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Edward E McKenna


  • John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Evan Thomas
    • Narrated By Dan Cashman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    John Paul Jones is more than a great sea story. Jones is a character for the ages. John Adams called him the "most ambitious and intriguing officer in the American Navy." The renewed interest in the Founding Fathers reminds us of the great men who made this country, but John Paul Jones teaches us that it took fighters as well as thinkers, men driven by dreams of personal glory as well as high-minded principle to break free of the past and start a new world. Jones' spirit was classically American.

    Bruce says: "Swashbuckler or Saviour"
    "Local "baern" does good."

    While the naration is well (including various accents to distinguish the important players in Jones' life), the major problem is Jones himself. While there is little that can be said, or done, to diminish the single most important (and incredible) action that made Jones famous (exceptionally retold in this biography), it's the years following that make the story so disappointing.
    Alas, such is true, on some level or another, in all our lives, I'm afraid.
    Still, it is a good, and important, "read", especially when balancing his life's thread by the actions of other important "players" during the "War of Independence."
    Overall, I don't think you will be disappointed with this purchase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Holiday Classics by O. Henry

    • UNABRIDGED (51 mins)
    • By O. Henry
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Oliver Wyman, Jonathan Davis

    When it comes to the holidays, no story brings us back to the true spirit of giving like O. Henry’s classic "The Gift of the Magi". So this year we’ve asked some of your favorite Audible narrators—Audie Award winners Katherine Kellgren, Oliver Wyman, and Jonathan Davis—to bring to life this timeless tale, plus two more of O. Henry’s gems: "The Cop and the Anthem" and "The Last Leaf", in this holiday collection.

    Sherry says: "Thank You"
    "THank You, Audible, For This Special Gift."

    I'll have to admit that I was never one for the "Classics", but this freebie from Audible was truely an eye opener.
    Dear listener, if you have never read a story by O.Henry (Honestly I thought that just a candy bar) story, the 3rd story, "The Last Leaf", is so powerful a story, and Sooo Professionally Narrated that I quite literally cried for an hour.
    If you never heard this story I won't spoil it for you, But Please Listen To This One! You Won't Go Wrong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

    Amazon Customer says: "Holy Crap minus the Holy"
    "Always Get a Second Opinion."

    I'll have to admit first that my wife liked the book, but that's as far I'll go.
    The story read as if it were written as from a 16 year old's diary. And quite a boring diary at that. No matter how much "whips & dips, chains & chips" one could throw into this, more tepid than torrid, story, if you care little for the characters then the situation becomes completely pointless.
    I can't see how this novel has became such a literary tour de force, while just in the "reading" of this novel requires a literal "Tour de force" of the Reader!
    "Pedantic!", would be the best word I would use to describe this book. "Awful" the other.
    But if the subject matter is of such interest, as it seems to be going by various TV media outlets, then may I suggest Jean-Jacques Pauvert's "The Story of "O", and Anne Rice's (under the nom de plume A.N. Roquelaure) "The Claiming Of Sleeping Beauty." to wet the appetite, and perhaps stimulate the desire whilst kindling the slowly dying ambers of romance in a couple's relationship. I wish those on that path the best in their endeavors.
    Now as to "narration" ... Dreadful. The reading of a phone book would have been more enjoyable. I won't blame Becca Battoe for that. Any performance artist is only as good as the material provided. To blame the messenger for bad news is unfair.
    Clearly, this production could have been better suited with an addition of at least a second artist providing a voice of the male characters. Since it didn't it, this gives testimony to the uncaring cheapness of the production, and insults both the author and the reader alike.
    And that is the real crime to purchase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Michael Moore
    • Narrated By Michael Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This book is Moore's most personal to date - and will be irresistible to fans and foes alike. A sort of anti-memoir, Moore breaks the autobiographical mode while he hilariously presents 20 far-ranging, irreverant vignettes from his own life. This book is a wild, revealing, take-no-prisoners ride through the early life of Michael Moore. Alternately funny, eye-opening, and moving, this is a book Michael Moore has been writing - and living - for a very long time.

    Amazon Customer says: "So that's how he got that way"
    "And He can write, too?"

    "Well, Who da thunk it!"
    First,I will admit that I am a fan of the cinematic works of Mr. Moore, but this was quite an enjoyable "read." There are a few portions of the book that had me in tears (not the kind of thing one does riding the ol' #7 to Manhattan, but I dare you Not to be moved by the chapter when his mother passed).
    His "Story" reveals many disturbing aspects of living a "Vocal" life in America.
    Regrets, I'm sure he's had a few.
    "But too few to mention."
    An enjoyable "Read", But to those that are not "Fans" of the good Mr. Moore ....
    Would it kill you to listen to a differing opinion every so often?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"

    What a Fantastic life, captured superbly by an excellent historian, and narrated flawlessly. I can not recommend this book strongly enough! And what a rich telling of a what has to be America's First, Real, "Rags-to-Riches" story. This has to be THE American story, warts and all, taught to every student to get a "real feel" of what it was to live during the "Birth of the Nation" and Be the most creative force in the founding of government.
    I tip my hat to the narrator, who expertly coveyed every sweaty, gritty, painful and joyous moment of soul that comes but once in a nation's lifetime.
    Thank you, for a most enjoyable listen. Well, a second "listen" actually. I really did enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Audiobook): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jon Stewart
    • Narrated By Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac, and others

    Where do we come from? Who created us? Why are we here? These questions have puzzled us since the dawn of time, but when it became apparent to Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show that the world was about to end, they embarked on a massive mission to write a book that summed up the human race: What we looked like; what we accomplished; our achievements in society, government, religion, science, and culture - all in a lavishly produced audiobook.

    Lee says: "Good book, not great. But let me explain."
    "A "Back-Handed" Compliment from a fan."

    A "generous" 3 stars to this book (mostly because I'm a devoted fan).
    It's nice that added narrations are provided by other "Reporters" from the show, and Mr. Stewart's "narration" is as good as his nightly deadpan performance on "The Daily Show."
    If you're a fan of the show, you'll love it.
    If your a fan of Political Satire, you'll like it.
    But, I can't help but feel that this would have made a "Better Than Average" "Daily Show Special if given a slightly larger than normal budget.
    Still, I did enjoy and was very happy to find it was so very quickly made available to the membership.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jeff Shesol
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Beginning in 1935, in a series of devastating decisions, the Supreme Court's conservative majority left much of Franklin Roosevelt's agenda in ruins. The pillars of the New Deal fell in short succession. It was not just the New Deal but democracy itself that stood on trial. In February 1937, Roosevelt struck back with an audacious plan to expand the Court to fifteen justices - and to "pack" the new seats with liberals who shared his belief in a "living" Constitution.

    IRP says: "Excellent Book and Naration"

    During the "read" of "Supreme Power", I couldn't help but feel as if history was almost repeating itself.
    And It's amazing how many names associated with the FDR administration are found in later Presidencies, including the present!
    Truly, it's a crying shame, that knowing American history isn't a prerequisite to actually participating in Making American history.
    This is an excellent story, a real "page turner", with a flawless narration that adds to feel of holding history in your very own hands.
    Listen, read, feel - Whatever! - make this the one book you "do" if you're grappling with the issues over our Supreme Court and the demise of our democracy today.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "A Throughly Enjoyable Listen"

    I absolutely recommend this book.
    The story, the narrative, the grand sweep of a long bygone era (not so unlike ours today) left me wanting for more. At the end, I laughed, and I cried, and started a second "listen".
    My only peeve, was that their should have been a third narrator for the female characters of the story (but then that might have brought the narration up towards the "Radio Staging" level of audio-drama's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Benjamin Franklin

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Carl Van Doren
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen

    In this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Carl Van Doren incorporates materials from Franklin's letters, manuscripts, journals, and published works to give the most accurate and comprehensive portrait ever written of this great American.

    Edward E McKenna says: "A Daunting Listen, But...."
    "A Daunting Listen, But...."

    A daunting listen, but ... I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    I warn you dear listener, if you ever wanted to know about the life and times THE most important American ( and dare I say European? ) before, during, and after the Revolutionary War, this is the book you should start your journey to understanding with.
    But, the wealth of information is almost overwhelming ( at times, a bit tedious ), and at 35 hours, it's quite a challenge to fit into a working mans' schedule.
    Despite that ( minor ) negative point, I found Patrick Cullen's narration pleasant and engaging.
    Overall - if a true, comprehensive insight into the lives of the one, indisputably, most important men of the era, titled a "Founding Father", is what you seek, then THIS is the book ( and the man ) you should start with.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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