LISTENER

Richard

Malmö, Sweden
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 31
  • ratings
  • The History and Achievements of the Islamic Golden Age

  • By: Eamonn Gearon, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Eamonn Gearon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120

The study of Western Civilization traditionally follows a well-known but incomplete arc: the grand achievements of Greece and Rome, several hundred years of the Dark Ages, and then the bright emergence of the European Renaissance. But amid the "dark" Middle Ages, the Abbasid Empire, which ruled the Middle East as well as much of Northern Africa and Central Asia from 750 to 1258, serves as a vitally important but often overlooked bridge between the ancient and modern worlds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You gotta get smart to see how dumb you are”.

  • By Richard on 08-08-17

You gotta get smart to see how dumb you are”.

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

Reviewed: 08-08-17

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

At first, I hesitated to select this title. Maybe like you, the current situation in many Islamic countries shaded my expectations of what could have been achieved a millenia ago. Now I know. It was enormous.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The History and Achievements of the Islamic Golden Age?

The scope is ambitious but it manages to sparkle as well. I loved the many, small portraits of the thinkers. E.g. a wily scientist who feigned insanity to escape execution by his sponsor. Or a poet who extolled the delights of getting drunk – in an Islamic country. Human genius, human nature.

What does Professor Eamonn Gearon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love the spoken word. To listen to a story told by a gifted storyteller is pure magic.

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

I deeply respect the work and dedication that went into it. This is a work that acknowledges the contribution of minds that have borne us further. But the author has labored in an area which has been deprived of both attention and public sympathy. This is true dedication and scholarship.

Any additional comments?

This book deserves a broad readership.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Platform Revolution

  • How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy - and How to Make Them Work for You
  • By: Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary
  • Narrated by: James Foster
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,297
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,107

Facebook, PayPal, Alibaba, Uber - these seemingly disparate companies have upended entire industries by harnessing a single phenomenon: the platform business model. Platform Revolution delivers the first comprehensive analysis of how platforms use technology to match producers and consumers in a multisided marketplace, unlocking hidden resources and creating new forms of value. When a company like Uber connects drivers with passengers, everybody wins - except traditional cab companies, which are scrambling to survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book

  • By Jason Close on 05-28-16

Great analysis

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

Reviewed: 07-26-17

I loved this book. It has helped me re-evaluate what we are doing. Clear. Good examples. Helpful section on metrics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Quants

  • How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It
  • By: Scott Patterson
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 829
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 523

In March 2006, the world's richest men sipped champagne in an opulent New York hotel. They were preparing to compete in a poker tournament with ­million-dollar stakes. At the card table that night was Peter Muller, who managed a fabulously successful hedge fund called PDT. With him was Ken Griffin, who was the tough-as-nails head of Citadel Investment Group. There, too, were Cliff Asness, the founder of the hedge fund AQR Capital Management, and Boaz Weinstein, king of the credit-default swap.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • perhaps the best book on the Quants

  • By D. Littman on 04-14-10

Loved it.

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

Reviewed: 07-12-17

High speed excitement. Great narrator. All the best and brightest. Full cast of legends like Jim Simons of Renaisance and Peter Muller crashing through steepest ups and downs the Street has experienced.

  • The Story of Human Language

  • By: John McWhorter, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John McWhorter
  • Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,897
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,629
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,593

Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You'll Never Look at Languages the Same Way Again

  • By SAMA on 03-11-14

I think you will return again and again

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

Reviewed: 11-20-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Story of Human Language to be better than the print version?

This is a course that benefits from being heard rather than read. You want to be able to listen to how a word or sentence morphs in sound and structure e.g.from proto Indo European to modern English. Listening lets you tease out the development with your ear. Besides which Prof. McWhorter's sense of humor and wit and gift for language lend themselves to the spoken word.

What other book might you compare The Story of Human Language to and why?

This course is enormous in scope. I was reminded of "Big History" which had the same sense of scale. Both Courses begin in a distant inaccessible past, visit the significant stops in between and bring us into the present. Both are equally fascinating.

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

Few lecturers are by turns this interesting and this funny. I fell into the habit of playing favorite chapters for my wife and kids. We would all sit around and chuckle alternately wonder at some insights in the course.

Any additional comments?

I predict that as more listeners discover this course, it will find a cult following like the radio version of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

  • David Copperfield [Trout Lake Media]

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Peter Batchelor
  • Length: 32 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 475
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 434
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426

Dickens called David Copperfield his "favourite child," and many critics consider the novel to be one of his best depictions of childhood. Set in early Victorian England against a backdrop of great social change, Dickens acutely observed the phenomena of the Industrial Revolution and used them as the canvas on which he painted the novel. Many consider David Copperfield to be the author’s finest work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful Dickens listening

  • By Richard on 10-08-13

Delightful Dickens listening

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

Reviewed: 10-08-13

Would you consider the audio edition of David Copperfield to be better than the print version?

For me, the audio edition of David Copperfield was every bit as good as a book. I think Dickens in particular lends himself well to audio interpretation. The special magic of the audio version for me is that it recalls that comforting feeling I had as child; of listening to my parents read a story and being carried away into another world.

What was one of the most memorable moments of David Copperfield?

It is impossible for me to chose a moment that was more memorable than others. David Copperfield is one continuous rollercoaster ride of joys, sorrows, hardships, heartbreak, tearful departures and joyous reunions. The cast of characters include some of the most memorable villians, noble women, cruel step-fathers and loveable unfortunates ever penned. It is first class Dickens.

What about Peter Batchelor’s performance did you like?

Peter Batchelor is perfect for Dickens. He is an entire cast of voices. His sure control of tone, mastery of timbre and accents are a delight. Being a baritone, Batchelor's only difficulty comes when playing women and children. Uriah Heep will make anyones skin crawl. The dialogues are particularly brilliant. In these, Batchelor needs to switch between characters, finding exactly the right voice for one and then answering immediately in another. It is dazzling stuff but the virtuosity is never at the expense of the narrative. One imagines this was the way Dickens himself would have read for his friends; revelling in the characters; growling, squeeking, lisping, mimicking accents and enjoying every minute of it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Dr. Stong is married to Anne, a very beautiful and much younger woman. Uriah Heep has contrived to cast suspicion in the mind of the doctor that his wife had taken a young lover. Deeply in love with his wife, he is willing to let the situation fall into silence in order to keep her. Never confronted, Anne is neither guilty nor innocent. It is then revealed that Heep is a villian. This provides Anne Strong with an opportunity. The words that pour forth are some of the most beautiful and deeply moving in any book I have read.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful