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Steve

Ventura, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 157 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • Fallen Giant: The Amazing Story of Hank Greenberg and the History of AIG

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ronald Shelp
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In Fallen Giant, author Ron Shelp - who worked within the AIG organization for more than a decade - sheds light on AIG, the company, and Hank Greenberg, the man. Through in-depth research, candid interviews, and firsthand experiences, Shelp provides a detailed look at how AIG was originally created and reveals how Greenberg's unrelenting drive to be the best may have led to his untimely departure from AIG.

    Steve says: "Poorly written and poorly narrated"
    "Poorly written and poorly narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It is not hard to believe that the authro is not a writter, but an ex-insurance executive. This story is disjointed and lacks any compelling pace. Additionally, the narrator voice is too sugary and lacks depth. The book does a good job of telling about CV Starr, Also, because it is the only book about Hank Greenburg, other than a book Mr. Greenburg wrote, it might be worth reading. Also, way too much about all the lawsuits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By S. C. Gwynne
    • Narrated By Cotter Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (52)

    General Stonewall Jackson was like no one anyone had ever seen. In April of 1862 he was merely another Confederate general with only a single battle credential in an army fighting in what seemed to be a losing cause. By middle June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western World. He had given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked: hope.

    Richard says: "A very good read"
    "Must read for anyone interested in the Civil War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent book that gives a vivid portrayal of Stonewall Jackson, one of the great generals in the Confederacy and perhaps in American history. Both as a military leader and as an individual, Stonewall Jackson was a remarkable character. The narration is also excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nelson Mandela
    • Narrated By Michael Boatman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (357)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (319)

    Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world.

    History says: "Surprisingly honest autobiography."
    "Excellent Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book was really worth reading. It was both educational and inspirational. I did not know much about Nelson Mandela and the conditions in South Africa before reading this book. Now I do and to read about the struggle Mandela went through to eliminate aparateid is truly amazing. Highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rattler One-Seven: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's War Story: North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Chuck Gross
    • Narrated By Gerry Burke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Rattler One-Seven puts you in the helicopter seat, to see the war in Vietnam through the eyes of an inexperienced pilot as he transforms himself into a seasoned combat veteran. Soon after the war, Gross wrote down his adventures, while his memory was still fresh with the events. Rattler One-Seven (his call sign) is written as he experienced it, using these notes along with letters written home to accurately preserve the mindset he had while in Vietnam.

    Rick says: "Good story. Mispronunciations distract and annoy"
    "Worth Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent and poignant description of what it was like to serve in combat in Vietnam, in this case as a helicopter pilot. The story is a reminder of the sacrifices made by our troops in that war, what it was like and the effect it had on them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Absolute Friends

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By John le Carré
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    By chance and not by choice, Ted Mundy, eternal striver, failed writer, and expatriate son of a British Army officer, used to be a spy. But that was in the good old Cold War days when a cinder-block wall divided Berlin and the enemy was easy to recognize.

    Ann says: "Le Carre has a point of view"
    "Confusing and hard to follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Normally, I do not like books read by the author. However, in this case, John LeCarre did an excellent job of narration. Unfortunately, I found the book itself to be confusing and difficult to follow, especially the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Robert K. Massie
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (625)
    Performance
    (512)
    Story
    (508)

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who traveled to Russia at fourteen and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.

    Elizabeth says: "Loved everyone minute!"
    "Worth Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Not as good as Peter the Great, but an interesting followup to that book and worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The AIG Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Maurice R. Greenberg, Lawrence A. Cunningham
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    A legendary CEO tells the inside story of building the world's largest insurance company—and the dramatic tale of its near-destruction after he left in early 2005, as successors transformed AIG and drove it to the center of the financial crisis of 2008. The AIG Story captures an impressive saga in business history—one of innovation, vision and leadership at a company that was nearly destroyed with a few strokes of governmental pens.

    PHIL says: "You might not agree with Mr. Greenberg ..."
    "Worth Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Even though this book is Hank Greenberg's highly biased version of his successes (all his endeavors were successful in this book) and endeavors (in which he was somehow always right and prescient), it is worth reading to get his side of the story and an insight into his organized, methodical, analytical, egotistical and assertive mindset. In spite of the bias, I do believe Greenberg was a remarkable CEO and AIG would not have imploded if he had not been unjustly kicked out.

    Unfortunately, the narration was very poor, with the narrator speaking in a sing-song voice and emphasizing the oddest words in the sentence. HIs voice imitations were sometimes LOL funny they were so ridiculous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O'Malley

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael D'Antonio
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Reviled in New York and beloved in Los Angeles, O'Malley is one of the most controversial owners in the history of American sports. He remade major league baseball and altered the course of history in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles when he moved the Dodgers to California. But while many New York critics attacked him, O'Malley looked to the future, declining to argue his case. As a result, fans across the nation have been unable to stop arguing about him - until now.

    HappyCustomer says: "Great Dodger History"
    "A must read for Dodger fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I found this book very interesting, both because Walter O'Malley is someone worth learning about because he accomplished remarkable things and because I am a Dodger fan and it was enjoyable to know more about their history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lords of the Sky: Fighter Pilots and Air Combat, from the Red Baron to the F-16

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Dan Hampton
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    The New York Times best-selling author of Viper Pilot and retired USAF F-16 legend Dan Hampton offers the first comprehensive popular history of combat aviation - a unique, entertaining, and action-packed look at the aces of the air and their machines, from the Red Baron and his triplane in World War I to today's technologically expert flying warriors in supersonic jets.

    Znapel says: "Great history, but ending goes off-topic"
    "Interesting, but very technical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you are very familiar with all types of airplanes, flying jargon, military anachronisms, flying formations and military terminology, you will like this book. If, like me, you are not so well versed in these things, you will find this book a slow read and a bit hard to follow. I would have preferred to see the author pick out a few key, milestone advances in fighter planes and to have developed those in detail rather than cover so many different types of planes and training evolutions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Anderson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (318)

    Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "The "Real" Story"
    "Worth Reading but Slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed reading this book because it gave me a much better understanding of the Middle East and the role T.E. Lawrence played there during WWI. However, it was a slow read rather than a page turner. It was also a little hard to follow all the characters. I thought the narrator did a good job. Would recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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