LISTENER

R. Denton

  • 42
  • reviews
  • 72
  • helpful votes
  • 82
  • ratings
  • The Hunt for Red October

  • By: Tom Clancy
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 18 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,620
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,432
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,426

Somewhere under the freezing Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision. The Red October is heading west. The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. The chase for the highly advanced nuclear submarine is on - and there’s only one man who can find her. Brilliant CIA analyst Jack Ryan has little interest in fieldwork, but when covert photographs of Red October land on his desk, Ryan soon finds himself in the middle of a high-stakes game of hide-and-seek played by two world powers - a game that could end in all-out war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thank GOD you got a new narrator!

  • By Andrew M. Niehaus on 08-24-18

A classic story with much better narration

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

Reviewed: 01-12-19

The classic Tom Clancy story with a much, much better narration than was previously available here or elsewhere. Worth the purchase to hear it this way.

  • The Burglar

  • By: Thomas Perry
  • Narrated by: Christina Delaine
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 67

Elle Stowell is a young woman with an unconventional profession: burglary. But Elle is no petty thief - with just the right combination of smarts, looks, and skills, she can easily stroll through ritzy Bel Air neighborhoods and pick out the perfect home for plucking the most valuable items. This is how Elle has always gotten by - she is good at it, and she thrives on the thrill. But after stumbling upon a grisly triple homicide while stealing from the home of a wealthy art dealer, Elle discovers she is no longer the only one sneaking around. Somebody is searching for her.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • From breaking the law to helping the law....

  • By shelley on 01-09-19

Overall classic Perry, but ending seems tacked on

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

Reviewed: 01-12-19

For the most part, I enjoyed this latest by Perry. There are some things the main character did that seemed incredibly risky and reckless, but some people are like that and Perry has shown us a wide range of people over the years. I did feel like the ending was suddenly tacked on, though the evidence was building for something like that. Still he has created better endings in many of his tales. Still, I enjoyed it and have no regrets about getting it.

  • The Chosen Few

  • A Company of Paratroopers and Its Heroic Struggle to Survive in the Mountains of Afghanistan
  • By: Gregg Zoroya, William H. McRaven - foreward
  • Narrated by: Gregg Zoroya
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 316

The story of one of the Afghanistan war's most decorated units and their 15-month ordeal, culminating in the Battle of Wanat, the deadliest battle of the war. A single company of US paratroopers - calling themselves the "Chosen Few" - arrived in eastern Afghanistan in late 2007 hoping to win the hearts and minds of the remote mountain people and extend the Afghan government's reach into this wilderness. Instead, they spent the next 15 months in a desperate struggle, living under almost continuous attack, forced into a slow withdrawal, and always outnumbered by Taliban fighters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow! What an amazing group of men!

  • By Mila on 06-22-18

Brave Troops, lifeless, boring narrating

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-28-18

"Read by the Author" is often a kiss of death and this one really proved it. The writing is not nearly up to the level the writer seems to think it is, and the narration is far worse. It's clearly someone who cannot distinguish between telling a story with lots of real human drama, sacrifice and pain from reading a lengthy shopping or laundry list.
I should have read about the author before selecting this. "Award winning USA Today journalist" would have told me what to expect and told me to pass on this one. This plodding story clearly does not do justice to these troops.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet

  • By: P. Andrew Karam
  • Narrated by: Norman Dietz
  • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7

Join veteran submariner and decorated veteran of the submarine service Andrew Karam and the crew of the USS Plunger (SSN 595) as it goes up against the best of the Soviet Navy on an extended "special operation" in the waning days of the Cold War and find out what life at sea is really like.  

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Written and read for slow children, apparently.

  • By R. Denton on 12-20-18

Written and read for slow children, apparently.

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

Reviewed: 12-20-18

It's hard to say which is worse, the story or the narrator. To paraphrase the publisher blurb, if you don't know the difference between a submarine and a tomato, this book is for you. The writer pretty much assumes you have no prior knowledge of anything even remotely nautical, and will need everything explained at roughly the 3rd-grade level.
But wait, it gets worse. As if the plodding, boring excuse for a story isn't bad enough, they picked a narrator who sounds like a 90-year-old on tranquilizers. I have never listened to anything else by Norman Dietz, and am now quite sure I never will. It's really hard to believe that someone approved this reading after hearing some of it. It's no wonder it takes over 13 hours to play, though the book might be less than 300 pages.
Bottom Line: If you know the difference between port and starboard, and between a submarine and an aircraft carrier, you are already a long way past the level of this book and will not want to suffer through it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Devotion

  • An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice
  • By: Adam Makos
  • Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
  • Length: 14 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 810
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 808

Devotion tells the inspirational story of the US Navy's most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper's son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy's first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn't even serve him in a bar.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jaw Dropping Ground and Air Combat Realism

  • By STRATIS A. SIMON on 04-29-17

10+ hours longer than it needs to be

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

Reviewed: 10-18-18

If you have any prior knowledge of Naval aviation, the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, or military history, among other things, this book will bore you to death. The basic story of the friendship and devotion between a white upper-class pilot and the first black pilot from a poor rural background is interesting and well worth telling and celebrating. However, the author seemed to assume that readers/listeners would also need to know all about aviation and naval aviation in particular, as well as much of the history of the first six months or so of the Korean War, and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. In fact, there are so many digressions from the main point of the story that I kept wondering what, if anything was finally going to happen. I kept hearing about all sorts of things that are pretty well known by anyone who has even a passing interest in 20th century military history and/or aviation. The narrator kept reeling things off as if they were all being presented for the first time ever and it really made me think this should have been a magazine article, as the author says he started out with in the intro. A good editor could easily have cut half of this, perhaps more, and it would have been a much better book and the core story would have had a stronger impact.

  • The Iceman

  • By: P. T. Deutermann
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185

With his cold, steely-eyed focus on killing Japanese ships, Malachi Stormes is an enigma to his officers and crew - especially when it becomes clear he is willing to take huge chances to achieve results. Firefish sinks more ships than any Perth boat on her first war patrol, but Stormes’ unconventional tactics literally frighten his crew. His crew members are proud of their boat’s accomplishments but wonder if their iron-willed skipper will bring them home alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Great Deutermann Story

  • By AzFlyBoy on 08-22-18

Possibly the best yet by Deutermann

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

I have read/listened to all of this authors works, and have re-listened to several just because his combination of characters and storytelling is so good. I've read a lot of naval history and fiction, both 20th century and much older and really appreciate the author's accuracy and sometimes ironic use of historical character names in his fictional works. Late in this book a Commodore Byng plays a very small role, and thankfully does not share the fate of Admiral Byng, RN.
P.T. puts in enough details to show he knows what he's writing about, but not so many that the technical jargon hinders the flow of the story. Many of the events in this book have a basis in history, particularly the torpedo problems and the denial of those problems by the Navy's gun club. He also uses some actual historical characters in their historical role in this book, which is also a nice touch. Overall, an excellent story even if you are not a big fan of Naval history or literature.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Reaper: Ghost Target

  • A Sniper Novel
  • By: Nicholas Irving, A. J. Tata - contributor
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 394

Vick "The Reaper" Harwood is an esteemed sniper with a record kill count - 33 kills in 90 days - when he is knocked out under mortar attack in Afghanistan. He wakes up back in the United States with little memory of what happened, his spotter and gun both unrecovered from the battlefield. Harwood has resigned himself to slowly picking up the pieces of his life. But when a series of assassinations start occurring in the area, Harwood can't explain why he just happens to be nearby for each killing - or how a sniper rifle that matches the description of the one he lost seems to be involved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Too much knowledge CAN be Hazardous to your Life!

  • By shelley on 05-14-18

Audio version of a comic book, at best.

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

Reviewed: 05-22-18

I'm giving up on this one about 1/3 of the way in. It is incredibly predictable with characters that barely manage to hit 2-dimensions, and that with effort. I'm sure there is a market for this, but certainly not for me. It's sort of masquerading as a cheap, simplified knock-off of "Bob the Nailer" but with b-movie dialog at best and a ridiculous story-line, assuming there is a story in there somewhere.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Good Hunting

  • An American Spymaster's Story
  • By: Jack Devine
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184

Good Hunting: An American Spymaster's Story is the spellbinding memoir of Devine's time in the CIA, where he served for more than 30 years, rising to become the acting deputy director of operations, responsible for all of the agency's spying operations. This is a story of intrigue and high-stakes maneuvering - all the more gripping when the fate of our geopolitical order hangs in the balance. But this audiobook also sounds a warning to our nation's decision makers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating, An education on spying

  • By Anthony on 12-13-15

CYA, We Never Broke the Rules, Not My Fault

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

Reviewed: 09-19-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would not recommend this as it really does not give any details that are not publicly available. Very long-winded and self-promoting PR book that constantly reiterates that the CIA never broke the rules and only did what the politicians ordered them to do, and by the way I never believed in torture because that is just unAmerican.

What do you think your next listen will be?

My next book will be one that admits it is fiction.

Which scene was your favorite?

None, I gave up on this CYA book about 1/3 through.

Was Good Hunting worth the listening time?

NO! I'm glad I quit when I did. I tried jumping forward several times to see if the tone and constant "always followed the rules" mantra changed, but it didn't.

Any additional comments?

People that have not read any other books about CIA or other intelligence agencies may find this entertaining, but it is too much at odds with too many other sources. I feel sure this book was heartily approved by the CIA and Executive Branch.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Outsider

  • My Life in Intrigue
  • By: Frederick Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Robert Powell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92

For more than 40 years, Frederick Forsyth has been writing extraordinary real-world novels of intrigue, from the groundbreaking The Day of the Jackal to the prescient The Kill List. Whether writing about the murky world of arms dealers, the shadowy Nazi underground movement, or the intricacies of worldwide drug cartels, every plot has been chillingly plausible because every detail has been minutely researched. But what most people don't know is that some of his greatest stories of intrigue have been in his own life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Have you been there?" Indeed he has.

  • By Terry on 05-16-16

Extraordinary life and storytelling

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

Reviewed: 08-26-17

What made the experience of listening to The Outsider the most enjoyable?

For me, this was the best Forsyth book yet. The storytelling is great, narrator did an excellent job modulating voice tone and pace with the stories. What a remarkable life. No wonder he is able to come up with the "novels" he has written.

What did you like best about this story?

Seeing how the early experiences of determination and willingness to do what it takes to achieve things paid off so well in so many ways. The book was also very well edited, with everything in it contributing to the overall life story. It is told in a series of many adventures/anecdotes. Some brief, some lengthy, but they are all pieces of what makes up this man and his life.

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

I actually did start with the printed version from my local library to see if I wanted to purchase the audiobook. It was good enough that I knew I needed to hear it all to really appreciate it. This book really seems well written for the ear, and Powell did a great job of keeping it alive and moving along. One could easily imagine Powell as Forsyth experiencing all these things.

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

Not really any extreme reaction per se, but I did really enjoy finding out a great deal more about the whole Biafra situation. I was in my teens when this was happening, and only remember it from the horrific images of starving children. It was good to find out much more about why this happened, and how it was allowed to happen by politicians.

Any additional comments?

The timing of reading this was interesting as I was just finishing the last few volumes of the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser. Forsyth's experience with school, RAF, BBC, and the Foreign Office/Commonwealth Office, then SIS seemed like an updated version of the earlier history as told by Harry Flashman, but with a much more honorable and stalwart protagonist.

  • The Killing Zone

  • My Life in the Vietnam War
  • By: Frederick Downs
  • Narrated by: Barry Press
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 358
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323

Among the best books ever written about men in combat, The Killing Zone tells the story of the platoon of Delta One-six, capturing what it meant to face lethal danger, to follow orders, and to search for the conviction and then the hope that this war was worth the sacrifice. The book includes a new chapter on what happened to the platoon members when they came home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It dont mean nuthin.

  • By John OBrien on 06-21-17

Maybe good story, but horrible narration

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

Reviewed: 08-18-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Either give the narrator some coffee, or make him listen to how professionals do this. I'm having to return this though only in Chapter 3. The bizarre enunciation of every, single, word, regardless of whether it is a firefight or filling a canteen is insane. It is so distracting that the story cannot compete. I sampled later chapters to see if the pace picked up as the author's experience increased during his tour, but it's the same plodding narration throughout.

What other book might you compare The Killing Zone to and why?

n/a

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barry Press?

Anyone else who can read and speak English in a conversational or storytelling manner.

What else would you have wanted to know about Frederick Downs’s life?

Could not finish the book.

Any additional comments?

From the review I have read here and for printed version it sounds like an excellent piece, but desperately needs a new narrator.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful