I have been thoroughly enjoying the Saxon Chronicles, but as the books progress, Cornwell's anti-christian bias is getting a bit tiresome (even for historical fiction). I'm sure this comes from his adoptive parents belonging to some strange sect of Puritanism. His version of the early christian church in England would have one believe that 99.9% of the clergy were nothing but greedy, cowardly, power hungry fools. As a student of history he certainly knows better than that.
In any case, I still love the story but can't give it more than 3 stars.
I had really hoped by German Phase 3 they would have replaced the male speaker. His pronunciation is different from the female speaker, which wouldn't bother me so much if he didn't speak so rapidly and slur the words. I have spent an inordinate amount of time rewinding and searching searching on the internet trying to figure out what the heck he is saying. The program is great otherwise but the male speaker makes it unenjoyable.
The first several units of German Phase 1 were excellent. As you get further along, things get more complex as you would expect, but the dead time allowed for you to come up with an answer does not increase. Of course you can hit pause, but while you're driving that's not very convenient.
Also, noun/pronoun/adjective declension is a concept completely foreign to English speakers and hard to learn. Early on, the program did a good job of clarifying endings in phrases such as "mit meiner Familie". Later in the program though the clarification went away. With the German speakers increasing in speed, endings "e", "er", and "en" become hard to distinguish.
I did the Michel Thomas program years ago and found that it taught a good basic understanding of German sentence structure and grammar also using a method that didn't require reference books or rote memorization.
The Pimsleur method is very good, but having the background from Michel Thomas makes it better. I think they are really complimentary products rather than competing ones. I don't know why there are so many reviews that ask "where's the reading material"? The material is available for download in PDF format in your library.
After listening to and loving Rutherfurd's "Dublin Saga", I couldn't wait to listen to Sarum. The book was very interesting in the beginning but after getting up to the 1400's it has become a very dry and tedious listen. I have 16 hours left and am not sure if i can finish it. Another complaint is even though the first third of the book was interesting, the plot seemed to be centered on the history of marital infidelity in England.
I was introduced to Basil Sands back when all his books were free online. I absolutely loved Faithful Warrior and enjoyed 65 Below as well as Karl's Last Flight.
"Midnight Sun" brings the character Kharzai back into the spotlight. He is a fun loving, dangerous, and slightly psychotic deep cover CIA agent who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. The ending leaves room for more books featuring Kharzai which is good. Although you can listen to this book on it's own, I would highly suggest listening to Basil's other books first to get the background.
I struggled whether to leave a 4 or 3 star rating, but ultimately decided on 3. The plot was good, but I found the conversation between characters to be too corny almost to the point of being distracting. That said, I don't regret listening to it and highly recommend Basil's other books.
Although this novel is a mix of reality and fiction, it was a fun listen and I found myself researching history to compare what was in the book. Surprisingly, most of the subject matter (at least the bird's eye view) agrees with history. Of course the details are fictionalized along with a good dose of unprovable conspiracy theories thrown out; especially dealing with the Bay of Pigs and Kennedy's assassination.
A few things I didn't like: I thought Littell was very unfair to Ronald Reagan. I was a teenager / young adult when Ronald Reagan was president. Littell portrays him as having advanced dimensia early in his first term. Sorry.. I don't buy that. The other thing that turned me off was the pedophile KGB agent Starik. It certainly added to his evilness but was hard to stomach.
All that said, I really did enjoy the book. The length (40 hours or so) did not bother me. In fact, the farther you get into the story the more interesting it is. Scott Brick did a great job narrating.
After reading the negative reviews for Brisingr because it was too long and drawn out, I hesitated spending 2 credits to listen to it. Glad I did. Anyone who has listened to Tom Clancy knows what long and drawn out can be, but Christopher Paolini for the most part kept my interest the whole time. Gerald Doyle is a superb narrator which helps too. Many have also criticized Paolini for the extent he covers the politics of the different races. While he could have abbreviated it a little, I found it interesting and necessary to understand why the characters behave the way they do.
I'm so glad than Mr. Flynn put Stan Hurley back into the story. He was really missed in the last several books. What set this book apart from the others is that you were almost rooting for one of the terrorists (Hakim). Maybe he will be used as an asset in future novels.
This book really keys into the "head in the sand" and approach by many politicians. If you are a leftist, this is probably not the novel for you. Extreme Measures and Pursuit of honor are really one book, but Extreme Measures does offer a good ending point. Once again , George Guidal does an excellent job.
This was a very good story concept, but it took several hours for me to get into it. The pace is just too slow. It had it's riveting moments in the 2nd and 3rd parts, but it just didn't do for me what "Without Remorse" did.
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