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Chris

Harrisonville, MO, USA | Member Since 2001

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 577 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Line of Fire: The Corps Series, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (265)

    While the bloody battle for control of the Solomons rages on, two Marines are trapped at a Coastwatcher station on tiny Buka Island. They are there to report on Japanese air activity, and their position is becoming increasingly perilous, even while their supplies are diminishing rapidly; if they are not rescued soon, they may never make it off the island.

    Stuart Fujisaki says: "In the Sweet spot of this Series....."
    "Typical Griffin, outstanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another outstanding book in one of Griffin's best series. Line of Fire grabs the listener almost immediately and portrays the heroism and humanity of great, if fallible characters who we can all relate to very well. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because of the numerous times some of the key characters seem to change middle initials from one book to the next. Probably not noticeable when reading the printed book but as a listener, particularly when listening to the books consecutively, these errors become somewhat glaring!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Joanne Whalley, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rosalyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2852)
    Performance
    (1197)
    Story
    (1210)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "Interesting but..."
    Overall

    The Historian managed to keep me interested, but just barely. At the time of this writing, I have only about 45 minutes remaining to listen to in the final part but I'm still considering abandoning it in order to begin listening to another title.

    It's not that it' a bad book, but the constant jumping from one character's perspective to another made it somewhat difficult to follow, especially when listened to in 40 minute blocks during my commute. I would begin each session trying to remember which character was speaking and how their narrative related to what I remembered from the previous session.

    Probably a very good read, but the narrative format made it difficult for listening.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys of Everest

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Clint Willis
    • Narrated By James Adams
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    This gripping story of courage, achievement, and heartbreaking loss tells of Bonington's Boys, a band of climbers who reinvented mountaineering during the three decades after Everest's first ascent. Chris Bonington's inner circle included a dozen of the most renowned climbers, who took increasingly terrible risks on now legendary expeditions to the world's most fearsome peaks, and paid an enormous price. Most of them died in the mountains, leaving behind the hardest question of all: was it worth it?

    Suzanne says: "Beautifully read by James Adams"
    "Compelling"
    Overall

    Facinating study of the evolution of the British Climbing establishment. Although the descriptions of some of Bonington's actual expeditions are certainly interesting, the real attraction of this book is the interaction between the key players and how their different, yet similar experiences on the highest peaks in the world shaped climbing and mountaineering into what it is today.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Jefferson and His Time, Volume 1: The Virginian

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Dumas Malone
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    This is the first volume of distinguished historian Dumas Malone's Pulitzer Prize-winning six-volume work on the life and times of Thomas Jefferson. Based on a myriad of sources, it covers Jefferson's ancestry, youth, education, and legal career; his marriage and the building of Monticello; the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the Notes on Virginia; his rich, fruitful legislative career; his highly controversial governorship; and his early services to the development of the West.

    Robert says: "thoroughly satisfying"
    "Truly epic"
    Overall

    Not a biography for those who don't bring a strong knowledge of the late 18th and early 19th centrury to the table, this six-volume series provides an insightful view of an amazingly complex man. As others have noted, the author does inject considerable opinion amongst the facts, but these are generally easy to identify and do not distract from the biography.

    Case in point: Malone spends some time attempting to debunk the rumors (at the time) of a Jefferson/Hemmings sexual relationship. Obviously, based on further research and scientific evidence brought forth in the waning years of the 20th century, his opinions on this topic were clearly incorrect. However, this is still a great work which gives the reader a full picture of breadth and depth of Jeffersons personal philosophies and details the political relationships which formed his views and actions.

    Well worth the investment of time and money for these volumes!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Assassination Vacation

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Conan O'Brien, Stephen King, Dave Eggers, and others
    Overall
    (2049)
    Performance
    (534)
    Story
    (526)

    Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

    Rachel says: "extremely entertaining and informative"
    "Interesting but frustrating"
    Overall

    I read many of the customer reviews prior to downloading this book so I was prepared for the "mousey" voice of the author/narrator and while it was a bit distracting at first, it didn't spoil the experience of what is a well researched and somewhat humorous book on a facinating, if not macabre topic. Unfortunately, the author's obviously biased political views and her tendancy to paint everyone who isn't a fairly left-leaning Liberal with the broad brush of being "misguided" I found to be tiresome. I don't recommend this one unless you are prepared to filter through the political opinions and personal beliefs to get to the interesting facts.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Adrenaline Series: High, Epic, and Rough Water

    • ABRIDGED (17 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Matt Dickinson, Sebastian Junger, Greg Child, and others
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    For fans of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and other T-type personalities, comes this collection of thrill-seeking adventures: Epic takes you to the world's most famous peaks, High confronts Everest and K2, and Rough Water brings you survival stories from the sea.

    Chris says: "Great read, but frustrating"
    "Great read, but frustrating"
    Overall

    All of the stories are facinating and appeal to those of us who, for whatever reason, are drawn to the outdoors and extreme adventure challenges. This book creates an interesting problem however in that all of the stories are snapshots of larger stories. In many cases, the storytellers do a tremendous job of painting the visual and emotional pictures of their struggles. However, because a snapshot by it's very definition is not the complete story, the listener is often left wanting to listen to the rest of the story to understand the final resolution. One assumes that since the author wrote the first-hand account, he or she survived the ordeal, but it's still difficult to find yourself fully engaged in the tale, only to then be left on the side of the mountain, or still sailing on the seas, when the story ends.

    If you love adventure writing in it's purest form, this is a great listen. But, if you want the full story including it's final resolution, you may want to pass on this one and read the individual books in their entirety.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By H. Paul Jeffers
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Today Grover Cleveland is mainly remembered as the only president to be elected to two non-consecutive terms. But in his day, Cleveland was a renowned reformer, an enemy of political machines who joined forces with Theodore Roosevelt to fight powerful party bosses, a moralist who vetoed bills he considered blatant raids on the Treasury, a vigorous defender of the Monroe Doctrine who resisted American imperialism.

    Chris says: "A Good Read"
    "A Good Read"
    Overall

    Not as in depth as Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton" or McCullogh's "John Adams", "An Honest President" is, nonetheless, a well-written and informative look into one of the less notable US presidents. The author does a good job of drawing a complete picture of the man and the events and major decisions which shaped his political views and which ultimately brought him both victory and defeat. Not an edge-of-the-seat novel but certainly worth a listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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