Detail about lesser know incidents in WWII.
I'd consider it unless the performance was produced by this publishing studio.
I just couldn't plow through this whole book, mostly due to the narration.
The book is read in a monotone, there is no inflection, and the space between each word seems to be identical.
I suspect that the audio was processed through some kind of time compression software designed to shorten the length of the book.
Whatever the reason, the narration sounds exactly like machine generated speech with an English accent. It sounds like one gigantic sentence, there are no pauses for commas or periods.
The somewhat disjointed collection of antidotes combined with the relentlessness inflection free monotone made this book unlistenable for me.
GTT has a lot of specific election and demographic data about Texas, it is a good reference for that sort thing.
The early history of Texas and the details about the various Texas Native American tribes.
The author is clearly a liberal Democrat. That's fine for most of the book, but it distorts his telling of the history of post WWII Texas.
To give you one example, he connects Lee Harvey Oswald with vague 'conservative groups'. He never mentions that Oswald was literally a card carrying Communist.
The narrator has an excellent reading voice, but he was let down by an incompetent producer. Sommer has no idea how to pronounce the many Tejano based personal and place names we use in Texas.
It took me a while to figure out who this 'Juan Sagwin' person was for example. I'd never heard of 'U-va-lee' Texas, which is really pronounced 'U-vall-dee'. Many names and place names are mangled this way.
It's the job of the audio book producer to catch these kinds of mistakes, not the narrator.
Everyone likely to read this review has heard of the Dambusters and seen the movie.
This book takes you behind the scenes from the conception of the weapon through the decision to proceed with the technical development, through the testing, through the formation of 617 squadron, the training of the squadron, the execution of the mission , and the mission's aftermath.
The author provides a lot of personal detail on all the key players, enough to give one a real picture of these individuals as ordinary humans who on this one night rose to become extraordinary heroes.
The production quality and narration are both first rate. This book itself and the narration are NOT dry recitations of facts.
The author and reader really convey the feelings and emotions of the people involved.
Years ago I was a navigator in an airplane called the F-111 from RAF Upper Heyford in England. The F-111 is a supersonic military airplane specifically designed to fly exactly the kind of low level attack mission that 617 Squadron performed that night.
The F-111 had four high performance radars, two terrain following autopilots, a complex weapons delivery computer, and a high precision internal navigation system.
617 didn't have anything like what we had. They flew a night low level into a very capable air defense network.
They had a large high altitude bomber. They had only the most primitive navigation technology, and really nothing but the pilot's eyes to keep the huge Lancaster bomber out of the trees and power lines.
The book goes in to a lot of detail about the ingress and egress phases of the mission. To me, as a former navigator, they were nail biting.
The Dambuster's mission would have been a real challenge to pull off in an F-111. How these crews every managed to do it with Lancasters is beyond me.
This is a good book for people interested in the details of what it might be like to be an astronaut or cosmonaut assigned to a long duration space station mission.
The book has an emotional, flowery tone that can be just a bit cloying, but the level of real detail and fascinating detail make up for that.
The audio book production quality is excellent, the narrator does a great job.
Recommended for readers interested in the American and Russian space programs.
This is the story of Winston Bates, a cynical liberal arts major with a photographic memory.
Living the Bohemian life style in Paris in the late 1940s, a casual meeting at a party and his exceptional memory leads to an opportunity to deliver packages for an embassy.
Winston's package delivery job leads to jobs in Washington DC,, where for the next 30 years Winston participates in and more or less controls many of the major events and crisis's of the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan administrations. All from behind the scenes.
Winston knows pretty much everyone who is anyone in Washington in those days. In general Winston is a not very likable person. David Ledoux perfectly reads the book in the slightly nasal, whiney, voice of the oh-so-superior life long graduate student. Anyone who has spent time in a college will recognize the voice of Winston.
The production quality of the audio presentation is excellent. There are no distracting cuts, breathing, or changes in timbre or pace.
If you are, as I am, a student of the Cold War you will enjoy this book. Of course you must suspend a lot of disbelieve, but that's ok. It's a fun review of Cold War history and there are many amusing moments along the way.
If you've never heard of Francis Gary Powers, if you don't know what the Berlin Airlift was, if you've never heard of the Bay of Pigs, then you probably can skip this book.
If those subjects peak your interest, then buy this book!
My father (J. Nelson Howard, Texas A&M class of 1944) participated in the events in this book, first with the 36th Division and latter with the 88th Division. I have a letter he wrote home on June 5, 1944 from Rome. The day after he was one of the first GI's into Rome.
Dad didn't talk a lot about his time Italy, but I know he hated Mark Clark, as did his Aggie friends.
I learned some of the reasons why from this book, and also heard Clark's side of the story.
Reading about the 36th and 88th Divisions.
Davis's performance was excellent. His Italian was excellent. His German, British, and French accents were a tad off, but at least he didn't overdo them.
Overall production value of this recording was excellent, there were no dropouts, changing speeds and volumes, or repeated clips.
It's a long book, but well structured to keep one's interest high.
The deep look into the life and personality of Dr Oppenheimer.
A great compliment to this book is Richard Rhodes 'The Making of the Atomic Bomb'. This is the seminal book on the development of the atomic bomb. Unlike this book, the Rhodes book covers not only the personalities of the people involved, it does a good job of explaining the physics as well as the people.
I could only rate this book as a four stars, because of the author's continuing insistence that Japan was 'on the verge of surrender', or 'was virtually surrendered'.
Only once does the author support this claim, by quoting a MAGIC diplomatic communication that discussed the possibility. Of course, surrender was up to the military, not the diplomats.
Google "The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II - A Collection of Primary Sources" and read :"Document 73: "Magic" – Diplomatic Summary, War Department, Office of Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, No. 1236 – August 13, 1945, Top Secret UltraSource: Record Group 457, Records of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, "Magic" Diplomatic Summaries 1942-1945, box 18:
"That important elements in the Japanese Army were unwilling to surrender is evident from intercepted messages dated 12 and 13 August. Willingness to accept the “destruction of the Army and Navy” rather than surrender inspired the military coup that unfolded and failed during the night of 14 August."
Even after Nagasaki the Japanese military wanted to continue the war.
I'm sure the allied POW's who were being worked to death in the mines didn't perceive their Japanese slave-masters as 'virtually surrendering'.
I'm sure the thousands of Korean women who had been kidnapped and forced to become sex slaves didn't perceive their Japanese slave-masters as 'virtually surrendering'.
I'm sure the Chinese people who were being massacred on a daily basis didn't perceive their Japanese occupiers as 'virtually surrendering'.
I'm sure the lucky GI's who were not among the 65,000 allied casualties suffered in the process of capturing one half of Okinawa, an island about a mile wide and 60 miles long didn't perceive their Japanese opponets as 'virtually surrendering'..
Certainly the 100,000 Japanese soldiers killed on Okinawa never 'virtually surrendered'.
What I perceived in the author's nonsensical claim that Japan was 'on the verge of surrender' prior to use of the atomic bomb to be racism.
It's clear that to the author the civilian white people being killed by the Nazis were much more important than the insignificant orientals and allied military people who were being killed in huge numbers every day by the Japanese.
This book is well worth reading, but readers should be aware of the author's unfortunate and erroneous repetition of the myth of Japan's 'virtual surrender'.
Yes, this the weakest book in the series, but I still like the characters and the universe.
I've been an Audible customer for at least ten years. This is the very first book that I have resorted to the speed up modes to get through the boring parts. The sex scenes get very old very quickly. They aren't that graphic, but some of them go on and on. And Cally has a lot of sex in this book. It wasn't long until I was using 2X mode to get through the interminable sex scenes.Cally has very large sexy breasts. Her breasts are always the center of attention in every scene that includes Cally, which is most of them.About the 97th time the story stopped while some guy drooled over Cally's breasts for a few minutes I really got frustrated. John, John, John. You like big breasts. You like big breasts even more than you like smoking. You like to hang out in smoky bars. Cally has big breasts, smokes, and likes to pick up guys in smokey bars. OK, great John, she's your dream girl.JOHN WE GET IT!!!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!
I perceived the narration as being kind of slowly read, but that may have been the story itself. Vietor is an excellent narrator and the overall production value of this audio book is excellent.
Yes, if you like the other books this book is still worth the listening time. The things that made the first books great are still there, just diluted by Cally's sex life and huge breasts.In particular, the last third of the book is far better than the first two thirds. The best scenes are those that don't include Cally. I do wish Ringo would dial back Cally's super powers just a notch, as written Superman has nothing on Cally.
The book starts with a very graphic torture scene, one that would make Hannibal Lector pause. There other torture scenes that are almost as graphic.They are part of the story and need to be there, but be warned.This is not a book for kids!!!
From the first few paragraphs I realized that this was going to be a hard scifi space war epic. The author likes physics and the history of human conflict, and it shows.
On a bumper sticker, we're in the near future when astronomers notice a large object entering our solar system. In a line straight from the movie 'Independence Day', one of them observes 'It's slowing down!'.
The object turns out to be a 'gate' through which any of the hundreds of space faring civilizations in our spiral arm can use to visit us if they so choose.
On the other side of the gate is a 'station', which is almost exactly like a large version of Deep Space Nine, complete with a low rent bar with a Cantina Band (to be far, the alien's version of music doesn't really work for humans), a bunch of thieves, large easily excited aliens, and various kinds of hustlers.
Our spiral arm as a whole is mercantile, with various degrees of capitalism operating within each different race.
Aliens organize into corporations. Their militaries are all based on the exact same hierarchical model first invented by our own Roman Empire. The bad aliens militaries are Nazi like, the good ones, more like ours. But any ancient Roman would recognize the basic military organizational model used throughout our spiral arm.
In Science Fiction the hardest thing for an author to do is create aliens who are, well, alien. Ringo doesn't even try.
There are worms that act like humans. Large beetles that act like humans. Large Lizards that act like humans. Land mobile large squids that act like humans. Cute fuzzy little bipedal mammals that would have delighted Dr Seuss act just like humans.
Everybody acts like like humans with only small variations. Everyone speaks English thanks to implanted babblefish.
At first I found the humaness of the aliens to be pretty off-putting, but the story was so much fun that I quickly forgave Ringo, just I forgave Gene Roddenberry and George Lucus.
While Ringo does channel a bit of Heinlein, his universe if very, very much like the Star Trek universe with a bit of Star Wars thrown in.
This first book of the series is the most political. As a conservative I chuckled as the heroic nerd capitalist saves earth despite the interference of the hapless government.
At one point the President orders U.S. troops in to rural areas to take away citizen's guns and hunt down 'insurgents' who refuse to bow to the evil aliens who have been kicking our collective rear ends. This subplot will warm any 'preper's' heart!
If you're a political liberal, don't let the various conservative memes bother you. They are secondary to a clever and compelling story. If you have to pause the audio and listen to a little MSNBC occasionally, that's fine, but come on back when you calm down. You'll be glad you did.
It turns out that earth is a primitive backwater, kind of like Bajor. A race of jerks, very much like the Cardassians (except that they look like giant squids), quickly show up and proceed to start to loot our world of the few things that have commercial value to other races.
When we irritate them they decide to wipe us out. Only a clever capitalist and science fiction fan, currently working as grocery clerk, can save us.
The story just keeps you wanting to know what's going to happen next. How the heck do we pathetic humans have a chance against these super advanced civilizations? Will the hero ever get laid?
I'm retired Air Force, so when the hero comes up with a way to pull an SR-71 out of mothballs and convert it into a space fighter I almost cheered!
Once the story gets going this is a park-in-your-driveway-and listen book.
The narration and audio production value are excellent. Real care was taken to make this audio free from distractions that might take you out of the story.The only reason I gave the narrator only four stars is because I didn't think he handled foreign accents as well as some other narrators do.
Interestingly, in the subsequent two books in the series the narrator did a noticeably better job with accents, he must have worked on his accents after this production.
This is a terrific space opera, it was a pleasure to escape to Ringo's universe. The best news is that the next two books in the series are even better!
I felt Malcom Hillgartner did an excellent job narrating this book. He's only a little behind the great Patrick Tull in being able to carry an international ensemble cast of characters. His non-US accents varied a bit, but were overall quite good, as good as any American reader I've heard. Hillgartner must have spent time with gamers, computer geeks, and military veterans, he captures each group's subtle dialects perfectly. I particulary enjoyed Hillgartner's voicing of the head Bad Guy. Very Darth Vader-ish (with the breathing). James Earl Jones could not have done better.I have to complement Brilliant Audio for doing an outstanding job of producing a very high quality audio protection. The performance was clear and consistent for the whole 38 hours, no variation in audio level, no clumsy edits, no noticeable breathing, no speeding up or slowing down. This book's production quality is equal to that of Recorded Books LLC, the uncontested best in the business.Nothing is worse than a good book that has distracts caused by poor production values (I'm looking at you, Blackstone). Other producers should strive to reach this level of production quality.
I really enjoyed Remde. A lot of what the bad reviews say is true. The actual plot contains ridiculous coincidences, and the author sometimes does silly things to avoid the obvious need the good guys have to call 911.The author takes some time to introduce us to the characters and their social milieu, before the roller coaster starts. It's a 38 hour book! There is time to get to know these people. And the people are interesting. I really cared about the characters, idiots that some of them may be.One really thing coming from a SciFi author: It's set in present day, but everyone uses flip phones, smart phones don't exist in this world. Cell coverage isn't very good either.It doesn't matter. Go with it! This book has something for everyone, gun nuts, gamers, IT nerds, spys, international travelers, military veterans, and farmers. It's a fascinating story, and it accelerates like a huge rocket ship. There is a count down and then the plot begins to move. At first it seems like its barely clearing the tower, then the pace starts to pick up and just continues to accelerate up until the hectic Final Battle. Highly recommended.
This is an important book. Mr. Bergen had extensive access to very senior level people in writing 'Manhunt', including Presidents Clinton, Bush, and especially President Obama.
Many senior cabinet officers and senior military and intelligence leaders are quoted. I believe this book to be about as authentic account of the hunt for OBL as any civilian could write.
On the downside, I had one quibble and one serious problem with 'Manhunt':
Quibble: The author, as one would expect of a NYT reporter, worships at the church of Obama. Everything Obama is portrayed in the most positive possible light. Long boring paragraphs are devoted to praising our President. Given the recent terrorism directed against our diplomats in the middle east, Bergen's glowing tributes to Obama's diplomatic skills seems very outdated.
To be fair to Bergen, while his tone towards President Bush is fairly negative, Bergen does explain why so many senior officials (including Senators Clinton and Kerry) believed that Iraq had WMD's prior to the invasion of that country. This was important information that Bergen puts on the record.
Substantial problem: There is way too much detailed information about classified intelligent sources and methods reveled in this book. I can't blame Mr. Bergen, he's reporting what creditable senior people told him, but I do blame glory seeking politicians for putting their short term political ambitions ahead of the long term good of the country.
'Manhunt' is an excellent companion to 'No Easy Day' by Mark Owen. Mr. Bergen takes you into the high level decision making process that lead up to the raid.
Mr. Owen's book is written from the point of view of the grunt on the ground.
Together one gains an excellent appreciation of the skill required to pull off an operation like 'Neptune Spear'.
Net/net 'Manhunt' should leave any reader impressed with how effective our governmental leadership can be when they really work together on a difficult problem.
Mr. Deakins does an excellent job with this narration. The production quality of this audio book is excellent.
I had to give Mr. Deakins only four stars, because (like so many American narrators) he can't really 'do' foreign accents, he sounds silly when he tries.
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