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Alex

Rockville, MD, USA

ratings
9
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
21

  • Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (94)

    Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise comes to life. The U.S. government pitted two companies - the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads - against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. As its peak the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, lived off buffalo, deer, and antelope.

    A. Millard says: "Good Book, Poor Narration and Audio Quality"
    "Full of Errors Big and Small and Poorly Written"
    Overall

    From getting wrong people doing the wrong things at the wrong time to the wrong river in the wrong state, this book is virtually worthless in terms of factual history. He has the builder of a railroad building a bridge near Buffalo. He has Lee finding someone else's battle plans in the Civil War when it was Lee's plans that were found. He has a river that is only in Nevada its entire length in several states. As an example of the poor fact-checking, the printed version has areas listed as territories that were actually states.
    I listened to the book and thought I was getting forgetful when I heard the same sentences several times, but no it was true. He *did* use virtually the same paragraphs several times.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Jedburghs: The Secret History of the Allied Special Forces, France 1944

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Will Irwin
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (19)

    The first full history of the pioneering Special Forces units of World War II, dropped behind German lines into France to assist with the D-Day landings, told by a former U.S. Special Forces colonel with unique access to surviving veterans.

    Alex says: "Really Enjoyed It"
    "Really Enjoyed It"
    Overall

    It might be two folksy for some military history buffs, but I really liked this book. While it covered your basic military history - how people trained, what they did, etc. - I really liked that you got the background of the people involved. This person was smart, but couldn't afford college because his father was sick... This person was in law school from a well-to-do family... AND at the end of the book, he gives the further story of the people. This guy was married to ... on ..., 1946 had three boys and two girls and was a diplomat, etc. Really made the people live!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    The international best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa vividly brings to life the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. Simon Winchester has also fashioned an enthralling and informative look at the tumultuous subterranean world that produces earthquakes, the planet's most sudden and destructive force.

    Book reader says: "Another excellent book by Simon Winchester"
    "Very Interesting Story and Well Read"
    Overall

    The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is that I try to reserve 5 stars for the very best and the book would be dry for some people with the geology. I have read or listened five or six other Simon Winchester books and have enjoyed all of them. I enjoy his combination of science, history, sociology and travel.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Thomas E. Mahl
    • Narrated By William Sutherland
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Mahl's account brings together bits and pieces of a story that has been told before together with the best research and documentation of the subject available on this crucial period of Western history between 1939 and 1944.

    Michael says: "Important but Unrewarding"
    "Sounds like one, loooong footnote.."
    Overall

    I really wanted to like this book, it just goes on and on and on discussing one group or person after another. It is as if you were writing the history of the American presidency and all you did was list their names and dates without talking about the over-arching themes and personalities. And I completely agree with the comment from one of the reviewers about the reader sounding like Colonel Blimp. I gave up half way through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Beverly Swerling
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Rich with unforgettable characters and history, intricately plotted and utterly absorbing, City of Dreams is a stirring saga of early Manhattan and the beginnings of medical science told by a master storyteller.

    Diane says: "great book, but abridged ..."
    "Little Known History and Fascinating"
    Overall

    This was a real treat. I am a big listener of historical non-fiction. I came to Audible after reading through all the recorded books at my local libraries and was still looking for more. I have often wondered what made a good historical book and I think I have narrowed it down to four aspects:
    New and Different - I get something new and different, not a rehash of something I have read before
    People and Places - I learn to see and feel the people and places involved.
    This book fulfills all four:
    Even though I knew much of the history before, after, and around the colony, there was so much that was new and different it felt as if I were listening to a mystery. The people and places were so well described I felt as if I were there at on the shores, in the mountains, on the ships, in the meetings, on the walls of the forts. A real delight. Five stars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (523)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (165)

    How is Animals in Translation different from every other animal book ever published? Animals in Translation is like no other animal book because of Temple Grandin. As an animal scientist and a person with autism, her professional training and personal history have created a perspective like no other thinker in the field, and this is her exciting, groundbreaking view of the intersection of autism and animal.

    James says: "Perhaps the best non-fiction book on Audible yet!"
    "Not for everyone"
    Overall

    I got this book because I thought it would be something my girlfriend would be interested in since she loves animals, however... While there is a lot of excellent and fascinating information, at times it sounds like a handbook for setting up a meat packing plant. This isn't surprising since one of the authors has spent 30 years working on humane methods of handling animals in that industry. My girlfriend would not find it very pleasant to be going along and then hear about properly stunning the animals or the other fun topics. I don't remember any gruesome parts, but I was not expecting this from the title. In summary, excellent information, but not for everyone.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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