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William R. Toddmancillas

Chico, California United States | Member Since 2014

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 205 titles in library
  • 111 purchased in 2014
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  • Law and Disorder: The Legendary FBI Profiler’s Relentless Pursuit of Justice

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John Douglas, Mark Olshaker
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    For 25 years, John E. Douglas worked for the FBI, where had a brilliant and terrifying career getting inside the minds of notorious killers. Written with Mark Olshaker, Law and Disorder is Douglas’ most provocative and personal book yet. In it, he addresses every law enforcement professional’s worst nightmare: those cases where, for one reason or another, justice was delayed - or denied.

    andrea says: "Informative...And a Miscarriage of Justice!!!"
    "Be skeptical of the legal system."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Informative, interesting, provocative.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    The explanations of the particular ways in which investigations can go wrong, not because of a lack of suitable technology, but because of rush-to-judgment, preconceived, prejudicial beliefs of police, district attorneys, and judges.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Specific recommendations on how the legal system can be improved (last chapter).


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    No extreme reaction. I mostly found this book sobering.


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Excellent Narration.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kokoda

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Peter FitzSimons
    • Narrated By Lewis FitzGerald
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (150)

    For Australians, Kokoda is the iconic battle of World War II, yet few people know just what happened and just what our troops achieved. Now, best-selling author Peter FitzSimons tells the Kokoda story in a gripping, moving story for all Australians.

    Mark T Ryan says: "A Tribute to Fighting Australians"
    "The Aussies in New Guinea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Kokoda in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, Informative, Inspiring.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The typical Australian home guardsman. What grit!


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

    Great variety in narration. Compelling, actually. Clear enunciation enhanced with appropriate accent.


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

    Kokoda: Unparalleled Herorism.


    Any additional comments?

    This would be a fabulous movie. It needs to be made. It would be expensive but no more so than The Red Line, which was rather a disappointment. There are many talented Australian actors who could play the parts. In the hands of the right production team this is a potential Oscar winner for sure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Harold Schechter
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (156)

    Beekman Place, once one of the most exclusive addresses in Manhattan, had a curious way of making it into the tabloids in the 1930s: SKYSCRAPER SLAYER, BEAUTY SLAIN IN BATHTUB read the headlines. On Easter Sunday in 1937, the discovery of a grisly triple homicide at Beekman Place would rock the neighborhood yet again - and enthrall the nation. The young man who committed these murders would come to be known in the annals of American crime as the Mad Sculptor.

    William R. Toddmancillas says: "The Mad Sculptor"
    "The Mad Sculptor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Mad Sculptor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High but not highest.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I did not much care for any of the characters.


    Have you listened to any of Peter Berkrot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. The narrator is excellent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No. It is a straightforward story about a dastardly crime. As far as crimes go, not a particularly interesting one at that.


    Any additional comments?

    Technically, this is a good production. The story itself, however, is not all that interesting. I think the author could have gleaned material more piquant than included herein.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Behind Japanese Lines: With the OSS in Burma

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Richard Dunlop
    • Narrated By David Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The extraordinary firsthand account of an American special forces unit in the jungles of southeast Asia and their guerilla operations against the Japanese during World War II!

    William R. Toddmancillas says: "The OSS in Burma"
    "The OSS in Burma"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Behind Japanese Lines to be better than the print version?

    Yes. The audio version is more exciting. The material lends itself to dramatic interpretation.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ingenuity and steadfastness of the indigenous guerillas. What resourceful, brave, intelligent, loyal allies were they.


    Which character – as performed by David Baker – was your favorite?

    All of the characters are riveting.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes. The descriptions of torture are harrowing but also necessary to understand fully the barbarous ways of the Japanese military. Simply outrageous. They got what was coming to them.


    Any additional comments?

    Would make for a fabulous movie, if a very expensive one (given location, logistics, and the formidable environment/weather).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stephen Dando-Collins
    • Narrated By Stuart Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (172)

    Stephen Dando-Collins paints a vivid and definitive portrait of daily life in the Tenth Legion as he follows Caesar and his men along the blood-soaked fringes of the Empire. This unprecedented regimental history reveals countless previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Caesar's conduct as a commander and his relationships with officers and legionnaires, and the daily routine and discipline of the Legion.

    Ethan M. says: "You should really be interested in the topic first"
    "Caesar's Tenth Legion: Its Triumphs & Discontents"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Caesar's Legion?

    Learning about how the Legions were actually constituted and how they functioned. Just fascinating.


    What other book might you compare Caesar's Legion to and why?

    The Teaching Company has several series on Ancient History and most of them are excellent descriptions of daily lives of soldiers during this same period. These series compare favorably with Caesar's Legion. These materials complement one another nicely.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was struck by how severe Caesar could be when disciplining his troops: Literally killing one in ten of the ranks???? Now that is severe discipline.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not possible. Too long. Too much to absorb between listening sessions.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent selection.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Trust Betrayed: The Untold Story of Camp Lejeune and the Poisoning of Generations of Marines and Their Families

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mike Magner
    • Narrated By Steve Carlson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    While the big bad corporation has often been the offender in many of the world’s greatest environmental disasters, in the case of the mass poisoning at Camp Lejeune the culprit is a revered institution: the US Marine Corps. For two decades now, revelations have steadily emerged about pervasive contamination, associated clusters of illness and death among the Marine families stationed there, and military stonewalling and failure to act.

    William R. Toddmancillas says: "The Corp's Betrayal of Marines"
    "The Corp's Betrayal of Marines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Trust Betrayed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very high.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The courageous marines who would not accept flippant excuses from the bureaucracy. These tenacious, ethical marines stuck together and persevered against the shameful behavior of the Corp they once beloved.


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

    Clear enunciation and varied rhythm.


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

    Another example of dastardly bureaucratic malfeasance. How do they continue to get away with it??


    Any additional comments?

    A must "listen" for anyone overly enamored with the Corp or any other government bureaucracy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific: A Young Marine's Stirring Account of Combat in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Robert Leckie
    • Narrated By James Badge Dale, Tom Hanks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (129)

    The celebrated 2010 HBO miniseries The Pacific, winner of eight Emmy Awards, was based on two classic books about the War in the Pacific, Helmet for My Pillow and With The Old Breed. Audible Studios, in partnership with Playtone, the production company co-owned by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and creator of the award-winning HBO series Band of Brothers, John Adams, and The Pacific, as well as the HBO movie Game Change, has created new recordings of these memoirs, narrated by the stars of the miniseries.

    Aaron says: "Engaging Account of the War in “The Pacific”"
    "One Marine's WW2 Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Helmet for My Pillow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very high.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The focus of the story is of a young marine. He is the main character and my favorite.


    What does James Badge Dale and Tom Hanks (introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Entertaining variety of narration.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Toward the end of the campaigns fewer and fewer veterans were alive to fight the next battle. Very sobering. Poignant.


    Any additional comments?

    This is both an informative and entertaining "listen." Anyone remotely interested in WW2 will want to have listened to this audio. In fact, I think the story is a better "listen" than "read."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Knights of Bushido: A History of Japanese War Crimes During World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Lord Russell of Liverpool
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    The war crimes trials at Nuremberg and Tokyo meted out the Allies' official justice; Lord Russell of Liverpool's sensational bestselling books on the Axis' war crimes decided the public's opinion. The Knights of Bushido, Russell's shocking account of Japanese brutality in the Pacific in World War II, describes how the noble founding principles of the Empire of Japan were perverted by the military into a systematic campaign of torture, murder, starvation, rape, and destruction. Notorious incidents like the Nanking Massacre and the Bataan Death March emerge as merely part of a pattern of human rights abuses. Undoubtedly formidable soldiers, the Japanese were terrible conquerors. Their conduct in the Pacific is a harrowing example of the doctrine of mutual destruction carried to the extreme, and begs the question of what is acceptable—and unacceptable—in total war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not for the faint of heart"
    "The Benighted of Bushido"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Knights of Bushido in three words, what would they be?

    Japan's WW2 Crimes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I honor all the more now than before the courage and tenacity of Allied POWs.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Clear, even toned narration.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Would be too difficult. Too heartbreaking.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an important, dreadful story. Whenever possible, we need to be reminded of Japan's War Crimes and, more importantly, of their intransigence in owning up to these
    crimes against humanity.

    0 of 0 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
    (358)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (304)

    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"
    "The Middle East in WW1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Interesting and informative.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Lawrence's perseverance in trying to secure an independent Arabia following WW1.


    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    Lively narration and clear enunciation. Accent also appropriate.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Lawrence's rebuff of the king's decorations.


    Any additional comments?

    In its own way, at least as good--probably better--than the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gallipoli: Our Last Man Standing: The Extraordinary Life of Alec Campbell

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jonathon King
    • Narrated By Peter Byrne
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    With Alec Campbell's death, a door has closed to which no one has the key. Australia has lost the last direct link to one of the nation's most significant events and to a breed of Australians who have become larger than life - legends in our national psyche. He was not at Gallipoli long, though he dodged his share of bullets, saw his mates get shot and suffered fever and sickness as did so many of his peers.

    Steen says: "Wrong headline"
    "Bait and Switch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Gallipoli: Our Last Man Standing?

    This story is not about Gallipoli per se, but a biography of one of the soldiers who fought in that campaign. I was expecting a more thorough description of the campaign, not a detailed biography.


    What could Jonathon King have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Nothing, but a more appropriate title might be: "Gallipoli: One Soldier's Story."


    Did Peter Byrne do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I suppose he did, but that does not mitigate the fact that the book is misrepresented.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Gallipoli: Our Last Man Standing?

    See above.


    Any additional comments?

    Should be removed from available selections. Not accurately marketed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vietnam War: A Concise International History

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Mark Atwood Lawrence
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (20)

    Hailed as a "pithy and compelling account of an intensely relevant topic" (Kirkus Reviews), this wide-ranging volume offers a superb account of a key moment in modern U.S. and world history. Drawing upon the latest research in archives in China, Russia, and Vietnam, Mark Lawrence creates an extraordinary, panoramic view of all sides of the war.

    Nancy says: "Highly recommended"
    "The existing title is perfect."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Vietnam War?

    I enjoyed, if that is the word, relearning how duplicitous the U.S. government was in perpetrating this tragedy.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Again, my favorite (a dubious adjective) character is LBJ. He simply could not allow principles to supersede what he thought to be political pragmatics. As it turned out, his path was the most complicated, most destructive, and least effective.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The poignant moment when the last helicopter left Saigon.


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

    I am again saddened by the misery of this atrocious war. Even if the war did serve to check Communist expansion, I am not at all sure it was worth it. At best, the U.S. can claim it as a Pyrrhic victory, but one which lost the confidence of an entire generation of Americans.


    Any additional comments?

    In conjunction with Smoke Signals, these two books tell us a lot about why Boomer Hippies and Wannabes distrust American Politics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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