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Tom

Warm Springs, Georgia
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  • 38
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  • 178
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  • WAR

  • By: Sebastian Junger
  • Narrated by: Sebastian Junger
  • Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,828
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,254
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,250

Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat - the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why we fight re-visited

  • By J on 09-20-10

Incredible True War Story

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

Reviewed: 04-16-19

This is not an easy book. Hunger takes the reader into the proverbial trenches of one of the most dangerous outposts of Americas most dangerous war. He demonstrates viscerally why we have been fighting in vain in Afghanistan for eighteen years and he does it through the eyes and ears of the men who face meaningless wounding and death every hour of every day.

It's a very educational read for anyone who has not been through the experience of infantry combat. But a very painful one. We meet these young men and feel their joys, comradeship, confusion and pain as Junger relates his experience as an embedded journalist for fifteen months with a platoon. Living with these men he comes close to knowing and understanding what they're going through.

I'm pretty sure you will too if you undertake this painful experience.

  • The Dispatcher

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
  • Length: 2 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,468
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,982

Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi. One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Grief This Was Good

  • By Matthew on 11-09-16

OK but nothing special.

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

Reviewed: 04-10-19

Starting from a fascinating concept, this little novella was interesting and well-written enough but not enough to get me to seek out more from Scalzi.

Quinto’s narration was good and fit the character.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • True West

  • By: Sam Shepard
  • Narrated by: Kit Harington, Johnny Flynn
  • Length: 1 hr and 27 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1,799
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,652
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 1,649

Kit Harington (Games of Thrones) and Johnny Flynn (Beast) smolder and burn as sparring brothers in Sam Shepard’s darkly comic 1980 drama. The live theatre production of True West was performed at the Vaudeville Theatre in London, United Kingdom, in 2019. It was produced by Joseph Smith and John Brant for Smith & Brant Theatricals and James Bierman for Empire Street Productions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Screenwriters, golf and brother's hate

  • By Kingsley on 04-05-19

Difficult to listen to.

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

Reviewed: 04-08-19

Painful tale of Brotherly Love. Horrible, inappropriate musical score made a painful play almost unbearable!

  • Dark Matter

  • A Novel
  • By: Blake Crouch
  • Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,918
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,464
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,468

"Are you happy with your life?" Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Schrödinger's box gets opened. Meh steps out.

  • By Darwin8u on 09-19-16

Interesting premise

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

Reviewed: 04-08-19

I chose this book because I enjoyed the ideas explored in the Wayward Pines Series. Like those works, Dark Matter starts slowly but is filled with an eerie sense that bad things will follow. They do. But they unfold slowly wrapped in a fair amount of theoretical physics and the main character’s interior life. Once we get past that we enter the labyrinth of multiverses that, for me, went on far too long.

The action picks up and engages the reader till the end. The last fifth of the novel saves the day and makes this an ultimately enjoyable and thought provoking read.

Every choice we make opens the door to a whole universe of options. And closes the doors to an infinite number of others.

  • Sing, Unburied, Sing

  • A Novel
  • By: Jesmyn Ward
  • Narrated by: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chris Chalk, Rutina Wesley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,364
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,086

In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural 21st-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power - and limitations - of family bonds.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3.9 Stars

  • By j phillips on 01-09-18

Powerful imagery of a suffering family’s lives

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

Reviewed: 04-01-19

Ward’s tale encompasses so many aspects of a rural Black family’s life. Told through the eyes of a young teenage boy trying to figure life out. He sees life through the eyes of his Pop, the ideal Man who knows life through Nature, Family, Race and his experiences at Parchman Farm. He sees it through his junkie Sister in love with her recently imprisoned Husband, his dying Mam and his clinging Baby Sister. Maybe most of all he sees and hears it through the horribly abused ghost of Richie, a boy beaten, tortured and lynched by a Parchman guard.

Richie and the army of ghosts he invokes warn JoJo of the life awaiting him. The reader experiences the emotions of all these characters in this painful story that probably accurately captures the struggles of a rural Black family in today’s America. Sad.

  • Little Boy

  • A Novel
  • By: Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  • Narrated by: Peter Coyote
  • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

In this unapologetically unclassifiable work, Lawrence Ferlinghetti lets loose an exhilarating rush of language to craft what might be termed a closing statement about his highly significant and productive 99 years on this planet.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a powerful experience!

  • By Tom on 03-27-19

What a powerful experience!

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

Reviewed: 03-27-19

This roller coaster of poetry and observation, angry rant and remembrance of passions past was a wonderful trip inside the mind of an amazing hundred year old man.

Autobiography of a fractured childhood interrupted by bursts of poetic imagery filled with references to every book, movie, song and bit of wisdom ever created by the “civilized” World. The bits and pieces of Ferlinghetti’s life story float along amidst his recollections of people, places and experiences he has known. Every one of these moments evokes a reflection of his philosophy of life and his often angry, often rapturous reaction to it.

He uses the tale of his early life to warn us of what we have lost and the accounting coming due for what we have become. He recounts the beauty and wonder he has known and looks forward to more of the same knowing full well that he and we will probably never know their like again.

So, reading Little Boy may not be all sunshine and butterflies but the poetry of its words and the scope of its worldview made it for me a highly rewarding moment I won’t soon forget. Peter Coyote’s narration brought a perfect dramatic sensitivity to the Old Beatnik’s words.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Parade

  • A Novel
  • By: Dave Eggers
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

An unnamed country is leaving the darkness of a decade at war, and to commemorate the armistice, the government commissions a new road connecting two halves of the state. Two men, foreign contractors from the same company, are sent to finish the highway. While one is flighty and adventurous, wanting to experience the nightlife and people, the other wants only to do the work and go home. But both men must eventually face the absurdities of their positions and the dire consequences of their presence. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Another Challenging Eggers Work

  • By Tom on 03-25-19

Another Challenging Eggers Work

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

Reviewed: 03-25-19

Dave Eggers is an enigma. This is the fifth book of his that I have tackled and I’m never sure exactly why I have undertaken it. Not that he’s not a fine writer. He is. But he’s all over the lot. His subject matter ranges from the reaction to the current state of society, as in Zeitoun and The Circle, to fever dreams like Hologram for the King and What is the What.

Maybe that is the attraction. His work shows a deep commitment to what he’s trying to express and he draws you in to follow his struggle. Sometimes he loses me completely but often I really enjoy the trip.

The Parade falls somewhere in the middle. This is a very short book that on the surface deals with an incredibly dull topic: road paving. Two characters are assigned to drive a mechanized paving vehicle connecting two previously hostile Middle Eastern countries. The characters are relatively two-dimensional and there’s little action as we follow their mission. But Eggers’ style creates an atmosphere of dread that mesmerized the reader. You know the story is going somewhere and you will continue the slog.

I won’t give away the rationale of the story except to say that there is one and I felt it was well developed and relevant to today’s culture. As I write this I realize that Parade reminded me a little of Beckett and some of the Absurdist Theatre pieces of the Sixties. Even fifty years later, they still have something to say to us. I only gave the book three stars because of its slow pace and lack of dramatic arc, but I don’t regret spending these few hours inside Eggers’ head. The narration was very well done and in keeping with the style of the writer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Old Man

  • By: Thomas Perry
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,661
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,217
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,199

To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts and a grown daughter he keeps in touch with by phone. But most 60-year-old widowers don't have multiple driver's licenses, savings stockpiled in banks across the country, and a bugout kit with two Beretta Nanos stashed in the spare bedroom closet. Most have not spent decades on the run.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The 'old man' is not old!

  • By Wayne on 08-15-17

An Engrossing Tale

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

Reviewed: 03-19-19

As a fellow Old Man I thoroughly enjoyed following the twists and turns of the plot and the various wiles this old man employed in his long career as a fugitive. His long life had supplied him with the wisdom to stay one step ahead of his pursuers. His planning, anticipation and the tools he employed were believable and quite effective.

Perry’s characters were well drawn and their actions consistent with their roles. I was particularly impressed by the careful documentation of each of the locales where the action took place. The reader feels the topography, weather and atmosphere of each.

The book may have seemed a little longer and slower than necessary at times, but I thought he did a good job of evoking the life patterns of an older character driven by a passion to survive and care for the people important to him.

Unlike a few other reviewers I enjoyed the narrator and felt he captured the mood appropriate to the action. All in all I enjoyed The Old Man and look forward to listening to other Thomas Perry books.

  • The Uninhabitable Earth

  • Life After Warming
  • By: David Wallace-Wells
  • Narrated by: David Wallace-Wells
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 489
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 488

It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don’t read if you have depressive tendencies.

  • By Ricky on 03-17-19

We don’t know what we don’t know about Climate Change.

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

Reviewed: 03-12-19

This relatively short book does an excellent job of documenting the whole spectrum of effects of the impending Changes that will befall the planet.

We have all heard of the threat of sea level rise that Climate Change will bring. We know that coastal communities will be inundated and island nations will be wiped out, but the picture is much worse. Wallace-Wells charts the effects of a two degree increase in temperature on natural disasters, wildfires, freshwater, air pollution, immigration, conflict, economic collapse, and so much more.

The cascade of statistics can be mind numbing. The book doesn’t read like a novel. It’s more like a cross between a Science Textbook and a Horror Movie. But the numbers are real.

The most frightening conclusion of the book is the interdependence of Biological, Physical, Political and Economic Systems impacted by Warming. The links between these systems serve as a force-multiplier doubling or quadrupling the impact of the threat. This is the part that is seldom reported. The News concentrates on the effects on Polar Bears, but doesn’t describe the 1% loss of World GDP caused by a 1 degree Celsius and what that does to the Labor Market, immigration and Political Party loyalty.

With Global Warming we’re looking at a future with a shrinking planet, ruled by political and economic systems we won’t recognize. The efforts of the World Community like the Paris Climate Accords pale into insignificance in the face of the challenges we face. It is too late to defeat the inevitable, but we can take steps to learn to live in this New World. The Earth and the Human Race will survive, but it will be a different place and we will be a different people.

  • The End of the Affair

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Colin Firth
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,339
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,725
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,686

Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth ( The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Late to the Party...

  • By Doug - Audible on 07-05-17

Amazing performance of a powerful book

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

Reviewed: 03-09-19

A Love Affair. Such a simple thing, even if complicated by adultery, can contain so many emotions: affection, love, longing, loneliness, fear, anger, pain. All these are traced in Greene’s obviously personal tale of Bendrix and Sarah Miles. Greene’s words, Firth’s voice and rainy London under the Blitz combine to give this telling of a tragically doomed affair taking place under the eyes of Sarah’s sad, repressed and impotent husband Henry.

Told by first person narration and diary entries, the story unfolds in a series of twists and turns that keep the reader constantly engaged. As usual the writing is beautiful, detailing the thoughts and feelings of the characters as they engage in the most mundane daily activities in the melancholy atmosphere of Wartime London.

Only the interjection of Greene’s religious obsession, while necessary for one of his “Catholic”novels, seems out of place. This was a powerful story without a theological discussion rearing it’s ugly head. I’m sure Greene thought it critical but I felt it detracted from the powerful love/hate story.

I join the other reviewers in their reverence for Colin Firth’s performance. It probably even outshone the prose, but, in any case, definitely enhanced the experience. Whether you’re a fan of Graham Greene or not, The End of the Affair, is a great read.