Yes, Clancy can be overly technical at times. Yes, the story isn't the most original of concepts.
However, like all Clancy novels I was amazed at all the seemingly self-contained story threads slowly culminating into an epic event. But Against All Enemies is slightly different in this aspect...there are actually two main events that take place,...two seprate but parallel stories taking place at the same time with the main protaginists and antgonists coincidentally cross paths.
Perhaps because I live near the US/Mexican border myself, the stories of the drug cartel side seemed both plausible and realistic so I could identify with many of the plot points. And then the other side of the coin, the Islamic jihadists that wish to re-create another September 11 like event....the descriptions are scary.
In this novel, Clancy moves away from all the high tech James Bondish gadgets of some of his past novels, and gets down in dirty with conventional weapons, car chases, and ruthless streetfights. I was also surprised by the body count in this book as well. Characters, both big and small on all three (yes, three) sides meet their maker and rosey endings aren't all that rosey for anybody.
I realize some criticize Clancy for his verbose and lengthy origins on some characters, but I am one who enjoys it. I really begin to understand that characters motivations and actions that much more.
Overall, I thought it was an entertaining book and action sequences were jaw dropping, although at times a tad predictable. Descriptions of border towns, especially in Mexico are dead on and a nice departure from Clancy's otherwise American or European tendenancies.
The narrator was just fine. I imagine it can be hard to voice dozens of chracters expecially with various accents. It wasn't stellar, but it wasn't bad either. A few times it was hard to figure out who was who, but rarely.
I admit I love the 'true crime' genre including the various biographies and just find them utterly fascinating.
"The Ice Man" was no exception, and was a well researched and paced. The tales and history of Richard Kuklinski are downright riveting and chilling and I don't recommend for young children to be listening. The details described within are both jaw dropping and stomach churning at times and I can't help but wonder how do people go through life like this...without emotion or care for human life.
Once the 'biography' portion is over, make sure you continue to listen at the end for there are actual taped interviews with Kuklinski himself as he speaks to a psychologist behind bars. I can understand why HBO did so well with his taped confessions years ago.
As much as I was hooked into this tale itself, I had two overall issues: 1) The narrator Michael Prichard is a bit one-dimensional. That's to say he doesn't have much range, and everyone more or less sounds the same after a while. At times he also sounds as if infact he is reading too liertally and certain nuances in storytelling get lost in monotone delivery. 2) Gratuitous swearing. I understand this is "mob" talk, but I have a feeling some of the dialogue between chracters was not only embellished (no one was there to record some conversations), or the person speaking is in fact dead so the author can only surmise what actually went down as being said. I found the "F-word" was liberaly dropped throughout, and at times almost ridicously so. So much so, that I couldn't help but feel if the conversations were 'punched' up a bit to meet Hollywood standards. I don't know anyone who swears like that, and even listening to the Kuklinski interviews at the end, he didn't swear that much.
That being said, it is well worth the listen to, and will prompt me to purchase other like audio books in the genre.
Not sure what to expect, I gave this little short a try and was pleasantly surprised overall.
The performance of the narrator was superior for the most part. I could easily identify all the various characters that Sophie Eastlake was voicing. She has a nice range of accents, quirks, and abilities that lend individual traits to each character. She does a great job of both voicing the main character and the inner thoughts/dialogue of that character as well, and does a nice job of putting teh right emotion and inflections that sound like real converstaions. Although, her portrayal of Sam, the male lead, was the only issue I had. Sam came off a little over-acted at times, but I suppose it can be hard for a female to voice a strong male character realistically.
The story itself was quite entertaining and unique. Despite the fact it is in a collection named "Undead in my bed" it never became too sultry, erotic, or raunch. It was just right to tell a modern day 'love' story between two unlikely characters from two different worlds. At times it could be funny, others somehwat interesting, and a unique take on a somewhat familiar story. The supporting characters did a lot to flesh this out without becoming too overdrawn or shoe-horned in.
I always know I like a story that when it's over, I wish it would have keep going. Even after clocking in at just over 5 hours, I think the author had the potential to almost double it and keep my interest. And that's coming from a guy.
It pains me to give a mediocre review to any Sci Fi series, especially that of Star Wars, and such a rich and deep plot period of the Old Republic.
Whereas the the other previous titles tied to this era stood out, I really felt as if Annihilation was just a retread of so many story telling cliches and could have been told in any genre...just change the character names and setting and you've heard this tale 100x before.
There were two exceptions to my review, however. First, narrator Marc Thompson does a really nice job of playing so many voices. He really has a distinct take on the dozens of characters within this story which I think is amazing. Although, once in a while he does tend to get a little to over-the-top and emotionally frenzied during climatic or action packed sequences. Second, the only really interesting parts to me where that with Darth Karrid and her role on her capital ship, the Ascendent Spear.
Truthfully, I would have liked to have had the author focus more on Karrid and her ship and make that a story onto itself. It would have been much more interesting and ominous than the other predictible elements.
A collection of previously published short essays by Dan & Chip Heath.
The 16 essays read within range on various business related topics (mutual funds, why some ideas tank and others prosper, motivating employees, etc., are just examples of the contents) from the past decade (2001-2011).
The columns are thought provoking and make the listener look at business ideals through a completely different perspective using a smattering of humor, real life case studies,, and relateable analogies. They are able to take the 'dryness' and boredom out of typical business white papers and compact them into short enough snippets that are both easy to digest and won't cause boredom. I actually learned quite a bit and took in the enjoyment of learning of usually dry subject matter.
I found Dan's narration a bit amateurish upfront, but he seemed to find his groove in later readings, so there was a bit of early listener awkwardness and jitters only in the beginning, but I suppose it's hard to read anything back professionally if that's not your strong point...clearly writing is their's.
I know it was under 2 hours, but it seemed to go by quickly, and I would have liked more. Here's to hoping they can coax out a second edition of this sometime in the future.
I was very pleasently surprised by this short autobiography. Although not 'entertaining' in an exciting way, it was very heartfelt and filled with colorful emotion and description about Native American and early European settler history as it pertains to the the expansion of the 'white' man into North America.
It is always interesting to hear first hand accounts of history through a different perspective, and it reminded me a lot of watching a well produced documentary from the History Channel.
Narrator Brett Barry does an unbeleivable job of speaking translated english from Indian without skipping a beat, as if it were completely natural to him. His voice was clear and concise, and added a lot to the theatre of the mind. Excellent job,
I found this so interesting, I hope that Audible starts a series of historical autobiographies in the same vein. Highly recommend!
Wow. Just wow.
I literally couldn't get enough of this, and this biography has intrigued me enough to look at other true crime books in the same vein or genre.
This audio feature follows the course of Anthony "Gaspipe" Carlo from a man in his early 20's through all the ups and downs that come with the territory of being a 'Made Man' to Underboss, to Family Head before everything comes crashing down.
I don't understand some of the other reviews that beleive the author is boased to make Gaspipe a 'hero', lack of enthusiasm, fails objectivity. I have no idea what book they were listening to at all. I thought this book was very fair in portraying Gaspipe, both as a hardened, cold killer and a man who loved his wife, kids, and family.
I wouldn't expect anything less about LCN and the mafioso lifestyle. There is going to be decadence, respect, a code of honor among thieves....and then there is their eventual downfall. The stories, history, and different threads through various points in his life are all addressed: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Caso doesn't get off scott-free at all. The man who caused so much pain for the 'business', end up receiving just as much, and doesn't glorify him at all. If anything, the book points out how corrupt law enforcement is as well..from local cops, to judges, to FBI agents and then lets us on a dirty little secret - The government doesn't honor its word either.
If anything, for as bad as Gaspipe and his cronies and partners were (and they were bad men, no question) the failure and shortcoming of our law enforcement agencies (read: politics) make "legal" men just as ugly and disapointing as one would expect, but like to think differently. It all comes down to money and power.
The schemes, the "hits", the "contracts", and the reasonings behind their decsions all make sense, if you are indeed a twisted individual. These gangsters played chess with human pieces. It's sad....but real, and in full detail. I would love to see this turned into a Biography show, or mini-series.
The narrator Alan Sklar does a wonderful job, and the post script, epilogue and "where are they now?" section at the end is fascinating, and no one looks like a hero. In teh end...tragedy all around.
I was more than pleasently surprised with this audio version of Darth Plagueis.
Like many of the SW audio books, the addition of original John Williams music and Lucas sound effects really lends to the theatre of the mind.
I also can't say enough about how well narrator Daniel Davis did in portraying ALL the characters in this version. His deep voice with minor alterations fit so well for the darker charcters of this story and not once was I ever confused who was talking. Excellent.
The story itself was a great backstory that filled in so many blanks of the years proceeding events of Episode I. Not just character origins, but the political makeup up the galaxy including the Senate, the state of the Republic, the Jedi Order as it stood at the time, and the machinations of the Trade Federation. Events that were not portrayed in the movie made perfect sense in continuity as threads of the book paralleled what we saw on the screen.
I have two criticisms, but really they aren't: 1) it was too short. Author James Luceno did such a subperb job or fleshing out the entire 'feel' of the SW universe at the time, I could easily argue this could have been 2 books instead of one and still hold any SW fans interest. 2) Even though this story is entitled Darth Plagueis, it was eaily also the origin story and rise to power of Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious). While Plagueis is indeed a main character, Palpatien easily becomes the second star about 1/2 way through the book. I would have liked to have seen more emphasis on Plagueis' earlier years and rise to power since the story purports his name.
Otherwise, this is a MUST BUY for any SW fan and many of the authors who've been writing the same repetitive stories as of late could learn a thing or two from Luceno.
As a person who is in the middle of a seperation, I really needed something to help me in addition to the numerous cliches everyone and their uncle was giving me. Advice is appreciated and all, but wasn't helping me understand the "why's" or recognizing the pattern's of how I felt.
I gave the audio version a try after reading favorable reviews from the written version, and so glad I did.
For the first time in months, I really began to 'understand' what codependancy is, it's symptoms, its efffects. and its role in my life. So much so in fact that after listening to it once, I started to listen all over again and of course picking up things more insigtful the second time around.
Part self-help book, part feel good, part explanation, this audio version really does a fine job in helping any ailing, depressed, confused listener of the dealings in their life and not only puts it in perspective, but helps teach one how to identify self-issues and overcome them...one day at a time.
The performance can be a bit dry at times, and sometimes the narrator lost me in her monotonous one-note tone when reading off lists (sometimes repetitvely), but fortunately, these are few and far between. At times the narrator sounded empathetic and alive (favorable), other times dry and bored (unfavorable), thus my 3 star rating.
That being said, the content for the most part is favorable and inspiring (other than the aforementioned reading of lists).
All things considered, this is a must have audiobook for anyone suffering from or wants to learn more about codependancy. You'll be surprised how many thinsg you take for granted or didn't even notice before now make sense, and you can turn yourself around and get back to living life the way God designed you to.
An interesting concept: Compose a full fledged novel around the events of a 3 minute video game trailer that was debuted by BioWare back in 2010. The game trailer had so many SW enthusiasts "ohh-ing" and "ahh-ing" on "what could have been the prequels" fans were begging to find out what inspired these events.
Enter Paul Kemp's "Deceived"...which completely fleshes out the backstory and immediate events that center around that 3 minute video...and what a SUPERB job he did.
It's been a long time for SW fans to get a taste of something completely new to satisfy their SciFi lust of a Galaxy, far, far away instead of the rehashed plotlines and somewhat ridiculous stories of the New Jedi Order.
Marc Thompsan's voice talents are really the shining point of this audio version, especially his eerie and angry, dark portrayal of Darth Malgus....one of the best characters to be created since Fett and Thrawn.
Sound effects and action sequences are nicely paced with Marc picking up teh tempo where he needs to to accentuate drama and adrenaline.
But the story really shines, we see a conflicted Darth Malgus and new perspectives from the both the Sith and Jedi orders...everything from personal relationships to politics. The best dichotomy comes from Malgus and Jedi Aryn Leneer...both have their alter ego's crack through and makes you teh reader/listener identify with real emotional conflicts between what is good and evil.
For the first time in a long time, I wanted a SW story to last longer as all teh charcters were so compelling and drew me in. Highlly recommended.
The most enjoyable aspect of this audio version was the layered sound effects and music (although sometimes repetitive) that accompanied the narration and sometimes even set the pace for the moment on hand. A few 'scenes' actually felt like the listener was imeressed in the action with blaster bolts, explosions, lightsabers clashing, and ambient sounds about.
Narrator Marc Thompson was decent overall, but some of the voices like Han and Ben were downright annoying. Ben especially so, as he sounded like a whiny little nerf-herder throughout most of the book. And Han's voice couldn't be taken seriously by me which detracted me from getting involved with his character.
While a neat addition to audio books, the often 're-used' sound effects, music scores. and few quirky voice impersenations lend this 3 stars in my opinion. And then begs the question "Why do certains actions call for a sound effect in one chapter, but not another" making the sounds therefor inconsistent throughout.
My biggest problem with 'Omen' is the fact that nothing real important seemed to happen....at all. The story focuses mostly around Luke & Ben in one prong and Han & Leia in another...with a few other threads that seem to drag out with no real impact. Ben & Luke's story seems oddly remiscient of what they did the last time...just substitute the names of those they interact with....boring. Han & Leia stay closer to home, trying to resemble a family with their grandaughter, and Jaina and Jag go on a date. No other meaningful characters are introduced or fleshed out.
The most interesting aspect happened near the beginning when another Jedi appears to go mad...but nothing really becomes of this either, other than..once again...(get ready)...public sentiment begins to mistrust the Jedi. Really? Again? Come on...get original.
Oh, and there's a 'mysterious' dark presence in the force....again.
I think you can skip this book and move to the next without missing much,
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.