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Jim

MANKATO, MN, United States
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  • Rebel Yell

  • The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson
  • By: S. C. Gwynne
  • Narrated by: Cotter Smith
  • Length: 24 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,478
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,339
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,339

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very good read

  • By rhl60 on 11-05-14

An amazing book, absolutely amazing

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-21-15

This book was riveting. I enjoyed how they portrayed his life an his accomplishments as well as his lesser moments.

The book just flew by an I enjoyed every minute of it.

  • The Line of Departure

  • A Postapocalyptic Novel
  • By: G. Michael Hopf
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262

In the fourth book, The Line of Departure, the United States is on the brink of total anarchy in the wake of a super-EMP attack. Gordon Van Zandt and his family have managed to beat the odds so far, but can they survive once war erupts?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome book! Now hurry up with the next one!

  • By Jim on 07-10-15

Awesome book! Now hurry up with the next one!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-10-15

I have to say it has been a pleasure to follow this series of books. While The End (the first book in the series) I still consider the best so far The Line of Departure is a very close second. The book has some great plot twists while remaining believable and not over the top like allot of movies and TV shows.

This book finds Gordon and Samantha finally settled down at their cabin in the mountains. While in The Long Road they faced almost constant danger throughout their travels they are by no means safe. Now they face many challenges and even more volatile dangers here. In a world with little to almost none of the great medical advances of the last two hundred years are readily available to the masses of the population. Now things that would have been of almost no concern before present themselves as possible mass extinction events.
The other aspect of the book that I enjoyed was watching President Connor slowly evolve from a political leader who seemed like a man of the people into a ruthless tyrant and how was able to justify some pretty horrible barbarism to himself as “for the greater good”. Some other plot twists with other leading figures in the book are also masterfully done. Seeing how the author tied some of these loose plot lines together is really intriguing and incredibly addicting.

The one thing I did notice in this book was that the main character Gordon is not quite as ruthless as he was in previous books. Which I found kind of interesting. I would have figured that after the death of his son Hunter, Gordon would be far more likely to deal out death to save others the pain an anguish that he was forced to endure. There are several scenes where Gordon seems to almost want to avoid using violence in this book where as in the first book he seems to be able kill without giving it even a second thought. I am not sure if this is a character growing in a different direction or what.

Lastly I will cover the one small aspect of the book that I personally did not like. In fact I felt that it was completely out of context and character for the series. One of the characters begins to have premonitions of the future in her dreams. This is a very small part of the book and it does not really play into any of the major parts of the story. So I really do not understand why the author choose to include this in the book. I found myself wondering is this really part of the story and why? But that is a small portion of the book and it was over fast. I am just hoping that this series does not somehow de-evolve into an apocalyptic scenario combined with the X Files.

If you read the first two books you are almost sure to enjoy this book like I did. If you have not read the first two you will want to read them first or you will not understand allot of the back story. This book is really good and helped me pass the time on a number of chores that probably would have seemed much more unpleasant had I not had this great book to help the time pass by quicker.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Death

  • A Post Apocalyptic Novel
  • By: John W. Vance
  • Narrated by: Guy Williams
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 353
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 334
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 334

The Death will find you... Devin Chase was just living his life, when the world changed in an instant. In the matter of a week a deadly virus known as The Death ravages the world killing over 90% of those infected. After six months in a self-imposed quarantine, he emerges into a new world. As he travels, he discovers others like him who are immune, but he also discovers that the world he knew is gone. It has been replaced with a savage and brutal one where the only rule is kill or be killed.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Ho-hum... wait, I am awake, honest!

  • By crazybatcow on 11-06-15

Review of The Death

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-06-15

First off I think it only fair to say I was provided with a free copy of the book so that I could post a review. So with that being said here is my review.

In any review I really do not like to write about the content of the book just because you usually get all that from the editors notes or the description from where you are buying it. Plus it is really hard to cover the content of the book without giving away key points and plot twists. So I will keep my review to basic aspects about the story line an very little about the actually story itself. From the title and the genre you should by know this is a book about an apocalyptic event that befalls the world in the form of a virus being released.

One of the first things I liked about the book is that you are not barraged by a myriad of characters in this book. When you read A Song of Fire and Ice by George RR Martin you are introduced to so many characters it is almost impossible to keep them all straight (an before all you Game of Thrones fan boy start ragging on me….I love that series and have read all five books. But I know more than a few people who have given up because they could not keep track of all the characters). The other thing I enjoyed about this book was the rawness of it. The characters in the book who “the good guys” do not live some magically charmed life. They get hurt, they get shot and not all of them make it to the end of the book. The other thing I really enjoyed was the fact that there are no super soldiers. It seems like allot of other books the main character always seems to run into a former Navy SEAL or ex DELTA guy or at the very least a former military Sniper an suddenly amazing feats of violence or unreal action scenes are there by made believable. Not in this book. For the most part these are just normal people who have to survive in very trying times. Characters get tired and have to rest, they suffer scrapes, cuts, and bruises. It really develops to feeling of exertion and the toll that the fight for survival takes on the mind and body. I really liked that. The plot line starts out a little slow and one does have to grind through the first part of the book but I would say that after the first third of the book things pick up fast and things really get intense. I lost one good night of sleep to this book finishing up the last two hours of it.

While not giving away any of the plot, there was a last minute development that I found kind of cliche. But I will have to see how the author handles this in future books of the series. Overall I found the book entertaining and a great read. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Zombie Fallout 8

  • An Old Beginning
  • By: Mark Tufo
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,752
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,543
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,534

Mike and his family escaped a vast zombie horde to find themselves imprisoned by a clandestine group that seeks global domination by the most nefarious means possible. Help is coming, in the form of a 500-year-old PopTart loving vampire named Tommy. Will he be enough to get the Talbots to freedom or will he succumb to monsters new and old? On top of all this Mike discovers that he is in the crosshairs of an ancient enemy and it is only a matter of time until the final showdown.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Talbot at his best! Again!

  • By Ray on 10-21-14

Same Formula – But why mess with success

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-09-14

I know the subject line of my review may come across as sounding negative, but in all honesty it is not. All of the Zombie Fallout books follow a very similar pattern and have very similar ingredients. But at the end of the day they are all entertaining. They are very enjoyable to read. Mr. Tufo writes a story and continues a story line that I have enjoyed immensely.

I am not going to go into allot of detail about the story itself or the plot lines so as not to ruin it for any future readers. But the events pick up right from the seventh book in the series. The one thing I did notice about this book that slightly differs from the other books in the series is that action sequences. In previous books the books usually start out with some wild and crazy action then slow down to build some plot lines and then find their way back to some intense high speed action sequences again. And this repeats until a climactic end. This book seems to me to be high speed action almost for the first third of the book and then went to the pattern of slow plot building then action. The only reason I mention this is I started this book about an hour before I was planning on going to bed and ended up staying up half the night listening the story, telling myself just 30 minutes more only to repeat this decision process again and again because the story just could not be put down.

If you are a fan of the series this is a no brainer, you are going to want to buy it and listen to it. Obviously since this is the eight book in the series if you have not completed the other seven you will definitely need to start at the beginning.

  • Sanctuary

  • A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World, Book 3)
  • By: G. Michael Hopf
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 378
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 345
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350

Months after a super-EMP attack devastated the United States, the country is now unrecognizable. Major cities are run by gangs, survivors are dying of starvation and the government is falling victim to lawlessness. Those who were prepared for the end find that they weren't really prepared at all. While some seek vengeance for their losses, others are determined to restore the nation. Gordon, Samantha, Sebastian, Barone, Connor and Pablo are all on different paths, but they are all in search of a home away from chaos.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good 3rd book. Do NOT change narrators mid-series

  • By careyd on 09-09-14

A glimpse of a world in chaos

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-29-14

I will start off by saying I am a huge fan of this series. This installation of the series delivers the same level of intensity, excitement, an intrigue as the last two. If you are looking for a survival book on “how to” skills this is not your book. The author does not teach how to live off the land while navigating the country side as other books do. Where this book not to mention the whole series really shines is the presentations of the raw ugly situations of a world in chaos. Many times while reading this series I have been forced to ask myself if I could do the hard and sometimes distasteful things that Gordon Van Zandt and the other characters in the story have had to do. This is where this series is unlike any other series I have ever read. In other apocalyptic series characters make long hard treks or fought off countless bands of robbers, zombies, or hungry mobs. But in this book and the series the characters are often put in situations where the good an honorable way of life is not always an option. These are the moments where the book is absolutely riveting an cost me more than couple hours of sleep because I could not put it down. Then again that is why coffee was invented.

The book itself picks up almost directly where The Long Road left off. If you have not read The Long Road I would strongly advise not continuing on as some of the items in this review will touch on key plot line events and will disclose events that happen during the first two books, so in short SPOILER ALERT! The book starts out with Gordon hot on the trail of the cult leader Rahab the man who killed his son Hunter in one of the most gruesome manners possible. This is what we would expect any good protagonist to do. From Achillies avenging Patroclus’s death to Bob Lee Swagger avenging the death an defamation of Carl Hitchcock, Gordon Van Zandt leaves his family and friends alone in a very dangerous and unpredictable world to seek vengeance for his son’s death. This decision comes with unintended consequences. Gordan’s family and friends are taken in by a man named Eric, his wife and a small community of people living in a subdivision. In Gordon’s absence his family and friends are harassed, harmed, some even killed by a local thug named Truman and his cohorts. The book ends just after an explosive confrontation between Truman’s group and Samantha, Hailey, Nelson, and Eric and his group. I hope the author will further expound on the possible rifts between Gordon and his family and friends on what happened while he was gone. Doing the just and noble thing may seem like a good idea but we may not always get the happy ending we think we deserve. The other four plot lines continue on President Connor, General Barone, Pablo, and Sebastian. I don’t feel like they have quite the level of detail that the Gordon plot line has been given but you do not need a crystal ball to see they will all eventually be intertwined. I heard a saying one time “Experience is what we get, when we do not get what we want.” This becomes an all too common theme throughout the book. From President Conor expressing regret about his rash use of nuclear weapons to Sebastian and those around him who pay heavily for some decisions he makes and obviously Gordon leaving to avenge Hunter. Most readers can see the pieces falling into place of how this story will go. But the author has done a great job in the past of surprising the reader with a plot twist. I know more than once all I could say was “Holy CRAP, I did not see that coming.”

My one issue with this book is that it seems awfully short. I felt like just as you are getting immersed in one story line the chapter ends and you are catapulted into another story line. By the end of the book you feel like you have barely spent any time with any of the characters. It is like being the host of a large party and because you have so many guests you really cannot spend any real quality time with any one person. This left me feeling like the book was really short even though when I looked the overall book is fairly comparable in length to other books of its genre. But those books had maybe one to three story lines to follow. Hopefully future books in the series will start to combine a number of these story lines together so that the reader can be deeply immersed in each story line. That said it is still a really good book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Plague of the Dead

  • The Morningstar Strain, Book 1
  • By: Z. A. Recht
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,624
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,041
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,043

The end begins with a viral outbreak unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, a dramatic increase in violent behavior, and a one-hundred percent mortality rate. Death. But it doesn't end there. The victims return from death to walk the earth. When a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead it escalates into a global pandemic.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Return to Good Bad and the Ugly

  • By The Zombie Specialist on 02-06-14

What can I say I enjoyed the book

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-24-14

I am not entirely sure why I enjoyed this book as much as I did, but I did. The characters were all very cliché. You have the gruff old Army General, the young idealistic Red Cross worker, an Army private that reminds me allot of Gomer Pile or Beetle Bailey, and others. The situations they find themselves in are very predictable and you can almost always tell what is coming next. But at the end of the day I would stay up an extra hour or two later at night listening to the book, and I am wait for my next credit in order to get book two. I am not sure why but I really did enjoy the book.

  • Graveyard of Memories

  • John Rain, Book 8
  • By: Barry Eisler
  • Narrated by: Barry Eisler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 998
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 910
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 909

What makes a legendary assassin? For John Rain, it was the lessons of love, war, and betrayal he learned in Tokyo in 1972. Fresh from the killing fields of Southeast Asia, Rain works as a bagman under the watchful eye of his CIA handler, delivering cash to corrupt elements of the Japanese government. But when a delivery goes violently wrong, Rain finds himself in the crosshairs of Japan’s most powerful yakuza clan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kudos to Eisler for some real life lessons here

  • By shelley on 04-24-14

The real John Rain returns

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-02-14

Let me explain the title I chose for this review, “The real John Rain returns”. The John Rain series books one through six were basically about a lone assassin. A man who does not have access to all the cool toys that the “James Bonds” and other government agents have. John Rain always used items that were available to the common man, like Google Maps and iPhones to get the job done. Then the book The Detachment came out and all of a sudden John Rain has access to all these cool communication gear and other awesome high tech toys. I felt like this was a sad departure from the Rain series, and was thrilled that the author returned to one of the main aspects of what in my humble opinion made the character John Rain great.

All the other books John Rain is a cold calculating killer. He is the master chess player that can see ten moves ahead of everyone else. His use of well honed tactics and skills allows him to eliminate targets with the precision of a laser beam. In this book Rain is young and not the calm and cool killer, but a bit of a hot head and very impetuous who relies on luck as much as sound tactics. At times I was asking myself “how lucky is this guy”? But with each stroke of luck you see the clumsy killer begin to take the form of the smooth killer of the future. The old proverb of “The only difference between a wise man and a fool, is the fools mistakes teach him nothing.” Is a recurring theme throughout the book, many times Rain makes mental notes never to do something in the future and if you have read the other books in the series you know these were lessons learned. Even this early in Rain’s career he is a master at “Grey Man” tactics, being able to melt into a crowd do something unpleasant and just disappear. These things are part of what make the book so interesting to read. I am not really sure about the love story aspect of the story and what I think of it. Part of me understands and sees how it is an iatrical part of the book. But sometimes it seems like it lasts so long I had to check to see if my iPod had accidentally jumped over to 50 Shades of Grey.

The plot twists are done masterfully and Mr. Eisler really did an amazing job with this story. The book had me going thinking “Holy Crap” and then ten minutes later laughing until I almost pissed my pants. As always I am looking forward to his next book…..although this time I am looking forward to it with anticipation, not with the prayers of redemption.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • One Shot

  • A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 9
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,768
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,991
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,004

Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: "You got the wrong guy". Then he says: "Get Reacher for me". And sure enough, from the world he lives in - no phone, no address, no commitments - ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. In Lee Child's astonishing thriller, Reacher's arrival will change everything - about a case that isn't what it seems, about lives tangled in baffling ways, about a killer who missed one shot - and by doing so gives Jack Reacher one shot at the truth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reacher said...

  • By Carol on 12-26-11

The first Reacher book I ever read

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-27-12

If you like the basic formula of the hero who is always two steps ahead of everyone else and always seems to beat the odds and win the day then this book is for you. I will say that I did not go through these books in order and since Audible had this book on Sale for $6.95 and the movie was coming out soon I figured why not. And I have to say I am not disappointed in the least bit. The book has an interesting story line and characters that you find yourself easily relating to. Child has an interesting habit of picking up a small details or his characters have random thoughts that I as a reader could easily have seen myself doing. In this book there is a barber with a sign “All styles $7.00” and Reacher seems to repeat that line to himself several times. I could see myself doing the same thing, so it really helped me embrace the character.
I dinged the performance one star because of a personal preference. Whenever there were characters in the book talking on the radio on a phone the narrator’s voice gets put through some sort of effect to make it sound similar to talking in a tunnel or the small crackle of white noise. I find this annoying and a bit distracting. If I wanted special affects I would go see a movie. But that is just my personal feelings. The Narrator himself Dick Hill I think turned in another great performance (I have listened to several other books he narrated and have yet to find where he does a bad job).

Getting away from the book itself and looking at the transition to the big screen really makes me wonder how they are going to do it. First off allot of the book and allot of the Jack Reacher character is based on his large size. The guy is supposed to be six foot five inches tall and weighs two hundred and fifty pounds. And somehow the actor Tom Cruise is supposed to pull this off at his five feet seven inches height, and he probably does not weight much over one hundred and seventy pounds. There are many times in the book where Reacher is identified by his build and in one of the fight scenes he uses his size specifically as a weapon. In humble opinion the actor that plays Opie on Son’s of Anarchy would be a much better Jack Reacher the Tom Cruise. But please do not let any of my comments about the adaptation to the movie deter you from buying the book. What does everyone always say “Oh yeah read the book! It was much better than the movie.”

  • Killing Lincoln

  • The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever
  • By: Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
  • Narrated by: Bill O'Reilly
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,858
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,975
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,981

The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices are not appeased....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • History Made Interesting

  • By Daniel on 04-11-12

One of the best Historical Fiction books ever.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-14-12

No matter what you think about his TV show or the channel it is on, put that aside. This book does not deal with the politics of today. This is one of the best books about the Lincoln assassination you will ever read. It starts out with a few chapter about the battles and historical figures of the American Civil War. But after that you delve into the lives of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Lincoln and a host of other figures that shaped this terrible event in American history. It is a fascinated book that actually cost me about two good nights sleep as I could not stop listening. I highly recommend it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Vince Flynn
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,909
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,871

The four dead guards didn’t concern Mitch Rapp as much as the absence of the man they’d been paid to protect. Joe Rickman wasn’t just another foot soldier. For the last eight years Rickman had ran the CIA’s clandestine operations in Afghanistan. It was a murky job that involved working with virtually every disreputable figure in the Islamic Republic. More than a quarter billion dollars in cash had passed through Rickman’s hands during his tenure as the master of black ops and no one with a shred of sense wanted to know the details of how that money had been spent.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, The return of modern day Mitch

  • By Jim on 11-19-12

Great book, The return of modern day Mitch

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-19-12

This book marks the return from the Mitch Rapp of his 20’s back to his early 40’s. The last two books focused on Mitch’s recruitment and the beginning of his CIA career, but now Vince has returned to modern times with this book. The book follows pretty much the same formula as all the other Vince Flynn books. Something happens things look really bleak. Then someone in Congress gets wind of these happens and threatens to bring a heap of trouble on the CIA, but just in time the plot is foiled and Mitch and his compatriots tie up all the loose ends in a nice neat orderly fashion. It is a formula that has served Mr. Flynn for quite a while and I keep coming back as well as millions of others.

Overall the story is well thought out and well written. My only complaint is that there are a couple of characters that are introduced some time is spent developing them but then they kind of fall off the radar and nothing more than a sentence or two is dedicated to them after that. I am not sure if these characters are going to resurface in future books of if this was just to throw the reader off the trail.

Mr. Guidall delivers yet another amazing performance. And it serves to remind me that Mr. Flynn really should just pony up the money and have George Guidall narrate the two previous books of his that he chose to have other narrators read.

I myself finished the book in about three days. And as always I now find myself in a book hang over not knowing where to go to next. Maybe I will re-listen to a couple of the older Mitch Rapp books……but Mr. Flynn if you are reading this I think you should start a new series with Stan Hurley and explore some of his exploits. Or even some of the corporate espionage that Scott Coleman was involved in. I know I would pay for those books!

37 of 38 people found this review helpful