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G. Swanson

los angeles | Member Since 2009

  • 9 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 540 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • A Bridge Too Far

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Cornelius Ryan
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer

    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.

    Michael says: "Great story much better than the movie"
    "Terrible Narration, Great Book"
    What didn’t you like about Clive Chafer’s performance?


    Any additional comments?

    It's like watching a bad British Film Strip. Monotone and lack of any entertainment value in the reading. The book is great

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Wool: Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Amanda Sayle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Post-apocalyptic life in a silo"
    "Good Book, Horrible Narration"
    Would you try another book from Hugh Howey and/or Amanda Sayle?

    Hugh Howey maybe, Amanda Sayle never

    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Interesting perception on pot apocalypse that contains people, instead of leaves them out on their own. Least interesting is it's complexity. It is rather simple writing and pretty straight forward

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    horrible character voices, didn't emote to follow writer's direction. I may have loved this book with a good narrator, instead I found it to be simple good and middle of the road

    Could you see Wool being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It could be an awesome TV show if done in a Walking Dead style. But it will probably be a crappy movie with some potential tween idols

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "Excellent (Considering written in 1960)"

    It is a story written by a journalist who actually lived and experienced the Third Reich from the ground up. This journalist actually saw the rising powers and had first hand interaction with many of Reich members. In addition, this also includes snippets and interpretations from first hand interviews with several leaders of the Reich who were captured after the war and facing trails as war criminals. The first hand experience gives it an honesty of what these experiences felt like not only to those in command, but also to those in the streets following.

    There are many reviews that state in the decades since many documents have surfaced and several different forms of research and facts have become available which paint a different story. Documents that discount certain "facts" of this book. But you can't discount first had experience of this story. That is why I find this book an excellent read, it tells you how people felt and how they experienced the Third Reich. On a personal note, I also think that many times information that surfaces right away is usually the most honest because nobody had time to review it ahead of time, or alter it in any way.

    I will agree though that the author at times is objective, but many times the author is trying to appear objective but his feelings on the subject shine through in the undertones. For example he describes certain members of the Reich as stupid, short and fat, etc. These all may be true, but many times these descriptions have no relevance to the story, or he provides no evidence to support his description of the person (ie. what had he done to classify him as stupid?). But I feel this adds the the personal feel of the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Talisman

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs)
    • By Stephen King, Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On a brisk autumn day, a 13-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: His father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America - and into another realm. One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery.

    Swad says: "Still Good"
    "Ups and Downs"

    The book is a rather classic tale of a young boy who is nearly an orphan who finds out his life and parents are not what he thought, but actually a magical world where things are not as they seem. He experiences life in this world as a young boy forced to be a man, posing as a runaway. Funny enough another book I read recently "The Lost Gate" seems to be a second hand version of this story. Expect that book was rather awful.

    I am almost done with the first part of the book (3 parts) and I have had many times where it went slower than a turtle, and other parts where I just sort of tuned out and 20 minutes later realized I had not been paying attention. Then it picks up in other areas at other times. Normally I love Stephen King, but I don't particularly care for this novel so far. But as I mentioned it has portions that do pick up and get rather good, unfortunately there are too many low points that break it up.

    But I have to agree with many reviews and say the reading really is distracting. The constant raspy and dragging phrasing becomes annoying. I won't say you "get used to it" like most people, but I would say "you learn to tolerate it"

    If you want my opinion, it's not worth the credit (or money). If you want a wonderful Stephen King book buy The Shining, or The Stand, The Shawshank Redemption, or The Green Mile. This is not nearly one of his better works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Gate: Mithermages, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different - and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an "outself"....

    joshua says: "Card doing what he does best."
    "Not Impressed"

    I'm about 1/4 of the way through and bored to death. My best way to describe it is a "Walmart version of Harry Potter". I am 32 and it could be I am a bit to old for this writing style, I am not sure. Normally I love fantasy and science fiction (like Harry Potter) but this audiobook has been very disappointing. I am going to finish it though and update this review.

    10 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Great Read, Not Complicated but very Intruiging"

    I am a 32 year old male and I listen to about 2-3 audiobooks a month. Based on the title and basic plot of this book, I thought I wouldn't care for it. But luckily I read the reviews and noticed several other men thought the book was great. I am glad I downloaded this book, because it is a great read! The fact that all the characters are women does not mean a man will not be able to relate. The story is told from a woman's viewpoint, but this is NOT a sappy "chick flick" book.

    The core of the novel is about the race struggles between whites and blacks in the 1960's. The book lays out the relationships between "The Help" and family that employs them. It describes situations such as how the Help will raise their children, but the black population is viewed as being diseased and therefore separate toilets for blacks are built outside the houses they work in. The novel makes you feel like it takes place post Civil War in the 1860's. Then to stab you with reality, the author talks about Vietnam, or the JFK Assignation, or some other event that dates these events and makes you realize this was only 30-40 years ago.

    Unlike most of the other reviewers, I dislike the method of reading they chose. Instead of 1 good reader, they have different good readers narrate different sections of the book. The problem with this is each reader has a different voice for the same character. So it starts to bother me. Now let me be clear and say this SHOULD NOT stop you from listening to this book. I just personally disagree with the other reviews on this matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.

    David says: "irritatingly engrossing"
    "Quick and Easy Review"

    You could say the first book is a primer to the second & third. These books are a 'spin-off' of a small, but dramatic, portion of the first book. Additionally, the second and third books are like one long novel split into 2 parts. I must admit I was hoping for certain relationships to continue and form new complex situations. Instead the secondary characters from the first novel become more awkward than relevant and eventually they fade out of the story. This is why I give it 4 stars and not 5. Outside of that, I found it to be an excellent read. I did find it interesting that the book titles reference the girl, while the first and second book primarily focus on the journalist. But the 3rd book really ties it all together in a wonderful way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Very entertaining but a bit lengthy"

    The reader is excellent, the book is wonderful. I had to rewind time after time because the writing is so witty and so satirical you need to listen to certain monologues or conversations several times to get the underlying humor behind the insanity. To put a tangible comparison, this novel is like M*A*S*H but about 100 times crazier.

    The only issue I had is that it is a very long reading, so you need to dedicate some time to this one. And the complicated dialogue can take it's toll on your mind after hours and hours of listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moby Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By Duncan Carse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Moby-Dick by Herman Melville is a classic of American and world literature. Written in 1851, this is the incredible story of the crazed captain Ahab who, consumed by his desire for revenge, drives his crew to scour the oceans of the world for the fearsome white whale, Moby Dick. It soon becomes clear that Ahab will stop at nothing and is prepared to risk everything, his ship, his crew members, and his own life. Herman Melville (1819 - 1891) was an American novelist short story writer, essayist and poet.

    JAY says: "THANK YOU..."

    It isn't the book or the reader, it is the length of the reading. Normally I enjoy the Unabridged versions but this was a very tough one. This is the only audio book I couldn't finish. As mentioned, usually I am a stickler for the Unabridged, but in this case I would highly recommend the Abridged version!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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