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Cletus van Damme

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  • 235
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  • 155
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  • Unacknowledged

  • An Exposé of the World’s Greatest Secret
  • By: Steven M. Greer MD
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 358
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357

The biggest lie in history is about to be shattered. UFOs are real. In late June of 1947, three extraterrestrial craft were downed outside Roswell Air Force Base. Many more followed, revealing dozens of ET species and a Rosetta Stone to a new physics, an energy generation and propulsion system responsible for interstellar space travel. This new system could have easily replaced oil, gas, coal, and nuclear plants - and with them, the entire geopolitical and economic order on our planet. But a cabal of bankers, the military-industrial complex, and Big Oil stopped it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One Of Those Must Buy Phenomenal Rare Books

  • By Vitaly on 11-09-17

I Want to Believe ...

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

Reviewed: 02-03-18

... but this book is not helping. What we have here is a verbatim transcript of Dr. Greer's documentary film "Unacknowledged." Watch the film or read the book and you will get the same information. What we do not have is any new, compelling evidence for the existence of, or contact with, UFOs and alien species. The so-called "testimonials" (actually interviews) of various individuals who claim to have knowledge about the issue consist of unverifiable hearsay. A typical interview runs along the lines of "I was in the Army in 1956. I had a super-duper double top secret clearance. I had a buddy who knew a guy who said a friend saw a document that proved there was a conspiracy to hide the existence of contact with extraterrestrials ... or saw a picture ... or saw the alien bodies ... or saw the craft ... or was harassed by men in black" and so forth, ad nauseam. While I am disposed to believe in Dr. Greer's underlying thesis that UFOs and alien species exist and that humans have been in contact with them, this book does nothing to bolster that thesis and is a waste of time.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • But Enough About Me

  • A Memoir
  • By: Burt Reynolds, Jon Winokur
  • Narrated by: Burt Reynolds
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 885
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 824
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 819

Burt Reynolds has been a Hollywood leading man for six decades, known for his legendary performances, sex-symbol status, and storied Hollywood romances. In his long career of stardom, during which he was number one at the box office for five years in a row, Reynolds has seen it all. But Enough About Me will tell his story through the people he's encountered on his amazing journey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible life!

  • By Zeppy on 11-24-15

The 2,000 Year Old Man

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

Reviewed: 11-30-17

Burt should have stepped aside and allowed someone else to narrate this book. He was a great narrator in his time (see Moby Dick on Audible) but has gotten too old. You can hear pages shuffling and crackling in the background. His voice sounds like he is on oxygen. I do not know the state of his health, but it was painful to listen to the scratchy, hollow voice of the guy who once posed for Playgirl. I remember Burt best as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance. I simply cannot believe the same guy is narrating this book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • American Sniper

  • The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
  • By: Chris Kyle, Scott McEwan, Jim DeFelice
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,032
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,013
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,020

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It's been censored by the publisher

  • By K9NSP on 10-21-17

Overproduced

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

Reviewed: 08-30-17

Book would have been much more enjoyable if the narrator had not adopted a faux Texas accent: "Ah knew somethin' wuz happenin' down thar." He should have played it straight. The narration makes both the author and the narrator sound ridiculous. Pretty good book, but from what friends have said, the movie was better. Have not seen the movie yet. I wonder whether Brad Cooper's movie accent is as bad as this book.

  • The House of Morgan

  • An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance
  • By: Ron Chernow
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 34 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,731
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,529
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,518

A gripping history of banking and the booms and busts that shaped the world on both sides of the Atlantic, The House of Morgan traces the trajectory of the J. P.Morgan empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the crash of 1987. Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the private saga of the Morgans and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved. Based on extensive interviews and access to the family and business archives, The House of Morgan is an investigative masterpiece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Chernow's first book as good as his later ones

  • By S. Yates on 06-01-17

Superb narration

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

Reviewed: 06-25-14

Robertson Dean takes what could have been a dry financial history and turns it into a fascinating tale. I did not catch a single mispronunciation, even on foreign words like "cognoscenti" and "pince-nez." He is one of the best in the business. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, particularly because it confirms the hair-raising truth about central banking described by G. Edward Griffin in "The Creature from Jekyll Island."

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • 1959

  • The Year Everything Changed
  • By: Fred Kaplan
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 80

Acclaimed national security columnist and noted cultural critic Fred Kaplan looks past the 1960s to the year that really changed AmericaWhile conventional accounts focus on the 60s as the era of pivotal change that swept the nation, Fred Kaplan argues that it was 1959 that ushered in the wave of tremendous cultural, political, and scientific shifts that would play out in the decades that followed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Facinating look at a neglected moment in history

  • By James on 05-25-11

The Arts in New York City in 1959

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

Reviewed: 04-30-13

While the opening chapters briefly discuss foreign affairs and the space race, the greater part of the book is devoted to changes in architecture, cinema, literature, music, painting, and photography in New York City. The book's perspective on events in 1959 reminds me of "The New Yorker" magazine cover by Saul Steinberg, skewed to give New York prominence over the rest of the country. The book is interesting in a Don Draper-esque kind of way but hardly lives up to its thesis that the course of world history was changed by events in 1959. Kaplan himself was only five years old in 1959. It is obvious that his true love is jazz (he writes jazz reviews for "Stereophile" magazine) and that he fantasizes about hanging out with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Fans of "Mad Men" will probably enjoy some chapters and may find themselves (like I did) rushing out to buy an album by Ornette Coleman just to see what all the fuss is about. In the end, Kaplan (like Sal Paradise) has "nothing to offer anybody except [his] own confusion."

  • The Third Bullet

  • Bob Lee Swagger, Book 8
  • By: Stephen Hunter
  • Narrated by: Buck Schirner
  • Length: 19 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 471
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 405

It’s not even a clue. It’s a whisper, a trace, a ghost echo, drifting down through the decades via chance connections so fragile that they would disintegrate in the puff of a breath. But it’s enough to get legendary former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger interested in the events of November 22, 1963, and the third bullet that so decisively ended the life of John F. Kennedy and set the stage for one of the most enduring controversies of our time. Swagger begins his slow night stalk through a much-traveled landscape. But he’s asking questions that few have asked before....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not what reader is anticipating

  • By lyl on 01-18-13

I had high hopes ...

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

Reviewed: 04-12-13

... that Hunter might shed some fictional light on the events in Dealey Plaza, much the way James Ellroy did in "American Tabloid." Unfortunately, Hunter admits in the afterword that his research was limited to the Warren Commission Report itself, "Case Closed" by Gerald Posner, and "Reclaiming History" by Vincent Bugliosi. I wish Hunter had done a little more research and stumbled across a now out-of-print book by Craig Roberts titled "Kill Zone: A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza." Now THAT would have given him some ideas to work with. The ballistics analysis of the shot from the grassy knoll is flawed, the portrayal of Oswald is way off the mark, and Hugh Meachum (particularly as voiced by Buck Shirner) is obnoxious. "Bob the Nailer" as gumshoe detective is a terrible waste of a good character. The side-trip to modern-day Moscow and the Lubyanka archives was really a stretch. I consider this a reasonably entertaining book consisting mostly of a police procedural with a couple of gunfights thrown in, and a completely unsatisfying resolution of the assassination conspiracy. Not Hunter's best work. He has recently shown himself still a capable of writing a good action thriller, however. See "Soft Target" if you are looking for something on par with "Point of Impact."

  • Soft Target

  • Ray Cruz, Book 1
  • By: Stephen Hunter
  • Narrated by: Phil Gigante
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 632
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 554
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 550

New York Times best-selling author Stephen Hunter is back with another breakneck thriller, in which ex-Marine sniper, Ray Kruz, must outwit a group of murderous Somali terrorists who’ve laid siege to the Mall of America. Recently retired marine sergeant Ray Kruz has been talked into a mall trip by his fiancé, the beautiful Molly Chan. For Ray, Molly represents a way to reconnect with normal life, something his 20 years in the service and five tours in two combat zones have prevented.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bubble Gum Basic

  • By Shawn on 05-19-13

Hunter's best work in years

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

Reviewed: 04-12-13

Hunter is at his best writing fast-paced, action thrillers. Regrettably, in the past few years he has gotten off-target (pun intended) with densely-plotted procedurals involving the venerable Bob Lee Swagger. Bob Lee played out years ago and should have been retired following "Time to Hunt." Keeping the character going has induced a form of writer's block displayed in "The 47th Samurai" and "The Third Bullet" among others. With this book, Hunter is back doing what he does best. This action-packed ripper ranks up there with "Point of Impact" for sheer excitement. Perhaps Hunter should drop the entire Swagger family (particularly Nikki, who is simply annoying), forget continuity with past novels, and invent new characters. This one is a definite winner.

  • JFK and the Unspeakable

  • Why He Died and Why It Matters
  • By: James W. Douglass
  • Narrated by: Pete Larkin
  • Length: 22 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331

At the height of the Cold War, JFK risked committing the greatest crime in human history: starting a nuclear war. Horrified by the specter of nuclear annihilation, Kennedy gradually turned away from his long-held Cold Warrior beliefs and toward a policy of lasting peace. But to the military and intelligence agencies in the United States, who were committed to winning the Cold War at any cost, Kennedy's change of heart was a direct threat to their power and influence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-13-12

When the radical priest come to get me relased ...

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

Reviewed: 03-03-13

I had high hopes for this book as an up-to-date aggregation of JFK assassination research to replace Jim Marrs' excellent (but dated) "Crossfire." Douglass' book is a huge disappointment, having more to do with the canonization of JFK as a Roman Catholic martyr than with the conspiracy itself.

Like Joe Friday, all I want are the facts. Douglass performs the specious task of imputing religious motivations to JFK's foreign policy, drawing parallels between that policy and the writings of Thomas Merton. Merton had about as much influence on JFK's foreign policy as Donald Duck.

I agree with the author that JFK was killed by the "military-industrial complex." The military-industrial complex is a Very Bad Thing that controls our government to this day ("Don't drone me, bro!"). However, the characterization of JFK as a saint strikes me as naive. To quote James Ellroy: "Jack Kennedy was the mythological front man for a particularly juicy slice of our history. He called a slick line and wore a world-class haircut. He was Bill Clinton minus pervasive media scrutiny and a few rolls of flab. Jack got whacked at the optimum moment to assure his sainthood."

The true story has been covered-up and the nation lied-to for 50 years. The full truth needs to be acknowledged by the government and the plotters exposed. This book, focused on Roman Catholic theology rather than the plot itself, does little to advance the cause. If you are an assassination conspiracy buff, better choices available on Audible include "LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination" and "Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination."

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Antifragile

  • Things That Gain from Disorder
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Joe Ochman
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,829
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,810

In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • How to focus on impact instead of risk

  • By E. Smakman on 05-03-13

Superb work of scholarship

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

Reviewed: 01-14-13

I thought this would be a book about investing strategy. It is so much more. I will have to buy the hard copy and re-read it several times. There is a lot of meat to digest. Five-star work all the way. Taleb's comparison of the current state of academic research at publish-or-perish institutions with counterfeit watches is spot-on. I do not know of any practitioners in my field who bother to read any of the "leading journals" of academic research. Joe Ochman's narration is also outstanding. He does an excellent job coping with Taleb's broad vocabulary of unfamiliar English words smattered with foreign words like "flâneur." This book will expand your vocabulary if nothing else! I write mainly to voice my strong objection to the producer's decision to bleep Taleb's occasional use of expletives. Taleb is nothing if not a wordsmith and when he inserts an expletive it is for effect, either to show contempt for the idea he is debunking or to get the reader's attention. There is no excuse for the producer inserting a loud "bleep" over words like "bullsh*t." I listened to this book in the car and the bleeps are higher in volume that the surrounding speech. On several occasions, I thought someone was honking at me! The bleeps are unnecessary and disconcerting. May I suggest revising the recorded book to omit the bleeps? An excellent book that deserves a listen from every thoughtful person who is disturbed by current trends in academic research.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Family of Secrets

  • The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America
  • By: Russ Baker
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 24 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 317

French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre said that "words are loaded pistols". In the hands of Russ Baker, they are hydrogen bombs. On each and every page of his masterpiece, Family of Secrets, he explodes the myths and lies that powerful forces have perpetrated on the American consciousness. He digs beneath the surface in a form of journalistic archeology to reveal the hidden history of one of America's most powerful families, leaving no stone unturned.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Still Relevant, Impossible to Put Down

  • By Cletus van Damme on 12-14-12

Still Relevant, Impossible to Put Down

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

Reviewed: 12-14-12

Russ Baker is the only *real* investigative journalist I know who is working today. See WhoWhatWhy dot com for more of his work. This penetrating and insightful book tracks down obscure people and lost papers to pierce the veil of lies and disinformation surrounding the Bush dynasty's ascent to power. The same or similar techniques have their analogs in the current Obama regime. I was astonished at Baker's investigative prowess, firmly establishing Bush the Elder's long association with the CIA, his work in the anti-Castro movement, and use of Zapata off-shore drilling rigs to train anti-Castro rebels. 41's presence in Dallas on November 22 was no historical coincidence, nor was his involvement (at a discreet distance) in Watergate. This book illustrates the exercise of power by the financial elites better than any I have read. The reason I give it four stars rather than five is that the sheer breadth of Baker's discoveries requires many digressions to link disparate persons and incidents. Listening to the audiobook while driving caused me to lose the thread of his reasoning at a few points in the middle of the book. Oliver Wyman is pretty good at voice imitations and does an excellent job of both 41 and 43. I found this book so interesting and well-written that I have purchased the hardcover version so I can re-read sections and cross-reference at my leisure. Great stuff!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful