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Leonard

Love to Bungee!!

Honolulu, HI | Member Since 2010

61
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 405 titles in library
  • 64 purchased in 2014
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  • City of Women

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By David R. Gillham
    • Narrated By Suzanne Bertish
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (284)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (250)

    It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War. With the men taken by the army, Berlin has become a city of women. And while her husband fights on the Eastern Front, Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model soldier's wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former Jewish lover.

    Susianna says: "Just Fine But My High Expectations? Foiled Again!"
    "A Sleeper Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I saw the listing of Gilham's novel, I was unsure if I wanted to download it. However, the WWII buff in me was curious to hear a description of wartime Berlin from the perspective of ordinary people. I was not disappointed with the story and Suzanne Bertish's narration was absolutely superb. The depiction of the characters living under the stress of food shortages and Allied bombing is fantastic. For the history lover this is a great listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • City of Lies: Love, Sex, Death, and the Search for Truth in Tehran

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ramita Navai
    • Narrated By Sylvia Lisle
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    In today's Tehran, intrigues abound and survival depends on an intricate network of falsehoods: mullahs visit prostitutes, local mosques train barely pubescent boys in crowd-control tactics, and cosmetic surgeons promise to restore girls' virginity. Navai paints an intimate portrait of those discreet recesses in a city where the difference between modesty and profanity, loyalty and betrayal, honor and disgrace is often no more than the believability of a lie.

    Leonard says: "Impossible to Put Down"
    "Impossible to Put Down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not know what to expect when I selected this book, but I am glad I did. Navai gives us a glimpse of life into modern day Teheran and it is an ugly picture indeed. Decades ago, Eric Hoffer wrote the "True Believer" an examination of extreme regimes and how they are born and survive - if Hoffer were alive to update the book, modern Iran would easily fit in with little revision.

    Not all of Navai's characters are helpless pawns or innocent victims, but all suffer at the hands of the regime. The story reinforces my distrust of organized religion.

    Lisle's narration is flawless and contributes greatly with a five star rating. I finished the book in two days and found it impossible to put down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Viking Warrior: Strongbow Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Judson Roberts
    • Narrated By Jeff Hays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    The Strongbow Saga is an epic tale of one man's unstoppable quest for justice and vengeance that carries him across the ninth century world of the Vikings. In Viking Warrior, Book One of the saga, a cruel twist of fate both frees Halfdan and robs him of the mother he loves, setting him upon the path to a new destiny. But a brutal act of treachery and murder upends Halfdan's new life, sending him on the run with ruthless hunters hot on his trail.

    Bobby says: "Good story; odd narration"
    "Definitely Not a Viking Saga"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having recently finished a Viking trilogy, I was greatly looking forward to a new series to replace it. Immediately upon starting the book, I knew it was not to be. I normally, do not write bad reviews, but in this case I was so disappointed I decided to review it. The Vikings were a hardy people and also very rough characters. The characters in this novel are the best behaved, cultured marauders in history. This is a 9th Century story told in 21st century script - not very believable.

    The narration is pitiful, bordering on boring. I was hard pressed to finish the book

    I was tempted to download the second installment at the same time I downloaded the first - glad I did not waste a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Daughters of Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tom Keneally
    • Narrated By Jane Nolan
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (60)

    Naomi and Sally Durance are daughters of a dairy farmer from the Macleay Valley. Bound together in complicity by what they consider a crime, when the Great War begins in 1914 they hope to submerge their guilt by leaving for Europe to nurse the tides of young wounded. They head for the Dardanelles on the hospital ship Archimedes. Their education in medicine, valour, and human degradation continues on the Greek island of Lemnos, then on the Western Front. Here, new outrages - gas, shell-shock - present themselves.

    Paddington says: "terrific story"
    "Surprisingly Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Since this is the centenary anniversary, there is no shortage of books about the First World War. At first I had concerns about the book, the reviews were great, but it was just a very long book. However, I had a hard time turning off my Ipod. The character development was priceless, the story line kept my attention throughout and the narration was faultless. The ending was sad but considering the subject (participants in WWI) not unexpected - it was a very sad war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marching with Caesar: Birth of the 10th Legion

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By R.W. Peake
    • Narrated By Simon Burdett
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    Titus Pullus, the hero of the 10th Legion and the Marching With Caesar series, tells his story from the very beginning of his life, starting with his relationship with his father, how his friendship with Vibius Domitius began, and how their burning ambition to join the Legions was helped by a veteran nicknamed Cyclops. Enlisting in the 10th Legion, raised in 61 B.C. by Gaius Julius Caesar, Birth of the 10th Legion recounts the first campaign ever conducted by Julius Caesar as a commander...

    Rollin says: "Outstanding story of a young Roman legionaire"
    "Can't Wait for the Next Installment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I always enjoy a good historical novel and this first installment of Peake's book about Caesar's 10th Legion really fit the bill. I had a hard time turning it off and can't wait for the next audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3368)
    Performance
    (3123)
    Story
    (3118)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "I Can't Believe Who Did It!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was very happy to see the second installment of the Cormorant Strike series and it did not disappoint in the least. The character development was fantastic and easy to follow and again the narration was superb. The ending was really a surprise and after thinking about the clues, it instantly made sense.

    I am really looking forward to the third installment (rumor has it, it is half finished).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    From the best-selling authors of The Right Nation, a visionary argument that our current crisis in government is nothing less than the fourth radical transition in the history of the nation-state. Dysfunctional government: It' s become a cliché, and most of us are resigned to the fact that nothing is ever going to change. As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge show us, that is a seriously limited view of things. In fact, there have been three great revolutions in government in the history of the modern world.

    Amazon Customer says: "Optimistic meditations on the future"
    "A Needed Book For the Times, but . . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had seen an interview of the authors by Charlie Rose and the book really piqued my interest, so I was very happy to seen it offered by Audible. The authors lay out how western governments developed through their various iterations across three and a half revolutions, and then look at development of government/society in the developing world. With one exception, the highlight the strengths, weaknesses and dysfunctions effecting all and hence the need for a Fourth Revolution.

    In the U.S., their predictions and analysis appear to be right on the mark. However, given the lack of intestinal fortitude displayed by American politicians, the authors' call for action will probably go the way of Bowles-Simpson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Night in Winter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Simon Sebag Montefiore
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    A jubilant Moscow is celebrating the Soviet Union's victory over Hitler when gunshots ring out though the city's crowded streets. In the shadow of the Kremlin, a teenage boy and girl are found dead. But this is no ordinary tragedy, because these are no ordinary teenagers. As the children of high-ranking Soviet officials, they inhabit a rarefied world that revolves around the exclusive Josef Stalin Commune School 801. The school, which Stalin's own children attended, is an enclave of privilege - but, as the deaths reveal, one that hides a wealth of secrets.

    Leonard says: "As Strange as Kafka's "The Trial"!"
    "As Strange as Kafka's "The Trial"!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was surprised to see a novel by Simon Sebag Montefiore and remembered how much I had enjoyed his history of Jerusalem. The plot is as twisted as anything Kafka could have written. What starts as a adolescent tragedy, percolates and mutates into a plot to overthrow the state. This audio was hard to turn off and I finished it in less than two days. This is a great book to listen to - Prebble's narration is superb and after a while the listeners can almost picture themselves in the Lubyanka.

    Highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Canal Bridge: A Novel of Ireland, Love, and the First World War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tom Phelan
    • Narrated By Paul Nugent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In 1913, before there is a rumor of war in Europe, Matthias Wrenn and Con Hatchel, lifelong friends from Ballyrannel in the Irish midlands, decide to see the world at the expense of the king of England and join the British army. A year later, while en route to India, their troop ship is recalled and they soon find themselves in the European slaughterhouse that was World War I.

    Leonard says: "A Really Enjoyable Story"
    "A Really Enjoyable Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I noticed the novel in a bookstore and was happy to see it featured on Audible and happier still once I started listening. Mr Phelan is a wonderful storyteller. One could almost picture themself walking along the canal in Ballyrannel. The character development is solid. Paul Nugent's narration is fantastic.

    Hope that some of Tom Phelan's other books make their way to Audible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Eri Hotta
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    When Japan attacked the United States in 1941, argues Eri Hotta, its leaders, in large part, understood they were entering a conflict they were bound to lose. Availing herself of rarely consulted material, Hotta poses essential questions overlooked by historians in the seventy years since: Why did these men - military men, civilian politicians, diplomats, the emperor - put their country and its citizens in harm's way? Why did they make a decision that was doomed from the start?

    Jean says: "Japanese viewpoint"
    "Unbelievable!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If anyone thought they knew the history of the period leading up to World War II in the Pacific, this history will be an eye opener. Ms Hotta has opened up an all new chapter on the mind set behind Japan's decision to go to war. That Japanese decision makers could on the one-hand understand the futility and eventual consequences of going to war and yet allow circumstances to run their disastrous course is astounding. Another element of pre-war Japan that is revealed is the dismal state to which the Japanese economy had descended as a result of the war with China.

    As I wrote, this history is an eye opener, a must read/listen to for anyone who is interested in WWII. The narration is excellent. It was hard to stop listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Prince of Legend: The Crusades Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jack Ludlow
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    They were men born to fight. If God willed that Antioch was the place where they gave up life, so be it. Thanks to the stratagems of Bohemund de Hauteville, leader of the Apulian Normans, the Crusade has taken the city of Antioch, and just in time. Once the besiegers, Bohemund and his men are about to become the besieged - a huge Turkish-led army, commanded by the fearsome General Kerbogha, is fast approaching. Provisions are needed to support not only the army, but also thousands of camp followers and pilgrims.

    David S. Long says: "Terrific"
    "A Ripping Good Yarn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been waiting for this final installment of the Crusades Trilogy for a long time and I was not disappointed at all. This is a great historical novel and the narration was superb (as usual).

    From the way the book ended, I don't believe there will be another trilogy, but I can only hope.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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