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Stephen

  • 110
  • reviews
  • 49
  • helpful votes
  • 129
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  • The Man Who Would Be King

  • By: Rudyard Kipling
  • Narrated by: David Ian Davies
  • Length: 1 hr and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

Rudyard Kipling's tale of two scruffy adventurers, Carnehan and Dravot, determined to leave India and rule the pagan tribes of another land as kings. But their quest does not end as they had plotted, and Carnehan returns to the narrator's newspaper office two years later in rags, to recount their victories and sudden fall -- Dravot's quite literally -- from their positions of glory.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This reading is unintelligibile

  • By M. Leavell on 03-19-18

The Man Who Would Be King

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

Performance: Excellent, no issues.

Content: I saw the movie and I wanted to hear the book. I was surprise on the actual story but like it anyway. I recommend this book for listening or reading.

  • Nothing Like It in the World

  • The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869
  • By: Stephen E. Ambrose
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey DeMunn
  • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 582
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 336
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338

Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise comes to life. The U.S. government pitted two companies - the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads - against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. As its peak the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, lived off buffalo, deer, and antelope.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I really wanted to like this book.

  • By Judd Bagley on 10-11-11

Nothing Like It in the World - The "East" Bridge

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

Wow. I read about the railroad construction in the past but not in the detail here. The two big takeaways are:
1. The large financial, logistical, engineering, and personnel requirements of this venture during a major conflict. The Panama Canal was a wonder and you would think laying just railroad track would be easy until you read about the engineering needed, the movement of supplies and personnel to places to support the construction across hundreds of miles,the unbelievable labor required without machines, the impact of weather even in sunny California, and the politics and financial shenanigans.
2. The vision. Most Americans saw the utility of this venture as the foundation to support a spider web of logistic lines across the west and to link the country to Asia; a much earlier "Pivot to Asia". As they said in the last "Long Ranger" movie, man was limited to how fast his horse could run but with the railroad he can travel faster, longer, and with more baggage in most kinds of weather. All these things we take for granted now in the age of flight and space.

  • Forty-Seven Days

  • How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I
  • By: Mitchell Yockelson
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne stands as the deadliest clash in American history: More than a million untested American soldiers went up against a better-trained and more experienced German army, costing more than 26,000 deaths and leaving nearly 100,000 wounded. Yet, in 47 days of intense combat, those Americans pushed back the enemy and forced the Germans to surrender, bringing the First World War to an end - a feat the British and the French had not achieved after more than three years of fighting.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Comprehensive history of The First Army in WWI

  • By Bruce Miller on 03-08-18

Forty-Seven Days - AEF

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

Performance: Very good, no issues.

Content: Given that we are in the centennial of WWI, there are no shortages of new and re-printed books of this conflict. I wanted to read about the AEF since there was, and I assume there still is, controversy about the mistakes and achievements of AEF and General Pershing's leadership. My best take away was how on difficult it was for him to deploy, train, equip, and send into the battle US forces, independently, or with allied forces. I am still not sure if his decisions were correct but I see from this book the great difficulty on his mind and body he had in commanding such a large force in this new war.

  • The Ambassadors

  • By: Henry James
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 52

Lambert Strether, a mild, middle-aged American of no particular achievements, is dispatched to Paris from the manufacturing empire of Woollett, Massachusetts. The mission conferred on him by his august patron, Mrs. Newsome, is to discover what, or who, is keeping her son Chad in the notorious city of pleasure and to bring him home. But Strether finds Chad transformed by the influence of a remarkable woman.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Henry James can be hard to follow but worth it

  • By Patricia on 01-29-13

The Ambassadors - Classic Henry James

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

Performance: Very good, no issues.

Content: Classic Henry James. Slow action, detailed interior discussion and a low about of dialogue compare to internal reflections. Iffy, if I would read it again.

  • The Swamp Fox

  • How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution
  • By: John Oller
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204

In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Francis Marion and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hope alive for the patriot cause during the critical British southern campaign. Like the Robin Hood of legend, Marion and his men attacked from secret hideaways before melting back into the forest or swamp. Employing insurgent tactics that became commonplace in later centuries, Marion and his brigade inflicted losses on the enemy that were individually small but cumulatively a large drain on British resources and morale.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This was a fascinating story of a true patriot.

  • By B. Neuls on 11-29-16

The Swamp Fox - Francis Marion

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

Performance: Very good, no issues.

Content: I purchased this book since I knew little of the American Revolution in this "theater" or in the Southern Colonies. It was interesting to read more about this person's life, his motivations, and his tactics. Like the Washington, his tactics and actions range from the tactical level to the operational / strategic ... that is it affected the outcome of the war by tying down British forces in the countryside; a goal of all weaker forces and insurgents. Finally, the discussion on French Huguenot roots, customs, and relations were interesting and unknown to me before this novel. His physical description and personal life are very out of step with the traditional tall, dashing figures we see in many leaders.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Hammerhead Six

  • How Green Berets Waged an Unconventional War Against the Taliban to Win in Afghanistan's Deadly Pech Valley
  • By: Ronald Fry, Tad Tuleja - contributor
  • Narrated by: Ronald Fry
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 684
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 628
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 619

In 2003, the Special Forces soldiers entered an area later called "the most dangerous place in Afghanistan". Here, where the line between civilians and armed zealots was indistinct, they illustrated the Afghan proverb "I destroy my enemy by making him my friend." Fry recounts how they were seen as welcome guests rather than invaders. Soon after their deployment ended, the Pech Valley reverted to turmoil. Their success was never replicated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Just Another War Story

  • By Jason on 02-28-16

Hammer-Head Six - Another SF Story

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

Performance: Very good, no complaints

Content: Overall this is good to very good story. The unique thing is the thread of the SF doctrine from Vietnam and earlier about Foreign Internal Defense (FID). FID is the hard part of counterinsurgency and SF operators life. It is far more fun to conduct direct action and special reconnaissance, the stuff of movies. The author shows the impact of good and FID actions in Afghanistan. All the doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures in this book we take as normal I guess were not in 2001-2003 despite our long history of FID and advisor work in the 18th century to the present. This is good book. I might listen / read it again.

  • Ulysses

  • By: James Joyce
  • Narrated by: Donal Donnelly
  • Length: 42 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 176

The first authorized, unabridged release of this timeless classic and exclusively available from Recorded Books. Ulysses records the events of a single day, June 16, 1904, in Dublin, Ireland.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful performance. Forty hours of poetry.

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-25-16

Ulysses - Classic, yes, but ...

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

Performance: Excellent planned, rehearsed, and executed performance.

Story: Well, there is really not one. Yes, it is a classic, but the story was backdrop for writing techniques / experimentation and very long study of interior and character development. I am sure all the literature professionals write reams on how revolutionary and cutting edge this novel is to English readers. Thus, that is why it is high on the reading lists. However, it is glacial ponderous despite it wet and dry humor. At the same time, I am at loss how you can abridge the novel.

Did I find interesting with the amount of experiments and styles? Yes. Did I find it to fixated on sex? Yes, but that was part of the issue of the novel. Would I re-read it? No. It takes too long and too much concentration for the incredible detail.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Territory

  • The Secret History of Cyber War
  • By: Fred Kaplan
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,057
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,052

As cyber attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best narrator - Malcolm Hillgartner

  • By Greg Davis on 07-20-16

Dark Terrritory - Another Good Read by Kaplan

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

Reviewed: 05-22-17

I enjoyed and agree with most of what Mr. Kaplan writes. This is a nice review of cyber operations at the national level. He concentrates on the history and policy that shape our current status. I recommend this book as a primer that explores the events and factors that shape our current cyber environment.

  • The Battle of An Loc

  • Twentieth-Century Battles
  • By: James H. Willbanks
  • Narrated by: Charles Craig
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

With the knowledge born of firsthand experience, James H. Willbanks tells the story of the 60-day siege of An Loc. In 1972, late in the Vietnam War, a small group of South Vietnamese held off three North Vietnamese divisions and helped prevent a direct attack on Saigon. The battle can be considered one of the major events during the gradual American exit from Vietnam.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Loc - A Study in a Successful Advisors

  • By Stephen on 05-22-17

An Loc - A Study in a Successful Advisors

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

Reviewed: 05-22-17

Here is my bias: I believe the loss of the Vietnam was due to the loss of information and diplomatic campaigns in Vietnam, the US, and the world. We believed the hype and gave up; Congress de-funded the war in 1973 after this 1972 victory. Thus, reading this book about the 1972 offensive, where the US forces are drawn-down and there is only the advisors with medical, logistical, aviation, and fire support in South Vietnam units, and the North still lost to a semi-competent South is affirmation of this assessment. It was proved in Tet and proved again in this 1973 Easter Offensive. Some declare Iraq another lost war. History, rhyming again Iraq, after Vietnam. Yet, again, the same model was successful in Iraq that allowed the withdraw ... until the sectarian PM of Iraq, had us pull out. The advisor model with enablers to a host nation force works ... if you give it a try and treat it as a generational commitment.

  • The Good Soldier

  • By: Ford Madox Ford
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 83

Handsome, wealthy, and a veteran of service in India, Captain Edward Ashburnham appears to be the ideal "good soldier" and the embodiment of English upper-class virtues. But for his creator, Ford Madox Ford, he also represents the corruption at society's core. Beneath Ashburnham's charming, polished exterior lurks a soul well-versed in the arts of deception, hypocrisy, and betrayal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A tragic, dramatic classic

  • By Zaubermond on 10-24-13

The Good Soldier - Dishonest Narrator

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

Reviewed: 05-22-17

The novel uses many interesting devices to the story. A great of time shifts and slow winding of facts through interior discussions and conversations. Some of the actions, that actions based on motives and desired outcomes. seem contrived but I needed to keep in mind that this was a different time and place. However, the one assumption I forgot in reading this novel: the narrator may be, or is dishonest. Excellent voice performance.