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  • The Drug Hunters

  • The Improbable Quest to Discover New Medicines
  • By: Donald R. Kirsch PhD, Ogi Ogas PhD
  • Narrated by: James Foster
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 962
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 880
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 880

The search to find medicines is as old as disease, which is to say as old as the human race. Through serendipity - by chewing, brewing, and snorting - some Neolithic souls discovered opium, alcohol, snakeroot, juniper, frankincense, and other helpful substances. Ötzi the Iceman, the 5,000-year-old hunter frozen in the Italian Alps, was found to have whipworms in his intestines and Bronze Age medicine, a worm-killing birch fungus, knotted to his leggings.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Aargh!

  • By Curmud the prof on 05-20-17

Great book, but praises racist Margaret Sanger

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

Reviewed: 02-27-18

The book is very good. Nice anedoctes, scientific facts, personal experience.
I'm sad to cut one star as the author celebrates racist nazi-like eugenecist Margaret Sanger,who wanted to exterminate the black race. It' s like reading a good book on medicine that suddenly praises Dr Mengele.
What a shame.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • When the Air Hits Your Brain

  • Tales from Neurosurgery
  • By: Frank T Vertosick Jr. MD
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,581
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,391
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,378

With poignant insight and humor, Frank Vertosick, Jr., MD, describes some of the greatest challenges of his career, including a six-week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in his skull. Told through intimate portraits of Vertosick's patients and unsparing-yet-fascinatingly detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, When the Air Hits Your Brain illuminates both the mysteries of the mind and the realities of the operating room.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sensitive and Enlightening

  • By Largactil on 02-03-17

Excellent book. Interesting, human, sincere

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

Reviewed: 04-23-17

I wish there were more books on medicine like this one. The author is a very good writer, the book never loses its pace, it is interesting from beginning to end.

  • Take Me With You

  • By: Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,186
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,741
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,731

August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his 19-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go. What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip - and the bonds that develop between them- would prove....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping, brilliantly heartwarming,thoughtful!

  • By Jeffrey on 07-25-14

Surprisingly good. Superb narration.

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

Reviewed: 12-24-16

Bought the book as a Kindle offer, not expecting much. What a surprise. An interesting, inspiring story of bonding between a man who lost his son in an accident and two boys he meets by a twist of fate. Made me think how humans are wired for relationships, you only have to allow them to happen.
The narration is sensational in the audio book.
Highly recommended.

  • High Society

  • The Life of Grace Kelly
  • By: Donald Spoto
  • Narrated by: George K Wilson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

In just seven years---from 1950 through 1956---Grace Kelly embarked on a whirlwind career that included roles in 11 movies. From the principled Amy Fowler Kane in High Noon to the thrill-seeking Frances Stevens of To Catch a Thief, Grace established herself as one of Hollywood's most talented actresses and iconic beauties.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Find a better Grace Kelly biography, I'd skip this

  • By Daniel on 08-20-12

unbelievably bland and boring.

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

Reviewed: 11-12-16

I'm a big fan of biographies, but this one is so bland and artificial that it is impossible to even have a grasp of who Kelly was, her thoughts and feelings.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Waging Heavy Peace

  • By: Neil Young
  • Narrated by: Keith Carradine
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 340
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 339

An iconic figure in the history of rock and pop culture (inducted not once but twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Neil Young has written his eagerly awaited memoir. Young offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical career, spanning his time in bands like Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crazy Horse; moving from the snows of Ontario through the LSD-laden boulevards of 1966 Los Angeles to the contemplative paradise of Hawaii today.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • the ultimate entertainer...

  • By Sabine on 11-05-12

Should have been a BLOG

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

Reviewed: 02-24-13

Any additional comments?

On the positive side, I must say that if you are a Neil Young fan, this book might interest you. He sounds sincere, and gives lots of little details about his life that perhaps his mother and his fan club members are interested about.

For the rest of us, the book is big disappointment. It has no storyline, no flow, it is just a collection of disconnected ramblings and stories, much like any blog. However, since he is Neil Young, he can put it in a book format and sell it. Some of the chapters are outrageous in their banality, like the one where he spends pages talking about the time his car broke down and he had to wait for a tow truck on the road. Or his passion for toy trains. Or the dozens of commercials he does about his sound software company/project. I almost quit reading the book three times, but wanted to finish just to write a fair review.

I am a enthusiast for the 1968-1973 golden era of rock and folk music, and I expected to find interesting facts about CSNY and other singers of the time. There is almost nothing about it. I mean, the guy lived in the most interesting time in rock and roll history but instead of writing great stories he spends his time talking about the decoration on the walls of his ranch house. I expect to learn something when I finish a book, but in this case I am in the same place I was on the music business or the musical community of Young's time.

I wonder what happens with these great rock stars when they age. He reminds me of Sammy Haggar and his boring deals with vodka and mountain bikes. Their lives become much like the ones of successful retired accountants or Wall Street business men, full of super expensive and futile hobbies and no real intelectual or artistic pursuits. Hey, come and see my $10 million dollar wall display of baseball memorabilia (in his case a car collection). More often than not, they also change into super beta types, drooling over their second wives who seem to dominate them with their strong personalities (think about Sinatra). It is like a curse, the curse of the old bourgeois. I wonder if they ever were visionaries at all, or if they were just lucky to strike a few good songs.

PS: I listened to the audio book, and Keith Carradine does a superb job of narration. It is a shame it was wasted on this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • To Heaven and Back

  • A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again
  • By: Mary C. Neal MD
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 578
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 501

In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, died. To Heaven and Back is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • To Heaven and back

  • By Joyce on 02-11-13

A Strange Mix of New Age, Spiritism and Christiani

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

Reviewed: 12-21-12

Any additional comments?

I believe that all people who bought this book were expecting to find some kind of description of Heaven, much like the famous book about the little boy who died and came back to life. Well, sorry to disappoint you, but she didn't even get to Heaven. She got stuck at some kind of reception hall and came back. The event is, in reality, a deceptive hook for the author to spend 90% of the book talking about her personal theology. And bad theology it is.

The book revolves on two main episodes: one is her near-drowning in a ill-planned rafting holiday in Chile and the other the sad death of her young son. During the time her kayak was stuck in the bottom of the river, the author says she had an out-of-body experience and met several spirits in some kind of celestial reception hall of Heaven. The spirits don't talk much, and she had to come back to her body because her friends were calling her name. I had the feeling I was reading a book from Shirley McLaine. We must remind ourselves that out-of-body, or astral projection experiences are very common among occultists and new agers. Did she test the spirits to know if they were from God ? Not at all.

There is also much Spiritist doctrine in the book, doctrine that sounds like it came straight from a book from Alan Kardec. Dead people come back to give guidance to family and everybody has a mission on Earth to accomplish. Angels are responsible for every little thing we do. Dead people make trees bloom as signs for the living. I kid you not, the only thing missing is reincarnation.

The author gives us the very strong impression that she is the kind of person who must have things her own way. She reminds us every couple of pages how she and her family are over-achievers, that she is a brilliant physician and a scientist (sic), and a sportswoman of the highest caliber.I was expecting that she would climb the Everest next. For people with this kind of personality, accepting the simple truths of the Gospel, the childish faith and trust that is necessary to become a real Christian, is a challenge. One has to keep his faith even in times of doubt and lack of spiritual signs. Like Job, in the end one must accept the fact that God may not give us answers at this time. The hardest part of the Christian life is realizing one is not in control.

Instead, the author claims to trust God, but she does it in her own terms. She sees herself as a hunter for coincidences in life that give her a clear view of what God does. She is always on top and has explanations for everything, but they don't come from the Bible. She even knows that her son will die young. Much of her confidence comes from encounters with a mysterious spirit guide, whom she says "may" be Jesus...or not. Any believer would check in her Bible if it is OK to talk with a dead person, for example. But the author is above this kind of humble faith.

I sympathize with the suffering the author went through with the death of her son, but this is no excuse to sell a book about going to Heaven when she has not, and to claim to be a special believer worthy of individual revelation, when these revelations contradict plain doctrine. Real encounters with Jesus, face to face or "only" spiritual, usually change people. Here in the book we see only the over-achieving, totally in control person changing the focus of her energy from her career to a kind of spirituality she can control and define.

As a Christian, I must admit I had a feeling of spiritual oppression after reading the first chapters. Buyer, beware.

Narration: as usual, very professional narrator, but the sad and "profound" tone the narrator was probably told to use is boring and as the book advances, irritating.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Unraveling Anne

  • By: Laurel Saville
  • Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

In 1950s Los Angeles, Anne Ford was the epitome of the California golden girl, a former beauty queen and model-turned-fashion designer whose success and charm were legendary. So how is it possible that such a woman could die in squalor, an alcoholic street person brutally murdered in a burned-out West Hollywood building? In searching for answers to the heartbreaking trajectory of her mother’s life, writer Laurel Saville plumbed the depths of Anne’s troubled past and her own eccentric childhood to untangle the truth of an exceptional, yet tragic, existence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Choked and sputtered before it took off

  • By Peaches on 03-15-16

Misleading title: it is a memoir of the daughter

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

Reviewed: 10-18-12

Any additional comments?

There should be a huge warning sign on the front of the book: "this is a memoir about the daughter, NOT a biography of the mother".

On a positive side, the author can write well. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a good story. The book is all about the daughter's feelings about her mother and some of her childhood stories. I bought the book thinking that it would show why a successful woman (the mother) turned into a bum and an alcoholic. Unfortunately, this is the only thing that is not in the book. The book reads more like one of those self-absorbed blogs, describing for pages without end how grandma's kitchen looked like, how an old painting by her mother looked like, etc.

In summary, the author's life is not very interesting. She moved away from her mother when she was 12 and had a pretty normal life, so she missed most of her mother's later changes, and when she was with the mother, she was too young to understand anything anyway.

In what we can get in the middle of the daughter's rants, we find that the mother was simply a narcissistic and selfish beautiful girl who had a stunt as a model and later designing clothes. She was such a pain in the neck that her boyfriend and later her husband left her. Faced with fading beauty and the hardship of motherhood, she turned into an alcoholic and a slut, and became more egotistic and lazy than ever. As usual in these cases, her life falls apart and she becomes a bum, who is murdered by another wandering bum. It is a common story, unfortunately, but void of any originality or drama that would deserve a book. Just watch the TV show "Intervention" if you want to see something similar.

Absolutely, it is a story that only a daughter would be interested in.

As usual with Audible books, the narration is very good.

Skip this one !

  • Red

  • My Uncensored Life in Rock
  • By: Sammy Hagar
  • Narrated by: Scott Shepherd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 889
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 735
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 737

Loud rock, fast cars, and Cabo. This is the life of Sammy Hagar. For almost 40 years, Sammy Hagar has been a fixture in rock music. From breaking into the industry with the band Montrose to his multiplatinum solo career to his ride as the front man of Van Halen, Sammy's powerful and unforgettable voice has set the tone for some of the greatest rock anthems ever written - songs like "I Can't Drive 55", "Right Now", and "Why Can't This Be Love".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • RED ROCKER SCORES ANOTHER #1 HIT

  • By Bruce on 12-10-13

Nice book, but the singer is overrated.

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

Reviewed: 08-01-12

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, the book gives a good idea about the Van Halen Band during Haggard's time there. Eddie was crazy, in a strange autistic way. But he was a genius, with the curse to make all that worked with him small in comparison.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Things happen too fast. He gets into business and becomes a millionaire in a couple of pages. We don't know much about his relationship with his kids.

Which character – as performed by Scott Shepherd – was your favorite?

The narrator was superb. Sometimes I would forget it was not the author speaking, but Scott. Great job.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book surprised me on how the world changes, how a poor boy can go so far. I don't like his songs, and had never heard about him until Van Halen, and even so I always preferred the Roth phase. But what I didn't know was that he is more a business men than a singer. I would like to understand better how it happened.

Any additional comments?

Good book, lacks some explanation in some parts, but gives a good idea on how the business work. Fans of Van Halen will enjoy some of the gossip.

  • A Discovery of Witches

  • A Novel
  • By: Deborah Harkness
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
  • Length: 23 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,961
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,448
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,493

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A most terrific & non-typical treatment of Witches

  • By Neal on 04-17-14

Awful, boring book. I am embarrassed I bought it.

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

Reviewed: 03-21-12

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The book is obviously targeted to Twilight fans, but it is much worse. People who enjoy romantic stories will not find one there, the characters simply meet and immediately fall in love, without any conflict. No one understands really why boy loves girl, because ether is absolutely no reason for him to do it.

Neither it is a vampire or witch story, the characters remind me more of X-Men mutants (there is a lot of talk about DNA) who can fly, throw fire rays, etc. It is ridicuolous.

What could Deborah Harkness have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This book is beyond salvation. The author simply used every dirty trick in the book and was not able to have a story with any pace or thrill. It is just boring.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The poor narrator is good, as usual with audible books, but what can she do to save such a pathetic book?

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Discovery of Witches?

Apart from the boring pace, pretentious dialogues and flat personalities of the characters, the thing that strikes me most is that the book is racist...against humans. Humans are stupid, ignorant, weak. The vampires and witches are divine. Give me a break.

Any additional comments?

This was the worst book I have bought from Audible in 10 years. Beware.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful