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Lord Emsworth

Falls Church, Virginia
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  • Blue on Blue

  • An Insider's Story of Good Cops Catching Bad Cops
  • By: Charles Campisi, Gordon Dillow - contributor
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell, Charles Campisi - prologue
  • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109

One of the most authentic and consistently illuminating portraits of police work ever, Blue on Blue describes the fascinating inner workings of the world's largest police force and Chief Charles Campisi's unprecedented two decades putting bad cops behind bars.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story but...

  • By Lord Emsworth on 10-05-17

Great story but...

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

Reviewed: 10-05-17

Gripping story. A series of man-on-the-scene first hand accounts of NYPD tales ranging from Sean Bell to Louima to 9/11.

My quibble is Mr. Campisi's incredible lack of empathy for the victims of police violence. He stresses its wrong, a disgrace to the uniform. He points out the thin blue line of silence isn't any more real than doctors protecting doctors or lawyers protecting lawyers.

But tgen, he cant seem to understand why people objected to stop-and-frisk (he dismisses a 200 page federal decision as "a court case") and dismisses Eric Garner's death by noting he had been arrested 30 times. Nothing about how Garner died as a result of an illegal chokehold. If zero tolerance works for citizens, should work for police too.

He dismisses liberals, lawyers, politicians as anti-cop.

I came away liking Mr. Campisi. He is no doubt a dedicated public servant, and would be a pleasure to have a meal with. He also tells a great story. But some of his views (though he disclaims this, the epilogue seems to suggest excluding Muslims from the NYPD-and his account of 9/11 doesn't mention that Muslim officers killed that day were initially suspected of being involved till their bodies were recovered) give me pause.

But it is a great book. Glad I bought it, and hope he writes more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Three Minutes to Doomsday

  • An Agent, a Traitor, and the Worst Espionage Breach in U.S. History
  • By: Joe Navarro
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 925
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 861
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 850

In 1988 Joe Navarro, one of the youngest agents ever hired by the FBI, was dividing his time between SWAT assignments, flying air reconnaissance, and working counterintelligence. But his real expertise was "reading" body language. He possessed an uncanny ability to glean the thoughts of those he interrogated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of Clancy with the best of Law & Order

  • By Lord Emsworth on 07-17-17

The best of Clancy with the best of Law & Order

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

Reviewed: 07-17-17

If you could sum up Three Minutes to Doomsday in three words, what would they be?

Agent captures spy

What did you like best about this story?

Everyone is human. Joe isn't super man. He shows his tricks. He falls flat occasionally e.g. running into the occasional brickwall by WFO, HQ, DOJ. The encounters with the office manager are priceless. Building rapport with his partners, specially She-Moody, is exceptionally well written.

Even the bad guy emerges as a human being, not a caricature. He committed treason. But you see how it happens - not as an excuse, but as an explanation.

I've read Joe's body language book before (remembered the abrazzo (?)) example, and that fits in neatly with the overall story. You can see him arranging the furniture, offering a soda at the right moment, directing him to the restroom with a sharp gesture... and arguing with the office manager as to why hauling the guy into the Tampa Field Office with its available conference rooms is a terrible idea.

At the end, when the story wraps up you sense why Joe couldn't celebrate the arrest, and why he was at his physical and mental limit. The moments with his family are tender, and a reminder of what he's sacrificing to the case.

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

No

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

Oh heck yes

Any additional comments?

Joe stated that his Mom reads the reviews. Mrs. Navarro, this review was written for you. Read Joe's book twice. Once for the story. The second time to see how he did everything. You have a lot to be proud of. God bless.

36 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Fight and Flight

  • Magic 2.0, Book 4
  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,389
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,849
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,826

Martin and his friends discovered that their world is computer generated and that by altering the code they could alter reality. They traveled back in time to Medieval England to live as wizards. Almost everything they've done since then has, in one way or another, blown up in their faces. So of course they decide to make dragons. It does not go well.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Major stumble in a great series

  • By Virgil on 05-11-17

No. Just no.

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

Reviewed: 07-10-17

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Hard core fans.

Would you ever listen to anything by Scott Meyer again?

Maybe. The first book was amazing. They have been going steadily downhill since.

The "women are wonderful" trope gets grating. Every man is an incompetent bumbling idiot. Every woman, even the exasperating and pointless Honor, and the uber moody Britt the younger is impeccable. Ok as a sitcom premise. Irritating in a series.

Moreover, there is no story arc, no character development, little consistency with their previous personas. Gooch the humanitarian? Really?

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

He has the perfect voice and performance.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The twist at the end, maybe some of the scenes with the Bishop.

Any additional comments?

Jimmy and the 2 agents make no appearance. They provided some of the best comedy and I miss them.

  • The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries

  • Mrs. Jeffries Series, Book 1
  • By: Emily Brightwell
  • Narrated by: Lindy Nettleton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 167

She keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon...and keeps him on his toes. Everyone's awed by his Scotland Yard successes - but they don't know about his secret weapon. No matter how messy the murder or how dirty the deed, Mrs. Jeffries's polished detection skills are up to the task...proving that behind every great man there's a woman - and that a crime-solver's work is never done.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun cozy mystery!

  • By Amanda R on 05-01-15

Not a bad cozy

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

Reviewed: 10-24-16

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

If you're into the genre of Victorian streets, cozy fires, steaming soups and a whidunnit, this this is for you.

Would you recommend The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries to your friends? Why or why not?

Mixed feelings. The story isn't bad, I like Inspector Witherspoon (a variant on the Wodehouse character of the same name?). Some dialogue is good. The characters are pretty well drawn.

On the other hand, some things are egregiously wrong. Housekeepers don't sit to have tea or meals with their employers. Absolutely not done. It would be like sitting with your feet on the table at a very high end restaurant. Wrong tone altogether.

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

No.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I took the next one in the series. So that should tell you I did enjoy it.

  • Situations Matter

  • Understanding How Context Transforms Your World
  • By: Sam Sommers
  • Narrated by: Joshua Swanson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

An entertaining and engaging exploration of the invisible forces influencing your life - and how understanding them can improve everything you do. The world around you is pulling your strings, shaping your innermost instincts and your most private thoughts. And you don't even realize it. And you don't even realize it. Every day and in all walks of life, we overlook the enormous power of situations, of context in our lives. That's a mistake, says Sam Sommers in his provocative new book.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Operationalizing 'Situations Matter'

  • By Joshua Kim on 05-01-12

Fascinating, butoversold

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

Reviewed: 05-27-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed it. I have always been interested in the Fundamental Attribution Error - or put differently, how people behave in given situations.

If you’ve listened to books by Sam Sommers before, how does this one compare?

NA

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

NA

Do you think Situations Matter needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

NA

Any additional comments?

While fascinating, I think he goes overboard on his theme. For example, his analysis of the Katie Genovese murder is based on the initial, incorrect press reports. It doesnt undercut the bystander effect, but does show he's focused on his thesis to the exclusion of other explanations.

A similar example of his explanations of gender differences. I have no doubt that stereotype threat is a significant issue for women. But his insistence that toys and color preferences are the result of socialization and preferences is an annoyingly grinding chapter where he tries to force his round peg into a square hole.

The analysis of race relations, bystander effects, feedback loops, expectations, etc., on the other hand, were fascinating. I was familiar with many of the studies from other audible books I have listened to. But he brought interesting insights into familiar contexts.

The final chapter - how his road rage changes when he understands what is going on with the other driver - is wonderful.

To me, it just shows he has plenty of interesting material to share. He should prune back those instances where he stretches his thesis to breaking point.

  • Death of a Nurse

  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318

James Harrison has recently moved to a restored hunting lodge in Sutherland with his gorgeous private nurse Gloria Dainty. When Hamish visits Mr. Harrison to welcome him to the neighborhood, the old man treats him very rudely. Gloria apologizes for her employer's behavior, and Hamish takes the plunge and invites her out for dinner. On the appointed evening, Hamish waits for Gloria at the restaurant. And waits.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Love a return to Lochdubh but....

  • By Lord Emsworth on 04-01-16

Love a return to Lochdubh but....

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

Reviewed: 04-01-16

Where does Death of a Nurse rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top third.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The office politics were interesting.

The ultimate resolution felt oddly unsatisfying.

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

Yes. A gifted reader who I always enjoy. This one is at par.

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

Case Closed?

Any additional comments?

I love the Hamish McBeth series. But they are beginning to feel rushed. She either needs to allow more space or cut out the lots of little mini-crises that blow up and are resolved within five minutes.

I wonder if the books are being ghost written.

This one felt "jolty" - like a new driver struggling with a stick shift, lurching from point to point.

I read the books because I cant afford to live or vacation in the Scottish highlands. Beaton drew some wonderful charachters that feel like old friends, even annoying ones. ("Annoying ones" echoed Nessie). I want to enjoy their company.

There's fragments of that in there, but its also increasingly formulaic... you know the outcome of Daviot, Blair, Anderson, and some particularly obnoxious or weak interloper the moment they step into the book.

I love the series, the village, and even the office politics. But I feel like what attracted me to Lochdubh in the first place is missing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Road to Little Dribbling

  • Adventures of an American in Britain
  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Nathan Osgood
  • Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,286
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,170
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,162

Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to discover and celebrate that green and pleasant land. The result was Notes from a Small Island, a true classic and one of the best-selling travel books ever written. Now, he has traveled about Britain again, by bus and train and rental car and on foot, to see what has changed - and what hasn’t. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • No Bryson?? Alas, another disappointed fan

  • By Richard on 01-25-16

Its like a chat with an affable friend.

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

Reviewed: 03-07-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Road to Little Dribbling to be better than the print version?

Cant compare.

What other book might you compare The Road to Little Dribbling to and why?

Notes from a small island.

What about Nathan Osgood’s performance did you like?

He switches regional accents that makes it a lot of fun.

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

Realizing that there are monuments that have been maintained in Britain - by human hands - for 3000 years.

  • The Maisky Diaries

  • Red Ambassador to the Court of St James's, 1932-1943
  • By: Gabriel Gorodetsky
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 24 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

The terror and purges of Stalin's Russia in the 1930s discouraged Soviet officials from leaving documentary records, let alone keeping personal diaries. A remarkable exception is the unique diary assiduously kept by Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London between 1932 and 1943. This selection from Maisky's diary grippingly documents Britain's drift to war during the 1930s, appeasement in the Munich era, negotiations leading to the signature of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Informative look at the Soviet perspective

  • By Mike From Mesa on 03-17-16

Would be a great BBC mini series

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

Reviewed: 03-07-16

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

Yes. Its an interesting story, well told. The man risked his life by keeping the diary after all.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Maisky was caught between two worlds. Moscow didnt understand London, and didnt want to. He was an effective ambassador, but his very effectiveness made him suspicious. And a suspicious man in Stalin's USSR was a dead man.

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

He goes into charachter periodically, for example with Churchill.

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

No, I knew the history. But getting it though Maiskys eyes made all the difference.

Any additional comments?

It was a good use of a credit.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Supreme Commander

  • MacArthur's Triumph in Japan
  • By: Seymour Morris
  • Narrated by: Charles Constant
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

He is the most-decorated general in American history - and the only five-star general to receive the Medal of Honor. Yet Douglas MacArthur’s greatest victory was not in war but in peace. As the uniquely titled Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, he was charged with transforming a defeated, militarist empire into a beacon of peace and democracy - "the greatest gamble ever attempted", he called it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling book in an pleasant voice

  • By Pierke Bosschieter on 04-24-14

Strains of Hagiography....

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

Reviewed: 02-23-16

Would you try another book from Seymour Morris and/or Charles Constant?

Perhaps.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Its non-fiction, but I would have put in more human interest stories rather than broader policy debates and discussions.

Still, there is plenty of human interest and its gripping.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Its an interesting story well told. But its worship of MacArthur gets monotonous. After all, he was a man, and had his flaws. For instance, the decision to sweep war crimes under the carpet was hugely significant. The book largely veers away from discussing the graphic details of those crimes, as well as how the perpetrators got away.

It does discuss the commander of Unit 731, but largely in the context of how MacArthur had no choice but to let him off scot free.

Did Supreme Commander inspire you to do anything?

Nope.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Spy Among Friends

  • Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,434
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,298

Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reads like a spy novel

  • By Kate M. on 08-15-14

"The Good Shepherd" Meets "Yes Minister"

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

Reviewed: 02-16-16

What did you love best about A Spy Among Friends?

You know how the book turns out; yet you're gripped by it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Spy Among Friends?

When Philby sits down for an interrogation. They suspect his secret strongly, but cant prove it.

Have you listened to any of John Le Carré’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not.

If you could give A Spy Among Friends a new subtitle, what would it be?

But He Was One Of Us!

Any additional comments?

An excellent depiction of Whitehall politics and class snobbery as well as a great intelligence history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful