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121-MURC

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wow ..... big wow

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

Reviewed: 09-05-16

Who knew that U.S. Grant was such a witty fellow? This book, while obviously is not a work of humor, is interspersed with little gems. Now, we should note that Mark Twain was his publisher, so maybe he might have helped Grant out a bit in that department.

The big thing I took away from this book, is that Grant displayed a tremendous amount of common sense. Common sense that was derived from experience, whereby in his formative military years, he was smart enough to shut up and pay attention.

The other thing one takes away, is the notion that Grant with no formal training in how to run the most sophisticated army of the day, did so. Again using common sense, fortitude to see the thing through, and probably most importantly, relying on his lower ranking officers who were in the field to use their intelligence to achieve victory, So many generals are filled with such vanity, that leads to disastrous ends.

A great book, by a very underrated general.

you just can't make this stuff up!

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

Reviewed: 09-05-16

It is stunning that someone, as savvy as Richard Nixon was, could be so misguided by his own paranoia, and ill advised, so as to bring down what could have been a historic Presidency.

This book is an excellent start for anyone who wants to examine the Watergate scandal (contrary to some reviews I have seen). It is based on the infamous Nixon recordings, not only from the oval office, but various locations around the country.

I believe that John Dean is no innocent in this mess, and he seems to be forever trying to seek absolution through his literary confessions. On the other hand, he does seems more than willing to admit his guilt, and naturally, the guilt of others. He really doesn't care who's ox gored who.

I found the most interesting part to be the way the principles seemed to have realized the jig was up fairly quickly, but were slowly circling each other, to see who could either be framed for the blame, or pushed under the bus. The sad part of the whole ordeal is that, if Nixon had the personal fortitude to deal with the situation early on, instead of trying to stay loyal to what was ostensibly a troupe of maroons, he probably would have skated right through, unscathed.

At times, one needs a lineup sheet, as there are so many players, and there is a lot of overlap in dates. That said, the book does a decent job of trying to keep the listener's head from spinning.

A word about the narration. It is excellent.....except....; I have no idea why some narrators feel the need to assume characters, In this case, every time Nixon is speaking, we get a Nixon impression, albeit a pretty good one. If it was just Mr. Barrett, showing off his impressionistic talents for Nixon, I might grin and bear it, however...we get silly falsetto voices for females and southern drawls for some. It is totally unnecessary. Barrett's almost whispering tones for 75% of the rest of the narration, add to the notion of this being something that was being done on the hush hush.

Not wanting to end on a down note, I would say two thumbs up, for an excellent book, that puts the Nixon tapes into context, by one of the principles.

This is good book.......but

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

Reviewed: 12-21-15

Where does Go Set a Watchman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a really good book. I am not a big fiction fan, but this was a great break from my usual history books.

What other book might you compare Go Set a Watchman to and why?

Clearly it has to be put alongside Mockingbird. Like it or not.

Which character – as performed by Reese Witherspoon – was your favorite?

They were all great. She clearly had passion for the material, and in spite of roadside embarrassment in her real life, made me really enjoy her work on this.

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

It ambled a little bit. Maybe it was the reader or the material, but at times it did bog down.

Any additional comments?

This book suffers from the fact that the first book, was clearly almost perfect. And if the the book wasn't perfect, the movie was. I am guessing that either through school, personal reading or being a movie fan, anyone interested in this book would be familiar with Mockingbird in some facet.

Before listening/reading, one should do a little research, and get a bit of a feel of the history of Watchman. Whereas Mockingbird presents Atticus Finch as hero of all, Watchman, shows that not everything is a clear as one might think.

After reading some of the pre-release reviews, I thought that my impression of Atticus would be so tainted, perhaps I would skip this book and keep him up there as one of my fictional heroes. Instead I now see that he is a much more interesting character. Jean-Louise to my mind comes across as a petty know-it-all who has tantrums when people do not see things her way.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

This will make you think twice

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

Reviewed: 12-21-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is always interesting to hear why things happened. In this soundbite era, with so called experts, who use buzz words and phrases like "i think, it's possible, i believe", to have a person who was in the thick of things, explain in tremendous detail, the ins and outs and the whys and wherefores of what happened, clarifies many issues.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Stress Test?

I find it interesting that Geithner is unapologetic for being himself. It's nice to see that even in the highest levels of government, the F-bomb is used.

Makes everyone seem more human.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

This is a tough one. I like it when the authors read their own stuff, especially when it is a personal memoir. One can hear the emotions associated with the passage being read.

On the other hand....sometimes the author is not really a great public speaker. In this case our author is want to repeatedly tell you that he is a dull public speaker, and he is not being modest. He has a very bland monotone voice. There is very little inflection, which really becomes noticeable on the rare occasion when he does liven it up (and that would only be for a few words). It's too bad, because on the rare occasion when he does liven it up, you can hear the potential for a more enlivening performance.

One other thing, the recording of this is a little uneven, it gets louder and quieter in spots. Obviously no shot at the author, but rather the production crew.

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

You don't want to laugh or cry, more like scream and want to choke somebody.

It is a testament to greed and political corruption. Financial bigwigs who bought congress and the President so the rules could be abolished or quashed or ignored, then have the nerve to go to government to bail them out. Geithner is want to point out that the government's payments of corporate bonuses to companies who were the authors of their own fate, was distasteful, but only a infinitesimal percentage of the bail outs.

The reader gets a real idea of why this had to happen, however distasteful.

A nice lecture on military history

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

Reviewed: 12-21-15

Would you listen to History's Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach again? Why?

I don't know that I would listen to this again.

What did you like best about this story?

There really isn't a story, these are more a series of lectures, with each chapter comprising a different military debacle.

What about Professor Gregory S. Aldrete, PhD’s performance did you like?

I realise that as a professor, Dr. Aldrete probably has to do a lot of lecturing to students, so while his profession is not that of an actor, he is no novice to public speaking.

That said I had plently of professors who could call a hail mary in the super bowl and make it sound dull. However, Dr. Aldrete is really good. I would say as good as any reader I have heard. One can hear his enthusiasm for the subject.

Any additional comments?

There are many interesting moments in this book. The narration is excellent and the various incidents Dr. Aldrete has chosen are all relevant and interesting. I might say that as his list winds down, it would seem that he might be stretching for some filler and that while the "blunders" he chooses are relevant, they seem not to be as "blunderous" as some of the previous. I wonder why he could not find something from the Vietnam war (say Dien Bien Phu)

Other than that, a very interesting series of lectures, delivered with an outstanding performance.

A NO HOLDS BARRED LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES

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

Reviewed: 12-20-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Ball Four to be better than the print version?

With Jim Bouton actually reading the book, complete with appropriate inflection, the listener can really get a better notion of what he was feeling at the time.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ball Four?

Hearing an interested and involved onlooker actually cut down some of the great players of the day. Today sports interviews are generally so staid and trite, with a litany of cliches, that met out very little actual information

Which scene was your favorite?

The whole book was pretty interesting, especially when Bouton makes his comeback years after his career was ostensibly over.

Any additional comments?

This is a pretty interesting insiders look behind the scenes. My one criticism would be that while Bouton does mention some of his own misgivings, others, that my own reading outside of this book, are glossed over or ignored. I'm pretty sure I was paying attention throughout and there is no mention of his retirement in the 70's.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

great story, bizarre performance

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

Reviewed: 10-12-15

Would you listen to Farewell My Lovely again? Why?

I might listen again, save for the annoying aspects of the reader.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Farewell My Lovely?

This is a well crafted melodrama, full of your typical wise-guy humor from the era

What didn’t you like about Ray Porter’s performance?

When Mr Porter is doing the narrative and the Marlow character we get a fairly decent reading. However, when doing other characters, he assumes odd, and frankly poorly voiced characterizations. This is especially annoying for the female characters, who all sound like a variation of Jonathan Winters' Maude Friggard.

Not What You Expect from a Military Man

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

Reviewed: 07-02-15

Would you listen to Don't Wait for the Next War again? Why?

As this book is offered as a bit of a manifesto for America, one listening should suffice.

What did you like best about this story?

There is a balanced, and reasoned approach to Gen. Clark's views.

He has certainly live a very divergent life, and is not opposed to telling the reader/listener about that. I would not begrudge him that, as the aside from, considered research, a good portion of his plan for America is based upon his life experience.

What about Donald Corren’s performance did you like?

This is a solid performance, although a bit dry at times. In Mr. Corren's defense, the book does get a tad dry in places.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A documentary the Republicans will trip over themselves to bad mouth.

Any additional comments?

I first head about this book when Gen. Clark appeared on the Daily Show. I was surprised that a military man would have such left leaning views.

That said this is hardly something that one would consider the work or a crazed leftist. It is a considered work, based on research, experience and common sense.

Another Fantastic Work

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

Reviewed: 07-02-15

If you could sum up The Bully Pulpit in three words, what would they be?

engaging compelling captivating

Who was your favorite character and why?

Who else could it be, Roosevelt, he was and seemingly remains, larger than life.

Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Mr. Herrmann's steady, and metered narration is a wonderfully professional performance.

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

This book is some 30+ hours long, and while extremely enjoyable, is a bit much to do in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

Another amazing tale from Brooklyn's finest. As much as I knew about Roosevelt was as little as I knew about Taft.

While this offering is clearly an exhaustive study of the two, and their journalistic contemporaries, the accessible writing style and solid narration make this a real yarn as opposed to a history lesson.