It is the fall of 1951 and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hoda korosu or "naked kill," fluent in seven languages, and has honed extraordinary "proximity sense" - an extra awareness of the presence of danger. He has the skills to be the world's most fearsome assassin and now the CIA needs him. The Americans offer Hel freedom, money, and a neutral passport in exchange for one small service: go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union's Commissioner to China.
But great yarn and great revisionist early 50s SE Asia history. That bit reminds me of Once An Eagle. And tremendous tribute to Trevamian Narrator needs some accents that work -mostly everyone sounds like cartoon Mediterranean’s of some sort. Oh how I wish Eduardo Ballerini narrated.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The spirit of Prince John, the brother of Crown Princess Orlaith, has fallen captive to the power of the Yelolow Raja and his servant, the Pallid Mask. Prince John's motley band of friends and followers, led by Captain Pip of Townsville and Deor Godulfson, the bard and master of magic, must lead a quest through realms of shadow and dream to rescue Prince John from a threat far worse than death. Meanwhile, Reiko and Orlaith muster their kingdoms for war, making common cause with the reborn Kingdom of Hawaii.
Wandering . The thread back to Dies the Fire she i is in peril. The travel through the spirit world is tedious.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Fourteen-year-old Greg Dixon is living a nightmare. Attending boarding school outside of Boston, he is separated from his family when a pandemic strikes. His classmates and teachers are dead, rotting in a dormitory-turned-morgue steps from his room. The nights are getting colder, and his food has run out. The last message from his father is to get away from the city and to meet at his grandparents' town in remote New Hampshire.
I enjoyed the story and family so much that I wish it was longer and I hope that there is a sequel. As with many positive reviewers, I like that, for once, there are not many cliffhangers or catastrophes. Real life has quite enough stress for me (I have to admit that we do not watch action/adventure/zombie movies, real or animated, with our kids).The modest violence in this seemed completely integrated.
Yes, if you liked Earth Abides or Alas, Babylon or The Dog Stars (ok, that has a bit too much violence but...) and don't mind a bit of detail about daily life, this is for you. Bonus points for the BnB in Rutland, VT. Overall 4 stars is for a number of aspects, mostly around technology or the frailties of humans that are either missing, incomplete or not thought through. Plus, despite my appreciation of no gun battles or zombies, the occasional major setback might have made it a little more real.
How can you not love Rebecca, the 13yo prodigy who would put many professional project managers to shame...
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Clayton Shepard is lost, cold, alone, and determined to find his way home. But he's landed on a planet he doesn't recognize. Earth isn't the same place he left months earlier. There is little light, no heat, and limited communication. As he works to find his way back to his family, they cope with the struggles of a new reality and a quickly devolving society.
did not appear in the first volume but without warning they show up here. Can't explain how or why without a plot spoiler (actually, I can't really explain how or why PERIOD). It's not the alt-rightish screed of some of these post-Event books ; it's prepper stuff. Anyway, the first volume had the interesting and fairly well executed premise of a destructive solar event stranding an astronaut on the ISS with typical dystopian chaos back on earth. But this one takes stereotypes in character, speech,behavior and entropy just a bit too far. A bit irritating that the narrator does not distinguish between long and short A article. Bonus points for typically kind Canadians. How do you get a Canadian to apologize? Step on his foot.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Driven from his rural home for insulting the village priest, young Jake Thomas boards a freighter in New Orleans, entering the exotic world of a ship and the sea. As the vessel sails into the sultry Southern Hemisphere, Jake encounters bizarre characters and courageously faces danger but falters when the voyage turns into a spiritual and emotional odyssey.
one that few of us would know. There's not too much of an American merchant marine today. A lot of characters and a good job portraying them.
I think I have to label this a Boy's Book in the same sense that Romance novels are girls books. I mean, going to sea to get away from something is the quintessential boy adventure plot. Joseph Jablonski sounds like he was an interesting and kind man and though there are hiccups, his son does a creditable job with narration.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Here is Trump in action—how he runs his organization and how he runs his life—as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and challenges conventional thinking. But even a maverick plays by rules, and Trump has formulated time-tested guidelines for success. He isolates the common elements in his greatest accomplishments; he shatters myths; he names names, spells out the zeros, and fully reveals the deal-maker's art. And throughout, Trump talks—really talks—about how he does it.
Dreams From My Father, written and read by Barack Obama. It was 2007 and I barely knew who Obama was but saw that it had won a Grammy. I was impressed by the book and his narration even if his politics were not mine. What a different experience here. Schwartz, the principal author -who made 50% of the advance and some large percentage of the sales this book brought in -that itself is an interesting "deal" - described how, in order to get enough material for the book, since Trump would not sit still for more than a very brief conversation, he followed him around for 18 months. In an interview recently: "If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”"
About The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump said at a rally in 2015: "That's my second favorite book of all time! You know what my first is? The Bible! Nothing beats the Bible. Nothing beats the Bible. Not even The Art of the Deal"
So in part because he has said a number of times how important a book this is and also, though I don’t read business books -and this is right up there with the best selling business books of all time, I was hopeful that it would help me get some insight into the 2016 Donald Trump. Not really. The book seems sadly consistent with a trajectory leading to the odd older man who now indignantly Tweets (as President-elect for goodness sake!) about SNL. What is particularly unsatisfying is that I could find few clues to Trump's core feelings about substantive issues/ideologies/policies. Also, though it's 29 years old, I thought I might learn something general about business that might be useful in my own work life. Not really. Perhaps the idea of perseverance in the face of obstacles?
As an alternative listen, I recommend Ted Turner's autobiography, Call Me Ted. In contrast to TAOTD, it gives a much the reader an understanding of how Turner feels about things, how his conservation ideology (and very generous philanthropy) evolved. There are bits at the ends of chapters (hilarious to me) where other key players tell anecdotes related to Ted's remembrances. Half the time they say, "NO, Ted’s got it wrong, it didn't go like THAT, it went like THIS". Hard to imagine Donald Trump letting others talk about his failures in his book.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry Cane signs up for emigration to the newly colonized Canadian prairies. His allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness, and an evil man of undeniable magnetism, that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.
says Harry when, late in the book, a Cree two-spirit healer (maybe) has him chew roots hoping to trigger a healing vision. Oh, and what bitter memories he has to bite – banished from home and family in England he lands on a Section on the Canadian plains working through every waking hour to fulfill the terms of the Grant; fence and cultivate 160 acres within 3 years. I loved the secondary story of the settling of the Canadian wheat basket and the hard lives of the homesteaders. We had just finished reading "Little House" to our youngest. But this is a story about discovering love, surviving and transcending abuse, emotional and physical. Mr. Gale's narration is good but not so much of a range and somewhat variable. It's much better than an average narration but not as good as one done by a skilled voice actor who could have made the audible version richer than the written one.
I'd read it again. Bonus points for the sensitive discussions of transgender (and coincidental timeliness).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
From the internationally best-selling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog comes The Cartel, a gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines story of power, corruption, revenge, and justice spanning the past decade of the Mexican-American drug wars.
Most disturbing is that almost all of the incidents in the fictional action are based on real events. (Including the bizarre parallels of the fictional Guzman with the real Guzman -his recent prison break!) The scores of disappearances, simple murders, beheadings, bribes and theft have been day to day news for Mexicans for years now and the real life every day for years in those parts of Mexico (and Central America) where the "war" is still on. The Godfather-like arc of the long story keeps it going though the knowledge of what will inevitably happen, particularly to any sympathetic character, makes for a weary horrible sadness throughout. I generally don't like horror or terror books or movies and Winslow often ups the horrifying ante with a new atrocity YET I certainly felt a duty to finish the book, and also feeling guilty as I enjoyed the story. There's a way in which this helped me: we spent last Fall in a non-turistica area of Southern Mexico, insulated as much as one can be from the Work of the cartels. Then, while we enjoyed a lovely simple rural Mexican life, the 40+ teachers disappeared in Iguala. The incident made no sense and for weeks the press (on both sides of the border) offered only the sketchiest of background with only odd speculation, if at all, as to why. The Cartel lets us understand that killing these teachers because, as we eventually learned, they've irritated some narco-connected Iguala politicians, is not so perplexing and that this arbitrariness has been life in places like Juarez for years. I was hopeful (for what, specifically, I can't say, just generally hopeful for Mexico) because of the national furor that Iguala raised and the continued pressure on the government to act. The Cartel suggests to me though that nothing significant is going to happen through specific actions of any institution -there is too much momentum- and that this great national tragedy can be perhaps somewhat ameliorated (annointing one prefered lesser of evils cartel) but that it will end, if ever, only when the market is eliminated by legalizing drugs in the U.S. I am appalled that we have spent a Trillion dollars on the war on drugs and have helped create and have definitely fed this violence .
Though the book is long I would liked a bit more insight into the bureacracy and politics on our homefront, beyond caricatures of the players in the interagency meetings that the always pissed off Keller attends, though perhaps the internecine nonsense and political quid pro quos are simple and as much like a high school student government as they seem.
The following is not a plot spoiler but something that spoiled the story's aura: Keller is too old for the action he is given. He's a Vietnam Vet and has to be at least late 50s if not well into his 60s. His cartoonishy fights and near escapes ring the least true of all the major aspects of what is a great but horrifying read.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Through strange metaphysical circumstances, failed screenwriter Brad Cohen finds himself caught in an infinite time loop, forced to relive the first forty years of his life again and again. Each "repeat," Brad wakes up in the womb on what was supposed to be his fortieth birthday, with full knowledge of what's come before. In various timelines, he becomes a successful political pundit, a game-show champion, a playboy, and a master manipulator of the stock market, but none of them seems to lead him out of his predicament.
I seem to unknowingly pick books with insider views of Hollywood, most recently, "In Some Other World, Maybe." And it is a bit depressing since they all paint a picture of toxic tanned shallowness that is just depressing. Same in this one. BUT, I like time travel/time shift stories (Replay!) so couldn't pass this up. The humor is quite variable (better as the book progresses). The plot is perfectly detailed some times and a bit too much of a gloss at others (I think it could have been longer and better explored during some of the later half). The narration is fine except as Stephanie headlines, the female voices are just wrong -bizarrely hysterical. On balance, if you like messing with time stories, I'd read it. Otherwise, use your Audible electrons for something else.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Most of us have dreamed of being the hero in some great “pedestrian epic,” covering great distances unencumbered by the trappings of modern civilization. George Meegan had a similar dream, only his kept him going for seven years and over 19,000 miles. This is his story, a physical and spiritual odyssey.
I was in my small house in East Africa in 1982 and my teenaged houseboy Shonga came running saying, "your friend is here! your friend is here!" This turned out to mean that another European was in town. It was Heinz Stücke, who had started bicycling the world at age 22 in 1962 (as far as I know he was still on the road until a few years ago). He stayed with me for a few days but I never asked him why he did it.
I thought I might find out why George Meeker chose to do his often painful 7 year walk. He gives different pieces of different answers at different points. I like the one where he says he is walking because of freedom -walking to demonstrate that he CAN walk. I can't say why I seemed to enjoy listening to one hardship after another, it is mainly a kind of a bizarre travelogue. A little bit of (justified) Paul Theroux distain and a certain amount of I AM AN ENGLISHMAN (he never does seem to learn much Spanish). But it is mesmerizing. And Graeme Malcolm's narration is spot on. I thought this even after hearing bits of interview with George Meegan in the afterwards. I had read elsewhere of Meegan's subsequent work with indigienous peoples as I started the book and it gave a nice flavor to his encounters with them as he walked.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful