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Derek

West Chicago, Il, United States
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 77
  • helpful votes
  • 91
  • ratings
  • Deviant

  • The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original "Psycho"
  • By: Harold Schechter
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,622
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,507

From "America's principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers" ( Boston Book Review) comes the definitive account of Ed Gein, a mild-mannered Wisconsin farmhand who stunned an unsuspecting nation - and redefined the meaning of the word psycho.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of true crime

  • By E F on 07-17-16

interesting story. average book

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

Reviewed: 05-06-16

this didn't tell the story so much as regurgitate the facts of a peculiar man who did unspeakable things.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • 66 Days Adrift

  • A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Open Sea
  • By: William Butler
  • Narrated by: Nick Hahn
  • Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

The lure of paradise was unmistakable, and Bill Butler was on a quest to find it with his wife Simonne-riding the Pacific currents on their sloop. In this powerful account of their 66-day odyssey, Butler tells a gritty, harrowing tale of their battles against nature, despair, and their own demons. He reveals how he and Simonne found the strength to survive despite the ravages of hunger, storms, and sharks. Based on Butler's faithful log entries, 66 Days Adrift is both a chilling cautionary tale for sailors with big ideas and an inspiring story of love, faith, and survival against long odds.

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

  • By Yeatland on 04-02-17

The performance nearly ruined it.

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

Reviewed: 01-15-16

Mr. Hahn was very distracting. So much so that i contemplated returning the book several times. Had to turn the speed up to 1.25x to get through it.

  • The Residence

  • Inside the Private World of the White House
  • By: Kate Andersen Brower
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,721
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,563
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,558

America's first families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the president and first family.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The White House Explored & Exposed

  • By Sara on 04-15-15

Priceless and insightful prespective. WORTH IT!

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

Reviewed: 04-13-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Residence to be better than the print version?

Not necessarily. The context should will be admired by any history lover. The format shouldn't influence the literature.

What other book might you compare The Residence to and why?

"The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity" Very similar context and insight. This book does offer a few more recent anecdotes.

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

Yes. The stories and history were fantastic. I couldn't hear it fast enough; in fact, there were times I found myself slowing my commute in order to hear more!

Any additional comments?

Karen White's performance was tolerable. I nearly gave up on the book but ultimately was glad I didn't. This was the first time in nearly 200 audible books that I adjusted the "treble" on my stereo settings to cut the sharpness from her voice. There were enough female characters throughout the book to warrant a woman performer but this book certainly could have supported a male performer too.

With Mrs. Clinton's recent announcement to run for office in 2018 I kept thinking about the reaction they will have with future Residence staff in the event of her victory. I imagine it will be a much colder reception then the first time. If that's possible.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Power Forward

  • My Presidential Education
  • By: Reggie Love
  • Narrated by: Reggie Love
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 165
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 142

Every path to adulthood is strewn with missteps, epiphanies, and hard-earned lessons. Only Reggie Love's, however, went through the White House by way of Duke University's Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mentored by both Coach Krzyzewski and President Obama, Love shares universal insights learned in unique circumstances, an education in how sports, politics, and life can define who you are, what you believe in, and what it takes to make a difference.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth a listen.

  • By Derek on 02-04-15

Worth a listen.

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

Reviewed: 02-04-15

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

Yes, the behind the scenes insight was fun. This book has is a unique production. Really enjoyed the few instances where Love offered some insight into an Obama exchange which led to an excerpt from a speech the current President made. That alone was worth the 6 hr listen.

What did you like best about this story?

The behind the scenes with Obama although I was expecting more to be included. The book is about 65% Obama relationship and 35% Love's life. Be prepared and you won't be disappointed.

Did Reggie Love do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Pretty clear he's not a professional performer. At times his unprofessional presentation was distracting.

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

The content was decent but after an hour and a half of listening I was ready to take a break from the narration.

Any additional comments?

At times it was difficult to follow the timeline of events. The story was told in chronological order; however, it broke from the timeline periodically.

Love spoke too much about his childhood basketball experience.

He's certainly an interesting man with a unique story. This book is worth your time.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • No Hero

  • The Evolution of a Navy SEAL
  • By: Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 993
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 861
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 870

The second book by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen, following his multimillion-copy classic about the bin Laden mission No Easy Day, in which he tells the stories from his career that were most personal to him and that made him the operator and the person he is today.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Did not meet my expectations. Could be 3.5 stars

  • By Derek on 11-12-14

Did not meet my expectations. Could be 3.5 stars

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

Reviewed: 11-12-14

Would you try another book from Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer and/or Paul Michael?

I pre-ordered this book months ago and had been eagerly anticipating it's arrival ever since. Needless to say, my expectations were high. I was ultimately disappointed because, in my opinion, No Hero lacked depth and emotion. While listening and writing this review I tried not to compare Owen's two books to one another. In fact, No Hero is similar in content to The Mission, the Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander although not as good. This in no way diminishes my admiration for Mark Owen for the things he has accomplished and I will continue to look for coverage about his journey in the news and online.

Would you be willing to try another book from Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer ? Why or why not?

Owen's first book is my all time favorite and I for that I will continue to buy every book he ever writes.

What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

He had a fine performance but the content wasn't there. His voice and consistency deserves another listen.

Do you think No Hero needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

YES, but there needs to be more!

Any additional comments?

As I was listening to this book I found myself wondering much how the Government editorial process affected his writing. It seemed like a watered down version of what he was trying to say.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • American Buffalo

  • In Search of a Lost Icon
  • By: Steven Rinella
  • Narrated by: Patrick G. Lawlor
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,067

Steven Rinella won a lottery to hunt for a wild buffalo in the Alaskan wilderness. One of only four hunters that year who succeeded in killing a buffalo, he carried the carcass down a snow-covered mountainside and floated it four miles down a white-water canyon while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years' worth of buffalo hunters in North America and the place of the buffalo in the American consciousness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Driving West

  • By D. hanson on 07-30-09

A comprehensive history on the American Buffalo.

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

Reviewed: 10-02-14

If you could sum up American Buffalo in three words, what would they be?

Rinella knows Buffalo!

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

There were some aspects surrounding the history were the facts had been lost with time and Rinella used his best judgement and expertise to fill in the gaps. That's not something I typically enjoy in non-fiction. These parts were minimal and didn't take away from the facts.

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

As he described the kill and butchering I was sickened; however, after his explanation about being a responsible advocate for the buffalo I felt more like a hypocrite for being a meateater.

Any additional comments?

I made some initial judgments and had preconceived notions about hunters before reading the book. I was wrong, to Rinella's credit he is not a stereotypical hunter.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Agent Storm

  • By: Morten Storm, Paul Cruickshank, Tim Lister
  • Narrated by: Neil Shah
  • Length: 12 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 841
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 744
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 750

Morten Storm was an unlikely Jihadi. A six-foot-one red-haired Dane, Storm spent his teens in and out of trouble. A book about the Prophet Mohammed prompted his conversion to Islam, and Storm sought purpose in a community of believers. He attended a militant madrasah in Yemen, named his son Osama, and became close friends with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born terrorist cleric. But after a decade of Jihadi life, he not only repudiated extremism but, in a quest for atonement, became a double agent for the CIA and British and Danish intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely interesting and revealing

  • By Michalis Petrou on 11-14-14

This part isn't covered in the news!

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

Reviewed: 10-02-14

Where does Agent Storm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 5%.

TOTALLY AWESOME!

What did you like best about this story?

Perhaps one of the most informative books I've listened to. This book truly opened my eyes to so many aspects of the past decade. There's a brief and informative lesson on Islam, a lesson on the inner workings of terrorism, and a peek behind the curtain of the sometimes sleezy CIA and the agencies of counter-terrorism.

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

His pronunciation of names and places within the text was extremely helpful. Had I read the book, there would have been a disconnect as I would have undoubtedly struggled with the language.

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

I was in awe anytime the CIA was mentioned. From Storm's narrative they operate much like you'd imagine, dark and shadowy, but seldom hear about in the first person. TOTALLY AWESOME!

Any additional comments?

Terrorists, and often the people chasing them, are disgusting. I can't believe this really happened!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • True Story

  • Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa
  • By: Michael Finkel
  • Narrated by: Michael Finkel
  • Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 49

In the haunting tradition of Joe McGinniss's Fatal Vision and Mikal Gilmore's Shot in the Heart, True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, and deceit with a deeply personal inquiry into the slippery nature of truth.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • writers should write

  • By Pam on 06-07-06

I felt slimy after this book.

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

Reviewed: 09-12-14

Would you consider the audio edition of True Story to be better than the print version?

Not necessarily. Finkel did a fine job with the narration however his performance didn't add anything exceptional to the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of True Story?

During the opening statements of the trial the description of the bodies was sickening. I have never felt so disgusted by a book. That being said, I eagerly finished the book.

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

To hear, in his voice, the explanation from his previous firing was interesting.

Any additional comments?

If only this book was a work of fiction. Longo is scum and I felt filthy after listening to his story. I've never had this gut turning reaction to any book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Daughter of the King

  • Growing Up in Gangland
  • By: Sandra Lansky, William Stadiem
  • Narrated by: Laural Merlington
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

In this tell-all memoir, the only daughter of the man who was considered the "brains of the Mob" opens the door on her glamorous - and tragic - life. Sandi Lansky Lombardo, daughter of Mob boss Meyer Lansky, was raised in New York City in upper-class Jewish splendor and spent her childhood in the undeniable glitz of Havana and Las Vegas in Lansky's heyday in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. She dined out with her father and his associates when she was six and was introduced to Frank Sinatra when she was 11.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • She has had an interesting life.

  • By Derek on 05-02-14

She has had an interesting life.

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

Reviewed: 05-02-14

If you could sum up Daughter of the King in three words, what would they be?

Wishing for more!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Meyer Lansky, was a fascinating person. His daughter certainly has an interesting perspective of the legend.

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

There's more to the Legend.

Any additional comments?

Having just finished American Desperado, prior to this listen, I was waiting for Lansky's view on how the stepson was murdered.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Facing Down Evil

  • Life on the Edge as an FBI Hostage Negotiator
  • By: Clint Van Zandt, Daniel Paisner
  • Narrated by: Alan Sklar
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

No ordinary Washington memoir, Facing Down Evil is an unprecedented look behind the scenes of our nation's most powerful law-enforcement agency. As the FBI's premier hostage negotiator, Clint Van Zandt worked or consulted on some of recent U.S. history's most unsettling and high-profile conflicts, including the Waco, Oklahoma City, and Unabomber cases.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Window into the FBI Hostage Negotiator's World

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-30-08

Watered down.

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

Reviewed: 04-30-14

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

The stories were interesting but I felt Van Zandt was holding back the most interesting cases for the next volume. Would have better as an unabridged version.

Was Facing Down Evil worth the listening time?

Not in my opinion.

Any additional comments?

I was glad to have heard the stories he offered but felt disappointed afterward.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful