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Stuart Fujisaki

I've been an audio book fan for years and years, since borrowing Books-on-Tape from my local library, buying cassettes from BOT, then migrating to Audible eight years ago. My audio library has become extensive. But still waiting for James Michener's work to get over here.....

Oak Park, California United States | Member Since 2005

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 768 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • Empire and Honor: Honor Bound, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (140)

    October 1945: The Germans and Japanese have surrendered. For Cletus Frade and his colleagues in the OSS, it should be time to pack up - but they have far more important things to do. Chief among them is the protection of their assets, especially the human ones. In the closing months of the war, the United States made a secret deal with the head of German intelligence’s Soviet section. In exchange for a treasure trove of intelligence - in particular the identity of the Soviet spies in the U.S. atomic bomb program - his people would be spirited to safety in Argentina.

    Edward Lulie says: "Surprising Good Sequel"
    "Cry for me Argentina!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The WEB Griffin empire jumped the shark and having a 500+ page volume #7 proves it. I’d say 175 pages max for the amount of new material provided in the latest offering of the Argentina series. The author and co-author, I.e. the co-author succeeded in converting once interesting characters into parodies of themselves, while slogging them through a totally uninteresting, often confusing tale. You'd think the father would instruct the son to just stick to the time tested formula (stick to the script, stupid). He didn't listen, or more likely, thought he was Hemingway. It appears the WEB empire intends to expand into volumes #8, #9 and probably #10 – count me out. Evita made an appearance in this book so Butterworth Hemingway must be chomping at the bit to bring in Andrew Lloyd Webber as a guest B.I.S. agent or S.A.A. passenger.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tommo and Hawk: The Australian Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1873)
    Performance
    (1249)
    Story
    (1250)

    Brutally kidnapped and separated in childhood, Tommo and Hawk are reunited at the age of 15 in Hobart Town. Together, they escape their troubled pasts and set off on a journey into manhood. From whale hunting in the Pacific to the Maori wars of New Zealand, from the Rocks in Sydney to the miners' riots at the goldfields, Tommo and Hawk must learn each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive.

    Angie says: "Brillant Narration"
    "Not as interesting as Book 1 of the trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like probably the majority of sequels, this one the second installment of a trilogy, it didn’t live up to the original. Granted the storyline got advanced, but often not in a good way - I found myself not buying in emotionally to the characters or their problems. I think it could have been a much more interesting story had the author expanded on different aspects of the brothers’ travels. Don’t get me wrong, Tommo and Hawk had a lot of good moments. But by the end, I wanted to move on. I didn’t care that Hawk’s fiancée got killed. Actually I got kind of angry that Courtenay pulled the rug out at the last minute for the sole purpose of setting up a cliffhanger ending, thus forcing the reader to buy Part 3 to find out how Part 2 actually ended. I’ll probably eventually get sucked in to find out, but definitely not right away. One thing this story did for me was to open an interest in the Maori people. I have a copy of The Whale Rider which I'm going to re-read right now.....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3646)
    Performance
    (1981)
    Story
    (2028)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Prsilla says: "Really-REALLY Classic!"
    "Served Very Very Cold Indeed....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Man, that was a long story. I decided to take on Count of Monte Cristo after an underwhelming experience with Jeffrey Archer’s Prisoner of Birth, a book based on the Monte Cristo plot, or at least a modern version of it. Archer took a lot of shortcuts in plot development and ended up with a Reader’s Digest condensed novelette. Talk about taking a trip on a swinging pendulum – Alexandre Dumas’ went totally the other way, his details had details. I recall thinking, “Do I really need to know all this stuff? Isn’t this going way off on a tangent?” Overall, I think the story contained a lot of fat, but also I felt very satisfied at the end of the book. Danglars, Fernand and Villefort received their just desserts and Edmund Dantes got his revenge without sacrificing his soul in the process, though it was very close. One thing I wondered about and will have to do a little research – did people really talk that way or did writers just do dialogue like that in the mid-19th Century? You'd get punched out if you spoke that way on the playground today. Might have to roll into a little Charles Dickens next to keep this thing going.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3247)
    Performance
    (2284)
    Story
    (2284)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "Makes me want to visit Australia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a nice surprise. It popped up as a personal suggestion based on my past
    Audible purchases. The author wrote this historical novel almost 20 years ago as part one of a trilogy, and covered a topic I had not previously come across, I.e. the settlement of the Australian continent. The story begins in Dickens-era London, and then moves to the island today known as Tasmania, after the main characters get “transported” to the British penal colony following court convictions. Charles Dickens makes a cameo appearance as a reporter covering the trial in London, interviewing a street urchin who tells him his name is Artful Dodger. I enjoyed this book very much, and found myself really caring for the story’s characters, including some unsavory ones who battled their flaws and demons throughout. I can’t wait to start on part two of the trilogy. Good thing I bought a year's worth of credits!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Line of Fire: The Corps Series, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (216)

    While the bloody battle for control of the Solomons rages on, two Marines are trapped at a Coastwatcher station on tiny Buka Island. They are there to report on Japanese air activity, and their position is becoming increasingly perilous, even while their supplies are diminishing rapidly; if they are not rescued soon, they may never make it off the island.

    Stuart Fujisaki says: "In the Sweet spot of this Series....."
    "In the Sweet spot of this Series....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was nice to return to familiar territory after slogging through that Bourne book earlier this week. By all definitions, Griffin’s books are my guilty pleasure. I’ve completed the entire Corps series more than a half-dozen times over the last 20 years and honestly, it’s like visiting old friends and favorite relatives, complete with all the quirks (he notoriously changes characters’ middle initials for no reason, even historical figures), inside jokes and catch phrases. Yes, yes I know you can write everything you know about that subject in a matchbook with a grease pencil. Now fully recharged, I can take on something more unfamiliar.....

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Victory and Honor

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth IV
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (197)

    Wars come to an end. But then new ones begin. Just weeks after Hitler's suicide, Cletus Frade and his colleagues in the OSS find themselves up to their necks in battles every bit as fierce as the ones just ended. The first is political-the very survival of the OSS, with every department from Treasury to War to the FBI grabbing for its covert agents and assets. The second is on a much grander scale-the possible next world war, against Joe Stalin and his voracious ambitions.

    Rick says: "Classic W.E.B. and Brick's narration wins big."
    "No mas Argentina!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I like the author’s Argentina “Honor” series very much overall, the story lines have gotten pretty thin and it’s probably time to put the old girl to rest. Victory and Honor is #6 in the series about O.S.S. operations in WWII South America. While the war ended sometime in #5, for some reason, the story continues into this volume….. and the next – I see #7, Empire and Honor just got published. This all seems to be about the author providing a writing career for his son, listed as a co-author on all Griffin series for the last few years. Even the WWII USMC series continues on into the Korean War. When will it all end? Who knows? Who cares? Suffice it to say, I’m already pot-committed, I.e. I’m all in, as are thousands of other Griffin fans. We keep buying the books because it’s very much like reading letters about family and old friends – you want to know what happens to them, however mundane and trivial. He brilliantly tosses in a few morsels of new info amid the pages and pages of chronicling daily life. For example, I became very happy when Griffin finally had the Navy dock Cletus Frade’s pay for the chronograph watch he never turned in after returning from Guadalcanal three years earlier in the story. And an even bigger nugget, he referenced the only crossover character in all of Griffin’s books, I.e. Lt. Colonel Clyde W. Dawkins – WOW! That’ll make the Griffin geeks keep coming back for more. I would never suggest anyone read a Griffin book as a stand-alone – it’s really about the journey and understanding the Griffin formula. On to Empire and Honor to find out what Cletus Frade is having for breakfast…..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Barbara Caruso, Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (2142)
    Performance
    (1310)
    Story
    (1320)

    Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, wowed critics on its way to winning several literary prizes, including Book of the Year honors from the Los Angeles Times. It has been published in 24 countries and will soon be a major motion picture. Foer's talent continues to shine in this sometimes hilarious and always heartfelt follow-up.

    Peter J says: "Suffused my being..."
    "Quest for the Sixth Borough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished this book and am having a little trouble getting my arms entirely around it. I started the first third of the book, then went back and started over. I enjoyed the character Oskar very much - his quests, inventions, methods of coping and overall approach to the world. His observations often made me laugh out loud, as did the numerous reply letters received from an eclectic array of scholars and personalities. Conversely, Oskar’s episodes of obvious grief and pain (heavy boots) often made me a little misty….. when that happened, I gave myself a little bruise. But I didn’t particularly care for the weaving in of Oskar’s grandparents’ side/back stories. To me, while they emphasized the overall theme, they nonetheless interrupted the main storyline. I didn’t feel that the payoff at the end compensated me for the constant intrusion. I cared very much for Oskar and his father, and Oskar’s family and friends, but only in their direct relationship to him. I’d be interested to see how the screenwriter dealt with these generational relationships.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Chbosky
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1842)
    Performance
    (1673)
    Story
    (1695)

    Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love.

    FanB14 says: "Intelligent, Absorbing Coming of Age Story"
    "Offbeat, yet satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I came across this title while browsing through a list of suggested books I might like based on prior purchases. Those things are pretty accurate – I really liked this story. At the time, I didn’t realize they made it into a movie (I haven’t seen it) or that it was written way back in 1999. To me, the main character Charlie was Cameron Crowe + Conrad from Ordinary People + Neil from Dead Poet’s Society. The story follows Charlie through his freshman year of high school through a series of letters he writes to an unnamed recipient. He describes his many turbulent adventures with family, friends and acquaintances, and learns to participate in life and not just observe. I would be very interested to know what happens to Charlie and his friends in the unwritten future, a true test of an author’s ability to make the reader care about his characters. As I haven’t seen the movie or even a trailer, in my mind Charlie looks like Kurt from Glee. Don’t know what that means…..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4557)
    Performance
    (3829)
    Story
    (3837)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Jimmy says: "Epic, Remarkable, Easy & Enjoyable!"
    "Liked it, didn't love it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a nice follow-up to Fall of Giants, though nothing earth-shattering - certainly nothing compared to the Pillars of the Earth duo. At times, the storyline seemed a bit contrived as though the author attempted to hit all the highpoints of the Second World War and its aftermath, without materially adding to the page count. Personally, I think Herman Wouk did a better job of telling a similar story in The Winds of War / War and Remembrance though granted, the latter had two volumes to cover the same ground. I’ll be interested to see how Follett treats the second half of the 20th Century in the final installment of this trilogy. I foresee the final chapter being set in the summer of 1997 in Hong Kong when Britain’s 99-year lease ends and the island ceding back to China at the dawn of the 21st, I.e. the Chinese Century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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