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Scott

ratings
38
REVIEWS
17
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
57

  • Coyote Lost at Sea: The Story of Mike Plant, America's Daring Solo Circumnavigator

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Julia Plant
    • Narrated By Kitty Hendrix
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    When Coyote and its skipper, Mike Plant, went missing mid-Atlantic in November 1992, the sailing world held its breath. Now, 20 years later, the story around the mystery, tragedy, and enigma is told at last. Mike Plant came to ocean racing late; as an American in a sport dominated by European sailors he was an underdog. And yet he won his class in the 1986-87 Around Alone 24,000-mile race, beating competitors with more experience, among them Hal Roth. Plant led an adrenaline-fueled life, full of seemingly suicidal adventures and yet his charismatic personality attracted hundreds of friends.

    Teresa says: "Captivating and Soul Stirring"
    "The Title Says it All"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed in this audiobook. This isn't the fault of the story - or the narrator; in fact the narrator was quite good. I just wasn't interested in the story. I don't sail, but I do enjoy stories about sailing - especially those that involve adventure and daring: stories about the Vendee Globe, sailing around the world alone, the Sydney-Hobart race; or just tales of people who pack up their life savings, buy a boat and sail off.

    But this is about none of that - it's not an adventure story. It's a book about the life of Mike Plant. And as someone who enjoys tales of sailing, but doesn't really follow sailing, I didn't know, and genuinely wasn't interested in this story. Perhaps if there was more "sailing" in the story, I might have enjoyed it a bit more. But the focus really was, as the title says, "the story of Mike Plant". And despite his obvious talent and character, I really wasn't that interested.

    If you're more than just a casual observer of sailing - and you know who Mike Plant is, and perhaps followed his exploits - this audio book will probably hold something for you. If you don't know who he is, and you just enjoy a good sailing yarn - then in my opinion you are likely to be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Robert Gandt
    • Narrated By Thomas Block
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Originally published by Wm. Morrow, in 1995, Skygods is the saga of America's most glamorous airline - from its meteoric ascent to its plunge to extinction. Pan Am blazed the way across the world's oceans with its magnificent Clipper ships, launched the first international jet service, was the first to fly the behemoth 747, was the lead customer for America's SST and the Concorde, and was even taking reservations for the first commercial flights to the moon.

    Scott says: "An Absorbing Slice of Social History"
    "An Absorbing Slice of Social History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the risk of dating myself, I only flew on a Pan Am aircraft once - which is somewhat amazing, as growing up I flew a fair bit. But I'll chalk that up to being Canadian, and therefore I typically flew Canada's carriers. But I distinctly remember that trip - and the awe when I saw that I'd be flying from the Orient to LA on. . . Pan Am. It had a mystique that was unshared by other airlines. For a few years, I parked that memory; but there have been many times, as an adult still travelling internationally, as I've looked at the liveries of the aircraft in Charles de Gaulle or Heathrow, that I've wondered, what whatever happened to Pan Am?

    This audio book answers that question. It's a fascinating social history of Pan Am, in an easily digestible, captivating narrative. When I first heard the sound bite, I was concerned about the narrator - but I quickly came to realize he was an inspired choice. At times the book is almost "campy" - the Sky Gods and the Imperial Sky God. But this really fits the story. And the narrator, with his slow, at time exaggerated drawl - perfects the tone of the book.

    This was a really enjoyable audio book about a subject that has piqued my interest many times since that first flight. It's very easy to listen to: have a little patience with the narrator to start and you'll soon realize his genius for this book. For those who are interested in the history of aviation - and were taken in by the mythical aura of Pan Am - this will be very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dam Busters: The True Story of the Inventors and Airmen Who Led the Devastating Raid to Smash the German Dams in 1943

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By James Holland
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    The night of 16 May, 1943: Nineteen specially adapted Lancaster bombers take off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, each with a huge 9000-lb cylindrical bomb strapped underneath it. Their mission: to destroy three dams deep within the German heartland, which provide the lifeblood to the industries supplying the Third Reich's war machine.

    Alex says: "Comprehensive AND Gripping"
    "A really terrific tale. . . and very well told."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a really great audio book if you're interested in this genre. As the author mentions early on - you can't help wonder if you could learn anything new about the Dam Busters; that surely the story has been told many times. But then think about the number of books about it that you might have read. The story here is a just a great yarn - enough detail to keep it interesting,but not so much that it gets bogged down. This is an audiobook that really moves; unlike some other audiobooks - even ones I've enjoyed - I can't think of a moment when it slowed down. And the narrator was awesome - I'll keep an eye open for others that he reads. I would highly recommend this audiobook.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By AJ Baime
    • Narrated By Jones Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    By the early 1960s, Ford Motor Company, built to bring automobile transportation to the masses, was falling behind. Baby boomers were taking to the roads in droves, looking for speed not safety, style not comfort, and Ford didn’t offer what these young drivers wanted. Meanwhile, Enzo Ferrari lorded over the European racing scene, crafting beautiful, fast sports cars that epitomized style.

    Ray says: "Great Book"
    "A Very Entertaining Audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Let me put a little of my bias right up front: I don't watch NASCAR, I occasionally watch CART, I always watch F1 (until a single driver is dominant two thirds through the season), and I always make sure I capture a little bit of the 24 Hrs of Le Mans - after all, who can watch the whole thing?!. But I love all the characters and the history of motor racing - and I really love stories about it - in the same way that I love hearing about the Space Race - regardless of how often I hear them.

    With that prelude, I really enjoyed this audiobook: the narrator was exceedingly good - and between he and the author, it was a very well told story that succeeded in creating suspense at each stage of the story.

    If you don't like racing at all, then it's probably not for you; but if you're looking for a good story - and not inclined to fixate if some details are glossed over in the interest of good story-telling, then this is well worth the investment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Brendan I. Koerner
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (213)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (195)

    A shattered Army veteran and a mischievous party girl, Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow commandeered Western Airlines Flight 701 as a vague protest against the war. Through a combination of savvy and dumb luck, the couple managed to flee across an ocean with a half-million dollars in ransom, a feat that made them notorious around the globe. Koerner spent four years chronicling this madcap tale, which involves a cast of characters ranging from exiled Black Panthers, to African despots, to French movie stars.

    Scott says: "A very entertaining and engaging audiobook"
    "A very entertaining and engaging audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about Rob Shapiro’s performance did you like?

    He was a very good narrator - perfect for this story.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a terrific audiobook. The narrator is fantastic and the subject exceeded my expectations. When I came across this audiobook I was a little torn because the title and description suggested that it would lean bit too much towards the story of a single hijacking and the two main characters, as opposed to a look at the dawn of air hijackings. But it was a perfect balance. The first 40%, or so, sets the stage, introducing the characters, but also providing great backdrop about the outbreak of hijackings in the late 60's and early 70's - something I was looking for. But it is told in a way that is interesting - not analytical - but conveying the atmosphere of the time. And then the author (and narrator) gradually tell more and more of the story of the two main characters - drawing you in to their specific tale. This takes up the balance of the audiobook - about 60%. . . and by this point you're primed to go inside the telling of a single hijacking. This is a very entertaining audiobook; it's not a heavy academic study - it's an enjoyable listen, providing the right balance of context, and a "what's going to happen next" tale. Oh, and it's the perfect length for an audiobook.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Crack House: The Incredible True Story of the Man Who Took On London's Crack Gangs and Won

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Harry Keeble, Kris Hollington
    • Narrated By Damian Lynch
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Crack House takes the listener into the dark heart of our cities' most violent and terrifying places, showing how the war on drugs can only be won by constant and forceful vigilance. The bastard offspring of cocaine, crack first entered the UK in the early 1990s. By the end of the decade, Britain's inner cities were in the midst of a crack epidemic, with users being responsible for a massive proportion of crime. Communities, especially in London, were crying out for help, but there were only two specialist units in the whole of the capital.

    Scott says: "An Entertaining Story About a Disturbing Subject"
    "An Entertaining Story About a Disturbing Subject"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about Damian Lynch’s performance did you like?

    I think the narration of a book is critical to how much you enjoy it, and Damian Lynch did a fantastic job. His accent and tone gave this a gritty "cop" atmosphere that really matched well with the story. He was very easy to listen to, and gave the story credibility - I could easily believe that he was the major character telling the story; he should be commended for his performance.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a really entertaining audiobook. The story was very interesting - telling the tale of a police unit that shut down crack houses in a borough of London. The narration was excellent, and the story easily absorbing. The author easily conveyed the horrendous impact of crack - in terms of contributing to violent crime, and the human degradation. If I had one criticism it would be in the pace and lack of detail in how they went about identifying and crashing the houses; while there was good description about the houses and the overall story of shutting down the houses, the recounting of some of the raids seemed almost too easy - which clearly it wouldn't have been. But as an entertaining story, this was very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Cannell
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Phil Hill, a lowly California mechanic who, defying all expectations, became the first American to win the Grand Prix championship. In the tradition of Seabiscuit and The Right Stuff, Cannell’s high-octane narrative evokes the lives of the daredevils who tempted fate each Sunday by driving well over 150 mph without benefit of seat belts or roll bars.

    Scott says: "A wonderfully Entertaining Listen if You Enjoy F1"
    "A wonderfully Entertaining Listen if You Enjoy F1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Limit again? Why?

    It's not often that I could say that I'd listen to an audiobook a second time - but fortunately I can anticipate that I'd forget some of the detail; and I enjoyed this book so much that I might actually listen to it a second time


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoy following F1 - and enjoy listening to stories about the hay day of racing - and I've watched Grand Prix many times - I never expected to be able to find an audiobook that actually recounts the true version of what was fictionalized in the movie. This audiobook is very well narrated, and it easily held my attention as it recounted the career growth and rivalry of two principal drivers from the Golden Years of F1. More importantly it really focuses on the story and atmosphere - and not on the intricate details of racing - and that made it enjoyable - and it was the perfect length.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Smuggler's Blues: The Saga of a Marjuana Importer

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jay Carter Brown
    • Narrated By Gavin Hammon
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Told from the viewpoint of an impressionable young entrepreneur named Jay Carter Brown, this memoir quickly dives into the gritty underbelly of the international drug trade. The story begins with minor-league smuggling scams between Canada and the Caribbean that soon escalate to multi-ton shipments of grass and hash from the Caribbean and the Middle East. All goes well for a time, but as the stakes grow higher, inevitable setbacks occur. Drug-runners, police, jealous friends, and rival gangs all contribute to this extraordinary story of a young man who became involved at the highest levels of the drug trade and lived to tell about it.

    Roman says: "Very entertaining and I learned a couple of things"
    "Narrator killed it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Smuggler's Blues?

    I often look past bad pronunciation in audio books because typically it doesn't bother me - but perhaps that's because I'm Canadian, and when they apply to the US - particularly some US figures - I'm not as familiar with them and I can let them fly; but in this case I couldn't. While the narrator was acceptable in his story-telling, his pronunciation of Canadian names - particularly those around Quebec ( a hard "a" in autostade, or worse, a hard T in Laurentians, were just two examples) - was so appalling that it was a distraction - exacerbated because place names were so central in the opening parts of the book. After 45 minutes I had to stop as he bastardized every place name he mentioned. This is unfortunate because it seemed like a good story - and it's unfortunate that this doesn't come out in the audio preview. In this case, poor pronunciation was a practice that I couldn't put up with for very long; but, like me with other audio books, perhaps others who are less familiar with the names won't be as affected by the narration, and can listen to what is likely a decent yarn.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure what benchmarks Audible uses in selecting narrators, but given that the narration of a book is so central to the enjoyment one derives, and the frequency with which one ends an audiobook prematurely due to bad narration, I really think this is something Amazon/Audible need to invest more time in reviewing before selecting a narrator - because surely their standards on narration cannot be that far off the average listener on Audible. . . yet from the number of reviews that reference "poor narration", it would seem that they set the bar pretty.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By John Thavis
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (129)

    For more than 25 years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.

    Linda says: "A neutral look at inner workings of the Vatican"
    "A Surprisingly Great Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Vatican Diaries to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version - that's why I listen to Audiobooks - to listen to books I don't have time to read. . . "too many books/too little time!"


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not Applicable


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Hillgartner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not that I recall - but I will add him to my list of good narrators.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Not Applicable


    Any additional comments?

    After listening to the first few minutes of this book I was a little concerned with both the narration and the story, which I feared was going to be dull and monotone.But within 5 or 10 minutes I was really surprised. It quickly turned into an unbelievably entertaining listen - containing a perfect blend of drama and humour - and it was very well read. For someone who doesn't know much about the Roman Catholic church, the Pope or the Vatican, but keeps tabs on the news, it was just a very interesting and entertaining look at the workings and stories that make the Vatican so interesting to people in no way affiliated with the Catholic church; and it was done so in an educated-reality-TV-cum-PBS-documentary sort of a way. Finally, to me the narrator, can make or break an audiobook; and in this instance he really contributed to an entertaining listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Soldiers

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By David Finkel
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In January 2007 the young and optimistic soldiers of the 2-16, the American infantry battalion known as the Rangers, were sent to Iraq as part of the surge. Their job would be to patrol one of the most dangerous areas of Baghdad. For 15 months, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Finkel was with them, following them almost every grueling step of the way. The resulting account of that time, The Good Soldiers, is a searing, shattering portrait of the face of modern war.

    A User says: "Sobering"
    "An Very Poignant Look at the War in Iraq"
    Overall

    This could well be one of the most powerful audiobooks that I have listened to about the war in Iraq. It offers a very poignant look at what the soldiers and their extended families are living through, and the detail and emotion in the stories is very powerful. Its accounting of daily life in Iraq, whether of a soldier or an Iraqi citizen, and the often tragic occurance, results in a very balanced look at the war - regardless of one's political view. Finally, the narration of the audiobook is excellent and makes it very easy to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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