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Tom

Mission Viejo, CA, USA | Member Since 2005

37
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 176 ratings
  • 493 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Joaquin "Jack" Garcia, Michael Levin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    At six-foot-four-inches and 375 pounds, Jack Garcia looked the part of a mobster, and he played his part so perfectly that his Mafia bosses never suspected he was an undercover agent for the FBI. "Big Jack Falcone," as he was known inside La Cosa Nostra, learned all the inside dirt about the Gambino organized crime syndicate and its illegal activities---from extortion and loan-sharking to assault and murder.

    Frank says: "Great Book!"
    "I crave an "everything pizza" now."
    Overall

    "Hey Jackie boy, you're really something."
    I saw Joaquin Garcia interviewed on "60 Minutes" and knew I just had to read his book to see if he really was as ballzy as he appeared in the interview. He definitely was.
    This is an exciting and most interesting memoir by a guy who really knows the la cosa nostra up close. I can't imagine how a person could have the guts and gall to do what he did, and for such a long time. But, I'm not sure that his anger at his FBI higher-ups is well-founded though, since he probably would have continued until some one ratted on him and he was done in by the mob.

    I'm sure he also misses the free meals, drinks, partying and close calls that accompanied the great undercover work that he did. It's obvious that he really loved his job and knew that he did it better than anyone else could possibly have done.

    This was a great read and the narrator was unbelievably authentic. I still feel that it was Jack Falcone himself telling the story.

    I'd like to see Garcia in the movies. I think he'd have a great presence on the screen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Dangerous Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2537)
    Performance
    (1223)
    Story
    (1240)

    In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.

    Rebecca says: "Predictable Fun"
    "mixed review, a net disappointment for a Follett"
    Overall

    I'm a real Follett fan, but I ran tepid and cool on this one. The turn-off for me was all the emphasis on bosoms and sex, crying and tears, women and men, page after page, chapter after chapter, ad nauseum (and I'm a boob man, too). A real soap opera.

    Other than that, it was ok with interesting twists and turns although the overall plot was somewhat pedestrian, predictable and quite unbelievable. Descriptions of 19th century London with its brothels, mistresses and royal parties seemed authentic and it gave me a much better feel for the British class system and how it worked. The hierarchy of royal titles and how they are obtained was interesting, too.

    Also on the positive side, there were some events depicted and resolved (if a bit tritely) that accurately parallel the horrible financial situation that we're presently experiencing. There's an interesting twist at the end, too.

    But, oh yes, this is a book review of a thriller. Not too thrilling, but I did finish it.

    The reader was excellent. He altered his voice nicely to represent individual characters, and maintained it throughout the book. This made following the sometimes intricate plot a bit easier.

    I'm glad I bought it, but probably wouldn't again.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (521)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (181)

    It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat: smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book.

    Charles says: "Great book, lousy abridgment"
    "I was hoping for much more!"
    Overall

    The subject matter of this book intrigued me, so I bought it. This abridged version was awful. It totally lacked flow. The random jumping around from situation to situation and from one time period to another and from one location to another without any bridging narrative left me totally bewildered and disappointed.
    The author does have artistic talent and paints wonderful word descriptions of just about everything.
    I think that if I had the opportunity to listen to an unabridged version, my rating would be considerably higher.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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