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Debra

Sioux City, IA, United States | Member Since 2009

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 297 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Howard E. Wasdin, Stephen Templin
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1636)
    Performance
    (1191)
    Story
    (1191)

    When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue, and counterinsurgency. In this dramatic, behind-the-scenes chronicle, Howard Wasdin takes listeners deep inside the world of Navy SEALs and Special Forces snipers, beginning with the grueling selection process of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL - the toughest and longest military training in the world.

    M. Sholund says: "Could not turn it off"
    "Straight up, no fluff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Isn't that what you want?
    This is a fascinating look at a career the vast majority of us simply couldn't do. The author seems interested in exploring his own psychology, and recognizes he has done something highly unusual in becoming a Seal Team member. So, he has the self-awareness to write about his experiences in a meaningful way. I was pretty impressed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Less Than Zero

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Bret Easton Ellis
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and re-enters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porsches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine. He tries to renew feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for his best friend from high school, Julian, who is careering into hustling and heroin.

    Darwin8u says: "How one wishes this writer was without talent!"
    "Full of atmosphere of a certain time and place"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    First of all, the narrator was fabulous. He was just right for this. The book does not have a false word in it, and the author succeeds in making the characters, rich wastrels though they are, into people I cared about. But, you'll be glad they don't live next door. Less Than Zero held my interest all the way through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Herzog

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Saul Bellow
    • Narrated By Wolfram Kandinsky
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    An instant classic when it appeared in 1964, Herzog is the story of Moses E. Herzog, a tragically confused intellectual who suffers from the breakup of his second marriage, the general failure of his life, and the specter of growing up Jewish in the middle part of the 20th century. He responds to his personal crisis by writing a series of letters never to be sent, to friends and enemies, colleagues and celebrities, examining his life and times with wry perception and heartfelt revelation.

    Ray Worthen says: "Horrible Narration of a Great Book."
    "This is one sour guy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Do you have any additional comments?

    Yikes. Does someone need a hug? Actually, the narrator was entertaining and insightful at times, but so is the crabby lady down the block. This is another one of those books that I endured. Just as an experiment in anti-matter, I might set Herzog next to Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and see if the world explodes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver
    Overall
    (791)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (244)

    Seymour "Swede" Levov is a prosperous, hard-working family man who comes of age in America's triumphant postwar era. But when the country begins to run amok in the 1960s, Swede's perfect world crumbles.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "great start, but.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I had high hopes for this, especially after the beginning sections. Then, the whole thing fell apart for me. It was tiresome and a chore to listen to. But I finished it. So, it's done. Now I'm going to read what I want.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way We Live Now

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Timothy West
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (174)

    In this world of bribes, vendettas and swindling, in which heiresses are gambled and won, Trollope's characters embody all the vices: Lady Carbury is 'false from head to foot'; her son Felix has 'the instincts of a horse, not approaching the higher sympathies of a dog'; and Melmotte - the colossal figure who dominates the book - is a 'horrid, big, rich scoundrel... a bloated swindler... a vile city ruffian'.

    Nardia says: "Long, but well worth it."
    "Entertaining and timely"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I read this a year ago, and I am still amazed at the similarities between Trollope's time and our own. I'm talking, of course, about all the Ponzi schemes and human frailties. An engaging book that held my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7446)
    Performance
    (4212)
    Story
    (4195)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
    "I didn't finish it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I didn't get very far in this before I abandoned it all together. I'm still not sure what went wrong here. It seems like if you liked The Winds of War (As I did) you might like this one. There were interesting characters, boatloads of facts, and real situations. And yet, there was a stick-to-the-formula feel to the book. I quit before the second part, because I couldn't see slogging through all five (?) parts or however many feeling like there was nothing new here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Possession

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By A. S. Byatt
    • Narrated By Virginia Leishman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (124)

    As a pair of young scholars research the lives of two Victorian poets, they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire - from spiritualist seances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany. What emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passion and ideas.

    Inga E. Calvin says: "audible poetry"
    "style is heavy-handed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book has a style and characters that are not that exciting to me, but would probably be to someone else. The characters like libraries and manuscripts and probably (it's been a while since I read it),a spot of hot tea to really make the world right. It was all very into the joys and nail-biting of academia, if that's what you like, with an extra teaspoon of fuss-budget. The characters seem a little geriatric for as young as they're supposed to be. Some books of this genre really work for me (give me Jane Austen and yes, some Earl Grey),and I wish this could have been one. (The Historian by E. Kostova was good, too).

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2141)
    Performance
    (1540)
    Story
    (1537)

    The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

    Chris says: "Frightening, Powerful, Deeply Thought-provoking."
    "One of the best nonfictions so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book was one of the best I have listened to. Just when I thought there wasn't anything new to hear about WWII and what led up to it, this book comes along! I felt like it got me more inside the Third Reich than any book or movie so far. A big claim, but that's how I felt as I listened. The author lays it out like a historian. Not to detailed, but yet plenty of factual information, at least for my tastes. The story of the daughter you have to read to believe. Holy smokes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tragedy of Arthur

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Arthur Phillips
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    In The Tragedy of Arthur, Phillips tells the (mostly) true story of being asked to write the introduction to a lost Shakespeare play entitled The Most Excellent and Tragical Historie of Arthur, King of Britain. But Phillips knows the play - supposedly found in a safety deposit box in America - is a fake.

    Larry Miller says: "Charming, fun, challenging, and unique"
    "3.5 to 4.5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this book over a longer time span than usual. I wasn't always positive what was going on and maybe that time span was why, or maybe print would have been better in this case. Some parts engaged me more than others, thus the wishy-washy title of my review here. But I was glad I stuck with it, even though at times I wanted it to pick up the pace a little. The ending was good - not every book can say that. I will look at other works by this author for when I am feeling cerebral and clever, or at least am in the mood for that kind of company.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mark Seal
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (105)

    A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable 30-year run of a shape-shifting con man. The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany.

    Diane says: "Extreme Fraud"
    "If you think it couldn't happen to you..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this one a while ago - I think about a year - but it still sticks out in my mind for the exceptional story, the flow of the tale, and the unobtrusive narrator. The book deftly leads you to the point where you can see how someone would end up as one of his victims, or at least it provides some rational explanations. Good book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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