Overall I really enjoyed this book, however for my tastes it was very slow going at the beginning. I don't mind long books, I've listened to books much longer than this but the beginning of the book is a bit to detailed and the story doesn't really start moving until you're about 8 1/2 hours in. With that said once the story starts moving it proves to be extremely interesting and seemingly well researched.
As for the other comments the authors need to tell you what "intellectuals" thought about things is frustrating. Intellectuals of this era are some of the most irrelevant people that ever existed and for the author to keep bringing up their thoughts just slows down the book. Also it wouldn't appear that the author ever meet a communist he didn't like. Communism was a real threat to America during the time of Walt Disney-- see the country called the USSR. For the author to label anyone that is an anti-communist a reactionary is silly and seemingly shows a complete lack of education or a political bias. I'll go with bias.
With those negative comments just note that I'm still giving it 4 stars. While the book will slow down the author mostly does a good job of isolating these parts of the book to their own sections, so it's not throughout everything you're reading.
The story of Disney really is a fantastic adventure that ended much too soon, I only wish he had lived to build Epcot in his vision.
I picked this book up as recently I was reading a number of Mafia books and I've already read a ton of WWII books -- so it seemed like a good match.
Overall the book is well presented, moves along at a good pace and covers the subject matter as promised. I was familiar with how the US government worked with the Mafia during the war so that wasn't shocking at all -- but this book covers in greater detail the question of if the government also used the Mafia to its advantage in Sicily. I won't give away the conclusion but I will say I wasn't surprised at all by the conclusions the author drew based on my previous knowledge of the war in Europe.
As for the book itself I felt for the most part it was good, there were spells however where I lost interest for a few minutes here and there but that wasn't a big issue and those spells generally only lasted a few minutes before the author was on to something new.
The factual side of the book seems to be in order and it seems to be well researched, additionally the author doesn't seem to be pushing an agenda or making shocking claims -- something most mob books are guilty of doing. The author probably could have sold a lot more books by passing along rumors or legends as facts but thankfully, for those that respect history, he doesn't ever do so.
The reader does a good job and is appropriate for the book.
Overall if you have an interest in the subject at hand -- and you're not looking for shocking claims that have no basis in truth -- you should pick-up this book.
I've read a ton of Civil War books and was familiar with John Brown's raid and the importance of it but I didn't know the subject in great detail, which is why I picked up this book.
Simply said it's an excellent book and I think it strikes the right tone. I'm always afraid that whenever the issue of slavery is brought up in a modern book it's going to fall into the PC camp of needing to constantly apologize or into the demonizing / hero worship trap. I never really found any hints of an agenda, which only makes me appreciate the book that much more.
The author does a great job of setting the scene, gives enough of a background on Brown that you know him but keeps the story moving along at a good pace. I felt he covered everything in good detail so even if you didn't know anything about Brown or the aftermath of this raid you'd fully understand what happened, why and why it was later important.
The reader does an equally impressive job -- it's a straight read for the most part but it's very clear, moves at a good pace and I didn't really notice any mistakes or errors.
Overall I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn more about Brown, or more importantly anyone interested in Civil War books since this is really part of the build up as much as anything else that occurred.
Like another reviewer stated I had first read Iceman which is by the same author and it was a great and entertaining book -- in retrospect I'm not sure how true it was but it was still interesting.
This book is not up to those standards -- it's not even close. The book is written like the author is afraid that a contract will be put on him if he is even remotely objective on any point. Additionally the author uses every cliche you can recall.
The story starts off extremely slow, the first quarter or more of this book is very boring. The reason I'll give this book 3-stars is the middle part of the book. During this part the story flows at a good pace, its interesting and it even for the most part seems well written. But then the author returns to the dull, non-objective filler for the final 3-4 hours. In this part you can hear about how unfair the government is not to give him a 6 1/2 sentence, I mean he plead guilty to killing many people, dealing drugs, corruption, etc -- but 6 1/2 years seems fair to me. You'll hear about how the government tricked him into a confession, how they gave him his lawyer, how they took advantage of poor Anthony. It's one of the most dull, boring diatribes I've ever heard and why the author didn't make this part of the book about 12 long is beyond me.
As for the read I'm convinced he's only reading the book in an effort to test the bass of your speakers. His reading style is annoying at best, dangerous to your health at worst. He's not the worst reader I've heard but he is not very good. He could become an acceptable reader if he stopped purposefully trying to make his voice so bassy, it's very annoying.
Overall this book is quite disappointing and worst it makes me think the entire Iceman book, which I did enjoy, is complete fiction.
I'm half way through this book and I honestly have no idea why I'm supposed to care or be interested in anything that is happening. It's just not a well put together book, it doesn't ever flow or hit a stride and it's boring. I knew nothing about this book going in, just picked it up onsale and figured I'd give it a try - my opinion of which is in my review title. Maybe if you already knew the history of what happened and knew the people involved and actually cared about any of this you might find it interesting as it's not a horrible book, it's just not an interesting book in any way.
Anyways as I said I'm half way through the book and giving up and moving on to something else. Maybe one day I'll come back to this -- but I doubt it.
As for the reader he does an acceptable job. The people saying this isn't english or they can't understand are being dishonest and horribly exaggerating. I've listened to hundreds of books and I've heard bad readers, normally the ones actually hired by Audible are by far the worst amateurs I've ever heard, but this guy is fine, he's not great but he's not bad and he's appropriate for the subject matter.
This is a great audiobook, my only complaint is that it's abridged, I would have much had a longer unabridged version. However, even abridged this is great as it's read by Pistone who does a good job but the thing that puts it over the top are the actual recordings that are weaved into the production. It's rare that any publisher puts any effort into non-fiction audiobooks so they deserve credit when they pull it off.
The book goes hand in hand with the movie and also points out how the movie plays loose with the facts. Growing up in the Tampa Bay area and seeing the movie, I had no idea that half of this book took place only a few minutes from where I grew up. I had no idea that all those bingo halls that were all over the place, normally in abandoned supermarkets were mob run. I only bring it up since in the movie everything outside of NY takes place in or around Miami, which isn't actually true most of the time.
Other things that make this great is when they're talking about flying to Florida to get a few hundred dollars -- it takes away from the whole glamorous angle of things when you realize the lower level guys are taking $39 flights to pick-up $250 at a time.
Anyways it's a great book, if you enjoyed the movie you'll enjoy the book.
Honestly I didn't know a ton about Terry Funk, I obviously knew he was a legend but my exposure to him was a limited number of ECW matches and a little of the time he had with Foley in the late 90s.
With that said I really enjoyed the book. Everything struck me as completely believable and the book reads as if he was speaking to you. Parts of the book are very funny and it's always interesting. Basically if you have even a small amount of interest in the book I believe you'll enjoy this - just keep your expections in check. This isn't Have a Nice Day but it's much better than some of the other audiobooks avaialble on the subject.
The reader does a good job -- not sure if he's a fan of wrestling or not but he seems to hit the right tone for pretty much everything and even does an acceptable Dusty Rhodes, which is much more than I can say for Dusty's own book.
First, I saw the movie American Gangster which was entertaining and had me interested in learning more about Lucas since as pretty much everyone knows you generally can't accept what you see in theaters as being real.
Well the first red flag in this book is when in the intro it says that this 'biography' contains composite characters. What? In a book that is supposed to the real life story?
Second, the story in many places just isn't believable at all. The horrible story about his cousin being shot by the klan is extremely moving, however it's not verifiable at all. That is troubling but doesn't mean it isn't true so I can give a pass on that. Shortly there after this dad shots a cop. Once again there is nothing verifiable about this account and apparently his dad never went to jail or did any time for this. Very odd. Later in the book Lucas threatens from cops with a gun and once again nothing happens. Again later Lucas shots at more cops and shoots up a city bus in the middle of the day in NYC, the cops know who he is yet again nothing happens. We're really stretching believability here and that's just to do with the parts of the book that talk about shooting.
Next is the sex part -- apparently every women Lucas say while he was between 13 and 17, regardless of their age and race just had to get nude as quickly as they could in front of him. Again, could this be the case? I guess. Is it likely that so many women would seduce a young teenager? No.
Next is the part where one day when gangster Bumpy Johnson entered his life, betting money on the kid to beat Icepick in a game of pool. After Lucas of course won, Bumpy basically took him under his wing, bought him stuff, took him home, told everyone that Lucas was hands off. Now if Frank was a young female teenager this would be believable, but as a young thug it just doesn't make a lot of sense in the way the story is told.
Other parts of the book are believable, mainly the later parts that are somewhat verifiable. But most of it sounds pretty ridiculous, like a gangster movie that was made to make the lead look like the coolest guy on earth.
Maybe everything Frank Lucas says is true and it all actually happened that way -- and maybe that guy in those commercials is really the most interesting person on earth. However in both cases I'm highly doubting it which is a shame since I'm sure the real story is a lot more interesting than the fiction that is most of this book.
The reader does an excellent job and the audiobook is well produced. I can't believe people actually complain because he mispronounces a few words here and there, he's just using real language and using it the way Frank probably said it. It's not an Ebonics book by any means, it's just occasional language that sounds fairly authentic to my ear and is never distracting.
I've read hundreds of history books, most having to do with America history and this is probably as good of a single volume as you'll come accross. There is almost no fluff and it moves along at a fairly good pace even if it is almost 50 hours long -- personally I would have loved a much longer book but then it wouldn't be a single volume any longer. Since I've read so much already on the subject there wasn't a ton of new information here for me, but for most people I highly doubt this would be an issue.
There is very little in the book I disagree with and the author, although a conservative, remains most balanced throughout. I felt he might have been a bit harsh on Andrew Jackson and JFK, but even then my disagreements where only in matters of degree, not in terms of the author being wrong. Also I feel he might have downplayed Reagan a bit - the author gives him credit but maybe not in the way I would. Regardless it's very interesting to hear a different take on something from someone that is more detached than myself.
Since the author is not an American he does seem to come of as detached on issues like slavery, north and south and Republican and Democrat. This is why the book is GREAT. He is a conseravtive but isn't pushing a political party - he's doing what writers of history should do and that is tell the story of what has happened from his point of view instead of pushing an agenda.
As for the reader she does a good job. To be honest I've heard her on various other books and at times I have a problem with the accent in that it just bothers me after hours of listening. I did warm up to it however and she really does do a good job - the issue with the accent is my own which is why I believe a 4-star rating is fair.
If you want to learn as much as possible about American history -- if you want to know what really happened and not the PC nonsense that is taught in school -- or if you just want a refresher on why America is good - this is an excellent book.
I believe at some point the author notes that he's a newspaper writer, or maybe I made that up, I really can't remember. However this book reads like it was written by a newspaper journalist - which isn't bad since the book is strong on substance and structure but that also means its not strong on narrative and 'heart'. By that I don't mean it's dry but it does feel fairly detached at times.
With that out of the way I enjoyed the book as a recap of the history of ECW. It seems well researched and moves at a good pace. I knew a good part of the general history but this book fills in a ton of details. If you have any interest in the subject you'll most likely enjoy the book.
The reader does a good job even if it is a pretty straight read.
If you're expecting a comprehensive book of Dusty's career this will leave you extremely disappointed. This is more a collection of stories from over the years. The book jumps all over the place, repeats itself a lot and isn't read very well. With that said, some of the stories are really interesting and some are very funny.
As I said the reader isn't very good -- he reads in what I guess he must thinks Dusty sounds like since it's sort of a Texas drawl -- of course if you're getting this book you know Rhodes sounds nothing like a typical Texian so it doesn't make much sense. Also the additional voices, which I know are done so you can seperate who is talking, are for the most part really bad. Finally he mispronounces numerous names and locations. With all that said I'll still give him 3-stars since if he did a straight read I think it would have been even worse since this book is written at a pretty low level.
So overall just know what you're getting, a collection of stories. If you can accept that you'll probably enjoy much of the book - but it's still quite disappointing that someone with so much knowledge of the industry would produce such a poor effort.
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