You no longer follow Acteon

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Acteon

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Acteon

Acteon

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2009

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 76 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 626 titles in library
  • 174 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (847)
    Performance
    (487)
    Story
    (489)

    In The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan put the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl at the center of a rich history, told through characters he brought to indelible life. Now he performs the same alchemy with The Big Burn, the largest-ever forest fire in America, a tragedy that cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy.

    P. Bergh says: "A fascinating history of early Forest Service"
    "Terrific"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Big Burn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Pretty high, though I've listened to many good ones


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gifford Pinchot, one of the truly great men in U.S. history but about whom I knew nothing. Teddy Roosevelt, who this book made me realize was one of America's very best presidents.
    Ed Pulaski, a hero whom the U.S. government treated with shameful shabbiness (as it did other forest rangers).


    What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

    He was great (I don't say this often). You felt as if you were there at the great fire of 1900.


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

    Yes. I was very moved by foresight and public spirit of Pinchot and Roosevelt, and equally disgusted by the likes of mean-minded Senator Weldon Heyburn and the rapacious William A. Clark.


    Any additional comments?

    This book vividly describes a very important episode in U.S. history whose significance is not often recognized.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Eri Hotta
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (71)

    When Japan attacked the United States in 1941, argues Eri Hotta, its leaders, in large part, understood they were entering a conflict they were bound to lose. Availing herself of rarely consulted material, Hotta poses essential questions overlooked by historians in the seventy years since: Why did these men - military men, civilian politicians, diplomats, the emperor - put their country and its citizens in harm's way? Why did they make a decision that was doomed from the start?

    Jean says: "Japanese viewpoint"
    "Informative addition to historical understanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Japan 1941 again? Why?

    Perhaps, to refresh my memory.


    What other book might you compare Japan 1941 to and why?

    John Tolland 'Rising Sun'; Max Hastings: 'Retribution'


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This book provides valuable insight into the seemingly irrational way the Japanese behaved during World War II. For a non-Japanese, it is truly mind-boggling to learn how inefficient decision-making was in the Japanese government, and how this disastrous inefficiency was ingrained in Japanese culture and even language. It incidentally sheds much light on Japanese behavior today in various situations both political and personal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Knights of Bushido: A History of Japanese War Crimes During World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Lord Russell of Liverpool
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    The war crimes trials at Nuremberg and Tokyo meted out the Allies' official justice; Lord Russell of Liverpool's sensational bestselling books on the Axis' war crimes decided the public's opinion. The Knights of Bushido, Russell's shocking account of Japanese brutality in the Pacific in World War II, describes how the noble founding principles of the Empire of Japan were perverted by the military into a systematic campaign of torture, murder, starvation, rape, and destruction. Notorious incidents like the Nanking Massacre and the Bataan Death March emerge as merely part of a pattern of human rights abuses. Undoubtedly formidable soldiers, the Japanese were terrible conquerors. Their conduct in the Pacific is a harrowing example of the doctrine of mutual destruction carried to the extreme, and begs the question of what is acceptable—and unacceptable—in total war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not for the faint of heart"
    "Grim but important to know"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Knights of Bushido again? Why?

    Probably not, as much of it is ghastly: once one is familiar with the contents, it seems a bit pointless to go through the horrors a second time.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Excellent. However, Japanese names are often not pronounced correctly, but this is not a major problem.


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

    Yes, it distressed me to learn about so many men behaving so horribly.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the essential moral issues anyone living after 1945 has to face is how masses of people could behave so brutishly, and in in the name of some ideal. The barbarism shown by German, Japanese and Russian military during World War II was not the wayward behavior of a few psychopaths or deviants but a systematic descent into almost unthinkable evil on the part of huge numbers of people deliberately incited by a few, and this in the name of some ideology. In each of these three cases, it came about in a unique way, and it is important and interesting to understand the particular elements at play. And in each instance, it is the perpetrators that are themselves the primary victims — the Japanese even more directly than others, since Japanese recruits were deliberatly brutalized (beaten and humiliated) to take away their humanity and turn them into instruments of brutality.

    I take this occasion to recommend the most enlightening book I know on the problem of evil : Barbara Oakley's 2007 book 'Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries' worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict. The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future.

    Christopher says: "Biggest Challenge for US in Next 50 Years"
    "Informative and worthwhile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Asia's Cauldron in three words, what would they be?

    Informative, stimulating, important subject


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It's fine


    Any additional comments?

    I learned a lot about a part of the world that is much more important than I had imagined. I recommend it to anyone interested in what is going on in the world today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look inside North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jang Jin-sung
    • Narrated By Daniel York
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (180)

    As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.

    David says: "Stop browsing and get this Book"
    "Fascinating, informative, and suspenseful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Dear Leader rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the very best


    Have you listened to any of Daniel York’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but this one is terrific.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a fantastic exposé of North Korea, a country that embodies Orwell's 1984 in a way that is terrifying and so extreme as to seem "unbelievable". This book conveys the sense of what it is to live under such a regime, and is extraordinarily informative in its vivid presentation. It is also a wonderful depiction of deep personal experience and could stand as a literary work of fiction, which alas it is not. And it is as exciting as any mystery or spy novel I've ever read. I simply could not put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Wendy Lower
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    Wendy Lower's stunning account of the role of German women on the Eastern Front - not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers - powerfully revises history. Many young nurses, teachers, secretaries, and wives saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of "Wild East" of opportunity, yet they could not have imagined what they would do there. Hitler's Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs using evidence hidden for seventy years: Women can be just as brutal as men.

    Douglas says: "As Someone Who Has Read Much..."
    "Well worth listening to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Hitler's Furies again? Why?

    In part. To refresh my memory.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It focus on a very important aspect of what is surely one of the most horrific and therefore must-confront phenomenon in history: the Nazi attempt at world-domination and genocide. Women form half the population, and to understand their role in this is essential.According to Robert & Ruth Kempner's study "Women in Nazi Germany", cited by the author, German women were fanatical supporters who had been integrated into all aspects of the government..." They estimated 7 million indoctrinated, and that 600,000 were still dangerous at the end of the war because they were politically active and indoctrinators. But despite the alarming data they compiled, "crimal investigators and denazification courts ...concluded that women in the white-collar state machinery were not threats to postwar German society."

    The author writes: "at least half a million women witnessed and contributed to the operations and terror of a genocidal war in the eastern territories. The Nazi regime mobilized a generation of young females revolutionaries who were conditioned to accept violence, to incite it, and to commit it, in defense of or as an assertion of Germany's superiority."

    I would recommend buying the Kindle (or a paper) version to supplement the audiobook, as there are copious notes that are often of interest. These notes take up 40% of the Kindle edition and contain a plethora of references. The book is also useful for a better understanding of foreign names, often difficult to seize by ear even when correctly pronounced.


    Have you listened to any of Suzanne Toren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. She reads well, and on the whole pronounces German words correctly.


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

    Annette Schücking frustrating attempts to get courts to pursue war criminals.

    When a German woman is executed for giving food and succor to Jewish victims.


    Any additional comments?

    The one reservation I have is that the author does not take into account recent research on psychopaths. Modern equipment allows an objective definition of psychopath as someone whose brain does not respond to certain types of stimuli and therefore is physiologically incapable of feelings that are the emotional underpinnings of morality. This research, unavailable to Nürnberg judges and to earlier historians and psychologists, must surely change the way we look at perpetrators of atrocities and our approach to society and moral order in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country's Most Controversial Cover-Ups

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Richard Belzer, David Wayne
    • Narrated By Richard Belzer, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, and others
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    Dead Wrong is a study of the scientific and forensic facts of four assassinations of the 1960s (President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black Panther leader Fred Hampton), as well as an examination of new and incriminating evidence indicative of murder, not suicide, in the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, White House Counsel Vincent Foster, U.N. Weapons Inspector Dr. David C. Kelly and bioweapons expert Frank Olson.

    Thomas says: "This Book is "DEAD ON""
    "Great content, poorly written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, but with a warning that it is terribly repetitive. Other reviewers have pointed this out, but until I listened myself, I did not believe it could be that bad. The content however is of such great interest that I recommend it nonetheless.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Reveals many things that are important to know.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tudors

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By G. J. Meyer
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (112)

    For the first time in decades, here, in a single volume, is a fresh look at the fabled Tudor dynasty, comprising some of the most enigmatic figures ever to rule a country. Acclaimed historian G. J. Meyer reveals the flesh-and-bone reality in all its wild excess.

    Linda Lou says: "OUTSTANDING!"
    "Best book I know on the Tudors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Tudors in three words, what would they be?

    Illuminating, insightful, enriching


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is the overall the best account (by far) I've read/heard on the Tudors. By providing a good deal of background information that puts the events and personages in a meaningful historical perspective, it leads us to a deeper as well as broader understanding of the era and of the players, and revises our vision.


    Which character – as performed by Robin Sachs – was your favorite?

    Dudley, whom I used to see as more foolish and rash.


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    One thing that comes through clearly in this book is how much the glamorous view of the Tudors was deliberately created through propaganda. And how great a difference there is between how Henry and Elizabeth wanted to see themselves and how they were. Some reviewers here object to the author "hating" Elizabeth. This seems to me off the mark. Our sympathy or antipathy to people of the past come from what we know of them, and to the extent that we learn more, our feelings change: we have no personal relationship with them and cannot know them except through books and documents. If what we've read has helped us develop strong feelings toward one or another, it is all to the good if other books come along to correct our illusions It does not seem to me that the author is in any way prejudiced against Henry or Elizabeth: in presenting many repulsive aspects of their behaviour that shatter the idealistic visions one might have had, Meyer is only drawing us closer to an objective and realistic appreciation.

    I was struck by Meyer's brief evocation of Pope Alexander VI in this book as a monster: this is the received view that he would overturn in his next book 'The Borgias'. This would appear to illustrate his open-minded attitude toward historical inquiry, although one could more cynically take it as interested exploitation of contrarian views (an interpretation utterly refuted by the outstanding quality of his books, foremost perhaps his outstanding account of World War I).

    The more I learn of history, the more I realize that famous people of the past are often not what they have been made out to be. And each time we revise our view of someone or something, we gain insight not only into that particular subject but into humanity itself. This is why history is of such passionate interest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Timothy Brook
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    A Vermeer painting shows a military officer in a Dutch sitting room, talking to a laughing girl. In another canvas, fruit spills from a blue-and-white porcelain bowl. Familiar images that captivate us with their beauty--but as Timothy Brook shows us, these intimate pictures actually give us a remarkable view of an expanding world.

    Acteon says: "A wonderful book"
    "A wonderful book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Vermeer's Hat to be better than the print version?

    For me, yes; reading is more strenuous for me than listening, and I can listen while walking and doing all sorts of things, as well as lying in bed with my eyes closed.


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Hillgartner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. He is a fine reader. He is energetic and seems interested. The pronunciation of Chinese names is poor but I suppose it is too much to expect readers to learn the pinyin system (but then, why not?). European names are for the most part well pronounced.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book for everyone who loves Vermeer, and a great starting point for those not yet familiar with his paintings. It draws together things in a fascinating way (among others, the rise and fall of Dutch painting, the decisive role South American silver played in the fate of Europe and China, the rivalry between different European countries and how it played out at sea, the story of tobacco in Europe and Asia, the use and fabrication of porcelain in Europe, Chinese vs. European cartography ). I listened to the book almost in one sitting... in any case in one day. Didn't want to stop. By the way, do not be put off by the lack of illustrations. The Vermeer paintings are so well known that their images can easily be found (of course you will then have to go and see the paintings themselves, which is something to look forward to in itself).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Borgias: The Hidden History

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By G. J. Meyer
    • Narrated By Enn Reitel
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (85)

    The startling truth behind one of the most notorious dynasties in history is revealed in a remarkable new account by the acclaimed author of The Tudors and A World Undone. Sweeping aside the gossip, slander, and distortion that have shrouded the Borgias for centuries, G. J. Meyer offers an unprecedented portrait of the infamous Renaissance family and their storied milieu.

    Cinders says: "Marvelous !"
    "Terrific book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Borgias in three words, what would they be?

    Enlightening, exhilarating, stimulating


    Have you listened to any of Enn Reitel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but he does an good job. Most of the foreign names are pronounced correctly, but some of the Italian names are mispronounced (putting the accent on the right syllable can be tricky).


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Some of the more negative reviewers seem to want more romance, but this book is a historical account, and though it cannot but be of interest to anyone who acquainted with the TV series or with other works of fiction, its greatest appeal is to those of us who have a real interest in history rather than in historical fiction. I find it hard to understand the criticism. The author takes great pains in reviewing all available sources, as well as in explaining what previous writers on the subject failed to do, yet some complain that there is "not enough" on the Borgias, or that the book represents but one view among others.

    I found the book particularly worthwhile because it made me understand better Renaissance Italy (on which I had read quite a few books) and the nature of the papacy (I had already listened to a couple of books on the papacy but this one gave me a better perception of some aspects).

    It is of course also wonderful to to see Alexander VI and Lucretia in a new light. Despite his faults and failings, Alexander was clearly among the better popes of the period, and if there were such a thing as Hell, he would surely be among the minority of popes to escape it.This book also made me wonder what others especially in the more distant past (when records were scant and much is based on hearsay) have had their reputation destroyed by calumny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral - and How It Changed the American West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jeff Guinn
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (165)

    For the first time ever, the full story of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - not only what really happened but why, and how mythology has led us to completely misinterpret the real history of the frontier. Combining cinematic storytelling with prodigious research, The Last Gunfight upends conventional wisdom about what the West was really like, who the Earps and Doc Holliday really were, and what actually happened in Tombstone on that cold day in October 1881.

    K. says: "Better Than Advertised - An Important story"
    "Well worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Last Gunfight?

    That it gives a good idea of what actually went on in Tombstone and by extension in the old west.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Virgil Earp, Wyatt's elder brother, who seemed a good man, the kind that one imagines as lawman: strong, level-headed, reliable.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Hoye – was your favorite?

    Josephine -- she isn't really a favourite character but she is pretty impressive, especially in her transformation into Wyatt's steadfast wife.


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

    When Virgil Earp got killed: he deserved better.


    Any additional comments?

    It is really interesting to get perspective on the myths of the wild west that have been so important in the second half of the twentieth century (I had not realized that it started so late).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.