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Derek

West Chicago, Il, United States | Member Since 2012

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 172 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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  • Service: A Navy SEAL at War

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Marcus Luttrell
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (460)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (438)

    Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell returned from his star-crossed mission in Afghanistan with his bones shattered and his heart broken. So many had given their lives to save him-and he would have readily done the same for them. As he recuperated, he wondered why he and others, from America's founding to today, had been willing to sacrifice everything-including themselves-for the sake of family, nation, and freedom.

    Heidi says: "love this book ~ add it to your must read list!!"
    "Wish I read rather than listened to Collins."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Marcus Luttrell and/or Kevin T. Collins?

    I'm a huge fan of Audible.com and will NEVER listen to Kevin Collins again. His eagerness to sell the story ruined it for me.


    What didn’t you like about Kevin T. Collins’s performance?

    Within the first hour of the book I was skeptical of Collins's performance. To me he sounded as though he was delivering a sermon and over emphasized much of the book. In my opinion, the last 25% of the content saved the book. Partly since Collins's role was limited and partly because it was an interesting perspective. One that I have not found in other SEAL books.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Perhaps. I don't feel as strongly about this book as I have other SEAL books previously.


    Any additional comments?

    Seemed Marcus Luttrell wanted to capitalize on his past success and write a public thank you note to all the people in his past. At times it seemed like a Navy sponsored fluff piece. I do hope that some of these stories get their own book in the future.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Steven Rinella
    • Narrated By Patrick G. Lawlor
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    Steven Rinella won a lottery to hunt for a wild buffalo in the Alaskan wilderness. One of only four hunters that year who succeeded in killing a buffalo, he carried the carcass down a snow-covered mountainside and floated it four miles down a white-water canyon while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years' worth of buffalo hunters in North America and the place of the buffalo in the American consciousness.

    D. hanson says: "Driving West"
    "A comprehensive history on the American Buffalo."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up American Buffalo in three words, what would they be?

    Rinella knows Buffalo!


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

    There were some aspects surrounding the history were the facts had been lost with time and Rinella used his best judgement and expertise to fill in the gaps. That's not something I typically enjoy in non-fiction. These parts were minimal and didn't take away from the facts.


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

    As he described the kill and butchering I was sickened; however, after his explanation about being a responsible advocate for the buffalo I felt more like a hypocrite for being a meateater.


    Any additional comments?

    I made some initial judgments and had preconceived notions about hunters before reading the book. I was wrong, to Rinella's credit he is not a stereotypical hunter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agent Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Morten Storm, Paul Cruickshank, Tim Lister
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Morten Storm was an unlikely Jihadi. A six-foot-one red-haired Dane, Storm spent his teens in and out of trouble. A book about the Prophet Mohammed prompted his conversion to Islam, and Storm sought purpose in a community of believers. He attended a militant madrasah in Yemen, named his son Osama, and became close friends with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born terrorist cleric. But after a decade of Jihadi life, he not only repudiated extremism but, in a quest for atonement, became a double agent for the CIA and British and Danish intelligence.

    Matthew says: "Very compelling!"
    "This part isn't covered in the news!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Agent Storm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 5%.

    TOTALLY AWESOME!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Perhaps one of the most informative books I've listened to. This book truly opened my eyes to so many aspects of the past decade. There's a brief and informative lesson on Islam, a lesson on the inner workings of terrorism, and a peek behind the curtain of the sometimes sleezy CIA and the agencies of counter-terrorism.


    What does Neil Shah bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His pronunciation of names and places within the text was extremely helpful. Had I read the book, there would have been a disconnect as I would have undoubtedly struggled with the language.


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

    I was in awe anytime the CIA was mentioned. From Storm's narrative they operate much like you'd imagine, dark and shadowy, but seldom hear about in the first person. TOTALLY AWESOME!


    Any additional comments?

    Terrorists, and often the people chasing them, are disgusting. I can't believe this really happened!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Finkel
    • Narrated By Michael Finkel
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In the haunting tradition of Joe McGinniss's Fatal Vision and Mikal Gilmore's Shot in the Heart, True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, and deceit with a deeply personal inquiry into the slippery nature of truth.

    Jeff says: "Bad reader and a weak (true) story!"
    "I felt slimy after this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of True Story to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily. Finkel did a fine job with the narration however his performance didn't add anything exceptional to the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of True Story?

    During the opening statements of the trial the description of the bodies was sickening. I have never felt so disgusted by a book. That being said, I eagerly finished the book.


    What does Michael Finkel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    To hear, in his voice, the explanation from his previous firing was interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    If only this book was a work of fiction. Longo is scum and I felt filthy after listening to his story. I've never had this gut turning reaction to any book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daughter of the King: Growing Up in Gangland

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Sandra Lansky, William Stadiem
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    In this tell-all memoir, the only daughter of the man who was considered the "brains of the Mob" opens the door on her glamorous - and tragic - life. Sandi Lansky Lombardo, daughter of Mob boss Meyer Lansky, was raised in New York City in upper-class Jewish splendor and spent her childhood in the undeniable glitz of Havana and Las Vegas in Lansky's heyday in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. She dined out with her father and his associates when she was six and was introduced to Frank Sinatra when she was 11.

    Nancy says: "Queen of the Whine"
    "She has had an interesting life."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Daughter of the King in three words, what would they be?

    Wishing for more!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Meyer Lansky, was a fascinating person. His daughter certainly has an interesting perspective of the legend.


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

    There's more to the Legend.


    Any additional comments?

    Having just finished American Desperado, prior to this listen, I was waiting for Lansky's view on how the stepson was murdered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Facing Down Evil: Life on the Edge as an FBI Hostage Negotiator

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Clint Van Zandt, Daniel Paisner
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    No ordinary Washington memoir, Facing Down Evil is an unprecedented look behind the scenes of our nation's most powerful law-enforcement agency. As the FBI's premier hostage negotiator, Clint Van Zandt worked or consulted on some of recent U.S. history's most unsettling and high-profile conflicts, including the Waco, Oklahoma City, and Unabomber cases.

    DMHVetSurveyor says: "I like this guy!"
    "Watered down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The stories were interesting but I felt Van Zandt was holding back the most interesting cases for the next volume. Would have better as an unabridged version.


    Was Facing Down Evil worth the listening time?

    Not in my opinion.


    Any additional comments?

    I was glad to have heard the stories he offered but felt disappointed afterward.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eyes on Target: Inside Stories from the Brotherhood of the U.S. Navy SEALs

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Scott McEwen, Richard Miniter
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (85)

    Told through the eyes of current and former Navy SEALs, Eyes on Target is an inside account of some of the most harrowing missions in American history-including the mission to kill Osama bin Laden and the mission that wasn't, the deadly attack on the US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi where a retired SEAL sniper with a small team held off one hundred terrorists while his repeated radio calls for help went unheeded.

    James says: "Not impressed with author."
    "Nothing new in this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    New information or stories that can't be found in similar books.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Viper Pilot


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. The majority of the book was a re-telling of previous documented stories. Then the ending was a few hours of pure speculation on what "could have been" after the the attacks in Benghazi.


    Any additional comments?

    I returned this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Sam L. Amirante, Danny Broderick
    • Narrated By Robin Bloodworth
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (99)

    “Sam, could you do me a favor?” Thus begins a story that has now become part of America's true-crime hall of fame. It is a gory, grotesque tale befitting a Stephen King novel. It is also a David and Goliath saga - the story of a young lawyer fresh from the public defender's office whose first client in private practice turns out to be the worst serial killer in our nation's history. This is a gripping true crime narrative that reenacts the gruesome killings and the famous trial that shocked a nation.

    A.R. says: "Ultimately an excellent listen"
    "What a bizarre person."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster to be better than the print version?

    Robin Bloodworth's performance definitely sets the audio version apart from the print.


    What other book might you compare John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster to and why?

    Being my first listen of a serial killer I can't make that comparison.


    What about Robin Bloodworth’s performance did you like?

    Bloodworth's voices and accents allow the listener to distinguish between the characters. The voice of "Gacy" is chilling. This was Bloodworth's first performance in my library, it most certainly will not be the last. Incredible.


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

    Wait for the DVD!


    Any additional comments?

    I was drawn in immediately upon starting the audio and I could not wait to turn it back on. After the trial began I found myself wanting to skip ahead. At times there are aspects of the trial that are redundant and mundane.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (1991)
    Performance
    (1509)
    Story
    (1509)

    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.

    Allan says: "unique among these books"
    "Another great SEAL Story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up SEAL Team Six in three words, what would they be?

    SEAL Operators = AWESOME!


    What other book might you compare SEAL Team Six to and why?

    Chuck Pfarrer's Warrior Soul. Wasdin's story picks up the SEAL timeline where Pfarrer's leaves off.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The Somali neighbor boy and the humanity displayed by Wasdin and his teammates.


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

    Wasdin's storytelling encourages laughing rather crying. Front-butt, peepee slapping, and Smudge's gf introduction are a few laugh inducing anecdotes.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're a fan of SEAL books this would be a prefect choice. You will not be disappointed. Guaranteed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard D. Mahoney
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (14)

    Books about the Kennedys are legion. Yet missing until now has been the exploration of the bond between Jack and Bobby, and the part that it played in their rise and fall. Richard D. Mahoney gives us Jack and Bobby in all their hubris and humanity, youthfulness and fatalism. Here is American history as it unfolds. The Kennedy Brothers is a fresh and masterful account of the men whose legacy continues to hold the American imagination.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A different view of Camelot"
    "Interesting story and relationship of the brothers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Kennedy Brothers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rank this particular book somewhere between 5-10 out of 30 of the books I've purchased through Audible.com


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Kennedy Brothers?

    The death of JFK and Bobby's reaction as well as his close relationship with his sister-in-law. The whole family dynamic of the Kennedy's is intriguing to me.


    What three words best describe Peter Altschuler’s performance?

    distracting "Quote" "unquote "


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

    The brothers relationship certainly inspire some emotional response from most listeners.


    Any additional comments?

    Had the story not been so well written and interesting I most certainly would have returned the audio file due to Altschuler's seemingly unending need to vocalize the words, quote, unquote. This so was distracting and unnecessary. I have listened to countless Presidential non-fiction and never have encountered any other narrator vocalize these quotes.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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