A very exciting political thriller starring my favorite art restorer/assassin, Gabriel Allon. This story is narrated by a very fine actor by the name of Phil Gigante. Mr. Gigante has the formidable task of reading this book using voices for each character in many accents, including British, British gay, Israeli, Italian, Russian, Southern American, and four different women each with their own nationality accent. His superb rendition is very believable. It is probably a good idea to read Silva's book "Moscow Rules" first, as "The Defector" takes off from where the former ends.
I am listening to this recount of the trials and tribulations of the famous California wine family and their dysfunction. This is a true story culled from interviews with the principals and other verified sources by the author. It reads like a novel. We experience dramatic highs and lows, legal wranglings, adultery and betrayals. Unfortunately, the narrator for this recording was not good. He narrates the story as though it is his first read through with emphases and pauses in all the wrong places. He has a pleasant enough voice, but his inflections and voice modulations are the same for most of the phrases and sentences and is very distracting and annoying. The content is however worth it. My choice were I to do this again would be to skip the audiobook and read the book on my Kindle.
Leningrad is under siege and it's people suffer untold hardship and death. There is a massive food shortage, and most women and children and the elderly have escaped. Two unlikely comrades meet in the city's worst jail awaiting execution. One is a Jewish teenager who is the son of a semi-famous poet. He is charged with looting because he took Schnapps and a knife off of the body of a dead German paratrooper who happened to land in the street in front of the apartment building he was guarding. The other is the oversexed son of a Cossack who left his Red Army regiment to seek his carnal pleasure only to be picked up as a deserter. Awaiting certain death, they are approached by the highest Colonel who will spare their lives if they can do one thing. The Colonel's daughter is getting married in one week, and he needs one dozen eggs for the wedding cake. If they cannot provide the eggs, they will be executed. They take off and the adventure unfolds as they experience one horrendous war story after another. They hate each other in the beginning and create a bond as the story ends in incredible ironies. The descriptive writing is compelling and immerses the reader(listener) into the character's cold, dark, funny and horrible experience. I couldn't wait to get more. Ron Perlman dose a very fine job telling the story, and the short musical interludes at the end of each chapter drive up the production value.
Can anything ever be funny about a cadaver, or a corpse or a dead guy? This witty expose most certainly confirms the case. A very interesting read for medical people or the morbidly curious, but not for the faint of heart. There were times that as I read it I was getting tired of hearing about dead people, but the fascination drove me on.
A timely look into the life of a devoted, respected and often misunderstood Senator, politician, Father, Husband, Uncle, Brother and Son. I was engrossed through the entire listen. This book serves as a terrific study in modern American politics from 1930 to the present. His final chapters on his feelings about the Senate are thoughtful and engaging.
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