This is a fabulously written book with both macro and micro details that present a great overall account of the war of 1812. However the minutia is also problematic for the audio account as I found it difficult to follow. Too many different people, too similar of names creates confusion and cause the listener to forget who is attacking who on the high seas. There is the USS President but also the US President and while the author probably presents a good WRITTEN account, a couple of sentences got me wondering was he talking about the ship or Madison/Jefferson/Adams/Washington (all are in the historical context of the book).
Additionally, referencing a map would be very useful. While I consider myself as having above average knowledge of geography, the author makes me feel like an idiot when citing locations of harbors, bays, rivers, etc. (Full disclosure, that might have more to do with me being from Utah and our utter lack of any seaworthy body of water (no the GSL is not a seaworthy body of water)).
My recommendation, and what I'm going to do; buy the physical written book with the aforementioned maps and battle diagrams (I'm assuming and hoping those are in the book). Additionally, with all the different ships and personalities, the ability to quickly re-read a passage or scan for other facts will be a nice benefit.
Please don't dismiss my review of this book as ignorant fool who isn't studious enough to listen to a work of quality non-fiction. I've listened to several history books e.g., Intelligence in War (Keegan), Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (Weatherford), I, Claudius (Graves) (I know this is more historical fiction), Abraham (Feiler). All of these were easy audio listens while being full of complicated details without confusing the listener.
I only discovered this book after someone shared a short article about Moe Berg and I decided I wanted to know "Moe".
Another review complained about the incessant interruption of baseball statistics, but I found that to be pertinent in describing Berg's career ups and downs. Plus, I love statistics as any real fan does. But, honestly, they are neither a distraction nor overwhelming for even a novice fan of the game.
Where the other review did get the book right was the later half. Although I didn't stop listening nor was I tempted, the entire last half of the book focused on the rest of Berg's life; the part that wasn't about Baseball or Espionage. Berg lived a life of a Vagabond after WWII, living off the good will of others who thoroughly enjoyed his company and stories. However, the book becomes rather dull, much like Berg's repetitious stories that became tiresome after hearing it over and over again. For that, the story received a four star rating from me.
The first half of the book is really the heart and soul of this story. Regardless of the veracity of Moe's anecdotes as well as his proficiency as a baseball player, this is an inimitable tale of an eccentric, yet interesting person.
This is a nice summary of Crichton's motivations in writing this book. Short and sweet.
... So often the claim by partisans who are more interested in their party than the nation. Mr. Drogin's inimitable research encapsulates the failures that led to the US invasion in Iraq. While the Bush administration is not innocent, Drogin's narrative really clears the air on where the fault should be... the ego-centric culture of the CIA.
Being someone in the know, I'm disgusted by the entire thing, but empathetic to how it happened. I think the community has addressed many of the 9-11 and Iraq war Intelligence errors, but only time will tell.
This account is a non-partisan examination of all the key players. Liberals should read this so they don't sound so stupid and partisan when they try to smear W. Conservatives should read this to realize that W's administration created the culture in which the intel was allowed to fail. In short everyone can learn something from this, if only they get beyond their preconceptions and biases... the very lesson of the book.
Easily the best of all of the "Killing" books.
I really enjoyed this one and enjoy even more telling others about this book. While the assassinations' of Kennedy and Lincoln are part of modern school curriculum, I'm amazed how much I didn't know about Patton's death.
The book is a good overview of the march toward Berlin, but delves more into the Geopolitical Chess game being played than the strategy of the fighting. Great insight into the mind of Patton and his motivations.
I only rated this book so high because of its historical factor and its significance to the genre. Otherwise, this book is a waste of time. Seriously, hard to follow (and not just because of the narrator as others have critiqued), and just not that interesting. The story, in its time, was probably magical, but there are so many other options for the genre that I suggest only reading this if you want to read everything in this field; but only if you've read everything else.
As to the other commentators' critique of the narrator, they are accurate in regard to the pause, but listening at 3X speed, it is barely noticeable.
I picked this book up, only by chance during an audible sale. I had just finished 'The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z' so I was still in a mood for post apocalyptic chaos, but what I got was a thoroughly researched book on how to survive the immediate aftermath.
The majority genre of end of the world scenarios paint a romanticized version of a dystopia, but 'The Disaster Diaries' (title insinuates an epistolary fiction similar to the aforementioned) is about 95% legitimate survival information and techniques and only 5% story telling (used to combine each scenario together).
The author focuses on key areas of potential doom (e.g., personal fitness, shooting, infection, water, knife fighting) that if overlooked is a silly way to die if you already beat the odds and survived an Extinction Level Event.
Get this book if you're a self-proclaimed prepper, or even if you want to be able to live through a temporary local disaster. Save yourself, save your family.
This is quite and exciting mystery and worth your time, if only for the overview of the story. If you haven't read the premise, it's simple: Soviet Students going for an advanced hiking rating by climbing an ominously named peak (translated from Russian as 'Dead Mountain') in 1959. The hikers don't return and the subsequent search party discovered some odd details surrounding their camp site, the disposition of the hiker's bodies, and the paucity of any other evidence. Fast forward some 50 years when American documentary maker stumbles across the story and decides someone needs to investigate; why not him?
The book has two parts written intermittently: the mystery, retold by hikers' journals and those involved with the search, and the author's investigation. The latter concludes with the author's presumptive but somewhat convincing answer to the mystery. Although highly speculative, nothing else seems to make sense. However, there are points the author brings up during his investigation that aren't answered by his theory e.g., radiation found on clothes and exact similar reactions by each hiker to the stated cause.
A great, real-life mystery that may have finally given some closure to the families of the hikers, albeit 50 years after the fact. The narrator, also the author, gets only three stars for performance. Although I prefer non-fiction to be read by the author, it seems like Donnie didn't even bother to take a class on audio book presentation, rather he speaks throughout the book as if he's narrating a animal dissection for high school biology
I enjoyed this version of 'The Postman' slightly more than the movie; which I loved. I'm still baffled by the scorching the movie took by critics and movie-goers. But, to each his own. If you didn't like the movie, you probably won't like the book. However, even a modicum of enjoyment of the former will translate to, at minimum, a relishing in the subtle (and so so subtle) differences.
Written in an epistolary style, this book focuses on the individual survival of one man from the outset of epidemic symptoms across the globe. The first quarter of the book touches on geo-political responses to the crisis, of which not much information is available. The book was originally written in Spanish and the entirety of the plot takes place in Spain.
Although this is my first 'Zombie' book, I have watched almost every available movie and television series, so I'm not new to the genre. This book is a simple survival tale with zombies only being the point of conflict as opposed to the overall plot as in 'World War Z' or 'Walking Dead'.
The Narrator was excellent and I would definitely listen to him again. Only four stars for the story as it doesn't meet my 'mind blown' paradigm, but it was fun and there's some out of the box thinking that occurs.
Like most, I had not previously heard of Dr. Carson (despite his previous media fame) until the National Prayer Breakfast. This book is an answer to all of the questions that immediately sprung the following morning e.g., who is Ben Carson, why was he asked to speak, did he just challenge POTUS, what are his politics.
He answers all of these and more. Specifically the charge that he 'embarrassed' POTUS and needed to apologize. Also he addresses his mea culpa following the fallout of his 'lumping together homosexuality and bestiality', which was feigning ignorance to the sensitivity of the LGBT community with bestiality.
Most importantly, being a good doctor, he prescribes practices that will help alleviate the symptoms and, hopefully, the disease(s) plaguing this country, after every chapter.
I gave only 4 stars to the narrator's performance, but only because I had the expectation that the author would be reading. Prentice Onayemi's voice was actually powerful, yet comforting and I enjoyed it immensely.
Each chapter opens with scripture, mostly proverbs. So if you're offended by a belief in God or by His written word, you'll probably not like anything Dr. Carson says. However, even atheists will find comfort in his wisdom as he calls out extremists on both ends of the ideological spectrum. He calls for civility and perspective throughout the book and simply asks his readers to remember that we're children of God first and foremost.
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