LAS VEGAS, NV, United States | Member Since 2010
If you're interested in the SEALS, this is another in the well done accounts which have come out recently about the Spec Ops masters. The book is a little disjointed, but thats OK because the author gets his point across. I would have liked to have heard more about his time as a training officer, but overall I enjoyed the book. Some people have complained that Rorke Denver as narrator is a bad idea. I liked it. He may not have the English accent nor the sonorous tones of the professional narrator, but his no frills, direct, and sometimes dead serious narration just adds authenticity, and helps you realize you would not like to be on the wrong side of this guy in a firefight.
Mr. Wright is a master of getting to the bottom of things. "Going Clear" is no different. I downloaded this book after a recent visit to Clearwater, Florida. I was very amused when I saw the downtown area crawling with uniformed Scientologists. This made me curious, so I did some research and came upon Lawrence Wright's book. It's well worth the listen! If you're in any way curious about the secretive world of Scientology, this is the source.
Overall this is not a bad listen, but if you're hoping for lots of specifics on the science end of putting together the MSL/Curiosity mission, this will leave you asking for more. The problem is that because the writer was the project manager, the book spends lots of time on the politics of NASA budgeting. huge parts of the book are about budget shortfalls, obtaining extra funds for the project, and meetings about budgeting issues. If you're a big fan of bureaucratic processes within NASA, then this is the book for you!
That being said, there was good information on the building of Curiosity as well as the mechanics of landing Curiosity on Mars, and the surprising amount of just plain "luck" that is part of this type of project.
This is a very interesting book and worth the listen. However, if you're looking for detailed battle narration or specifics on weapons and equipment, this is not the book.
The best way I can describe it is "WWII from the eyes of an aristocrat." Von Luck is clearly an upper crust type, and when we hear about his "Mercedes Cabriolet" he rode around in on the Eastern Front or the "penthouse" in Berlin which fell victim to an incendiary bomb, you get what I'm talking about. Von Luck definitely comes across as an honorable soldier who placed great value on the chivalry and fair play that sometimes took place during the war between the English and the Germans.
This aristocratic tone really develops during the narrative on his time in Soviet captivity. Thank God for the German prisoners and their industrious, no nonsense attitude towards helping (forced labor) their Russian captors with mining and building projects, otherwise it seems the entire Soviet regime would have collapsed!
Regardless, for anyone who is interested in WWII and a version of the events from the other side, this is a must read. The parts about his very close association with Rommel are alone worth the time listening to this book.
And the narration by Bronson Pinchot is very "authentic."
The part I enjoyed about this book was the unique insights which only someone who has been there can bring to this fictionalized account of the US Government's drone warfare campaign. As for the story, I would describe is as simple, straightforward, predictable, and just too conveniently wrapped up and decorated with a nice bow at the end. It's worth the read though just to learn more about how (with room for literary exaggeration) the real drone program works.
I had no problems with the substance and story of the book. Although I think my being an active age group triathlete helps to make the book more interesting than it would be to someone who has never been kicked in the face during an open water swim! The two protagonists are interesting people and their achievements, which are related in the book, are phenomenal.
On the other hand, the narration is just off. One of the worst of any audiobook I have listened to in 20 years (including back in the audio cassette days). The best way I can describe the narration is that it seemed like the book was narrated by Cruella DeVille. Seriously, listen for yourself.
If you want to know what went on behind the scenes during Armstrong's 7 TDF victories, this book does a good job bringing out the facts. It's well organized and give an outsider's view of the details as compiled from the written evidence and participant interviews. You also get to hear about all the people who either facilitated the fraud or fought against it. It's more of a journalists version, and not as "personal" as probably one of the best accounts I've read, Tyler Hamilton's "The Secret Race."
This is a fantastic story. If there's a single word I can use to describe the author's handling of the events in this book, that word is "love." You sense the author's respect for these men as you experience this book. As a lifelong student of the war in the air during the World Wars, I can say that the research that went into this work is first class. The story makes you want to meet the German pilot and thank him for his humanity. You'll find yourself making time just to listen!
The story is very good. The technical aspects of the accident and investigation are interesting. The main character is very likable and you root for him throughout the book. Overall an interesting story and definitely worth a listen. If the book has any drawbacks, its the lack of exposition of the various characters, who appear and disappear so frequently that they are hard to keep straight sometimes. Also, although the ending is well done and edge of your seat stuff, it seems lacking somehow. It's as if the author had a deadline and had to end the story about a chapter or two early.
BTW, the narrator is top class.
This was my first foray into Z "literature" and it was fun. All around good book. Kept me interested.
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