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Ryan

I am the most amazing version of myself that I have ever met.

Fairbanks, AK, United States | Member Since 2012

99
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 153 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jake Tapper
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (373)

    At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 U.S. troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere 14 miles from the Pakistan border, the U.S. abandoned and bombed the camp.

    Jason says: "A must read!"
    "Good, could have been great."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Outpost?

    The bravery of the men was remarkable. They should not be forgotten.


    Any additional comments?

    There are several errors in the audio file, where the narration will skip or bounce around. I re-downloaded the book thinking that I had an erroneous file to no avail. The story is great, and as I mentioned, I applaud Jake Tapper for telling that story. My only complaint lies in the errors of the audio file, and the fact that the book jumps around from character to character so rapidly that it is often difficult to track.

    God Bless our Troops, thats all I have to say.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (669)
    Performance
    (599)
    Story
    (605)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "36 hours of political soapboxing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gods and Kings

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (168)

    Shortly after the death of King Solomon in 931 B.C., the Promised Land is divided into two separate nations: Israel in the north, and Judah in the south. Hezekiah is the second son of King Ahaz of Judah. As he comes to power, he must navigate a troubled path to reunite his wayward people with Yahweh.

    Wolfpacker says: "Engrossing Book, Not Just for Female Readers"
    "A fun way to learn Biblical history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Auschwitz Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (493)
    Story
    (500)

    A terrible darkness has fallen upon Jacob Weisz’s beloved Germany. The Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, has surged to power and now hold Germany by the throat. All non-Aryans - especially Jews like Jacob and his family - are treated like dogs. When tragedy strikes during one terrible night of violence, Jacob flees and joins rebel forces working to undermine the regime. But after a raid goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself in a living nightmare - trapped in a crowded, stinking car on the train to the Auschwitz death camp.

    DebaDeb says: "Amazing, horrifying, and heartwarming!"
    "Horror and beauty in the same book"
    Overall
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    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • North and South: North and South Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By John Jakes
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1019)
    Performance
    (893)
    Story
    (902)

    Two strangers, young men from Pennsylvania and South Carolina, meet on the way to West Point.... Thus begins this brilliant novel of antebellum America, spanning three generations and chronicling the lives and loves of two great family dynasties. The Hazards and the Mains are brought together in bonds of friendship and affection that neither jealousy nor violence can shatter - until a storm of events sunders the nation and brings the cataclysm of war!

    Parusski says: "Captivating novel of the Civil War"
    "John Jakes is one of the best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12986)
    Performance
    (5338)
    Story
    (5385)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "Very good, but not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Officer and a Spy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    Overall
    (326)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (283)

    Paris in 1895: Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of 20,000. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus' guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military.

    Ryan says: "Top Notch Historical Fiction"
    "Top Notch Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Scott Stossel
    • Narrated By Michael Goldstrom
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (98)

    Drawing on his own long-standing battle with anxiety, Stossel presents an astonishing history, at once intimate and authoritative, of the efforts to understand the condition from medical, cultural, philosophical, and experiential perspectives. He ranges from the earliest medical reports of Galen and Hippocrates, through later observations by Robert Burton and Søren Kierkegaard, to the investigations by great nineteenth-century scientists, such as Charles Darwin, William James, and Sigmund Freud, as they began to explore its sources and causes.

    Ryan says: "A must read for anxiety suffers"
    "A must read for anxiety suffers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (925)
    Performance
    (802)
    Story
    (805)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "Superb Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Swimming with Crocodiles: A True Story of Adventure and Survival

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Will Chaffey
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Will Chaffey is 18 when he boards a plane in New York bound for Australia. Taking time off to work and travel, Will meets an enigmatic wanderer and herpetologist. Together they cross the inland desert to the tropical northwest coast, home to the saltwater crocodile, a known man-eater and a predator who has been hunting since the age of the dinosaurs. They devise a plan to explore the remote Prince Regent River, a trek so dangerous it had never been attempted by outsiders.

    Ryan says: "An easy, interesting listen..."
    "An easy, interesting listen..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Swimming with Crocodiles was an interesting listen, probably best suited for casual adventurers. It is the story of Will Chaffey's experiences while traveling in Australia, which ended up being more of a lesson in self-discovery than anything else.
    The story itself is interesting, although it is fairly anticlimactic and tends to cover up this fact by telling short scientific stories about various Australian reptiles. Nevertheless Chaffey's adventure is enough to keep your attention throughout, even if it is somewhat predictable.
    Without spoiling the story for any prospective listener, the most interesting aspect of the book is the lesson that Chaffey reiterates throughout, which is that not all education occurs within a classroom or walls of a university - a lesson I felt the author delivered with tact and power.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (1042)
    Performance
    (953)
    Story
    (963)

    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!"
    "Sometimes the truth is better than fiction..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A Higher Call is one of those inspiring stories that makes you want to be a better person. World War II brought about some of the most unthinkable actions of pure evil mankind has ever seen - and yet amongst such atrocities, decency and valor and good will still shone through in the actions of men from both sides of the war. This is one of those stories.

    This book brought tears to my eyes. And for a man's man who stinks at showing emotion like me - that's saying something. Phenomenal book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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