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Sean

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2012

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 112 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jake Adelstein
    • Narrated By Jake Adelstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (326)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (160)

    At 19, Jake Adelstein went to Japan in search of peace and tranquility. What he got was a life of crime reporting at the prestigious Yomiuri Shinbun. For 12 years of 80-hour workweeks, he covered the seedy side of Japan, where extortion, murder, human trafficking, and corruption are as familiar as ramen noodles and sake.

    Steven says: "Memoir, crime story and travelogue in one package"
    "Ludicrous, Ridiculous and Amusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Tokyo Vice better?

    What would have made this book better? At a minimum, having a professional read it. Jake rambles through some parts at the speed of light, and other times slows so much I feel like he is reading for the mentally challenged. Of course, what would have really made this book better would have required that another person WRITE it. As the story is so bizarre, ridiculous, perverse and the author just a shameless, silly, narcissistic self-promoter that the only value I derived from listening was the sheer amusement at what insanity would come out of his mouth next. And I mean it. It's a fun ride to listen to this man put words into the mouths of Japanese that could only come from some B 80's "Revenge of the Yakuza" movie.

    My absolute favorite part is when he compares himself to not only being a Yakuza - but THE Yakuza that he most detests...well sorry - it was a Yakuza lady who made that comment actually. Jake is so humble lol - a true man of honor, that betrays just about every single person that he writes about at every level that I can conceive of.

    If you know a thing about Japan, you know that Japanese don't open up to strangers too quickly - especially foreigners. But according to Adelstein - he walks in a room and Police, Yakuza, Oyabun, Hostesses, CIA/FBI, etc. etc. are all falling over themselves to expose their darkest secrets to him, betraying themselves and those closest to themselves - to him. Oh and all the lovely visits to Soapland and Maid Station. My god...what a bizarre little man this Adelstein is to even go so far as to share the occasions when he cheats on his wife. Disgusting.

    Whatever truth this self aggrandizer has mixed into this silly, infantile tale is irrelevant. It is so implausible as to be a-priori false - except for the fact that I do believe that this man has annoyed, offended and messed around with the lives of many people for his own publicity. Riddled with contradictions, libel, and a theatrical Seinfeld-ian grandeur - like one long not so funny episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Adelstein manages to offend the Japanese, Americans, Jews and the reader over and over again.

    I feel like I'm in that scene from Billy Madison..."we are all dumber for having listened to this"...seriously - this is not an expose on anything except where Japanese like to go and unwind, and perhaps get some romantic attention. Most of us know this already, and books like Pink Samurai handle it a hell of a lot better. Sorry but Tokyo Vice is a fantasy, and not a very good one.

    Incidentally, look up Adelstein's business card from his days as a "Police Reporter" for a good laugh...

    I would retitle this book, "Tokyo Fantasy: The Imaginary Tales of Jake Adelstein" or "How to Get on 60 Minutes for your 15"


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Berlin Game

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Len Deighton
    • Narrated By James Lailey
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Long-awaited reissue of the first part of the classic spy trilogy, Game, Set, and Match, when the Berlin Wall divided not just a city but a world. East is East and West is West - and they meet in Berlin. He was the best source the Department ever had, but now he desperately wanted to come over the Wall. ‘Brahms Four' was certain a high-ranking mole was set to betray him. There was only one Englishman he trusted any more: someone from the old days.

    Milan says: "The first book in a brilliant Cold War spy series"
    "Excellent SPY Drama, perfectly read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. And I just did.

    One of the better readers and audiobooks available. Great story, compelling and believable characters and a THEME that is timeless - Individualism. Something that both political parties in the US and England have forgotten. But with the rise of Russian totalitarianism and Islamic terrorism...well...this book is a must read.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Berlin Game?

    The ending. Which will we not disclose as other have done on audible. What a silly question to ask.


    Any additional comments?

    Like John Le Carre but more sarcastic, witty, not quite as heavy handed or brilliant but thankfully, superior in philosophical outlook as compared with Le Carre's recent ideological turn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragon's Path: Dagger and Coin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Daniel Abraham
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1046)
    Performance
    (944)
    Story
    (948)

    Popular author Daniel Abraham’s works have been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. In The Dragon’s Path, former soldier Marcus is now a mercenary—but he wants nothing to do with the coming war. So instead of fighting, he elects to guard a caravan carrying the wealth of a nation out of the war zone—with the assistance of an unusual orphan girl named Cithrin.

    Kristin says: "Epic Fantasy and Something Else"
    "A Shell of Thrones"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Dragon's Path better?

    Another author.


    What was most disappointing about Daniel Abraham’s story?

    Seems like a wannabe shell of ASOF. But this is NOT George Martin. Story is slow, characters are flat. Very simplistic. Missing the pulse and energy of a dynamic story. Can't believe the great reviews.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Someone British perhaps...like John Lee...sounds too...American...


    Any additional comments?

    Very amateur writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Absolution Gap

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (802)
    Performance
    (566)
    Story
    (571)

    The Inhibitors were designed to eliminate any life-form reaching a certain level of intelligence - and they've targeted humanity. War veteran Clavain and a ragtag group of refugees have fled into hiding. Their leadership is faltering, and their situation is growing more desperate. But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety---or draw down its darkest enemy.

    wendy says: "better than absolution gap"
    "Nevil Clavain - what happened to your Voice?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I love John Lee. In fact, I only know about these books because he read them. But he takes one of the main characters - Nevil Clavain - and completely changes his accent/speech structure and thereby changes the character that he performed so well in Redemption Ark.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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