LISTENER

Charles N. Ward

ojai ca usa
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 64
  • ratings
  • Lonely Vigil

  • Coastwatchers of the Solomons
  • By: Walter Lord
  • Narrated by: Norman Dietz
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

From the best-selling author of Day of Infamy: In the bloodiest island combat of WWII, one group of men kept watch from behind Japanese lines. The Solomon Islands was where the Allied war machine finally broke the Japanese empire. As pilots, marines, and sailors fought for supremacy in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Slot, a lonely group of radio operators occupied the Solomon Islands' highest points. Sometimes encamped in comfort, sometimes exposed to the elements, these coastwatchers kept lookout for squadrons of Japanese bombers headed for Allied positions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic story, difficult narration.

  • By Charles N. Ward on 03-25-19

Fantastic story, difficult narration.

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

Reviewed: 03-25-19

Not sure if it’s editing or the author himself (really it’s both) but the narration was performed in a monotone voice that was edited so that all the sentences would run on to eachother.

The real saving grace is the content itself. Very interesting story.

  • The Perfect Horse

  • The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis
  • By: Elizabeth Letts
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 674
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 670

In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find - his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world's finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine - an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Absorbing history

  • By Jean on 04-17-17

Great story, but

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

Reviewed: 07-21-18

I really liked the story, it is a tale told in many parts and has more names and people to keep track of. It’s not bad once you get the hang of it.

The last few chapters / couple hours of the story are a long and drawn out denouement, a sort of repetitive narrative story of things winding down after the war. I get it, it’s a “where are they now” type of thing of each and every player in this true story... it just keeps hinting at an ending without providing it. I think it could’ve been better written; it feels as if the entire third act was tacked onto a wartime tale. I’d still recommend this book to friends, just with a warning.

The narrator doesn’t pronounce the german words very well, but it’s forgivable.

  • Nemesis Games

  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 16 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,194
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,219
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,177

A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent bounce back

  • By Lore on 10-27-15

Narration suffers

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

Reviewed: 01-14-18

Audio quality isn’t so good. Sounds like someone applied a noise gate and the narration peaks out way too much for it.

I still listened through the entire book, I just wish they did the quality thing and not the cheap one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Shadow of the Sword

  • The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire
  • By: Tom Holland
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 402
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 364

The evolution of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narratives of ancient history, a story dazzlingly rich in drama, character, and achievement. In this exciting and sweeping history - the third in his trilogy of books on the ancient world - Tom Holland describes how the Arabs emerged to carve out a stupefyingly vast dominion in a matter of decades, overcoming seemingly insuperable odds to create an imperial civilization.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A vivid, illuminating trip through late antiquity

  • By Philo on 11-01-15

Disjointed

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

Reviewed: 05-09-16

Maybe if I had a hard copy of the book it would all flow in a decent way, but the narrative as I followed it was full of sidesteps and jumped about chronologically. I understand that for a full understanding of the background, one must actually follow the background.... presented as it was it felt more like a Tarantino film than a history, in that it seemed very out of sequence and hard to follow.

Frankly I almost returned the book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster

  • By: Winston Churchill
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,652
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,932
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,921

Churchill's history of the Second World War is, and will remain, the definitive work. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant! Only Churchill could have done this.

  • By John M on 10-30-08

Great

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

Reviewed: 06-13-15

I thoroughly enjoyed the perspective of Churchill. As an American, the story of the Second World War is too often told through the lens of Pearl Harbor, with a nod toward Chamberlain as a cartoonish appeaser and Churchill as a bulldog in a derby hat, and not much more.

The narration conjures up the voice of Sir Winston well, though admittedly this can be a bit tiresome. I enjoyed the touch overall.

  • The War Below

  • The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan
  • By: James Scott
  • Narrated by: Donald Corren
  • Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 844
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 783
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 781

The War Below is a dramatic account of extraordinary heroism, ingenuity, and perseverance—and the vital role American submarines played in winning the Pacific War. Focusing on the unique stories of the submarines Silversides, Drum, and Tang—and the men who skippered and crewed them—James Scott takes readers beneath the waves to experience the thrill of a direct hit on a merchant ship and the terror of depth charge attacks.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding work so well researched.

  • By Betsy on 07-19-13

Slow to build but good

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

Reviewed: 09-07-14

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The beginning third is slow to congeal into anything exciting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The War Below?

The parts lifted from Unbroken, by L. Zamperini

Any additional comments?

If you enjoy naval history -- particularly WWII and submarine services history -- then this us for you.

  • The Devil in the White City

  • Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,053
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,086

In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Impossible to stop listening

  • By Michael on 05-26-12

Problematic

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

Reviewed: 09-07-14

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

I enjoyed the story and the narrator, but there were technical problems that sounded like clipping and cd skipping in spots that were disruptive. The first 10min of Chapter 11 comes to mind.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

It was interesting, especially the unfolding of the two stories at the sane time.

Was The Devil in the White City worth the listening time?

Demand they get a clean recording, then yes.

Any additional comments?

Please fix audio issues.

  • Gallant Lady

  • A Biography of the USS Archerfish
  • By: Don Keith, Ken Henry
  • Narrated by: Alan Sklar
  • Length: 14 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

The Archerfish, a diesel powered Balao-class submarine crafted in the 1940s, won a unique, heroic place in military history and the memories of her crew members. Here is her story: from her assembly in New England and her dedication by Eleanor Roosevelt's personal secretary, to her service in World War II, where she broke the back of the Japanese Navy, and her critical role in the Cold War.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Bilgewater

  • By Richard on 04-01-06

What a ship!

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

Reviewed: 10-05-13

Would you listen to Gallant Lady again? Why?

I have listened to this twice! I would love to say her contributions to history and the amazing stories, but it really boils down to whiskey pancakes.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Alan Sklar?

Perhaps. His performance was hit and miss. I felt the whole time as if he were trying to sell me the ship.

  • On to Victory

  • The Canadian Liberation of the Netherlands, March 23 - May 5, 1945
  • By: Mark Zuehlke
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 16 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

It is remembered in the Netherlands as "the sweetest of springs," the one that saw the country's liberation from German occupation. But for the soldiers of First Canadian army, who fought their way across the Rhine River and then through Holland and northwest Germany, that spring of 1945 was bittersweet. While the Dutch were being liberated from the grinding boot heel of the Nazis, their freedom was being paid for in Canadian lives lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome and humbling

  • By Ryan on 01-19-17

Confusing at times, narrator impossible

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

Reviewed: 10-05-13

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would not recommend this audiobook to a friend, for a couple reasons. Firstly, there are too many names of individuals and units to keep track of; and, most importantly, the narrator is very distracting. He seems unable to speak many common words, such as "the." He sounds clipped and awkward, and some sentences are almost unintelligible. I will never listen to a story narrated by this man again.

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

I have listened to Ortona by this same author and narrator. The same complaint applies for the narrator, but Ortona is easier to follow than this book.

What didn’t you like about William Dufris’s performance?

He seems unable to speak many common words, such as "the." He sounds clipped and awkward, and some sentences are almost unintelligible. I will never listen to a story narrated by this man again.

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 163,792
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 151,182
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 151,021

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

Fantastic!

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

Reviewed: 10-05-13

If you could sum up The Martian in three words, what would they be?

Macgyver on Mars. This is the science fiction I love: that type which seems entirely probable within the lifetime of the audience at the time published.

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

Yes, definitely.