Going into this book I expected to hear a new scholastic exposition upon the failings of the New Deal. Instead it was a Libertarian set piece on how the entire FDR administration efforts were machinations for re-election and to convert the American economy to Socialism! Every single New Deal policy was part of a malicious and devious plan to strip Americans of their individual liberties through increased taxation and larger government. According to the author capitalist free markets that are unconstrained by any regulation are the only historical economies to produce human progress. Any regulation, be it insurance on deposits, Social Security, or limitations on the sale of swamp property, all impede free markets! The book was written in 2002 and hasn't been updated to explain how FDR caused 2008.
As I've written previously, Leslie Charteris' Saint series is a picture in time of 1930's England much as Dashiell Hammett & Raymond Chandler provide snapshots in time for the same period in American San Fransisco and Los Angles - warts and all. The prejudices of the time with the bigotry and racial attitudes of the day are rampant throughout the books. The "N" word is used in ways that may surprise many American readers to reflect attitudes of the Britons of the day at all levels of society.
Where Dashiell Hammett and his characters are terse and taciturn, Leslie Charteris is loquacious, but Simon Templar is one of the most loquacious and relaxed characters in the genre history! Reading these books one can see the development of the genre as we know it today.
Mr. Tefler delivers all characterizations with flair and verve.
Book 3 is actually Book 1! Audible & Amazon staffs have a tendency to do minimal service to some series & unfortunately this is one of them.
The book is fantastic! A picture in time right up with Dashiell Hammett & Raymond Chandler. This is NOT your mother's Simon Templar! This is more of an amoral Saint filled with violence and fuzzy philosophies. There are more than one Saint and Simon Templar is not a womanizing Lothario,but a one-woman man.
Charteris helped write the early Saint movies, so agreed to the sanitizing of what Simon Templar became on the screen, but he kept The Saint true to his origins on the page.
Mr. Tefler serves the written word with panache and verve! Listen to the series and see why Simon Templar, The Saint has been popular since 1929!
Overlord reads like the summation of multiple underlying plot lines, some that began in "Event", the first book in the series. Reads like either the end of the road or the series taking off on new tangents.
The characters are the normal archetypical jingoistic stereotypes from their respective countries, except the Speaker of the House who's your standard Tea Party'er taken from CSPAN. ;-) In other words - the usual suspects down to the 'men in black'.
As I've said in past reviews of this series, Mr. Goleman is master yarn spinner. He manages to suspend belief just enough that his tall tales can be enjoyed to escape from the mundane travails of everyday life. What more can you ask?
He IS a tad sloppy with getting all the details correct in his books, but he is so consistently sloppy that it's almost a trademark by now. Richard Poe has only gotten better over the life of the series to the point that I'm looking for other books narrated by him.
Audible has all 9 of the Event Group series, you just need to hunt for the suckers because they like to hide them! Mr. Goleman spins pretty neat yarns in all of his books. His biggest problem is that he really needs a fact checker to edit his books desperately. His lack of knowledge regarding the military in general is appalling. The time in grade for promotion for officers has his characters frozen in rank; some change rank during the same book. He needs a decent armorer to fact-check his guns and ballistics.
In one book India is described as the world's largest Muslim nation; the NKVD as the successor to the KGB, etc. Sometime it almost seems that Mr. Goleman is putting in false facts in on purpose! He does seem to get a favorite phrase for each book, plus many re-occurring ones like, "...screamed like a girl..."; "...a sight he would remember for the rest of his life"; etc.
Richard Poe's narrations have come around from a virtual Joe Friday presentation to pretty good variation for all the characters and gets into the material!
This series has fantastic potential. Solid character development, good plot backgrounds. The only shortcoming was the 2 dimensional battle scenes. Everything occurs on one plane; ships go port and starboard, forwards and reverse, but little transvering in the 3rd plane of up and down or any combination thereof. If the author gets his ships moving in all 3 planes, (in some cases 4), then he has the makings of one rip-roaring space opera here!
Firstly the tag team approach to the narrative distracts greatly form the story. If they feel the first person narrator is lacking, get another one. Secondly audible.com has not spent much time in this series. They have omitted the short story which would be 1.5; "The Dig", and the 4th novel, "The Widow's Strike" from the Series Listings in spite of the fact that both are sold by audible.com. Sloppy.
Basic premise of Pike Logan series is a broken special forces operator being gradually made whole again by partnering with an extraordinary civilian broken female. Two halves make more than a whole. The action is well above average. The narrative tends to get verbose, but doesn't get too much of a bore. I have a tendency to read or listen to entire series if I find one of the books interesting - bought the first on sale and then listened to entire series. Author is obviously knowledgeable in special operations procedures, (I'm sure that they're disguised sufficiently to give away secrets), so the action sometimes suffers from detail - but detail IS the author's forte. Found all 10 'books' of the series worth my money and time.
Fantastic bio! The best that I've ever read of Jackson! There were a few incidents missing, but the way the book was presented there was no way to include them. A most novel method of weaving his life through the various periods of both his career and childhood. It was most entertaining and kept my attention in spite of a rather dull narration.
The good General was a man of many facets. He had a wicked sense of humor, displayed only in private, that belayed his public taciturn image. He could courts-martial men for disobeying orders and then caress their heads when they were wounded in battle. He was a pro-Union man, but when war came - lobbied for fighting under the black flag.
The author repeatedly compares Jackson to Cromwell, Grant and Sherman. The Americans were all exposed to Jomini at West Point, but only Cromwell and Jackson constantly exhibited the Jominian tenets of speed and mass; besides their sharing a deep religious faith.(IMHO, Jackson,was the superior general). I think that most would consider Grant and Sherman more Claustewizian in their strategy, and therefore don't bear the author's comparison. The points in common being in rather humble circumstances at the war's beginnings. Other than that small point, it is an outstanding book.
As usual a top flight job the team of Cussler, Du Brul and Brick! Problem is that it's the 2005 CD's put together for audible; they didn't even edit out the CD headers! I mean it's all brain candy, but I have the CD's somewhere. Still an enjoyable escape!
Knew from the reviews that this was a departure for Scalzi. What a departure! In my most humble opinion, this tome is an instant classic of the genre! A most novel concept and treatment of universal truths that will stay with readers long after they finish the book.
Think Michael Valentine Smith meets 'I Robot'! I do believe that his predecessors would approve!
Reading other reviews, I only wish that I'd purchased different narrator. Ms Benson wasn't bad, she wasn't quite up to the material.
The Battle of Surigao Strait was in many ways as confusing as the battle of Taffy 3. Mr. Tully did a masterful job in pulling all the disparate portions and records together to weave a coherent tale. My main problem was that Mr. Roelofs was obviously reading many of the names and locales phonetically and in many cases unless one speaks Japanese, it was difficult to keep all of the IJN players straight. Keeping all of the USN players straight was hard enough with all of the battleships and heavy cruisers playing chicken towards the end of the battle. I believe that part of the problem is that the IJN players like Kurita are familiar to American readers, but that the IJN officers at Surigao Strait aren't because they died there for the most part. Most of the senior officers I knew from previous books, but many of the ships' captains and officers were oft time difficult to keep straight with their ships.
The IJN run up the Straight is familiar to anyone who has watched "In Harm's Way", as James Bassett took this battle and mixed it with Taffy 3 in his book, "Harm's Way", on which the movie is based. While I could picture the essential maneuvers of the IJN run, it did get a bit confusing keeping the different heavy cruisers separate at times, and I'd have to back up the narration just to confirm which ship was which. But - the historic tale of the classic 'crossing of the T' at Suriagao Strait obviously does not stand up to scrutiny based on Mr. Tully's research. Oldendorf's reputation was largely made upon the picture of USN battleships steaming blissfully across the bows of IJN battleships in the dark while sending said IJN battleships to the bottom of Surigao Strait.
The phonetic pronunciations such as; "Lay-Tee", did get a bit tedious, Mr. Roelofs did a yeoman's job at narrating the book and has a wonderful voice to listen to. It seemed that he didn't understand what he was reading. He was reading the book without telling the story.
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