Though somewhat dated it is still a good listen. Stephen King is a true fan; somewhat limited in baseball knowledge but is a great writer. The surprise here is Stewart O'Nan. He is the more knowledgeable of the two writers and his passion for the Sox is powerful. He is less involved in the history and particularly the superstitions that King embraces. One of the irritating portions of the audio was their constant belief that they knew more about the game than the team's manager Terry Francona. Another was their angst over every loss. Yes it is a part of baseball to scoreboard watch but the level of upset due to the Yankees taking the lead in the division over the Sox; in May. Those problems aside it is an excellent listen and the readers are both excellent.
The first six hours of this audio were really good; not flawless, not serious, but highly entertaining and with characters I liked and appreciated. Xavier was getting to be quite controlling by then it didn't rise to any sort of stalker level but it does bear at least some scrutiny.
Then came that awful final hour where a pretty good story became a bad combination of a soap opera and Saved By The Bell.
SPOILER ALERT coming up.
Given that Phenomenal X is the most popular wrestler in the association; his lack of power and the double standard favoring the Rex the Villain is absurd. The overly dramatic prose complete with the breathless delivery of Alexandria Wilde made the last forty to fifty minutes of this audio almost excruciating to endure. Hopefully the first six hours are more indicative of Michelle Valentine's new series than is the unfortunate final hour.
A man arrested for a mass killing has only one thing to say to his own lawyer; find Jack Reacher. Since Reacher does an excellent job of staying off the grid it's not gonna be an easy task. Unless of course Reacher decides to come to them; with a message his lawyer and his sister don't want to hear. The suspect; having been assaulted inside the lockup where he was being held, is in a coma and unable to provide any explanations.
The mistakes in form here are legion. The book has the prisoner being held in prison rather than in the local jail. Child also has him being exposed to the general prison population; something not done with a suspect in a high profile criminal case for that very reason.
Then with the case dead and the suspect in a coma someone makes a mistake; they go after Jack Reacher. Those of us who are loyal fans of Reacher know this isn't just a mistake; it's a huge mistake. Along the way Reacher does what he always does, he kicks, uh, butt and takes names; he has sex with a woman once and she goes on her way, and finally; he unravels a case that one else can.
With that one exception mentioned earlier this story avoids some of the major holes in logic and fact that are commonplace in some selections in the series. Some of the villains are more than a little over the top here but they play well in the story. If you're a Reacher fan this one is a must.
The man who was responsible for a great deal of the strategy that won WW2 and for building the army became principally famous for the plan to rebuild Europe. Though in line to become the supreme Allied Commander, his lifelong dream; when asked by President Franklin Roosevelt to stay in Washington and spearhead the planning of the war, he complied. His contributions, though vital to the world at that time were unsung and undersold.
Though the bombastic style used by speakers doing an open air address it held up well. It explains a great deal as to why Roosevelt is still regarded by many as a statesman by many and as an excellent politician by most, if not all. It was a bit eerie as to how well the words of the new president in 1932 apply so well in this era.
This was a fascinating listen, in that it was done following the loss of John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. The general consensus was that the Democratic party had lost the south completely and had a hard time defining both themselves and the issues. Thus letting the Republicans or Fox News define them in ways that cost them votes with people who should logically be natural supporters.
One of the things that went unmentioned was the Democratic Party's lack of willingness to fight back against the conservative sound machine. That's true both in the sense of claiming liberal values and responding to attacks that lacking basis in fact. For most of my adulthood the Democrats have been perceived as a party that either lacked values, or were unwilling to fight for their values; a feckless group lacking any beliefs or backbone.
That image has changed somewhat due to a class of new Democrats who've grown a pair and are willing to stand up for the party's values; ironically considering the nomenclature for the most part they're women. I wish that Elizabeth Warren was considering a run for president; as far as I'm concerned she's what a leader should be.
Okay I'm off the rant train now. I simply found it ironic that even though the majority of Americans support the positions of the Democratic Party; believe they are on the right side of most issues; yet continue to lose elections. This audiobook discussion points out that to some extent they're still searching to find their voices.
It's a little difficult to rate five minutes with any real accuracy but this was humorous and and nominally enlightening.
I think this one is; uh, deserves a 4 star rating; though I think I've displayed my ambivalence to that sufficiently. Waves; particularly Tsunami and rogue waves have been a fascination for me for a few years now and I'd hoped this book would answer some of my questions about those. What I wasn't expecting was an almost surfing groupie fan magazine fawning ode to Laird Hamilton by the author. There is quite a bit of information pertaining to waves and the best places to find them; as well as the reports of people who found themselves caught up in rogue waves around the world. Unfortunately far too much of this selection is dedicated to the author's extreme admiration of Hamilton the Surfing God. Perhaps he is worthy of such admiration; after all he did convince Gaby Reese to marry him and bear his children, but it wasn't the reason I purchased this audio. The book is well done, it accurately conveys the extreme dangers of waves the size of ten to twelve story buildings. The narrator Kirsten Potter does a fantastic job with the material and the author truly expresses the magnificence of the sea and the amazing power of it. This is probably a very good listening for anyone who relate to that; it just wasn't what I thought I was buying.
This was, for the most part a nice little kid's story; though much of the middle portion of the narrative was pretty tedious. However the middle aged male narrating this tale from the perspective of a thirteen year old just didn't work. Indeed it was just so jarring, that at times it completely distracted from the story. I know that it's probably impossible to find a thirteen year old male capable of reading an audiobook but I find it hard to believe that a better reader couldn't have been located.
This was a fantastic coming of age/ adventure story set in 1969 that tells the tale of the very unfortunately named Gene Steen and his cousin Lucy. Fifteen year old Gene lives with his parents in Milwaukee; surely the least hip place on Earth he's sure. Lucy on the other hand is surely the coolest person on the planet and totally hot too; too bad she's his cousin but at least he's learning some things he never expected to.
Then the story goes from young adult coming of age narrative to an adventure when she tells him a few of her secrets and the two of them take to the road.
If not for an overly detailed acid trip description this is a poignant, intelligent, mature story set in a time that I remember quite well. Highly recommended.
Bevin Alexander concentrates on eight battles where better strategies or reactions by the men guiding their armies could have changed history. Warning for those of you have idolized Robert E Lee, he doesn't fare very well in this work; nor does George Washington for that matter. Using the works of Sun Tzu the author points out mistakes made by military leaders that cost battles, and or wars.
It's an interesting take on historical events; particularly the battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the American Civil War. I visited the sight and took the tour of the battlefield, and what Lee tried to accomplish there always confused me.
There are times when the audio version bogs down in detail that probably worked better in print. Still for those of you fascinated by military history this is a definite add to your collection.
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