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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
336
REVIEWS
144
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
14
HELPFUL VOTES
116

  • Officers and Gentlemen

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Evelyn Waugh
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In Men at Arms, the first book in the ‘Sword of Honour’ trilogy, we were introduced to Guy Crouchback. Catholic, 35-years-old and divorced, he saw the outbreak of World War II as the opportunity for glory and dedication. In Officers and Gentlemen we meet Guy again. He’s now attached to a commando unit undergoing training on the Hebridean Isle of Mugg where the whisky flows freely and H. M. Forces have to show the proper respect for the Laird.

    Michael says: "Could be my own biography"
    "Could be my own biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anyone who has had to go through the military would probably experience Guy's experiences even as Guy doesn't even know it is happening to him. He does a decent job with other pulling his strings or using him for no intense purpose. He is a good man yet the powers that be contrive to direct him away from his best interest. The characters he meets are wonderful and interesting but don't seem to help him, even if he isn't after a payback or help. The one time he does become rather selfish, he is at peace, but this is soon broken as he is pulled back into a world that flippantly ignores his needs. I laughed and sighed reading this book but best of all I loved it. Worth the listen to but not on its own, listen to it as part of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Tilar J J. Mazzeo
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    Bringing together the imaginative strategies of fiction storytelling and new ways of narrating true, real-life events, creative nonfiction is the fastest-growing part of the creative writing world. It's a cutting-edge genre that's reshaping how we write (and read) everything from biographies and memoirs to blogs and public speaking scripts to personal essays and magazine articles.

    Snowlady says: "Durable reference for aspiring writers"
    "The Professor knows her stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent course as an introduction to this genre. Professor Tilar J J. Mazzeo advice and knowledge is good. This course might seem long at 12 hours, but doing a lecture per day and acting on it is very helpful and easy to digest. Good stuff, worth every cent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • From Russia with Love (with interview)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Toby Stephens
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    James Bond is targeted for elimination by SMERSH, and the malevolent Colonel Rosa Klebb has set a trap in Istanbul. The bait is the Spektor decoding machine, to be delivered by the irresistible Tatiana Romanova. The assassin is Red Grant, a psychopath who has defected from the West. Bond and Tatiana become pawns in a game of cross and double cross that reaches its deadly finale on the Orient Express. Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Toby Stephens.

    Michael says: "Toby Stephens is the best narrator"
    "Toby Stephens is the best narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent story, great characterisation and beautifully brought to life by Toby Stephens. He is very good and the previous narrators did a good job, but Toby did it best. The interview at the end indicates he had fun doing the book and is a natural for narrating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2756)
    Performance
    (2616)
    Story
    (2619)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Not your average science fiction book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What an interesting book! Like the humour, like the characters and R.C. Bray did an excellent job narrating it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Bridge Too Far

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Cornelius Ryan
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (54)

    A Bridge Too Far is Cornelius Ryan’s masterly chronicle of the Battle of Arnhem, which marshaled the greatest armada of troop-carrying aircraft ever assembled and cost the Allies nearly twice as many casualties as D-day. In this compelling work of history, Ryan narrates the Allied effort to end the war in Europe in 1944 by dropping the combined airborne forces of the American and British armies behind German lines to capture the crucial bridge across the Rhine at Arnhem. Focusing on a vast cast of characters, Ryan brings to life one of the most ill-fated operations of the war.

    G. Swanson says: "Terrible Narration, Great Book"
    "Listen to the book, watch the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The movie is referred to as "A Hour Too Long" and it is a long film (3hrs). The book though brings clarity and if you wish to watch the film, I suggest listening to this book; before, after or during it does not matter. Spoiler alert, the cavalry doesn't quite make it. What you do get from this book is a clear understanding of what happen, what went wrong and possibly a good answer to the question of why. This is the 'boys own adventure' to battle and even if you are not into history, is a good yarn. Characters, action, sacrifice and morals are on every page. A damn good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Robert M. Edsel
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    As Hitler was attempting to conquer the western world, his armies were methodically pillaging the finest art in Europe, from Michelangelos to Vermeers, all stolen for the Führer. The Monuments Men had a mandate from President Roosevelt to find these artworks, but no vehicles, typewriters, or authority. In a race against time to save the world’s greatest cultural treasures from destruction at the hands of Nazi fanatics, each man constructed his own treasure map....

    Michael says: "Stuff that happen"
    "Stuff that happen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is a little dry. The book is creative historical non fiction being dressed up as a novel without much success. The Narrator Jeff Harding does an adequate job, however he is tied to the writing of Robert M. Edsel who failed to create real drama, plot or character. Based on fact and probably historically correct, it still lacks the charm of the movie and comes down to just a list of facts, dates, times and stuff that happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cabal: Aurelio Zen, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michael Dibdin
    • Narrated By Michael Kitchen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    When, one dark night in November, Prince Ludovico Ruspanti fell 150 feet to his death in the chapel at St. Peter's, Rome, there were a number of questions to be answered. Inspector Aurelio Zen finds that getting the answers isn't easy, as witness after witness is mysteriously silenced - by violent death. To crack the secret of the Vatican, Zen must penetrate the most secret place of all: the Cabal.

    Sandy says: "Just thinking about this story makes me smile"
    "This series just gets better and better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michael Dibdin's writing is tighter and so easy to listen to. In face Michael Kitchen is the best for this series. Not looking forward to the next book as I understand he does not do it. The Cabal is the best thus far and I was a little sad when it ended. Having PBD (Post Book Depression) isn't my idea of fun. I will get over it and get on with the next book. This story is so clever and interesting. Listen to this book or miss something you should of experienced in life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why Evil Exists

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Charles Mathewes
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Whether we view it in theological, philosophical, or psychological terms, evil remains both a deeply intriguing question and a crucially relevant global issue. Now, Professor Mathewes offers you a richly provocative and revealing encounter with the question of human evil - a dynamic inquiry into Western civilization's greatest thinking and insight on this critical subject.

    Niki Picone says: "Hard to start but easy to finish and enjoy again."
    "A subject we need to study"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listen to this book as I had just listen to "The Demonologis" - Written by: Gerald Brittle. I had also listen to Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" as well as countless books on WWII, Nazi's, government conspiracies and classic novels with villains and hero's in all guises. I wanted to know about evil. This book was an eye opener. Not because it put it in context and made me think about how us humans think and experience evil but it asked questions about evil that I never thought about. From Adam & Eve through to 911. The Holocaust, Pol Pot. Slavery, sin, lies, government sanctioned law and cultural considerations. These lectures are worth listening to. If you really want to get the benefit from these lectures, I suggest listen to one or two a week, but then do the back ground reading on the lecture to give you a more rounded and in-depth feel for the subject. You really need to engage this subject so also find a theologian, deep thinker and really get your teeth into it. These lectures are an excellent starting point. As we move into the 21 Century, I think this is a topic we need to really explore and debate. Well worth the time and money I spent on this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Napoleon's Pyramids

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By William Dietrich
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Ethan Gage, an expatriate American in post-revolutionary France, wins an ancient medallion in a card game. That same night, Ethan is framed for a prostitute’s murder and barely escapes France with his life. Faced with either prison or death, Gage is offered a third choice: to accompany Napoleon Bonaparte, as France sails to conquer Egypt. Once Gage arrives, he realises that the medallion may solve one of the greatest riddles of history – who built the Great Pyramids, and why.

    Michael says: "Indiana Jones in the age of Napoleon"
    "Indiana Jones in the age of Napoleon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay book but too many coincidences to make it believable. Napoleons and other historical characters seem to be accurate in personality. Basic mystery, action adventure and bad guys make this a nice easy book to listen too. Should of been edited down a little and needed one or two good twist to make it better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catholic School Girls

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By JoAnne Whisper
    • Narrated By Natalie Bernadette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    A tale of two lusty roommates at their Catholic finishing school. With Suzi as her teacher, the virgin Aimee gets an education in sex. Once she learns the exhilaration of masturbation, she can't stop. After a rousing first time with a man, Aimee wants even more, but when she can't get her new boyfriend to take her in the ass, she quickly turns to a male teacher at school who happily obliges.

    Michael says: "What was I thinking."
    "What was I thinking."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Foolish boy. This is boring, unimaginative dribble. Won't do that one again. Made it to the third chapter and then woke up and thought, what was I thinking buying this?
    If this is your cup of tea, fill your boots, but really you could do so much better. Best part of this book is the cover, nice ass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told about Genetics, Talent and IQ is Wrong

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Shenk
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (45)

    With irresistibly persuasive vigor, David Shenk debunks the long-standing notion of genetic giftedness, and presents dazzling new scientific research showing how greatness is in the reach of every individual. DNA does not make us who we are. Forget everything you think you know about genes, talent, and intelligence, he writes. In recent years, a mountain of scientific evidence has emerged suggesting a completely new paradigm: not talent scarcity, but latent talent abundance.

    Laura says: "A New View on Genius"
    "Possibilities"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel this book is only half done. The central argument seems to be that genes can be turned on and that outside factors and will power can make a genius. Does not go into physical limitations except to say that when a human sense is cut off, others compensate. Interesting to hear the truth about identical twins separated at birth. More showmanship than science. When it comes down to it, genius is a numbers game and if you stack the odds in your favour by doing what is needed to be a genius, you can beat the odds. Now I feel I have wasted my opportunities as I didn't know I could be great with a lot of hard work, determination, the right parents, country, culture, education, nutrition, opportunities and luck. See it is more than just your genes. This is a good science book worth listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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