Seattle, WA | Member Since 2011
I love history, especially anything related to WWII. The history of Mi5's Double Cross program was a part of the story that I had never hear. The exploits of this motley crew of misfits reads like a dark comedy, but it all really happened.
Some moments are as delightfully absurd as a Monty Python sketch, but they are tempered by accounts of amazing acts of heroism that changed the course of history.
It left me wanting to find more history books that tell these kinds of stories - the anecdotal, very human side of history.
His personal descriptions of the players and their quirks really make the book. Some of the details he recounts in the first person quotes are priceless. 'he was a complete shit'
Nothing, it was spot on with perfect timing to deliver the best lines with bone-dry english irony.
If you have an interest in WWII history, spy novels or biographies, you are going to love this one.
The story seemed slapped together, pulling directly, and liberally from anecdotes from famous military memoirs (Lone Survivor, With the Old Breed) and random factoids of recent technology trends. The characters were flat, and the plot was painfully predictable. I was excited to listen to this book, I love military Sci-fi, but this was very sub-par. You can't just write a 3rd-hand account of the Navy Seals training, and recast them as "Moths".
Someone who actually knew what people in the military actually sound like, can pronounce common words (its myriad not My-rad). The voices and accents were distracting and at times borderline insulting.
Almost everything from the training portion of the book. It frankly read like a very superficial Jerry Bruckheimer movie. I had almost no sympathy for the main character. He seemed like a 15 year old boy's ideal of a special forces soldier.
In terms of books on politics, philosophy and cognitive science, its one of the best.
The book tackles very sensitive topics - people's most closely held beliefs, and explains the WHY in a way that is sensible and non-controversial. Haidt provides a compelling case for why morality may have a genetic basis.
The chapter on Moral Foundations Theory. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats.
Its not really that kind of book, but the part describing group selection theory was good.
The most boring movie that ever changed your life.
Regardless of your political or religious persuasion, you should listen to this book.
I am a fan of WWII history, but many books on the subject, particularly those that focus on the European theater, typically focus on the grand figures and political moments that lead to the "inevitable" outcome of the war.
This book is different. It tells the story of the inter-war Germany from the perspective of American ex-pats living there and witnessing the Nazi rise to power. You get to see the very flawed and human perspectives that shaped history as it happened.
I'd recommend the book to anyone with an interest in WWII and wants to understand what it was like to see the Nazi party take power.
Johnston is a good storyteller, and I really enjoyed listening to her story. It was delivered with a great deal of humor and honesty.
The book itself is delivered more like a monolog than a memoir. Being an actress, I think Johnston's already strong storytelling abilities are naturally geared towards an Audiobook delivery rather than print. There were many non sequiturs that seemed completely spontaneous, and added to the authenticity of the story.
As far as the arc of her memoir goes, its not terribly different than the typical Hollywood addiction story, but the story is recounted in the humorous, self-effacing manner that betrays Johnston's Midwestern roots. She charms the listener and it makes Johnston a likable, but very flawed protagonist.
I liked the idea at the core of the novel, but the execution in the plot was awkward. There is an unpolished feel to the story - as if Scalzi had a bunch of different ideas, but couldn't tie them up into a convincing whole, so he tacked some additional fragments to the end. Also the notion of "A Novel with Three Codas" seems like a literary affectation worthy of an undergraduate creative writing major.
The storytelling was stilted and the dialog was very awkward - this especially came across in the narration where there are long passages of dialog between characters where each line is punctuated with "said ", with almost no variation - which becomes extremely distracting. Its almost as if some of the scenes started as a screenplay and got converted to a book.
The constant sarcasm of the characters and Wheaton's invariably sardonic delivery, (which often works in Scalzi's other audiobooks) fell flat here. It made it was hard to care about any of the characters, or to make the conflict believable. The characters lacked any emotional depth whatsoever.
Honestly, as much as I wanted to like this book, I can't recommend it. It was frustrating, sometimes hard to follow the dialog, and the characters just aren't that likable. Skip it.
I'm not sure if the book could be improved as an Audiobook. Its well written, and well read, but it features a lot of dates, names, locations and shifting points of view that are hard to follow without a visual reference.
It was difficult to follow all the players and points of view without a map, glossary and footnotes. Her descriptions are rich, but I kept loosing the flow of the book
I like the scene she painted in the first part of the book of the funeral of the King on England. The heraldry and pomp of all the assembled royalty of Europe in a long-gone London (much of it bombed out of existence in World War II). Its hard to appreciate how much the world has changed in less than 100 years!
Not so much a scene but I would definitely cut back on how much the author changes perspectives between different characters. It devolves into a lot of "he said, then so and so said" in ways that don't really clarify your understanding of events.
As much as I'd love to recommend this book - good narration, fascinating topic, well written, its just not right for an Audiobook. Skip it.
I couldn't imagine this book without Craig Wasson's voice. This is one of those books that is amazing as a stand-alone story, but so much better as an Audio book.
All the characters were great. I don't really read a lot of Stephen King, but he has a talent for capturing the little details in expression and non-verbal action that really breathe life into his characters. There is an amazing eye for detail, without the tendency of many authors to go overboard with descriptions that bog down the plot.
This is a great example of a master novelist completely at home with his craft.
The subtleties of the character voices. I have to admit that his accents leave something to be desired, but his delivery is very good. He does a great job of incorporating the non-verbal action into his delivery (EG: coughing during the character's line when its described in the text). It adds a level of performance that is rare in many audiobooks.
I got a little teary at some points and found myself laughing out loud or smiling while listening which is always a little embarrassing when there are other people around.
Great book - one of the best (of the 50+ ) Audible books I've listened to all year.
I am a consumer product designer for a high tech company (Audible), and I lived and worked in Silicon valley for years. I really enjoyed the back story on what the valley used to be like before the boom years, and I've lived the life both in startups and big companies. It was interesting to see reality reflected back in that way.
As far as Jobs is concerned, I had a very difficult time liking him and maintaining interest for the first 2/3 of the book. It was a fascinating sketch on the making of a tycoon, but it was unsettling to listen to story after story about how Jobs would go out of his way to destroy people. A good prep for this book would be to listen to
The Sociopath Next Door
It was a very flat, delivery. It sounded like he was just on auto-pilot, reading off the page. I ended up listening at 2x or 3x speed to get through the content.
Its been done - it would just be a bad soap opera.
Keep something light to listen to after, you're going to need it.
Pinchot's narration was great and the writing is solid. Like all great series, I started to feel anxious at the end of the book because I know the next installment hasn't been released yet.
The characters continue to develop in this installment - which is good. I really didn't find myself getting bored. I know I'm in a good book when my dog doesn't want to go out for anymore walks!
I listened to this one right after the first, so its difficult to compare. The tension isn't the same because of events in the first book, but it was a solid middle book in a series.
The attack on the island at the end.
I don't know...
Great book. If you loved the first one, you'll like this too. The cover art is kind of cheesy - it doesn't do the content of the book any favors.
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