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Erik

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 63 reviews
  • 63 ratings
  • 178 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Adam Makos
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (687)
    Performance
    (623)
    Story
    (628)

    Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger.

    JerryL says: "An Absolutely Incredcredible Audiobook!"
    "A hidden gem!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had never heard of this book, but saw a review scrolling down the right side of the screen and quickly clicked on it. It sounded like an interesting story, so I ordered it. Boy, am I glad I did. A wonderfully researched book that gives fantastic insight into the two different points of view of pilots in WWII. The story was well crafted and the narrator was well matched to the story.

    I won't go on, but this was one of the most pleasant books I've had the pleasure to listen to in some time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Hiroo Onoda
    • Narrated By Lane Nishikawa
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In the Spring of 1974, 2nd Lt. Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese army made world headlines when he emerged from the Philippine jungle after a thirty-year ordeal. Hunted in turn by American troops, the Philippine army and police, hostile islanders, and eventually successive Japanese search parties, Onoda had skillfully outmaneuvered all his pursuers, convinced that World War II was still being fought and waiting for the day when his fellow soldiers would return victorious.

    Erik says: "An incredible story!"
    "An incredible story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I remembered hearing about “hold out” Japanese soldiers in my youth, so I knew I had to read this once I saw it. I’m glad I did.

    The story is simply amazing. Such single minded purpose and dedication is frightening and gives good insight into the culture that existed in the Japan of that era. Also amazing is the psychological aspect of the story. Mans ability for self delusion and paranoia are brought to the forefront in this story.

    One aspect which disappointed was that the author glossed over or failed to mention the numerous islanders he and his band killed over the 40+ years “at war”. Obviously they were in a war mindset, but the fact that these killings are omitted for the most part indicate to me a knowledge and decided effort to avoid the dark side of this amazing story.

    The narrator was very well matched, and made the story feel as if the author himself was telling it.

    This book is a must for anyone interested in a unique event of the past century, or for anyone wondering what someone must be thinking when they are able to maintain a bloody minded focus for 40 or more years in the jungle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • When the Eagle Hunts

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Simon Scarrow
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    The third novel in Simon Scarrow's best-selling Roman series. After a series of bloody battles, Camulodunum (modern-day Colchester) has fallen to the invading Roman army. The Emperor has returned to Rome, leaving the fearless Centurion Macro and his young Optio, Cato, to rest and regroup, along with the rest of the Second Legion. As their leader, General Plautius, plans the next phase of their campaign, word arrives that the ship carrying his family to join him was wrecked in a storm off the south coast.

    Erik says: "Still entertaining!"
    "Still entertaining!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story line for this 3rd novel isn’t quite up to par with the previous two, but is still good. Simon Scarrow’s narration continues to greatly add to the audio version, and I certainly hope they don’t change narrators for follow on books.

    If you haven’t been introduced to this series, I might want to start with the first book. If you’ve finished books one and two, and are considering the third book, I recommend you do so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Eagle's Conquest

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Simon Scarrow
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (3)

    The second novel in Simon Scarrow's best-selling Roman series. When Centurion Macro arrives on British soil as one of Emperor Claudius's invasion force in 43 AD, he is facing one of the toughest campaigns of his battle-scarred career. In a series of bloody skirmishes, Macro and his young subordinate, Optio Cato, and the desperately outnumbered Roman army must find and defeat the enemy before he grows strong enough to overwhelm the legions. But the Britons are not the only foe facing Macro and Cato....

    Erik says: "Solid Sword and Sandals Story"
    "Solid Sword and Sandals Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This really is an entertaining series. Not exactly haute literature, but the writing is solid and the stories draw you in. As always, Simon Scarrow is perfectly matched to this series.

    Give this one a try if you’re into this genre. You won’t be disappointed.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3435)
    Performance
    (1791)
    Story
    (1834)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Prsilla says: "Really-REALLY Classic!"
    "Still Fresh!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't let the age of this work put you off. You owe it to yourself to experience this masterpiece. I, like many, had passed this over as "dated", and indeed many works of this era are so. Not this one. It flows quite nicely, and the writing is of a caliber seldom seen today.

    The narrator was matched perfectly to this book and greatly enhanced the experience.

    I really can't say enough good about this audio book. Get it. You won't regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How Few Remain: A Novel of the Second War Between the States

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Harry Turtledove
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    A generation after the South wins the Civil War, it annexes critical territory in Mexico. Outraged, the United States declares total war. This time the American army faces danger on all sides--Confederates, outlaws, Apaches, French, and even the British. George Custer and Teddy Roosevelt fight hard and give the Americans hope. But to win, they need a commander as brilliant as Stonewall Jackson, and they must stop Jeb Stuart’s glorious cavalry.

    Michael says: "A Civil War Alternate History Classic! Fantastic!"
    "A great introduction to "alternative history""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the title for my review states, this was my first foray into "alternative history", and I couldn't have picked a better novel to start with.

    Having just finished North and South last year, this was great way of thinking about the "what if" of the civil war. Turtledove does a great job of putting together a plausible story to support his cast of historical characters. At first it seemed a bit odd, as the story goes against everything I know about the characters and history of this period, but after a few chapters giving the background of how the alternative events came to be, the story started to flow and I accepted the story as it unfolded.

    From what I understand, there are some follow on books to this one, but this novel stands on it's own without a "cliff-hanger" style ending. I'll likely give them a read, although I believe the story picks up a decade or so later, so the period will change somewhat.

    Give this book a read if you're interested in the Civil War period, interesting historical figures, and if you have an accepting and good sense of imagination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Over the Top

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Arthur Guy Empey
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania was making its way from New York to Liverpool when it was sunk by a German U-boat, shocking the world with the massive death toll. Infuriated by the tragedy, Arthur Guy Empey, an American citizen, traveled to England to enlist in the Royal Fusiliers, as the United States had not yet entered the war. Over the Top tells the story of Empey’s experiences in a voice straight from the western front, causing listeners to feel as if they are right there in the trenches.

    Jean says: "first hand experience"
    "The definitive soldiers point of view during WWI"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a must read for those wanting to know what the private experienced during WWI. Of course, having been written during the war itself, it is somewhat sanitized by the sensibilities of that era. You won't find the horrific descriptions that novels of the Vietnam War era have. That being said, knowing this, one can imagine the true difficulties and horrors being described.

    Others have classified this story as a propaganda piece. I would argue otherwise. Obviously, the author has a very defined sense of right, wrong, and duty. I don't think the author's goal was to recruit others to the cause, but his intent was to simply tell his story, and this he does well. The only areas I would consider propaganda are in the small vignettes within the main story, but I get the feeling the author was just relating some of the stories he had heard in the trenches.

    The real value in this story lies in the telling of the day to day life of the front line soldier. Details of assisting the cooks and scouring the pots with mud, how leave was announced and executed, the unit play, etc. These glimpses into life in the trenches are a goldmine.

    A short work, it won't take up much of your time. This novel is a must read for anyone with relatives, now passed away, who fought in WWI, and for those even remotely interested in that period. Don't let the fact that the story is 100 years old dissuade you, as it' is a fresh and pertinent today as ever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Horrie the War Dog: The Story of Australia's Most Famous Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Roland Perry
    • Narrated By David Tredinnick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In the harsh Libyan desert in the middle of the second world war, Private Jim Moody, a signaller with the First Australian Machine Gun Battalion, found a starving puppy on a sand dune. Moody called the dog Horrie. Much more than a mascot, Horrie's exceptional hearing picked up the whine of enemy aircraft two minutes before his human counterparts and repeatedly saved the lives of the thousand-strong contingent.

    Erik says: "More than a story about a dog"
    "More than a story about a dog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a rock solid book about company of Aussies and their faithful companion. While the story about the dog is key, the book could also stand on it's own as a story about the lives of the ordinary Commonwealth soldier during WWII.

    Anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of the history concerning ordinary soldiers during this historic period should consider this work. Of course, if you're after a good dog story it has that too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Persuader

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2528)
    Performance
    (1788)
    Story
    (1771)

    Jack Reacher. The ultimate loner. An elite ex-military cop who left the service years ago, he's moved from place to place...without family...without possessions...without commitments.

    Joanna says: "Child at His Best! A Must Read for Reacher Fans!"
    "Another excellent Jack Reacher story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my third read of a Jack Reacher novel, even though this is the 7th book in the series. It does well as a stand alone novel, and the sequencing of the stories is immaterial.

    This audio book was an excellent package deal. The story and narrator were a good match.

    As for the Jack Reacher character, well let's just say he is the anti-bond. Bond is slick and suave, and Reacher is rough around the edges. Bond is a socialite, and Reacher a loner.

    Both characters share many similarities, as does the story and writing styles. These books can be a bit formulaic, as are many series, but that is really a minor detraction.

    Pick this up if you are looking for a well crafted bit of entertainment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Best Served Cold

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1022)
    Performance
    (655)
    Story
    (670)

    It's springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll, and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests, and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.

    Lore says: "Solid, but not as good as the First Law trilogy."
    "Dark, yet compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As with all of Abercrombie's works, Best Served Cold is a very dark story. I think that's what makes them such a compelling read. The "hero's" to use the term loosely, are really quite despicable, but for some reason you find yourself identifying with certain characters.

    I think that really is the Abercrombie trade mark. Characters with major flaws, often more than one, that perhaps reflect reality much more than people are comfortable with.

    I would recommend you consider the "Blade Itself" series and "The Heroes" before this book, but it could be listened to as a stand alone work. I think, however, it would lose something without that background knowledge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stark's War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Eric Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (660)
    Performance
    (416)
    Story
    (418)

    To seize the moon from foreign powers--and keep his men alive - Sergeant Ethan Stark must choose which orders to obey - and which to ignore.

    Greg says: "Heavy-handed"
    "Too much focussed on the politics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't get me wrong, the underlying message and premise of this story was solid. Unfortunately, the author repeatedly slapped his audience in the head with his messages. Nothing subtle here, and it did the story a disservice.

    The book did entertain me, but it could have been much more nuanced. The narrator was pretty good, but was a bit deadpan when not doing voices.

    So, if you're interested in seeing what one author thinks of what military / civilian/ governmental relationships will look like in the distant future, give this one a listen, but don't expect too much.

    Of note, the author does indicate this is his first novel, so you must take that into consideration. I'm assuming his writing style has matured since then.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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