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  • 24
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  • A Storm in Flanders

  • The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front
  • By: Winston Groom
  • Narrated by: David Baker
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92

Novelist and prizewinning historian Winston Groom's gripping history of the four-year battle for Ypres in Belgian Flanders, the pivotal engagement of World War I that would forever change the way the world fought - and thought about - war. This is Groom's account of what would become the most dreaded place on Earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love, love, love this book!

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-16-16

I love, love, love this book!

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

Reviewed: 08-16-16

What made the experience of listening to A Storm in Flanders the most enjoyable?

It is written by an American for Americans who know a little as I knew about WWI, which is to say only what I remember from "The Guns of August."

Who was your favorite character and why?

Every soldier who left the trenches on leave and returned. When he arrived as a new recruit he may have heard stories about the conditions but when he returned from leave, he knew first hand what he was facing and he returned nevertheless.

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

He knows how to pronounce the French, German and Flemish names...at least I think he does.

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

When the war is over and Churchill wants to leave the area in ruins as a memorial to the dead and the citizens of Ypres resist. Their lives needed to go on and they wanted a living memorial to the sacrifices that were made.

Any additional comments?

This book stirred my interest and I visited Ypres in August 2016. Anyone who thinks the solution to a problem is war should read this book and visit this area. The number of dead and missing is breathtaking! This is the area where gas was first used by the Germans and where the Germans first used flamethrowers in the trenches. The British Empire forces vaporized thousands of Germans when they tunneled under the German lines and planted explosives. Winston Groom has performed a public service by writing such a readable/listenable book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Indian Summer

  • The Secret History of the End of an Empire
  • By: Alex von Tunzelmann
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128

At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the British Empire withdrew from India, igniting the exhilaration and turmoil of a newly free society. In this vivid, atmospheric popular history, Alex von Tunzelmann chronicles these times through the most prominent figures.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The narrator gets too emotional...

  • By Aseem Saxena on 04-06-16

A Great Primer On A Subject I Knew Little About

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

Reviewed: 08-06-12

I was aware the subcontinent was partitioned at independence and little else. I had heard of Lord and Edwina Montbatten and was faintly aware of rumors of Nehru and Edwina's special relationship. Of course, who has not heard of Mahatma Gandhi. "Indian Summer" gives background to the events of 1947 in terms of personalities, geography and historical events. It also provides insights into how Pakistan has developed from what was intended to be a secular nation into what we see today.
I am certain there is more to learn, but "Indian Summer" is a great beginning and a solid base to build on.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Columbine

  • By: Dave Cullen
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,365
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,230
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,237

Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I feel like I've been hit by a freight train

  • By Dave on 06-23-09

A comprehensive report

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-03-09

I was suprised how little I knew about the two teenagers who perpetrated the crime we have come to know simply as "Columbine" and what efforts were made by the local authorities to avoid admitting the two were clearly on law enforcement's radar screen prior to the event. The author makes it clear there are many things we will never know about the 2 teenagers, but they left a record in the form of videos and at least one journal. The most interesting character is an FBI hostage negotiator whose son went to Columbine and became involved in the investigation almost immediately. His training and insights are a major contribution to the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Battle for America 2008

  • The Story of an Extraordinary Election
  • By: Dan Balz, Haynes Johnson
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 17 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22

The election of 2008 shattered political barriers; illuminated undercurrents of race, gender, and class; and ignited an extraordinary battle among some of the most formidable rivals ever to seek the presidency: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. It was an election that played out against a backdrop of war, economic collapse, and deep pessimism about the future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of the genre

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-03-09

The best of the genre

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-03-09

I have read several books about the 2008 election and books discussing what the election might say about America. I found "The Battle for America 2008" among the best in both categories. Although the authors focused on the Clinton v Obama battle, they also address the Republican primary, the selection of Palin and the general election. I found an obvious effort to provide a balanced report, sometimes more successfully than others. Republicans might pick up some pointers about how they went from a ruling party to back benchers in 6 years and Democrats might learn what they need to do to hold the center of the country in future elections.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Les Miserables

  • By: Victor Hugo
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 57 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,400
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 791
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 806

Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this book - one of the best of all time

  • By Sher from Provo on 06-30-10

I thought it was great

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-08

I picked this particular version of Les Mis because it was unabridged and, inspite of all the digressions, it was worth it. However, I am getting the abridged version for a friend whom I know is more interested in the story than in the full flavor of the period. I enjoyed the reader with his French pronunciation and his failed attempts to sing. This is a reminder why I love the classics.

  • The Last Season

  • A Team in Search of Its Soul
  • By: Phil Jackson
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

Nine-time NBA Champion coach Phil Jackson knows all about being in the spotlight, about high-profile, high-pressure seasons coaching gigantic personalities through adversity and controversy in the middle of a media hothouse in which every move is another headline, another installment in the soap opera. But nothing had quite prepared him for the only-in-Hollywood high-wire act of the Lakers' 2003-2004 season.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Good content, but awful to listen to.

  • By Ricardo Anaya on 06-11-10

If you are interested in the NBA

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-15-04

I must begin by confessing (1) I love the Lakers of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar; (2) I love the Bulls of MJ, Dennis Rodman and Scotty Pippen; (3) I find the current crop of NBA players, typified by Kobe and Shaq, overpaid underperformers with a startling sense of entitlement.
I was interested in hearing what Phil Jackson had to say about The Last Season. He did not disappoint me. When he wrote about his former Bull team and team members, you could sense the love and longing in his tone. His heart was (and might always be) with them. When he writes about the Lakers, he is writing from the outside, as an observer, a hired hand. He admits that he felt an outsider, he refers to "The Laker Organization." He does not refer to "us." This lends some objectivity to his observations and comments.
He confirms my preconceived ideas about Kobe, but has forced me to re-evaluate my opinion of Shaq. Last week Kobe scored 41 points in a game and the Lakers lost. Based on what I heard in The Last Season, Kobe must be very happy. He is the star, there is no one around him competing for the limelight and he can say to one and all, as many three years olds like to do, "You are not the boss of me." Oh, the Lakers are losing? Who cares, its all about me, me, me.
I would recommend this book to any who is a fan of the NBA and is curious about what can cause a team with seemingly limitless talent to fail to reach its potential. For Phil Jackson, winning is not the most important thing; striving, doing your best, those are the things that count.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Charlie Wilson's War

  • The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History
  • By: George Crile
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 20 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,851
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,561
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,582

Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Afghan War:Last Nail in the Soviet Coffin

  • By William Lorenzen on 08-10-04

One of the best books I have ever listened to

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-24-04

This book is both informative and entertaining. It provides insights into the operations of Congress, the CIA and our relationship with Pakistan during the 1980's. Charlie and Gust come to life with the voice of the reader who does an outstanding job. There is a brief epilogue that attempts to tie the events of the book to the events of 9/11. I wish this section had been more fully developed. This is a must read for anyone interested in world events.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful