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Michael Davis

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 44
  • helpful votes
  • 37
  • ratings
  • A Fatal Grace

  • Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 2
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,880
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,559
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,552

Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder. No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter - and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death. When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Quebec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Time to get lost and find yourself in Three Pines.

  • By Charles Atkinson on 12-09-14

Tedious production values mar the story.

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

Well produced audio books insert pauses when there is a change in place or events or things like that. The audible version of this book seems utterly disinterested in helping listeners track the story through pauses. I tried listening through the 4th chapter and finally gave up not being able to track the array of characters, and not being sure of how they related to one another. Eventually, I gave up caring. Just me. I know others have enjoyed this book, indeed loved it. I'd probably have liked the paper version better.

  • Bad Blood

  • Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
  • By: John Carreyrou
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12,965
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,759
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11,745

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes' worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extreme retaliation against former employees

  • By Jaccred on 05-29-18

Disturbing tale of tech promises gone wrong

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

(Review of the Audible version) Stories of technology's altruistic promises to help humanity - only to give way to lies and human destruction - seem to occur with greater and greater frequency. This is one of those stories. Only told so well as to require multiple listens. And rewinding, just to savor the narrators inflection or to make sure you understood it right. Was the Board really ready to fire Elizabeth Holmes only to have her talk her way of it? Yes. And, Yes. The entire book is this way: a staggering exercise in bias, arrogance, impudence, and lies. All hidden under the veil of a technology we all want to see, want to believe in, and hope will come to be. No wonder the Board didn't fire her. She was female. Attractive. Smart. And promised freedom from unnecessary suffering. And yet, no one wanted to pay attention to the other voices, the data that didn't make sense. It was a medical version of Mel Brooks Blazing Saddles Rock Ridge: an entire town made only of the storefronts. Theranos machines were the same. Really, we have listened to this multiple times. It's both instructive and irresistible.

  • Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

  • By: Carlo Rovelli
  • Narrated by: Carlo Rovelli
  • Length: 1 hr and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 733
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 649
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 649

In seven brief lessons, Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli guides listeners with admirable clarity through the most transformative physics breakthroughs of the 20th and 21st centuries. This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, already a major best seller in Italy, explains general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role of humans in the strange world Rovelli describes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book for the scientifically curious

  • By Brad Yeary on 03-25-16

A marvelous and beautiful introduction into physic

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

If someone offers to sell you a book on physics that's easy to understand, walk on past. Physics isn't easy. That said, it can be beautiful. The pure Act of hearing Rovelli total about the world and the universe in which we live is amazing. I've never read a book that describes our universe with such beauty and poetic imagination. Even when the concepts are big and broad and hard to understand, it feels like you're touching something wonderful. Something Beautiful. Something worth believing in and striving for. What a marvelous little book. This book isn't about math and you shouldn't be frightened about encountering math or physics. Just sit in the company of Rovelli while he tells you what he sees. Don't spend a lot of time trying to fully understand it. He doesn't. He doesn't expect you to, either. He just wants to tell you a story about his pretty world. Catch what you can of the ideas, but don't waste time trying to understand it. Just listen as you would to a friend or loving tour guide if you new nothing about art and went to an art museum for the first time. That's all he asks. His voice carries you along. He's a Romantic in love with the world.

  • Invisible

  • By: James Patterson, David Ellis
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy, Kevin Collins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,278
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,867
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,861

Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire. Not even Emmy's ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison "Books" Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Totally WARPED Antagonist! Loved It...

  • By shelley on 09-12-17

A perfectly terrible book

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

The James Patterson train left the station and thank God, I'm not on it. This book seems like it should be a joke. Put a brilliant (?) but tough and co-dependant FBI agent; a brilliant (?), abusive, narcissistic FBI analyst who should have been fired; and a brilliant and sadistic killer who plays with fire in the same room. Who walks out alive? Answer: Who cares and I can't believe I wasted even five minutes of my life even listening to this tripe. If you enjoy the utterly implausible, human cruelty, abusive protagonists, tough but co-dependant protagonists, gimmicky (almost wink-wink) asides by sick perpetrators who instruct you in their thinking process, you'll love this book. I seriously regret the time I wasted listening to this book. I kept thinking it might redeem itself. If have done better redeeming my own self and asking for a refund.

  • The Coming Storm

  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael Lewis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,049
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,491
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,451

Tornadoes, cyclones, tsunamis… Weather can be deadly – especially when it strikes without warning. Millions of Americans could soon find themselves at the mercy of violent weather if the public data behind lifesaving storm alerts gets privatized for personal gain. In his first Audible Original feature, New York Times best-selling author and journalist Michael Lewis delivers hard-hitting research on not-so-random weather data – and how Washington plans to release it. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why you shouldn't ignore the weather forecast

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 09-10-18

Who do you trust for your weather? Think again.

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

This is, quite literally, about storms. If you're like me, you've been pulling up your weather from some corporate weather provider. It might surprise you to know about the underbelly of the corporate weather prediction business. It surprised, and frightened, me. This is one of Michael Lewis's most chilling books. This is another example of new American Mafia where law and politics subverts the best interest of humanity, and the well-being of our world. In it's implications, story telling, and urgency, this book is more frightening than almost any book I've read in the past two years. And, I'll be pulling my weather from the National Weather Service (NWS) in the future: they are actually doing the science and have no interest beyond protecting people and property. The big weather conglomerates, when they aren't tying the NWS hands, have other motives.

  • American Kingpin

  • The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
  • By: Nick Bilton
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10,968
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,112
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 10,081

In 2011, a 26-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine website hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything - drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons - free of the government's watchful eye. It wasn't long before the media got wind of the new website where anyone - not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers - could buy and sell contraband detection-free.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An honest portrait of DPR

  • By Victor on 05-18-17

Ideas have consequences, realized

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

Bilton (author) and Damron (narrator) invite the reader into the swirling tempest of a simple idea nurtured into a global, Dark Web drug, weapons, and poisons bazaar. Radical libertarian Ross wanted to develop a supply chain for the sale of drugs with the ultimate goal of destroying their prohibition. In his Grand scheme, destruction of drug laws was only the beginning of creating a society where you could buy or sell anything without government interference. With his uncanny ability to bring new technologies into the service of His Big Idea, he created The Silk Road, a Dark Web site where you could increasingly buy anything. In spite of his growing skills in organizing his criminal empire, he failed to realize that we all leave fingerprints, digital and otherwise. He failed to imagine the diverse group of people who could find his fingerprints and bring him to justice. He also failed to realize that the evils of governments were also shared by individuals. As the adage says, Power corrupts. This is a multi-layered, well-told story of human and governmental corruption, and the pursuit of justice. It is an absolute page-turner. For those whose technology prowess is limited, I think you'll still find this an easy and enjoyable read.

  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty, Daniel Oreskes, full cast
  • Length: 19 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43,940
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40,785
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,744

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 10 Years and Still a Fantastic Read

  • By Nightveil on 07-22-11

People and gods ultimately please and disappoint

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

Reviewed: 02-22-18

Reading American Gods, I was reminded of listening to Gaiman's Norse Mythology book (which I incidentally liked better): highly listenable to the ear, humorous, and 'gods' who are little more than your neighbor down the street. For the most part, though the location shifts beautifully like a travelogue across America's 'fruited plains', the people are alternately banal, caring, crass, evil, or some combination there of. In any case, you're unlikely to be bored, though, in the end it may be more like reading Facebook for the gods: moderately interesting, lyrical to the ears through the amazing narrator, striving for 'likes', but ultimately vapid. The places and people are well-drawn and interesting, but the story really says little of worth about gods or men, except that they can be a mix of good and bad. It does this, however, with a melodious voice and a combination and lyrical selection of words that few but Gaiman can pull off.

  • Not Alone

  • By: Craig A. Falconer
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 22 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,631
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,621

When Dan McCarthy stumbles upon a folder containing evidence of the conspiracy to end all conspiracies - a top-level alien cover-up - he leaks the files without a second thought. The incredible truth revealed by Dan's leak immediately captures the public's imagination, but Dan's relentless commitment to exposing the cover-up and forcing disclosure quickly earns him some enemies in high places.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Impressive Book About Aliens & the Hype Industry

  • By Russell on 12-21-16

A thoroughly engaging alien disclosure story...

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

Reviewed: 02-22-18

Dan, whose personal characteristics incline him toward belief in extraterrestrial life, finds evidence that such life exists. Again, because of his personal characteristics, he makes that evidence publicly available, heedless to the danger it imposes on him. This isn't the story of someone who loves all things alien. Rather, it's the story of someone who obstinately tries to make sure people learn the truth.

Along the way, he discovers friends and enemies, some you come to like, some you continue to fear.

The story hits a plateau about two-thirds of the way through. Honestly, I had to remind myself to stick with the story, though it seemed it was going nowhere for a bit. In hindsight, I'm not sure Falconer had any other choice. In fact, he had to tell it this way. Like a long pause between two big cities, you have to drive it, but it's kind of boring. When you reach the destination, this choices becomes necessary.

Ultimately, the reader is rewarded for her/his patience with a more satisfying ending, characters whom you like (and dislike), and the willingness to embrace an ending that isn't pre-determined by publicists and editors. I'd read Falconer again! A good, old-fashioned alien story without a lot of hoopla.

  • The X-Files: Stolen Lives

  • By: Joe Harris, Chris Carter, Dirk Maggs - adaptation
  • Narrated by: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,002
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,848
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,848

Out of the ashes of the Syndicate, a new, more powerful threat has emerged. Resurrected members of this fallen group - now shadows of their former selves - seemingly bend to the will of someone, or something, with unmatched abilities and an unknown purpose. As those believed to be enemies become unlikely allies and trusted friends turn into terrifying foes, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully become unknowing participants in a deadly game of deception and retribution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As much as the show

  • By S. Reese on 11-02-17

How did old-time radio shows do this better?

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

Reviewed: 11-22-17

On the plus side, it was fun to hear some of the old actors who did the original X-Files series reprise their roles. it was nice to hear living theme song from the original series played as it would have been on the TV.

On the negative side, the stories themselves were only moderately interesting. Perhaps more important to this genre, was the fact that the audio didn't manage the transitions from person to person and place to place very well. If you are familiar with some of the old-time radio shows, they were masters of this broadcast form of Storytelling. They managed the sound effects in a way that you could visualize what was happening in the story. That wasn't the case in this series. At least not very well. all in all, I felt rather deflated. I really wanted to enjoy this, but it fell short of expectations.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Fix

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Kyf Brewer, Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,632
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,678
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,648

Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself. Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter - a family man with a successful consulting business - and his victim, a schoolteacher.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Where is Ron Mcclarty?

  • By jason adams on 04-28-17

Amos Decker twisting in the Wind

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

Reviewed: 10-18-17

I've read other books from this series, but this one seemed to ring hollow for me. Maybe it was the narrators? Maybe it was the story? It felt like somebody was trying to do CPR on this novel, getting a normal sinus rhythm only to have the patient go into tachycardia again. Police procedurals get a bad name. Maybe they are too linear. In this case, I would have appreciated more linear. Just about the time you feel like you found some resolution, Decker comes up with another question. I'm usually glad for that. But in this case, it felt false. Overall, it was just an okay novel. I probably won't be reading many more from this series.