CLANCY CAN TELL A GOOD STORY.
I THINK HIS BEST STUFF WAS WHEN HE TOLD STORIES DURING THE COLD WAR LIKE" HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER".LATER ON HE TENDED DO GET A BIT PREACHY.VECTOR IS A RETURN TO HIS ROOTS AND FAVORITE CHARACTER....JACK RYAN...AND HIS SON JACK RYAN JR.
BASICALLY IT'S A GOOD STORY,GOOD PLOT AND LOU DIAMOND DOES AN
EXCELLENT JOB AS NARRATOR.
IF YOU ARE IN THE MOOD FOR THE "OLD".....TOM CLANCY......IT'S WORTH READING.
I read many of the reviews of "Gardens Of the Moon"before I purchased it .The one comment I remember is that this is not a book you can listen to casually while driving around.
I agree and I tried but its definitely not one of my favorites.To give you and idea .............
I loved and highly recommend........"The Lord Of The Rings"Trilogy and George R.R.Martin's "World of Fire and Ice" series.
If you are really into magic,sorcery ,wormholes etc,you will probably love Gardens of the Moon.
But I found myself not caring for the characters and getting lost in the plot even though I continually replayed chapters to try and understand things better.
You say....well ....the Lord of the Rings is full of magic.
It is, but somehow it's better
As lengthy as the Rings is , it is never confusing or boring.
CRASHED is a kind of an Elmore Leonard genre novel.
The similarity between Jack Foley[Bank robber] in OUT OF SIGHT [by Elmore Leonard] and Junior Bender[burglar in CRASHED] is that both are good hearted but Jack
Foley [played by George Clooney in the movie version]seems more believable as a successful criminal.......... as do the bunch of flawed people he is surrounded with.
Still,while CRASH is not as raucous and funny as a good Leonard novel,,,,,,,,,,,
If you are in the mood for some light summer fare it is an enjoyable listen.
The plot and characters are well crafted,the narrator does a good job.
I MIGHT listen to more Hallinan depending on what I'm in the mood for.
This is a "Feel Good" novel.Everybody feels good at the end.
The good are treated good .The bad are punished.
Somehow I had this feeling throughout the listen.
When I was a kid I loved Andre Norton so I thought I'd give one of her classics that I read years ago a try.
It is definitely more suited to juvenile tastes.Seriously,I think it's well suited for pre-teens and teens and should be treated as such by audible.Of course Hunger Games and Harry Potter were designed for young people and read by all.
The mind thought melding with animals was what always appealed to me as a young man.The plot is kind of like a Zane Gray Western with some Sci Fi mixed in.I can't really recommend it for adults.
Those old timers that saw the movie BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI may remember a famous British actor,Jack Hawkins,who played the British officer that led the attack force to blow the bridge.I actually thought HE was the narrator until I read some of the narrator comments about POST CAPTAIN and realized it was Patrick Tull. They sound so much alike,you'd think they were related.
Tull's is a very Manly voice that suits seaman and officers dialogue very well.True,it is less effective as a woman's voice and Tull's voice has less of the subtle nuances we are used to hearing from Simon Vance[one of the best book narrators you will find anywhere].
While Tull would be ill suited to read Little Women or Pride and Prejudice.....
Post Captain IS a novel primarily about Men and what Men must do.Tull sounds what you would expect a British Seaman to sound like and as such really enhances the story.
I have listened to Simon Vance narrate many books including books by Patrick O'Brian.
Both tell a story in their own way and are excellent in their own way.
Speaking of narrators in the "what it's worth"department....................
The all time best narrator academy award superstar performance goes to Rob Inglis for his narration of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit.I swear it's better than either watching the movie or reading the books.These unabridged versions have only recently become available on Audible and I challenge you to listen to a few chapters without becoming entranced by the magic of his versatility telling a marvelous tale.
C.S.FORRESTER[HORATIO HORNBLOWER],PATRICK O'BRIAN],JACK AUBREY] AND ALEXANDER KENT[RICHARD BOLITHO] All deal with the Napoleonic Wars era and the Royal Navy.....C.S.Forrester was highly reccomended by Ernest Hemmingway,
Patrick O'Brian has been compared to a seagoing Jane Austen.I agree.Alexander Kent is somewhere in between .In a previous review I mistakenly mentioned that I have over 20 of these books in audible.I own more and have listened to every unabridged version available by these authors.Why have they been and continue to be so popular ??
Here's the short version.
 The books could best be described as loose historical fiction in that
 The characters and situations are based on on ACTUAL historical people and situations.
 Ships logs where required,Diary's were more common than not among ship's Captains and many officers so there are thousands upon thousands of written records,memoirs newspaper articles etc.This is a substantial resource for much of the material by these authors combined with their imagination,sailing expertise and the ability to tell a good story.
 The FACTS are that the Royal Navy was replete with Brutality,Politics,The Absolute authority of Captains,Promotion due to Family power,seaman that were kept on board for years at a time for fear they might run away[as well they might have] and Impressment of recruits right out of homes ,the streets and taverns.
The Royal Navy was also replete with Bravery,loyalty to King and country,Crews that could out perform the enemy in number of Cannon Shots,discipline etc.and officers that were true leaders beloved by their men .These officers came both from the priviledged class and the ranks..promoted for their abilities.
 Because of the system of awarding Prize money based on the value of ships captured ,the lowliest crew member could retire to comfortable circumstances with enough to own a farm or small business.Many of the officers entered the service poor[the 3rd or 4th son not likely to inherit] and left the service wealthy prosperous men with substantial fortunes.
NOW IF THAT'S NOT THE MATERIAL FOR GREAT STORIES ABOUT CONDITIONS THAT REALLY EXISTED AND SITUATIONS THAT REALLY HAPPENED I DON'T WHAT IS.!!!!
THE FLAG CAPTAIN is one such story.There are credible heroes,villains and flawed characters who seek and find redemption.Political intrigue at it's worst,the good and bad traditions of the Royal Navy,Naval Battles,Piracy,Slavers,Mutiny,Treachery,Loyalty.You name it and it's there.THE FLAG CAPTAIN is one example of the genre.It is a good story because Kent TELLS A good story and most important a CREDIBLE story because that's how things were back then and those things really happened,albeit maybe not all to one person.Michael Jayston is the perfect narrataor.His accents and inflections make you feel like there are several good narrators.Happy Listening !!
Four more British Navy novels in the tradition of Patrick O'Brian/Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower.They are in time sequence:To Glory We Steer,
The Flag Captain,Success to The Brave and Colours Aloft
Google Wik-apedia for a complete list.
My only complaint is that these books were released by Audible in December 2012 and I had to research and find out on my own when they had been released.I must have over 20 of this genre .
Alexander Kent is in what you might think of as in he Big three of British Sea novel authors [with the two aforementioned].Like the other two he tells a good story that culminates in grand finale fashion..
His novels do have more battle action but there are still plenty of ongoing characters and continuations of story threads from book to book.The Aubrey and Hornblower arn't better,All three have there own personalities with the bond of common subject matter.
Michael Jayston is an excellent narrator.With his character accent/dialogue voice characterizations you truly experience the difference between reading a good book and hearing a good story.Personally I like hearing about the daily life activities and experiences
of shipboard life as much as the "Battle narratives'.
While this is a series,I THINK YOU CAN ENJOY ANY BOOK BY ITSELF IN ANY ORDER.[It's something like hearing stories about your parents when they were young].
I don't see how anyone who likes a good story would not enjoy this series.
Try one,anyone in the series will do..To Glory We Steer won't disappoint.
If you think of LINCOLN as a 10 foot story line,the movie is like someone snipped off about two feet and put it on the screen.So as not to be disappointed I generally prefer to see a movie version first.Anybody who has seen and read both will not be disappointed no matter what order they do it in.Personally I think you should see the movie listen to the audible bookthen see the movie again.
WOW !! You really get an appreciation for the greatness of Lincoln,the greatness of the men [with all their very human foibles] that helped him run the country and the greatness of Lincoln's ability to get the most out of great men.
The slices of the book depicted in the movie are great actors' performances of great men doing great things for our country.The movie SHOWS you what the book TELLS you.
Both stand on their own and do not disappoint.
The book by Doris Kearns Goodwin is appropriately narrated by another woman......
While I wouldn't precisely call LINCOLN .....The Civil War from a woman's perspective....much of it's charm and fascination lies in the "story behind the story" stuff.
The movie will leave you hungry for more.The book explodes with more.
Opening with the day of the "Prairie Lawyer's"nomination Goodwin gives us a very interesting flashback biography of Lincoln and each of his main rivals for the nomination using these biographies to paint a picture of the times,passions and issues of the day.
Then the nomination...........then it REALLY gets interesting.
As and avid history buff I thought I knew a lot about the Civil War.As it turns out I do know a lot. But what I mainly know is about things like The battles of Antietam,The Wilderness,
Bull Run,Gettysburg,Vicksburg and men like Robert E. Lee,Grant,Sherman,Pickett
Stonewall Jackson, etc.
The best analogy I can make is when my wife and I meet another couple,afterwards I can probably tell what the guy does for a living and his favorite sports teams.......
My wife will know how many kids,grandkids ,their ages and names,how many times they've each been married,why they divorced and a host of family problems from drinking to
autism..........AND..... the other wife knows similar things about us.
Now as a man I admit I like hearing about this stuff,I just don't KNOW any of it.
Well in Lincoln,Goodwin gives you this stuff in spades !! Nobody is a BAD person,they are just people with both good and bad traits[Like Us].Indeed ,that's exactly the way Abraham Lincoln viewed people.What's great about this book is that you get all this while getting a masterful depiction of the what,where, who and why of what it was like during and after the rise to prominence of Abraham Lincoln.
One other observation is that..... when you hear and see all the political denunciations, wrangling,backbiting,grudging compromises,incompetence and corruption back then.... you realize................
 Things haven't changed very much.
 The importance of good leadership
...........and most important.................
everyday citizens need to be both informed and involved in their government or things can and will get worse.
This book may not be for everyone.I enjoyed it because it gives you a glimpse of another era.Jules Verne in his day was cutting edge.
His ideas and premises were true SCIENCE fiction in that the premises in his books are well researched scientific"what ifs".
Journey to the Center of the Earth's premise is basically "What if the Center of the earth does NOT have a molten core".The story basically is a narration of how a 19th century
Explorer/Scientist[Verne calls them Savants],accompanied by his nephew and a Nordic
"hunter"skilled in living off the land make their journey.
It is slower paced than more contemporary books written today and bears only a passing resemblance to the Hollywood movie versions. Geology was never my strong point
but there is plenty of it to support the story.
Their is an old Military axiom that goes something like......No military plan survives the first few minutes of Battle.........Wow !! If you listen to The Guns Of August you just have to say.........You Got That Right.......There is no point in repeating the many positive things and reviews.It's a great meticulously researched book,compelling because it's both true and Tuchman makes you feel like it's happening right now.If there ever was a book deserving of the Pulitzer prize......This is it.
Two observations from among 100's
The casual but efficient systematic German brutality is chilling not because they are evil people but because they are not.They fought the old way.The way Napolean,El Cid,Alfred the Great,Alexander might have fought.
Unfortunately Kaiser Wilhelm was an insecure arrogant King who inherited rather than earned the respect of his people and Generals.Tuchman points out that he is a dinosaur who helped bring about the demise of his way of life.
Great books like this are priceless because in order to find out where you are going you need to know where you've been.
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