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Olaf

German by birth - cosmopolitan by conviction. A CFO enjoying dynamic and multicultural Asia. Classic car and history buff and scuba diver.

Jakarta, Indonesia

106
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
18

  • War and Remembrance

    • UNABRIDGED (56 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (1776)
    Performance
    (1496)
    Story
    (1483)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    aaron says: "What can I say that hasn't already been said??"
    "Wouk plus Pariseau equals genius"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading and listening to "The Winds of War" I knew I would love "War and Remembrance" but the achievements of Wouk as a dramatist and historian in this sequel are significantly surpassing the first part. Not only are characters and scenes masterly presented but is the entire saga from the fist minute to the end consistent and captivating. I have never heard a more artistic and enjoyable narrating as the one by Kevin Pariseau. Only a person deeply enjoying his work is able to achieve such an outstanding performance. Kevin is coloring the entire story - just listen to part 4, chapter 5 @ 25:43 where he reads the scene on the airbase in Greenland - comedy pure. Pariseau manages all emotions, sings (and I guess dances) and he is also amazing when compassion and silent tones are required. I read and heard a lot about WW II history but can even recommend "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" to learn about this global disaster - better than a lot of history books. All in all a revelation - nothing more, nothing less.

    25 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • The Final Storm: A Novel of the War in the Pacific

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jeff Shaara
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (117)

    As the war in Europe winds down in the wake of the Normandy invasion, the United States has turned its vast military resources toward an all-out effort against the Japanese. In the spring of 1945, Japan’s empire has been pressed slowly back toward its home islands, and the Americans mount a furious assault on the last great stepping-stone to Japan itself - the heavily fortified island of Okinawa. The three-month battle will feature some of the most vicious combat of the entire war, as American troops confront an enemy that would rather be slaughtered than experience the shame of surrender.

    Rune says: "How can he keep it up"
    "A much needed complement to military history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started with Shaara's book "The Rising Tide" and needed time to get comfortable with the changing perspectives of multiple characters. I greatly appreciated "The Steel Wave" and I am deeply impressed by "The Final Storm". The story of Clay Adams and his comrades is a wake up call that military history must not only be taken in through more scientific writing. It opened my eyes for what the fighting soldiers endured. The Japanese position is conveyed with tact and respect for the cultural specifics. The horrors of the fights on Okinawa made me think about the ordeals so many woman and man have endured in World War 2 - be it during the fights on the islands, in Stalingrad, on Omaha beach, over German cities or under German and Allied bombing runs. The story of the bombing of Hiroshima does not give sufficient justice to the Japanese side. The torture of the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - on the day and over decades after - demands a more extensive portion of such a narrative even though it might not incraese the book's popularity - regrettably.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885-1945

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Martin Blumenson
    • Narrated By William Lavelle
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    This detailed and persuasive study by the author of The Patton Papers was described by Patton's daughter Ruth as "an extraordinary book". It is widely considered the best biography ever written of the General, an American hero as compelling as he was complex.

    Ann says: "Patton the man"
    "What a man - book needs to be four times as long !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read many books about World War II and the highly recommendable book "Brothers, Rivals, Victors" about Patton, Bradley and Eisenhower, I knew quite a bit of Patton's war exploits but wanted to learn more about the evolution of this man. Here this book is truly outstanding and provides deep insight into how this splendid officer, gentleman and human being was shaped and what drove him. The World War II phase of his life, so full of triumphs and set backs, falls a little short of expectations but this time is extensively covered in other books. Patton was one of the few man I truly admire for all his facettes. He was a non-conformist who conformed because he had such an incredibly high standard of professionalism, duty and was a true patriot. I can recommend the book for anybody who wants to see the character behind the war hero and wants to understand how such an extraordinary personality is formed. Some historic flaws such as praising the 3rd U.S. army as the military force capturing the highest number of enemies ever (the war started before Germany declared war on the U.S.A. and bigger encirclements happend in the early months of the Russia campaign of the Wehrmacht) are not dimming the excellence of the content. Need a special teaser to listen ? Here is a Patton quote: "Troop leadership is like moving spaghetti - pushing from behind buckles the pasta - pulling from the front makes it moving". Just marvellous right ?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Rumor of War

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Philip Caputo
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (141)

    When it first appeared, A Rumor of War brought home to American readers, with terrifying vividness and honesty, the devastating effects of the Vietnam War on the soldiers who fought there. And while it is a memoir of one young man's experiences and therefore deeply personal, it is also a book that speaks powerfully to today's students about the larger themes of human conscience, good and evil, and the desperate extremes men are forced to confront in any war.

    Howard says: "Howie"
    "He was there and is able to put it into words"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To me an outstanding piece of literature - honest and authentic in all facettes of the situation and personality. I admire Caputo's ability to express his emotions and to describe the transformation of his personality over time. It is not only the violent situations which are fascinating but also the description of the administrative perversion which goes along with war and the inhumane bureaucracy. It is an "All Quit at the Western Front" transported to Vietnam with an equal achievement of manifestation against war and it is setting a monument for the casualties on both side. No heroism - straight forward and truthful Vietnam experience. Thank you Philip.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17066)
    Performance
    (15150)
    Story
    (15107)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Highly imaginative - with some lengths"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the listen a lot. The story is fascinating. While the JFK assassination remains a favorite subject of speculation what happened then and how history might have been different without that tragedy, King combines the mystic theme of time travel with the assassination to a book which tied me to the iPod. The only downside - although not really material - is, that the story has some lengths in the middle section. Anyway - the last 5 hours certainly compensate for some extra time spent listening during the approach to the amazing culmination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3848)
    Performance
    (2827)
    Story
    (2830)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Thanks to the writer and two statesmen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To the late Mr Frank: Thank you for writing this book in time - it may have changed history and saved lives.
    To the late President Kennedy: Thank you for reading and understanding this book and not surrendering to trigger happy contemporaries.
    To the late Secretary Khrushchev: Thank you for not insisting, being open for ratio and removing the missiles from Cuba in 1962.
    In fact a simple although terrifying subject. My greatest respect to Pat Frank for writing and publishing this novel in 1959 - it takes courage to go against the mainstream but often it is rewarded by changing direction to the better.
    The message is what makes this book important and the storytelling gives it an extra quality. I listend in two straight sessions and it will stay in my mind forever. Also great narrating by Will Patton.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10813)
    Performance
    (6839)
    Story
    (6871)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "An immensely remarkable man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    War is writing many captivating, dramatic and and often tragic stories and Louis Zamperini's struggle for survival, defense of his dignity, mental and physical health and regaining his ability to lead a normal life after the war is a very impressive one. I am always fascinated by people who manage to persevere in extreme situations, where others give up and drift into despair and surrender. Louis' feats in all four main parts of the story - career as a runner, survival on the raft, steadfastness in the camps and fight for regaining the capability of living normally after the war, are highly admirable. It is a very recommendable book - be ready to learn about an individual looking from many different angles and discovering an immensely remarkable man. If there would be a rating for the protagonist, it would surely be 5 stars at least.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Kurson
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2051)
    Performance
    (532)
    Story
    (534)

    In 1991, acting on a tip from a local fisherman, two scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat, complete with its crew of 60 men, not too far off the New Jersey coast. The divers, realizing the momentousness of their discovery, began probing the mystery. Over the next six years, they became expert and well-traveled researchers, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew.

    Douglas says: "GRIPPING!"
    "Breathtaking in many respects - need 6 star rating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook is breathtaking in many respects. It is not only the story of an almost unbelievable scuba diving adventure but also the account of development and transformation of personalities who deserve the highest respect. It is the report of a fascinating piece of naval history as well as the gripping tale of friendship and dedication to a goal against all odds. In me it strikes many chords since I scuba dive, am very interested in WW 2 history and know of the U boat war from first hand conversations with a 1st officer on a German U boat of WW 2. But even if this is all remote to you it is an investment of 15 hours of your life you will definitely not regret. This is a MUST buy - don't skip it for the fact that 2 credits are needed. John Chatterton and Richie Kohler are true heroes, the writing is superb and the narrator rounds it all off to a rating of (more than ) triple 5 stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Donald L. Miller
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (264)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (225)

    This is the dramatic story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, this is a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden. Fighting at twenty-five thousand feet in thin, freezing air no warriors had encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear.

    Olaf says: "Facts and Emotions Masterfully Combined"
    "Facts and Emotions Masterfully Combined"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A book about war does not have to be either military history or record of human experiences but can be a combination of both if skillfully written for the knowledge and heart sections. This book is a very good example for this. It would not be the right book for somebody beginning to learn about World War II but if good overall knowledge of the war is given, the book provides deep insights into this very special theater of war in Europe. Even though I have read many, many books about the war I have found quite a bit of facts which were completely new to me. The individual histories of the fliers going through this ordeal are told with great tact, respect and without nationalism - just as it has to be. Highly recommended.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2573)
    Performance
    (2163)
    Story
    (2168)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Arken says: "Great storytelling"
    "Genius combination of writing and narrating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Contrary to the rule, I firstly want to extend my deepest appreciation to the narrator of this book. Kevin Pariseau performs marvelously and brings the book to life with colors and atmosphere coming close to pictures. He not only attaches well chosen timbre to the characters but even excels in singing - I see images by his reading. It is plainly outstanding. The story is - at least for me - extremely interesting and reveals a great deal of wartime in Europe. The characters are carefully developed and the alternation of political and private events and settings is very entertaining and consistent. I could hardly stop listening and recommend this book whole heartedly.

    50 of 53 people found this review helpful

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