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Steve

Van Nuys, CA, United States | Member Since 2001

162
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 217 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • The Last Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (566)
    Performance
    (273)
    Story
    (274)

    When John Rain, the Japanese/American "contract killer with a conscience" (Entertainment Weekly), learns that his former lover, Midori, has been raising their child in New York, he senses a chance for reconciliation, perhaps even for redemption.

    Angel says: "enjoyable"
    "A Great Ride, highly recommend"
    Overall

    just finished listening to all three books written by Barry Eisler, involving the assassin Rain. They all hold your attention from page one. You can’t wait to find out how the story gets resolved. And yet, you don’t want it to end, because you enjoy the ride so much.

    I do recommend reading the books in the order they were written. While it’s not crucial, there are story elements that are given away in the later books about the earlier ones. While it wouldn’t exactly spoil it, it would be better not to know anything before it happens.

    The order is: “Killing Rain,” then “The Last Assassin” and finally “Requiem for an Assassin.”

    It’s a different reader on the last one, Scott Brick. Though he’s excellent as usual, it took an hour or so to get used to, because Michael McConnohie’s reading brought the characters so vividly to life in his own way.

    I highly recommend these books for suspense, plot and characters. It’s hard to describe, but you are just highly interested the whole time, and you never think, “Why would they do that?” Very intelligent and well-crafted. This applies equally to all three books!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • American Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5258)
    Performance
    (2777)
    Story
    (2784)

    Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terrorists worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world . . . and then tragedy struck.

    Lesley says: "Flynn never disappoints"
    "4.5 stars. Did not disappoint."
    Overall

    Love all of Vince Flynn's books. He's my favorite author for this type of book. You don't want them to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway
    • Narrated By Peter Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (136)

    The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.

    Roger says: "Valuable scholarship, but not exactly literature"
    "worthy subject, but way too much detail."
    Overall

    I only got half way through. It's too bad, because I think the subject matter is extremely important and eye-opening. But for the first half, anyway, it just gets buried in the details. For the first time, I wished there had been an abridged version.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Gideon's War: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Howard Gordon
    • Narrated By Carlos Bernard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (59)

    GIDEON DAVIS, whose behind-the-scenes negotiating skills have earned him the role of peacemaker in conflicts around the globe, knows more about hush-hush discussions in Capitol corridors than he does about hand-to-hand combat. But his more practical, tactical skills come into play when he’s called on by family friend and government bigwig Earl Parker to chaperone a rogue agent from Southeast Asia to D.C. The agent, Tillman Davis, has promised to turn himself in— but only to his brother, Gideon.

    Thomas says: "Gordon might consider going back to Producing!"
    "Excellent. Not since Vince Flynn..."
    Overall

    I don't understand the bad reviews. (Many thrillers and mysteries start with promise, but I often get about 1/2 way to 3/4's through, and begin to realize that I'm no longer wondering what's going to happen next, or even curious how it will resolve. And then I stop listening. Admittedly, I have a short attention span. But I never don't finish a book by Vince Flynn or Barry Eisler. I've liked most of the John Connelly, and Joseph Finder books.) So if these authors ring a bell for you, you'll probably like this book as much as I did.
    ....It kept me involved from the beginning to the very last minute. It was interesting, suspenseful, and kept my attention (which isn't easy). Really enjoyed it. I look forward to the next work by Howard Gorden. He's on my short list. .....(Regarding the narrator, I was a little concerned, as was another reviewer, with Carlos Bernard's rather low key style, but he did do very well with some of the character voices, and I think overall, he did an excellent job bringing the book to life.)

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Assassins Gallery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By David L. Robbins
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    In 1945, a ruthless female assassin attempts to take down the ultimate target: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And an unlikely hero, Professor Mikhal Lammeck, may be the only one who can stop her.

    Vinny says: "Engaging"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall

    This was one my favorite listens in a long time. Just takes you into another time and place. It holds your interest from page one and never let's go of it. A great, and interesting thriller.

    Most highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Isikoff, David Corn
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (65)

    This fast-paced, behind-the-scenes narrative tells the inside story of how the Bush administration used bad intelligence to sell and then justify the Iraq war. Veteran reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn take the reader behind the scenes at the White House, the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department, and Congress, where controversial decisions and turf battles were fought in the highest circles of the Bush administration.

    Steve says: "Reads like a thriller"
    "Reads like a thriller"
    Overall

    This book is very well written and very disturbing. I wish that both conservatives and liberals would read this. But I think that people mostly read things they agree with.

    I was mostly, but not totally, against the war in Iraq, because at the time I didn't think Bush and his people were outright lying to us. So, one had to wonder.

    But after reading this, I am madder than ever. It seems that Bush wasn't just lying to us, but that he seems to have believed his own lies. Which is even scarier.

    This is a very disturbing, compelling, and well-researched book. And it holds your interest like a good work of fiction. It's a shame it's all true.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Dish: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3261)
    Performance
    (2400)
    Story
    (2398)

    Award-winning author Craig Johnson's critically acclaimed debut Western mystery takes listeners to the breathtaking mountains of Wyoming for a tale of cold-blooded vengeance. Four high-school boys were given suspended sentences for raping a Cheyenne girl. Now, two of the boys have been killed, and only Sheriff Walt Longmire can keep the other two safe.

    Dataman says: "Not Your Ordinary Western Novel (Series)"
    "Slow, very light on plot"
    Overall

    I have to disagree with most of the reviews of this book. If you like character studies, then you might like it. It's well written on that level.

    But there is almost no plot for more than the first two thirds of the book. By the time it started to kick in, I had lost interest. I actually never even listened to the last hour, and I've never wondered how it ended.

    George Guidall is usually one of my favorite readers. But though his voice was as rich and clear as always, I often found his character readings indistinguishable, and during two-way conversation, it was easy to lose track of who was talking. I often had to go back and start a section again. Mind you, I’m often doing something else while I listen. But I don’t normally have that problem.

    I found this to be a seemingly well-written book that started off interesting, slowed down to nothing but character studies, and inched its way slowly from there. Eventually, I was more restless and annoyed than anything else. But I like stories with plots. This book obviously worked for many people. But if you can relate to this review, maybe you’ll choose to not bother with this one.

    7 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By J. Maarten Troost
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (230)

    At age 26, Maarten Troost decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to a remote South Pacific island. The idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. But he should have known better.

    Elizabeth says: "HILARIOUS"
    "A fun and interesting read"
    Overall

    Very funny in an understated way. Enjoyed it and found it interesting. (Has nothing to do with sex or cannibals).

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Requiem for an Assassin: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (949)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (292)

    If you had to kill three people to save your best friend's life, would you do it? When John Rain decides to get out of the business, his hand is forced by rogue CIA operative Jim Hilger. Hilger kidnaps Dox, Rain's trusted partner and closest friend, and offers Rain a choice: carry out a final assignment, or bear the responsibility for Dox's murder.

    Matthew says: "An ear full and a mind full"
    "A Great Ride, highly recommend"
    Overall

    just finished listening to all three books written by Barry Eisler, involving the assassin Rain. They all hold your attention from page one. You can’t wait to find out how the story gets resolved. And yet, you don’t want it to end, because you enjoy the ride so much.

    I do recommend reading the books in the order they were written. While it’s not crucial, there are story elements that are given away in the later books about the earlier ones. While it wouldn’t exactly spoil it, it would be better not to know anything before it happens.

    The order is: “Killing Rain,” then “The Last Assassin” and finally “Requiem for an Assassin.”

    It’s a different reader on the last one, Scott Brick. Though he’s excellent as usual, it took an hour or so to get used to, because Michael McConnohie’s reading brought the characters so vividly to life in his own way.

    I highly recommend these books for suspense, plot and characters. It’s hard to describe, but you are just highly interested the whole time, and you never think, “Why would they do that?” Very intelligent and well-crafted. This applies equally to all three books!

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Vicious Circle: A Novel of Complicity

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    An Israeli government minister is assassinated in the home of his mistress. Days later, a Mossad officer leads his final raid, killing a Hamas leader in his bed and barely escaping with his life. The action moves into the near future, when world leaders, united under the leadership of a visionary female president of the United States, broker a major compromise between Israel and the Palestinian authority. Their hope is to snuff out the violent flashpoint that fuels global terrorism.

    Steve says: "Just can't get into it. (stopping at 5 hours)"
    "Just can't get into it. (stopping at 5 hours)"
    Overall

    I've listened to 5 out of the 12 hours, and I think I'm about to give up on this one. So far, I have not been interested almost at all.

    The only reason I listened this long was that I really liked the author's other book, "The Company." And "Vicious Circle" got very good reviews by readers on Amazon.

    Maybe this one gets better, but so far it's more of a Middle Eastern debate than a story. It's certainly not a “fun” spy novel, with a fast-moving plot.

    That said, it's not badly written. It's certainly intelligent. But I'm just not engaged.

    By the way, a lesser part of the book is written as so-called excerpts from a first-person taped interview of a U.S. official. I found it odd, because we only hear one side of this interview. The speaker pauses, and says things like, “That’s a good question…” But we never hear the questioner. So I kept wondering, how can this be a taped interview and we only hear one side of it? I just wasn’t sure what the author’s conceit was. I found these passages so awkward that I often cringed.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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