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james

COCKEYSVILLE, MD, United States | Member Since 2011

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • House to House: An Epic Memoir of War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, John Bruning
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (409)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (231)

    In one of the most compelling combat narratives ever written, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, an Army infantry platoon leader in Iraq, gives a teeth-rattling, first-hand account of 11 straight days of heavy house-to-house fighting during the climactic second battle of Fallujah. His actions in the firefight, which included killing five insurgents in hand-to-hand combat, earned Bellavia the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and New York state's highest military honor, the Conspicuous Service Cross.

    Robert says: "As raw as it gets"
    "Wow!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book. Not good, great. Full-on immersion into the life of an Army Infantryman from go (wading through sewage to get to an objective), no blinders or Political Correct-washing.

    Fast, hard, and real - and read by the great Ray Porter.

    J

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5749)
    Performance
    (5363)
    Story
    (5384)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Love Sanderson's Fresh Twist On The 'Hero Genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first book by Brandon Sanderson, but it won't be my last. I was intrigued by the twist on the superhero genre - only bad guys get superpowers. No heroes, just villains. He plays it well, and the characters are solid.

    You can tell he spends a lot of time in his universe before he starts writing for us, there are layers of depth that only come from living there for a while.

    A good book, with a solid plot and characters, and a Tell you won't figure out too early. Recommended.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hornblower and the "Atropos"

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Nicolas Coster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (176)

    In the wake of a humbling incident aboard a canal boat in the Cotswolds, young Captain Horatio Hornblower arrives in London to take command of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop barely large enough to require a captain. Her first assignment under Hornblower's command is as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson. Soon Atropos is part of the Mediterranean Fleet's harassment of Napoleon, recovering treasure that lies deep in Turkish waters

    Edward C. Charbonnet says: "Great fun and adventure in 1806"
    "A Really Good Book Read As A Bed-Time Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a huge fan of C.S. Forester's Hornblower series - I have them all in print, and was working my way through the audible version in series order. It was going swimmingly!

    Then they changed Narrators. Disaster. Mr Coster's tone reminds me of someone reading a bedtime story - it is soft, even, and the volume lowers steadily throughout the sentence. Imagine "he parried the blow, then hacked and hacked again, fighting for his life" being read in the same tone as "lullaby, and good nite..."

    I'm sure his melodic drone is great for some stories (Copperfield?), just not this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lieutenant Hornblower

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (209)

    The nineteenth century dawns and the Napoleonic Wars rage as Horatio Hornblower faces the fury of the French and Spanish fleets combined. Amidst the hissing of wet wads, the stifling heat of white-hot cannon shot and the clamour of a mutinous crew, new Lieutenant Hornblower will need all of his seafaring cunning to overcome his first challenge in independent command on the high seas.

    Jean says: "Hornblower off to the Caribbean"
    "Leftenant Bush, actually!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has always struck me as an odd one in the series; not bad at all, just odd. Told more from Bush's point of view almost, or certainly focused more on him. I suppose to get you ready for Bush as the best friend.
    I didn't like the narration quite as much on this one, as the characterizations slipped a bit between Bush and Hornblower causing a bit of confusion, but not anything to cry over.
    A solid part of the series though, and well read all in all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (609)
    Performance
    (534)
    Story
    (534)

    The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a 17-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command of crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits.

    Emrys says: "Superb narration of a great story"
    "Solid Narration Of An Outstanding Work, Except..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Except when it all gets too quiet and you can't really hear it. Maybe you can if you are sitting at home in your armchair listening with headphones on, but I tend to listen in the car to and from work or on other errands. The volume of Mr Rodska is good 90% of the time, and I think it's his flair for the dramatic, which is a good thing all told, which causes this small problem.
    Every so often someone with a small voice comes in, or there is something whispered or shocking and it's hard to hear at normal volume for the rest of the piece. I get by because I've read the books already, if you haven't you may end up rewinding or palying with the volume.
    As for Hornblower? An awesome tale of high seas adventure in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Era!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Bill Homewood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (403)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (363)

    On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d'If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.

    A User says: "This is the definitive reading!"
    "This is the one to spend 50 hours listening to!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are plenty of other versions, but after listening to some samples I went with Bill Homewood. He's the man. A different voice/ characterization for each person in the story - different enough that sometimes I forgot their names but remembered them from earlier in the story by the voice!

    It's a good story, and I'd tried to get through the book before but could never fight through Dumas' long winded prose. Mr Homewood battered it down for me in style and has a great dramatic style.

    If you like the classics, you should give this a listen. If you're going to listen to The Count, you should listen to this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Assassin's Code: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1319)
    Performance
    (1231)
    Story
    (1233)

    When Joe Ledger and Echo Team rescue a group of American college kids held hostage in Iran, the Iranian government then asks them to help find six nuclear bombs planted in the Mideast oil fields. These stolen WMDs will lead Joe and Echo Team into hidden vaults of forbidden knowledge, mass-murder, betrayal, and a brotherhood of genetically-engineered killers with a thirst for blood.

    Melinda says: "Hang On To Your Shorts!"
    "Move Over Van Helsing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Joe Ledger, and Ray Porter is, in my opinion, the best Narrator working. So, this "book" was a automatic buy for me.
    That being said, it is full of all the Maberry goodness that makes Joe Ledger who he is - from book one, the thing that made Ledger different was his continued disbelief "zombies? c'mon!!"
    Assassin's Code to continues to live up to the hype, with solid action and continuing plot lines. A great listen!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Confessions of a D-List Supervillain

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer, Talmadge Ragan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (602)
    Performance
    (566)
    Story
    (570)

    Exploding from the pages of Horror, Humor, and Heroes, Volume One - it’s the full length adventures of the one and only Mechani-Cal! So grab your battlesuit and prepare to get a little nasty.

    Ryan says: "Everyman villain tries to make good. Fun stuff!"
    "Liked it in spite of myself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great listen once you get used to the snide-sounding narrator. I love the story, and would put it up there with the George RR Martin's Wild Card series, even though it's just a single story. It's got a great writing a character you really get into.

    And once you get used to him, you know why they picked the narrator - his voice totally fits the lead. I recommend it...and I'm waiting on a sequel!

    1 of 1 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
    (1725)
    Performance
    (1273)
    Story
    (1271)

    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.

    M. Sholund says: "Could not turn it off"
    "You gotta love SEAL humor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a great first person account that takes you through training, missions, and family life for one of America's elite warriors. I made my friends read this book.

    And if you don't laugh about the "front butt", you have no soul. :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Devil's Manhunt

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By R. F. Daley, Bob Caso, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Striking gold, Tim Beckdolt is a man on the brink of a new life - until a killer forces him at gunpoint to mine it - jumping his claim. Tim manages to escape, but soon finds himself being pursued like an animal in a bloodthirsty manhunt through vicious terrain.

    james says: "Great Pulp"
    "Great Pulp"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like pulp-fiction, this is a great book. Hubbard excelled at good pulp fiction stories; they flow, there's action, and the story moves at a good clip.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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