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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
103
REVIEWS
34
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
48

  • Dark Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Alan Furst
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (43)

    May 1941. At four in the morning, a rust-streaked tramp freighter streams up the Tagus River to dock at the port of Lisbon. She is the Santa Rosa; she flies the flag of neutral Spain and is in Lisbon to load cork oak, tinned sardines, and drums of cooking oil bound for the Baltic port of Malmo. Only she is not the Santa Rosa, she is the Noordendam, a Dutch freighter that sails for the Intelligence Division of the British Royal Navy....

    Darwin8u says: "Mouches volantes through dark vision of history"
    "A bit different for Furst, merchant marine focused"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Enjoyed, Furst fans shouldn't be disappointed, another Noirish tale. Really like the narration.

    1 of 1 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
    (335)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (191)

    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
    (11)
    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
    (172)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (103)

    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
    (2276)
    Performance
    (2100)
    Story
    (2101)

    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
    (6954)
    Performance
    (6365)
    Story
    (6371)

    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
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    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.

    Howie says: "Really Good, stick with it through the beginning.."
    "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
    (325)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (294)

    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
    Overall
    (509)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (440)

    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
  • The Enemy: Victor the Assassin, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (172)

    Victor, a former assassin-for-hire, has joined forces with a CIA special unit. His first assignment: Three strangers. Three hits. Fast and clean. Victor's a natural for this.It should have been simple. But with each hit Victor is plunged deeper into an unimaginable conspiracy where no one, least of all the people he knows, can be trusted.With the stakes growing higher by the minute, Victor realizes he's been forced into playing a game he never expected. Because he's the next target. And there's no way out.

    Margo says: "Not as Fond of Book 2"
    "Think I found a Winner of a series....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Set in Bucharest to start, luv the settings used in these stories. Can't wait to wade into the rest of this series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Saints of the Shadow Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Ian Rankin
    • Narrated By James MacPherson
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller Ian Rankin returns with his gripping new Rebus novel. Unabridged edition featuring a bonus interview with Ian Rankin and James MacPherson. Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. A 30-year-old case is being reopened, and Rebus's team from back then is suspected of foul play. With Malcolm Fox as the investigating officer are the past and present about to collide in a shocking and murderous fashion?

    Howie says: "Narrator changed everything for me,"
    "Narrator changed everything for me,"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Couldn't get into it like previous editions.... OK but not great. Preferred previous narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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