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Bob

Longmont, CO, United States | Member Since 2011

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 605 titles in library
  • 75 purchased in 2014
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  • Endangered Species: An Anna Pigeon Mystery, Book 5

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Nevada Barr
    • Narrated By Cindy Williams
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    Marooned on Cumberland Island National Seashore off the coast of Georgia, Anna finds time weighing heavily as she waits out a 21-day assignment on fire detail. When the sudden plane crash in the inland palmetto thickets calls her and the other members of the fire crew to action, the flames are quickly extinguished. But suspicions smolder over the cause of the accident which killed both the pilot and his passenger, Cumberland's lone law enforcement ranger.

    Kate says: "badly abridged"
    "Disapointing adbridgment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This abridgment is very choppy. It's difficult to track of the characters or follow the flow of action. It's like watching an abridgment of

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Somme: The Darkest Hour on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Peter Hart
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (21)

    The Somme: these words conjure the image of war rigidly fought by traditional means even when catastrophe clearly loomed. Relying on personal testimonies never before published, this study of those who survived the first day of battle (July 1, 1916) captures this epic conflagration from all angles. Follow the action as soldiers crawl across No Man’s Land in the face of German guns, struggle with the conditions in the trenches, and survey the scene from the air as the RFC tries to control the skies above the battlefield.

    Bob says: "Harrowing Story Badly Produced"
    "Harrowing Story Badly Produced"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a comprehensive story of the British offensive on the Somme. It is rich in historical detail. A great part of this detail consists of excerpts from diaries and reports of the actual participants, from generals to privates.

    It helped me expand my knowledge of this important part of WW1 and gave me some insight into some of the appalling decisions made by the British general command as well as the motivations and courage of those tasked with carrying those decisions.

    The author provides sources for his many excerpts of original material. Unfortunately he chose to provide these attributions in the body of the text instead of in a footnote. This lead the producer of this book to include these attributions in the reading of the text. This interrupts the narrative flow with frequent and repetitive citations. These attributions are fine in a printed work, but the producer should have omitted them in the audio recording.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Nicole LaPorte
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (68)

    For 60 years, since the birth of United Artists, the studio landscape was unchanged. Then came Hollywood’s Circus Maximus---created by director Steven Spielberg, billionaire David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who gave the world The Lion King---an entertainment empire called DreamWorks.

    Richard says: "Fascinating, even-handed"
    "I really didn't care"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I am a fan of Dreamworks, especially their animation efforts, I found that the inside story of personalities and money far from compelling. Those who enjoy the inside Hollywood stuff will probably be more interested in the ins and outs described in this book. For me, it didn't take long before the story sounded like random syllables coupled with the author's outrage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FREE The Gray Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (1344)
    Performance
    (1186)
    Story
    (1209)

    Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man - a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive.

    Rollin says: "Gripping, unremitting action"
    "Sure to be popular with Keyboard Komandos."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Super human American good guy. Check.
    Cowardly blood thirsty A_rab terrorists. Check.
    Know how it will end after the first paragraph. Check.
    Loving microscopic examination of blood soaked scenes. Check.
    Racist. Check.
    Disgusting. Check.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • W Is for Wasted: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1354)
    Performance
    (1189)
    Story
    (1186)

    Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue. The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

    karen says: "Well worth waiting for...."
    "Sue's too famous for an editor."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I went back read some of Grafton's earlier work. The stories were nicely plotted, pleasingly intricate and punchy. Those "Kinsey moments" we all love were pithy and somewhat surprising.

    However, W and, frankly, maybe the last 10 or so mysteries are just bloated with more "Kinsey moments" than I ever needed or cared about.

    The stories are about the same in terms of plot and intricacy, so what fills up the extra 100 pages? Instead of a hard bitten, hard nosed Kinsey, we get an introverted, self absorbed, self doubting detective who lets events control her instead of the other way around. We get long, completely unrealistic sequences of conversation and events.

    It's been pretty obvious, ever since the Millhone series started to break the 200 page limit, that Sue is tired of Kinsey. It's time for Grafton to re-hire her editors so that they can re-invigorate and harden up the series for the final episodes.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By James Scott
    • Narrated By Donald Corren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (136)

    The War Below is a dramatic account of extraordinary heroism, ingenuity, and perseverance—and the vital role American submarines played in winning the Pacific War. Focusing on the unique stories of the submarines Silversides, Drum, and Tang—and the men who skippered and crewed them—James Scott takes readers beneath the waves to experience the thrill of a direct hit on a merchant ship and the terror of depth charge attacks.

    Ryan says: "Unique. Engaging. Worth your credit."
    "Submarine story devolves into torture story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story of three WWII era submarines starts off well. There's a discussion of the state of the war after Pearl Harbor. In the time period between Dec. 8 and Midway, submarines were just about the only offensive weapon available to the fleet. However, subs were not used primarily against combatant vessels, but against freighters and oil tankers. This mission was a second prong, along with fleet actions, that reduced Japan's ability to conduct war.

    The stories told here are short biographies of the crews and commanders, their tactics and victories. It is in telling these stories that the book starts to go astray. None of the stories are especially detailed and those that are covered more extensively border on hagiography.
    ,
    The final chapters cover the fates of the crewmen of the Tang, survivors of a defective torpedo fired by their own boat. It details their capture and subsequent internment in Japan. Here, the book looses its focus. It lovingly chronicles how the prisoners were treated and the torture and hardship they underwent. It details other atrocities inflicted on allied prisoners not connected with these submarines. While these are important stories, the way they are presented apes books about the lives of martyrs.

    The actions of the guards are breathlessly detailed, their evilness lingered over. The tortures they inflicted are enthusiastically detailed. The final part of this book borders on torture porn.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4267)
    Performance
    (3797)
    Story
    (3796)

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "A Decent Story But ... Talking Dogs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Crais tells the story of the rehabilitation of a military bomb sniffing / guard dog. From the death of his handler in Afghanistan to the mutual healing of the dog and his new handler, you can write the rest of the story. All the cliches are there. Tough but compassionate head dog trainer - check. Solving crimes while suspended from duty - check. Harrowing final scene with a life or death cliffhanger - check. Plus, talking dogs.

    A decent beach novel, especially the talking dogs.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hornblower and the Hotspur

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (252)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (230)

    April 1803, and the Peace of Amiens is failing as Horatio Hornblower takes a three-master on a vital reconnaissance mission…. On the day of his marriage to Maria, Hornblower is ordered to take the Hotspur and head for Brest - war is coming and Napoleon will not catch His Majesty’s Navy with its britches round its ankles.

    John S says: "Good narration but series limited in availability"
    "Jack Aubery is a better character."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jack Aubrey is a more believable character.
    Hornblower is a pale foreshadowing of the lusty, commanding, confident commander in Patrick Moore's series.
    Hornblower as a Master and Commander is introspective and virginal. He's just not compelling.
    Lt. Bush takes the place of Dr. Maturin as Hornblower's foil. He's a more convincing character than Hornblower.
    The story itself revolves around the usual naval daring-do. The episode of the capture of the semaphore is an example of the bloodlessness and just too much convenient genius of Hornblower.
    I'll probably stay with the series for a while, depending on how tired I get of Hornblower's saccharine personality.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Amy Stewart
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (203)

    In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes - creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world's most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of many-legged creatures

    Paul says: "fascinating and creepy"
    "Wrong format for this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An audio book is the wrong format for this book. It's essentially a list and short bio of various diseases and/or their vectors. An audio presentation is way too linear and cannot be indexed for what you want to see.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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