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Flavius

Morro Bay, CA, United States | Member Since 2017

516
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 170 reviews
  • 440 ratings
  • 673 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
16
FOLLOWERS
40

  • Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Major Rusty Bradley, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1769)
    Performance
    (1593)
    Story
    (1591)

    Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers.

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "Kandahar Battle Described As Never Before"
    "A Soldier's-Eye View of the Afghanistan Conflict"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    'Lions of Kandahar' brings the combat close--sometimes too close for comfort. It's a gritty, valiant look at one man's experiences in the recent conflict. This unique focus has its advantages and disadvantages. The author's intimate knowledge of the subject makes for a detailed and compelling read, and because the team is so small, it's easy to keep track of the various participants in course of the battles. However, at the same time this narrow focus does not lend itself to an understanding of "the bigger picture" regarding Afghanistan, or how the events depicted in "Lions" fit in to that bigger picture.

    The narration is excellent.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • They Thirst

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (733)
    Performance
    (688)
    Story
    (687)

    It looked like another ordinary day in Los Angeles. Then night came...Evil as old as the centuries has descended upon the City of Angels - it comes as a kiss from the terrifying but seductive immortals. Slowly at first, then by the legions, the ravenous undead choke Los Angeles with bloodthirsty determination - and the hordes of monstrous victims steadily mount each night.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Better Then Zombies"
    "They Thirst: Vampires Take LA"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this book four and a half years ago, and have listened to it at least twice since then. However, it's taken me a while to articulate my thoughts about this book, which is very often derivative, but which I clearly enjoy quite a bit. I felt I owed it to this book to at least make some sense of my thoughts on it.

    Part of the problem is that I can't help but compare the book to Stephen King's far-superior "Salem's Lot." "They Thirst" is heavily influenced by King's earlier novel (which admittedly, owes a debt itself to Bram Stoker's "Dracula"), but takes King's notion of a vampire fiefdom to a grander scale, replacing gothic for action movie.

    But for its flaws, this story of a determined group of ordinary Angelenos fighting a growing tide of vampires is pretty good. It's competently, if not spectacularly, written, and never lags. Ray Porter's voice acting is, as is so often the case, wonderful.

    Somewhere down the road I'll probably listen to this again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Critical Failures V: Caverns and Creatures, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Bevan
    • Narrated By Jonathan Sleep
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1268)
    Performance
    (1201)
    Story
    (1195)

    Many view "hitting rock bottom" as a foundation on which to rebuild one's life, a place from which one can only ascend. Gamers know to search for a secret door leading down to the sewer.

    P. Smith says: "Half a Book"
    "V is for Five"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was so much fun to listen to. It seems so often that a series begins to decline by the fourth or fifth book, but I found CF5 to be as enjoyable as any other book in the series (although if you're just coming to the Critical Failures, start with CF1--you'll be glad you did). Bevan keeps the book fresh by introducing new characters and by making ancillary characters into full-fledged cast members.

    I really appreciate the humor in these books. Its so fresh and unforced, ranging wildly between lowbrow locker-room ribaldry and sophisticated witticisms and everything in between. There is, of course, a surfeit of cringe.

    Bevan has created a world much richer and deeper than what I expected after reading CF1. It's been a long, long time since I've been so eagerly waiting the next installment so deep into a series. This is a fun book.

    If you've listened to the other books in the series, I probably don't need to tell you what a great job Jonathan Sleep does with narration. I can't imagine the series with any other narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Rings, Swords, and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Professor Michael D.C. Drout
    • Narrated By Professor Michael D.C. Drout
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (347)

    In this course, the roots of fantasy and the works that have defined the genre are examined. Incisive analysis and a deft assessment of what makes these works so very special provides a deeper insight into beloved works and a better understanding of why fantasy is such a pervasive force in modern culture.

    Jefferson says: "An Informative, Stimulating, and Enjoyable Class"
    "Fun and Thought-Provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this brief exploration of the fantasy genre. Michael DC Drout is knowledgeable, and just as important, enthusiastic about his subject material.Before listening, I worried that the lectures would be too dry for my tastes, so I was gratified to discover that they did a good job of holding my interest.

    This course is a great overview of fantasy and its 19th & 20th century "origins," but could have--and perhaps SHOULD have--been longer. Because of the course's brevity, the discussion is largely limited to a handful of authors, although those authors are discussed in some detail, particularly Tolkien.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hell Divers: The Hell Divers Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sansbury Smith
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10207)
    Performance
    (9562)
    Story
    (9529)

    More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers - men and women who risk their lives by diving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need.

    Dreamer says: "read the book so of course I had to listen to it"
    "Death Above and Below"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hell Divers is an interesting new addition to post-apocalyptic fiction. For several generations, the survivors of Earth's last great war haven't actually lived on Earth, but live far above it in a single colony in a massive aircraft called the Hive. Only a handful of colonists have even set foot on the planet, and every one of them has been a hell diver, elite operatives who plummet to the surface of a very inhospitable planet to search for supplies to keep their ship aloft.


    Quickly-paced and entertaining. RC Bray does an excellent job of narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Country

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By C. B. McKenzie
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2031)
    Performance
    (1844)
    Story
    (1849)

    Rodeo Grace Garnet lives alone, save for his old dog, in a remote corner of Arizona known to locals as the Hole. He doesn't get many visitors, but a body found near his home has drawn police attention to his front door. The victim is not one of the many illegal immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border just south of the Hole, but is instead a member of one of the local Indian tribes.

    DanBudda says: "Wow!! Please give this book a chance to knock you off your feet!"
    "Hard Times in A Hard Place"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like a book with a well-defined and authentic sense of place, and it was the desert & Southwest themes which attracted me to "Bad Country" in the first place. In this, neither the author nor the narrator disappoint. The novel is populated with believable (if not always likable) characters.

    One character I very much did like was the protagonist, Rodeo. There's a profound sadness to the character, but also a quiet dignity. He seems to be a guy who's been kicked in the face all his life and expects to keep receiving kicks as long as he lives. For all this, though, Rodeo doesn't come off as a loser (not to the reader, anyway), but something of a hard-luck hero.

    "Bad Country" is a world of mean people and casual cruelties where friendship never runs very deep and love isn't even mentioned.

    Mark Bramhall's narration was my favorite aspect of this production.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Death of WCW

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By R.D. Reynolds, Bryan Alvarez
    • Narrated By Bryan Alvarez
    Overall
    (934)
    Performance
    (858)
    Story
    (856)

    In 1997, World Championship Wrestling was on top. It was the number-one pro wrestling company in the world, and the highest-rated show on cable television. Each week, fans tuned in to Monday Nitro, flocked to sold-out arenas, and carried home truckloads of WCW merchandise. Sting, Bill Goldberg, and the New World Order were household names. Superstars like Dennis Rodman and KISS jumped on the WCW bandwagon. It seemed the company could do no wrong.

    says: "The Best Wrestling Book I've Ever Listened To"
    "Spectacular Rise, Spectacular Fall."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a lot of fun, and kept my interest throughout. I haven't followed wrestling since I was a kid, but had no trouble following the story despite all the "new" (to me) wrestlers in the last 25 years or so.

    There are a lot of fun stories, anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stuff from the last years of the WCW. I felt I came away with a deeper appreciation of professional wrestling than I had going in, and a more nuanced understanding of these athletes as human beings.

    At times it did seem like the authors were taking a little too much delight in WCW's extravagant foolishness. Sometimes this seemed like "piling on."

    Still, it's clear that the authors have a real love for professional wrestling, and that shows in their knowledge and enthusiasm. A good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The History of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Bob Brier
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier Ph.D. The University of North Carolina
    Overall
    (2050)
    Performance
    (1908)
    Story
    (1904)

    Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.

    Nassir says: "Incomprehensibly complete"
    "Informative, Generous & Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure I'd have the stamina for a 48-episode course on Ancient Egypt. I thought I might become confused by the sheer scope of the timeline or be bored by professorial flights into minutia. Happily, I couldn't have been more wrong.

    This is a very worthwhile course. Professor Brier is knowledgeable, engaging and obviously enthusiastic about Egyptology. After listening to the course, I feel I have a better understanding not only of ancient Egyptian history and customs, but also how ancient Egypt has helped in the development of our modern society.

    Despite the progression of names & dynasties, Prof. Brier does an excellent job of reviewing important information from previous lectures. This helps to keep the myriad of historical figures (many sharing the same or similar names) distinct from one another.

    The course breathes life into a too-often lifeless period in history. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Eaton

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By John K. Addis
    • Narrated By Jeff Hays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1190)
    Performance
    (1113)
    Story
    (1111)

    Spanning over 100 years of mid-Michigan history, The Eaton tells the story of Sam Spicer, a young entrepreneur who purchases the dilapidated Michigan Central Railroad Depot in Eaton Rapids with the dream of opening a hot new martini bar. But when he and his friends discover an abandoned underground hotel directly beneath the property, they must discover what happened to the original guests—before their own time runs out.

    reader says: "Scary but explicitly gruesome"
    "Horror, Ten Stories Deep"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "The Eaton" is a fun, novel twist on monster fiction. It's filled with largely likable, sympathetic characters trapped in a grim and perilous environment. I liked the flashback element of the story, which gradually forms our understanding of the situation. As some reviewers have pointed out, the flashback-within-a-flashback technique can be momentarily confusing, but this doesn't present too much of a problem.

    What I found most intriguing about this novel was the air of mistrust that the antagonist is able to create among the characters. This element, in which the reader is every bit as in the dark as are the protagonists, adds a suspenseful and gripping element to the story.

    1 of 1 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
    (715)
    Performance
    (671)
    Story
    (669)

    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.

    Betsy says: "Outstanding work so well researched."
    "Daring and Danger in the Depths"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book, and came away from it with a better knowledge of the submarine war in the Pacific during WWII. The book is gripping, and never drags, depicting the harrowing experiences of several sailors during their lonely and secret war.

    Although the book concerns itself with a number of sailors on several boats, the author does a good job for the most part of reminding us who everybody is.

    Central to this book are the hunts, when a sub will attempt to sink its target. These are also the most exciting moments of the book. They definitely gave me a new appreciation of the many challenges in targeting and hitting an enemy ship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By William J. Mann
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1289)
    Performance
    (1168)
    Story
    (1172)

    By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America's new favorite pastime and one of the nation's largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence; yet Hollywood's glittering ascendancy was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies - including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.

    Steven says: "Everybody's a dreamer..."
    "Murder at the Dawn of Hollywood"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of those books in which my interest never flagged. Although the murder mystery is entertaining, what I found most compelling about "Tinseltown" was how vividly it depicted the fledgling movie industry circa 1920. This is an era I knew nothing about, but Mann tells so many stories from the era (including the tragic story of "Fatty" Arbuckle among others) that I've come to have a better appreciation of the times. This book is full of scandal and skulduggery, but also with warm & decent characters. The final chapters detail the lives of many of the principle characters in the years following the scandal--I found this very satisfying.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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