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Bill

A professional with a life-long love of reading.

ratings
77
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • Castles of Steel

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert K. Massie
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (83)

    In a work of extraordinary narrative power, filled with brilliant personalities and vivid scenes of dramatic action, Robert K. Massie, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Dreadnought, elevates to its proper historical importance the role of sea power in the winning of the Great War.

    Matt says: "Stick With It!"
    "Great Overview of the WWI War at Sea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Castles of Steel?

    The narrator does a great job of presenting Massie's narrative history of the WW I war at sea, a pivotal facet of this great struggle between empires. Key players, motivations, events and outcomes are described in a form easy to comprehend. If the listener wants to understand the importance of the influence the powerful navies had on this conflict, consider this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The insight easily acquired into the actions taken by key players, from Jellico, to Beaty, Churchill, Fisher, Hipper, Scharnhorst, the Kaiser and many others. This is a great example of the power of narrative history to hold a reader's interest.


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

    This is the first I've heard. I enjoyed the experience end-to-end. I will happily listen to Mr. Mathews again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Antonin Scalia
    • Narrated By Wyntner Woody
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (63)

    Brilliant. Colorful. Visionary. Tenacious. Witty. Since his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1986, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has been described as all of these things, and for good reason.

    Jean says: "Interesting insight into Justice Scalia"
    "Since Marbury v. Madison the Supremes Get a Say"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a lucid look into the workings of the last stop for many Constitutional questions here in America. Even if you disagree with Scalia's findings, you will find it difficult to argue with the logical thread as it evolves from first principles to final finding for each of these interesting vignettes. There is a good chance you will learn a new way of looking at some of the important questions facing American society today.

    As a Constitutional Originalist, Scalia's dissents are elegant in their dismemberment of the Loose Constructionist positions taken by other members of the Court where new methods of constitutional review or areas of judicial oversight can be, and are, created from whole cloth without a solid foundation in the US Constitution. Judicial Pragmatism as an argument for loose interpretation of the Founder's intent carries no discernible weight with this elegant and articulate writer.

    Scalia's use of history, original intent and longstanding jurisprudence bring clarity to many of the issues under discussion in these pages. I found the book a fascinating listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War

    • ABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By David Halberstam
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (654)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (205)

    Up until now, the Korean War has been the black hole of modern American history. The Coldest Winter changes that. Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu, and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures.

    Doug says: "Almost as good as The Best and the Brightest"
    "Avoid abridged works."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not sure why the publisher thought this work needed to be abridged. The final result is choppy and contains large holes in the main story. Recommend avoiding this work if you're after serious history of this subject. The narration was superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ian W. Toll
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (397)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (351)

    On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.

    BB says: "Superb narrative history"
    "A well-read narrative history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a marvelous read and the narrator presents well. This is the second book I've listened to by Toll, the first being Six Frigates. Both have been a pleasure to listen to.This is a narrative version of the history of events in the Pacific theater from Tsushima in '05 to Midway in '42.

    The story addresses the increase in Japan's Pacific influence, the reasons for the decisions made by Japan and other major countries to move as they did. Major events like Pearl Harbor and the battle of the Coral Sea are covered in fine detail. Many major players are described in detail as well: Nimitz, Yamamoto, Emperor Hirohito, Roosevelt, King, Rochefort, et al. Toll also presents their motivations for consideration insofar as history allows.

    All-in-all this is a very well presented story of an important part of the tumultuous first half of the 20th century. Two thumbs way up.Some have complained in these comments about the abrupt ending after Midway. I found the author did a good job of finishing the description of that momentous battle and wrapping up the work. Yet there was much that occurred in the Pacific theater over the next 3 years of the 2nd World War. Maybe Toll is working on his sequel?

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Storm: Destroyermen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Taylor Anderson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2578)
    Performance
    (1763)
    Story
    (1760)

    Pressed into service when World War II breaks out in the Pacific, the USS Walker---a Great-War vintage "four-stacker" destroyer---finds itself in full retreat from pursuit by Japanese battleships. Its captain, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Patrick Reddy, knows that he and his crew are in dire straits. In desperation, he heads Walker into a squall, hoping it will give them cover---and emerges somewhere else.

    neil says: "Entertaining and Well Narrated"
    "A fun little read, well presented"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    For those with a fantasy bent, this book will satisfy. While it may not be a five star classic, it is fun to listen to and the reader does a good job in the presentation. You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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