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Leonard

Love to Bungee!!

Honolulu, HI | Member Since 2010

38
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 25 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 315 titles in library
  • 17 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
    (252)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (222)

    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
  • 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
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    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.

    0 of 0 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
    (38)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (36)

    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.

    0 of 0 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
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    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.

    Leonard says: "A Ripping Good Yarn"
    "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
  • 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Eric H. Cline
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians.

    Jacobus says: "The next "Best Popular Book on Archaeology" award?"
    "Too Much Detail for an Audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first saw the printed volume, I was happy to see that it was also available as an audiobook. The historical subject is one I have not heard of before and so I quickly downloaded it and started listening. I was disappointed fairly quickly.

    If you are not intimately familar with the subject, the names for the ancient kingdoms and entities are completely new to you. The author does go to some troubles to help you over this hurdle. However, without a scorecard immediately at hand, it is hard to remember the names of the players.

    The narrator is fairly good but sometimes I felt it was a lecture for high school students.

    I will not download any of the follow on books in the series - this one was a bit too painful

    7 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Religion: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tim Willocks
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    May 1565. Suleiman the Magnificent, emperor of the Ottomans, has declared a jihad against the Knights of Saint John the Baptist. The largest armada of all time approaches the Knights' Christian stronghold on the island of Malta. The Turks know the Knights as the "The Hounds of Hell." The Knights call themselves "The Religion".

    Patricia says: "Rip-roaring adventure!"
    "A Ripping Good Yarn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tend to shy away from 20+ hour books, but after reading the reviews of "The Religion", I decided to give it a try and I was not disappointed. I had previously read a history of the 1565 invasion of Malta and so, was familiar with the subject matter. The author's attention to detail is uncanny, the character development simple and easy to keep up with. For those who enjoy a good historical novel, this is one to sit back and enjoy. Yes, it could have been a bit shorter, but not by enough to make a difference. The narration was great. Highly recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (390)
    Story
    (391)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
    "Don't Believe the Media Hype - A Must Read!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I seldom read or listen to biographies, but I decided to make an exception when I first heard about Robert Gates' book. Forget what you heard about this being a hatchet job of President Obama. What would the 4th Establishment do if it could not sensationalize a story.

    I have always admired Secretary Gates and the balanced reporting in his book only enhanced my opinion of him. His portrayal of the key military, civilian and political actors is first rate and is in line with other sources. His criticism of Congress, in my opinion, does not go far enough, when will the political theatre end?

    The Gates book comes at a critical time. His final chapters, in part, criticize the American penchant to use force and consider the consequences later. His warning is timely, considering continuing calls for US involvement in the Syrian civil war and other troubled world areas.

    The narration is first rate. My only criticism about the audio version is the short number of breaks. Most segments are over an hour long.

    It is a hard book to stop listening to and although it clocks in at over 25 hours, I listened to the complete book in less than a week.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Cartographer of No Man's Land: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By P. S. Duffy
    • Narrated By David Marantz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    From a hardscrabble village in Nova Scotia to the collapsing trenches of France, a debut novel about a family divided by World War I....When his beloved brother-in-law goes missing at the front in 1916, Angus defies his pacifist upbringing to join the war and find him. Assured a position as a cartographer in London, he is instead sent directly into the visceral shock of battle. Meanwhile, at home, his son, Simon Peter, must navigate escalating hostility in a fishing village torn by grief.

    Leonard says: "Great Premier Novel"
    "Great Premier Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had noticed this novel in the local bookstore and was intrigued by the jacket synopsis. Great character and plot development. The ending is somewhat surprising - a mix of disappointment, betrayal, rebirth and redemption. The narration was exceptional. Look forward to future novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Arnaldur Indridason
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    A man is making a crude leather mask with slits for eyes and mouth, and an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a 'death mask', once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves. He has revenge in mind. Meanwhile, with Detective Erlendur absent, his baseball-loving colleague Sigurdur Óli is in the spotlight. A school reunion has left Sigurdur Óli dissatisfied with life in the police force. Iceland is enjoying an economic boom and young tycoons are busy partying with the international jet set.

    Leonard says: "Pleasantly Surprised."
    "Pleasantly Surprised."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read one of Indridason's quite a while ago and found the plot to be very farfetched. Luckily, when I selected Black Skies for download, I did not remember the previous novel. The characters in this novel are well developed and all very believeable. Having visited Iceland for an extended period, I could picture many of the places the author uses. Guidall's narration was first rate. I look forward to checking out the novels in this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Macbeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, David Hewson, A. J. Hartley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1196)
    Performance
    (981)
    Story
    (979)

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "Wow - What a Performance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had been listening to audiobooks about England before and after the Norman Conquest and decided to include Macbeth since the timeframe overlaps. This is not just another rendition of a Shakespearean classic. It stays true to the Great Bard's version but humanizes the character in a way the reader does not expect and holds your interests until the final seconds of the book. Alan Cumming's narration is flawless. A definite must for fans of Shakespeare and historical novels.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marc Morris
    • Narrated By Frazer Douglas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    An upstart French duke who sets out to conquer the most powerful and unified kingdom in Christendom. An invasion force on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans. One of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought.

    Michael says: "A great book for anyone interested in this period"
    "History as It is Supposed to be Told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audio histories are often chancey proposition. Often a history is only understood when it is READ and the author provides accompanying maps or charts to explain his/her points. Marc Morris's - The Norman Conquest is the exception. Morris takes this obscure history and provides the reader with an easily understood narrative. Frazer Douglas's narration turns it into an outstanding audio experience. Great book, great narration - hard to turn off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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