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R. Denton

  • 36
  • reviews
  • 60
  • helpful votes
  • 72
  • ratings
  • 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 248
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 232

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 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158

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.

0 of 5 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 94
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

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 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • House of Spies

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel Silva
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,922
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,693
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,672

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, a terrorist plot leaves a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread. The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of one of the richest men in the country, Jean-Luc Martel, and his companion, Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know the true source of Martel's enormous wealth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Hunt Continues

  • By Victor @ theAudiobookBlog on 07-14-17

Not Silva's best, but okay

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

Reviewed: 07-31-17

If you could sum up House of Spies in three words, what would they be?

Recycled material throughout

If you’ve listened to books by Daniel Silva before, how does this one compare?

It's not in the top 5. It's okay and still entertaining, but is really full or materials and situations recycled from previous works. About the only real new material is the current situations around the world woven in.

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

George Guidall is one of my favorite performers. He has amazing range and an incredible array of voices. Always seems to get his timing and phrasing to match what is happening in the book. Once you have listened to a lot of his performances, you sometimes have to stop and think what book you are in. "Wait a minute, did the Cheyenne Nation just speak to Gabriel Allon?"

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

Not really. Mostly predictable, especially since using the same "setup" of house and personnel on the Riviera.

Any additional comments?

This has been a lengthy series, so it is inevitable that things will get recycled due to the nature of Gabriel Allon and his position, but I think Silva could have pushed the envelope a bit more.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Final Harbor

  • Silent War Series, Book 1
  • By: Harry Homewood
  • Narrated by: Corey M. Snow
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113

She was a monster, sleek and gleaming, designed to strike without warning like the dreaded shark. She was the USS Mako, as fearless and bold as any submarine that ever prowled the blue Pacific. Her mission: seek out and destroy the hitherto invincible ships of the Japanese Imperial Navy - and revenge the earlier defeats of a long and dirty war. Here is the story of the men who pitted their lives against impossible odds in the most dangerous branch of the American armed services.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it. Both times I listened

  • By Father of 3 on 06-13-17

Overall okay, but there are better WWII Sub books

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

Reviewed: 03-22-17

Where does Final Harbor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

About mid-scale. Not fantastic, but not below average either.

Would you recommend Final Harbor to your friends? Why or why not?

I'd recommend for someone who is not already very familiar with WWII naval history, especially, especially about the boats, torpedoes, the "gun club" etc.

Have you listened to any of Corey M. Snow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First one I think. He did fine. Some of his pronunciations are much different than what I have heard from a wide range of others, particularly place names.

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

Not particularly. It's a lot like an extended movie script from the 40s-50s in many ways. Somewhat predictable, but not completely so. Definitely better than the Jack Tremain thriller sub books. They were like long comic books.

Any additional comments?

Having already read a lot of nonfiction about USN subs in WWII, nothing much was new. Clearly the author pulled bits and pieces from many actual patrol encounters. May or may not read the others in this series.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The President's Assassin

  • By: Brian Haig
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 791
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 440
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 440

Shortly after Army lawyer Sean Drummond starts working for the Office of Special Projects, a CIA cell which handles the most dangerous threats, the White House Chief of Staff is found brutally murdered. A note left by the killer promises more victims, including the President.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The President's Assassin--A Killer Read!

  • By William on 04-18-05

Good story with an interesting final twist

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

Reviewed: 02-02-17

What did you love best about The President's Assassin?

The storyline was pretty good, as were the characters and their development. It's helpful to introduce a new "partner" each time as we get to know them and get to know more about Drummond.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

After it looked like things had been resolved, I knew there were still several chapters and couldn't figure out why - well done twist that I certainly did not see coming.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

Tough to say. Sean Drummond is pretty much a slightly younger John Corey as a JAG officer instead of a cop. Even more so when you hear both voiced by Scott Brick. Wonder if Brian Haig shares some royalties with Nelson Demille. He's certainly lifted some characters and situations from his books.

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

No, I needed a break to digest and think before getting back to it.

Any additional comments?

Sean Drummond is much more vocal and less action than some other books I've been reading recently, but a good story makes it more memorable, especially this one.

  • The Prisoner

  • A John Wells Novel, Book 11
  • By: Alex Berenson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,215
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,119
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,111

Evidence is mounting that someone high up in the CIA is doing the unthinkable - passing messages to ISIS, alerting them to planned operations. Finding out the mole's identity without alerting him, however, will be very hard, and to accomplish it Wells will have to do something he thought he'd left behind forever. He will have to reassume his former identity as an al Qaeda jihadi, get captured, and go undercover to befriend an ISIS prisoner in a secret Bulgarian prison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Winner from Berenson

  • By Snoodely on 02-04-17

Okay, but not the best in series

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

Reviewed: 02-02-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Could use more character detail on those other than John and Ellis, also the plot seemed very predictable. Once an element was introduced it was easy to predict how and when it would come into play. One would think, given the title, that a lot more would have happened at the prison.

If you’ve listened to books by Alex Berenson before, how does this one compare?

Probably lower third of the Wells books.

What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

He's always good. I've listened to him on so many different books that every now and then you hear a character from a whole different story seemingly doing a cameo in the one you are reading.

Could you see The Prisoner being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It would suffer if made into a film or TV series, much like the Jason Bourne series just became a lengthy chase, fight story in different locales.

Any additional comments?

After waiting for this and listening through it in a couple of days, I realize how much I miss Mitch Rapp and Gabriel Allon. Guess Sean Drummond will have to suffice for a while, though he's pretty much just a younger John Corey as a JAG officer.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Vengeance: At Midway and Guadalcanal

  • By: Leland Charles Shanle
  • Narrated by: Thomas Block
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

Vengeance shows the disastrous results of these decisions on the lowest common denominator: the war fighter. Closely following the actual battles of Midway and Guadalcanal, the listener gets an insider’s view so vivid the smell of cordite will hang in the air.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disjointed story, 2-D characters, no ending?

  • By R. Denton on 11-09-16

Disjointed story, 2-D characters, no ending?

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

Reviewed: 11-09-16

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book is probably best for a young person who knows little or nothing about flying or WWII history and has a very short attention span. It's also a poor choice for Audio as the author inserts a date-time group every two or three sentences, which get annoying quickly.

Has Vengeance: At Midway and Guadalcanal turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not sure what this genre is supposed to be. Is there a genre called "disjointed comic-book style with no character development and location/character changes every fourth sentence"? I have read and listened to a wide range of historical fiction and mostly enjoyed them and how they built believable characters and placed them in historical times and events to let the reader experience it as if they were there.
I don't think the author of this one ever really decided what he wanted this book to be. I also wonder if it was edited by the author only. Some of the flight instruction part was accurate and condensed well, but the rest was very chaotic.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Thomas Block?

Probably not unless the reviews by many others were stellar and I had read other books by same author. I will not try any more by this author, no matter who narrates. There was also a good bit of inconsistency in pronunciation of the names of people, places and even ships. Not all of these were Japanese either.

What character would you cut from Vengeance: At Midway and Guadalcanal?

I gave up at chapter 13. People and places kept switching so fast for no apparent reason that I didn't get a chance to know anything about any of the characters. The editing and continuity of this book is terrible. It needs a good editor who can make it flow and doesn't shift everything every few minutes. The writing level also seems more intended for a very young reader/listener, both with very simple sentence construction and with lack of any of the nastier details that go with war at sea or in the jungle.

Any additional comments?

Very disappointed. Usually books I get here are better written, edited and performed, even if the content is not for me.

  • The Fleet at Flood Tide

  • America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945
  • By: James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by: Pete Larkin
  • Length: 23 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 616
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 567
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 566

One of America's preeminent military historians, James D. Hornfischer has written his most expansive and ambitious book to date. Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts of Americans and Japanese alike, here is a thrilling narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War, focusing on the US invasion of the Mariana Islands in June 1944 and the momentous events that it triggered.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding history

  • By adam on 11-27-16

Good at filling in all those other details

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

Reviewed: 11-08-16

What did you love best about The Fleet at Flood Tide?

Getting a lot of the details from both USN and IJN about the final year of the war. I was disappointed that so little time was spent on the Battle of Samar, 25 Oct. The author has written a whole book about this and it is excellent.

Any additional comments?

Very good for those interested in WWII naval history that already know the overall picture.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful