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Bjorn Stromsness

Fremont, CA | Member Since 2012

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 149 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jake Tapper
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (317)

    At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 U.S. troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere 14 miles from the Pakistan border, the U.S. abandoned and bombed the camp.

    Jason says: "A must read!"
    "Powerfully written, very well read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are some books where the content is good, but the narration sucks and totally takes you out of the book (I'm looking at you Washington; A Life). This isn't one of those books. The book itself is very powerful, taking you into the lives of the troops on the front line of America's forgotten war. You get to know personalities and the hopes and desires and fears of those soldiers and you get to see the impact on their families back home.

    The narration is just solid. You are not brought out of the narrative by the narration, which means it is just about perfect.

    It is sometimes hard to listen to because the story itself is intense and emotionally tough, but I think it is important to hear these stories and know this bit of our history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson
    • Narrated By Kevin Collins
    Overall
    (1405)
    Performance
    (1306)
    Story
    (1304)

    Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history.

    Jay says: "True Tale of Courage and Honor"
    "Good story slightly tainted by "Liberals" rant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This guy has maybe earned the right to say whatever he wants to say and, yes, it is a free country because of folks like him.

    I'll take issue with his little rant about liberals though. He claimed that if he shot Osama he'd probably be put up on war crimes charges and condemned by the "Liberal Media."

    Of course, OBL was shot, right in the face, and the mainstream media didn't really get upset about it and only the fringe of the left had any issue with it. I'm liberal as hell and I celebrated the death of OBL just like any Texas red neck.

    We can love our country just as much as anyone else. The rant he made about liberals did put me off a bit.

    The narrator is a bit dramatic too, which I wasn't really fond of, but the story is what I got the book for.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13494)
    Performance
    (7974)
    Story
    (7828)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Why is this so popular?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw all the positive reviews and thought "this many people can't be wrong." However, this many people also find professional wrestling entertaining, so, I guess this many people CAN be wrong. I didn't like this book. It was listed as Fantasy, but is mostly, almost entirely, not. It was a frustrating listen as the main character stumbled along into one calamity after another. She also spend a fair bit of time getting serviced, which sounds find and good, but really started to get a bit dull after, oh, I don't know, the 800th time. I'll skip the next in the series, and all others from Ms. Gabaldon. I'm sure she has her place and her following, but it was soooo far from what I was looking for. It felt like it really belonged in the paperback section with Fabio on the cover.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Monkey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (714)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (634)

    Andrew Yancy - late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office - has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first - this being Hiaasen country - Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters.

    James says: "Disappointed"
    "The narration was a step backward"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to a lot of books by Carl Hiaasen and I have to say, this narration didn't do it for me. It sounds like Columbo reading the story. The two other narrators I've heard have been really good, but this one... it just didn't do it for me at all. It was a voice that didn't fit with the location or the characters, minus just a couple.

    The story itself was good and had a unique twist.

    Also loved the location on Andros playing a part.

    As usual, Carl does a great job describing a place that he loves, the Keys and the Bahamas and manages to capture the threats to those places without having the book be about that.

    Love the fishing stuff.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Washington: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1522)
    Performance
    (1022)
    Story
    (1016)

    In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. This crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

    ButterLegume says: "A sad day when my book was done!"
    "Important historical figure, theatrical narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration really detracts from the story. It is read with a theatrical/grandiose voice that is entirely too much. It's kind of annoying. You do have a chance to get used to it, since it is 50-some hours long. I like the long, long books since I'm in the car soooooo much.

    I have to say, at this point (I think I'm on chapter 47), I'm looking forward to it being over, which wasn't the case when I listened to Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, also an important historical book.

    I might look elsewhere if I were you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Rusty Bradley, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (157)

    Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers.

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "Kandahar Battle Described As Never Before"
    "Pretty interesting story about the Afghan war"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was an interesting story, even if the dialogue was a bit forced at times. The country twang added by the narrator is a bit annoying, but the underlying story is powerful and it told the tale of a key battle in Afghanistan that I didn't even know about.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Daniel Kahneman
    • Narrated By Patrick Egan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2110)
    Performance
    (1643)
    Story
    (1625)

    The guru to the gurus at last shares his knowledge with the rest of us. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman's seminal studies in behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and happiness studies have influenced numerous other authors, including Steven Pinker and Malcolm Gladwell. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman at last offers his own, first book for the general public. It is a lucid and enlightening summary of his life's work. It will change the way you think about thinking. Two systems drive the way we think and make choices, Kahneman explains....

    Mike says: "Difficult Listen, but Probably a Great Read"
    "Dry... didn't get through it all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a hard book to listen too. There were graphs and charts and figures being referred to and, well, I wasn't going to try and find those things while I was driving. I didn't get through it all. Quickly became a bit easy to predict and not very interesting. Wouldn't buy it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32532)
    Performance
    (23858)
    Story
    (24182)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "Wanted to see what the fuss was about, now I know"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A good story, well told. It is all the rage these days, or course, but I enjoyed the story and the emotion and strain, pain and excitement of the story really did come through. Got me through a couple weeks of commuting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snuff

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1584)
    Performance
    (1404)
    Story
    (1414)

    Sam Vimes is on a well-deserved holiday. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. The balls, the teas, the muck - not to mention all that fresh air and birdsong - are more than a bit taxing on a cynical city-born and -bred copper. Yet a policeman will find a crime anywhere if he decides to look hard enough, and it’s not long before a body is discovered, and Sam - out of his jurisdiction, out of his element, and out of bacon sandwiches (thanks to his well-meaning wife) - must rely on his instincts, guile, and street smarts to see justice done.

    Tim says: "Perfect Pratchett"
    "Long Live Diskworld"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Snuff in three words, what would they be?

    I've long been a fan of the Diskworld series, so I was really excited to see Snuff on the list. I wasn't disappointed. The story is pure Pratchett and follows the form and spirit of the other Diskworld books. If you are a fan of his other works, you'll like this one.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3985)
    Performance
    (2178)
    Story
    (2179)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "vivid, powerful, timeless tale of Vietnam"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Matterhorn the most enjoyable?

    It is just a big story set in a hot and smothering jungle an it is really well read with the voices of a dozen or more characters all unique and easy to identify. Just well done.


    What other book might you compare Matterhorn to and why?

    A friend said he thought of Catch 22 when he read Matterhorn and I can see why. Violence, power, war, death, life... it's all there.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    The main character is just very well read by Bronson, as are the rest, really.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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