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Bruce Derflinger

Sunset Beach, CA USA | Member Since 2009

49
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 262 ratings
  • 461 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror, 1801-1805

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Joseph Wheelan
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (66)

    Two centuries ago, without congressional or public debate, a president who is thought of today as peaceable, Thomas Jefferson, launched America's first war on foreign soil, a war against terror. The enemy was Muslim; the war was waged unconventionally, with commandos, native troops, and encrypted intelligence, and launched from foreign bases.

    Donald says: "A Great Read"
    "A logical extension of "Empires of the Sea"."
    Overall

    Pirates and slavery were a historical problem in the Mediterranean for centuries prior to Jefferson's birth. Roger Crowley chronicled this in his book "Empires of the Sea". This plague on the people of the Mediterranean, and the World, was ended by Jefferson's Barbary War's. The ingenuity, courage, and daring of the American troops and their leaders changed the the path of history and secured support of the major European to end this blight.

    The writing was interesting and the reading was good and at times powerful. This a book that should be read to gain a viewpoint of the attitude of many of the leaders and people Muslim world toward the "unbelievers" or infidels. A problem that we, or children and future generations will have to deal with.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Palace Job

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Patrick Weekes
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (215)

    Loch is seeking revenge. It would help if she wasn’t in jail. The plan: To steal a priceless elven manuscript that once belonged to her family, but is now in the hands of the most powerful man in the Republic. To do so, Loch - former soldier, former prisoner, and current fugitive - must assemble a crack team of magical misfits that includes a cynical illusionist, a shape shifting unicorn, a repentant death priestess, a talking magical war hammer, and a lad with seemingly no skills.

    julienne says: "YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS"
    "Just go buy it - you'll like, no you'll Love it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a character driven story of a revenge heist or would that be heist revenge. Well there is a heist and it is driven by the need to avenge a wrong done to the hero (Loch) – so yes it’s a revenge heist. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what makes this a character driven book.

    The characters; there’s Kail a long time comrade-in-arms (read - old solider buddy from the Imperial war) of Loch. Then the safe cracker (you always can use a safe cracker) with the most unusual set of tools (all hidden in the pockets of her coat), a shape changing unicorn who is on the lookout for a virgin to deflower. There is a magician – you got to have one in a fantasy story – I mean I’m just saying. A Love priestess turned Death priestess which could be a bit strange – but then isn’t that how love goes. Her new squeeze is a talking War Hammer with a limited vocabulary, which always returns to her (just like the one that Thor carries), but this one used to be a king, a bit of a job downgrade if you ask me. Oh, I can’t forget Dairy – Dairy is a farm boy who wants to go along and against all reason Loch brings him and he proves to be – well useful. Did I mention that he is a virgin?

    Through problem after problem Loch is just ahead of the mess which normally ends up in the villain of the moments face. And there are lots of moments. You’ve got themes; like family, love, redemption & deliverance, rescues, politics (dark and nasty – the best kind – to read about not live through), showdowns, Good versus Evil and wait there’s more. Yet throughout this involved and convoluted mash-up Patrick Weekes keeps all the threads firmly in hand and well cared for. The ending is satisfying and I have already bought his second story.

    Justine Eyre’s narration is such a pleasure; she gives each character a unique voice, cadence, and tone. She is a such a pleasure to listen to. If you have some time look up her IBMd page, I do on all readers. With Miss Eyre you will find talent, brains and a classic beauty. I wish I were 30 years younger.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2188)
    Performance
    (1963)
    Story
    (1962)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "For the most part it was a pretty good story, but"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ms. Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell gave a very good performance. Elizabeth Wein's story seems an reasonably accurate picture of how women in the armed forces of WWII were treated. Up until the bridge I was enjoying the book and then, well the actions on the bridge were unrealistic. I don't want to put in a spoiler, but anyone with the proven ability to shoot as well as she could, would not have allowed the actions to get that out of hand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ann Handley
    • Narrated By Cynthia Barrett
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer. If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers.

    maverickny says: "Dreadful voiceover spoilt this excellent book"
    "So much data I'll have to buy the hardcopy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ann Handley's book is a major reference guide to online communication and content management. The only problem is that she is constantly tossing out cites or references that I didn't have time to write down. This really is a root point from which your understanding and knowledge in this field can grow.

    Books like this can live or die on the abilities of the reader. Cynthia Barrett is the reader you would want if you were to pen a book like this. The sparkle in her voice keeps you uplifted and interested through out the book, hers is a very special talent. After listening to her read this book, I think she could read the NY phone book or chant the Bronx Yellow Pages and have you singing along with her.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Blanding
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (233)

    Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers - both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects.

    Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief - until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library.

    Andy says: "with a little charm, you can rob almost anyone"
    "Doesn't live up to the hype."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was sold as an adventure story and it was a dry documentary. I did learn a great deal about early map making and the past and present values (both directionally and monetary) of these works of 15th to 18th century mapmakers. But exciting; only to a student of cartography, topographical history buff, or to someone who had acquired maps from the main character and just found out that they had purchased purloined papers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Amber Benson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (621)
    Performance
    (550)
    Story
    (571)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Anthony says: "Love Amber's Narration"
    "Scalzi Locks In Another Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Scalzi always seems to come up with new ideas or new twists on old ideas (is there really anything new under the sun?). The premise is one of the most terrifying things that could happen to a person. It’s worse than life imprisonment in solitary confinement. In solitary you can stand, sit, move around (not much, but you can move), smell (but you might not want too), talk, feel, and see. Now imagine a virus that causes millions round the world to die, worse than the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920. Of those that recover 99%, go on with their lives. For other 1% (4 million in the US alone), it causes a person to be locked into their body, awake and aware of the world around them, yet incapable of seeing, moving, or communicating, unable (luckily?) to even taste the gruel that is piped into their body. Hundreds of millions in the US a around the world have been ravished by this disease, and it continues to strike down more victims every year.

    But into this chamber of horror comes a ray of light, an open door leading back to the world - in the form an external body that sort of looks like the Droid CP3O. At least that is the style for the First Lady, an early victim of the virus, “Haden’s syndrome”. Named for its most public and well know victim - herself, the President’s wife. The First Lady has been given the first external body – our hero - Chris Shane, a child at the time, was granted the second, a child size version and becomes Haden’s syndromes second most famous victim. Yet through the adversity Chris becomes a beacon of hope for those suffering from this modern black plague. More than twenty years have gone by since the first outbreak; Chris is now a fledgling FBI agent and is trying to step out of the spotlight, into making a real life.

    The second day on the job, the rookie Chris and new partner Agent Vann meet in front of the Watergate Hotel. The meeting spot is next to car that is sporting a love seat – embedded in the roof after being thrown through a seventh floor window. From this point on you are trapped in a twisted and totally enjoyable world pulled from the mind of John Scalzi.

    A truly wondrous place to be.

    On the narrators:

    One of the more interesting curves is that Scalzi never hints at Chris Shane’s sex. So having Amber Benson and Wil Wheaton narrate individual versions is now more reasonable to me. I picked Amber’s version and wish that I had also picked up Wil’s so I could have compared them in their entirety. I have been a fan of both actors since the days of Star Trek, the Next Generation and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I decided on Amber’s version because I had the pleasure of catching Wil on several other books and I wished to hear Amber tackle this project.

    Amber Benson, held her own as a late comer to Buffy. Even surrounded by a powerful cast of actors, she stood out early enough to really earn the prized role of Willow’s (Alyson Hannigan) better half, through 47 episodes. Narrating, “Locked In” Amber seems to start off slow – but then you realize that she is reading a report from a government agency, so it’s going to be a bit flat. The characterization starts building from Chapter 2 and, for the most part, is strong and clear. Very captivating, it allows you to lean back and take pleasure in the theater of the mind that John and Amber weave for you.

    One note on Wil’s reading – I have only heard the five minute sample of his interpretation of the text, and it’s typical Wheaton. Crisp, clear and full of impact, and swift - it seems powerful and should also be a good experience.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6094)
    Performance
    (5716)
    Story
    (5702)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Butcher and Marsters create magic, again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Skin games is the 15th book in the Dresden Files series and a solid addition to the franchise. After fourteen books you might think that Harry has done just about everything a wizard in the 21st century can do. But things just keep coming at him that we or he don't see on the horizon. Sort of like running aground in the middle of the ocean on a cruise liner with all charts showing open seas. (Could Harry's ability to knock out modern equipment, bring down an ocean liner during a honeymoon cruise?)

    Once again James Marsters demonstrates his voice acting ability to bring Harry Dresden's world into living, breathing, characters that make you care about them. James Marsters is the voice of the Dresden Files - at least in 14 out of the 15 audio books. In each he adds depth to the characters - making them come to life in our earphones. Demonstrating the depth of this acting skills by playing all the parts and making us not only believe all of them, but care about them. I first took notice of him as 'Spike' in the 2nd season of the TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". His screen presents took what was to be a bit part to a major character in the 7th and final seasons and then, on the the Buffy spinoff Angel.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • FREE The Human Division, Episode 1: The B-Team

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (695)
    Performance
    (613)
    Story
    (624)

    Colonial Union Ambassador Ode Abumwe and her team are used to life on the lower end of the diplomatic ladder. But when a high-profile diplomat goes missing, Abumwe and her team are last minute replacements on a mission critical to the Colonial Union’s future. As the team works to pull off their task, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson discovers there’s more to the story of the missing diplomats than anyone expected... a secret that could spell war for humanity.

    Brett says: "Pretty Fun Space Opera"
    "A Great Twist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How can a manager build a team who break the rules, end up in front of a hearing board, and yet succeed in the face of impossible odds where many others have failed. In, "The B-Team" we are treated to an example of an unlikely group, thrown together, who succeed while breaking the rules. A really fun story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Importance of Being Earnest: Free Performance

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 58 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (1305)
    Performance
    (1158)
    Story
    (1157)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Susan says: "So much fun!"
    "Oscar Wilde - Wild once again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oscar Wilde has a totally irreverent and completely sarcastic view of Victorian life style and morals. The play is done so earnestly and with tongue so firmly in cheek it is a wonder that the dialog is as clear and understandable as it is. Wilde's attempt to lampoon the more absurd conventions of his day are firmly spiked by James Marsters, who wears his role as comfortably as a favorite pair of loafers.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (1280)
    Performance
    (1055)
    Story
    (1045)

    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Teddy says: "Excellent Book All Over"
    "Do not listen to this while you are driving!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Better Angels of Our Nature better?

    While the topic could be interesting, the way this book is written and read is a non-drug cure for insomnia.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    "A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition", "Power, Faith, and Fantasy", Don Quixote, 1434 or The Prince


    How could the performance have been better?

    Audible carries a large number of books narrated by Arthur Morey. From the number and genres of the writings I must assume that he has done well with them. But, until this tome I had not been exposed to him. Perhaps the author, editor or publisher instructed him to read in a monotone – I don’t know. But, I do know that I kept finding myself dozing off or waking up from his rendition of this text.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    If sure that there were some passages or concepts that could be considered "Redeeming Values", but I must have slept through them.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd recommend a rewrite - a total rewrite

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dan Senor, Saul Singer
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (493)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (285)

    Start-Up Nation addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel - a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources - produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the UK?

    Nili says: "Interesting and worth the time"
    "Is it ???Chutzpah??? of ???Davka????"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is the success of Israel???s business startups a case of ???Chutzpah??? (audacity, brazen nerve, courage, effrontery, incredible 'guts,' mettle, presumption topped off with a little (or large) touch of arrogance) or Davka (despite everything).

    The authors of ???Startup Nation??? argue the case of chutzpah quite strongly, and they are right. The people of Israel have had to "make do" in a land with few natural resources, surrounded by hostile nations. Due, in part to this, have become the "go to" place for emerging technologies the computer, science, ecology, medicine, and a host of other fields.

    But these successes are as much due to ???Davka??? (often defined as ???despite everything??? or ???just because you want me to disappear from the face of the earth - I will not??? emphasis on the last three words) - the insistence on surviving whatever is thrown at them and turning lemons (or the fruit of trees growing in salt water) into lemonade.

    While the general media from around the world is not report the successes of Israeli technology to impact their nations, in many ways people the world daily touch products of the Israeli minds.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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