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John

razorjohn

Pensacola, FL, United States | Member Since 2015

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 83 ratings
  • 463 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
1

  • Everything That Rises Must Converge

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Flannery O’Connor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Karen White, Mark Bramhall, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (409)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (326)

    This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.

    Ryan says: "Pride goeth before the fall"
    "One ripping good yarn after another"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed Ms O'Connor's short stories as much or more than I've ever enjoyed any short stories. This is a challenging read because there is so much symbolism and depth to her writing. I advise using online resources such as cliffs and sparknotes so the reader doesn't miss anything. Be aware that Ms O'Connor's pen is cruel and prose is very biting. Her stories have quite a bit of "kick" to them. I'll definitely be reading more from her.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1240)
    Performance
    (1114)
    Story
    (1108)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Jen says: "Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way"
    "A little something for everyone "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great coming-of-age tale with added doses of murder, mystery, love, loss, philosophy and Christianity. Worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Chris Kyle, Scott McEwan, Jim DeFelice
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12618)
    Performance
    (10866)
    Story
    (10858)

    From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head.

    Allen T. says: "Amazing"
    "Eat your hearts out, liberal democrats."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I completely disagree with those reviewers who denigrate Chris Kyle for his simplistic writing style and self-aggrandizement. For those who don't like American Sniper, go find Yoko Ono and sing "give peace a chance". But if you like stories about regular everyday guys who love God, country and family, this is a book you'll enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1575)
    Performance
    (1400)
    Story
    (1420)

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

    Mel says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "epic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    great narration, epic passionate historical fiction of Texas old and new. well worth a credit. I loved it. "unputdownable".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1868)
    Performance
    (1629)
    Story
    (1639)

    At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

    J. H. Monaco says: "Wonderful Tale Punctuated with Loud Harmonic Licks"
    "lives up to all the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know how I missed reading this until now. It's on the short list of greatest novels ever written and it belongs there as the quintessential "everyman" novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Seth G. Jones
    • Narrated By Mark Delgado
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    This comprehensive, landmark history chronicles our ongoing battle against al-Qa’ida, the greatest threat the West has faced in the modern era. An internationally recognized authority on terrorism and counterinsurgency, Seth G. Jones presents a dramatic narrative of the on-the-ground police work; the elaborate, multiyear investigations led by the CIA, FBI, and Britain’s MI5; and the shifting and deadly alliances between terrorist groups that have characterized the conflict.

    John says: "Well-researched & very interesting non-fiction"
    "Well-researched & very interesting non-fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a nice oral history of more recent worldwide terror activity. The narrator was a little too monotone and fast-talking but I'm still very glad I listened to this book because it connected the dots between news snippets I'd heard over the last 20 or so years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Colin Woodard
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (532)
    Story
    (539)

    North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an "American" or "Canadian" culture, but rather into one of the 11 distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent....

    Theo Horesh says: "One of a Kind Masterpiece"
    "Liberal Woodard abuses the Southern United States"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Prior to reading this, I had an idea what I was getting into because I watched the youtube clip of the MSNBC interview with the author and I actually made it completely through the entire book. I made it a point to resist the urge to give Mr. Woodard a 1-star review because the first 2/3 or so of the book was interesting and entertaining. I tip my hat to Mr Woodard for teaching me previously unknown facts and a fresh take on US regionalism from our nation's nascent days. Then came the final 1/3 of the book when Mr. Woodard pulled out his political soapbox and began a relentless intense disparagement of his definition of the Deep South. Prior to the latter section of the book, I noted more than a few obvious biased anti-Southern remarks but at least his earlier denigrating remarks were somewhat sparse and cloaked with an attempt at facts, even if the facts were somewhat truncated and skewed. By the last 1/3 or so of his book, the gloves were completely off and in addition to Woodard's antipathy for all things Southern, we get a nice condescending dose of the typical liberal political planks. The author obviously loves all things New England, climate change, abortion (choice), big government, high taxes and secularism to name a few. He obviously dislikes all things Southern United States, corporations, all forms of warfare (all wars in our history were avoidable-yes, Woodard actually wrote that), and all forms of religion but especially Christianity. After reading this, I thank Mr. Woodard for giving me a tour through the liberal Yankee mind but I only hope all of New England or "Yankeedom" as he calls it, doesn't hold such a haughty attitude toward the South. When I've visited New England, more than once, sitting on a barstool, I've heard New Englanders laughingly refer to the South by saying, "The war's not over down there" and I now agree. The Civil War of 1861-1865 rages on, at least in the mind of Mr. Woodard. Hopefully, someday soon, he'll be able to call the social debt paid and his personal statute of limitations reached. The peoples of the South aren’t disappearing; they’re evolving. And so, we hope, is every other form of American.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sometimes a Great Notion

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ken Kesey
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (149)

    A literary icon sometimes seen as a bridge between the Beat Generation and the hippies, Ken Kesey scored an unexpected hit with his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. His successful follow-up, Sometimes a Great Notion, was also transformed into a major motion picture, directed by and starring Paul Newman. Here, Oregon’s Stamper family does what it can to survive a bitter strike dividing their tiny logging community. And as tensions rise, delicate family bonds begin to fray and unravel.

    Forrest says: "My Favorite Book"
    "A very worthwhile sleeper classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read in several literary forums that SAGN was lesser known but actually a better book than his more famous One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I have not yet read Cuckoo's Nest (loved the film) but I have to say that SAGN lived up to and exceeded my expectations and I would have to place it amongst the greatest of the modern classics I've ever read. Starting out, the plain stark bare-bones writing style reminded me of Cormac McCarthy, another of my all-time favorites. Kesey has an incredible gift to put his reader inside the minds of all the characters, both protagonists and antagonists and other, so much so that I found myself sympathizing and empathizing with even the alleged bad guys. Combine that with all the symbolism, brilliant characterization and quest for universal truths and you have an incredibly enjoyable read! This is a challenging book because Kesey keeps switching the perspective from 1st person from character to character to 3rd person omniscient. Also, the narrator's voice was very appropriate for the novel. SAGN is easily one of the more rewarding reads I've had the pleasure to experience on audible. I'm off to more literary adventures with Kesey and I'd advise all other avid readers of challenging modern classics to do the same.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3028)
    Performance
    (2571)
    Story
    (2579)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "An enjoyable 45-hour tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had been on my to-do list for years and I'm glad to have finally finished it. It's not the greatest or most thrilling WW2 tale I've ever experienced but I did like it. "Once An Eagle", a similar epic written around the same time, had far more depth. The narrator could not have done a better job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darkness at Noon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Arthur Koestler
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (70)

    A fictional portrayal of an aging revolutionary, this novel is a powerful commentary on the nightmare politics of the troubled 20th century. Born in Hungary in 1905, a defector from the Communist Party in 1938, and then arrested in both Spain and France for his political views, Arthur Koestler writes from a wealth of personal experience. Imprisoned by the political party to which he has dedicated his life, Nicolas Rubashov paces his prison cell, examining his life and remembering his tempestuous career.

    D. Littman says: "fabulous rendition of a great novel"
    "Darkness at Noon lives up to the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had been looking forward to reading this book because I've enjoyed Russian authors-Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky etc and IMHO this novel has a place alongside the works of those all-time greats. Darkness is already on many of the short lists of greatest novels of the 20th century and it belongs there. First and foremost, it's a bitter slam at the evils of Stalin's totalitarian regime seen through the eyes of a man inescapably caught in Stalin's spider's web. I loved the narrator's (Frank Muller) voice. I'd already listened to him narrate several Cormac McCarthy novels and the voice was completely appropriate for the harsh, stark, vicious but beautiful prose. A very rewarding book. Time well-spent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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