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Rick

Bloomington, MN, USA
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Moby Dick audiobook cover art

Ahab v. Whale

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-17-05

If you intend to listen to this entire book in order to follow Ahab's famous struggle against evil, you will be surprised at how little of it there actually is. Across 24 hours of listening, I finally gave up waiting for the whale to resurface, and found myself enjoying the detailed descriptions of the mid-19th century whaling industry and sailing vessels. Melville left nothing out of his descriptions of all things salty. If it's Ahab v. Whale you want, then I highly recommend the abridged version, because there is actually very little of it in this full length book. Melville's vocabulary and use of the English language is amazing...people just don't write like this anymore - which may be a good thing for book sales today. But just think, if you listen through the entire 425+ pages, you will be one of the few living people who actually "read" the entire book, and you'll be able to correct pseudo-intellectuals who dare to bring up the subject at cocktail parties.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

The Seashell on the Mountaintop audiobook cover art

A biography of the end of ignorance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-11-05

This is wonderful book that begins as a biography of a particular 17th century scientist and scholar (Nicolai Stenno) but, in reality, becomes an biography of how inquisitive scholarship, at the right time in history, can expand our knowledge of the world by challenging the paradigms that hold scientific understanding in check. This is a great account of how the exploration of a simple curiosity challenged the fundamental biblical and "scholarly" interpretation of the creation and formation of natural world. If you interpret biblical stories such as Noah's Flood or the Creation story as fundamentally true - which must serve as the basis for all scientific examination - you may find this book troublesome.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Salt audiobook cover art

Salt is fascinating

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-10-05

The book Salt is a time-tested way to present the history of the world, i.e. pick a ubiquitous item, and use it as the common thread to trace every aspect of human history. The same historical literary formula would work as well by writing about gold, fabric, or even bricks. Great book, great history, even if a bit repetitive about the importance of salt to fish preservation. Highly recommended as a literary device for understanding our connections to all cultures. Be prepared to enjoy almost pure history.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful