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Greg

Greg

North Alabama | Member Since 2010

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 351 titles in library
  • 57 purchased in 2014
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  • Liars & Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stephen Coonts
    • Narrated By Guerin Barry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (170)

    Tommy Carmellini is sent to post guard duty at a farmhouse in Virginia's remote Blue Ridge Mountains, where top government operatives are debriefing a star defector: the ultimate KGB insider, a man with records on every operation and every dirty trick the shadowy intelligence agency has ever run, from Lenin to Putin.

    Andrew Stone says: "Fast Paced - Good Read!"
    "This story doesn't stop!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Normally I have 3-4 Audible stories going at any given time; that is, I may listen to one story for awhile, then the next time I listen I may choose to listen to a different one. It's a little like channel surfing. But this story is different. It held me from start to finish, and it was fun throughout. It is one of those stories that, as you turn your listening device back on following an interruption, you say to yourself, "Oh, Boy!," and away you go as the roller coaster ride resumes. I did not listen to any other title until this story ended. (Vince Flynn novels also have this effect.) The narration is competent and transparent, which is as it should be.


    Any additional comments?

    Coonts started as a naval aviator, and wrote about what he knew, with his first hit, *Flight of the Intruder.* Who would have imagined then that he could write such a tight, excellent tale about a completely non-flying subject? Well, he can, and this novel is superb!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1515)
    Performance
    (1394)
    Story
    (1402)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "Compelling, because of its realism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Going Home?

    It is compelling! I typically have several unfinished Audible books "going" at once, and skip around in my listening. Until, that is, one of the books is so fascinating that I just have to see what happens next. This is one of those books about which, when you get a moment of freedom to resume listening, you say to yourself, "Oh boy!" as you turn it on.


    What other book might you compare Going Home to and why?

    James Wesley Rawles' books compare with these, and capture life under circumstances of WROL (Without Rule Of Law). Author D.J. Molles has a similar, better series, which I strongly recommend. But I best like this present book, and this Going Home series. Best characters, best scenario, best extrapolation of current events into WROL. This guy's writing seems the most real - most immediate. He spins a yarn that only slowly unveils what is going on. It is as if we are experiencing the lack of information that goes with WROL.


    What three words best describe Duke Fontaine’s performance?

    Duke Fontaine is Competent. Adequate. Suited for this kind of book. But he pauses only between chapters. Listening to him can be occasionally confusing.

    [ATTENTION NARRATORS: WHEN THE MATERIAL CONTAINS A BREAK, such as between settings, PLEASE PAUSE A FEW SECONDS!! As listeners, we don't get to see the written break at which you are looking. We are distracted as we listen by even the most no-brainer tasks, such as tending a garden, sweeping a floor, or driving a car. We need you to pause. That way you are warning us, "Okay, listener: Here comes a change!"]


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I feel a bit shaken. That's all I can say without spoiling.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent. Get this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Run: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (342)

    Five days ago a rash of bizarre murders swept the country. Senseless. Brutal. Seemingly unconnected. A cop walked into a nursing home and unloaded his weapons on elderly and staff alike. A mass of school shootings. Prison riots of unprecedented brutality. Mind-boggling acts of violence in every state. Four Days Ago the murders increased ten-fold. Three days ago the President addressed the nation and begged for calm and peace. Two days ago the killers began to mobilize. Yesterday all the power went out. Tonight....

    Jacqueline says: "Violent, Depressing, Mostly Sci Fi"
    "Escapist fare"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was 8.5 hours of decent, worthy story, but not the kind that I will long remember and tell others about. It's for those times when you are between great books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • If You Survive: From Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge to the End of World War II - One American Officer's Riveting True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By George Wilson
    • Narrated By Brian Keeler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    George Wilson has garnered much acclaim for this shattering and enlightening memoir. Detailing his odyssey from July, 1944 until the following summer, If You Survive is a startling first-person account of the final year of World War II. Wilson was the only man from his original company to finish the war. As a Second Lieutenant, he went ashore at Utah Beach after the D-Day invasion amidst burned vehicles, sunken landing craft, and broken fortifications.

    Greg says: "What was it like, Grandaddy?"
    "What was it like, Grandaddy?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to If You Survive the most enjoyable?

    Authenticity and clarity. You can tell by the level of detail that the author was very much there, and his clear telling lets you be there with him. This man is gifted at describing situations. You really do come away having an idea of "what it was like."


    What about Brian Keeler’s performance did you like?

    Keeler's voice sounds like that of an older man. It is easy to imagine that he is Wilson, that Wilson is my grandfather, and that I am listening to him tell me his war stories.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is easy to follow, with great balance and a natural flow: It includes emotion where appropriate, but generally it doesn't waste time with deep descriptions of the superfluous. Rather, it uses skillful, firsthand accounts of battles and tactics to "do the talking."Do get this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Battle: The Story of the Bulge

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Toland
    • Narrated By Dan Butler
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (102)

    Battle: The Story of the Bulge, John Toland's first work of military history, recounts the saga of beleaguered American troops as they resisted Hitler's deadly counter offensive in World War II's Battle of the Bulge - and turned it into an Allied victory. It is a gripping work, painstakingly researched and imbued with such vivid detail that listeners will feel as though they themselves witnessed these events. This is a book not to be missed by anyone interested in this tumultuous era of our world's history.

    Robert says: "Published only 14 years after the battle"
    "Do you like to follow battles using maps?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Great description of the battle.

    Besides the Audible edition, I also had Amazon send me the hardbound book, because I love to follow a battle on maps, and satellite views. The hardbound contained about five useful maps, which help a lot in the case of Bastogne, but not so much elsewhere.

    There is another factor for map followers: Location names. Internet map searches require properly-spelled location names, and you don't get that from Audible.

    I listened once through, then went on Amazon and bought the hardbound, plus a good map. Now I am ready to sit down and REALLY enjoy a second listen, while following along with maps!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Exoskeleton: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Shane Stadler
    • Narrated By Patrick Conn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (134)

    A convicted felon is given a choice following his sentencing: serve a 25-year conventional prison sentence...or spend 365 days in a new, experimental corrections program. He opts for the experimental program, only to realize he has made a horrible mistake. A dark tale of science spun dangerously out of control, Exoskeleton will leave even the most jaded of listeners quaking in their boots.

    Molly says: "Exoskeleton - now I get it"
    "Extreme Torture, plus a story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Exoskeleton: A Novel? What did you like least?

    I was surprised by the underlying story. There actually is some content there. It gets existential, and I learned something, which I cannot discuss farther, without spoiling the story.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Patrick Conn’s performances?

    Maybe.

    Mr. Conn reads better than I could, but not by much. Good readers "become transparent," allowing us to concentrate on the story. Not so much Mr. Conn. He effects multiple voices well enough, but the cadence of his voice is wrong, with pauses where speakers don't pause, and syllables drawn out that most persons say quickly. Perhaps cadence is a question of his talent.

    What is not about talent is the issue of his unforced errors, in the form of mispronounced words - a lot of them. They distract. ("Epitome" he pronounces "eppy-tohm"; "subtle" becomes "sub-tul"; "femur" comes out "fee-mure"; and so on). Is it too much to ask of a pro to bring proper pronunciations into the recording booth?

    I'll listen to another book he reads, but the story had better be outstanding.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Ed Viesturs, David Roberts
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (100)

    For 18 years, Ed Viesturs pursued climbing's holy grail: to stand atop the world's 14 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. But No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go.

    Hans says: "Some good, some bad"
    "Vicarious Immersion into this Rare World!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book, unabridged, is the primer and introduction for one who might want to lose oneself in this genre of books. High altitude mountaineering is grand drama, with killing cold, and with oxygen starvation that hobbles the brain and causes the body to consume itself. This is where storms appear out of nowhere, and simple injuries can become a death sentence, because help often is unavailable. Fiction is unnecessary because up here the true stories are incredible.

    Yes, Dr. Viesturs’ book uses the word “I” a lot: It’s an autobiography as well as an overview. Arguably the world’s best, the guy practices great safety discipline, and deals in facts. He also is a superb historian of the mountaineering culture, and he describes that community in a way that lets you decide whether or not to immerse further. I went for it. I listened to ALL the Viesturs books, plus several others. Exception: The superb *Himalyan Quest* book of full-page photographs. It puts things into perspective, and must be enjoyed in paper form.

    Look, we can’t all climb these mountains, but we can read, and watch movies and videos. This book is the primer. It fascinates while it gives you a taste. Then, if you choose to immerse as I did, you can enjoy scores of hours of wonderful entertainment, as you climb the world’s highest mountains in your armchair.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Catch the Sky: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Police Helicopter Pilot

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Darryl J. Kimball, Allan T. Duffin
    • Narrated By Michael Sears
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Catch the Sky is the first in-depth look at the life of a police helicopter pilot. Kimball pulls no punches, unfolding his nail-biting personal story in enthralling detail. From death-defying rescues to stories both bizarre and humorous, Catch the Sky puts you inside the helicopter cockpit for a breathtaking ride you'll never forget.

    Chris Craig says: "Good book but horrible sound editing."
    "A Nice 'Popcorn' Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, if my friend shared my curiosity about what it must be like to get to be the officer who flies the spiffy police helicopter overhead. It's a nicely told autobiography by one such officer, using very many descriptions of his experiences. You do come away with a feel for what it is like to do his job.


    What does Michael Sears bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Sears sounds just like a cop. His strong, clear voice matches my mental picture of the author. I disliked that he neglected to insert pauses between the author's anecdotes, but that's not a big deal.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No. Hey look, this is a "popcorn" book, in the way that a light movie is a "popcorn" movie - a place to kill some time. It's not Tolstoy. It's just good clean fun. I enjoyed it; I recommend it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4823)
    Performance
    (3336)
    Story
    (3371)

    Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

    Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

    Justin says: "Kinda boring, mostly tedious, and frustrating"
    "Series Deserves To Be Best-Seller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Lost Fleet: Dauntless rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Glad you asked! I've listened to over 200, and I place this series in my top ten percent. Excellent science fiction is also excellent fiction. This series is a study in the role of the use of force of personality in leadership. Rich in interpersonal situations, fleet combat tactics, decision making, and even puzzles and mysteries, yet easy to follow. Keeps you wanting more.


    What other book might you compare The Lost Fleet: Dauntless to and why?

    J. D. Molles' *The Remaining* series. Both follow a strong leader through a series of compellingly interesting situations, across several superb novels, and both are narrated by the best narrator of I have ever heard.


    What about Christian Rummel and Jack Campbell ’s performance did you like?

    Rummel is absolutely best narrator in the business. Nobody else comes close. He does a variety of BELIEVABLE female voices, a multitude of male voices, and accents, and every character's sound and style is consistent and recognizable across the whole series. His sense of pace and drama breathe life into dialogs that would fly by too quickly, if you were reading them with your eyes. If for no other reason, listen to this series to marvel at the artistry of Rummel's narrating. (I discovered this series by chance, while looking for more Rummel-narrated books, after having listened to *The Remaining.*)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Remaining

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By D. J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (1892)
    Performance
    (1776)
    Story
    (1783)

    In a steel-and-lead-encased bunker 20 feet below the basement level of his house, a soldier waits for his final orders. On the surface, a plague ravages the planet, infecting over 90% of the populace. The bacterium burrows through the brain, destroying all signs of humanity and leaving behind little more than base, prehistoric instincts. The infected turn into hyper-aggressive predators, with an insatiable desire to kill and feed. Someday soon, the soldier will have to open the hatch to his bunker, and step out into this new wasteland, to complete his mission....

    Mike Naka says: "top notch! highly recommended!"
    "Suspense!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Remaining again? Why?

    Excellent story and narration. Compels me to keep listening.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character, Lee, is the guy I'd like to be: Competent, but not perfect. Morally sound, but confused by overwhelming events.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Lee's initial exit, but I don't want to spoil things.


    Any additional comments?

    I roll through audible books, and have heard lots of narrators. This one is superb. He can effect lots of voices, including womens' and girls', and it's like listening to a play.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3396)
    Performance
    (2442)
    Story
    (2450)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "I only THOUGHT I understood WWII."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in three words, what would they be?

    Fly On Wall.The German leaders documented everything. Very many "private" meetings contained a stenographer, or witness, in order for their historic machinations to be recorded, enshrined, studied, and celebrated centuries later, with the war won and Europe re-formed. Shirer, beginning a decade after the war, spent years reading the enemy's meticulous records of meetings and interviewing persons who were there. HE was there, in a few cases.


    What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to and why?

    No other book so takes you into Hitler's inner sanctum, except Albert Speer's, and Speer wasn't privy to most of the strategy sessions that this book reveals.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    A year later I don't recall the narration getting in the way.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It's too long for that.It drags in a few places, but I let it run. The few such areas, mostly early in the book, set the table for the jaw-dropping passages. And very many times, listening, I felt a mental "chink," as my previous understanding of WWII suddenly solidified. Another puzzle piece falling into place - another insight gained, as I realized why things happened as they did.


    Any additional comments?

    You learn Why Hitler made the decisions he did. Why, for instance, with Europe well in hand, did he invade Russia? What was he THINKING? You will confidently understand the answer, after listening to this book. There will be many times when you will say to yourself, "So THAT'S it!" This is the glue that links other bits of WWII knowledge, and without it my knowledge of the war was incomplete. Over a year after listening, this book still resonates, and stands out among the scores and scores of Audiobooks I have listened to as arguably the very best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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