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Frank

Lover of life and lover of books! I read/listen to a wide range (many) but my favorite non fiction are self-help and autobiographies.

Coraopolis, PA, United States | Member Since 2005

51
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 49 reviews
  • 195 ratings
  • 468 titles in library
  • 78 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
20
FOLLOWERS
7

  • The Black Ice: Harry Bosch Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3015)
    Performance
    (1884)
    Story
    (1899)

    Narcotics officer Cal Moore's orders were to look into the city's latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with his head in several pieces and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "Good Listen"
    "Slow at times but overall enjoyed the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, I enjoyed the book and as it played out, I listened to it with more interest. There were chapters where I became 'bored' with the story but as it progressed and the story unfolded, I understood why each character was introduced. There were many characters in the story which played a significant roll causing the story to bounce around like a ping pong match. Unfortunately, about 80% of the way into the book, the plot unraveled fast and the book ended as I figured.

    Bureaucracy and politics were painted as villains (as most perceive them) and Bosch's character builds showing some 'honor' when he attempts to make a situation better (I won't do a spoiler) by paying for a room or when he feels bad for lying to honest characters in the book.

    Bosch must be a serious ladies man as he continues his Casanova style with some of the most unlikely women.

    Will I listen to another Bosch - yes, but not immediately.

    Michael Connelly has an interesting way in painting characters and the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Rorke Denver
    • Narrated By Rorke Denver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (465)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (429)

    Rorke Denver trains the men who become Navy SEALs - the most creative problem solvers on the modern battlefield, ideal warriors for the kinds of wars America is fighting now. With his years of action-packed mission experience and a top training role, Lieutenant Commander Denver understands exactly how tomorrow’s soldiers are recruited, sculpted, motivated, and deployed. Now, Denver takes you inside his personal story and the fascinating, demanding SEAL training program he now oversees.

    AXiD says: "Wonderful autobio,but sort of deadpan delivery"
    "Into the mind of a Navy Seal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Since I was a child I always admired tried and true 'warriors' and those successful in their chosen career path, regardless if business, sports, writing, or warrior.

    If you enjoy listening and learning about the behind the scenes or the making of special ops then this is a book for you. I enjoyed how Rorke described what led him to being a seal and more important the perseverance it took to become a seal. Then the same drive which put him into a leadership role. I enjoyed the part when he outlined the importance of being a leader versus the 'doer'. Similar to the management statement in other books - if you are doing then you are not leading. Let others do so you can lead. If you are doing, then why do I need you as a leader.

    Rorke describes some of the characteristics of the fallen heroes that he served with and knew. Additionally, he outlines in brief some of what goes on in the lives of the spouses and the difficulties they face.

    There are two points that jumped out at me.

    1. As he described the making of the movie - Uncommon Valor - many of the scenes now make sense since he outlined the 'true' part that went into making each aspect of the movie and why the movie is so important in telling the story of special ops.

    2. Toward the end of the book he outlined the politics of what is taking place in recruiting seals and it is apparent he isn't in favor of some of the changes.

    Both of these items moved the book up one notch for ranking. Overall, I enjoyed the book but it wouldn't have been a 4 star except these two vital parts which tells the positive character of Rorke. As others noted, his narration ability is not the best but it isn't the worst that I heard when an author decides to narrate his own book.

    This isn't a book I would recommend to everyone since not everyone enjoys learning or listening to books about warriors. However, if you want to read a book about character building, leadership, and more important some of the how, then this is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Tomorrow: Victor the Assassin, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (199)

    When Victor is called to meet with an old friend who ultimately betrayed him, what he thought was an ambush is in fact a plea for help. As a Russian gangster, Norimov is accustomed to death threats, but now an unknown enemy wants more than his life. They intend to kill everyone he cares about, including his missing daughter Gisele. This time, Victor's job is not to kill but to protect. Unfortunately, locating Gisele is his first mistake - because someone is watching his every move.

    Kathryn says: "Continuous Action Without Feeling Forced"
    "Listen carefully - New characteristics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first in the series that I wanted to go back to the beginning and listen to the first part since it made sense after listening to the entire book.

    This book attempts to reveal a potential different side to Victor. (I always find the name interesting since he comes out the victor at the end. Play on words?) Spoiler alert?

    Carefully, listen to the first part of the book then when you hit the ending, make note. It will make more sense.

    Victor continues to display a person attempting to repress 'life' and remain cold, hard, neutral but in this book a different side continues to rise to the surface then gets pushed back. No doubt he never wants anyone close to him for various reasons beyond the obvious that their life would be in danger.

    I am surprised that Tom Wood isn't reviewed more in line with other books in this genre except the fact Victor is a known assassin and the other books highlight the work of CIA agents, police officers, etc. However, lately, it seems Victor is protecting the law as much as he ins't. I find it very ironic. My thought is if Victor were a law enforcer (working outside the boundaries of the law, this series would be more popular). No doubt many folks have a difficult time 'cheering' for an assassin or in this case a bodyguard. A bodyguard who is protecting a young woman because of the young woman's dead mother's impact in his life many years before this story took place. He protects her not for a fee but because of a debt he feels that he needs to fulfill? Another positive characteristic in this tormented character.

    What role did the mother of the person Victor is protecting play in his life? What did she do for Victor?

    This is the first in the series where the book takes on a few different twists and Victor's attention to detail and the author's writing style makes it apparent that Victor does more than notice what is going on around him.

    Victor displays a characteristic missing from many people in today's world. "I always keep my word." - Not only does he keep his word but he goes beyond the 'call of duty' risking his life to keep his word. A very interesting characteristic in a criminal. Another characteristic I find interesting in his character is the fact that Victor wants to live another day and seems genuinely thankful for it. Even knowing the fact that he could never 'settle down' without the risk of being found.

    As I noted in other reviews, Victor is more akin to a super hero from Marvel Comics (not a bad thing). Similar to a cross between Captain America (maybe captain Europe) minus the shield and spider man.

    Victor is always planning and in this book his spinning mind for planning doesn't stop. I love the details around 'why' - why the multitool, why did he pick-up the lighter. It all comes together when you think back.

    I find the writing of Tom Wood very interesting as he weaves various characteristics and attributes into the characters. The narration of Shapiro is top notch as always which brings the characters to 'life'. I can almost envision standing before the steroid laden men as described or near the wicked woman behind all of the scheming.

    Would I listen to this again? Only the first part -

    I travel often and this is one of those books I listen to when on a plane or driving and don't listen to something more akin to self-help or business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Game: Victor the Assassin Series, #3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (313)

    Victor the assassin is living a solitary, peaceful life in Iceland when he's drawn into a job for an unidentified Swiss broker. Having passed the test, he's introduced to a group of mercenaries and killers who are tasked to perform the ultimate assassination.In this group, Victor meets someone from his past, someone who recruited him to the life he now knows-someone he thought was dead. And when he wants out, it's too late-his former mentor has other plans for him...

    John says: "1 Review for 3 books in series"
    "Best of the series but it takes time to get moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unlike the first two, it takes more than half of the book before any 'strong' action is taking place. There are some action scenes but nothing that would keep the reader/listener engaged like previous books.

    Had I not listened to the two previous, I might not have listened enough to get to the main part.

    I kept attempting to figure out what the lady and little boy had to do with the plot but it all fits in later.

    As others stated, the narrator is excellent and makes even the most boring parts, exciting. There are a few parts where it seems Victor is beyond Superman and entered into a cross between many different Superheros including Spiderman but overall, it is an entertaining listen.

    The author does an amazing job building the characters and describing them in a manner that the mental picture is more real than any movie could display. It becomes very easy to despise the ruthless killers and feel the pain of the captives. What I continue to find interesting is that although Victor is a hired assassin, the picture is painted so well that I root for his victory {pun intended}.

    Through the three books, Victor has gone from an assassin to someone comparative to a CIA agent. {Maybe he actually is one.}



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dreams Don't Have Deadlines: Living Your Dream Life, No Matter What Your Age

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Mark Victor Hansen
    • Narrated By Mark Hansen
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    While the law of large numbers has been applied to fields such as math and science for several decades, its power has just recently begun to be applied to the fields of business and personal growth. Today, people from all walks of life are using the law of large numbers to achieve their highest objectives, with great confidence and complete peace of mind.

    Frank says: "Must listen regardless of age or status in life!"
    "Must listen regardless of age or status in life!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a must listen book regardless of your age or status in life. Mark Victor Hansen is well know for the Chicken Soup series and goes beyond the basics of those books. He touches on various topics none of which are new but then there is nothing new under the sun. However, he presents it with enthusiasm, order, and enough anecdotal stories to get the listener thinking.

    Additionally, he poses many challenges including the challenge of giving far beyond normal expectations.

    This is one of those books that you keep in your audio library to listen to at least once per year to not only encourage but challenge.

    Mark does a great job as his own narrator providing a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and energy.

    Finally, the book offers many statements worthy of repeatable quotes.

    “You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands - your own.”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Eye of Minds: Mortality Doctrine, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By James Dashner
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (105)

    Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it's addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

    Aaron says: "The Maze Runner + Ready Player One + TRON"
    "Tremendous ending!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this book since my 13 year old granddaughter (who is a prolific reader) was reading it and I like to read a few of the books she reads for discussion purposes.
    1. It is NOT filled with profanity like so many other books in the space for young adults
    2. There are a few scenes of cussing but nothing most teens haven't heard once or twice
    3. The story is in an ultra cyber environment - or as I would consider the ultimate gamer's delight. It plays out similar to other stories with a theme like Avatar but from a teenager perspective attempting to find the cyber terrorist Cain.

    There are times when the only reason I continued to listed was for my granddaughter but she encouraged me to finish to the end (which I did) and I am glad. The characters are not complex unless you consider the ending nor is the story line. The ending makes the book worthwhile getting me to think back on the context of the book and various scenes described and no doubt setting up book two.

    The narrator does an 'okay' job and maybe the book would seem more interesting if a different narrator. I am used to listening to narrators of novels that have the ability to build the characters through the narration.

    I gave the book 4 stars overall due to the ending.

    This is the first book I listened to by this author and narrator. It appears the author hit a 'home run' with Maze Runner by the reviews of others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sniper Elite: One Way Trip: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Scott McEwen, Thomas Koloniar
    • Narrated By Brian Hutchison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (546)
    Performance
    (505)
    Story
    (513)

    The President of the United States can’t decide how to respond to a classified video showing the Taliban’s brutal treatment of their captive - a female helicopter pilot of the Army’s elite Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Afraid that a botched rescue will further destabilize foreign policy and end his presidency, the Commander-in-Chief falters. But when the Special Ops community learns that one of their own is being tortured and will almost certainly be killed, no executive order will stop them from attempting a rescue mission.

    CyndiB says: "A FIVE STAR READ"
    "Wow! Unlike any other military 'novels'"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to and read many military / special forces type books and this is by far the most unique (in a great way). The first few chapters seemed to take the book down a strange maze of situations but as the story developed, I was engaged and amazed at how it all came together.

    The writers of this book go far beyond standard military books and deserve the rankings of well-known authors.

    The only caveat - be ready for some rough language. (I understand it is a military and 'guy' book. Just felt this information is critical for future listeners.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Enemy: Victor the Assassin, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (462)
    Performance
    (420)
    Story
    (414)

    Victor, a former assassin-for-hire, has joined forces with a CIA special unit. His first assignment: Three strangers. Three hits. Fast and clean. Victor's a natural for this.It should have been simple. But with each hit Victor is plunged deeper into an unimaginable conspiracy where no one, least of all the people he knows, can be trusted.With the stakes growing higher by the minute, Victor realizes he's been forced into playing a game he never expected. Because he's the next target. And there's no way out.

    David says: "I want to be killed by Victor!"
    "Much better than the first in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hesitated to buy the second book in a series because of a few reviews and the fact that not always is the second book of a series any good. However, this book proved much better than anticipated with enough action and a strong enough plot to keep me not only interested but not wanting to stop listening to do other activities.

    Although Victor is as much a criminal as the others he is fighting, rooting for him seems to come naturally while listening. Looking forward to a 'sale' to pick-up the third in the series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Simon Sinek
    • Narrated By Simon Sinek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2462)
    Performance
    (1970)
    Story
    (1961)

    Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

    A. Yoshida says: "Inspire to find why you do what you do"
    "Many great points and makes you think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author made had some great examples to illustrate his points but he focuses on the same few companies throughout the book. e.g. Apple Fan Boy

    With that stated, I am glad I listened to it and took a few good points away from the time I spent listening. However, this isn't a book I would listen to multiple times since he uses the same illustrations over and over in the book.

    I think he could have researched and used other companies with long time founders and beliefs similar to those he referenced often. e.g. FedEx has had the same CEO and was founded on the People first philosophy like Southwest.

    Do I recommend it? Yes. It isn't a book that you start and don't want to put down. It is a book that you can listen to during lulls in your day or your commute and get many benefits from it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Killer: Victor the Assassin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (680)
    Performance
    (622)
    Story
    (625)

    Meet Victor. He's an assassin - a man with no past and no surname. He lives alone. He operates alone. He's given a job; he takes out the target; he gets paid. He's The Killer. Victor arrives in Paris to perform a standard kill and collect for an anonymous client. He completes it with trademark efficiency - only to find himself in the middle of an ambush and fighting for his life.

    Anthony says: "You Can't Help Pulling for the "Bad Guy""
    "Great plot | Much different than anticipated |"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, I enjoyed the book and recommend it if you enjoy books that you don't mind rooting for the 'bad guy' and has a twist where many of the so-called good guys are not good.

    The plot is amazing but there is a part in the book which goes a direction that seemed to end the novel (in my mind) to a not so believable ending. The performance is very good and so as not to put a spoiler in this review - If you enjoy 'spy' books with a twist, then I would buy to listen to it. The ending of the first book caused me NOT to be interested in book two.

    If half stars were permitted, it would be 3.5 because of the ending. The rest of the book would be 4.5.

    Enjoy it!
    :D

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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