LISTENER

Martin Omander

Mountain View, CA United States
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 129
  • ratings
  • Fear

  • Trump in the White House
  • By: Bob Woodward
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,364
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,784
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,686

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files, and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One, and the White House residence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely Depressing...

  • By Sena on 09-11-18

Like being a fly on the wall

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

Reading this book is like being a fly on the wall of the Oval Office, and the many other other places of power. Bob Woodward relates what happened, letting you judge for yourself. The book gives a unique insight into the real, mostly well-meaning, people involved in Trump's chaotic and tragic administration.

  • Columbus Day

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 1
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,670
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25,373
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,317

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sci Fi I didn't know I wanted

  • By Gary Glenn on 06-27-17

First half amazing, then took a nosedive

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

Reviewed: 11-06-17

It was hard to put a star rating on this book, as it feel like three different stories of three different genres. Let's pretend this book was really three books!

Book 1: Rugged individual deals with an interstellar invasion of a small rural town with the help of some neighbors, a few sticks of dynamite and an ice cream truck. Fun! But this tone would get boring if we had a whole book of it. So we move on to...

Book 2: Human civilization, and especially the military, deals with the invasion and gains an ally. This is the best part. As a reader you get a grunt's-eye view of what is going on, some of the diplomacy behind the scenes and how the military deals with an unexpected situation. Feels very authentic and you feel for the soldiers involved. If only the whole book had stuck to this genre. But it didn't. Instead we get to...

Book 3: The protagonist is joined by the smartest and most annoying artificial intelligence in the galaxy. And we switch gears to space pirate adventure. Due to the AI's superiority nothing can go seriously wrong so any suspense is out the window. But the annoying AI goes on and on and on. And why would an AI built long before human civilization existed get such a kick out of being sarcastic against humans all the time? Wouldn't it rather be beyond interacting with us, or choose to manipulate us in ways we can't even perceive?

Anyway, the third part broke my suspension of disbelief and killed my enjoyment of what until then had been a great book. I would have rated it 4-5 stars if I had had the sense to turn it off when the AI character appeared. You may want to try that.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

  • And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House
  • By: Alyssa Mastromonaco, Lauren Oyler
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Mastromonaco
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,082
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,076

If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would sound something like this. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is an intimate and admiring portrait of a president, a candid book of advice for young women, and a promising debut from a savvy political star.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging and funny

  • By Jean on 04-06-17

More about feelings, less about politics

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

Reviewed: 07-26-17

If you expect this book to be an insider's view of the Obama administration (like I did) you will be disappointed. It's more about the author's feelings at various parts of her career. It's probably inspiring career advice for young women who are thinking of going into public service, but not what I was looking for.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fear the Sky

  • The Fear Saga, Book 1
  • By: Stephen Moss
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 20 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,912
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,887
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,845

From the Audie-nominated narrator of The Martian. In eleven years' time, a million members of an alien race will arrive at Earth. Years before they enter orbit, their approach will be announced by the flare of a thousand flames in the sky, their ships' huge engines burning hard to slow them from the vast speeds needed to cross interstellar space. These foreboding lights will shine in our night sky like new stars, getting ever brighter until they outshine even the sun, casting ominous shadows and banishing the night until they suddenly blink out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Enjoyable

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 01-17-16

Rollercoaster story, poorly written

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

Reviewed: 07-25-17

If you can get over the military jargon, exaggerated violence, uneven pacing and poor writing, this book has a fun story. Not for me, but maybe for you if you like military sci-fi.

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

  • The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
  • By: Marie Kondo
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,739
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,548

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I both love and hate this life changing book

  • By Rebecca on 02-22-15

Inspirational!

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

Reviewed: 11-15-15

This book really inspired me to start tidying. So far I have done the first part: getting rid of excess clothes and organizing the rest so I know what I own. Looking forward to dealing with books next! It is odd, but the author is completely correct that tidying not only makes your house look nicer; it also makes you feel better.

  • The Rising

  • Flight Engineer, Book 1
  • By: James Doohan, S. M. Stirling
  • Narrated by: Johnathan McClain
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54

Peter Raeder became the Commonwealth's first ace pilot in the war against the secessionist Mollies. That battle cost him his hand - and his right to fly the nimble Speeds that had been his first love. Now he's Flight Engineer on the fast carrier Invincible, a crack new ship with a picked crew, ready to fight the Mollies who control the universe's richest anti-hydrogen mines, and the loathsome spider-like alien Fibians who have come to their aid.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fun read, somewhat predictable

  • By Martin Omander on 09-07-15

Fun read, somewhat predictable

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

Reviewed: 09-07-15

Most of the book was engaging and fun, but the ending felt unrealistic. Recommended for fans of military science fiction.

  • War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches

  • By: Kevin J. Anderson (editor), Robert Silverberg, Connie Willis, and others
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 130

Nineteen gut-wrenching reports from the front lines of the War of the Worlds, as logged by Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, H.P. Lovecraft, Winston Churchill, Jules Verne, and many of the other most famous writers of the time. The most popular and acclaimed science fiction writers of today relive the Martian invasion through the eyes of their famous predecessors.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • GLOBAL

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 03-08-15

Very uneven

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

Reviewed: 09-02-15

A couple of the stories were great, but the uneven quality and the jokey tone in some stories made for a poor overall experience.

  • Deathless

  • By: Catherynne M. Valente
  • Narrated by: Kim de Blecourt
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 178
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 166

Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to Western European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories that have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the 20th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Fantasy Book of the Year

  • By Robert on 12-29-13

Well-written, but a confusing tangle

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

Reviewed: 01-23-15

The Good: The author clearly loves magic realism and Russian folklore. Some of the chapters are extraordinary and would make great literary short stories. The narrator does an excellent job with the various characters' voices and Russian names.

The Bad: The frequent shifts between worlds were very confusing to me. Also, most narrative threads were left hanging in the end, so I wondered why the author had included them. It felt like a book that could have been three or four amazing short stories. Mashing them together didn't work for me. About half-way through, I just wanted the confusing mess to end.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Collapse

  • The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall
  • By: Mary Elise Sarotte
  • Narrated by: Elisabeth Rodgers
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 to end all traffic between the city’s two halves: the democratic west and the communist east. The iconic symbol of a divided Europe, the Wall became a focus of western political pressure on East Germany; as Ronald Reagan’s famously said in a 1987 speech in Berlin, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great blow-by-blow description of what happened

  • By Martin Omander on 01-23-15

Great blow-by-blow description of what happened

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

Reviewed: 01-23-15

The Good: The fall of the wall was not easy to understand from the news accounts at the time. We all knew *what* was happening, but not *why*. This book explains the big political picture and gives an exciting account of who did what, when and why in November 1989. I found the audiobook as hard to put down as a well-written thriller. And it was fascinating to see how easily things could have gone differently.

The Bad: Hard to find anything bad to say about the book. The narration was competent and clear, but it didn't knock my socks off, so I gave it four stars instead of five.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!

  • By: Nicholas Carlson
  • Narrated by: Kiff VandenHeuvel
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 395
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338

When Yahoo hired star Google executive Mayer to be its CEO in 2012 employees rejoiced. They put posters on the walls throughout Yahoo's California headquarters. On them there was Mayer's face and one word: HOPE. But one year later, Mayer sat in front of those same employees in a huge cafeteria on Yahoo's campus and took the beating of her life. Her hair wet and her tone defensive, Mayer read and answered a series of employee-posed questions challenging the basic elements of her plan.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Inside Story

  • By Jean on 02-01-15

A lot about Yahoo

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

Reviewed: 01-20-15

The Good: In-depth reporting on the history of Yahoo, as well as good analysis of why the company is in the position it is. The author has clearly talked to hundreds of people to get all the facts he did. Also, excellent narration.

The Bad: People who expect a book about Marissa Mayer will be disappointed. It's a book about Yahoo, where Ms Mayer gets slightly more space than her predecessors. I didn't mind because Yahoo's history is fascinating, but others might.