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Pete Harrell

Member Since 2002

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 309 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Kidnapped

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (29)

    In this spirited and romantic saga, a young heir named David Balfour meets his miserly uncle Ebenezer, who has illegally taken control of the Balfour estate. Ebenezer kidnaps David and plots to have him seized and sold into slavery on a ship to the Carolinas. A couple of days into the voyage, a shipwreck throws David together with David Break, a Scotsman returning from political exile in France, and the two of them journey together.

    Kappavpi says: "Great story, great reader."
    "Can you roll your"
    Overall

    The narrator of this fine tale set in Scotland is particularly proud of his authentic Scottish brogue, so much so that most of the dialogue he reads is absolutely undecipherable to the American ear. I gave up after a few chapters. Unless you are a native of Glasgow or Aberdeen don't frustrate yourself with this book. Pity. R.L. Stevenson deserves better.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dick Couch, George Galdorisi
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1392)
    Performance
    (1225)
    Story
    (1226)

    Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.

    Ann says: "Best of America, honor and character astounding"
    "Almost all 5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a tremendous story and overall experience. My only nit to pick is with Steven Weber. If you are going to narrate a book about the military, you'd better get the vernacular and the pronunciation correct, particularly Navy terminology. The ship "Bonhomme Richard" is pronounced like the French -- "bon hom ree-chard", not "bon hom rich-urd", as it would be pronounced in English. A navy hospital corpsman is the equivalent of an army medic, but the rating is pronounced "core-man", not "corpse-man" or "cores-man" as Weber does. The "s" is silent for cryin' out loud! Similarly, Boatswain's Mate is pronounced "bo-sunz mate", the edge of a boat is the gunwale, pronounced "gun-ul", and most, but not all, military acronyms have a spoken form, not just voicing the individual letters. When Weber reads a passage describing a piece of hardware designation, say MK-15, he pronounces it "em kay fifteen". Arggh! MK is military shorthand for "mark", so MK-15 is always pronounced "mark fifteen". The list goes on and on. At times, Weber just seems to stumble slowly through many of the book's more technical passages, indicating his unfamiliarity with the subject matter.

    The book would have been better and five stars all around if Weber had done his homework and learned the lingo used so abundantly by Clancy in all his books. Loved the story, author Galdorisi is a Navy classmate of mine, and I've known a handful of SEALS. This book does them proud. You'd think Brilliance Audio would employ the equivalent of a verbal transcript editor to catch things like this and have them re-recorded, but then that would only work if the editor themselves had a military and/or specifically a Navy background.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Made to Stick

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Chip Heath, Dan Heath
    • Narrated By Charles Kahlenberg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2160)
    Performance
    (717)
    Story
    (722)

    Mark Twain once observed, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on." His observation rings true: urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas (business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others) struggle to make their ideas "stick". In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds draw their power from the same six traits.

    Jeremy says: "Even Better The Second Time"
    "Profound, a must hear."
    Overall

    Though the narration is a bit dry, "Made to Stick" is as profound as it is practical. The Heath brothers have managed to quantify that hard to pin down "it" that some ideas have that makes them memorable and effective. I will never make a presentation, woo a client, make an argument, or write a report in the same way again. If you want to become a highly effective communicator, this is a must hear book. After listening I bought a hard copy to mark up and to have handy as a ready reminder and reference. Its that good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Napoleon

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By H.A.L. Fisher
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (34)

    Between 1796 and 1815, the continent of Europe was held in thrall by one of the most remarkable personalities of modern times, a man whose name was on the lips of every man, woman, and child: Napoleon Bonaparte. Certainly, one would have to go back to the time of Charlemagne to find his equal on the field of battle, in the halls of diplomacy, or in the courts of jurisprudence.

    Theresa says: "A very good short biography"
    "Disgusting, Pompous and Unlistenable"
    Overall

    Expecting an historically balanced review of Napoleon's life, I instead found a "puff" piece. The author must be the world's greatest admirer and apologist for Napoleon, who was an amoral egotistical tyrant, slaughtering tens of thousands across Europe and the middle east mainly to satisfy his hyper inflated ego and inferiority complex. In the author's view, Napoleon could do no wrong and it is disgusting to hear the extent to which his most heinous acts are justified. The text makes the reader feel that he has walked in on the second act. Very sketchy in details leading up to some important event and then an overburden of pointless minutia. Is a detailed description of the white uniforms of the Austrian army really more important than the scarcely outlined geo-political situation leading to the battle? Did this book have an editor?

    The text is exceeded in pomposity by H.A.L. Fisher's cloying and overly dramatic reading. The musical background pieces sound horrible unless the highest quality (and largest) download is selected, and the "God speaking" echo effect whenever Napoleon is quoted is just over the top. This is the only Audible book that I simply could not finish, and hands down the worst I've ever purchased.

    5 of 19 people found this review helpful

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