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Eric

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 64
  • ratings
  • Wall Street

  • A History, Updated Edition
  • By: Charles R. Geisst
  • Narrated by: Stephen McLaughlin
  • Length: 27 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 89

Wall Street is an unending source of legend - and nightmares. It is a universal symbol of both the highest aspirations of economic prosperity and the basest impulses of greed and deception. Charles R. Geisst's Wall Street is at once a chronicle of the street itself - from the days when the wall was merely a defensive barricade built by Peter Stuyvesant - and an engaging economic history of the United States, a tale of profits and losses, enterprising spirits, and key figures that transformed America into the most powerful economy in the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Many books in one; best linking of stories, eras

  • By Philo on 03-23-14

A bit jargon-heavy, but quite good

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

Reviewed: 03-10-15

The arcane terms and technical detail would be fine, with a little more introduction for the intelligent layman. Some of it is there, but only comes at the third or fourth mention, due to bad editing.

I do, however, finally know what investment banking is. ...that is, inasmuch as anyone does.

  • Napoleon

  • A Life
  • By: Andrew Roberts
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 32 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,161
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,860
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,856

Andrew Roberts' Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Book

  • By Steve on 12-21-14

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 12-13-14

A wonderful listen, overall.

Why, however, must we be subjected to the common misuse of "begs the question" in such an otherwise well written book? The author also confuses "coruscating" and "excoriating." What ever happened to editing?

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Verdict on Vichy

  • Power and Prejudice in the Vichy France Regim
  • By: Michael Curtis
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 20 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

This masterful audiobook is the first comprehensive reappraisal of the Vichy France regime for over 20 years. France was occupied by Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1944, and the exact nature of France's role in the Vichy years is only now beginning to come to light. One of the main reasons that the Vichy history is difficult to tell is that some of France's most prominent politicians, including President Mitterand, have been implicated in the regime. This has meant that public access to key documents has been denied and it is only now that an objective analysis is possible.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance Ruined It

  • By TMac on 06-05-15

Good book, marginal reading

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

Reviewed: 11-14-14

Excellent, densely researched, and eye-opening book. I, for one, will never see France in quite the same way again. They never underwent the violent catharsis of other Axis nations and, instead, seem to be reaching a resolution incrementally. I hope they get there; they've got a lot to resolve.

The narrator is dreadfully slow and non-fluent. His over-pronounced French names come after portentous pauses and sound like parody. It's a genuinely awful reading, which makes the fact-intensive writing that much more difficult to assimilate while cleaning up the kitchen or doing side lunges. Oh, and he pronounces "banal" to rhyme with "anal." Vraiment le coup de grâce.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Thinking the Twentieth Century

  • By: Tony Judt, Timothy Snyder
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

Here is the final book of unparalleled historian Tony Judt. Where Judt’s masterpiece Postwar redefined the history of modern Europe by uniting the stories of its eastern and western halves, Thinking the Twentieth Century unites the century’s conflicted intellectual history into a single soaring narrative. The 20th century comes to life as the age of ideas - a time when, for good or for ill, the thoughts of the few reigned over the lives of the many.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • UNINTELLIGIBLE

  • By Norman on 03-07-12

Superb

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

Reviewed: 10-15-14

Judt's thinking is breathtakingly lucid and reveals relationships and causes deep under events where conventional accounts are superficial and unsatisfying. Snyder is also obviously brilliant their voices are so similar that it would have been helpful to have some additional cues as to who is speaking in the audio version--the printed book uses italics. That said, Mr. Cosham, one of my favorite Blackstone readers, clearly appreciates the material and can pronounce the foreign names with remarkable accuracy. He does, however, tend to lose volume on the final consonants of sentences, here as elsewhere.

  • The Alchemy of Air

  • A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler
  • By: Thomas Hager
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,064
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 900
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 898

At the dawn of the 20th century, humanity was facing global disaster. Mass starvation, long predicted for the fast-growing population, was about to become a reality. A call went out to the worlds scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two enormously gifted, fatally flawed men who found it: the brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and the reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, controlled world markets, and saved millions of lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book Thoroughly Researched

  • By Terry A. Gray on 10-21-11

Reader drags it down

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

Reviewed: 07-26-13

You'll experience a strong sense of deja entendu if you've ever listened to "Iron Mike" read the forecast on NOAA VHF weather radio.

"Soul-der" for solder is bad, but wait till you hear him try "Hoechst", and Admiral Spee's name doesn't rhyme with "pee". I could go on.

Great story, though, and the writing is simple enough to absorb in challenging traffic or while making love (just kidding).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Until the Sea Shall Free Them

  • By: Robert Frump
  • Narrated by: Luke Smith
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

The men on the SS Marine Electric sailed into a storm in February 1983 not knowing that they would make history - at a great cost in lives. Just three men survived the wreck of the Marine Electric off the shores of Virginia and they found that their struggle had just begun once they got back to shore. Blamed for the wreck, they fought back and broke a code of silence that had covered up sloppy ship inspections for decades and revealed the flaws in old World War II rust buckets that were still at sea long past their functional lifetime.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A great book to read

  • By Kindle Customer on 06-23-18

Interesting, but not a great listen

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

Reviewed: 02-22-13

The overall effect is Bob Dylan reading bad Hemingway, i.e. frankly annoying, and the writing, while workmanlike, is illiterate in spots: German U-boats did not create a "Maelstrom" for US merchant shipping, for God's sake!

The narrator has a strange, over-dramatic, cadence and the depressingly usual trouble with the unfamiliar: "Admiralty" comes out "admirality", "Dominic" is, inexplicably, "Dominique" (most Doms I knew wouldn't like that at all) and "Babineau" is "Babinow". He affects a bizzarre, ostensibly Bostonian, accent for the he crew members and their families, which sounds like a speech impediment.

Nevertheless, this book is the result of a fine and important piece of journalism and will be of substantial interest and worth the annoyance to anyone enamored of ships, mariners, and tales of survival at sea. I am in that category and it certainly made the dishes and the gym go faster for a week.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 500 Days

  • Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars
  • By: Kurt Eichenwald
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 21 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 184
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 165
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163

In 500 Days, master chronicler Kurt Eichenwald lays bare the harrowing decisions, deceptions, and delusions of the eighteen months that changed the world forever, as leaders raced to protect their citizens in the wake of 9/11. Eichenwald's gripping, immediate style and true-to-life dialogue puts readers at the heart of these historic events, from the Oval Office to Number 10 Downing Street, from Guantanamo Bay to the depths of CIA headquarters, from the al Qaeda training camps to the torture chambers of Egypt and Syria.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible

  • By steve on 02-13-16

Fragmented, uncommented, style gets annoying

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

Reviewed: 02-13-13

Epic story of catastrophic overreach and callow foolishness told in an endless series of breathless mini-vignettes. Seems the wrong style for such a long treatment.

Narrator is terrible. Trails off to inaudibility at the ends of his sentences, has one, all purpose, foreign accent (why any?) and can't read: it's ciprofloxacin, not "ciprofloxin"; KAbul, not" KaBOOL" and Dostum, not "Dotsum"!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Right-Hand Shore

  • A Novel
  • By: Christopher Tilghman
  • Narrated by: Scott Sowers
  • Length: 14 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

It is 1920, and Edward Mason is making a call upon Miss Mary Bayly, the current owner of the legendary Mason family estate, the Retreat. Miss Mary is dying. She plans to give the Retreat to the closest direct descendant of the original immigrant owner that she can find. Edward believes he can charm the old lady, secure the estate and be back in Baltimore by lunchtime. Instead, over the course of a long day, he hears the stories that will forever bind him and his family to the land.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Faulkneresque

  • By Eric on 06-07-12

Faulkneresque

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

Reviewed: 06-07-12

This is a very nicely written plantation saga with plenty of sweep and character, as well as an interesting take on race in the antebellum years. The reader is solid enough, but ought to come to Eastern Maryland and hear the local accent someday. His white characters all sounded like Deep South caricatures.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Passage of Power

  • The Years of Lyndon Johnson
  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 32 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,014
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,744
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,734

The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career - 1958 to 1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • From Powerful to Powerless

  • By Abdur Abdul-Malik on 05-08-12

Magnificent

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

Reviewed: 05-24-12

Caro continues his LBJ saga with even greater scope as the Man attains supreme power, but none of the detail and texture is lost. The writing is repetitive and can verge on bombast, but this is still biography at its very finest and great literature by any standard.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters

  • The Definitive Biography of the First American Billionaire
  • By: Richard Hack
  • Narrated by: Dan Cashman
  • Length: 18 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 601
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 302
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 303

In "the most exciting bio of the year," Richard Hack uses recently uncovered (and in some cases, recently declassified) personal letters, court testimony, FBI files, autopsy reports and exclusive interviews to reveal the man who was a legendary lover, record-setting aviator, award-winning film producer, talented inventor, ultimate eccentric, and, for much of his lifetime, the richest man in the United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • GOOD READ

  • By Randall on 04-25-09

Gee willikers!

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

Reviewed: 04-13-12

This is the lively and fascinating story of a brilliant creep with a serious personality disorder, which seems to have matched his times and social milieu perfectly. He appears literally to have been unstoppable by physics or law enforcement, until succumbing to a dreary and debilitating brand of "meshugas". Being under 75, I had to Google pictures of his female conquests, but, I must say, he did phenomenally well in that department. Money, however, is just money.

Unfortunately, the writing is barely literate. For instance, the word "that" is used uniformly and annoyingly when "which", "who", or "whom" is called for. The reader amplifies the effect by stumbling over words, such as, "camaraderie" and coming up with at least three unique mispronunciations of "Domergue".

Enjoyable, nonetheless.

2 of 9 people found this review helpful