Sykesville, MD | Member Since 2010
The time spent listening to this book was an okay listen. The narrator did not do a very good job as far as my evaluation. The narration seemed to slow down the book. I had a difficult time listening to the book but I did finish. It's the third book in the Joe DeMarco Thriller series and I had listened to the first two. Therefore, I wanted to continue listening to the series in the order established.
Yes, I have listened to books by Mike Lawson before. I read the previous two books in the series. Scott Brick was the narrator for those books and Joe Barrett narrated the third book. I would have enjoyed the book more if the narrator had stayed the same. However, the fast pace, action and excitement in House Rules was not evident as it was in the previous two books. The story didn't contain enough suspense for me.
Joe Barrett's performance was not good. His interpretation of the character's did not provide a voice that was character appropriate. He attempted to provide different accents for the character's. However, these accents were not consistent. Joe Barrett did not make his narration exciting. Thus, the story as narrated by Joe Barrett was dull. His interpretation of a female voice was lacking. Overall, my theory is that if Scott Brick had narrated this book, I would have given the book a better rating.
No, I don't think House Rules should be made into a movie or a TV series.
The remainder of the books in the series are narrated by Joe Barrett. I will try the fourth book but I'm not going to put it as the next book I purchase. Maybe the narrator will improve with the next book, I surely hope so. I do agree with the author that terrorism is a fact in the world of today. I have read various books concerning terrorism and maybe that has slanted my view on the quality of this book. There was no text in the book that emulated any necessary research. Terrorism is as terrorism is, was what I took away from reading this book. I am not being fair and I don't judge the author. His story was a comparison and contrast of two forms of terrorism. With this in mind, read the story and enjoy it.
David Finkel, a reporter and the author of this book, went to war to see the truth and write about "the Surge." This battle was fought in an attempt to secure Baghdad. The Army infantry soldiers who fought were forever changed. David Finkel tells the listener just how horrific war is. This book is filled with true words from the soldiers themselves and what David Finkel witnessed.
The book is brutally honest. Should there be a man or woman who does not know how wars are fought, The Good Soldiers, tells it all. The reader will come away from this book with the understanding and proof that the US infantry fight with courage, honor and love of country. These men are heroes of the highest order.
The book should be listened to by everyone and know just why and how our warriors face death each and every day that they are fighting in Iraq and other countries. Counterterrorism is a different type of war than ever has been fought before. American soldier's do not want to kill the men, women and children who live in Iraq. They want to offer them help in teaching them how to have a government whereby they can live free, without fear of retribution from the Taliban or other forces who control them. However, these men and women have lived as they do now for centuries. They know no other kind of life. The American's who try to help are seen as their enemy. When an American is seen by the populace of Iraq, they look with hate at them and want to kill them.
Listen to The Good Soldiers and you will understand how the hate for American's is executed by the viciousness of the terrorism of how they fight against us. You will come away from listening to this book a changed person.
The author, Karl Marlantes, tells us that he suffers from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as do many other veterans who have been to war. PTSD is not a condition that has only war as its reason for presenting itself. Marlantes feels that men and women who go to war should be prepared by someone who is capable of explaining the horrors that are a part of war. The young men at age 18, who cannot drink, can go to war and kill. The government targets this young age group because this group, for the most part, have not even thought about their own mortality. They are READY to take up a weapon and wipe out those bastard's who flew into the NYC Twin Towers and killed upwards of 3000 men, women and children. Marlantes contends that before a person signs on the dotted line he or she should be told that they will face death if they go to war. We are raised in America to understand that life is precious. Our moral conscience is telling us that killing another human being is wrong and against God's law. Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you, that is the mantra that American's are raised on. Thou shalt not kill, is one of the commandments that we are taught from a very early age. Could you look another man, woman or child in the eyes and pull the trigger without consequences to your mind after coming home. Yes, soldier's are told to kill someone who is carrying an AK47 anywhere on their person by the DOD. The Taliban will use a child by strapping a bomb to her and detonating it while she stands around the American soldier's giving candy to the kid's in Afghanistan. The fundamentalist Afghan's put no value on life. While war is being fought, it's a known fact that one kills or is killed. Marlantes acknowledges that he felt powerful when he was able to kill someone. That power made him want to kill more.
However, when a person's time in a war is over, he or she has to come home to a society that morally as well as criminally, will not condone killing. Walking through the battlefield after a conflict and gathering the dead in a pile, can make for some anxious and frightening dreams, whether awake or asleep. Taking a gun and aiming it at a fallen enemy who has not yet died and shooting him in the head, might create a feeling of power but at a later time may come back and haunt the man or woman who did the deed.
Marlantes tells us that perhaps someone will listen and will at least provide our would-be soldier's with sufficient knowledge, allowing them to make a concerted decision about participating in a war. The Vietnam veterans were not given a choice, they were drafted. Marlantes tells us that the soldier's of today are better trained in the mechanics of warfare but are still lacking in the moral and spiritual ways that war can torment a veteran for life.
Marlantes pulls no punches in his memoir. He is up front and honest. He hopes that maybe a young person who is considering joining the military will be given an opportunity to read his book. The warrior's of today need help before going to war, in the hopes that they will not suffer from PTSD after they come home.
I found the memoir, Inside Delta Force, to be an informative book of how and why the Delta Force was begun. The author, Robertson Dean, takes the reader through the selection process to the grueling physical requirements needed to become a member of the first elite special ops force ever in America. The army knew there was a need for this small but excellently trained group of men to fight counterterrorism. The tides of war were changing and the army was prepared to meet it head on. Their training continued to teach them as well as to train them to near perfection in many areas of conflict that they would encounter while serving with Delta Force. The Delta Force did their training in real life situations where live ammunition was used. There was training for high-jacked airplanes, close quarter combat for other situations where there was hostage involvement. Sniper's would spend long hours watching and waiting but would not need to shoot. However, they used this time to watch and learn about the operations of the enemy. That information could prove invaluable to the unit. They were also taught how to spy because there would be times that spying may be an intricate part of their mission.
What I found to be missing in Robertson Dean's memoir was wartime action. He described the places Delta Force had operated but did not include how the battles were fought, whether it was face to face combat or gathering information and having the known factor that he may get caught. Would the other member's of Delta Force plan a rescue operation and initiate the extraction of their captured brother.
The memoir was well written and easy to understand to be filed away and remembered at another time. The character's were not well developed but were included in such a way that they did not work together in true action. There was no excitement that created my needed edge of the seat listen. I like to have thrilling action when I read a novel or memoir concerning an elite unit of the military. I had never read about the Delta Force before and that is why I chose this book to read. I did get a comparison and contrast of the military's elite forces as to how they became that emulated member of Delta Force.
The Civil War is over and the Hazzards and the Mains are trying to put their lives back together. Charles Hazzard is the dominant force behind keeping the Hazzard's and the Main's together as they had once been. Charles fought for the North and Ory for the South. The families are now scattered throughout the United States. Charles remains in Charleston, Virginia and his steel works continue to prosper. That was until his nemesis, Bent, murdered his wife, Constance. Charles leaves for Switzerland sure that he will never set foot on American soil again. Charles's brother, Billy, marries Brett and they move to California to begin anew. Ashley remains estranged from her family. Ory was killed at the end of the war trying in vain to help a northern soldier. Madelyn, Ory's wife, remains at the Mount Royal property in South Carolina. She continues to fight for the rights of the black population. Turmoil is increased in the South with the birth of the KKK. The KKK is an organization begun after the Civil War to thwart the equality of the blacks. Charles, Ory's cousin, remains distraught over the death of Augusta, the woman he loved who died giving birth to their son, Gus. Charles continues to wander the country in an attempt to find himself. Virgilia, Charles Hazzard's sister, has her personal vendetta against the North under control. She is no longer the vigilante that she had once been. Cooper, Charles's brother, starts rebuilding his shipping business. He has estranged himself from his family because of his radical political views. Cooper has never resolved his emotions over the death of his son, Juda, many years ago. Cooper's daughter, Emily, marries a northerner and Cooper no longer considers her his daughter. The political atmosphere in Washington is in turmoil. There is a campaign to impeach the President, Andrew Johnson,.
There are many conflicts against the different Indian tribes who live in the Western parts of the United States. The Calvary wants the Indians to relinquish their territory to the white man and live on the reservations that are now in operation. I do believe that the author, John Jakes, almost gets America to the beginning of the twentieth century.The reconstruction of the South takes years to accomplish and the Yankee's and the Rebel's continue to agitate one another as if the Civil War has not ended.
The novel is well written and the narration continues to be excellent. The character's development comes to fruition in the final book of the trilogy. I started with the first book, The North and the South and found that I was able to follow the character's and interactions that occurred throughout the trilogy with ease. The continuity flows smoothly from the first book to the last. The novels are a good read and a great way to spend your time listening as you drive to work or at home. Enjoy!
This novel revolves around a 91 year-old woman, Vivian and a 17 year-old teenager, Molly. The two share a bond, they are both orphans. Vivian and her family sailed from Ireland to Ellis Island for a better life. Her family was killed in a fire, leaving her homeless. Vivian lived in various foster homes until she was finally welcomed by a loving couple.
Molly's father was killed in an auto accident. Her mother was unable to care for her and she was placed in foster care. She also spent many years trying to find that special place. However, she was almost 18 now and would soon be on her own. Foster care ends at age 18.
Molly and Vivian meet because she was caught stealing a ragged eared book from the library, Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre was Molly's favorite book but didn't know that the library had recently installed a detector to prevent library books from being stolen. Molly put the book under her coat. She was living with a foster care family at the time and Social Services was notified by the foster mother. Molly's punishment, after making a court appearance, was to complete 50 hours of community service.
Molly's boyfriend, Jack, coaxed his mom, Terry, into setting up an interview for Molly, with her employer, Vivian. Vivian needed help with cleaning out her attic filled with a lot of dusty, old boxes. Terry was Vivian's housekeeper and she had been putting off the dreaded chore and was happy to do as Jack asked.
That was how Vivian and Molly met and became friends. The novel goes back and forth telling their stories of what it was and is like being an orphan. They shared each others lives and told things about themselves that no one else was ever told before now.
The character's are very well developed and you'll think that maybe you know them. The narrators, Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren, do an excellent job. The book is well written and easy to follow and understand. The book provides you with some feelings that children experience living in foster homes. The book, Orphan Train, is enjoyable and an easy listen.
What I loved best about Living with Honor was how Giunta talked the talk and proved that his talk was for real when it came to battle and his fellow Americans.Those men became closer to him than his own brother. He continues to keep in touch with a few of them now. He lived with them, sometimes in very close quarters. He ate, fought, used a homemade hole dug in the ground with slats, for a bathroom, that was patrolled while he used it. He was never alone while active in the battlefields of Afghanistan. There was one man that Giunta mentioned who went outside to use the bathroom alone and did not make it back alive.
Guinta was my favorite character because when he signed up with the Army, he wanted to do his best. He proved that and so much more. Guinta was the kind of soldier, that another soldier would be glad when they were fighting on the same battlefield together. He always covered every comrade's back. That's what I would call trust. He not only saved other's from an untimely death but other's saved him, too. When fighting in war men become more bonded with one another than with their own brother's. Salvatore continues to keep in contact with a few men to this day.
The scene that stands out in my mind is when there was an intense battle being fought in Afghanistan and when Sal looked over his shoulder he couldn't believe what he saw. Guinta, while running, glanced back and said, " those Afghanistan's have our man." He ran like the road runner, up a steep, craggy mountain and retrieved his comrade. He brought him back down using a fireman's carry. His comment was that he killed one and only wounded the other. He could only hope that the other one died, too.
War and the Men who Fight Back for America's Freedom
I realized that while listening to this novel, the war in Afghanistan was being fought as I listened, in real time. Men have fought since the beginning of time. Osama bin Laden is dead. He was found in a cave with the amenities of life and then some. SEAL Team Six, the best of the best, nailed him. I'm glad we were able to mete out a small amount of revenge. There is not enough revenge in the world that could repay him and Afghanistan for the lives of our fellow American's. However, Afghanistan's way of living will not change. Their many tribes and ways of government are varied and will never be united into one. Let's bring our men and women back home. American's have served their country beyond all expectations but the war on terrorism will not be won by letting more American's die. War today is a different kind of war than before.
After you listen to this memoir, you will understand why Salvatore Guinta received the Medal of Honor. I'm proud that he is an American.
The narrator was excellent. I felt as if I was in the story. I've been listening to varied narrator's of late and I'm finding they are story appropriate.
I think that I could read this book again. However, if I've written a review about a book, I can reconstruct it fairly well or if I start to listen again, everything comes back. When I am unable to do that, the book may not have been that good a book or I was having a bad day. But I have read a book more than once because I felt a need to reread, even if I know what is going to happen. There are very special books that insist I read them again.
When Sal was stationed in Germany awaiting to be called up to go to Iraq or Afghanistan, he met a woman he had went to high school with. She was in Italy for an overseas, suggested teaching experience, for college. He began to go visit the sites of the country with the group and did find a woman he married after he left the army. She actually left school for awhile and came to live in Italy to be near him. It's a small world.
Your credit will not be wasted if you enjoy reading about war. The book was interesting, a learning experience, well written and a book that you may want to read in one day. Yes, I think it's that good.
This novel's narrator was excellent. She had many accents to speak as well as male and female voices to interrupt and she jumped from one to the other with ease.
The novel is all about a wedding dress. The wedding dress was designed and sewn by a "colored woman," in 1912. The people in the wealthy South in the year 1912 had no contact with the colored. To wear such a dress was unthinkable. Society would be appalled if a bride should walk down the aisle wearing a dress sewn by a black woman. Emily was the bride and she did not conform with the righteous discrimination meted out to the black population. Therefore, Emily went into the colored part of the city and had Taffy design and sew her gorgeous gown.
There was a mystery which revolved around the question of just where did the gown originate. There were friendships made throughout the book. The book was a smooth and easy read. I had been reading some intense novels and memoirs and I needed a break. This book hit the spot. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
Listening to The Things They Carried was not an enjoyable but a gut wrenching experience. The stories that O'Brien told were a mix of truth and fiction that unsettled my well being and made me not want to listen. My stomach was tied in knots. I stopped listening and tried to allow my mind to relax and absorb what I had just listened to. I did listen to the whole book and I am glad that I did. The narration, done by Bryan Cranston, was exquisite. The words were given a life of their own.
One of the most memorable moments of The Things They Carried was when Tim was wounded in the buttock and kept calling, then screaming for the medic. The medic didn't come and Tim passed out for a short period of time but when he awoke the medic had still not come. Tim didn't want to die but in order to be kept alive he needed the medic to help him. Finally, the medic arrived and didn't know what in the hell he was doing.
This was the medic's first day. He had been in the field fighting with the other men when he heard someone calling for the medic. He was unable to act. He was unable to move and it was as if he was paralyzed. He took ten precious minutes to get his brain working and arrive at the site where Tim lie wounded.
When Tim had been wounded the first time he was treated immediately by a different medic, who was competent. However, that medic had been driven to what I considered could be referred to as psychotic episodes, brought on by the war. He was driven to the point where he shot himself in the foot and had to be medivacted out. His fellow combatants said to those who spoke of him, "he's in Japan."
Tim attempted to tell the medic that he was going into shock. Shock is a life threatening condition resulting from having incurred a wound that causes excess blood loss. The body needs enough blood circulating to keep the heart functioning properly. The ineptness of the treatment Tim was receiving could have led to his death. Tim fought to live to see another day. He survived and was to finish out his tour of duty in the safety of the American compound. There was a hospital, hot showers, a place to sleep without hearing the sounds of war all around him and staying dry because he was now protected from the rain that created the sucking mud where he and his comrades were made to wage the battle where Tim was wounded.
The company that Tim was in, was led by a man who could not lead. He realized this about himself but was unable to tell someone who had the authority to replace him. The night of that battle, he understood, after surveying the area, that his men needed to move to higher ground. However, he chose to remain where they were and another member under his command was sucked into the foul muck after being wounded.
My favorite scene was when Tim returned, after a month in the hospital from the second wound he had sustained while in battle and was told he was to finish out his tour of duty at the compound. His days of being a grunt, fearing for his life, carrying an M60 to kill or be killed, were over.
The Scourges of War
I know that the Vietnam war was not supported by the soldier's countrymen. The men who were fighting in the war did not understand why they were fighting in this god-forsaken place called Vietnam. Whatever the politicians reasons were to DRAFT our men to fight in Vietnam, they did need the support of their country, the United States of America and their fellow citizens. Can you imagine, returning from Vietnam, or any war and being spit on. The men who fought in Vietnam were MADE to fight in that war or desert and go to Canada or elsewhere. However, I'm also sure that men wanted to and did desert for their own reasons, from other wars.
Tim wanted to run but didn't. However, he was almost in Canada but chose to return home after spending six days with an 81 year old man who, through his power to listen and make no judgments, was the catalyst that Tim feels made him return home and look at the draft notice with his name, one more time.
Why did PTSD become a known and qualified disorder after the Vietnam war? There had been many other prior war's, where men returned home and were said to suffer from, "shell-shock." It is my belief that these men were experiencing what we call, PTSD today.
Those previous wars had definition and reason. The men who returned home were not being spit upon, questioned about their participation in the war at that time. The time that our men spent fighting an unpopular war in Vietnam were as heroic and brave as any other man who had fought in a war before and after Vietnam. Please, give our men the credit that they are due. War isn't defined as popular or unpopular. War is to contend; strive_at war in a state of open armed conflict between nations. These men were soldier's. Soldier's come from every branch of the military and some soldier's fight in a war. These men were soldier's of a war, called the Vietnam war.
Tim O'Brien's book was an eye opener, told by a man who had fought for his country in Vietnam. I have a brother who fought for his country in Vietnam. I listened to Tim tell his stories. The stories may start with the first story being told and reappear in the third story he tells. Put all of the stories together and you come to understand what war was like for Tim O'Brien. The war was many things, terror, courage, death, rain, mud, elephant grass, jungles, villages, comrades, fear and many other things for many different men.
I agree with some of the positive as well as the negative reviews. So, where does that put me? I have the opinion that war, any war, I don't care what the name of the war is, was fought by the men and now women of the USA to uphold democracy, and to keep our country free. Every war has caused and will continue to cause PTSD. I just heard that more money will be spent on treating PTSD than was spent on fighting. Tim O'Brien suffers from PTSD.
His writing skills are brilliant and he has definitely brought the Vietnam war alive. To have his book called a classic and to have it implemented in the school system as necessary reading is an honor. Tim's writing is vivid, breathtaking, no bars held and extremely thought provoking.
I've been listening to many fiction and nonfiction books concerning many different wars. War in and of itself is an atrocity that has been with us since the beginning of time. War will never go away.
Vietnam: No Regrets ranks high on the list of books I've listened to about Vietnam.
What I liked best about this story was the fact that J. Richard Watkins did not contest the war in Vietnam as an enlisted man and if asked to do it again he would. Watkins expressed himself in such a way that I understood his description of the country, the people, and the war without any problem. His telling of how he fought in the war was clear cut and honest. The way in which he described his actions during battles were forthright. However, he never once made the reader feel as if he should not be fighting in Vietnam. Yes, he did not like war, he did not like killing other humans, he felt deep sorrow when his friends were wounded or killed and he hated when another American was killed in action. Watkins was always up and ready to go perform his duties as a soldier on the front line. His company was involved with ambushes. Sometimes these confrontations became overwhelming. He carried the radio for communications. Watkins was secure in the knowledge that if his company needed air support or extra men they would come fast. He didn't like carrying the radio because the antenna stuck out of his pack and could be easily seen. He, being the communications guy, would be the first man shot at. That, he was not pleased about and wished that someone else would carry the radio. But he never once whined or asked that he not have the responsibility for the radio. He felt that was his job and he would perform his duty to the best of his ability. Watkins learned fast how to use that radio. He knew that his life and the lives of others depended on him. He didn't want to die, he wanted to go back home and often thought that maybe he wouldn't make it back. However, his mantra became, I will make it back to my family but especially to my mom. Watkins took roll upon roll of film of Vietnam. The countryside of Vietnam, he thought of as beautiful, the people, not so much. However, he hated the jungles. They slowed them down, he'd get himself scratched up and his clothing would be torn. The enemy knew the jungles well and Watkins felt quite vulnerable when had to go through them to get to their x destination. There was more than one once that another man of his company saved his butt from being killed. No, he didn't like every man that was in his company but that man was an American and he never would hesitate to save one of his own, never. He enjoyed every day when he had leave. His first stop would be the PX to purchase more film and things that his buddies back at camp had asked him to pick up. He even purchased small gifts for the men in command because he knew that he was going to take an extra day or two than he had been allotted. These small gifts would keep Watkins out of trouble sometimes and he depended on that.
No, Ellery Truesdell did not do a good job differentiating all the characters. However, the memoir was told in the first person and I had to adapt to the first person. There were not many other character voices used in the memoir. The narrator would at times over exaggerate his reading but for the most part he was okay
The moments in the book that particularly moved me were when he had any involvement with his mom. Their love for one another was unquestionable, it ran deep.
If you are interested in reading about the war in Vietnam, written with honesty and clarity, listen to this one. Watkins didn't understand why the US was in this war other than the fact that the Vietnam war was being fought for political prowess. He figured that the south Vietnamese needed protection from the north Vietnamese but the US could not possibly uphold this decision and win. However, if the country needed him to be where he was at that time, in Vietnam and fighting a war, he would be there because he was an American and would never want to evade a duty he felt necessary to perform. He knew and understood that others detested the war. Watkins saw men who were having problems with what would be later be called, PTSD. He made a vow to himself that he would not allow the war to destroy the rest of his life. He knew that he would never be able to forget what happened while he was in Vietnam but he consciously chose not to let it destroy him. He wrote this book many years after he served in Vietnam and so far, he has not suffered from PTSD. He has fortunately moved on with his life but the memories are never forgotten.
What the experience of listening to Impossible Odds the most enjoyable was the way in which it was written. I enjoyed listening to the varied narrators. I was happy to know that Jessica Buchanan and Paul were rescued.
The most memorable moment of Impossible Odds was when a member of SEAL Team Six presented Jessica Buchanan with the American flag after being rescued. Those men of SEAL Team Six did a bang up job rescuing Jessica and Paul. If I were in need of such a rescue, I would hope to be rescued by them. Jessica had nothing but praise for SEAL Team Six.
The narrators bring the people to life. I felt that I could have been the kidnapped. The verbalization put me there.
Somalian Kidnapper's Cause Terror and Revel in Cruelty
Somalia has no government. The people of Somalia are uneducated, the poorest of the poor, starving, fearful and are taught to hate. Jessica Buchanan put her fears aside and left the safety of her base camp to attend a meeting concerning the education she was providing for the African children. She questioned the new driver in her mind but did not voice her concerns. Her and her companion Paul were both kidnapped by Somalian's for ransom. The sum of 45 million dollars was their first request. The amount continued to go down as time dragged on. Both Jessica and Paul were treated inhumanely. They were not given enough water or food which led to dehydration, starvation, weakness and illness. Care packages were provided for them but nothing ever reached them because they were stolen. Jessica had her thyroid medication with her but it was taken away. The drones that were watching from high above could visualize Paul and Jessica's plight. Jessica required antibiotics. She had not been allowed to take the thyroid medication which caused her to become infected with a urinary tract infection. A UTI requires antibiotics because the infection could get into the blood causing sepsis, which is life threatening.The kidnapper's kept their prisoner's outside at all times. They were unable to keep themselves clean, urinated and defecated behind bushes without any toilet paper. The Somalian people do not have any toilet paper. They were given minimal space to exercise, they walked in circles. Jessica kept her sanity by talking to her recently deceased mother, she kept in contact with Eric, in her mind. Jessica and Paul were in captivity for 93 days and each day was worse than the one before. The kidnapper's held guns to their heads and kept them in constant fear with intimidation and a multitude of other horrors. When it was determined that the health of Jessica was in jeopardy due to her deterioration from illness and would die, was when she and Paul were allowed to be rescued and not before. President Obama gave the order for SEAL Team Six to rescue Jessica and Paul.
The book was well written and made the reader a part of her story. Jessica wanted to tell the world her story. Her memoir is a good listen.
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