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Kelly

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1897)
    Performance
    (865)
    Story
    (878)

    At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

    Stephen says: "River of Doubt"
    "Wanted and Expected to Love This"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a big fan of the survival/exploration/overcoming adversity type of non-fiction books and of Mr. Roosevelt, so after reading the glowing reviews here I was very excited to listen to this and learn something new about TR.

    After finishing the story I'd have to say I was disappointed. I found my mind wandering and was disinterested at times when the author goes on long tangents about vegetation, reptiles, natives and insects. I realize that's necessary to establish the environment and the dangers these people were facing, but most of it felt like it was filler because they didn't have enough content to fill the book as it related to TR and the traveling party. Most of what was mentioned was never actually encountered by the traveling party. I never felt any momentum or tension building-up.

    Seeing all these other reviews puzzles me, maybe I expected too much but I never felt I was at the "edge of my seat" or felt I couldn't go to bed until I heard what happened next. I still admire the men for what they accomplished and endured but I'd recommend other books in this genre to friends before this one (Undaunted Courage, Into Africa, Down the Great Unknown etc.). I guess I'll give 3 stars because it clued me into something else in TR's amazing life.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Nancy Gibbs, Michael Duffy
    • Narrated By Bob Walter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (634)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (540)

    The Presidents Club was born at Eisenhower’s inauguration when Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover first conceived the idea. Over the years that followed - and to this day - the presidents relied on, misunderstood, sabotaged, and formed alliances with one another that changed history. The world’s most exclusive fraternity is a complicated place: its members are bound forever because they sat in the Oval Office and know its secrets, yet they are immortal rivals for history’s favor.

    Elicka says: "Inflection of narrator really annoying"
    "There actually CAN be bipartisan cooperation in DC"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Presidents Club the most enjoyable?

    I really enjoyed this book and looked forward to it each day. I've recommended it to several people already. I tend to shy away from current affairs books of this nature because my experience is that I can never find a balanced non-bias account from both extremes of center. I'm sure listeners could find some fault, but I never felt I was getting force fed the authors agenda or that one party or individual was being portrayed in an unfair fashion. I'm sharp enough to take all with a grain of salt and come to my own conclusions. I love knowing that our leaders actually can work together and seek counsel despite all the polarization today. There truly is a fraternity amongst them because none of us can really understand what it's like.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I'll refrain from naming one individual for fear of closing the minds of readers of this review before they even read the book, but it's fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes in some of the pivotal events in history. it's also interesting to see who the Presidents leaned on and consider wise counsel, it's going to surprise you.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Bob Walter?

    I wouldn't call myself a fan. I would echo what other reviewers say about his odd inflection and strange pauses. I'm willing to give anyone another try but I'd need to be convinced by the audible sample. I suppose if the book is interesting enough like this one I could get past it.


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

    Yes, had I the time to do so I probably would have.


    Any additional comments?

    There is a couple slow moments where it felt they needed to represent a certain President and had to reach for something to put in, but for the most part it's a really enjoyable book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By H. W. Brands
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (142)

    Ulysses Grant rose from obscurity to discover he had a genius for battle, and he propelled the Union to victory in the Civil War. After Abraham Lincoln's assassination and the disastrous brief presidency of Andrew Johnson, America turned to Grant again to unite the country, this time as president. In Brands' sweeping, majestic full biography, Grant emerges as a heroic figure who was fearlessly on the side of right.

    Tad Davis says: "Underrated hero"
    "The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe if that friend didn't know anything or hadn't read much about Grant and the Civil War. Probably not if they have any knowledge on the subject. I would heartily recommend Mr. Brands other books though.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I actually had to push through to the finish. It did reinforce my strong opinion of Grant. If there was one fresh angle it would be a more balanced and higher opinion of his presidency, common opinion seems to portray it as too corrupt and not a very profitable presidency. He did a lot for Civil Rights and to keep reconstruction on some form of forward momentum, to keep politicians from erasing the positives gained from the Civil War.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen Hoye’s performances?

    I'm not sure, I'd have to give the sample a listen because I didn't really enjoy how he did this book. He delivers absolutely every single sentence like its the most important thing you've ever heard and in an over-the-top dramatic fashion with pauses every 10 words and tailing off on the last couple words. I was pretty disappointed and distracted by his reading, maybe he'd do a fiction story better.


    Was The Man Who Saved the Union worth the listening time?

    Maybe I just knew too much about the subject already because I'd probably rather have spent the time on another book. It might be worth the investment if you are new to Grant though.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't let my review keep you from trying Brands other books, he is a great author and I actually wish he'd narrated the book, he's very interesting to listen to.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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