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David

eDave93

Boston, MA USA | Member Since 2009

39
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 425 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3605)
    Performance
    (3224)
    Story
    (3253)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
    "Watch out Tom Clancy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No Easy Day is the first hand account from a Navy Seal from Seal Team 6 of the life of a Seal and the takedown of Osama Bin Laden. When I started reading this book I did not expect it to read like a Tom Clancy novel, but it does. It is a short book but it is told well and gives the reader a real sense of what it is like to be a seal every day, not just on May 1, 2011.

    I expected to hear a tale of bravado in dealing with the legendary difficulties of seal training. There was necessarily some of this but what surprised me was the telling of Owen’s insecurity of whether he could make it combined with a strong confidence in his capabilities. Simple mistakes during training could wash out a prospective candidate. This is a well told personal story.

    The other thing that I learned from No Easy Day was the number of missions that these teams carry out each year largely resulting from actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. At times these teams are in action every week to clear buildings and capture or kill bad guys. Each of these actions put the seal team members in life threatening situations that civilians can barely imagine. Owens describes in detail several larger operations, including a takedown of an “impenetrable” mountain enclave of Taliban fighters.

    He describes the evolution of tactics from zip lining from a helicopter onto a building, “Flying to the X”, to landing a few kilometers away and marching with stealth to the target. Many of the tactics used by bad guys exploit the changing rules of engagement that the soldiers need to follow. For example, when confronted they would make sure their weapons were out of reach so the seals would not be allowed to shoot them. At one point, after reading of so many tactical “secrets” I did begin to wonder if the bad guys could take advantage of this information. On reflection, the bad guys already know all of these tactics and it is the civilian readers who are learning them in this book.

    From my perspective this was not a political book. Although it is clear that many seals do not favor the Obama administration this is a minor part of the story. Releasing this book has of course raised many eyes as actions by seals are supposed to be kept secret. In the book the team members made jokes about who would play each other when the Takedown of Bin Laden movie is released. Perhaps Owen just wanted to make sure the script was accurate. Whatever the motives for writing this book were, the result is that the military now has the most powerful recruiting tool that can be produced.

    This is a fast paced, well written, timely and interesting book and I give it a good read.

    26 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelfth Imam: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (940)
    Performance
    (636)
    Story
    (637)

    Tensions are rising in the Middle East. Iran’s president vows to annihilate the United States and Israel. Israel’s prime minister says someone must hit Iran’s nuclear sites “before it’s too late.” The American president warns against a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and says negotiations are the key to finding peace. And amid it all, rumors are swirling throughout the region of a mysterious religious cleric claiming to be the Islamic messiah.

    Mike From Mesa says: "An almost perfect book, with one caveat"
    "Good book with unexpected twists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was nothing like what I expected when I started it. I was thinking CIA agent infiltrating Iran’s nuclear program and I eventually realized that this was just an interesting sub-plot to the main event. It is not often that I find a book that throws me a complete curveball, but The Twelfth Imam threw it right past my head (we are close enough to Opening Day for Baseball to get away with that phrase). Beyond the suspenseful and surprising storyline, the writing by Rosenberg is top notch. This is a novelty in this Genre of books. The conclusion was a bit of a surprise in that it suggested more of a sequel rather than a wrap-up for this book. Although I was a bit disappointed at the finish, I am also looking forward to the next installment. I give the Twelfth Imam a good read.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (2969)
    Performance
    (1767)
    Story
    (1773)

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "A life list book spoken by the best reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Power of One is now on my Life List of Must Read books. I listened to this book as an audiobook read by Humphrey Bower, perhaps the best narrator in the business. He also narrated Shantaram, which is also on my Life List. I didn’t expect to like The Power of One as much as I did as the topic of a young boy growing up in South Africa didn’t immediately attract my interest. After 30 minutes I was hooked and I finished the 21 hour audiobook in five days. The story is compelling, the writing is top notch and the narrating is the best. Bryce Courtenay has a gift as an author and I look forward to trying out his other works. If you have seen the movie, the book is ten times better. As I said, I give The Power of One a Must Read.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Judaism, Christinanity and Islam

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Frank E. Peters
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (55)

    Professor Peters' studies of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam allow him to offer a series of lectures beginning with Creation and ending with the Final Judgment. In this course, Professor Peters leads listeners through a comprehensive study of each of these fundamentally monotheistic religious communities. As he concludes, only by understanding their similarities and differences can we hope to make sense of the politics of religion which continue to fuel conflicts throughout the world.

    David says: "Informative review of the 3 big religions"
    "Informative review of the 3 big religions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a bit surprised that I liked this set of lectures as much as I did. Professor Peters has an engaging speaking manner and he provides a concise, but interesting, discussion of the early beginnings of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths. The early prophets that are common to each of these faiths are described along with the subtle, and not so subtle, differences that produced the three paths. I rate this lecture to be a good read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Shot: The Inside Story of Man's Greatest Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Dan Parry
    • Narrated By John Chancer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (86)

    ‘It didn’t matter that they were now three miles beyond their target site, that communications were dropping out and that they were running low on fuel. All that mattered to Neil as he searched for a safe spot to land was that boulders littered the surface below. “Thirty seconds,” called mission control. In truth, the flight controllers were now no more than spectators, just like everybody else. No more needed to be said. It was down to Armstrong

    Jean says: "Fascinating"
    "A well told story of the biggest NASA mission"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dan Parry supplies a direct and appropriately detailed story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon with the historic first man on the moon event. Parry interweaves the background story for Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with the chronological sequence of events occurring during the space flight. Well researched and well written, this book flushes out the many hazards and challenges that occurred during the training and execution of this mission. Of course, the 8 day mission culminated with Neil and Buzz stepping on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Parry keeps the readers interest with accounts of the amazing X-15 rocket plane, Lunar Landing training, Soviet gamesmanship and the dozens of other sub-plots occurring during the space race. I give Moon Shot a good read.

    I listened to Moon Shot on an audiobook and I must complement the reader, John Chancer, for his smooth and engaging narration of the story. I give Moon Shot a good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4435)
    Performance
    (3367)
    Story
    (3373)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Classic post nuclear Apocalypse story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In Alas Babylon, Pat Frank provided one of the first atomic war disaster stories that is still chilling when reading it in 2011. I first read this book in the 60’s and will always remember the list of contaminated zones being read on the radio which included the phrase: “the New England States”. Although the story presents several of the difficult trials and tribulations affecting a central Florida town of Fort Repose, it does so in a fairly innocent way. The classic confrontations between roaming bad guys and the town seems more like a clash with bullies than the outside threat that other books describe. While it is a bit naïve, it was still fun to read again. I give Alas Babylon a good read.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Faithful Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Alex Berenson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2294)
    Performance
    (921)
    Story
    (913)

    John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.

    Margaret says: "Faithful Spy"
    "Well trodden territory but well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In The Faithful Spy, Alex Bernson tells a modern day story of John Wells, a deep cover CIA agent working to get close to Al Qaeda as a fighter in Afghanistan. Wells is an interesting character that of course the CIA doesn’t trust and Al Qaeda is guarded about. Wells is trying to save the USA from a major terrorist attack but is not always successful. The general storyline is well trodden territory but the general dialog and clever twists and turns in the bad guys characters will keep your interest through to the last page. Although there are a few lame events in the middle of the story I still give The Faithful Spy a good read rating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Kluger
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (93)

    Salk became a cultural hero and icon for a whole generation. Now, at the fiftieth anniversary of the first national vaccination program, and as humanity is tantalizingly close to eradicating polio worldwide, comes this unforgettable chronicle. Salk's work was an unparalleled achievement, and it makes for a magnificent listen.

    Tim says: "Excellent book"
    "Interesting challenges tackled for a nasty bug."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In Splendid Solution, Jeffrey Kluger tells a thorough history of the life and career of Jonas Salk and the development of the Flue and Polio vaccines that he was instrumental in delivering to the world. I found this to be a fascinating story that shows both the technical challenges for developing vaccines as well as the confrontational and political issues involved. The scientists involved are shown to be more of a collection of domineering and passionate partisans as opposed to a group of rational technologists. My only complaint for the story is that the level of detail in describing certain events seems to be excessive, as in the sequence that reports and VIP’s entered the Polio vaccine trial announcement ceremony. That said, Splendid Solutions tells an important story that saved perhaps millions of shattered lives over the last 50 years. I give Splendid Solution a good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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