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Leonard

Love to Bungee!!

Honolulu, HI

51
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 354 titles in library
  • 36 purchased in 2014
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  • The Secret Pilgrim: A George Smiley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    Nothing is as it was. Old enemies embrace. The dark staging grounds of the Cold War, whose shadows barely obscured the endless games of espionage, are flooded with light; the rules are rewritten, the stakes changed, the future unfathomable. John le Carre seized this momentous turning point in history to give us the most disturbing experience we have yet had of the frail and brutal world of spydom. The man called Ned speaks to us. All his adult life he has been in British Intelligence - the Circus - a loyal, shrewd, wily officer of the Cold War....

    Darwin8u says: "Finish Line & NOT Starting Point for George Smiley"
    "A Classic That Only Gets Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For fans of LeCarre's Smiley character, The Secret Pilgrim will be a great trip down memory lane. I read all of the Smiley novels, however, I don't remember this one. So when I saw it on the Audible list I quickly downloaded it. I was not disappointed at all. The story was classic LeCarre and Jayston's narration was phenomenal - it was as though Smiley was sitting in the room with you. A great audio experience.

    2 of 2 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
    (1408)
    Performance
    (1312)
    Story
    (1308)

    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.

    Crystal says: "A Yawner"
    "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
    (9)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    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.

    Leonard says: "A Needed Book For the Times, but . . . ."
    "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
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    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
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    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
    (64)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    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
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    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
  • 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
    (194)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (175)

    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.

    Emily says: "But it was all going so well....."
    "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

    16 of 26 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
    (208)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (73)

    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".

    Bonnie says: "This captured me"
    "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
    (830)
    Performance
    (740)
    Story
    (740)

    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.

    10 of 11 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
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    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.

    Donna says: "Slow Start, Excellent Ending"
    "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

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