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john

CHARLOTTE, NC, United States | Member Since 2011

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 275 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2015
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  • A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Amanda Foreman
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    Even before the first rumblings of secession shook the halls of Congress, British involvement in the coming schism was inevitable. Britain was dependent on the South for cotton, and in turn the Confederacy relied almost exclusively on Britain for guns, bullets, and ships. The Union sought to block any diplomacy between the two and consistently teetered on the brink of war with Britain. For four years the complex web of relationships between the countries led to defeats and victories both minute and history-making.

    Daniel says: "excellent narrative history"
    "Enter a new Legacy reference for the War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a masterwork of research, with unprecedented triangulations (or quadragulations) among the USA, the CSA, GB, and Canada. Not for the novice, and it won't be a best-seller, but a must for the serious student. I marked the narration down slightly for his mis-pronounciations (e.g., Beall [bell], Beaufort [bu-fort] SC vs. Beaufort [bo-fort] NC).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pale House: Gregor Reinhardt, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Luke McCallin
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (61)

    German intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt has just been reassigned to the Feldjaegerkorps - a new branch of the military police with far-reaching powers. His position separates him from the friends and allies he has made in the last two years. And he needs them now more than ever. While retreating through Yugoslavia with the rest of the army, Reinhardt witnesses a massacre of civilians by the dreaded Ustaše - only to discover that there is more to the incident than anyone believes.

    Bluestramp says: "Wonderful follow- up"
    "Excellent picture of the Balkans during Nazi occup"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Explains a lot of what we saw when the fuse hit the powder keg in the 90's in Sarajevo. Excellent human portraits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man from Berlin: Gregor Reinhardt, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Luke McCallin
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (126)

    In war-torn Yugoslavia, a beautiful young filmmaker and photographer - a veritable hero to her people - and a German officer have been brutally murdered. Assigned to the case is military intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt. Already haunted by his wartime actions and the mistakes he's made off the battlefield, he soon finds that his investigation may be more than just a murder, and that the late Yugoslavian heroine may have been much more brilliant - and treacherous - than anyone knew.

    Etienne says: "Solid 1st novel of WWII Nazi officer in Sarajevo"
    "Excellent picture of the Balkans during Nazi occup"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Explains a lot of what we saw when the fuse hit the powder keg in the 90's in Sarajevo. Excellent human portraits.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3740)
    Performance
    (3294)
    Story
    (3299)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "Very disappointing alternative history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read the 1st 2 in the trilogy, I eagerly awaited Follett's final. (I believe I've read every book he's written.) I should have put this down after the JFK assassination, but kept trudging to the boring end. It's not just his fanciful, alternative view of history, from his uber-Left perch, but he can't seem to get his characters' relationships believable--they're caricatures--at best.
    Quick, what iconic scenes are included in any compilation of Cold War vignettes? Right! Well, he has JFK's "jelly doughnut" speech at the Wall right, but neglects its bookend: "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!". And how amazed are you to learn, that in Mr Follett's world, there was never a Margaret Thatcher to bring the 20th century to Great Britain.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Spycatcher

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Matthew Dunn
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (82)

    Matthew Dunn spent years as an MI6 field operative working on some of the West’s most clandestine missions. He recruited and ran agents, planned and participated in special operations, and operated deep undercover throughout the world. In Spycatcher he draws on this fascinating experience to breathe urgent, dynamic new life into the contemporary spy novel. Featuring deft and daring superspy Will Cochrane, Dunn paints a nerve-jangling, bracingly authentic picture of today’s secret world. It is a place where trust is precious and betrayal is cheap....

    Ronald says: "Juvenile and just bad"
    "Ehhh . . . I want my time back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pretty silly "spy" story: Guy gets shot lots of times (stomach, brain, through the ears, kneecaps) but never misses a day's work, and saves the world. (YAWN)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Monkey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1010)
    Performance
    (893)
    Story
    (905)

    Andrew Yancy - late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office - has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first - this being Hiaasen country - Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters.

    James says: "Disappointed"
    "Arte Johnson is WOW!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This "book" was recommended by a friend who read in hardback. I'm so glad I bought the Audible version. Arte Johnson ("Ver-r-ry inteRESTing . . . but schtupid!) would make a bad book good--and this is a fun book. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6555)
    Performance
    (5673)
    Story
    (5664)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "If it's a chick book, it's a damn good one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My wife read this first, and when I asked her if I would like it, she said "I don't know."
    "Is it a chick book?"
    "Well, it's not an action thriller."
    So I took a chance. And was drawn in immediately. It is beautifully written and plotted well. My wife knows I don't like films which try to lose the viewer by jumping around chronologically, as I am fairly literal. This book does oscillate in time over half a century, but never in a misleading way.
    Now to the best part: Edoardo Ballerini would be worth a listen, if the book were not that good. He's marvelous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (49)

    Two-time Pulitzer Prize - winning historian Barbara Tuchman explores the complex relationship of Britain to Palestine that led to the founding of the modern Jewish state - and to many of the problems that plague the Middle East today.

    T. F. Plona says: "Great historical insight into how we got to today"
    "A very thorough examination."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very thorough examination of literature over the centuries revealing Britain's and England's peculiar relationship with the Hebrews and Zionism. Good for the amateur; essentail for the scholar.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6274)
    Performance
    (5327)
    Story
    (5342)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Tim says: "Brilliant Sequel"
    "Follett Triumphs Once Again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent follow-up to the initial book in the trilogy. Can't wait for the final. (But will have to.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Empty Chair: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By Richard Turner Perry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (158)

    A spine-chilling new thriller that pits renowned criminalist Lincoln Rhyme against the ultimate opponent - Amelia Sachs, his own brilliant protege. A quadriplegic since a beam crushed his spinal cord years ago, Rhyme is desperate to improve his condition and goes to North Carolina for high-risk experimental surgery. In a twenty-four hour period, the sleepy Southern outpost of Tanner's Corner has seen a local teen murdered and two young women abducted. And Ryhme and Sachs are the best chance to find the girls alive.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Jeffrey Deaver is Chubby Checkers of mystery..."
    "Good, not great thriller."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    May plot twists and turns, some believable. One "deux ex machina" per plot is preferable; a half-dozen leaves the reader highly skeptical. Performance is less than adequate. Both writer and narrator show less understanding of the modern-day South, and Southernisms, than they think they they do.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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