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Charles N. Ward

ward

ojai ca usa | Member Since 2011

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 171 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Gallant Lady: A Biography of the USS Archerfish

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Don Keith, Ken Henry
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    The Archerfish, a diesel powered Balao-class submarine crafted in the 1940s, won a unique, heroic place in military history and the memories of her crew members. Here is her story: from her assembly in New England and her dedication by Eleanor Roosevelt's personal secretary, to her service in World War II, where she broke the back of the Japanese Navy, and her critical role in the Cold War.

    Christopher says: "Pointless tales of meaningless anecdotes."
    "What a ship!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Gallant Lady again? Why?

    I have listened to this twice! I would love to say her contributions to history and the amazing stories, but it really boils down to whiskey pancakes.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Alan Sklar?

    Perhaps. His performance was hit and miss. I felt the whole time as if he were trying to sell me the ship.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By James Scott
    • Narrated By Donald Corren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (142)

    The War Below is a dramatic account of extraordinary heroism, ingenuity, and perseverance—and the vital role American submarines played in winning the Pacific War. Focusing on the unique stories of the submarines Silversides, Drum, and Tang—and the men who skippered and crewed them—James Scott takes readers beneath the waves to experience the thrill of a direct hit on a merchant ship and the terror of depth charge attacks.

    Ryan says: "Unique. Engaging. Worth your credit."
    "Slow to build but good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The beginning third is slow to congeal into anything exciting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The War Below?

    The parts lifted from Unbroken, by L. Zamperini


    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoy naval history -- particularly WWII and submarine services history -- then this us for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4648)
    Performance
    (2327)
    Story
    (2356)

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Problematic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the story and the narrator, but there were technical problems that sounded like clipping and cd skipping in spots that were disruptive. The first 10min of Chapter 11 comes to mind.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It was interesting, especially the unfolding of the two stories at the sane time.


    Was The Devil in the White City worth the listening time?

    Demand they get a clean recording, then yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Please fix audio issues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Vaillant
    • Narrated By John Vaillant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (149)

    It’s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren’t random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again.

    Richard says: "Very well written and a must for Big Cat fans"
    "fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The tiger.


    Any additional comments?

    The history of the Primorsky Krai and areas in and around the deep east of Russia is to the casual Westerner almost as far off and mysterious as of that of the Incas or ancient civilizations so long ago. I did not expect to be introduced to the culture and problems of that area, and was delighted to learn of Dersu Uzala, Vladimir Arsenyev, and others.

    The complications around the poaching preservation and sometimes necessary extermination of the Amur Tiger are expertly told and woven along with the terrible and exciting tale of this particular incident. That this story did not spread widely when it happened is both a mystery and almost expected... as such things go in this part of the world.

    100% recommend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On to Victory: The Canadian Liberation of the Netherlands, March 23 - May 5, 1945

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Mark Zuehlke
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    It is remembered in the Netherlands as "the sweetest of springs," the one that saw the country's liberation from German occupation. But for the soldiers of First Canadian army, who fought their way across the Rhine River and then through Holland and northwest Germany, that spring of 1945 was bittersweet. While the Dutch were being liberated from the grinding boot heel of the Nazis, their freedom was being paid for in Canadian lives lost.

    Charles N. Ward says: "Confusing at times, narrator impossible"
    "Confusing at times, narrator impossible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this audiobook to a friend, for a couple reasons. Firstly, there are too many names of individuals and units to keep track of; and, most importantly, the narrator is very distracting. He seems unable to speak many common words, such as "the." He sounds clipped and awkward, and some sentences are almost unintelligible. I will never listen to a story narrated by this man again.


    If you’ve listened to books by Mark Zuehlke before, how does this one compare?

    I have listened to Ortona by this same author and narrator. The same complaint applies for the narrator, but Ortona is easier to follow than this book.


    What didn’t you like about William Dufris’s performance?

    He seems unable to speak many common words, such as "the." He sounds clipped and awkward, and some sentences are almost unintelligible. I will never listen to a story narrated by this man again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10677)
    Performance
    (10161)
    Story
    (10176)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Martian in three words, what would they be?

    Macgyver on Mars. This is the science fiction I love: that type which seems entirely probable within the lifetime of the audience at the time published.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, definitely.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Morton Sellers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1330)
    Performance
    (1188)
    Story
    (1176)

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

    Chris Reich says: "Scared the Hell Out of Me"
    "Wow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Going Clear the most enjoyable?

    The evenhanded journalistic approach Lawrence Wright brought to this story was to me the best part. The religion manages to shed illusions and expose itself a monster without much coaxing at all.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ortona: Canada's Epic World War II Battle

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Mark Zuehlke
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In one furious week of fighting in December 1943, the First Canadian Infantry Division took Ortona, Italy, from elite German paratroopers ordered to hold the medieval port at all costs. When the battle was over, the Canadians emerged victorious despite heavy losses.

    Charles says: "Ortona"
    "Exciting story of WWII but terrible reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ortona?

    Christmas Dinner with the Seaforth Highlanders, the Fallschirmjager defense of the city, "mouseholing" technique developed by Canadians in order to advance through the city.


    What didn’t you like about William Dufris’s performance?

    He is very distracting, almost as if his voice were constrained and reading were difficult to do. He seems unable to speak many common words, such as "the." He sounds clipped and awkward, and some sentences are almost unintelligible. I will never listen to a story narrated by this man again.


    Did Ortona inspire you to do anything?

    I am a WWII reenactor, and am now more enthusiastic in efforts to portray at a reenactment the Canadian infantryman.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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