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Torsten Will

Listener Since 2004

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 50 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • City of Dark Magic: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Magnus Flyte
    • Narrated By Natalie Gold
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (120)

    Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood. Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings?

    Tyler says: "So promising and yet..."
    "Not fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The sprinked-in sex is not at all neccessary, nor does it add to the story. It makes the characters more flat.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The relations to actual history, especially music, is novel and believable. The description of prague is great and makes one feel really there. The romance is boring, the bad-guy in the story too simple.


    What does Natalie Gold bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters are good and distinguishable, I really like the accents she manages to speak with.


    Could you see City of Dark Magic being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Well, Tom Hanks, if he were a woman -- it is sort of Da Vinci Codish...


    Any additional comments?

    The good guys are well drawn and get a character. The bad guys are a bit in contrast to that, more flat and a bit obvious. The story itself is build quite straight, too. The author lays out secrets in the beginning of the book and resolved them one by one in the end, more or less believable. Quite a straight story with few surprises.

    From the title I somehow expected a bit more fantasy-style, but it is not much so. The Magic in the title relates more to what I would call Mysticism.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Decisive Battles of World History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Gregory S. Aldrete
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (106)

    Throughout history, military engagements have altered the course of historical events. In these 36 dynamic lectures, Professor Aldrete leads you in discovering the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of events and defining our world. Across 4,000 years of history, you'll explore nearly 40 key military engagements, from the milestone battles of Western civilization to their counterparts in the Middle East, India, and Asia.

    Ken Mitchell says: "Excellent survey of decisive battles in history"
    "Told good, but not very good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Decisive Battles of World History in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, repetetive


    What did you like best about this story?

    The walk through many aspects of world history


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Professor Gregory S. Aldrete?

    Yes


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Battles that decided the history of the world


    Any additional comments?

    The author keeps a strict focus on the "decisiveness" of the battles he describes. For each one of them he argues why this was a decisive battle (and often, why not the other). He often embeds the battle in a larger history of the region, which is the most informative part. I am not especially interested in a blow-to-blow-description, so this is what the author does very good.
    There are two points I would criticize:
    a) Obviously, the author has most interest in western/christian culture. He tries to balance his choices, but the way describes the non-western battles seems a bit more "skimming", less deep.
    b) His pronunciation of (for him) foreign names is horrible. With his tries of german names I can tell best, but I recognize his difficulties with other languages as well. "Hashian" mercenaries in the American Civil War? Where is an "sh" in "Hessian"? The swedish occupied "Shleyswig Holstin"? The "ei" is in "Holstein", not in "Schlewsig". And so on.
    Is this nit-picky of me? Maybe it is, but for some reason I expected a historian for international things would be more interested in international pronunciation as well. This one seems not.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gil's All Fright Diner

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (320)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (248)

    Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the Diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren't planning to stick around-until Loretta, the eatery's owner, offers them $100 to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl's a vampire, this looks right up their alley.But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg.

    colleen says: "I loved it!"
    "Very good Characters, fine Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Gil's All Fright Diner again? Why?

    The characters are nicely drawn -- most are, at least. I would have fun getting to know them better.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The main adversary is a bit mono-dimensional. She could be improved. There are a few hyper-bombasic things in it that could be dialed down.


    Which character – as performed by Fred Berman – was your favorite?

    Duke. He es a a bit "the Dude" :-)


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The voice performance is really great. It makes me laugh, yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raising Steam

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (255)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (237)

    To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork - a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it’s soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

    Jacobus says: "It is like being bitten by a black ribbon vampire"
    "Pretchetty action, but only liitle news"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Another must-have for Diskworld and Ankh-Morpork fans, and its quite ok. Newcomers to Diskworkd should read at least Going Postal first, or maybe even Thud.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The development of the Diskworld, and Vetinary plays a bigger role.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Discussions between Havaloc and Moist


    Do you think Raising Steam needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    There is always another Diskworkd book needed. Always.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is not that surprising. It misses a bit of a surprising twist. But it has some funny and insightful moments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (5620)
    Performance
    (5096)
    Story
    (5109)

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "Not really original, but action-filled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, if you like action, the 30s and do not mind a bit of "borrowing" from other series.
    Especially this audio edition has a exceptionally good speak performer. The accents and different voices are very good (don't mind that the german sounds like french, I get the idea).


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    not surprising, but looking forward to the continuation


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The introduction of Jake Sullivan. His style makes me smile.


    Do you think Hard Magic needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It obviously is written as part of a series, so why not?


    Any additional comments?

    Except for the setting, which is good, there are many things "borrowed" from the X-Men especially. Except, here it is called "magic", there it is called "gift". The story-arc has amazingly lots of parallels...
    Nonetheless, told well, so no harm done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3375)
    Performance
    (2421)
    Story
    (2428)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "Excellent, deeply moving and truly educational."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    The detailed style got taught be a lot of things I did not know. A school's education of history could not prepare me for this level of detail -- nor can it being a german for over 40 years.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The authenticity, the reports (the author calls "objective")


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Does a good job, speaks clearly


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Deeply moving, authentic and objective


    Any additional comments?

    The author has written a truly remarkable book. It has only a few downsides, they are minor, but I will name them nonetheless. He calls his book "objective" and it is, because he is writing from first hand observation, collected reports and brings in other sources. But as a journalist he should know that using so many adjectives when describing people is not a good "objective style" ("the narrow-minded X", "the dull-witted Y", etc).
    I also have the feeling that the author falls into the same trap as the subjects he writes about when he talks about his opinion of germans, mainly in the prologue and epilogue. He simplifies and is prejudiced. The reduction of the german to "is used to obey commands since the middle ages (or was it the roman imperium?)" is ridiculous. In his prologue he is writing from a 1960s point of view and I could understand his hesitance towards germany at that time. But the epilogue written in the 1990s just after the Wiedervereinigung shows he did not change his view on germany as a whole -- that I found a bit unsettling, because I *know* germany as a country is *not* what it has been up to 1945. I speak as a german and -- I hope -- a world citizen.
    I wrote too long about this small issue: The book is still truly remarkable, educational and deeply, very deeply moving. I regret that it has had better critiques outside of germany then inside it. I find it should be mandatory reading in schools, especially german ones. Only not forgetting will make it never happen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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