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Crusader

Palm Springs, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
132
REVIEWS
48
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
90

  • Life After Death

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Damien Echols
    • Narrated By Damien Echols
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (264)

    The definitive memoir by Damien Echols of the "West Memphis Three", who was falsely convicted of committing three murders. Hear this unforgettable account of his 18 years on death row.

    Courtney says: "A compelling story-worthwhile listen."
    "Compelling story narrated by the author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having corresponded with inmates for more than 30 years now, I thought I had heard it all, but Damien gives an entirely new meaning to the prison industrial complex and the corruption and ethical problems that exist in the entire justice system (be it attorneys, judges, correctional officers, etc.).

    Damien (and his two friends) certainly may have fallen victim to the most egregious wrongful conviction to date in the United States. Yet, Damien never gives up and stays strong during some very horrible circumstances.

    Damien's poetic, gritty, and honest portrayal of prison life and the unjust murder case against him (and his two friends) should enlighten every man, woman or child who reads (listens to) this compelling book!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Floor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (6468)
    Performance
    (4459)
    Story
    (4438)

    All is not well in Margrave, Georgia. The sleepy, forgotten town hasn't seen a crime in decades, but within the span of three days it witnesses events that leave everyone stunned. An unidentified man is found beaten and shot to death on a lonely country road.

    Ed says: "Comic book tough guy"
    "Good story, but very violent and too lengthy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series.
    Very violent, to be sure, but interesting characters and somewhat suspenseful.

    Only read it because I wanted to learn about Jack Reacher before watching the Tom Cruise movie based another Reacher novel, "One Shot" (Book 9 in the series). Other than "One Shot," I don't plan on reading other books in this series because I have so many books on my wishlist as it stands.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coreyography

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Corey Feldman
    • Narrated By Corey Feldman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (257)

    In this brave and moving memoir, Corey Feldman is revealing the truth about what his life was like behind the scenes: His is a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from which he was emancipated at age fifteen, three high-profile arrests for drug possession, a nine-month stint in rehab, and a long, slow crawl back to the top of the box office.

    R. J. Melton says: "Heartrending Loss of Innocence"
    "Best celebrity autobiography ever written!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may very well be the best autobiography ever written by a celebrity, and believe you me I have read/listened to many in my 53 years!

    Corey is brutally honest in his book about himself, other celebrities, the Hollywood industry, children in the acting profession, drug abuse, child abuse and molestation, as well as other topics.

    Although Corey's descriptions of drug and child abuse brought tears to my eyes, there are other parts of the book that made me laugh; however be warned that this book is not for the timid or squeamish because Corey holds nothing back.

    I can only imagine how therapeutic this book was for Corey to write and I highly recommend it not just to his fans, but more importantly to those who have suffered from drug or child abuse.

    Definitely get the audio version that is narrated by the author as Corey does a flawless job with the narration and his emotions come through very well in his voice!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alex Thorleifson, Scott Thorson
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (144)

    In this unusually frank book Scott Thorson, Liberace's longtime lover, tells all: the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about the legendary entertainer who went to outrageous extremes to prevent public knowledge of his homosexuality. Liberace's unhappy childhood, dominated by a mother determined to force him into a concert career, serves as the prologue for a story that goes on to detail Liberace's early appearances in honky-tonks, his move to New York to seek fame, and, finally, his first booking in Las Vegas, where he was courted by the Mafia.

    Jeffrey says: "Viciously honest, candid, sad, fascintating!"
    "A very titillating book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although this book is filled with numerous and obvious factual errors that I totally missed when I first read it in the 1980s, this book otherwise appears to give an inside honest look into the life of Liberace (which isn't always flattering).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nowhere but Up

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Pattie Mallette
    • Narrated By Pattie Mallette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    Most people only know her as Justin Bieber's mom, but Pattie Mallette has had an incredible journey of her own. Many people have heard of her son's rags to riches triumph. A few know she was a teen mom who had to overcome a drug and alcohol addiction. Even fewer know the rest of her story. Now, for the first time in detail, Pattie shares with the world the story of a girl who felt abandoned and unloved. Of a teenager who made poor choices. One who messed up, got pregnant, and got a second chance.

    Crusader says: "Awesome book!"
    "Awesome book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Prior to listening to this audio book (narrated by the author) I had no idea what to expect, and a prejudicial voice told me, "Don't get your hopes up, it probably won't be very good." So it wasn't until like a year after purchasing the book that I actually listened to it, even though I am a huge fan of Justin Bieber.

    Pattie Mallete, who more often than not is simply referred to as "Justin Bieber's mom," pours her heart and soul into this book about her incredible journey in life and is brave andcourageousfor doing so. She literally reveals her deepest and darkest secrets, which also include some not very flattering events about Justin's father, Jeremy.

    While listening to the book, like a little kid I kept thinking to myself, "Talk about Justin already, I want to hear about Justin, this book is so dark." However, the first portion of the book where she discusses her struggles and upbringing is really the crux of the book and people who aresurvivorsof sexual abuse (and perhaps those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction) will find solace in her words.

    The book also spends a fair amount of time discussing her faith in God, something not really up my alley since I am agnostic; however, she doesn'tproselytizeor shove faith or religion down the reader's throat. She simply shares from her heart, which makes this book so incredible for people from all walks of life, beliebers and non-beliebers alike. She makes it clear that she didn't force faith/religion on Justin either, but simply gave him the tools he needed to make his own decision.

    I was shocked at her candid descriptions of her struggles as a survivor of sexual abuse, growing up with hardly any money, and amazed that she just refused to give up on life. As a result, she seems to be the better for it and she and Jeremy have produced a child prodigy that does more good for the world than most folks realize because, sadly, peeing in a mop bucket is more newsworthy than befriending young children with cancer; go figure!

    Since the book's focus is really about her surviving terrible and sometimes horrific things, it was an added treat for her to include tidbits about her son, many which were already known; however, these gems coming from Justin's mom are definitely more meaningful than hearing or reading about them third-hand, since she was there when they happened!

    Also, by her writing about her son, it confirms many events that others have accurately described in their books (such asCathleen Falsani in her book"Belieber!: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber").

    Also, the reader may discover many things about Justin that I don't believe have been published before by a family member; however, I say that having not finished reading his second memoir ("Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started").

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Morton Sellers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1214)
    Performance
    (1090)
    Story
    (1078)

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

    Chris Reich says: "Scared the Hell Out of Me"
    "Awesome book regarding Scientology!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps my favourite of three books on Scientology abuse that I have listened to back-to-back over the past few months.

    The author does a good job of documenting the history of Scientology, its eccentric (and I am being kind) founder L. Ron Hubbard, its celebrity connections in Hollywood, and the repeated physical and mental abuse by the church on its own members!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jenna Miscavige Hill
    • Narrated By Sandy Rustin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (779)
    Performance
    (713)
    Story
    (712)

    Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

    Tim says: "The Despicable Truth Behind Scientology"
    "Very scary to learn the truth about Scientology!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author does such an excellent job sharing her personal experience with Scientology that I had chills up and down my spine while reading portions of the book.

    Her accounts of the abuse by the so-called church are no secret and many accounts of abuse are also discussed in the books "Going Clear" (by Lawrence Wright" and "Inside Scientology" (by Janet Reitman).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Play Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (618)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (304)

    Theirs was a marriage made in tabloid heaven, but no sooner had supermodel Laura Ayars and Celtics star David Baskin said “I do” than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, David went out for a swim - and never returned. Now widowed and grieving, Laura has a thousand questions and no answers. Her search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back thirty years - while on the court at the Boston Garden, a rookie phenom makes his spectacular debut....

    Debbie Woodruff says: "I love Harlan Coben, but..."
    "Very twisted and exciting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the most twisted stories Coben has written to date and I loved every minute of it (even though most of it was predictable).

    Anyone who has difficulty comprehending family trees would benefit from writing down the characters and relationship the first time they are mentioned in the book; it may help keep of track of "who's who."

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Janet Reitman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1078)
    Performance
    (894)
    Story
    (906)

    Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals.

    Matt says: "My cup of tea."
    "This book is scarier than a Stephen King novel!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first of three major books regarding Scientology that I have purchased to listen to this year and I believe I got off to a great start with Janet Reitman's excellent book on the subject.

    As a longtime crusader for the rights of all, I often found myself publicly defending (vocally and in written blog articles) Scientology and Tom Cruise for their outspoken opinions regarding the drugging of our children with prescription drugs, the drugging of america, psychiatry, and other issues that I have had strong opinions about for years.

    Some of the concepts of Scientology I agree with; however, they go way beyond reasonableness and as a result many people apparently have been injured or lost their families, friends, or even their lives as a result of the extremeness of the church.

    Reitman clearly has done her homework and clearly demonstrates that Scientology goes way too far on many social issues and appears to be a very extreme organization that hides behind the label of "religion." By claiming to be a religion and having tax-exempt status from the IRS, they have managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the general public and government officials all too often.

    They use their "religion" label to hide behind billions of dollars in profits without paying taxes; they hide their human rights abuses of their members; and there are clearly people who died in the name of Scientology (such as Lisa McPherson) who I am convinced would be alive today if it weren't for the extreme policies and procedures of this so-called religion.

    I will try to hold final judgment on Scientology until after reading "Going Clear," by journalist Lawrence Wright, as well as "Beyond Belief," by Jenna Miscavige Hill, but I think perhaps Reitman may have already convinced me about what I currently think about Scientology, and it isn't pretty. Scientology may very well be responsible for some of the most serious cover ups of all time!

    The narrator, Stephen Hoye, was phenomenal in helping tell Reitman's story about a book that should have been published more than a decade ago!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sociopath Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Martha Stout
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    Overall
    (2668)
    Performance
    (1659)
    Story
    (1658)

    We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people, one in 25, has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in 25 everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath.

    Taryn says: "Reinforces what you have already known"
    "Interesting, but more designed for professionals"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very clinical book, but still interesting to the layperson, especially for folks such as myself who enjoy crime-related books and TV programming. Gives a realistic insight into sociopaths.

    The book is a little disjointed at times and could have been organized better, but perhaps that is just the way it appeared to me due to the difficult subject matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Listener

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Armistead Maupin
    • Narrated By Armistead Maupin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (327)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    This unprecedented audio project is as thought-provoking as it is mesmeric. The Night Listener is a meditation on the power of voices and the faith we place in them, and an extraordinary audio experience from an American literary icon.

    Naomi says: "Wheels within wheels"
    "Excellent book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a mesmerizing and fun book to listen to, even though I knew the basis of the story since I had watched the movie (starring Robin Williams) which is based on this novel. If you are an Audible listener, be sure to also listen to the New Yorker article regarding this book and the original Audible interview with Armistead Maupin regarding this novel, both of which should still be available for listening to via Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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