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KierONeil

Bentonville, AR, USA
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 23
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Rampage audiobook cover art

Author does not do this battle justice

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

I reserve a 1-star for books that are so bad that I have to abandon it before the end. This book escaped that fate purely because the battle that it talks about is so historically important that I felt I had to persevere, but it was tough.
There were thousands of deaths and atrocities and you are going to hear about each and every one of them in grisly detail. Sure, the first time that you hear about a baby being pulled from their mother's arms, tossed up in the air and skewered with a bayonet it is shocking. By the 15th time, not so much so.
The author goes into the weeds so deep that you forget what was going on strategically. In fact, the author spends very little time at the strategic level.
There is also no countervailing story from the Japanese side, nothing. It is one-sided from start to finish.
There is arbitrary dialogue inserted throughout the book. This contrived dialogue is as if the author asked his friends for a few lines based on the situation and his friends weren't very creative. The narrator did nothing to help this with his vocal inflections.
The narrator also had a very strange way of saying "Corregidor". I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he did his research and this is the way that the Filipinos pronounce it, but it is unlike any other pronunciation that I've heard of this island's name.
If there were any silver-lining to this book it was in the last part which dealt with the trial of the Japanese general. It felt balanced and well-structured, unfortunately it didn't make up for the rest of the book.
If you like the books of Cornelius Ryan, Shelby Foote, or Stephen Ambrose you will probably not like this one. I can only hope that someone with their skills will take up this topic and do it justice.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Scandinavians audiobook cover art

An exhausting journey through Scandinavian history

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

This is a good book, but it is very long. The author does preface the work that it's not really a history but a journey. He explores the scandanavian countries and gathers stories about the entire history of the region. It is mostly in chronological order, which is good in a way, and also bad in a way.
The scandanavian region has history that goes a long way back. To encompass it all the book, by definition, would have to be long.
I think I started to give up on this book when I discovered that a section of the book was devoted to an entire three-act play. I was half-way into the second act before I realized what was going on.
At this point I had invested so much time in the book just getting to year 1900 that I just wanted to get through it and hope there were some useful insights on modern scandanavia. There wasn't much.
I had always put Finland with the Scandanavian countries but there was almost no mention of Finland. I think there was more about Iceland & Greenland than Finland.
This is a good book, but it is for someone who wants to live vicariously through the author and his travels through Scandanavia.
My ratings are: 1 = Couldn't finish book; 2 = Finished book but nothing redeeming in book; 3 = Finished book and there was some new insight, etc.
This is why I give it three-stars.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Lost City of the Monkey God audiobook cover art

Fascinating true story of discovery of lost city

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

Reviewed: 03-05-17

Would you consider the audio edition of The Lost City of the Monkey God to be better than the print version?

Probably not because the printed book would have all the pictures embedded in it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't remember his first name but the "fixer" Hieneke is such a colorful character that if they made a movie about this he would be the character that most people talked about.

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

His delivery is very consistent and easy to listen to.

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

No

Any additional comments?

This is one of those rare books that I listened to every free moment I had. I finished it in three days. I couldn't wait to hear what happened next. I would have given this five stars except for the fact that the author took a detour and deep dive into tropical diseases and epidemiology. I completely understand why the author did it, because he suffered quite a bit from what he contracted in Honduras but it just felt like filler material. Excellent book for anyone interested in history, exploring, and archaeology.

Hillbilly Elegy audiobook cover art

great companion to White Trash

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

Reviewed: 09-03-16

you'll get a whole new perspective on poor whites. I listened to White Trash before this one and the are very complimentary.

The Man Who Killed Kennedy audiobook cover art

LBJ was one bad SOB

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

Reviewed: 01-24-15

What did you love best about The Man Who Killed Kennedy?

He does a great job of showing how the various people close to Kennedy interacted.

What did you like best about this story?

It's a compelling argument that is very plausible.

What three words best describe David Rapkin’s performance?

Solid and steady

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

No

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Currency Wars audiobook cover art

Poor job of building his thesis

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

Reviewed: 01-24-15

Would you try another book from James Rickards and/or Walter Dixon?

Yes I would just to see if this was an anomaly or really his style. The subject matter was intriguing, he just meandered around it instead of actually supporting his sub-title "The Making of the Next Global Crisis

Would you ever listen to anything by James Rickards again?

Sure, if someone recommended it to me.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I don't understand this question.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

This book came in two parts. My rule is that if I don't want to listen to the second part then it gets one star for content. This was one of those books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Age of Ambition audiobook cover art

A series of stories about individuals

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

Reviewed: 01-24-15

What disappointed you about Age of Ambition?

I had expected it to be a more overarching analysis of China's current place in the world and instead of was a series of seemingly unrelated stories about individual people.

What was most disappointing about Evan Osnos’s story?

There seemed to be no cohesive element holding the overall story together. It was just one unrelated story after another.

Did Evan Osnos and George Backman do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He did a great job of differentiating the characters.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

This book came in two parts. My rule is that if I don't want to listen to the second part then it gets one star for content. This was one of those books.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Zombie Banks audiobook cover art
  • Zombie Banks
  • How Broken Banks and Debtor Nations Are Crippling the Global Economy
  • By: Yalman Onaran
  • Narrated by: Pete Larkin

Boomerang covers this topic much better

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

Reviewed: 05-24-12

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

No, I would recommend Boomerang by Michael Lewis which was much more engaging.

Would you be willing to try another book from Yalman Onaran? Why or why not?

Sure, why not.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I have no strong feelings on the performance.

Was Zombie Banks worth the listening time?

Yes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful