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  • The Last Kingdom: The Saxon Chronicles, Book 1

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Jamie Glover

    From Bernard Cornwell, the New York Times best-selling author whom the Washington Post calls "perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today", comes a saga of blood, rage, fidelity, and betrayal. In the 9th and 10th centuries, King Alfred and his heirs fought to secure the survival of the last outpost of Anglo-Saxon culture by battling the ferocious Vikings, whose invading warriors had already captured and occupied three of England's four kingdoms.

    Stephen says: "Great Historical Fiction!"
    "An Interesting Escape"

    The 9th century is brought to life in this book. The story revolves around a young noblemen who switches his allegiance back and forth between his native England and the invading Danes. Although a short book, it is packed with action and characters. The ancient names are a little tough to keep straight in the beginning, but the author gives you enough clues when he brings them in and out to keep them sorted out. The book has strong male and female characters living in a tough time. You will feel like you have an understanding of what it was like to live then and that there aren't always black and white, good guys and bad guys. I only wish it was longer.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
    "Selctive Scholarly Interpretation Made Flesh"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better conclusions and less authoritative

    What was most disappointing about Reza Aslan’s story?

    The author admits that there is only one non-biblical historical reference to Jesus and then he uses his research into the times surrounding Jesus' life to pick and choose from the New Testament the events that fit his thesis and considers them truth then calls the events that don't fit his ideas: invention, exaggerations, fabrications, lies and fairy tales. Reza references the few documents that have survived the centuries and considers them to be all he needs to judge what is truth and what is not. He does not consider that the people who wrote the Gospels had access to countless documents that have been lost to time as well as letters and first and second hand accounts from eye witnesses to the of events of Jesus' life. So he sits in judgment in 2013 and has the supreme wisdom to draw this conclusion and then call this event a fabrication. As a Muslim turned Christian and then disillusioned into who knows what today, the author decides to discount that there may be more to life than he can comprehend from his little office in 2013. His omnipotent tendencies to speak for "the majority of scholars" on this point or that point is very annoying. If he presented his ideas as possibilities based on his research, this book would be worth reading. But to listen to him chapter after chapter try to lay out his arguments by deciding these verses of the bible make sense to him and these do not, and then definitively saying here this is what happened and this did not is eventually too much to take. Pompous Ass is the only term that comes to mind by the end of the book. If you follow his tweets, you will see that the guy is a real jerk.

    What three words best describe Reza Aslan’s voice?

    Annoying, sneering, pompous

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Zealot?

    Most of his conclusions.

    8 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Ghostman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Roger Hobbs
    • Narrated By Jake Weber

    When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who's occasionally called Jack. While it's doubtful that anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he's still alive, he's in his mid-30s and lives completely off the grid, a criminal's criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with.

    Hassan says: "Authentic And Full of Action!!"
    "Everything you want in a criminal thriller."
    Where does Ghostman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 5%

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Ghostman, of course. He is flawed and criminal yet you can put yourself in his shoes and see things from his perspective.

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

    I enjoyed breaking it up into my commutes to absorb and think about it as I went along.

    Any additional comments?

    Great first novel. The book weaves 2 stories involving the same character at different times in a way that slowly lets you understand why the Ghostman is the person he is and why he is in his current situation. Like any good book, he teaches you a lot about the subject and makes you feel a part of the action. I listen to dozens of books a year and this is one of the best. I usually don't write reviews, but wanted to share this one with people who like criminal thrillers.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kinsey and Me: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established international icon and Sue, a number-one best-selling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past. Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator’s past.

    Jean says: "How did Grafton create Kinsey?"
    "Half Baked, Half Finished"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I would have liked to have had the short stories more complete. It seems like the book is made up of story ideas the author started and never finished. And that is how some of the short stories end, right in the middle of the story as if she never finished it, but sent it in to be included in this book. I thought there was a problem with my audio player. Did it just skip to the next story in the middle of the current one? I also expected more about the early life of Kinsey: her childhood, time in the police force, etc., But there was little of that. Also, I agree with other reviewers that the second part of book with stories about a character based on Sue Grafton's life were probably cathartic to her, but not very interesting to the reader.

    Has Kinsey and Me turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I still enjoy the whole Kinsey Millhone series and detective genre.

    Would you listen to another book narrated by Judy Kaye?

    Yes. The first 14 Kinsey Millhone books were read by another narrator, Mary Peiffer, who I really enjoyed. Then it took me awhile to get used to Judy Kaye. Especially when a book series is written in the first person, you get to know a narrator as the character and don't like changes. But Judy Kaye has now become Kinsey Millhone. The narrator could only read what she had to work with.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was an OK book to tide you over until the next full alphabet detective book by Sue Grafton.... W is for ???

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ball Four: The Final Pitch

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jim Bouton
    • Narrated By Jim Bouton

    When Ball Four was published in 1970, it created a firestorm. Bouton was called a Judas, a Benedict Arnold and a “social leper” for having violated the “sanctity of the clubhouse.” Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to force Bouton to sign a statement saying the book wasn’t true. Ballplayers, most of whom hadn’t read it, denounced the book. It was even banned by a few libraries. Almost everyone else, however, loved Ball Four.

    Dennis Anderson says: "Author's reading provides new insight into classic"
    "Best Author Read Book - about more than baseball"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ball Four to be better than the print version?

    You can't get the feeling that Jim Bouton puts into it with the printed edition. This is the best author read book I have ever listened to. It is like sitting around having a few beers with Jim Bouton and letting him tell you stories - about baseball, about his family and about his life. You will laugh out loud and cry along with Bouton, who does both as he reads his book. Nice to see someone who is not afraid to display real emotion. Only a Bowie Kuhn loving, myopic Yankee fan could still hate this book. The little editing miscues only add to the charm of the book. This is not a sterlie precise, English diction recording.... this is life at its rawest form.... real amd emotional. The people that complain about this would probably sit a ball game and sulk the whole time too.

    What other book might you compare Ball Four to and why?

    Ken Stabler's "Snake"

    Have you listened to any of Jim Bouton???s other performances before? How does this one compare?


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1: The Complete and Authoritative Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner

    The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. In celebration of this important milestone, here, for the first time, is Mark Twain’s uncensored autobiography, in its entirety, exactly as he left it. This major literary event offers the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain’s authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave, as he intended.

    Susan Holland says: "Not what I was expecting..."
    "100 years old but still fresh and current today"

    I am delightfully surprised at the humor and writing that is as fresh and readable (listenable) today as it was 100 years ago. Often a book that old is difficult to read and the phrasing is very different than books today. But the Autobiography of Mark Twain is so funny in many parts that you will laugh out loud (it is a rare book that can make you do that). It is not all humor. Many of the stories are tragic or dramatic. But they all have that flair and lightness that make them a true part of Mark Twain. The jumping around of topics is not disjointed but really makes the book enjoyable as you are not forced through the long narratives necessary to tie together good stories in a chronological autobiogrpahy. This is all of the good stuff without all of the filler. I can't wait for the next 2 volumes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mergers & Acquisitions

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Dana Vachon
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tommy Quinn has just landed the job of his dreams as an investment banker at J. S. Spenser, as well as the perfect girl, Frances Sloan, the daughter of one of New York's oldest moneyed families. As he travels from the most exclusive ballrooms to the stuffiest boardrooms, from the golf links to the bedrooms of Park Avenue - and from the debauched yacht of a Mexican billionaire to the Ritalin-strewn dorm room of his younger brother - he finds that the job and the girl are not what they once seemed.

    Kent M. Erickson says: "Stupid and unbelievable"
    "As shallow as his characters"

    If you are looking for a fast paced book about the world of finance... look elsewhere. If you are looking for a book that tries to show how shallow and unlikable the privledged are and then becomes that very goal itself, this is the book for you. Mergers and Acquisitions tries to be a cross between John Irving and Richard Heller, creating one "outrageous" character and scenario after another to try to entertain and shock the reader. Instead, you plow through a maze of forgettable and unlikable characters who you hope will become more interesting, but never do. If you feel like quitting on this book when you are about 1/2 through, but feel like you need to stick with it because it might all pull together in the end and be worth the time invested in listening to the book, go ahead and quit. It doesn't and it isn't.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • My Life, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Clinton
    • Narrated By Michael Beck

    President Bill Clinton's My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public. It is the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written, and a testament to the positive impact on America and on the world of his work and his ideals.

    Gary says: "New found respect for Clinton from a Republican"
    "New found respect for Clinton from a Republican"

    I can now see how Bill Clinton was so successful as President. He has the ability to persuade and make you like him, no matter what he does. He had a tough childhood that put a resolve and strength in him that made him a survivor. He married a woman who would push him farther than we would think possible. He made political hay out of her and turned Hillary into an asset rather than a political liability. He was the governor or a small backwoods state with little other experience and catapulted it into the Presidency through his sheer charm and willpower. Whether you like Clinton or not, he will come out as a different character when you get done reading this book. His revelations about Monica and his reasons (excuses) do not give much new insight into a possibly disastrous situation and he puts it into the context it belongs - as a minor failure by a man with an ego a little too big for his own good. He expands on his personal flogging and begging for forgiveness far more than the episode itself. It would have been interesting to know if there were any political deals struck with Hillary to help her endure this embarrassment, but I'm sure we will never know that whole story. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, you need to read this book. It will not only tell you about the man, but give you insight into the time we have all lived through.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Washington's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Hackett Fischer
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger

    This New York Times best seller is a thrilling account of one of the most pivotal moments in United States history. Six months after the Declaration of Independence, America was nearly defeated. Then on Christmas night, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to destroy the Hessians at Trenton. A week later Americans held off a counterattack, and in a brilliant tactical move, Washington crept behind the British army to win another victory. The momentum had reversed.

    William says: "Particularly Good Military History"
    "Washington's heroic decision saves our country!"

    When you order this book, don't get discouraged by the slow pace and tedious details the author uses in the first third of the book to set up the last 2/3 of the book. It will be worth your investment in time. The action picks up and keeps going strong. You won't believe how close we came to losing our whole revolution until one man, George Washington, took a desperate situation by the horns and changed the entire future of our country in this one week in our history. The interview with the author at the end is very interesting too, although you will be glad he didn't choose to read his own book. The narrator lays on the accents a little thick, but otherwise does a passable job. Invest a few hours in a story that is better than any fiction from around this time.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn

    Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise comes to life. The U.S. government pitted two companies - the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads - against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. As its peak the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, lived off buffalo, deer, and antelope.

    Judd Bagley says: "I really wanted to like this book."
    "An American Epic"

    Forget about the fictional accounts of the expansion into the Western United States. The real story is much more fascinating and inspiring. You will not believe what it took to build a transcontinental railroad across the unsettled West. The Great Railroad Race of the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific to lay the most track is one of the great engineering feats and contests of any century. Stephen Ambose again proves he is a master story teller and historian. He can combine the facts of the history with the stories of the people involved and weave it into a story that will keep you interested from beginnning to end. The reader is excellent as well, with a soothing voice that still displays the emotion and excitement of the situation. He also has the ability to perform several dialects without making them seem silly, as so often happpens with other readers. Explore some of the history of the United States in this epic American saga.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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