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  • Walden (AmazonClassics Edition)

  • By: Henry David Thoreau
  • Narrated by: Pete Simonelli
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

At Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau reflected on simpler living in the natural world. By removing himself from the distractions of materialism, Thoreau hoped to not only improve his spiritual life but also gain a better understanding of society through solitary introspection. In Walden, Thoreau condenses his two-year, two-month, two-day stay into a single year, using the four seasons to symbolize human development - a cycle of life shared by both nature and man. A celebration of personal renewal through self-reliance, independence, and simplicity....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Overated and long winded

  • By Andrew on 31-01-2019

Overated and long winded

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

Reviewed: 31-01-2019

I have like most of you heard the inumerable quotes which eminate from this book. From this uncertain basis I decided to listen to the book. Mr. Thoreau comes across as a rather spoiled psudo-intellectual in this tract. His driving concern seems mostly to stand on pillar and criticize the world around him.

His philosophy if it may be called that is a mix of rather adolescent antiestablishmentism and naturalism which is coloured by his rather sheltered and restrictive experience. It is akin to reading a 1800's Reddit post.

Most of his points worth noting are simply rememberences of the masters. His few original point are often betray his ignorance. A prime example of this is when he opines on economics. It is a lazy and ignorant analysis to say the least.

Still, I'd not say to not read this book to the end as the essay on civil disobedience is quite enjoyable and worthy of consideration.

  • The Sun Also Rises

  • By: Ernest Hemingway
  • Narrated by: William Hurt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 73

The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the story introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. Follow the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of the 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Pretentious nonsense

  • By tone on 26-03-2016

A diverting yet tame affair

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

Reviewed: 21-11-2018

It seems more a window to a rather mundane life then a true novel which seeks to engage. Still worth a read.

  • France

  • A Short History: From Gaul to de Gaulle
  • By: John Julius Norwich
  • Narrated by: John Julius Norwich
  • Length: 15 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

John Julius Norwich (at 88) has finally written the book he always wanted to write, the extremely colourful story of the country he loves best. From frowning Roman generals and belligerent Gallic chieftains to Charlemagne through Marie Antoinette and the storming of the Bastille to Vichy, the Resistance and beyond, France is packed with heroes and villains, adventures and battles, romance and revolution. Full of memorable stories and racy anecdotes, this is the country that has inspired the rest of the world to live, dress, eat - and love better.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • easy listening

  • By Liine on 26-09-2018

Engaging and informative

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

Reviewed: 11-09-2018

The authors deep love and interest in the subject makes this short history engaging. if as I you are looking for a book to give you a decent introduction to France. Look no further.

  • Political Order and Political Decay

  • From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy
  • By: Francis Fukuyama
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 24 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Fukuyama examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heavy but informative

  • By Andrew on 13-08-2018

Heavy but informative

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

Reviewed: 13-08-2018

A good sequel. however, it felt a little bit like it lacked a conclusion. That said I'd highly recommend it if you are looking to expand your knowledge on why different cultures seemly act against their own economic interests.

  • The Line Becomes a River

  • By: Francisco Cantú
  • Narrated by: Francisco Cantú
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Line Becomes a River, written and read by Francisco Cantú. How does a line in the sand become a barrier that people will risk everything to cross? Francisco Cantú was a US Border Patrol agent from 2008 to 2012. He worked the desert along the Mexican border, at the remote crossroads of drug routes and smuggling corridors, tracking humans through blistering days and frigid nights across a vast terrain. He detains the exhausted and the parched.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • interesting

  • By Andrew on 30-07-2018

interesting

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

Reviewed: 30-07-2018

I was moved to tears by bits of this thoughtful book. And I loved the view he offered from both sides.

I was troubled though by the authors lack of consideration of one of the key issues around the border. That of if there are legitimate reasons why Americans would not want to allow everyone in Mexico or indeed the world to come to the US.

He never seems to consider this point but it is key. However fact it actually explains why the hard line approach to immigration is popular in the US and the west as a whole.

  • Das Reich

  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: Nigel Carrington
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Within days of the D-Day landings, the 'Das Reich' 2nd SS Panzer Division marched north through France to reinforce the front-line defenders of Hitler's Fortress Europe. Veterans of the bloodiest fighting of the Russian Front, 15,000 men with their tanks and artillery, they were hounded for every mile of their march by saboteurs of the Resistance and agents of the Allied Special Forces. Along their route they took reprisals so savage they will live forever in the chronicles of the most appalling atrocities of war.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting but not what I expected

  • By Andrew on 10-06-2018

Interesting but not what I expected

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

Reviewed: 10-06-2018

An interesting book which seems to be rather padded out. Not what I expected has rather a lot of French sections which are never explained to the English reader.

  • Into Thin Air

  • By: Jon Krakauer
  • Narrated by: Philip Franklin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 175

One of the inspirations for the major motion picture Everest, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley. This is the true story of a 24-hour period on Everest when members of three separate expeditions were caught in a storm and faced a battle against hurricane-force winds, exposure, and the effects of altitude, which ended the worst single-season death toll in the peak's history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I feel like I have just climbed Everest!

  • By Tonya on 21-11-2016

No my Cup of Tea

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

Reviewed: 08-04-2018

I hated the accents the reader put on which really took away from the story. Aditionally as a non climber I really struggled to find purchase in this book.

  • The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

  • By: Francis Fukuyama
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 22 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Synthesis

  • By Shane on 29-05-2016

Engaging and highly enlightening

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

Reviewed: 15-01-2018

The book was absolutely wonderful. It opened a huge number of doors of thought and left me with much to think about.

The first 3rd where the author talks at length on China and India was initially quite hard to push through. However push through and you quickly see that this section sets the stage for the truly enlightening conclusions drawn in the later chapters.

Well worth the investment of time

  • The Grapes of Wrath

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: John Chancer
  • Length: 19 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

Shocking and controversial when it was first published, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of Dust Bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel west in search of the promised land.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a sad and weary tale

  • By Suzie on 26-10-2016

Highly Depressing

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

Reviewed: 27-11-2017

Great read, paints a very bleak picture of the dustbowl immigration experience. Definitely worth reading but perhaps give it a skip if you're feeling a bit down.

  • All the Light We Cannot See

  • By: Anthony Doerr
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal
  • Length: 17 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,280
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,281

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighbourhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning

  • By Sophie on 20-05-2015

Moving

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

Reviewed: 18-11-2017

The book was fantastic and brought tears to my eyes. The only complaint was that the Germans were a little bit to stereotypically evil.