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Blake

Annapolis, MD, United States
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Fighter Pilot audiobook cover art

A Very Enjoyable Read

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

Reviewed: 04-24-18

This is a thoroughly enjoyable work, with a great mix of thrilling action as the author Robin Olds recounts harrowing air-to-air combat in two wars, interspersed with his experiences of command and leadership. The narrative moves along at a great pace through the personable writing of the author. Robertson Dean does a terrific job of bringing the author’s story to life. This is an autobiographical work, and Olds skips over issues a biographer would reveal, such as his alcoholism and a balanced view on his marriage failure. Olds makes it clear his point of view is the only correct one throughout the book. But getting past the perhaps earned arrogance of a fighter pilot, Olds writes a story of his life that is riveting from start to end.

Operation Thunderbolt audiobook cover art
  • Operation Thunderbolt
  • Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History
  • By: Saul David
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim

Reads Like a History Textbook

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

Reviewed: 04-09-18

If you’re a reader who wants to know every little detail about a historical event, this book gets five stars. It is meticulously researched and detailed by author Saul David. If knowing the birthdate and career/childhood of anyone involved in the raid on Entebbe you will be thrilled with this work. However, if you're looking for an entertaining read about a historical event and want to enjoy the 14 hours and 50 minutes you'll invest in the story, this book isn't for you. It reads like a dry classroom history textbook, and sadly is read by narrator Peter Ganim like one. When people say they don't like reading history it's books like this they're talking about.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Masters of the Air audiobook cover art

Burdened with Detail and No Narrative

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

This is a plodding work, packed with far too much detail and no story to grab hold. Too many names are included as if it was important to the author to include everyone. As a result the story fails to take off. It is not a good narrative. Robertson Dean does his best with the words but cannot make this one interesting.

Wild audiobook cover art

Gripping Story Better than the Movie

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

The autobiography of Cheryl Strayed who walked the Pacific Coast Trail on her own from the Mexican border to the Columbia River after the death of her mother. The book is far richer than the movie based on this book. The narration and the sense of place, the emotions meld superbly in this work.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Devil in the White City audiobook cover art
  • The Devil in the White City
  • Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick

Gripping History Telling at its Best

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

A page turner, Larson tells the story of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and the simultaneous story of the country’s biggest mass murderer taking place concurrently in Chicago.

The Kennedy Detail audiobook cover art

Interesting GLimpse at the Kennedy White House

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

The autobiography of secret service agent Gerald Blaine who was a member of the Kennedy detail. A very interesting read, though the book by Clint Hill is more readable.

Mrs. Kennedy and Me audiobook cover art

Personal and Powerfully Riveting

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

The autobiography of the secret service agent Clint Hill who was assigned to Jackie Kennedy, before, during and after the Kennedy assassination. It’s a deeply personal look at the Kennedys and the relationship between Clint Hill and Mrs. Kennedy. He was the agent seen leaping onto the back of the limo trying to shield Mrs. Kennedy and the president after the shots in Dallas in the famous assasination photos.

Indestructible audiobook cover art

Entertaining Yet a Bit Fanciful

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

This is an enjoyable read and the story of P.I. "Pappy" Gunn's activities in the Pacific during WWII is exiting. So now the critical part: The author concludes that no one person under the rank of general contributed more to the victory in the Pacific than Gunn did. If you're willing to accept that statement, and to get to the end of the book and not realize the title is completely misleading, you'll find no fault in this story or its reading. If however, you've heard of Lt. Cmdr. Wade McClusky, Cmdr. Joe Rochefort, Lt. Cmdr. Richard O'Kane or some other notable figures, and despite 30-plus years of reading military history on the Pacific theater never ran across the name of Pappy Gunn before, you might credit the author a bit of hyperbole. It’s the same hyperbole that takes great liberties with the definition of non-fiction. Sure, narrative non-fiction takes liberties with dialog and creating color, but there are passages in this book that are just pure fiction weaving together the bits of reality the author was able to piece together. This is not to say P.I. “Pappy” Gunn didn’t contribute to the war, and it’s not to say the author didn’t create a good story. It’s just that a package of salt should accompany this book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

A Delicate Truth audiobook cover art

Inconsistant and Uneven

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

Reviewed: 03-03-18

John le Carre is a master of suspense and storytelling, and his own work sets a standard to which A Delicate Truth fails to attain. The secret mission to which “Paul Anderson” is sent is farcical, his role and the dialog just silly. The book only gets interesting and suspenseful when it shifts focus to the parallel story of Toby, of the foreign office. The book seems written with two distinct efforts, the second, the masterful le Carre of old, and the first, a bungled attempt to string together a story to unravel in the second half of the book. In the same way, the author’s narration of his own work makes it riveting in the second half, while the first half his slushy slurring reading is a distraction and his accented characters distinctly lesser than later in his reading. All in all for readers of le Carre this book ends with enough of his former skills to warrant a read, thought it’s a bumpy one.

A Legacy of Spies audiobook cover art

Apologies to John le Carré - Not His Best Work

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading John le Carré for three decades. His characters and plot twists have placed him at the top of the spy thriller genre. This book, A Legacy of Spies is a sequel to his highly acclaimed 1963 novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, the success of which propelled his writing career. As much as I want to love this work out of respect for the author’s other great works, this isn’t one of them. He resurrects the character of Peter Guillam who appears in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold as well as a number of his other novels, but fails to create a story. There are no plot twists, no suspense. New characters are introduced for a few chapters and disappear as Guillam is forced to revisit the events of the previous novel. There are moments when it appears the story is about to go somewhere but then those storylines abruptly stop. Fortunately the book is perfectly narrated by Tom Hollander and the narration adds life to the lifeless plot. I give away the ending by saying there isn’t one. The story just comes to an end, as if the writer ran out of steam, or decided he had visited with his old characters long enough.