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Patrick

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

ratings
70
REVIEWS
65
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
20
HELPFUL VOTES
227

  • The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Alex Kershaw
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (150)

    From July 10, 1943, the date of the Allied landing in Sicily, to May 8, 1945, when victory in Europe was declared - the entire time it took to liberate Europe - no regiment saw more action, and no single platoon, company, or battalion endured worse, than the ones commanded by Felix Sparks, who had entered the war as a greenhorn second lieutenant of the 157th "Eager for Duty" Infantry Regiment of the 45th "Thunderbird" Division. Sparks and his fellow Thunderbirds fought longest and hardest to defeat Hitler.

    Kenzibit says: "All for the PEACE & FREEDOM we enjoy today."
    "No different than any other WW2 book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading countless amounts of WW2 books throughout the years, it's very hard to find one these days that doesn't relay the same history lesson, message, or analysis. I cannot say that this book REALLY differentiates from most other books on WW2. I'm not saying it was a bad book, and could actually be a decent first time read for someone who doesn't know much about the subject and wants to focus more on the European aspect. However, to the "seasoned" reader of various books on this topic, this book will not stand out.

    Yes, the story was good, but it really didn't convey the way some other books did on this topic. "Unbroken" or "Tears in the Darkness" are two that I'd recommend first to newcomers on the subject of WW2. Those books actually stuck with me, and I find myself occasionally thinking about the topics I read . Some parts of this book were very interesting, but they all seemed to come towards the end of the book. You're given the same story of how horrible Anzio and the Italian campaign was. Basically all of this information you can obtain by watching Ken Burns "The War" or reading up a little on Wikipedia.

    The narrator wasn't bad, but he sounded more like he should be narrating a History Channel special on TV, not an audiobook.

    So....if you've read many books, articles, seen documentaries, etc. on the subject of WW2, then I'd advise you to skip this book. It has the same broad subject line as always, and is only told to the reader in a different way, that's it. There are splashes of interesting personal stories thrown in throughout the book, and I'm not saying that it's bad, but beware of repeated knowledge if you've been around the block on your WW2 books.

    I read all of the reviews on this book I could find before purchasing this, took the risk, and now I'm stuck with a lot of knowledge I already knew in the first place.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Vicki Constantine Croke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    At the onset of World War II, Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees, including on his own "Hannibal Trek." Billy Williams became a media sensation during the war, telling reporters that the elephants did more for him than he was ever able to do for them, but his story has since been forgotten.

    Angela says: "Fascinating"
    "Story of Friendship, Loyalty, and Bravery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Croke tells the story as if it comes naturally, and she recalls Williams’s tale like it happened yesterday. The book captured my interest from the start, with Williams being atop his favorite elephant while battling severe sickness. It's not a suspenseful tale, but the descriptions of the jungle and the extremes of life that entails with it are enough to maintain curiosity. Some fascinating facts about elephants are also revealed, such as the sense of smell can be 5 times stronger than a bloodhound.

    There's not as much emphasis on the WW2 events as I expected. This shouldn't detract the reader though, it's still worth reading.

    Overall: This is a good uplifting read.The narrator was great and fit the part perfect. I recommend not so much for WW2 buffs, but more for a good story involving elephants and a man who cared deeply for them.

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Roland Merullo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1090)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (934)

    When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger---and amuse himself---he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way.

    Mary McCarthy says: "a thoughtful and often hilarious journey"
    "An Introspective Expedition"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's best to approach this book with an open mind. The main character starts out as a skeptic and by the end, well; you guessed it, he's all in.

    While the story is rather predictable, it did keep my attention mostly throughout. There are some parts that can seem like he's rambling on about the state of the country (at the time) but moves on before the point of exhaustion. I didn't feel the author pushed religion too much, but emphasized positive thinking and meditation, which are okay by me. This is a light read for sure, and probably a good book for a lazy sunny day.

    Overall: there is no big punchline in this book. I wasn't blown away like some of the other reviewers. It kind of reminded me of a family friendly TV show. By the end, everyone's reflecting on the lessons they learned and all is well. I liked the narrator, he's done a few other books I've read, so I knew what he sounded like.

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Dish: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4232)
    Performance
    (3267)
    Story
    (3269)

    Award-winning author Craig Johnson's critically acclaimed debut Western mystery takes listeners to the breathtaking mountains of Wyoming for a tale of cold-blooded vengeance. Four high-school boys were given suspended sentences for raping a Cheyenne girl. Now, two of the boys have been killed, and only Sheriff Walt Longmire can keep the other two safe.

    Dataman says: "Not Your Ordinary Western Novel (Series)"
    "A Sense of Place and a Good Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great mystery story, plain and simple. I've always been a little apprehensive when it comes to these types of books. Alot of the times, I hurry the books up b/c I can't take all of the fluff in between.

    At first I thought that having been to the area that the setting of this book is in was essential, but the author's descriptions make up for anyone not having been there. I don't read mysteries for the surprise of who killed X, Y, or Z. Sometimes, I don’t care (though I did come to care here). This book was a perfect delight to me. It has satisfying drama, engaging characters, and evocation of place. Often the first in a series is a bit awkward, but this one hit on all cylinders for me right out the gate. While not an all out suspenseful mystery, it definitely has it's moments, and certainly doesn't go too fast which can cause the reader to be confused. There's also some dry humor spread throughout, and is actually quite funny at times.

    Overall: It's worth checking out, especially if you're interested in a random (western) mystery not bogged down with too many details. Fans of Kent Haruf's "Plainsong" will most certainly enjoy it. The narrator fits the book perfectly. I'll be starting the second book very soon.

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Longest Day: June 6, 1944

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Cornelius Ryan
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (239)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (214)

    >The Longest Day is Cornelius Ryan’s unsurpassed account of D-day, a book that endures as a masterpiece of military history. In this compelling tale of courage and heroism, glory and tragedy, Ryan painstakingly re-creates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism.

    pratalife says: "Seen the movie? Read the book: it is worth it"
    "An Unsurpassed Account of D-Day"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The most surprising thing about Cornelius Ryan’s D-Day classic The Longest Day is how short it is. This, combined with Ryan’s novelistic writing style, made for a surprisingly quick read.

    Ryan flew along on bomber missions with the U.S. Air Force and was later embedded with General Patton’s Third Army. When he decided to write about D-Day, he and a team of researchers sent questionnaires around the globe. These went to all manner of participant, from the German high command to French Resistance members to ordinary civilians. According to Ryan, a thousand interviews were collected, collated, cross-checked, and then bolstered with further questions.

    The ground-level storytelling is so propulsive you don’t really stop to think how all these disparate anecdotes twine together to form a historical result. Ryan’s style is such that you can be absorbed into these accounts despite having no idea – spatially, temporally – where many of these individual actions are taking place.

    Overall: The author does history a great service by showing it for the endlessly fascinating thing that it is. History should never be boring. History is life, only yesterday. Ryan’s version of D-Day will be read and reread as long as people care about World War II.

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clockwork

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 31 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (599)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (531)

    A tormented apprentice clock-maker - and a deadly knight in armour. A mechanical prince - and the sinister Dr Kalmenius, who some say is the devil... Wind up these characters, fit them into a story on a cold winter's evening and suddenly life and the story begin to merge - almost like clockwork...

    David says: "A modern clockwork fairy tale"
    "Fantastic, Mysterious, and Horrific"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Captivating from page one this book is simultaneously beautiful, enchanting and haunting; a story that will keep the audience guessing every step of the way. It is dark & a little scary, but it is absolutely brilliant! While listening to this, I occasionally felt as though I was back in school as a little kid, gathered around the teacher while clutching to every word wondering what will come next.

    In the fascinating world of stories, anything is possible. If wonderful or magical things happen, we sometimes wish that we could be part of the story; if terrible or scary things happen, we sit in comfort knowing that we are safe in our own reality. Or are we? What if the characters from a terrifying story were to walk through our front door? What would we do then?

    The narrator was excellent & made the story even better.

    Overall: This book is a great stepping stone for introducing young readers & adults to the amazing works of Philip Pullman. Well worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6332)
    Performance
    (5814)
    Story
    (5815)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    AudioAddict says: "And I didn't think I liked fantasies..."
    "Kept My Interest From Start to Finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a little hesitant to start this book, as I don't delve into the fantasy genre much. Elves, wizards, and dragons usually don't appeal to me, despite reading rave reviews for many fantasy books out there. I got this book from the daily deal on Audible's website.

    Quite simply, this is classic fantasy with a modern twist. The two main characters are an elite unit of "fixers" for hire. From the beginning to the end, they're put in situations that make the reader think it's the end for them, yet somehow they squeeze through the cracks and persevere every time. It certainly had it's similarities with Game of Thrones, but with a dash of Lord of the Rings as well. There’s no major plot twists, just a good & fun mystery involving interesting characters that make for an engrossingly fun romp.

    I thought the narrator was excellent. He fit the story perfectly and used distinct character voices that don't confuse the reader (listener.)

    Overall: I'm actually quite interested in continuing this series. The book is pretty long so I might check out some shorter books first, but I'm still very interested though. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually kinda like fantasy now...but only by Michael J. Sullivan, so far.

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Donald L. Miller, Henry Steele Commanger
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (108)

    Drawing on previously unpublished eyewitness accounts, prizewinning historian Donald L. Miller has written what critics are calling one of the most powerful accounts of warfare ever published. Here are the horror and heroism of World War II in the words of the men who fought it, the journalists who covered it, and the civilians who were caught in its fury. Miller gives us an up-close, deeply personal view of a war that was more savagely fought - and whose outcome was in greater doubt - than one might imagine. This is the war that Americans on the home front would have read about had they had access to previously censored testimony.

    geffrey says: "Best written, best narrator"
    "Excellent Overview of a Catastrophic Event"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I randomly found out about this book from the recommended history category books on Audible. I've always been a history buff and have read countless articles and books about World War II.

    There are several stories and facts that kept even the typical WW2 enthusiast wanting more. These days, it's hard to find non-recycled material in books like these.

    You'll find that much of the history is told in the words of soldiers or journalists embedded with the American troops or sailors. It definitely focuses on the American side of the war, but I recommend it to anyone who would like to know more about World War II without getting into the boring details. If you're interested in more WW2; give "Pacific Crucible" a shot, I think you'll like it just as well.

    Overall: This book was perfect for the layman's WW2 interest. It was rarely boring and kept my attention throughout most of the reading. The narration was good as well. I'd give it a 4.5 for sure.

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    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10555)
    Performance
    (9695)
    Story
    (9733)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Lengthy Equivalent of a Comic Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is more going on in Steelheart than one might think from a first glance. Initially marketed as a young adult novel, it is full of content that most mature individuals could enjoy. Rather than swords and sorcery, Sanderson's premise is flight, telekinesis, invisibility, & fire. It's as if the supernatural powers of Superman, the Flash, and Captain America didn't just make them more than human, but also corrupted them.

    On the other side of things though, I didn't feel the book grasped me like some of the other reviewers. Yes, there were some pretty cool little gadgets and action scenes. But there was something there that didn't send me over the top spinning on my seat reaction.

    Sometimes, I felt like everything went a bit too well for the characters, and that is probably what bumps this down to a 4 instead of 5 stars. Aside from a few minor caveats, nothing bad really happened to the characters, and it was sort of unbelievable.

    Overall: This book was fairly predictable in many ways. A good read for hard core fantasy readers, but it might be a little too much for middle of the road types. I'll probably read the sequel...maybe.

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redeployment

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Phil Klay
    • Narrated By Craig Klein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (241)

    Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Must Read - Fantastic Heart Rendering Shorts"
    "An Overhyped, Decent Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The horrors of the bureaucracy, folly, & brotherhood of war. It's all here in stark, sharp prose. It's the modern Iraq-war version of "The Things They Carried."

    I thought this was pretty good, but not worthy of the National Book Award. For one thing, it is very difficult to distinguish any of the characters from each other. By the end of the book, I did not feel like I remembered many distinct characters or stories. It does provide interesting insight into what the war in Iraq was like, however.One thing that detracted from my reading was a lot of military acronyms that I mostly had no clue what they meant. A few stories were very disjointed to read because of so much military jargon. I felt like I needed time to absorb each story which related its own notable and important perspective.

    Overall: You're not going to finish this book and feel good about it. Think of a dark, gloomy, and rainy day. That's how you'll feel when you finish this book.

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    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (706)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (537)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    "Funny, Violent, & Often Tender"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is a pretty standard "old guy who used to be a badass has to confront some old enemies" story that reminds me of a 1970s action movie starring Charles Bronson. It has a good storyline and the characters are well done, especially the main character who's “a likable hit man”. It starts off on a stroll, then it picks up & whoosh! Fast paced with good twists - there is no lull. A nice read.

    Overall: If you like crime or mafia books then this is a worthy read. The narrator did a good job. His character voices did mix a little bit, but not to the point that it affected the overall performance.

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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