los angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2008
I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a better recommendation for a book about one man's journey through a catastrophic zombie event. It IS written as a journal, which may take a few minutes to get used to, but trust me, IT WORKS. Not only does the journal-style work, but it also adds to the tension of the story. Do yourself a favor, and download this AND the sequel. You will want to start up the sequel right after the first one ends. There is nothing in this book that I would've changed. It is pretty much perfect, for what it is.
The reviews currently on Audible seem to be all over the place, in regards to this book, so I hope to make things clear. For what this book is, it is GENIUS.
It tells the stories of some of the "lowest men on the totem pole" in the US Army, prior to the US entering the war. You're not going to get the big battles, the big personalities (like MacArthur or Patton), or the big action. What you will get is TONS of tension and human conflict! Jones' ability to make these characters real is remarkable. The situations they find themselves in, while not the most exciting, are filled with drama.
The stakes are high in almost every scene, and the character are so fleshed out that we actually care what happens to them. The writing is some of the best I've ever read, in terms of transporting the reader into the gritty, terrible world that these men occupied on a daily basis. It wasn't pretty, but it was real.
The narrator was a mixed bag for me. Some of the time he seemed to be whispering, which was a bit odd and unnecessary. However, his different voices help the characters stand out, which is greatly needed when there are this many to keep track of.
Overall, if you enjoy WWII historical fiction, and want something that delves deeper into the human psychodrama of soldiers, instead of just the battles, this is the book for you.
This book is for children. Well, either it's for children or VERY slow adults. Truth be told, for the young adult (early teens) market who's into military history and tech, this book is probably not so bad. However, I am an adult, and I saw no warning anywhere in the description, letting me know who this book was written for.
Where to begin with this steaming pile... The dialogue is so unimaginative and stale, it comes across like a high school kid wrote it. The plot is so utterly unrealistic that it's cringe-worthy. The author seems to be guessing as to much of the military tactics and strategy throughout. You won't care about any of the characters. None are unique, memorable, or likable.
I'm not a fan of Tom Clancy, but I've seen where other reviewers compare this guy to him. That's rubbish. This guy makes Clancy look like the greatest writer to have ever lived... and, again, I'm not a Clancy fan. This writer is just that bad.
The worst part about this book are the characters. The leaders of China and the US are retarded. I mean that literally. They come across as mentally deficient to the point of retardation. Everything from the decisions they make, to the way they speak, to the way they are constantly talking to themselves, all of it is completely retarded.
What may be worse than the retarded characters is the fact that the author "played it safe" by making some of the leaders on both sides racist. Really? Racists in the White House, and running China? Really? It would be laughable how contemptible this author considers China, if it wasn't so sad. Obviously, this clown believes more in stereotypes from the 1980's than he does in actually researching his subjects.
I could go on, but this should suffice. This book is a complete waste of time and money for any adult with an IQ over 80.
The narrator is good.
First of all, if you're going to have a title like "Scary Monsters and Super Freaks", you'd better have some INCREDIBLE stories contained therein. There aren't any. Not one.
The "Super Freak" is a reference to Rick James. Ok... seriously?! I was expecting stories about all sorts of depraved, terrible individuals that committed unspeakable acts....and you give me RICK JAMES??!! That joke would ALMOST be funny, if i didn't value my time and money.
There are some good stories in here. Nothing great, and certainly nothing that lives up to that title. There's one about Rodney King which was interesting, and a few about cult figures, that I found noteworthy.
Overall, I feel incredibly misled by the title of this book. It takes every ounce of self control I have for me NOT to give this 3 stars. Based on the fact that the narrator is good, and some of the stories were actually memorable, I'm giving it 4. In truth, it's a 3.5. Had I not been misled so badly by the title, I'm sure my view of this book would've been more favorable.
Oppenheimer was one of the most important people in the history of mankind, when you consider how he contributed to science, and the development/harnessing of atomic energy. Talk about a world creator/destroyer; this was that guy! A genius like him comes around but once every century or so. Monk does a superb job in researching the complex life of a complex man.
It easily could've gotten bogged down in meaningless details, but never did. It held my interest throughout. If you care at all about physics, science, or the history of nuclear weapons, this is the book for you.
As far as biographies go, this is top 5 of the ones I've read. I've read over 50.
Narrator is outstanding!
First off, this is a GREAT book. Very well researched, full of new information, and written in a way that will hold your attention; especially if you enjoy CIA/black ops/ SEALs stuff.
Now for the negative, and it's not really a negative, just something you should keep in mind.
This author comes across as VERY anti-targeted strikes/ anti-drones. In fairness, he does present both sides of the argument, but he presents much more of the "innocent civilian casualties" side than perhaps is necessary.
He tends to disregard the mindset of most Americans, which is "if people are hanging out with terrorists (IE in the same car with them), then they are probably people that are a threat to the US" I'm not saying I agree with this, and there are always exceptions, but it's certainly a stance that deserved more weight in the book. Let's face it, other than journalists, there aren't many "innocent" people riding around in cars in the desert with the leaders of Al Qaeda. There just aren't.
This didn't paint my enjoyment of the book, however. The author doesn't beat you over the head with one particular opinion or the other, he just simply spends a bit too much time talking to the family members of suspected terrorists. For the most part, he sets out all the facts and lets you decide. I'd give this book 5 stars, simply based on the classified information and incredible interviews that are inside. The story and narrator make it outstanding.
I'm leaving this review because I did not read anywhere that there would be songs in this "audiobook". I don't mean the author wrote a line or two of a song, as I've seen done in many audiobooks in the past. I mean, this guy wrote out the ENTIRE song into the story, and the poor narrator had to sing it in its entirety! The narrator is GREAT, by the way, but I didn't get this book to have songs sung to me... especially songs I don't like. It's an audio-BOOK, NOT an album of gospel music!!
To add salt to the wound, this book is VERY VERY VERY slow, after about a third of the way through it. Seriously, do we need to know about every little thing these characters do on a daily basis?? I half expected this author to go into detail about the breathing and sleeping habits of the main character at any time, describing and counting each breath, up to a million.
Yes, it is JUST THAT BORING. I'm not kidding.
I read "The Power Of One" and I thought it was fantastic. I have absolutely no idea how this book is rated as highly as it is, because it is a far cry from that one. It's as if the author literally was sleep walking through this one. It is so painfully boring.
Maybe I've just read too many biographies that were amazing, so my standards are set too high. (Gabler's book on Walt Disney comes to mind). This book doesn't come close.
I was really wanting an easy to follow, compelling story, that kept me guessing and held my interest. What I got was just a bunch of facts, taped to the wall in chronological order. I could care less about any of these people, as the book never truly helped me get to know them. Sure, it talks about the tension and strife between some of the major players, but without sufficiently building up WHO these people actually are... WHAT MAKES THEM TICK... I just don't care about their arguments or problems.
This book is like an encyclopedia. Knowledgeable, but lacking in heart. If you're a die-hard Marvel fan, you may find it interesting, in terms of learning how they got to where they are. Odds are, you'll finish this book feeling like you just skimmed Marvel's Wikipedia page.
Narrator is excellent.
The sheer brutal, cocky honesty that Hampton writes with is a breath of fresh air. I was expecting a murky, Pentagon-redacted, boring account of his adventures, but was I wrong! Hampton pretty much looks down on everyone that's not a fighter pilot, and yet this confident honesty sucks you right in. You see the world through his point of view, and you actually start "thinking like a fighter pilot".
This no-holds-barred account of a lesser known side of the military is not only fascinating, but exciting as hell. The air combat scenes are spectacular. There aren't many books out there, where the ex-military author truly speaks his mind, without giving a crap what others think, but this is one of them. Deserves 5 stars just for the mere fact that he bucked the trend and didn't write some politically-correct fluff piece about the Air Force.
Narrator is great.
This book masterfully uses real diaries and letters from people that actually LIVED through WWII, to convey much of its events. It keeps a good pace throughout, and is quite entertaining; especially for how dry this subject matter usually can be. Hastings uses the real voices from the past at the perfect time, every time, to accentuate how the larger events were affecting the civilians and soldiers. Once you start getting lulled to sleep by details (i.e. casualty figures), he wakes you up with something emotionally jarring; like a letter from a woman that lost all four of her children in a battle.
If you have a love of WWII history, add this to your library. If you're looking for a detailed, in-depth overview of the tactics and battles of the war, this may not be your book. It is much more focused on the "human" aspect of the war, which was a breath of fresh air.
Narrator is very good. Like the guys that narrate those old WWII documentaries on the History Channel.
There's a reason this is considered a CLASSIC. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. The writing is some of the best descriptive writing of all time. Steinbeck really puts you IN with these destitute individuals. You feel their pain, see their tears, and live their heartache. This book will not leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, BUT it will make you appreciate what you have. Narrator is outstanding.
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