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Vygramul

Annandale, VA United States | Member Since 2013

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 126 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • Thunder Below!: The USS Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Eugene B. Fluckey
    • Narrated By Corey Snow
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (163)

    Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink ships-she changed forever the way submarines stalk and kill their prey.

    This is a gripping adventure chock-full of "you-are-there" moments. Fluckey has drawn on logs, reports, letters, interviews, and a recently discovered illegal diary kept by one of his torpedomen.

    Rex says: "Wow! There were brave men in WWII"
    "So incredible it can't be anything but true"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - the book is well-read and it's an amazing account


    What other book might you compare Thunder Below! to and why?

    The first book that came to mind was The Caine Mutiny - but TCM is about a destroyer minesweeper, is fiction, and largely hinges on poor command, while this book is nonfiction, is a sub, and is largely about good command. But in both books there's a lot of detail about the day-to-day concerns of the men aboard their respective commands.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    For me, it's often the little things. Fluckey's point about not appreciating being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor because it stipulates actions taken without regard to ones personal safety implying he took them without regard to the safety of his crew is an excellent point and really sticks in my mind.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Mostly, I was amazed. Of course, there's always some sadness when the crew has to split up and the command is over, as with any story involving people who formed friendships under intense conditions and subsequently parted ways.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best WWII books I've had the pleasure of experiencing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Vietnam: A History

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Stanley Karnow
    • Narrated By Edward Holland
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (110)

    In this comprehensive history, Stanley Karnow demystifies the tragic ordeal of America's war in Vietnam. The book's central theme is that America's leaders, prompted as much by domestic politics as by global ambitions, carried the United States into Southeast Asia with little regard for the realities of the region. Karnow elucidates the decision-making process in Washington and Asia and recounts the political and military events that occurred after the Americans arrived in Vietnam.

    David Ewing says: "As stunning as it was engaging"
    "Good but not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Vietnam?

    It was well researched.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    A little depressing, given the inevitable end.


    What about Edward Holland’s performance did you like?

    He was pretty good. I especially liked his Richard Nixon impersonation. His voices tend to be subtle, which helps keep it an objective reading and not an attempt at dramatization.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The plight of the civilians.


    Any additional comments?

    Karnow isn't objective, but neither is he biased one way or another. It's as if he thinks everyone involved, left, right, communist, democrat, republican... they all deserve excoriation. And he's probably right.

    The one thing about the book that can be confusing is that he tends to follow a timeline of one aspect of the war far enough that when he goes back it's kind of hard to remember where you were anchored.

    I'll probably listen to it again, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The US Marines’ Finest Hour in Vietnam

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Gregg Jones
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    The vivid, fast-paced account of the siege of Khe Sanh told through the eyes of the men who lived it. For seventy-seven days in 1968, amid fears that America faced its own disastrous Dien Bien Phu, six thousand US Marines held off thirty thousand North Vietnamese Army regulars at the remote mountain stronghold called Khe Sanh. It was the biggest battle of the Vietnam War, with sharp ground engagements, devastating artillery duels, and massive US air strikes.

    ioane_77 says: "Thanks."
    "An Excellent Story of the Battle of Khe Sanh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Last Stand at Khe Sanh again? Why?

    I may listen to it again simply because it's easy to miss things when listening to a book. But it's not an easy book to listen to because so many people die. And not well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Last Stand at Khe Sanh?

    The ambush


    Which character – as performed by William Hughes – was your favorite?

    I don't think there were characters he really had to play. The few quotes were pretty much all the same.


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

    "Dien Bien 2"


    Any additional comments?

    It's a pretty accessible history until the end, where it kind of bogs down and meanders a bit after it feels like it should have ended. But otherwise, interesting and well-researched.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blade Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (922)
    Performance
    (561)
    Story
    (571)

    It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment: find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!

    D. ABIGT says: "This is the original Do Androids Dream of Electric"
    "I shall blaspheme: the movie is better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Philip K. Dick and/or Scott Brick?

    Absolutely. This is not a reflection on either. Scott Brick is a find audiobook reader and I actually picked this up after hearing him in Dune. Philip K. Dick has a lot of stories that turned into excellent movies, so I doubt this is typical.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Well, that's quite a challenge. I suppose many of the same things the scriptwriters removed were things that generally slowed down the story. I don't know if Dick intended some kind of philosophical exploration of empathy and religion, but it didn't seem to work from my perspective.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    I liked how Brick portrayed the bounty hunter at the other police department.


    Was Blade Runner worth the listening time?

    Yes, but barely. I usually re-listen to audiobooks many times, but this one I shan't revisit.


    Any additional comments?

    This just wasn't as good as the movie - which is a judgment I almost never make. If anything, it demonstrated how much vision and skill went into translating the story into the film and the expertise with which it was done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Solaris: The Definitive Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (translator)
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (2306)
    Performance
    (1884)
    Story
    (1902)

    At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation - complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

    Burns says: "A comment on negative reviews"
    "Way better than the movies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Solaris?

    If you had told me an author would be able to write about a truly alien intelligence, I'd have been skeptical. But Stanislaw Lem was able to capture the alien even better than Lovecraft. I was really impressed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Lem also knows human thinking - he's able to capture how scientists would approach the alien intellect he created - and all the reasons it would have problems.


    Have you listened to any of Alessandro Juliani’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard other performances, but he does a good enough job that I will look at what else he's done.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There wasn't a particularly MOVING moment. I'd say the exposition that exists is unusually good.


    Any additional comments?

    Some of the early scifi authors are truly masters of the craft. Stanislaw Lem knew what he was doing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • None Braver: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Michael Hirsh
    • Narrated By Corey Snow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (41)

    From award-winning journalist and combat veteran Michael Hirsh comes the thrilling inside story of the Air Force's pararescue operations in Afghanistan. The first journalist to be embedded with an Air Force combat unit in the war on terrorism, Hirsh flew from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, with the 71st Rescue Squadron to their expeditionary headquarters at a secret location in Central Asia. Unparalleled access to the pararescue jumpers - or PJs - as well as to the courageous men and women who fly them where they have to go, often under enemy fire, allowed Michael Hirsh to uncover incredible stories of courage.

    Vygramul says: "Edge-of-Your-Seat and Sobering"
    "Edge-of-Your-Seat and Sobering"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to None Braver the most enjoyable?

    Hirsh humanizes the soldiers and Snow brings their humanity to life


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jason Cunningham for always thinking of others


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When a PJ trainer goes to the extreme of rappelling down a building to catch trainees talking.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The pain of a family having to bury their loved one.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys story about people whose job it is to save others, for people who are interested in real military accounts, and for people who find helicopters interesting, Nothing is over-explained, everything is relevant, and there are no "boring parts." The narrator has the right timbre for the subject matter and does a great job giving the people life - the very reason we buy audiobooks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cambodia: Report From a Stricken Land

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Henry Kamm
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Based on his observations over three decades, Henry Kamm, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Southeast Asia correspondent, unravels the complexities of Cambodia. Kamm's invaluable document - a factual and personal account of its troubled history - gives the Western listener the first clear understanding of this magic land's past and present.

    Vygramul says: "Doesn't work well as an audiobook"
    "Doesn't work well as an audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really. The book was written as more of a history and less as prose. The result is that it doesn't flow well when read aloud.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cambodia?

    Prince Sihanouk's ability to always switch to the winning side.


    What three words best describe Walter Dixon’s performance?

    Limited by material


    Did Cambodia inspire you to do anything?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the book was fantastic and thought it might be fun to listen to it on a trip because I'd been meaning to read it again. While the book is fantastic, as an audiobook, it is disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3506)
    Performance
    (2545)
    Story
    (2553)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "An excellent place to start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in three words, what would they be?

    Clear-Eyed History


    What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to and why?

    Six Days of War: both works give complete views from as many available sources as possible


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but this was a great performance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The lost opportunities to prevent the Holocaust.


    Any additional comments?

    This is really a necessary read for anyone interested in the history of the Third Reich. More recent works have better information on some topics, and Shirer's military analysis is limited, but nevertheless, if you've not read this work you won't have as complete a picture as you need in order to understand Europe in the mid-20th century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Valor in Vietnam: Chronicles of Honor, Courage and Sacrifice: 1963 - 1977

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Allen B. Clark
    • Narrated By Corey Snow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Every war continues to dwell in the lives it touched, in the lives of those living through that time, and in those absorbed by its historical significance. The Vietnam War lives on - famously or infamously, depending on political points of view - but those who have “been there, done that” have a highly personalized window on their time of that history. Valor in Vietnam focuses on nineteen stories of Vietnam, stories of celebrated figures in the veteran community, compelling war narratives, vignettes of battles, and the emotional impact on the combatants.

    Vygramul says: "Another good first-person view of war"
    "Another good first-person view of war"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Valor in Vietnam rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to just a few, usually books I know are good, so the competition is tough. It's definitely not in the lower third, but it's hard to say it's up there with Dune or The Caine Mutiny.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Valor in Vietnam?

    When a colonel made a poor decision about yelling at a wounded soldier fresh in from the fight.


    What about Corey Snow’s performance did you like?

    He's got a good voice and is good at letting you get into the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It helps convince you that we shouldn't send our soldiers into a war unless we're quite sure it's necessary - it's a terrible thing to do to a man, sending him to war.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (955)
    Performance
    (831)
    Story
    (834)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "Excellent book, excellent narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Caine Mutiny rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's one of the best.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details prove Wouk served in the Navy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Saying so would probably be a spoiler.


    If you could take any character from The Caine Mutiny out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Willie Keith because it would probably be expensive and he would probably pay.


    Any additional comments?

    A darn fine audio book. This was a great match of voice and cadence to the book's characters and time period.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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