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John

john8791

WALCOTT, IA, United States | Member Since 2011

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 150 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • The Burning Land: The Saxon Chronicles, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (483)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (248)

    In a clash of heroes,the kingdom is born.A t the end of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in ill health; his heir, an untested youth. His enemy, the Danes, having failed to conquer Wessex, now see their chance for victory. Led by the sword of savage warrior Harald Bloodhair, the Viking hordes attack. But Uhtred, Alfred’s reluctant warlord, proves his worth, outwitting Harald and handing the Vikings one of their greatest defeats. For Uhtred, the sweetness of victory is soon overshadowed by tragedy.

    Lana says: "Wonderful Story! Wonderful Narrator!"
    "Great story but ......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • German Phase 1, Unit 26-30: Learn to Speak and Understand German with Pimsleur Language Programs

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Pimsleur
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (8)

    German Phase 1, Units 26-30 build on material taught in prior units. Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation.

    John says: "Great Program with flawed execution"
    "Great Program with flawed execution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • German Phase 1, Unit 06-10: Learn to Speak and Understand German with Pimsleur Language Programs

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Pimsleur
    • Narrated By Pimsleur
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (36)

    German Phase 1, Units 6-10 build on material taught in prior units. Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation.

    Connie S. says: "German Expanded"
    "Very good but would look at Michel Thomas first."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarum: The Novel of England

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (364)

    In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.

    Gordon says: "Most enjoyable"
    "Very tedious listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Sun

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Basil Sands
    • Narrated By Basil Sands
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    They should've let him go. They should've let him retire in peace. They should've left his woman out of it.

    Kharzai Ghiassi has served the US Government his entire adult life. The best infiltration agent they've ever had. Death is not just his business, death is his life. He's gone off the CIA's radar and all they know is that someone is in danger.

    John says: "Good, but not quite as good as Basil's other books"
    "Good, but not quite as good as Basil's other books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5106)
    Performance
    (2204)
    Story
    (2200)

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "Very entertaining mix of fact and fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brisingr: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (4864)
    Performance
    (2450)
    Story
    (2515)

    Oaths sworn . . . loyalties tested . . . forces collide. Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

    A User says: "Good but not complete."
    "Long, yes. Worth listening to, yes."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pursuit of Honor: Mitch Rapp Series

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3023)
    Performance
    (1625)
    Story
    (1628)

    The action begins six days after a series of explosions devastated Washington, D.C., targeting the National Counterterrorism Center and killing 185 people, including public officials and CIA employees. It was a bizarre act of extreme violence that called for extreme measures on the part of elite counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp and his trusted team member, Mike Nash.

    Jason J Preston says: "Another Outstandung Vince Flynn Book"
    "Awesome! Hope there will be more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Extreme Measures: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3161)
    Performance
    (1511)
    Story
    (1523)

    Mitch Rapp and his protege, Mike Nash, may have met their match. The CIA has detected and intercepted two terrorist cells, but a third is feared to be on the loose. Led by a dangerous mastermind obsessed with becoming the leader of al-Qaeda, this determined and terrifying group is about to descend on America.

    F says: "Kickass Thriller - With Politics!"
    "Another great one."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (911)
    Performance
    (753)
    Story
    (768)

    Two men possess vital information on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is Cardinal -- America's highest agent in the Kremlin -- and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other one is the American who can save Cardinal and lead the world to the brink of peace . . . or war. Here is author Tom Clancy's heart-stopping masterpiece -- a riveting novel about one of the most intriguing issues of our time.

    Nancy says: "Previous Reviewers Are Spot On"
    "Good story but too slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Consent to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3850)
    Performance
    (1853)
    Story
    (1865)

    For years, Mitch Rapp's bold actions have saved the lives of countless Americans. His battles for peace and freedom have made him a hero to many, and an enemy to countless more. In the tangled, duplicitous world of espionage, there are those, even among America's allies, who want to see Mitch Rapp eliminated. They have decided the time has come.

    Timothy says: "One of the Best Stories I've Ever Heard"
    "Phenomenal Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been listening to all the Vince Flynn novels in order. I have to say this one is the best. The story has a lot of depth and the ending is surprising. Not the typical "all the bad guys die and the hero lives happily ever after".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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