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James

Manhattan Beach, CA, United States | Member Since 2003

115
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 947 titles in library
  • 49 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2935)
    Performance
    (2586)
    Story
    (2584)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The first chapter is hands-down the funniest piece of sci-fi I have ever read. I agree with some critics that claim John Scalzi borrows some of his content from other great writers. Nonetheless, he does give proper homage to history (as in naming the sheep breed Android's Dream). Moreover and more importantly, his writing contains plenty of original thinking.

    40 of 41 people found this review helpful
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne, from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Tim Jerome
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (326)

    Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. Band of Brothers is the account of the men of this remarkable unit.

    Christopher says: "Greatest Generation"
    "Excellent unabridged book, average narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I appreciated this audiobook, even after seeing the HBO miniseries and listening to the abridged version of the audiobook. This unabridged version has quite a bit of additional detail that I had not heard (or seen) previously, and I enjoyed hearing the story over again. Tim Jerome's narration is competent though, to my ear, it was not as good as Cotter Smith's reading of the abridged version or as good as George Wilson's reading of Citizen Solders.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (923)
    Performance
    (800)
    Story
    (803)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "Even Better than the Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Prior to this audiobook, I had seen the movie and read Wouk's Winds of War. So I had high expectations. I was not disappointed, and was even surprised by how much I enjoyed of the book. The story is engaging, entertaining, profound and even (a little) twisty. The character development is excellent and rarely seen in recent fiction. The narration is very good.

    A few words of expectations management: First, this is less of a war book than Winds of War, and much less than other novels. The backdrop is the WWII Pacific Theater, and there are some fighting scenes. But this is not a war action book, or even a WWII history. Second, this is an epic story. Unlike the movie, the plot unfolds over 24 hours of audiobook and sometimes requires patience. But patience will be rewarded with a fantastic read (well .... listen).

    31 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • You're Next

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2729)
    Performance
    (2323)
    Story
    (2309)

    Mike Wingate had a rough childhood  —  he was abandoned at a playground at four years old and raised in foster care. No one ever came to claim him, and he has only a few, fragmented memories of his parents. Now, as an adult, Mike is finally living the life he had always wanted  —  he’s happily married to Annabel, the woman of his dreams; they have a precocious eight-year-old daughter, Kat.

    Janice says: "Edge of my seat."
    "A dissenting opinion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this book based on the sterling reviews but was very disappointed. The main character and story line rang false on multiple levels. A CONTRACTOR overcome with guilt over a construction mistake that was blown out of proportion and wasn't his fault ... please. The actions of the bad guys are terrifying but implausible ... would a thug break into a house just to whisper scary messages into a baby monitor, then leave?

    Overall, the plot was on the level of a teen horror flick (Scream, etc.) than a quality mystery novel.

    Scott Brick is (or can be) one of the best narrators out there. Nonetheless, I find that his performances on some books are overdone, with too much emotional breathy talk. This was one of his overdone narrations.

    I wish I could get my credit back.

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Rethinking Our Past: Recognizing Facts, Fictions, and Lies in American History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By James W. Loewen
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (110)

    Nationalist history by textbook authors and the descendants or biographers of the famous and infamous have given history students a very skewed vision of our true history - indeed, the true history of mankind. This course is designed to enlighten and encourage you to consider the factual basis of many of our most-cherished yet glossed-over stories and the real-life characters who populate them.

    Nicholas says: "More than a retelling of history"
    "Doctor Heal Thyself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think the concept of this book is very interesting and important ... there is a lot of false information in "official" histories, and we should question popular theories and be vigilant in seeking the truth. The author/professor provides some good information and analysis, and I thought some of the information he presents is interesting and thought provoking. Nonetheless, the book fell short in a few areas: 1) A lot of his revelations of truth are pretty old hat ... yes, we know that Columbus and the early English settlers treated the Native Americans horrifically, 2) The author seems to make the same mistakes as the historians he critiques ... for example he criticizes mainstream historians for projecting their own values, motives and personalities onto historical events, but the author himself does this throughout the book, and 3) He seems to want to re-write all history to reflect the current fads among college history professors ... he correctly points out that past historians have often succumbed to the prevailing mood of the time (i.e., the politically correct story) rather than the truth, but he seems to want to do the same thing now.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Hit Parade

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Lawrence Block
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (79)

    The New York Times best-selling author and master of the modern mystery returns with a fierce and poignant new novel featuring his acclaimed killer-for-hire, Keller. John Keller is everyone's favorite hit man. He's cool. Reliable. A real pro: the hit man's hit man. The inconvenient wife, the business partner, the retiree with a substantial legacy. He's taken care of them all, quietly and efficiently.

    Mark says: "Not as good as the original"
    "Needs to be read by Forster"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Lawrence Block as a writer. Not so much as a narrator. In this case, his voice doesn't do his writing justice. This should have been narrated by Robert Forster (the original Hit Man voice and the bail bondsman in Jackie Brown).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Burden of Proof

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (136)

    Presumed Innocent was the fiction debut of the decade - a magnetic work of suspense that earned Turow acclaim for his unparalleled storytelling gifts. Now, in a brilliant follow-up, Scott Turow stakes his claim as an American master, in a mesmerizing novel of law, family and deceit. Alejandro "Sandy" Stern - the brilliant defense lawyer from Presumed Innocent - comes home to discover that his wife of 30 years has committed suicide, leaving behind a web of mystery, money, and guilt.

    Suzn F says: "The Best Yet"
    "Way too mushy for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent was a fantastic novel: a gritty, twisty courtroom drama with interesting characters and insight into flawed human characters. In The Burden of Proof, Mr. Turow tells a deeply thoughtful, sympathetic, tragic and highly boring story about one of the characters from the first novel (i.e., Sandy Stern). To me, this book was not very engaging or interesting. Just one man's opinion ...

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Restless

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Rosamund Pike
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1101)
    Performance
    (276)
    Story
    (271)

    It is the summer of 1976 in Oxfordshire, England, and someone is trying to kill Sally Gilmartin. The only person she can trust is her daughter, Ruth, a young single mother struggling with her own demons. Now Sally must tell her daughter the truth: She is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939.

    Susianna says: "Favorite Book of 2007"
    "Excellent book, but falls short of comparisons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very good book. Boyd brings some original and refreshing elements to an old spy genre ... strong female leads, British actions in America, and two interesting and somewhat rare time periods for a spy novel (early-WWII and mid-'70s). The writing is good and the narration is excellent.

    There are two reasons I didn't give the book 5 stars: First, there were some rather dumb factual mistakes that, while not really affecting the story, detracted from the book's credibility (e.g., several times, the book referred to the sinking of the "Reuben Jones", when the real name of the ship was the "Reuben James"). Second, while this is a good book and is done "in the style" of Le Carre and Greene, it does not really compare to some of the classics by Le Carre, Greene, etc. ... they did it first and they did it better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Butcher's Boy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (591)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (378)

    Thomas Perry's Edgar Award-winning debut novel follows a professional hitman on the run from both the mafia and the government.

    richard says: "A writer with extreme talents."
    "Moderate your expectations"
    Overall

    This was an okay book, particularly for a new author. Nonetheless, the book didn't live up to the outstanding reviews it got on Audible and Amazon. For example, many of the positive reviews highlighted the writer's research of the subject matter and the authenticity of the story. However, there were some parts of the book that seemed foollish ... after Oklahoma City, would law enforcement officers really not know that fertilizer could be used for a bomb? Also, the overall depiction of the mafia didn't ring true and was sometimes almost clownish. I actually enjoyed the book, but I might have enjoyed it more if there wasn't so much unwarranted hype.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By D. M. Giangreco
    • Narrated By Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    U.S. planning for the invasion and military occupation of Imperial Japan began two years before the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hell to Pay brings to light the political and military ramifications of the enormous casualties and loss of material projected by both sides in the climatic struggle to bring the Pacific War to a conclusion through a brutal series of battles on Japanese soil.

    Scott says: "Dull, dry, and utterly boring..."
    "Good information; needs editing"
    Overall

    This book describes a part of military history that is interesting, important and not adequately covered by other books. Nonetheless, the book is a bit tedious to get through due to both its organization (meandering) and its narration (humdrum). This would be an excellent book if it were half the length and reorganized.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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