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  • 12
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 12
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  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Dramatised)

  • Written by: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Simon Russell Beale
  • Length: 2 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

It is 1962: the height of the Cold War and only months after the building of the Berlin Wall. Alec Leamas is a hard-working, hard-drinking British intelligence officer whose East Berlin network is in tatters. His agents are either on the run or dead, victims of the ruthlessly efficient East German counter-intelligence officer Hans-Dieter Mundt.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cold, shaken not stirred

  • By Amazon Customer on 2019-02-02

Cold, shaken not stirred

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

Reviewed: 2019-02-02

The end of the Cold War makes us nostalgic for the presumed moral clarity. Apparently, not so clear then either. Interesting that it is such a contrast w/ that other British spy, James Bond. Particularly enjoyed Brian Cox as Alec Lemas.

  • Eichmann in Jerusalem

  • A Report on the Banality of Evil
  • Written by: Hannah Arendt
  • Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14

Sparking a flurry of heated debate, Hannah Arendt's authoritative and stunning report on the trial of German Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann first appeared in The New Yorker in 1963. This revised edition includes material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt's postscript. A major journalistic triumph by an intellectual of singular influence, Eichmann in Jerusalem is as shocking as it is informative - an unflinching look at one of the most unsettling (and unsettled) issues of the 20th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Small Man

  • By Amazon Customer on 2019-02-01

A Small Man

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

Reviewed: 2019-02-01

It seems I am often thinking of Arendt these days, so thought it time to re-visit this work. What stands out, from over 50 years later, is how small Eichmann seems - how petty and bureaucratic.
The peculiar pride he demonstrates in his non-acceptance of bribes reminds me of the East Germans in LeCarre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Banal, and yet more horrifying for that - monsters are, fortunately, relatively rare. Banal, officious bureaucrats? Why, one can see them everywhere.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Sleepwalkers

  • How Europe Went to War in 1914
  • Written by: Christopher Clark
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 24 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

The Sleepwalkers is historian Christopher Clark's riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I. Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A History of Contingency

  • By Amazon Customer on 2019-01-20

A History of Contingency

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

Reviewed: 2019-01-20

An interesting book, well told, of a peculiar historical event - the start of WWI. Given what happens next, it is mystifying how calm all seemed in Europe before the death of ArchDuke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. I feel like I have a better understanding of the how, the why still eludes me, despite the efforts of this book.

  • The Fifth Risk

  • Written by: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125

"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them. Michael Lewis’ brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Elections have consequences

  • By Amazon Customer on 2019-01-09

Elections have consequences

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

Reviewed: 2019-01-09

What happens when someone not interested in the government gets elected to run it? Michael Lewis focuses on the transition from the Obama administration to Trump. In so doing, he scared me more witless than a stack of Steven King horror films.
Ignore at your own peril.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Magpie Murders

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Samantha Bond, Allan Corduner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the best-selling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!!

  • By julie on 2018-05-02

meta who-done-it

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

Reviewed: 2018-08-01

Appreciated the double narrator, and the story within a story element of the book. Well-casted and very engaging.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

  • Book of Dust, Volume 1
  • Written by: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Michael Sheen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177

Renowned storyteller Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of Lyra Belacqua and His Dark Materials for a thrilling and epic adventure in which daemons, alethiometers, and the Magisterium all play parts.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the wait!

  • By Olivia Baudais on 2017-11-08

RETURN TO THE GOLDEN COMPASS

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

Reviewed: 2018-07-20

I appreciated the return to the world of THE GOLDEN COMPASS, including the return of Lord Azreal, Mrs. Coulter and Baby Lyra herself. Really enjoyed Michael Sheen's performance.

Pre-quels explain the backstory; they contain less invention (and more discovery) than the original novels. To use a distinction that this book draws out quite nicely.

  • All Our Wrong Todays

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Elan Mastai
  • Narrated by: Elan Mastai
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed...because it wasn't necessary. Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I am a sucker for time travel

  • By Amazon Customer on 2018-07-14

I am a sucker for time travel

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

Reviewed: 2018-07-14

But was sucked in by the treatment of the transparently unreliable narrator's love for his Penelope. And I also love that it is the narrator who has to wait for his woman. Funny, bright, thoughtful and perhaps a bit sad, I appreciated hearing it in the author's voice. And love that the number of chapters is prime.

  • War on Peace

  • The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence
  • Written by: Ronan Farrow
  • Narrated by: Ronan Farrow
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

American diplomacy is under siege. Offices across the State Department sit empty while abroad, the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We're becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later. In an astonishing account ranging from Washington, DC, to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North Korea in the years since 9/11, acclaimed journalist and former diplomat Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Informative, but to "literary"

  • By Matthew on 2018-05-24

The Indispensable Author

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

Reviewed: 2018-07-13

Having just finished Halberstam's THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST, Farrow's tale of challenges of the last 2.5 decades in American foreign policy was deeply insightful. It is also a love letter to his challenging, infuriating, essential mentor Richard Holbrooke.

  • The Best and the Brightest

  • Written by: David Halberstam
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 37 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Using portraits of America’s flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country’s recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions

  • By Amazon Customer on 2018-07-10

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

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

Reviewed: 2018-07-10

At the end of his author's note, Halberstom writes that Vietnam haunts him still. He also writes - movingly - about the preoccupations and failures of the men (and they were all men) brought into government to make flesh the New Frontier ideal of "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." It did not work out.
Let us hope we may learn something from this episode, in our current era.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Kitchen Confidential

  • Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
  • Written by: Anthony Bourdain
  • Narrated by: Anthony Bourdain
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 498
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 495

Last summer, The New Yorker published chef Anthony Bourdain's shocking, "Don't Eat Before Reading This." Now, the author uses the same "take-no-prisoners" attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable audiobook, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • definitely one of my favourite books.

  • By patrick on 2018-09-29

Marrow-sucking enthusiasm cut with sadness

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

Reviewed: 2018-06-26

With his recent passing, I was curious to hear Bourdain, in his own voice, about why he became a chef. He has a wonderful voice, and wonderful words. The instances where he speaks of his own future passing are laced with sadness - yet his palpable love of food shines through. I am sorry he had to go so soon. I am grateful for the work he has left behind.