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John

Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 8
  • ratings
  • A Short History of Western Thought

  • By: Stephen Trombley
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 5

A Short History of Western Thought outlines the 2,500-year history of European ideas from the philosophers of classical antiquity to the thinkers of today; no major representative of any significant strand of Western thought escapes Trombley's attention. Included are the Christian Scholastic theologians of the Middle Ages, the German idealists from Kant to Hegel, and the four shapers-in-chief of our modern world: Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Post-neo existenial difficult-listenism!

  • By John on 19-08-14

Post-neo existenial difficult-listenism!

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

Reviewed: 19-08-14

On the plus side (a) the author clearly knows his stuff and (b) so many 'isms' in one place is rather amusing (you can easily be forgiven for thinking you are listening to a Monty Python sketch!)

On the other hand (and forgive the Philistine comment here) I think the summary is that modern European philosophy consists/ed of a lot of upper middle class twits, who have never done a day's work in their lives, lounging around various British and German universities and talking bllx all day long!

I'm really sorry but I went into it with an open mind and I am afraid the philosophy community has not come out of it very well.

If you are looking for a user-friendly, easy read/listen this isn't for you!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying Too)

  • By: David Goldman
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

Past and present civilizations failed and fail for many reasons, but the number-one predictor of a civilization’s survival is its sense of religion—or lack thereof. So argues David Goldman in How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying Too). The strength of a civilization’s religion affects its purpose, its fertility rate, and ultimately, its fate, says Goldman—who then argues that, contrary to popular belief, Islamic countries are in the last throes of death while Christian America is in a position to flourish.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A book of two halves!

  • By John on 13-08-14

A book of two halves!

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

Reviewed: 13-08-14

It starts off very academically and logically, putting forward a highly reasoned argument for the book's proposition, as per its title. The key issue is population decline (and the reason therefor).

Okay that is fine but, whether to 'pad out' the book or otherwise, he ends up giving his views about the failings of President Obama and American foreign policy, sounding rather like the lonely, ranting drunk you avoid at the pub bar!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Between the Alps and a Hard Place

  • Switzerland in World War II and Moral Blackmail Today
  • By: Angelo M. Codevilla
  • Narrated by: Suzy Harbulak
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    1.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

What really happened to the billions of dollars worth of gold seized by Nazi Germany? What role did the Swiss government play and what are the implications of neutrality during wartime? The author addresses these questions, presents the case for and against Switzerland, and applies the lessons learned from World War II to the broader issue of companies - and countries - profiting during wartime.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Pity about the narration and editing

  • By Antony on 25-09-13

Strap yourself in!

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

Reviewed: 29-05-13

Unfortunately I have had to stop listening to this part way through.

It is nothing to do with the text (which seems quite good). It is the narration. The narrator talks so fast it is difficult, I would even say uncomfortable, to listen to it. She absolutely "gallops" through it, hardly taking a breath, and gives no time to take in and absorb one sentence/concept before she is "rattling through" the next. A little punctuation would not go amiss!

I appreciate that it might not be the way the narrator did it, it might be down to editing etc., but it is almost as though she is racing against the clock or is on some sort of time performance target!

  • America's Great Depression

  • By: Murray N. Rothbard
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

The Great Depression was not a crisis for capitalism but merely an example of the downturn part of the business cycle, which was generated by government intervention in the economy. Had this book appeared in the 1940s, it might have spared the world much grief. Even so, its appearance in 1963 meant that free-market advocates had their first full-scale treatment of this crucial subject.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Depressed that I wasted a credit on it!

  • By John on 07-11-12

Depressed that I wasted a credit on it!

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-11-12

Okay my rating and title are perhaps a little unfair. I think the problem is that Audiobooks have placed it in the History section and I suppose, lured by the picture, I thought it was going to be an historical account.



Not a bit of it!



Unless you have a PhD in Economics and have run several international monetary funds and a couple of central banks I would advise you to steer well clear of this. I think even the Governor of the Bank of England would wonder what on earth it is all about!



I confess I only listened to about 40 minutes of it on the bus but that was enough and the other passengers were complaining because I was inadvertently chewing my right leg off in agony!



I am sure for Economists it is great and I am sure the author really knows his stuff but Audiobooks I politely say that you really do need to re-classify this away from the History section.



Again I am trying to be broad-minded and all-embracing but have to say if the first 40 minutes was anything to go by it is really difficult to see why anyone would want to listen to this as an audiobook. A textbook fine, as an academic work that you can cross-reference, refer back through etc.but not an audiobook to listen to when mowing the lawn (you would probably throw yourself under the blades!).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Learn Hungarian - Level 1: Introduction to Hungarian - Volume 1: Lessons 1-25

  • By: Innovative Language Learning
  • Narrated by: HungarianPod101.com
  • Length: 2 hrs and 37 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

This is Innovative language Learning. This Audiobook will take you through the basics of Hungarian with Basic Bootcamp, All About, and Pronunciation lessons. The five Basic Bootcamp lessons each center on a practical, real-life conversation. At the beginning of the lesson, we'll introduce the background of the conversation. In the fifteen All About lessons, you'll learn all about Hungarian and Hungary.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Lost its way somewhat!

  • By John on 10-05-12

Lost its way somewhat!

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-05-12

Starts off all very well as a typical beginners language audiobook. There is the usual banter and link music. Then ooohhh! What happens? Suddenly and without warning they give up on language and start talking (in English) about the country, food, politics, music etc. What is the point of that? I understood it to be a language audiobook. If I wanted a travel guide I would have gone to Lonely Planet!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Endgame

  • Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness
  • By: Frank Brady
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

From Frank Brady, who wrote one of the best-selling books on Bobby Fischer of all time and who was himself a friend of Fischer’s, comes an impressively researched biography that for the first time completely captures the remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer’s life. When Bobby Fischer passed away in January 2008, he left behind a confounding legacy. Everyone knew the basics of his life—he began as a brilliant youngster, then became the pride of American chess, then took a sharp turn, struggling with paranoia and mental illness. But nobody truly understood him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By dawid kubica on 06-07-18
  • Endgame
  • Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness
  • By: Frank Brady
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter

John, Bristol

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-07-11

This is a fantastic book for chess and non-chess players alike (also see Frank Brady's original book, Profile of a Prodigy, although Fischer had not "gone off the rails" by that stage, he was merely obsessive and eccentric!).

The only question mark in my mind is sourcing. I may be wrong but I think Frank Brady, like so many people in Fischer's life, "fell out" with him so how accurate is all of this bearing in mind Fischer was so secretive?

Nonetheless I thoroughly recommend it.