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Howie

History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.

Calgary, AB, Canada | Member Since 2007

ratings
106
REVIEWS
36
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
55

  • The Zimmermann Telegram

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (200)

    In the dark winter of 1917, as World War I was deadlocked, Britain knew that Europe could be saved only if the United States joined the war. But President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States.

    Mike From Mesa says: "US entry to World War I"
    "Very interesting and reads like a novel...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The intrigue of how the US ended up in WWI, despite Wilson's isolationist stance. Found it entertaining as well, read like spy fiction.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (401)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (367)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Tawney says: "A remarkable listening experience"
    "Great Listen, one of my favourites!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story and an era I really have a weakness for WWII, fiction in this case. Right up there with The Book Thief,imo. Hard to put down or turn off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Heist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (175)

    Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled listeners with 16 thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back - from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon - art restorer, assassin, spy - has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

    Brian says: "If new to Daniel Silva, great book. Otherwise..."
    "Too much rehash from previous books...but good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this is your first Allon book you'll enjoy it. If you have read the whole series, I'm tiring of the same stuff coming up book after book. Its good, exciting but getting to formulaic for me, think Silva is riding his coattails so to speak.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Gai-Jin: A Novel of Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (197)

    A sequel to Tai-pan, this is the sixth novel in Clavell's Asian saga and takes place in 1862. The gai-jin (foreigners) have arrived, intent on doing business with the Japanese. With laws against the use of the wheel in carriages or carts, the Japanese, their tradition-bound Emperor, and competing warlords detest the foreigners, who have ruined the Chinese with the Opium Wars.

    Caleb says: "Good, just not as good as the rest of Clavell"
    "A Clavell Epic, it's long, but worth it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyed this historical fiction, could see Hong Kong developing in my minds eye. The bitter rivalries and intrigue continue without getting old. Whats even better is the that I enjoyed the sequel to this "Noble House" even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Seventh Gate: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Zimler
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir, Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Berlin, 1932. Sophie is a smart and sexually precocious 14-year-old coming of age during Hitler's rise to power. Forced to lead a double life when her father and boyfriend become Nazi collaborators, she reserves her dreams of becoming an actress for her beloved elderly neighbor, Isaac Zarco, and his friends, most of whom are Jews working against the government in a secret group called the Ring. When a member is sent to Dachau, she realizes there must be a Nazi traitor in the group - but who?

    Howie says: "Great story, and I learned a lot!"
    "Great story, and I learned a lot!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Started slow for me, but characters are developed really well. Written in such a way that I felt immersed in the story and although long something I always enjoyed returning to. Excellent historical fiction and entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • King Rat

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (107)

    The time is World War II. The place is a brutal prison camp deep in Japanese-occupied territory. Here, within the seething mass of humanity, one man, an American corporal, seeks dominance over both captives and captors alike. His weapons are human courage, unblinking understanding of human weaknesses, and total willingness to exploit every opportunity to enlarge his power and corrupt or destroy anyone who stands in his path.

    John says: "King Rat"
    "One of my Favourite Books......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story and told well by a master IMO, James Clavell pens another classic. Highly recommend for anyone, especially those who like historical pieces.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2388)
    Performance
    (2203)
    Story
    (2203)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "Not usually my genre...but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked it nonetheless, good story well told, would recommend to anyone that doesn't usually listen to fantasy. Has a nice mix of historical fiction with life in the early 1900's in NYC.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7510)
    Performance
    (6890)
    Story
    (6895)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Enjoyed immensely...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great tale, felt I was involved in the story, great characters and got me hooked very quickly. For such a long book seemed to pass too quickly for me....Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Levanter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Eric Ambler
    • Narrated By Tim Bentinck
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Syria, 1970. Three years after the Six-Day War. Michael Howell is utterly apolitical and genetically programmed for survival, a Levantine of mixed origin with an Italian mistress and profitable business enterprises throughout the Middle East. Life is sweet for Howell until, one night in Damascus, he discovers that his factories have become the clandestine operations base for a fanatical terrorist organization dead set on destroying Israel. Suddenly, Howell is caught in the middle, with nowhere to run.

    Regina says: "Very clever, hard to get through"
    "Really Good, stick with it through the beginning.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For me it started rather confusingly and I thought I was getting it or misssing something. Maybe it was just me or I wasn't very attentive when I started it. It really gets going and is a good story that kept intrigued and making use of google maps to get my bearings.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Counterfeit Agent: A John Wells Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Alex Berenson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (339)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (304)

    In an Istanbul hotel, a deep source warns a CIA agent that Iran intends to kill a CIA station chief. Quickly, John Wells is called in to investigate, but before he can get far, the tip comes true. Which means that the next warning the source gives will be taken very seriously indeed. And it’s a big one. We’ve put a package on a ship from Dubai to the United States. A radioactive one. A bomb? Not yet. It’s a test run.

    Amazon Customer says: "What a disappointment!"
    "Ummm, somewhat disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Was expecting more it was alright but not great......love the genre and I'm somewhat fussy though.....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (475)

    International superstar Jussi Adler-Olsen, with more than fourteen million copies of his books sold worldwide, returns with the fourth book in his New York Times best-selling Department Q series, about a perplexing cold case with sinister modern-day consequences. In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her in her youth, including Curt Wad, a charismatic surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in 1950s Denmark.

    Charles Atkinson says: "It's a 5 Star Story of Revenge"
    "Dark mystery with humor, though twisted I luv it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    More Department Q, full of flawed characters like myself. Very interesting combination of mystery/thriller with elements humor. I refer to the series as a darker Danish Barney Miller. Looking forward to the next installment from Adler Olsen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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