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Spinnaker

ratings
109
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
16

  • Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Cotter Smith
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    Adventure, politics, suspense, drama, diplomacy, romance, and personal tragedy combine to make this outstanding work of scholarship about Captain Meriwether Lewis, hand-picked by President Thomas Jefferson to explore and acquire the American West. Browse more Ambrose, including his latest, Nothing Like It in the World.

    Robert says: "Excellent book"
    "Nothing new here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish I had noticed this book was published in 1996. I purchased it thinking there would be new insights added to the folklore most Americans learned in 5th grade class and field trips to history museums, but there wasn't much other than details of provisions purchased and used, salaries paid, ranks bestowed, diseases endured, moneys authorized and spent, etc., that added nothing to a story for non-scholars. The lengthy, overly personal and sentimental preface and dedication almost caused me to stop before the story began. Maybe there was more to the unabridged version.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Norwegian by Night

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Derek B. Miller
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (588)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (536)

    Sheldon Horowitz - 82 years old, impatient, and unreasonable - is staying with his granddaughter's family in Norway when he disappears with a stranger's child. Sheldon is an ex-Marine, and he feels responsible for his son's death in Vietnam. Recently widowed and bereft, he talks to the ghosts of his past constantly. To Norway's cops, Sheldon is just an old man who is coming undone at the end of a long and hard life. But Sheldon is clear in his own mind.

    Sara says: "Don't Miss This Amazing Book"
    "Groundbreaking in its novelty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel will win awards. It brings much into creation not previously published, at just the right time and angle to appeal to young adults and to the elderly alike. It is full of surprising twists and turns that will delight those who have tired of the old crime and action sequels.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Svante Pääbo
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (67)

    A preeminent geneticist hunts the Neanderthal genome to answer the biggest question of them all: what does it mean to be human? What can we learn from the genes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pbo’s mission to answer that question, beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in his sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2009.

    D. Littman says: "Excellent, human-scale, book about science"
    "Author's candor is refreshing, but book is"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author's candor is refreshing, but it seems that the book serves more to promote the author's glory than to tell us about Neanderthal Man. Be prepared for it to be heavy on molecular genetics, chemistry, laboratory techniques, and ivory tower power-politics rather than on illuminating tales about our ancient ancestors and Neanderthals.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mortal Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (205)

    By day, Harper Cole trades commodities over the internet from his isolated Mississippi farmhouse. At night, he is systems operator of E.R.O.S., an exclusive, sexually explicit on-line service that guarantees total anonymity to its rich and famous clientele.

    Char says: "Sick but Great"
    "Fake Cajun and Southern accents are insulting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration is so grating it's painful to hear. The story is insipid and ridiculous. Gruesome is okay when well crafted and it contributes essentially to the story; unfortunately,the gruesome violence in this story is just gross and far-fetched. Technology is a major focus of the story; consequently, the very dated references to ancient computer technology adds a ludicrous air to the story. Greg Iles has written some good novels, but this isn't one of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Descent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tim Johnston
    • Narrated By Xe Sands, R.C. Bray
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (351)

    From the day Caitlin vanishes the lives of her family members are irrevocably altered, each assuming blame for that day's tragic events. As the initial days of hope are replaced by weeks of anxiety and despair, they find themselves increasingly isolated, each wondering: Is she still alive? Will we ever know what happened?

    C. Strutz says: "Intense"
    "Almost as good as Peter Heller's The Painter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Almost as good as Peter Heller's The Painter - for those of you not familiar with Heller, this is high praise indeed. It has a great, suspenseful story, characters with edges and depth, and philosophical observations on life that will make you think.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The String Diaries

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Stephen Lloyd Jones
    • Narrated By Gemma Whelan
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night - her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the 19th century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves?

    Linda says: "I really loved this audiobook!"
    "An awful muddle in need of an editor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley he is not. Unfortunately, Stephen Lloyd Jones follows more closely in the footsteps of Elizabeth Kostova. There is lots of historical context, innuendo, and build-up, but only about 20 minutes of action - some of it just sadistic - in the entire muddled novel. Such possibilities - and such disappointments. At least it was pleasant listening to the appropriate accents of Gemma Whelan, the narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Haj

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Leon Uris
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (254)

    Leon Uris retums to the land of his acclaimed best-seller Exodus for an epic story of hate and love, vengeance and forgiveness. The Middle East is the powerful setting for this sweeping tale of a land where revenge is sacred and hatred noble. Where an Arab ruler tries to save his people from destruction but cannot save them from themselves. When violence spreads like a plague across the lands of Palestine - this is the time of The Haj.

    Jean says: "Oversimplification of Middle East problems"
    "Not the worst book (but maybe the worst narrator)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Uris takes 21 hours to make a very good case that the world is better off when the power to control the course of events is not in the hands of superstitious fanatics and to explain the complexities at play in the middle east and similar regions - but I can get that message validated from listening to a minute of news on the BBC any morning. The characters are too stereotypical to care about and the stereotyped accents of the narrator come close to mockery. I would recommend this book as a way for high school students to learn the region's history, current events, and civics in a manner more interesting than reading a text book but it was not an entertaining way to spend 21 hours.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Shiver

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karen Robards
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (514)
    Performance
    (450)
    Story
    (455)

    If driving a piece-of-crap tow truck through the seediest part of town with a Smith & Wesson beside her means putting a roof over her son’s head, then Samantha Jones is going to be the best damn repo woman on the books. The streetwalkers, the drug pushers, the bands of looking-for-trouble punks haunting the mean streets at midnight don’t intimidate her. These are her people. The guy she finds bound and bloodied in the trunk of her latest conquest, a flashy new BMW, is a different breed entirely.

    Kimberly says: "Gave Me Shivers!"
    "So close to being terrific - maybe next time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The good: Suspenseful story, likeable and realistic characters with some depth and mortal flaws, room for multiple characters to have strengths, reflects pretty good research into the realm of the US Marshall service (except for a few flubs like having 14 rounds in a six-shooter revolver).

    The bad: starting in Part 2, Robards apparently thought she needed to lengthen the book and relied on two strategies: repeating the same phrases ad nauseum and, for a change of pace, she apparently invited "Mr. Obvious-man" to add his two-bits, to the detriment of the book. With some good editing it could have been a great suspense and action novel.


    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8024)
    Performance
    (4979)
    Story
    (5013)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Terrifying, entertaining, suspenseful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Daemon again? Why?

    Yes - the first time, suspense keeps you racing through to follow the story. In subsequent reads you notice details & subplots and reflect on the implications of Suarez's revelations.


    What did you like best about this story?

    First it is a well-crafted and entertaining story. But it also explains so much and so well the terrifying plunge the One-Percenters (and especially the .01 Plutocrats) are driving our society through. Richard Clarke (former National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism) has been warning of the dangers through 3 presidents' administrations; Billy O'Brien (former Director of Cybersecurity at the White House) has endorsed the legitimacy of Suarez's warnings, woven into a fiction novel.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Thought you were paranoid walking out of the theater after Alien and Mad Max? Just wait and see how scared you are after watching Daemon!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4260)
    Performance
    (3789)
    Story
    (3818)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
    "Nothing new here, pass on this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you have not read any of the previous dozen books written by former Navy Seals you will enjoy this, but there is nothing new told here and it lacks the depth and craft of some others.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer again?

    No


    What three words best describe Holter Graham’s voice?

    Average


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from No Easy Day?

    The author's childhood hunting in Alaska, his basic Seal training.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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