Plot seemed very predictable - the M5 from Star Trek, HAL from 2001, WAR GAMES, and any number of other stories where artificial intelligence eventually runs amok. Other Robert Harris books that I have read were outstanding but I was underwhelmed with this one. The narration by Christian Rodska was acceptable, although his performance in this was very much inferior to the one he had in Winston Churchill's the Second World War.
I have enjoyed several offerings of the Great Courses Lectures on Historical events and this was one of the more interesting ones.
Professor Gallagher has done an excellent job in detailing all of these interesting leaders within Lee’s high command. I especially like the balance he utilizes in showing both the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals. With very few exceptions the assessments are even handed, although there are one or two officers that his take seems to be more of a personal like or dislike than one of looking simply at the facts. A few things in the book really stuck out – first was the incredible attrition rate of the officers in the Army of Northern Virginia due to deaths/wounding in battle. There were rarely back to back battles in which the same command structure was actually in place, other than Lee himself. There was a constant need to reshuffle leadership following the engagements. Another interesting analogy made by Professor Gallagher was his comparison of Lee’s role with that of Dwight Eisenhower, who also had to deal with strong, aggressive and competitive personalities of subordinates such as Patton and Montgomery, with Lee that role was even a greater necessity as a large number of his Senior Leaders seemed to stay in perpetual conflict with each other. On numerous occasions there were officers arresting other officers for what seemed to be more out of a competition than any real military error. Lastly, it was really amazing to see how successful many of the officers were at one level, then as they gained rank they become ineffectual or only marginally successful – the Peter Principle.
If you are interested in the make-up of the officers in the book then you will really find the book interesting. I will say though, if you are more interested in details of their actions taken in famous battles; this book may not be what you would be looking for. The Battles are only described in the most general of terms.
I was hoping to glean some ideas for organizing and uncluttering and this book delivered in a big way. Have already started applying some of the principles from the book and can see real value in so many of the ideas that he presents in the book. The length of the book was about right, it moved at a fairly fast pace and the narration was very enthusiastic. The book is very comprehensive – goes over everything from photos, cars, keys, gifts and a great deal more than just clutter.
I found this book to be implausible and predictable but somewhat entertaining. The Reacher character is really closer to a Superhero than a detective. I think if you are a fan of this series then you would not be disappointed in this one. The books in this series that I have read all seem to have somewhat preposterous story lines so if you prefer more realistic detective books then I wouldn't recommend using a credit on this one. This may be a case where watching the movie is the better alternative.
From the beginning of the Plantagenet Dynasty thru the end of the reign of Richard, the history of the Plantagenet’s is simply riveting. These leaders, though called Kings of England, were actually French Norman until well into the 14th Century. The marriage alliances, the intrigues, the betrayals, the pure brutality, the military campaigns, the plagues and ultimately the advances towards modern day governing all contribute to make this a fascinating book. The Kings and leaders were certainly not gentle people, yet many of actions they took played a significant role in how England, and ultimately Europe developed into what it is today. I guess I thought there was more National identity during these times than there actually seemed to be – the spheres of influence were in actuality more aligned with ruling families than nationalistic. Most of the coastal areas of modern day France were frequently under the rule of the Plantagenet Kings, until nearly the 15th century. Through each ensuing reign, you can see small advances in curbing the ultimate power of the Kings to the point of removing later Kings Edward II and Richard II. And while the Kings power was slowly being curtailed, the power of the legislative part of Government slowly grew – from the inception of the Magna Carta during King John’s reign until the removal of King Richard II. If you enjoy History of the middle Ages you will enjoy this book. Well worth the credit.
Regardless of what one think's of Bill O'Reilly, this is a fascinating book. The only negative thing aspect for me was that it did start a little slow, bogging down in detailing some of the final battles/skirmishes of the Civil War, but once the book began detailing the personalities involved in the plot it became fascinating. O'Reilly is a polished narrator from his time on the Factor, and he is very gifted in making strong arguments. I don't agree with all of the perspectives that were presented in the book, but there were truly a lot of strange coincidences for it to have been solely the work of the conspirators that were ultimately found guilty. Equally strange were some of the post war incidents that involved so many of the people closely involved with the investigation. I would certainly recommend this book as it is immensely entertaining. Judge for yourself what parts that you deem plausible and which seem conjecture.
The Gods of Guilt may be the best book of the series so far. Very riveting story, well read by Peter Giles. It is clear Connelly envisions Mickey Haller to be Harry Bosch’s alter ego. While on opposite ends of the legal process, and with perspectives from both of those extremes, both view their jobs as missions for justice, neither character will not stop in their pursuit of what they perceive to be justice and both seem haunted by their shortcomings as a result of it. While he is not as likeable as Connelly’s other main character, this series has developed into one that I look forward to reading each new installment in the series. If you have enjoyed any of the other Lincoln Lawyer books then you will enjoy this one. As I am a commuter listener, the story was a little difficult to follow at the beginning but quickly picked up to finish with a bang. The ending was very satisfying.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, not being a huge fan of O’Reilly, but I must admit the book captured my attention right off the bat and kept my interest throughout the entire book. I listen to audio books as I commute and this was one of those books that I could not wait to get back to at the end of the day. While I would not agree with many of his assertions in the book, I would say the book is incredibly interesting and in many ways very informative. He narrates the book in the same manner that he does his talking points memo from the factor and it works for this book. He does an incredible job in my opinion of presenting an idea of what life must have been like in that region at that time. The end of the book was especially poignant and thought provoking – I did not realize that all of the Apostles except John were gruesomely martyred as they preached the Gospel following the Crucifixion of Jesus. I plan to try one of his other books.
If you enjoy Roman History then you will love this book. Gibbon goes into excruciating detail to describe slow decline of the empire and the monumental steps toward the eventual fall.
There is a span of time before Diocletian that almost no Emperor was able to remain in power, or alive for that matter, for more than a year or two after assuming the purple.
It was very interesting to see the slow loss of impact that the city of Rome itself had on the empire. Several of the Emperors rarely if ever, even visited Rome. And I was amazed at how many non Italian born Roman Emperors that there were. With the emergence of Constantinople, Rome continued to slide somewhat into irrelevance.
The impact of Religion, particularly of the role of Christianity is discussed in great detail.
Even with the eventual fall of the empire, Europe, both Western and Eastern, to this day retains some striking resemblances to the Roman Empire.
Charlton Griffon is one of the premier narrators of audio books and he performs magnificently in this lengthy and detailed book.
Well worth the credit
I rely heavily on customer reviews when using my credits and when I saw this Stephen King offering with such stellar reviews I figured it was a can't miss selection. The story is decent, borderline mediocre. Really this one is closer to the short stories King has done like "the body", which they used for the Movie "Stand By Me". I think if you are looking for a thriller you will be sadly disappointed. Big name authors sometimes get a pass on the reviews and I think that is the case here. I am a big Stephen King fan, loved 11-22-63, but this one was almost boring. Narration was average. The primary storyline is simply about a young man coming of age. A subplot about a serial killer makes up a very small portion of the book and ties to a ghost make up an even smaller and almost unrelated aspect of the story.
The Cuckoo's Calling is one of the best detective books that I have read in several years. The writing is clever; the main characters are likeable, complex and yet flawed. The chemistry between the primary characters is outstanding – the story itself is funny, suspenseful and interesting. Rowling shows that she can master a completely different genre from the Harry Potter series. This is the first listen that I have for Robert Glenister but I must say his narration was first rate. There were a fairly large number of characters in the book and Mr Glenister was able to give each a distinct vocalization. It just all came together nicely to make a great book that I would strongly recommend, well worth the credit. Hopefully this is the beginning of a series and future offerings will bring back the main characters and also the narrator.
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