Fairbanks, AK, United States | Member Since 2012
My favorite thing about Sebastian Junger's book "The Perfect Storm" was that it wasn't fictionalized in any way, which can make the task of reconstructing the last few days of six men on a fishing vessel very difficult. But through a thoughtful examination of the events on and off of the Andrea Gail, Junger recreates the gripping story of what happened in late October 1991. It was known as the Perfect Storm - a freak meteorological marriage of two weather events that culminated in wave heights over 100 feet, sustained winds of 75mph, and over $200 million in damage along the eastern seaboard.
Great narration and an interesting, hair-raising story.
I want to start by saying that Paul Michael is one heck of a narrator. By the end of the book, I could audibly distinguish between characters just by the various accents spoken by the narrator. How anyone can keep two dozen different character accents clear and consistent throughout a 25hr storytelling is beyond me. Five stars!!
The book was great. A few commenters complained about the fact that the novel doesn't concentrate on one character - that it is too broad of a narrative and not enough of a story. But the book wasn't written to be about one or two men. It covers the North African campaigns and the plights of several key figures from that period, and judged in that light, Shaara wrote an amazing novel. From the frustrations of Rommel to the brashness of Patton, to the as yet untested Eisenhower trying to make the coalition function - it's all there.
I'll definitely be ordering the next book in the trilogy.
Like many listeners, I have been waiting for Ken Follett to release this book for a few years now. I am a huge fan of some of his other works, particularly his first two books in the Century Trilogy. But let me join the crowd by saying that this book, in my opinion, was a dud.
First off, its easy to tell that Mr. Follett is a devoted liberal. He talks quite often in his books about liberal causes and the "evils" of those that oppose those causes - which is completely fine since everyone has their viewpoint. But The Edge of Eternity was a 36 hour preachers sermon on liberal topics and demonizing the "idiot" conservatives. Again, in any novel, the author's opinion obviously shows through, but I felt this novel went over the top to the point of being annoying. Follett went out of his way to attack anything conservative.
Secondly, I don't think that Follett is inaccurate in his research, he is just incomplete. He paints only a small part of the picture that he wants to paint, which I suppose is his right as an author to do, but its pretty obvious to the listener. It frustrated me while listening to the story, and I was tempted to return the book a couple of times.Anyway, if you're set on completing the trilogy and finishing Follett's trilogy, then purchasing this book might be a good idea. Otherwise, I would save the credit and avoid the 36 hour selective history lesson.
For me, reading the Old Testament is...difficult. I have a tough time piecing together the major events while navigating the "so and so begat so and so" chapters. And as a consequence - I don't know much about the Old Testament.
Lynn Austin brings the Bible to life by piecing together scripture and filling in the gaps. Like all good historical fiction writers, Austin uses the facts where available and sews them together with a plausible and interesting storyline. This was my first Lynn Austin listen and I have since completed several more books in this series. They're all interesting and they're all beautifully written.
This book covers the early life of Hezekiah, future King of Judah. This youngster will eventually change the course of history and this book leads up to that. So if you're like me and sometimes struggle reading scripture, give Lynn Austin a listen. You'll enjoy the story and find out that you're learning along the way.
I can't say anything about this book that hasn't already been said. It was fantastic and horrifying, tragic and redemptive. It was men and women of true merit and courage that overcame the unspeakable evil of Nazi Germany, and books like that bring them to life.
What can I say about this book and it's author that haven't already been said?
The North and South series is fantastic. It's the story of two families intertwined by friendship, love, and marriage; separated by being "northerners" and "southerners", and ultimately by civil war.
I couldn't help but love the characters. They are well developed and intertwined, but not in such a way that would make the book confusing. John Jakes is the PG-13 version of Ken Follett - just enough to keep the story interesting, but not enough to make it pornographic. Those who have read both authors know what I'm talking about.
Its hard to imagine what life would have been like living during the civil war period. Your friends - and even some of your family - suddenly your "enemies", all because of the evil ideology of slavery, corrupted power structures, culture, and simple geography. The veins of slavery ran deep enough to turn a nation against itself, resulting in hundreds of thousands dead. It's books like this that help you see the victims on both sides.
After listening to several of Ken Follett's novels - or more accurately, tomes - I've come to expect a few things. First, the book will likely contain several graphic rape and sex scenes. (Some of them graphic enough to make a sailor blush). And while some of this can make you love or hate a character, I felt like the continued graphic element in this book detracted a bit from the narrative - every ten minutes there was mention of this and that body part. Secondly, the story will be rich in detail and it will usually end up being very interesting. And finally, it will be at least 40 hours long and read by John Lee (who is a fantastic narrator by the way).
Overall I enjoyed the book. Good character development and some unexpected twists and turns. I've never listened to a book detailing this period of history, so learning of the times and politics of the early Christian church was informative. There was one character that reminded me of a cheap action movie villain that seems to survive every un-survivable situation imaginable. He's a constant thorn in your side that never goes away.
Not Follett's best, but worth your listen.
For me, the best authors of historical fiction teach history without their readers knowing it. How? By making the facts come alive - by humanizing history. An engrossed reader comes away with a broader perspective of the world's events AND a good story.
An Officer and a Spy delivers on all accounts. And I must say I'm somewhat perplexed by a few of the negative reviews - I thought the book was excellent. It is the true story of Alfred Dreyfus, a French artillery man of German and Jewish descent, who is falsely accused and found guilty of treason - all of which remains today an unfortunate example of political injustice, aided largely by the court of public opinion. The story is suspenseful, engaging, emotional, and ultimately redemptive. A great listen for any audience - highly recommended.
I have been a moderately anxious, worry-filled pessimist for most of my life. For me, anxiety has come with its costs (missing out of many otherwise fun and exciting moments in my life, blocking people from seeing the REAL me) and its benefits (always prepared for any situation, overly attuned to social cues), etc. But I have always been skeptical of the reasons why I am this way. Is it chemical? Am I being fooled into a diagnosis by the drug companies? Is this within the realm of normalcy? In My Age of Anxiety, Scott Stossel delves into each of these questions and more.
The book is the most comprehensive and complete narrative of the history, the perceptions, reasons, the social stigmas, and the SCIENCE behind anxiety that I have ever read. And while I won't spoil the story for anyone, knowledge is power, and for me - knowing and recognizing the reasons behind anxiety was therapeutic.
The book is not a casual listen. But if you're interested in learning about anxiety, there will be no more user-friendly, layman's manual on the topic better than this. The narration is easy to listen to, the author is easy to follow, and as I found - he has ample experience with anxiety and its vast array of treatments. This book should be the recommendation of every diagnosing Physician dealing with anxious patients - it helped me out tremendously.
There are very few authors on this planet that can tell a masterful and engaging story while simultaneously teaching world history. Herman Wouk is one of these rare few. His stories are powerful, interconnected, and beautifully written; the listener not only feels a part of the narrative but also gains a certain affection for the characters.
The Caine Mutiny is not Wouk's finest work. I'll reserve that honor for some of his later works. That being said, the Mutiny is a fantastic story of love, hate, jealousy, and all of the complexities of thought an emotion experienced by a young sailor during World War II.
Any story from Herman Wouk will entertain and enlighten, and Tha Caine mutiny delivers on both accounts.
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