Mornington, Australia | Member Since 2009
After listening to the Potato Factory, Tommo and Hawk were a natural next move and had it not been brought to life by the extra ordinary Humphrey Bower, it would have been a typical follow up book. It had the hallmarks of a Publisher 'pushing for the next great work' and while it is still rich, it lacks the subtlety of the Potato Factory. Now PF is about as subtle as a hammer in that it is so visually powerful but Tommo and Hawk boarders on the highly improbable which was not true of Potato.
I noted, before I listened, that some listeners were upset about the graphic description of sex which I thought was nonsense. However, there is some truth in their observation. The move into manhood I understand but the rest, well it was more or less unnecessary unless you needed a lesson in sex. Less is often more and these parts were labored.
Still on to the next Courtney, if the richness returns I will return with a passion but if there is that hint of Publisher Pressure, that sense of writing to a deadline, well he might have just lost me. I hope not.
d'Hage is certainly an accomplished writer and well worth the listen. The trouble is, his subject matter had a grain of 'possibility' before we passed a certain period of time. Now that time has passed and the predictive elements no longer apply and all becomes a bit whimsical. But the charters are rich and there is a level of plausibility that sits like a thin layer of cream on the milk jug. Make sure you listen to the three books in order and they will hold you like Clancy does (did).
This book certainly holds your attention but in that Reality Show kind of way....you don't want to watch(listen) but you have to. That is what makes it endearing even if the characters are all cliches, the situation impossible and the conclusion, well listen and you will know. Worth a listen? Well if you are sick in bed, why not.
You will need to carry an Oxford Dictionary if you are to siphon all that you can from this listen but it will be well worth it. Brinkley takes ten words when one will do, the antithesis of the modern fiction writing model. Also it is nothing like the TV special (as far as I can tell.) The book demands your attention but keeping focus is a challenge due to its punishing pros. The Naval foundation is excellent, the characters a delight and the read wonderful. My own guess is that this will be a four-listen book over time and enrich my vocabulary come the final listen.
I have a number of books about wars over the ages and extraordinary feats of bravery and cunning but until not I have never read a biography about someone who 'enjoyed' the process of killing and it does not sit comfortably for me. Kyle is a tough man and it is no mean feat to become a Seal, the demands are not for the average person, nor is it for any of the world's Special Forces they are indeed 'Special'. The training is tough, it has to be and to survive you have to have incredibly rapid decision making abilities and no compunction as to the outcome. That doesn't mean you have to 'like' what you are doing. Being a professional in any job is to be motivated by being exceptional, about doing what you have been trained for to the best of your ability. This book is, in great measure, about the 'high' experienced in taking life and could, unfortunately used in anti-US proper-gander to 'prove' the US blood lust which is terribly unfortunate. You have to be very very supportive of the way the US, and their Allies as well, conduct themselves as individuals and en mass in warfare, to actually enjoy this book. If an Australian Soldier had written this book, word for word, I do have to say I would not feel the same respect for the individual that I hold for the Armed Forces in general. That being said, it is probably important because it should raise questions about how we train our young men and women but that is a whole different story. Again, to my US cousins, please do not take this criticism as a crusade against your Country, it isn't.
OK this is about Gay skipper and the gay way of life. If that is not your cupper, leave now but if it is ok with you then this is a truly fun listen. The tenacity of our hero is remarkable for he and his crew suffers more than his fair share of mishaps. It is a tail of a dream fulfilled and a cautionary tale about anyone with similar ambitions. 'Julia' is a floating bar to which all are invited such is their generosity. The bar is a magnet for meeting people, learning about seamanship and attitudes. It is undeniably a major achievement, costly beyond imaginings and a great example to anyone who can dream but that's as far as it gets. Go on, listen!
A great tale about bygone times. Going through the Panama Canal then was under ten bucks, today our boat cost $1800. The friendliness, so much a part of this tale, has long since gone and who can blame the islanders. Today you have to be very careful traveling the world albeit nothing has changed in terms of dealing with the weather. Kitty gives a great read so all power to her. If you just like sea tales then fine but it has almost no value these days in terms of cruising.
This book is about the human spirit, the desire to try, to pit ones skills against nature as much as it is about sailing. The race of 79 was terrible but the stories it produced are well worth a listen if you have a yen to be at sea.
A remarkable tale if you like stories about the sea and sailing. Actually it is more than that, it is a tale about a person who is 'damaged' or is he? If he just non-conformist? Does he have demons that are larger than life or is he intoxicated with finding out the limits to which we can place upon ourselves? Either way a jolly good listen.
The tale is fun for anyone that likes real life adventure. For an old salt it raises so many 'if only's' so if you are past the six oh and are still dreaming this might raise the wish level. Of course I am biased as the heroine is Australian and thus adds that optimistic kink to the world but during the tale we hear about more than one passage, we hear about the passage into the real world, one that most will never ever experience because they think they can't.
A big book at so many levels. Not so much a read/listen as an education. The man himself was just as much an Enigma as his nemesis. Not for everyone but with holding the course from an historical perspective.
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