This is a real gem. Julia Sweeney manages to be extremeley funny while talking about her own journey of spiritual and religious discovery. She conveys more insights and fundamental truths in just over two hours than most of the other "popular" atheist/agnostic tomes out there that are many times longer. Unlike many of those other books, she is able to do it without being depressing, disrespectful, or taking herself too seriously. I have listened to it twice already and will likely listen again.
If the subject matter and approach of this book looks interesting to you, then I encourage you to get it. You will not be disappointed!
First off, I am a huge Bernard Cornwell fan. I have read/listened to all the Sharpe books, the Copperhead books, Winter King series, and many others. But for some reason 1356 seemed uninspired, especially compared with Agincourt, which I just re-listened to in anticipation of this book. Very similar eras, but character development, social history, and a compelling storyline all seemed better in Agincourt. And the narrator for 1356 didn't seem well suited to the role. His English accent was nice, but he sounded congested much of the time and I had a hard time distinguishing between the characters.
Bottom line - if you like the Grail Quest series and want to see how Thomas of Hookton has progressed, you should give it a listen. Looking for a great medieval historical novel? Check out Agincourt and give 1356 a pass.
This book is a series of short stories that take place in timelines around those featured in the novels. While not required, I think these stories are best enjoyed once you have finished all the main novels. There are some "spoilers" in the short stories when the characters refer to events that happened at the conclusions of the different novels.
Even though the book consists of stand-alone stories, there is some context-setting at the beginning of each that explains when/where each one takes place.
Each story is substantial enough to be enjoyed in its own right. It actually felt similar to a regular Joe Ledger novel since those tend to be a series of action-packed episodes back to back anyway.
To me, it was every bit as enjoyable as any of the other novels, which means it was a rocking 5-star listen.
And there is an awesome bonus story at the end. An interview between Jonathan Maberry (the author) and Ray Porter (the narrator). It offers really terrific insight into how Ray goes about preparing for and recording the novels. It is also clear that Jonathan is as big a Ray Porter fan as I am! Worth the price of a credit all by itself. Enjoy!
I have listened to dozens of "courses" from the Teaching Company over the years and this is one of the best. It was done a while ago but it still very worthwhile. What a treat to be able to listen to it via Audible. Professor Childers is an excellent lecturer and great storyteller who has an infectious enthusiasm for his subject. It is titled "a Military and Social History" but know if that it is about 80% military and 20% social. I wish there would have been more social or political context but I wouldn't have traded any of the military side - they should have just added additional lectures and I would have been quite happy.
Prof. Childers does a remarkable job telling the story of this literally global catastrophe that is very easy to follow. It is hard to imagine a traditional book brought to audio that could accomplish the same feat.
This was my first teaching company lecture series I ever listened to (over 10 years ago) and at that time I had only a cursory understanding of WWII. In the intervening years I have been an enthusiastic student of all things WWII and have read at least 15 books on various aspects of the conflict and visited numerous sites/monuments. So I can honestly say the lecture will be equally enjoyable whether you are new to the subject or you are familiar with it. Prepare for time well spent.
I am probably in the minority that hadn't seen the movie prior to listening to the audiobook. But I did like the audiobook so much I then sat down and watched the movie. It is remarkable how closely the movie adhered to the book - but as with all great books it is hard for any movie to compare with one's imagination properly inspired.
The book was very enjoyable and the performance was very well done. Women's voices weren't that great, but there are relatively few female characters in the story and it was certainly good enough.
The book also fills in so many (unavoidable) holes in the movie I can't imagine any Godfather movie fan not thoroughly enjoying revisiting their favorite mafia family again.
Absolutely. It was a remarkable story brought to life by an amazing narrator. It seemed at the same time unhurried but relentless. This must be listened to after "Winds of War" so together it is a 100+ hour commitment, but it was tremendous. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about WWII and I learned a great deal about the conflict through that most ancient of human skills: storytelling. I look forward to listening to it again.
The way the narrative shifted between the different viewpoints - from a "God's Eye" view of the progress of the war to the more myopic German perspective to the personal American and Jewish experience. In hindsight it really is the only way to tell such a grand and terrible story.
His command of accents and cadence is amazing. He was always clear and easy to understand but it really put you in the thick of the action.
Listen to this book. It is well worth your time. In this age where we are losing 1000's of WWII vets every day this is perhaps one of the best ways to connect to that time.
The Passage was a great read and to me they felt like some of Stephen King's longer works. There is certainly a horror-ish element to it and some fairly intense action sequences, but at the same time it feels unhurried and Scott Brick's terrific narration adds to that feeling. There is a pretty diverse and wide cast of characters but most of them add nicely to the story's mosaic - sometimes in surprising ways.
Do note that there are jumps in both timeline and perspective of the storyteller (including a couple of alternate narrators) but it works out well, adds to the story, and is not hard to follow.
Overall I found the story every exciting and unpredictable and I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a great read. Yep, there may be "vampire-ish" elements to it, but they are much more Stephen King than Stephanie Meyer.
This is actually my second time through the book (in preparation to enjoy the sequel, The Twelve). I loved it the first time but I think the second time may have been better as you can see how seemingly innocuous events early in the story really play out. Enjoy!
I thoroughly loved this book. I don't normally seek out these "true-life adventures" but the other reviews were so positive that I decided to give it a try. It was absolutely tremendous. It was so unbelievable that no one would even think of putting half of the things that happened into a novel. I literally spent every night during the time period I was listening to this book reflecting about the trials and tribulations of the men of the Endurance and wondering how I would do in similar circumstances. It was a profoundly emotional experience with this book.
The writing is quite good and the narrator keeps the story moving along while keeping the "you are there" sense of the book.
I highly recommend this book.
I was looking forward to this book quite a bit. I love a good series and one focusing on clever wise-cracking criminals could be great (Ocean's 11 anyone?) and it had really great reviews.
AND this is the first of a long series and it was written back in 1970, so you have to give it some slack. But not this much slack. The dialog was inane and repetitive and the "capers" weren't even all that great. I think if you read this many years ago (or saw the movie) there would be some fun revisiting it in audio form, but coming in new I didn't have that basis so I just took it on its own terms. Even though the book was pretty short it seemed much longer to me (but to be fair, I did want to see how it turned out).
Bottom line is that if you have fond memories of the book or the movie from decades ago you will probably love it. If not, maybe skip ahead to some of the more recent books in the series and see what you find.
I loved this book. I listen to a lot of audio books and only a few have me eagerly anticipating my commute so I could continue the story and this was one of them. It moves along briskly. The story is fun, a bit scary, and the characters are interesting and actually evolve as the plot progresses. It is self-aware but still makes you cheer for the heroes. I really enjoyed how the spookiness and intensity grew chapter by chapter by chapter. I kept thinking this would make a great movie, but given how often movies utterly fail at depicting the right mood I think I will have to be satisfied with the book. Enjoy!
I am a long-time Stephen King fan and generally love his longer books (I would have been very happy if The Stand, It, and even the Dark Tower series could have all been longer). I hate abridged books and only ever get them if I really want to "read" the book and there isn't an unabridged alternative. Despite both points, this book really could have been 40% shorter and not have lost anything in the translation. It seems much longer than it needs to because the descriptive passages drag on until they seem more like creative writing exercises than adding to the tapestry of the narrative, and, as other reviewers have noted, characters seem to say the same point over and over again - we get it after the 3rd or 4th time!
Ironically, even with the dragging out of most scenes, I was still left wanting to learn more about other areas of the book that didn't seem sufficiently explored - e.g. more background on the "Territories" and how it really did intersect with our world.
Even though I thought about stopping 5 or 6 times, I finished it and was rewarded with a thoroughly predictable ending. It wasn't bad, necessarily, just about average, which is OK but not what I look for in Stephen King (maybe it was Peter Straub's influence? No idea)
One of the saving graces to me was the narration of Frank Muller. I know other reviewers have knocked the narration but I really liked it and his ability to have distinct voices for all the characters kept the book going for me.
So if you are a Stephen King fan and want to experience all his works, then go ahead by all means - it is still better than most books out there today. Just don't compare it to King's top books and you will be just fine.
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