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Student of History

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 44
  • ratings
  • Blowing the Bloody Doors Off

  • And Other Lessons in Life
  • By: Michael Caine
  • Narrated by: Michael Caine
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 617
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 582
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 577

One of our best-loved actors, Michael Caine has starred in a huge range of films and has excelled in every kind of role - with a skill that's made it look easy. He knows what success takes - he's made it to the pinnacle of his profession from humble origins. But as he says, "Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it." Now in his 85th year - and more beloved than ever - he wants to share everything he's learned.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wow.

  • By Gregory C. Fowler on 10-27-18

Many things, but didn’t expect heart warming.

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

Reviewed: 12-18-18

I’ve been a Michael Caine fan for years, and I’d read about how he was one of the hardest working actors in the business. What I did not know is what a refreshingly (for Hollywood/show business) devoted family man he is. This book is a how-to for anyone who is trying to make it in anything.. He is most authentic, and full of simple and real advice for young people today. I loved this book. Thank you, Sir Michael! I wish you well.

  • In Pieces

  • By: Sally Field
  • Narrated by: Sally Field
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,928
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,511
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,487

In this intimate, haunting, literary memoir read by the author, an American icon tells her story for the first time, in her own gorgeous words - about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting Life Story of Sally Field's

  • By D. A. Wright on 09-20-18

Impact

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

Ms. Field’s memoir is about child actors, Hollywood, even the fringes of old Hollywood, about the method actors of the Lee Strasberg school, the pinnacle of success in this art form, mothers and daughters, family, women’s roles in society, but most of all...this is a story about the IMPACT of child abuse on an entire life. I worked for many years in the child abuse prevention field. First of all, sexual abuse was not even addressed until the 80’s. Ms. Field, as a child, had nowhere to turn. Today, with all our awareness of this issue, I wonder if children are any better off. Child abuse in any form, as Dr. Phil said long ago, writes on the slate of who they are. Ms. Field overcame her abuse to become one of the most revered actors of her generation, but oh, the scars she carried. Her compensation for her abuse is textbook for what children, especially girls, do. They sometimes abuse themselves through promiscuity, and they role reverse with their parent, usually becoming the parent’s rescuer, as Sally did. They also feel responsible for whatever happened to them, often turning the blame inward. My heart aches for the childhood that was stolen from Sally Field, and for all the little Sally Fields out there, but I am also filled with admiration that she rose above it all to survive and to achieve the success that she has. Maybe others will not see this memoir as such, but ultimately, it is a cautionary tale of the insidious effects that can be perpetrated on the innocent, our children. Thank you, Ms. Field, for your courage.

  • The Whispering Room

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Elisabeth Rodgers
  • Length: 16 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,667
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,424
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,416

"No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this." These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun - just before she takes her own life, and many others', in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Much better than The Silent Corner

  • By Michael on 11-28-17

Didn’t Disappoint

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

I gave Mr. Koontz, one of my favorite authors, 4 stars instead of 5, only because I felt that the story veered away from its main plot at times. For example, there was one significant extraneous plot twist that left me wondering why it was there. It did nothing to advance the main story line. But, I’ll keep reading Mr. Koontz. Always gripping!

  • The Things They Carried

  • By: Tim O'Brien
  • Narrated by: Bryan Cranston
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,629
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,598

Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heavy Load

  • By Mel on 10-28-13

Enlightening and Depressing at the Same Time

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

My husband, a brand new 2nd LT, and I were posted to a military installation just as the Vietnam war was winding down. Consequently, many of his commanding officers as well as NCO’s were the hardened remains of multiple tours of combat. Listening to Bryan Cranston’s narration, I constantly was reminded of these men (don’t remember any women) and the horrors they’d seen, but never ever talked about in mixed company. There is so much moral conflict that a society must and should face when it sends young people to war. The author certainly depicted these horrors so for the reader who has never seen, and never will, combat. Sadly, I listened to the author read his piece from the 90’s and saw how obviously conflicted he still was about his role in this war. I hope he has found some peace.

  • The Nightingale

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 51,909
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47,052
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 46,969

Audie Award, Fiction, 2016. From the number-one New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heroic & Harrowing Work Of Fiction

  • By Sara on 08-21-15

Best I’ve read in a long time...

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

Reviewed: 03-16-18

This book was gripping, suspenseful, shocking, and in the end, touched my heart, and brought me to tears-the last of which rarely happens. Kristin Hannah skillfully leads you along as the war with Germany begins for the French people. Then, slowly and deliberately, she portrays how it ramps up with the resulting impact on all, especially those French citizens that inhabited the little towns and villages. I’ve read about WW2, my dad was a veteran, and specifically, I’ve studied a lot about the Holocaust. But, this book introduced me to the utter loss and devastation that the French people(all, as well as Jewish) experienced at the hands of their German occupiers, as they saw their country ravaged by war. This is a beautiful, insightful book that already has spurred me to research the aspects of its contents. I’m so appreciative of this talented author. I had already read Hannah’s, “The Great Alone”, which I loved, but this one just grabbed me and held me until the very last page. Thank you, Kristin Hannah, and thank you, Polly Stone, for your excellent narrating. I’m anticipating the movie, but I don’t know how they’re going to get all that adequately portrayed on screen. Someone mentioned in a review that it would be best served by producing it as a mini-series. At any rate, I hope it is in skillful hands! This story deserves that.

  • Hope to Die

  • DS Nathan Cody, Book 2
  • By: David Jackson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 322
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319

On a bitterly cold winter's night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city's Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage. Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic - no one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder. And Cody has other things on his mind, too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scared me witless!!

  • By AnnCat2 on 04-20-17

Had Us Guessing Until the Very End

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

Reviewed: 03-16-18

Ok, what’s next for DS Nathan Cody? Enjoyed second book even more than the first. Great job, David Jackson, and congratulations to Jonathan Keeble for bringing it all to life.

  • The Great Alone

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,401
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,045
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,942

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫✫✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫✫✫✫

  • By Cyndi Marie on 09-12-18

Relentless as the great beyond that it embodies

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

Reviewed: 03-03-18

I have been to Alaska, but I have never been to this Alaska. But, this is no travel book. It is a story of people, flaws and all, and of love and passion for place. The story swept me up and carried me along. Beautiful. Kristin Hannah, Julia Whelan, I’m a fan!

  • Stillhouse Lake

  • By: Rachel Caine
  • Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,731
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,356
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,325

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband's crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace. But just when she's starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake - and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding book! A must for suspense lovers...

  • By shelley on 07-02-17

Excellent Narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-04-18

The story keeps you engaged right up to the last minute. Good suspense. The plot becomes implausible, but a most entertaining book. Ms. Sutton-Smith, the narrator, embodies Ms. Caine’s Gina/Gwen character.

  • The Heavens May Fall

  • By: Allen Eskens
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray, David Colacci, Amy McFadden
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,679
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,268
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,252

Detective Max Rupert's and attorney Boady Sanden's friendship is being pushed to the breaking point. Max is convinced that Jennavieve Pruitt was killed by her husband, Ben. Boady is equally convinced that Ben, his client, is innocent. As the case unfolds, the two are forced to confront their own personal demons.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Uneven

  • By Olive on 04-19-17

Fooled me on this one...

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

Reviewed: 01-16-18

I kept getting so annoyed with the “character inconsistencies” in this, the second Allen Eskins novel I’ve read ( first-The Life We Bury). However, I got fooled by at least one jaw dropping twist. After that, I wasn’t so annoyed. I’ll leave it at that, in hopes of whetting one’s appetite for this book, rather than creating a spoiler. There seem to be so many series today, that often, I shy away from that, instead, choosing a book that is fini at the end. But, I was happy to revisit characters from the first book, learning more about them. My husband and I will most likely dive into Mr. Eskins’ more recent book, especially since the narrator, Mr. Bray, gets such high marks. Thank you, Allen Eskins.

  • The Short Drop

  • By: Matthew FitzSimmons
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,634
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,868
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,851

A decade ago, fourteen-year-old Suzanne Lombard, the daughter of Benjamin Lombard - then a senator, now a powerful vice president running for the presidency - disappeared in the most sensational missing-person case in the nation's history. Still unsolved, the mystery remains a national obsession. For legendary hacker and marine Gibson Vaughn, the case is personal - Suzanne Lombard had been like a sister to him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hidden gem hiding among all the generic crap

  • By Justin Messer on 12-27-15

Excellent Story

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

Well written. Kudos to Matthew Fitzsimmons. Really liked how the narrator created urgency in the suspenseful parts.