marathons, several full marathons and an ultramarathon of over 50 miles. I'm not even gonna get close to any of those distances, and that's fine by me.

The book begins with an underlying tale of the author attempting to forge a closer relationship with his daughter, who had suggested he return to marathon running and agreed to join him in this venture. The initial idea and the training for the marathon takes up the first half of the book. As it progresses he realizes he’ll have to intensify his training significantly – to double the number of miles he runs each week, essentially. This is hard-core and starts to have a significant impact on his life: the number of hours he’s out on the trail means he’s got precious little time for anything else other than sleep and work. This part of the book gets more interesting as he describes the weather he endured and the grueling toll running for hours at a time takes on his body.

This book opened my eyes about running. It changed my perception of running, and now I find it a little more enjoyable. I'd recommend it for sure.

The narration was good, since the author is a newsman, he's not new to the microphone.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Friday Night Lights

  • A Town, a Team, and a Dream
  • By: H. G. Bissinger
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 457
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458

The 25th anniversary edition of the number-one New York Times best seller and Sports Illustrated's best football book of all time, with a new afterword by the author. Return once again to the timeless account of the Permian Panthers of Odessa - the winningest high school football team in Texas history.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Keep This In Mind When You Listen

  • By K. on 09-21-18

Nostalgia for a Simpler Time and Place

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

Reviewed: 08-25-16

This book brought back a lot of memories for me. High school football can be the moment of glory for many out there, then reflected upon as a chapter in life that one will spend the majority of his life with his best days behind him.

This book isn't completely focused on the Permian program itself, but also shows how life was in 1980's Odessa Texas. It covers the town history, racial tensions, and oil boom/bust periods. But above it all, it reveals a town's pride for its high school football team that shines through—pride that is fundamental to its nature, to its identity. These people depend on high school football to survive. More than just an escape from the financial ruin that has set in since the Texas oil bust, high school football is the only thing that matters. They live vicariously through these teenagers, these children, as if they are somehow their only connection to anything good or right in the world. Bissinger describes how as the seniors finished their final games, the shock of no longer being relevant sets in, and they turn into just another fan afterwards.

I found myself getting caught up in it: the excitement, the rush, the adrenaline of the game. It’s dangerous. It’s dangerous to glamorize something that should really only represent a small part of someone’s life, but it was easy to understand how one could get wrapped up in it. That's a concept a lot of former players can relate to.

Overall: I liked this book. Although at times I thought the history of the town portions were too much of a page filler rather than useful information. The main problem is that this book is about so many things - the history of the town, the lives of the people in it, and obviously, football. If you've got an interest in Texas and football, this is a good place to start. Heck, you might even get an itch to go see a high school football game yourself afterwards.

The narrator Tom Stechschulte is a personal favorite of mine, and he did a great job on this book.

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46 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Dead Mountain

  • The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident
  • By: Donnie Eichar
  • Narrated by: Donnie Eichar
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,571
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,370
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,370

In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mystery & Intrigue In The Ural Mountains

  • By Sara on 06-30-15

A Good Creepy Mystery

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

Reviewed: 06-01-16

I had come across this story on a couple of occasions but had very little information on it and was so glad to have located this book while browsing Audible. It's the true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident and the inexplicable deaths of nine experienced hikers. It's one of those strange but true tales that leaves a person shuddering. Speculation and theories surround the mystery of what happened to make them leave the security of their tent, in subarctic temps, scantily clad, and which ultimately brings them to their death.

The book was well researched and fascinating. But, this is Eichar's (the author) take of what he suspects happened to them, and is not completely concrete. I'll stop there to not get into spoiler territory.

Overall: This was one of those books that had me totally engrossed and when finished spent an hour researching the Internet for photos of the mountain and places named in the book. The narrator was perfect, and had the "documentary" type of voice. It reminded me of a voice you'd hear on NPR.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • One Soldier's War

  • By: Arkady Babchenko, Nick Allen - translator
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86

In 1995, Arkady Babchenko was an 18-year-old law student in Moscow when he was drafted into the Russian army and sent to Chechnya. It was the beginning of a torturous journey from naïve conscript to hardened soldier that took Babchenko from the front lines of the first Chechen War in 1995 to the second in 1999. He fought in major cities and tiny hamlets, from the bombed-out streets of Grozny to anonymous mountain villages.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Real, Brutal, & Honest

  • By Patrick on 05-09-16

Real, Brutal, & Honest

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

Reviewed: 05-09-16

This book is a very strong revealing testament to the Russian experience of war, both during training and fighting. It's a hauntingly stark, but captivating read of a Russian Soldier's experience in the Chechen war. Beware, this book is not for the squeamish, and it will stick with you for a long time. A substantial part the book deals with the author's experiences behind the front lines, waiting to be sent to war. It's during this time that Russia is extremely hard on her own soldiers. There were periods during the book that I had to remind myself that these events happened not during WW2, but in the 1980s-90s.

The complete lack of any discipline, the outright barbarism and the total corruption of this rag-tag gang posing as an army is shocking, disturbing, and in all ways gruesome. Combine this with the futility of a war fought for unclear reasons far from home, in an inhospitable country against a fierce and cruel enemy, and you have Babchenko's experience as an 18-year old boy.

The narrator did an excellent job and told the story perfectly.

Overall: Superb; and one of the best war memoirs I've read. Babchenko's account realistically reveals the modern Russian army and its wars in Chechnya--but fundamentally his perspective rings true for soldiers' experiences of every nation and every generation.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Death's Heretic

  • By: James L. Sutter
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,005
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 926
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 930

Nobody cheats death. A warrior haunted by his past, Salim Ghadafar serves as a problem-solver for a church he hates, bound by the goddess of death to hunt down those who would rob her of her due. Such is the case in the desert nation of Thuvia, where a powerful merchant on the verge of achieving eternal youth via a magical elixir is mysteriously murdered, his soul kidnapped somewhere along its path to the afterlife.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Interesting Twist on a Classic Archetype

  • By Brian Zohner on 04-18-16

Great Narration - Decent Story

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

I've made numerous attempts at the fantasy genre and it's still a challenge with these books sometimes.

The main reason I got this book was because it was free and the narrator (Ray Porter) is one of my favorites. He can transform a bland story into a great one.

From what I've read about this book, it's based on a role playing game. I've never played a game like Dungeons and Dragons or any of the others either. But, I figured I'd give it a shot. This book was pretty predictable and didn't grab me like some of the other readers out there. At times the storyline was a little hard to follow.

Overall: Unfortunately, I could not really get interested in the plot and the characters; aside from the main protagonist, were undeveloped or otherwise lacking. I'd like to say it was a good book, but that'd be stretching it for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Extreme Ownership

  • How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
  • By: Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
  • Narrated by: Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 39,086
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,017
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,875

An updated edition of the blockbuster best-selling leadership book that took America and the world by storm, two US Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I don't read SEAL Books...

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-21-17

Repetitive, Typical, & Generic

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

Reviewed: 12-30-15

I've read a lot of SEAL books out there, and they all tend to have the same wartime mission stories.

"Here's what we did in combat, now let us teach you how to transfer those methods over to the business world." Which is the basic premise of this book. Except there's one thing that's different. These guys were trained for extremely high stress situations that mostly involve life/death scenarios with firearms and explosives. An office/business setting is different, and the authors probably don't have much experience dealing with unruly workers who underperform in providing reports on budgets. The authors devote a majority of each chapter harping on their experiences in Iraq, and maybe a few paragraphs or pages contrasting those situations to the business world. It's about 90% wartime stories, and the rest is actually applied to business. (Sort of) The reader must realize these guys aren't exactly ideal office companions. The wartime stuff is really all they know, which was their job at the time.

The leadership principles are hardly earth-shattering. Example: A business group doesn't do well in a scenario, and it's the VP's job to take the fall if it fails. Not that hard to figure out, and certainly doesn't need a Navy SEAL to explain how his mission in Iraq that took up 10 pages in the book to contrast with it.

Overall: if you like war stories about Navy SEALs and Iraq, this book and basically any other recent SEAL written book out there has the same stuff. If you want actual business resolution suggestions, I'd advise you to look beyond books like these. Way too much emphasis on their missions rather than actual office issues.

119 of 151 people found this review helpful

  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

  • A Song of Ice and Fire
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Harry Lloyd
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,916
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,435
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,371

Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin's ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there were Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve, but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals - in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg - whose true name (hidden from all he and Dunk encounter) is Aegon Targaryen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin is a genius

  • By Celeste Albers on 04-26-16

Good But Not Great

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

Reviewed: 11-25-15

This was my first Martin book that I actually finished. I tried the Game of Thrones books but they quickly lost my interest and were extremely long. This book was just the right amount of time, but there weren't any illustrations to help with the story. Apparently the physical book copy has illustrations.

The adventure portion of the book was pretty good, but I'm still not convinced to go jumping for joy in the streets like some of the author's faithful followers. The narrator actually did a good job, but I felt like he lowered his voice almost to a whisper sometimes and I'd have to rewind 30 seconds to hear what he said.

Overall: It was a good/decent book, and I'd probably listen to the next one. I still can't say the Martin world has hooked me yet though. I wouldn't be surprised if some listeners couldn't finish it.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • By: Oscar Wilde
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,004
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,786
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,802

Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for astute social observation and sparkling prose to The Picture of Dorian Gray, the dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged---petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral---while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying and enchanting readers for more than 100 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Should be Next In Your Library, Period

  • By Paul on 11-12-13

A Study of Shallowness & Vanity

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

Reviewed: 09-25-15

In this dark and tragic commentary, Oscar Wilde spares no liberties in discussing morality, religion, society, and the depths of the human condition. This is a book in which beauty seems to be considered as an end in itself — except that Dorian’s great love of beauty ought to have induced in him such a revulsion at the growing ugliness of his character.

Dorian Gray is beauty in human form. His friend Basil Hallward, a painter, sees Dorian's beauty and is driven to portray it on canvas. Per Dorian's wish, he will remain beautiful, and Basil's portrait will bear the ravages of his soul. Basil's homoerotic fascination with Dorian, and its expression in his portrait of Dorian, will unwittingly lead to tragedy.

Overall: This is a deep novel, and requires some thinking about the lessons and messages throughout the writing. It's "a book that has never finished saying what it has to say."

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Killing Patton

  • The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General
  • By: Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
  • Narrated by: Bill O'Reilly
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,893
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,267

General George S. Patton, Jr., died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost 70 years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident - and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton will take listeners inside the final year of the war and recount the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bill O'Reilly "Phoned It In" - Poor Performance

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-28-14

Disappointing Mix of Recycled Information on WW2

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

Reviewed: 08-28-15

The title of this book is completely deceiving. Only during the first and last parts of the book does O'reilly actually get to the "Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General."
The inbetween is a huge amount of filler information that you can get from a 2 page summary of WW2 in Germany on the web or your local library.

If you're new to the subject and haven't studied up, this book might be a nice read to get some basic information on the war's events in Europe. I've already had my fill of WW2 books and was hoping to get something new or interesting about Patton. This was not the case. It starts off strong, but then deviates to topics that I've already heard throughout several WW2 books.

Overall: if you're intrigued by this "mystery" of Patton's death, you won't be satisfied with the very small amount of info in this book devoted to the actual case. O'reilly does a good job of narration, which he should, he's a television broadcaster. I'd say you're better off just doing some searches on the web rather than devoting your time to this falsely advertised book title.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful