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Michael

ratings
9
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
26

  • Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Donald L. Miller
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (232)

    This is the dramatic story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, this is a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden. Fighting at twenty-five thousand feet in thin, freezing air no warriors had encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear.

    Olaf says: "Facts and Emotions Masterfully Combined"
    "An excellent, comprehensive history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Masters of the Air rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among those books dedicated to telling the story of the European air war, and notably that based in England, this is one of the best. It is comprehensive, well written, well narrated, and it artfully and engagingly stitches together strategy, personal stories, and tactical events. The mix of German and British and American story lines is superb.


    What other book might you compare Masters of the Air to and why?

    The telling of the personal stories reminds me of Ambrose's talent for doing so. James Hornfischer's


    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Gettysburg: The Last Invasion

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Allen C. Guelzo
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (105)

    From the acclaimed Civil War historian, a brilliant new history–the most intimate and richly readable account we have had–of the climactic three-day battle of Gettysburg (July 1–3, 1863), which draws the reader into the heat, smoke, and grime of Gettysburg alongside the ordinary soldier, and depicts the combination of personalities and circumstances that produced the greatest battle of the Civil War, and one of the greatest in human history.

    David says: "Better with maps"
    "Excellent retelling of this turning point battle"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Gettysburg in three words, what would they be?

    Longstreet's redemption confirmed


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is a work of non-fiction. The question is inappropriate.


    What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Dean's measured pace and expressive manner of speaking make sure that I hear more of the words of a book than I might see with my own eyes. His voice keeps me from skipping forward too quickly, and I don't regret that one bit.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was, and that's rare. I am quite familiar with the battle, have visited and photographed the battleground, fought the battle on military board games, and read books such as "Stars in Their Crowns", but this is now my favorite retelling. I particularly appreciate the way the author challenges Lee's decisions and rebuilds Longstreet's reputation and legacy. Lee was right to tell Pickett's survivors, "It is all my fault."


    Any additional comments?

    Obtain at least one good map of the movements of the troops on each day of the battle. It will help to "see" the battle unfold as Dean narrates.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Dennis E. Showalter
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (117)

    While the Battle of Kursk has long captivated World War II aficionados, it has been unjustly overlooked by historians. Drawing on the masses of new information made available by the opening of the Russian military archives, Dennis E. Showalter at last corrects that error. This battle was the critical turning point on World War II's Eastern Front. In the aftermath of the Red Army's brutal repulse of the Germans at Stalingrad, the stakes could not have been higher.

    rich says: "Big Ups to Prof. Showalter and Audible"
    "Eye Opening Detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Armor and Blood again? Why?

    Yes. First - there's Robertson Dean as the narrator. What a great voice! Second - the book is full of details that I was not aware of, and clarifies this battle's place in the history of the Eastern Front.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Armor and Blood?

    It's non-fiction, so this is not an appropriate question.


    What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

    Everything - pace, tone, volume, etc. Dean is one of the very best.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was saddened several times by the idiocy of the German leadership - and how it condemned good men, including my grandfather, to death.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book for those who love WW2 history.

    0 of 0 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
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (118)

    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.

    Ryan says: "Unique. Engaging. Worth your credit."
    "Ambrose-like quality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The War Below the most enjoyable?

    The author artfully weaves together the stories of three separate submarines and their various captains and crew members by telling the human stories. He assumes that the reader understands the general history and flow of the Pacific Theatre in WW2 and focuses - as Ambrose did - on the people in the boats, not the generals and the map table strategies.


    What other book might you compare The War Below to and why?

    Stephen Ambrose's "Wild Blue"


    What about Donald Corren’s performance did you like?

    His clarity and pace.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to it over three days during one very long car ride.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Berlin Wall

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frederick Taylor
    • Narrated By Daniel Philpott
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    The appearance of a hastily constructed barbed wire entanglement through the heart of Berlin during the night of 12-13 August 1961 was both dramatic and unexpected. Within days, it had started to metamorphose into a structure that would come to symbolise the brutal insanity of the Cold War: the Berlin Wall. A city of almost four million was cut ruthlessly in two, unleashing a potentially catastrophic East-West crisis and plunging the entire world for the first time into the fear of imminent missile-borne apocalypse.

    Michael says: "Marred only by the Narrator's Affectations"
    "Marred only by the Narrator's Affectations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Berlin Wall in three words, what would they be?

    History worth knowing


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It's a work of non-fiction. The question is inappropriate.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Daniel Philpott’s performances?

    No. His attempts to apply fake (and poorly executed) English, German and Russian accents to the quoted passages detracted mightily from the book. It's a piece of non-fiction, not a community theater stage play.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It's a work of non-fiction. This question is inappropriate.


    Any additional comments?

    The author has done an excellent job of telling the story of the Berlin Wall, providing considerable background that I was unaware of, even though I was born in Berlin in 1954. I expected the book to start in 1960 or thereabouts, but to my surprise it started long before then. The historical context added greatly to the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about Berlin, its politics, WW2, the Cold War, East Germany's many deceptions, and the contributions of key historical figures. Kudos to Mr. Taylor ... and thanks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Juno Beach: Canada's D-Day Victory: June 6, 1944

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Mark Zuehlke
    • Narrated By Steve Kehela
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    On June 6, 1944, the greatest armada in history stood off Normandy and the largest amphibious invasion ever began as 107,000 men aboard 6,000 ships pressed toward the coast. Among them were 14,500 Canadians, who were to land on a five-mile-long stretch of rocky ledges fronted by a dangerously exposed beach. Drawing on personal diaries as well as military records, Juno Beach: Canada's D-Day Victory, June 6, 1944 dramatically depicts Canada's pivotal contribution to the critical Allied battle of World War II.

    Dave Hedley says: "Well done book, narration annoying"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Juno Beach?

    The narration is mechanical, stilted, and rife with mispronunciations - especially with respect to German or French names or terms. I hope this is not the case, but it sounds to me like the narrator did not read the book in advance or do any preparation. Listen to the book to get a different perspective - a Canadian perspective - and not a British, American, or German one - but be prepared to have to suffer through the narration and a writing style that could have used better editing.


    What was most disappointing about Mark Zuehlke’s story?

    I suppose it's necessary to tell readers the back story about the run up to D-Day, but the story as told by Zuehlke contains very little new facts and so, if one does know the history, is a rather boring start. I also disliked the insistence on using the abbreviations for the types of boats, or the full name of officers, etc. The first time it's


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Steve Kehela?

    Someone like Robertson Dean - an expressive voice, who can also separate out narration from quotes. And who clearly does his homework in advance.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Revealing the Canadian experience was important. It did add to my understanding of the battle and the perspective, though poorly delivered, was valuable.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Robert M. Poole
    • Narrated By Robert M. Poole
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (86)

    More than just a fascinating account of how Arlington came into being at the end of the Civil War, On Hallowed Ground also tells the story of America as reflected in her greatest national cemetery. The history of the land on which the cemetery is built is as varied as our nation's, evolving from its earliest days as Robert E. Lee's ancestral home to a Union headquarters, a haven for freedmen, and finally a burial ground.

    M. Stevens says: "Hauntingly Captivating..."
    "An engaging and well written book"
    Overall

    Kudos to the writer - for his style and his research. This is a delightful read. It offers a comprehensive history of the cemetery, from its origins to its present traditions. You'll learn about the Civil War fortifications, the village for black refugees from the South, the battle of the Custis family to return the land to their family, the initial ornate monuments, how the simple crosses were designed, why there is a tomb for the unknown soldier, when the current ceremonies we take for granted really started, and so much more. I cannot wait to once again walk through Arlington. I will not look at it with the same eyes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942-1945

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Barrett Tillman
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (30)

    Whirlwind is the only book to examine in depth the human drama behind the most important bombing campaign in history. While the air war against Nazi Germany has been covered in-depth by many books, Barrett Tillman, a renowned authority on military aircraft and the air war in the Pacific, is the first to tackle the air war against Japan. For decades, historians and politicians have debated whether or not Japan was on the verge of surrender in August 1945---before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Michael says: "Good, but ultimately disappointing"
    "Good, but ultimately disappointing"
    Overall

    I misunderstood this book to be one about the entire air effort of the allies against Japan in the Pacific theatre. It is, however, limited to a study of the effort to bomb Japan itself. There is an interesting section about the attempt to bomb Japan with B-29's from China and discussions of the need to fire bomb and then to drop the atom and hydrogen bombs. Unfortunately there is way too much data and not nearly enough personal interest. The book suffers eventually from the constant narration of the numbers of planes in particular raids, how much tonnage was dropped, how many planes returned, etc. There is very little about or from the fliers themselves - though the introduction notes the veterans are dieing away and their stories with them. And there is too much about the generals and admirals. This book would have benefited greatly if it included much more about those whose rank was less than Major. It fits in my library of WW2 books and resources, but it is more of a reference book than an engaging and personal history that warrants a reread.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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