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Michael

Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

ratings
377
REVIEWS
176
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
21
HELPFUL VOTES
155

  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

    • HIGHLIGHTS (4 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By David Foster Wallace
    • Narrated By David Foster Wallace, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Cerveris, and others
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (70)

    David Foster Wallace made an art of taking readers into places no other writer even gets near. In his exuberantly acclaimed collection, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, he combines hilarity and an escalating disquiet in stories that astonish, entertain, and expand our ideas of the pleasures that fiction can afford.

    Mark says: "This is ABRIDGED"
    "Not an easy listen too"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Brief Interviews with Hideous Men?

    I thought this was going to be a comedy, or at least humous. Yes I did laugh in parts but mainly this book is confronting and done well to do so. I don't like this book, not because of anything technical like bad writing, but because it was a little raw in parts that made me feel, and perhaps things I didn't want to confront.


    Has Brief Interviews with Hideous Men turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. I have done a little with market research and found that it is next to useless where books like this can actually give you insight into the human psyche. I may not like being shown the ugly side of life, but I do feel better for being shown it, if that makes sense.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a good book, don't think that just because I didn't like it that you won't. I have explained my reasons for not liking the book and finding it useful. I think this is a book of interviews that you will have to make your own mind up on. David Foster Wallace is good, so I will be reading other works by him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Michael Dibdin
    • Narrated By Michael Kitchen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (27)

    Inspector Zen receives the order he has been dreading all his professional life: his next posting is to Sicily. Set against the backdrop of the 3000 year old city of Catania, Blood Rain reveals Aurelio Zen at his most desperate and driven.

    David says: "Be prepared for a rain of blood!"
    "A great piece of writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story seems to leave Zen and follow other characters. You get the feeling that Zen is a support character. Little stories are threaded into this story and are fascinating in themselves. Then everything turns on a dime. Zen is back in the centre of the story, and what is happening can only happen to him with his luck. This story ties up nicely with a great cliff hanger. Not my favourite of his books but close to the top of the list.
    Pity the next three books are not on Audible:
    1. And Then You Die
    2. Medusa
    3. Back to Bologna
    I'll have to go 'old school' and turn pages to find out what happens to our intrepid hero.
    Michael Dibdin has really developed a great story line and his writing has really become a dream to listen to. Michael Kitchen is superb in his narration and I can't wait to get on with the next instalment of an Aurelia Zen Myster 'And Then You Die'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert M Pirsig
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (25)

    One of the great novels of the 1970s and a multi-million copy best-seller. Against astonishing landscapes, a father and his troubled teenage son journey together by motorcycle from Minnesota to California through shifting climates and changing moods. Behind this literal journey lies a turbulent philosophical one; an attempt, in the face of despair and insanity, to rediscover the fundamental nature of ‘quality’ in a world where it no longer exists.

    Michael says: "Quality, excellence, truth"
    "Quality, excellence, truth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Be careful if you try to work out what these words mean you might end up mad. Well if you believe the story in this book. I suppose if you look at a speck long enough you could go mad trying to explain and work it out. This book is an excellent introduction to Zen philosophy. You will not become an expert and you will not be able to fix a motorbike after reading it but what ever you do this attitude the book discusses could be the determining factor between doing something and being something. Might also improve your golf game. The book like any good philosophy book opens more questions than it answers. Some of the book went over my head but I was listening to this book as an introduction and so should expect that. This is a great book for a journey as it parallels a motorbike journey across North America. If anything this book should open to your eyes to becoming a master of what every you wish to pursue. An attitude rather than just learning knowledge. I enjoyed the book and was a little lost after finishing it. I don't think I will ever read/listen to it again but will recommend it to some people who I think might benefit from some enlightenment. Michael Kramer did an excellent job narrating the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11579)
    Performance
    (10519)
    Story
    (10540)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Interesting, nicely paced, well developed story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book but I don't think it is as great as others have made it out to be. Characters are developed well and you start to like them, well all but Andrew, but there is a reason for that which comes clear in the climatic stage of the story. Back story is kept tight and motivations are not overly layered. Nice sic-fi thriller. The action is well described but nothing to 'knock your socks off with'. Ray Porter is an excellent narrator and Peter Clines I think will be writing some great stuff soon. Worth a listen to on a long flight.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Das Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Max Hastings
    • Narrated By Nigel Carrington
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Within days of the D-Day landings, the 'Das Reich' 2nd SS Panzer Division marched north through France to reinforce the front-line defenders of Hitler's Fortress Europe. Veterans of the bloodiest fighting of the Russian Front, 15,000 men with their tanks and artillery, they were hounded for every mile of their march by saboteurs of the Resistance and agents of the Allied Special Forces. Along their route they took reprisals so savage they will live forever in the chronicles of the most appalling atrocities of war.

    Michael says: "A case study of a Nazi Panzer Regiment France 1944"
    "A case study of a Nazi Panzer Regiment France 1944"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book to be a little like the TV sitcom 'Hallo Hallo' and a mix of clique Nazi behaviour and sometimes nothing new in behaviour of armies throughout history. Max Hastings asks these questions by the end of the book and although not excusing the Das Reich still shows that even the British Army is guilty of such behaviour at times if not on such a scale. Personally I don't believe international law has answered the question about irregulars, partisans, guerrillas and terrorists. One side has to play by the rules whilst the other seems to have carte blanche to carry on as they wish, as long as they are on the winning side. Max Hasting has decided to leave out some of the more dreadful details and un-collaborated evidence to keep the story flowing which helps to focus on the history. Das Reich was never going to win the hearts & minds of the French and their tactics of terror was used to effect throughout Europe especially in Russia, so what could you expect? As for the British and Allies. They really had no idea how to use the resistance properly, or what genie they had help to let out of the bottle. Nobody comes out of this story looking good. Perhaps the Americans but only due to their naivety. Like any soldier, when your enemy isn't in uniform, does not play by the rules and kills indiscriminately, everybody becomes the enemy. You tend to fight fire with fire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dakota Cipher

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By William Dietrich
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Ethan Gage, the hero of Napoleon's Pyramids and The Rosetta Key, just wants to enjoy the fruits of victory after helping Napoleon win the Battle of Marengo and end an undeclared naval war with the United States. But a foolish tryst with Bonaparte's married sister and the improbable schemes of a grizzled Norwegian named Magnus Bloodhammer soon send Ethan on a new treasure hunt on America's frontier that will have him dodging scheming aristocrats and hostile Indians.

    Michael says: "Not the best in the series but the best performed"
    "Not the best in the series but the best performed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    William Dietrich captures the large scale of North America in the early 19th century. His villains are ruthless indians and British nobleman + half sister. The sex scenes are not over done and possibly a little wishful thinking but it's fiction. William Dufris is excellent at performing the narration. He is the best thus far and even made the women sound realistic. Napoleon, well the last two narrators (Napoleon's Pyramids & Rosetta Key) made him more real, but lets not get picky.
    Good fun action book even though there is some slow parts and the end ties up too neatly for my liking. Meeting famous people makes it a little too Forest Gump or Flashman without the humour or twist of fate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Samurai the Way of Bushido: The Way of the Warrior

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Henry Epps
    • Narrated By Ellery Truesdell
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Samurai, usually referred to in Japanese as bushi or buke, were the military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany persons in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean 'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the pronunciation in Japanese changing to saburai."

    Michael says: "One more famous Samurai and it's Seppuku"
    "One more famous Samurai and it's Seppuku"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ellery Truesdell is robotic and plain boring reading this book. I thought it might introduce me to the Zen like qualities of a Samurai warrior. It is a history. There are better books even in the Audible library. Half the book is taken up with famous Samurai. This gets tedious very quickly. Henry Epps does do an excellent job in the last chapters concerning Kamikaze in the later faze of WWII.
    Not the best book but if you are making a study of this subject this book can't hurt, but could be missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Truman Capote
    • Narrated By Michael C. Hall
    Overall
    (1187)
    Performance
    (1086)
    Story
    (1094)

    Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's masterstroke about a young writer's charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the "American geisha" Holly Golightly. Holly - a World War II-era society girl in her late teens - survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist.

    Michael says: "Subtle yet Extravagant"
    "Nothing like the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nicely written, well performed and interesting. The movie; beside Audrey Hepburn - who considered the film not her best work - is a waste of time. Well the song 'Moon River' is a classic and so is the little black dress, with perks. I understand that Capote despised the film version.
    This book is good, not great but a nice light read, or listen to. I think we all know someone in our lifetime similar to Holly Golightly and perhaps have fallen in love with them a little. "Fred", I don't think we ever find out his real name - not important, is of course ourselves looking back on youthful drama. In Seinfield TV sitcom it is claimed that Fred was gay (fifth episode for the sixth season. It aired on October 27, 1994), but I never found this in this book. Once again doesn't matter but it would explain why Fred never really pursued Holly, of course in the movie Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard -Paul Varjak (Fred) get together, well we are lead to that conclusion, but the book is more real and probably just as innocent as the movie although real. Can't explain that one, listen to the book and enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Using Myth to Power Your Story

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Christopher Vogler
    • Narrated By Christopher Vogler
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    This delightful workshop covers how you can use the myths and fairy tales that link us all to give your story more oomph. Get ready to laugh while you learn, because the speaker is a natural storyteller and a witty observer of life. Whether you're creating a screenplay, a novel, a play, a computer game, a puppet show, or just an entry in your journal, your story will be richer, it will touch more people, and it will have more meaning and depth after you listen to Chris Vogler's talk.

    Charles says: "Use the Hero's 2 Journeys Instead"
    "Excellent lecture with good points"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Christopher Vogler breaks down his craft into easy to understand points and elaborates on them without causing any confusion or lack of fun. He is good and if you want to tell a story, then this lecture is worth listening to. My copy had a slight audio problem but the points got across nicely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Phantom Army of Alamein: How the Camouflage Unit and Operation Bertram Hoodwinked Rommel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Rick Stroud
    • Narrated By Steve West
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In 1940 a group of artists, sculptors, film makers, theatre designers and set painters came together to form the Camouflage Unit. Led by Major Geoffrey Barkas and including among their number the internationally renowned stage magician Jasper Maskelyne, the unit's projects became a crucial battlefield weapon.

    Michael says: "A Good History Book"
    "A Good History Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book tells the story of the British Army Camouflage Unit in the North African Campaign of the Second World War (1940-43). Surprising it is quite a page turner and does have great detail without being bogged down. If you are interested in the Second World War then this is a must, but if your thing is the North African Campaign with the 8th Army, Deutsch Africa Corps and lets not forget the Italians, then you need this book. Everybody gets a mention, South African Engineers, Australian Desert Rats, British HQ in Cairo or Rommel's adjutant. A good book worth the listen too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Law

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frédéric Bastiat
    • Narrated By Bernard Mayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    First published as a pamphlet in 1850 in response to the socialist-communist plans and ideas being adopted in France at that time, The Law remains equally relevant today, as the same ideas are now sweeping America.

    Michael says: "Interesting Essay"
    "Interesting Essay"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not knowing much about law, this book was one of my attempts to dive into the subject. My thinking is that it is an anti-socialist political commentary. The points are put forward well and I think anyone interested in politics should listen to this but read other books to get a well rounded view. All part of my plan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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