Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 

You no longer follow Kismet

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Kismet

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Kismet

Member Since 2002

89
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 44 ratings
  • 488 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Whiskey Rebellion

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William Hogeland
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (55)

    A gripping and provocative tale of violence, alcohol, and taxes, The Whiskey Rebellion pits President George Washington and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton against angry, armed settlers across the Appalachians. Unearthing a pungent segment of early American history long ignored by historians, William Hogeland brings to startling life the rebellion that decisively contributed to the establishment of federal authority.

    Kismet says: "Great story and narration"
    "Great story and narration"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this book. Like the other reviewer, I was a bit surprised to hear a British accent from the narrator, but Simon Vance is one of the very best narrators. (He also uses the names Richard Matthews and Robert Whitfield, but they're all the same man).

    This book provides rich historical detail about the very early days of the United States. The author does an excellent job providing background information. So the chapter on Herman Husband, who believed the (then) Western US (ie Western PA and VA) would be the New Jerusalem of Revelation, is really an excellent overview of all the religious currents running through American society at the time.

    There's also great detail on the debate over federal taxation and Hamilton's agency in getting the whiskey excise tax implemented.

    The reason for 4 stars and not 5 is that the author's explanation of the unfolding of the Rebellion is so compressed as to lack sense. This is surprising since his attention to detail everywhere else in the book is so thorough.

    I would also recommend this book only to those who already have an interest in early American history. For the more general reader, I suggest 1776 and Washington's Crossing.

    28 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • March Violets

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Philip Kerr
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (495)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (276)

    Hailed by Salman Rushdie as a "brilliantly innovative thriller-writer", Philip Kerr is the creator of taut, gripping, noir-tinged mysteries set in Nazi-era Berlin that are nothing short of spellbinding. The first book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, March Violets introduces listeners to Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture.

    King says: "Nazi Noir"
    "Very disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was eager to find a series which told suspenseful stories beautifully written about compelling characters in an historically accurate way. I love the work of Eric Ambler, and also enjoy Alan Furst, who in my mind is less consistently good. Philip Kerr's work came as a huge disappointment in every respect. The characters are so unlikeable I found it hard to care what happened in the story. The historical atmosphere created here is very thin; the language is vulgar, the story contrived. Ambler or Furst, this is not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lynne Olson
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (574)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (331)

    Here is the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and a reluctant American public to support the British at a critical time.

    Susan says: "If we are together nothing is impossible"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We are living in a golden age for histories of the Second World War, it seems, because Lynne Olson has produced a brilliant and fascinating work which covers new ground. One might have thought that nothing new could be said about the Battle of Britain, or the FDR Churchill relationship, but Olson proves that wrong. The author tells the fascinating story of life in England during the war years through the thoughts and actions of three American agents in history: Ambassador Gil Winant, journalist Edward R. Murrow, and head of Lend-Lease program, Averell Harriman. The work is meticulously researched and the story wonderfully told. The last portion of the book does cover very familiar ground, but the bulk of the work is important history being told here for the first time in this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ian W. Toll
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (273)

    On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.

    BB says: "Superb narrative history"
    "An Exceptionally Good History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I agree with another reviewer who stated that Ian Toll's earlier book, Six Frigates, was interesting, but that Pacific Crucible is amazingly good. I have read widely on the naval war in the Pacific and would rank this as one of the very best books on the topic ever. It is wonderfully researched, capturing both the historical influences affecting the decisions of the navies on both sides, as well as the lived experiences of the participants. Toll begins the work with an analysis of the impact of Captain Mahan's book, "The Influence of Sea Power on History". Also fascinating were his chapter on the cultural and ideological developments in Japan prior to the war, and his psychological portraits of Yamamoto and of Nimitz (each of whom deserves a full biography). I am not a fan of Grover Gardner generally, but he did an excellent job here.
    My only complaint is an out-of-key note in the epilogue, where Toll uncritically cites a comment from Robert Sherwood, the playwright turned FDR speech writer, that World War II was widely unpopular with the US public. This is an extra-ordinary claim not borne out by the historical record, at least on its surface, made by a person promoting the reputation of FDR as the figure who held us all together. To accept such a statement without further research into its historical accuracy was a slip, in my opinion. It's the small portion that makes the whole work 99 and 44/100% excellent.

    If you enjoy the naval histories of James Hornfischer, you'll love Pacific Crucible. It is a great book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Long Sunset: Memoirs of Winston Churchill's Last Private Secretary

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Anthony Montague Browne
    • Narrated By John Mulligan
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Long Sunset is an intimate personal view of the sunset years of the former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Anthony Montague Brown was Winston Churchill's private secretary from 1952 until his death in 1965. As the last member of what Churchill called "my circle" to have written his recollections, these memoirs shed much light on Churchill's activities and attitudes during his final decade.

    Kismet says: "For Churchill fans"
    "For Churchill fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is very well written and narrated, but its subject matter is a bit narrow in appeal. It details the final years of Churchill's life. As a Churchill admirer, I enjoyed the book and felt it was a way of spending time in the presence of the great man WSC was. You will learn about people around WSC and more about the issues of the day, but there are no bright new insights into his character.
    The author is a very literate and amusing guy, who only occasionally uses this forum to settle political scores. Two strikes against this book are: 1) the first quarter is about the author prior to his association with Churchill. That may not appeal to everyone but I liked that part. 2) This is perhaps the WORST sound editing I have ever heard in an audio book. Things go along fine for a stretch and then there's duplicate lines, long pauses, repeated words, etc. It's as if no one bothered to listen to the final audio product and correct the many recording errors. I don't know how to rate this defect, The narration, by the author's nephew, is very good, the story is interesting, and the book overall is fine. But if there were a category for "sound editing", I would give one star.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Eric Metaxas
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1605)
    Performance
    (1072)
    Story
    (1093)

    A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism. After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer and was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.

    Alan says: "Very Moving"
    "Very disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Metaxas writes history, not as an historian would, but like a high school student: first this happened, then that happened, and then this other thing. He has no overarching thesis to develop, no interpretation of Bonhoeffer or his life. When he does offer commentary, it is almost always a banal repeating of a direct quotation in slightly different words.

    Bonhoeffer was an extraordinary person and not even the author's plodding narrative can hide this. But I regret that so many people will know Bonhoeffer only through this caricature of a biography.

    The narration is fine, except for most of the German pronunciation, which again sounds like an American high school student, and not very close to how we actually pronounce German words.

    It may take ten years or more before there is room in the publishing world for a new English language biography of Bonhoeffer, but I predict this one will quickly and rightly be forgotten once that happens.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A Taste for Death

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By P. D. James
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (104)

    When two men are discovered, with their throats cut, in the vestry of St Matthew’s Church, the police are faced with an intriguing challenge for one of the victims was ex-Government minister Sir Paul Berowne, the other, Harry Mack, a local tramp and alcoholic.

    connie says: "one of her best"
    "Overwhelmed by Unlikeable Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The writing is great, the narration perfect, but the story is overwhelmed by the profound nihilism of the author. There is not one single likeable character. No one ever acts for decent reasons; everything is always a cold calculation. I found it very hard to care about the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2010)
    Performance
    (1752)
    Story
    (1751)

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Melinda says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "Great Story Well Told, Lacking in Scholarly Rigor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I really enjoyed this story of the assassination of President Garfield. This book does an excellent job of conveying the kind of man Garfield was. The story told is riveting, and it concerns a president about whom I knew very little. So if you enjoy learning a lot and hearing a well told story with solid narration, you will like this book.

    There are two faults with the book, however. First, the author tries to create suspense by having Alexander Graham Bell race to invent an instrument which would find the bullet and save the president's life. This narrative, though fascinating, is factually off-base as the bullet's continued presence in the body had nothing to do with the president's death. The author makes clear elsewhere, and correctly, that the president died of sepsis from infections caused by the doctors, not by the bullet. Many Civil War soldiers, e.g., lived long lives with bullets still in their bodies.Second, the author makes over-inflated claims that the death of Garfield was THE thing that brought the nation together and created a national, as opposed to regional, identity for all Americans. If this were true, you would find evidence of this in multiple places, such as national organizations and societies being formed, a national newspaper, etc. It's a large claim that the author supports with a single piece of evidence, a newspaper editorial.The two instances of the lack of scholarly rigor do not detract from the compelling story told in this book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert J. Mrazek
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of the members of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men - many flying outmoded aircraft - changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history.

    Kismet says: "Excellent story well told"
    "Excellent story well told"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this book detailing the incredible story and sacrifice of "Torpedo 8" at Midway and Guadacanal. The story is told from the point of view of the men who lived it, in the style of a Stephen Ambrose book. I much preferred this to anything by Ambrose, who is just OK as a story teller. This book, together with The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailor, are my two favorite books on the War in the Pacific. If you enjoy the day to day, play by play, tale of the men who fought and died in that theater, you will love this book. 5 stars.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Oliver Ford Davies
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history.

    Kismet says: "Brilliantly done"
    "Brilliantly done"
    Overall

    This is a wonderful book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I think the author brilliantly executes the idea of Cicero's slave remembering the early career of the young Cicero. It is great history, combined with courtroom drama and interesting characters. The narrator is flawless.
    This is intended to be the first part of a trilogy. I only the same narrator is used and eagerly await the next two installments.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and the Battle of Trafalgar

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Adam Nicolson
    • Narrated By Adam Nicolson
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In Seize the Fire, Adam Nicolson, author of the widely acclaimed God's Secretaries, takes the great naval battle of Trafalgar, fought between the British and Franco-Spanish fleets in October 1805, and uses it to examine our idea of heroism and the heroic. Is violence a necessary aspect of the hero? And daring? Why did the cult of the hero flower in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in a way it hadn't for two hundred years?

    Kismet says: "Fascinating but overly academic"
    "Fascinating but overly academic"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this book and learned an enormous amount. It is not so much a blow by blow account of the battle as much as a "meta-history" of the sociological forces at play in 1805. There are long discussions of what "honor" and "duty" meant in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. There's a comparison of Wordsworth and Nelson. So in this sense it is a very academic study and sometimes falls prey to the excesses that pass for scholarly learning in some quarters-- e.g. the interpretation of King Henry's speech at Agincourt in terms of Freudian sexuality. Or the personification of Violence which runs throughout the book and leads to statements like :Paradoxically the violence of battle was a release, a calm in the midst of the storm... etc.
    If your interest is in military history, this work will disappoint. If you want to learn a lot about the period from the extremely well-read author, then this work might be of interest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.