AUDIO BOOK REVIEWS
by Jonathan Lowe
his new novel THE PRINCE OF RISK author
Christopher Reich formulates a plot surrounding
the world financial trend that has resulted in America's
dominating the pushing of paper rather than in manufacturing
goods. Financial services are centered in New York,
where the barons of Wall Street have ruled the roost
for much too long, with Washington cooking the books
for them. Shanghai, by contrast, has become impatient
and angry, and is looking to crush the West's last remaining
stronghold. Enter hedge fund manager Bobby Astor, whose
father, (head of the NYSE), and the Federal Reserve
chairman, are both killed on the White House lawn as
part of a conspiracy by a third party allegiance to
overthrow our financial system.
backstory of Astor's involvement in a risky venture
parallels and dovetails nicely with the high tech attack,
and one learns much about the speed made by electronic
trades, where advantages are eked out in microseconds
by widely separated servers.
the EAT THIS, NOT THAT books? Perhaps
because those books were very visual, and so not rendering
themselves well to audio format, author David
Zinczenko has come out with an audiobook titled
EAT IT to BEAT IT, which he
also narrates. The three hour production includes
a PDF on the first disk, to assist with those "boring
to read aloud" stats, and is written with the same
basic premise that people want to eat at fast food restaurants,
but are unsure about which entr e to choose. Not surprisingly,
most people are ignorant about the ingredients in the
items they order. For example, if you have high blood
pressure, you will want to stay away from PF Chang's
hot and sour soup, one bowl of which has more salt than
is recommended for three days, even by people without
high blood pressure! Cheesecake Factory takes multiple
hits too, as does Applebee's, On the Border, IHOP, Olive
Garden, Quiznos, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday, Sonic, TGI
Fridays, Sbarro, Steak & Shake, Dennys, Nathan's,
Chili's, not to mention Burger King, Carl's Jr., McDonalds,
etc. Zinczenko makes a point to suggest alternatives
within the same restaurant to choose, knowing that people
are loyal to these brands. Worst item, which may sound
healthy? Baja Fish Tacos at Long John Silver's. It has
9 grams of trans fats, the worst kind of fat, shown
to cause memory loss and brain shrinkage. Not a very
smart choice. Of course if you eat Calamari Ricardo
at Carrabbas, you're getting 11 grams of trans fats.
at least you don't think it's healthy! Other surprises
include the fact that processed foods in your grocery
store may contain pulped wood shavings, insect body
parts, and even human hair. And that often the FDA accepts
the manufacturer's claims without followup or investigation.
And that the phrase "contains whole grains"
means nothing if the "100%" isn't the prefix.
And that many additives are shown to cause cancer, ulcers
and inflammation, while sugars hide in ingredient labels
under multiple names that you wouldn't expect to be
sugar. It's all about keeping you buying by lying. Of
course to avoid much of this headache, one could avoid
the inner aisles of grocery stores and junk food restaurants
completely. One could avoid soda, and eat raw foods
with little (if any) factory raised meat. This book,
though, is for the majority of people, who simply won't
do that, and are enticed by commercials (which some
companies spend more money on than they do their products.)
DOWN by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann examines
the months leading up to Obama's second term election,
defeating Mitt Romney.
insider's look behind the curtains at the debates and
on the campaign trail is subtitled "Game Change
2012," focusing on Romney's blunders (such as his
"47 percent" comments) as "Mitt happens."
How did Clint Eastwood end up on stage at the Republican
convention? Why did Romney reject Chris Christie in
favor of Ryan? Why was the Clinton speech so effective,
although it lasted double the time it was supposed to?
These questions are answered by the two political analyst
authors, as narrated by Robert Fass.
Obama: "What am I supposed to do when Romney starts
spewing his bullshit?" Clinton: "The facts
are eloquent enough." Their high stakes winner-take-all
poker match is fun to watch, and may have you wondering
where we'd be now had Romney not stumbled, and had rather
been able to make the super rich even richer.
WASHINGTON'S SECRET SIX by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager,
narrated by Kilmeade, has the subtitle "The
Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution," and
points to Robert Townsend as leader of the Culper Spy
Ring, without whom the Revolution might not have succeeded.
the NSA spying on everyone big time, now, this audiobook
may have you wondering if spy networks of various degrees
of sophistication have been modus operandi in politics
from the beginning. Could it be the origin of the phrase
"information is power"?
then there's the return of Clive Cussler and
Jack DeBrul's partnership in MIRAGE,
an adventure featuring the cryptic ship Oregon.
formula is to present an action sequence lending historical
perspective on some mystery that will later (usually
in the present) set the plot in motion. Narrated
by Scott Brick, the story is not without cliches
(eg. "eyes like saucers") and involves a missing
WWII destroyer, a mysterious container protected by
three different mob bosses, and a secret weapon somehow
linked to Nikola Tesla. I've interviewed all three players
here, Cussler, Debrul, and Brick.
they make a good team to bring imaginative diversion
from the usual simplistic video violence that is television.