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Rick

Federal Way, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • Red November: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By W. Craig Reed
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (150)

    Red November is filled with hair-raising, behind-the-scenes stories that take you deep beneath the surface and into the action of the Cold War. Few know how close the world has come to annihilation better than the warriors who served America during the tense, 45-year struggle known as the Cold War. Yet for decades, their work has remained shrouded in secrecy.

    Rick says: "Blind Man's Bluff meets Cuban Missile Crisis"
    "Blind Man's Bluff meets Cuban Missile Crisis"
    Overall

    This 2 part book really is in two parts. The first part covers the beginning of the nuclear age, and covers some, though not nearly all, of the espionage stories detailed more completely in Sherry Sontag's excellent "Blind Man's Bluff". There is an interesting and significant portion of this that talks about how we figured out how to track the Soviet subs by their transmissions.

    Then the second part segues into how subs helped the American side during the Cuban Missile crisis and the Cold War, including the Jennifer Project. There are some excellent stories, and a few gripping moments, but mostly it isn't a compelling, edge of your seat read. If you want to be informed, get this book. If you are looking to be entertained, there are better ones.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Lions of Iwo Jima: The Story of Combat Team 28 and the Bloodiest Battle in Marine Corps History

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Fred Haynes, James A. Warren
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    It was the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history, claiming a third of all marines killed in World War II. The relentless fighting on Iwo Jima lasted for 36 days, but most of us only know the iconic photo of five soldiers raising the American flag on Mount Surabachi. For Fred Haynes, a young captain in Combat Team 28, Surabachi was one marker in a ferocious blood-letting against an enemy of 22,000 warriors who were dug into caves and tunnels.

    Jesse says: "Excellent Account of the Battle"
    "Pretty good story about the hell of Iwo Jima"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Any WWII buff, especially a Marine, should know about Iwo Jima. The island's importance was vital to ending the war and minimizing loss of Allied lives. Unfortunately, it cost a great many lives, on both sides, to make that happen.

    This story is about one of the groups of Marines who made it happen. A fine group who acquitted themselves very well. Maybe the story, or one like it, has been told before. If so, I can't compare it to those. I can tell you that this is a story that should be known.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10007)
    Performance
    (6082)
    Story
    (6112)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Amazing story about an amazing man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Any time you think you have endured abuse in your life, read Unbroken. Any time you think you have gone through hardship, read Unbroken. If you think you have had to overcome obstacles to be successful in life, read Unbroken.

    Louis Zamperini's story is astounding. The story of all he had to survive simply to survive is mind-boggling. I have endured hardship in my life, but nothing resembling this. The cruelty of his captors after he survived long enough to become one is unimaginable to those who think we live in a civilized world.

    This is a #1 bestseller for a reason. Buy this book. Read this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Give Me Tomorrow: The Korean War’s Greatest Untold Story - The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Patrick K. O’Donnell
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (72)

    “If I were God, what would you want for Christmas?” With a thousand-yard stare, a haggard and bloodied marine looked incredulously at the war correspondent who asked him this question. In an answer that took “almost forever,” the marine responded, “Give me tomorrow." After nearly four months of continuous and bloody combat in Korea, such a wish seemed impossible.

    James says: "The boys of Summer Camp….Amazing!!"
    "Another untold story about a forgotten war"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For those who read (or listen to) military history books, Korea is a largely untapped reservoir of yet-untold stories. Books like Colder than Hell and The Last Stand of Fox Company gave us a glimpse of the hell of a Korean winter in which staying alive takes a lot more than remembering what they taught you in boot camp - assuming you even got to go to boot camp.

    This story revolves around the Marines of George Company who fought to take and hold the airfield at Koto-Ri. This was essential because it would serve as both a supply replenishment point and evacuation center for the many wounded.

    The enemy fought hard and bravely, and the Marines had to do the same. The men of George Company did, were victorious, and now how proudly have their names carved in history. The story is well-told, and one worth hearing about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Colditz Story

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By P.R. Reid
    • Narrated By Tim Woodward
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Colditz - the dreaded POW camp was supposed to be impregnable. It was the German fortress from which there was no escape. It had been escape-proof in the 1914-18 war and was to be again in the Second World War, according to the Germans... This is the true story that has passed into legend: the story of the incredible courage and daredevil ingenuity of those who refused to admit defeat - those who burrowed, leapt and ran their way to freedom.

    lrbell says: "Tremendous narration and gripping true story"
    "Very interesting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story of Colditz was new to me. It listens more like a somewhat sterile memoir. The narrator uses a British accent, which gives some justification to the somewhat dry and understated British way of telling a story.

    To look at a castle like Colditz and imagine that one could escape from it takes a lot of faith. The men who did it had more than faith. They had skill, persistence, and a resourcefulness rarely seen today. Very interesting story about their lives and the life of a prison during WWII.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3988)
    Performance
    (2179)
    Story
    (2180)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "Good story made better by outstanding narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is really more a story about soldiers in Vietnam than it is about a battle, or even the hill. It's about the crap they had to put up with from their superiors, the enemy, the country, and even one another, when all they wanted was to stay alive one more day.

    Bronson Pinchot is the finest narrator I have ever heard. His ability to easily, consistently, and flawlessly switch between characters with different inflections, dialects, accents, and speech mannerisms is without peer. The story is a fine one with adequate narration. Pinchot brings it to life, adding a needed dimension to each character in a story that is about people at its core.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Kurson
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2010)
    Performance
    (495)
    Story
    (497)

    In 1991, acting on a tip from a local fisherman, two scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat, complete with its crew of 60 men, not too far off the New Jersey coast. The divers, realizing the momentousness of their discovery, began probing the mystery. Over the next six years, they became expert and well-traveled researchers, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew.

    Douglas says: "GRIPPING!"
    "Very interesting story!"
    Overall

    This is one of those books that could have been much shorter. It tells of a great find in the Atlantic, and of its significance. But to have limited the story to that subject would have lost the bulk of the saga, which is of the divers themselves, and the years of their lives they gave to leave no stone unturned in fully laying to rest all of the mysteries of their find.

    By the end of the story, you will know these men, care about them and their obsession, rejoice and hurt with them as they experience the ups and downs of their quest. Pretty good sea story about some incredibly dedicated men of the sea. And I don't just mean the divers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead or Alive

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Grant Blackwood
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4645)
    Performance
    (2452)
    Story
    (2466)

    Jack Ryan, the former president of the United States, is out of office, but not out of the loop about his brainchild, the “Campus” - a highly effective, counter-terrorism organization that operates outside the Washington hierarchy. But what Ryan doesn’t know is that his son, Jack Ryan, Jr., has joined his cousins, Brian and Dominic Caruso, at the shadowy Campus. While a highly effective analyst, young Ryan hungers for the action of a field agent.

    Robert B. Wales says: "Same great Clancey - Great narration"
    "Decent, but not great."
    Overall

    I have read pretty much every book Tom Clancy has ever written, from his riveting The Hunt for Red October to the dreadful Rainbow Six. This is an improvement over the latter, but a mere shadow of the former. The story reads like a deliberate setup for the next book, which could be a pretty good one.

    Worth a listen, but don't expect too much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joker One: A Marine Platoon's Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Donovan Campbell
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (63)

    When Donovan Campbell's platoon deployed to Ramadi in the spring of 2004, they believed they'd be spending most of their time building schools, training police, and making friends with the citizens. But shortly after arriving, when Campbell awoke to the chilling cry of "Jihad, Jihad, Jihad!" echoing from minaret to minaret across the city, he knew they had an altogether different situation on their hands.

    Doug says: "This One is No Joke"
    "Good tale of modern warfare"
    Overall

    This book has an excellent tone about it. It talks about politics, personal battles, bravery, idiocy, boredom, craziness, commanders strong and weak, yet without making any of them feel like they dominate the story.

    It's a finely balanced story of a Marine Lt. as he attempts to guide a Marine rifle platoon in Iraq while figuring out how to deal with commanders who don't seem to always make sense in a place that makes even less sense.

    I generally prefer WWII or Korean war stories, but this is a very good one about Iraq.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Colder than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Joseph R. Owen
    • Narrated By Richard Rohan
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    Joe Owen tells it like it was in this evocative story of a marine rifle company in the uncertain, early days of the Korean War. His powerful description of close combat in the snow-covered mountains of the Chosin Reservoir and of the survival spirit of his Marines provide a gritty real-life view of frontline warfare.As a lieutenant who was with them from first muster in California, Owen was in a unique position to see the hastily assembled mix of some 200 regulars and raw reservists harden into a superb Marine rifle company. The action and narrative move fast as the company learns to fight under enemy fire, eat frozen rations, and keep pushing forward when its wounded and dead go down.

    Paul says: "Excellent!"
    "Good companion to The Last Stand of Fox Company"
    Overall

    There is bound to be some overlap between any set of stories regarding a particular military campaign, and the encounter at Korea's Chosin Reservoir is no different. Having listened to the harrowing tales of bravery, hardship, and Marine stick-to-it-iveness in that classic tale, this was a step backward in terms of taking one's breath away with the horror of war in one of its most hellish times. But only a slight step.

    For as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the brave remnants of Fox Company and the Marines in Colder than Hell have a shared destiny. I won't spoil it for those who have yet to read Last Stand, but the two books could almost be interwoven into one excellent epic tale.

    Colder than Hell is a very fine book that as an avid reader of military history, I am proud to recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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