LISTENER

John

Birmingham, Al.
  • 18
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 107
  • ratings
  • Hollywood Godfather

  • The Life and Crimes of Billy Wilkerson
  • By: W. R. Wilkerson III
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

This is the definitive biography of the most powerful man in Hollywood during the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, the man who founded The Hollywood Reporter and the most storied nightspots of the Sunset Strip. In the 30 years as Tinseltown’s premier behind-the-scenes power broker, Billy Wilkerson introduced Clark Gable and Lana Turner to the world, brought the Mafia to Hollywood, and engineered the shakedown of the Hollywood studios by Willie Bioff and his mob-run unions. He also helped to invent Las Vegas, tangled with Bugsy Siegel (and possibly was involved with his murder), and touched off the Hollywood blacklist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Westicop on 01-09-19

Too much is unknown about Wilkerson

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

Reviewed: 02-10-19

The author, Wilkerson's son knows very little about his father, Notes, records and other documentation is missing and the author admits this. A very simple tale of a man of questionable character who makes a lot of money in Hollywood...a fairly boring book in this reader's/listner's opinion.

  • Catherine the Great

  • Portrait of a Woman
  • By: Robert K. Massie
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 23 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,445
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,240
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,232

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who traveled to Russia at fourteen and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved everyone minute!

  • By Elizabeth on 02-05-12

Detailed and well researched.

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

If anyone is interested in Russian history, this book is a must read. Very well done. Why can’t we have leaders like this in today’s time?

  • Past Tense

  • A Jack Reacher Novel
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,657
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,146
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,112

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn't get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What's one extra day? He takes the detour. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FIVE STAR BOOK And NARRATION!!!!

  • By shelley on 11-05-18

Boring

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

After an hour, I gave up. Lots of “filler” material without adding to the story. Rather simple and childish writing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Natural Born Heroes

  • How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance
  • By: Christopher McDougall
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,805
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,601
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,606

After running an ultramarathon through the Copper Canyons of Mexico, Christopher McDougall finds his next great adventure on the razor-sharp mountains of Crete, where a band of Resistance fighters in World War II plotted the daring abduction of a German general from the heart of the Nazi occupation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A solid follow-up

  • By tony liebetrau on 06-14-15

Boring

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

Reviewed: 03-16-18

What disappointed you about Natural Born Heroes?

A lot of talk but no action...

What do you think your next listen will be?

a good murder mystery

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

narration ok; just no real story

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Natural Born Heroes?

can't answer...could not get beyond 1/2 hour

Any additional comments?

If you are going to write about natural born heroes, fine but be sure to relate some stories with a degree on continuity. This story jumped around and made little sense of the title.

  • The Girl in Green

  • By: Derek B. Miller
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 705
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 642

It's 1991. Near Checkpoint Zulu, 100 miles from the Kuwaiti border, Thomas Benton meets Arwood Hobbes. Benton is a British journalist who reports from war zones in part to avoid his lackluster marriage and a daughter he loves but cannot connect with; Arwood is a Midwestern American private who might be an insufferable ignoramus or might be a genuine lunatic with a death wish - it's hard to tell.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Belive the good reviews

  • By Rahni on 08-10-17

What a disappointment

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

Reviewed: 01-02-18

Would you try another book from Derek B. Miller and/or Will Damron?

Most likely not

What was most disappointing about Derek B. Miller’s story?

Very slow

How could the performance have been better?

The reader was not good; his attempt at a British accent was laughable and his general reading ability was weak.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Sex at First Sight

  • Understanding the Modern Hookup Culture
  • By: Richard E. Simmons III
  • Narrated by: William Brock
  • Length: 2 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

In most colleges today, sex has become another form of recreation that you fit into your schedule, like studying or exercising. Sex at First Sight explains how the hookup has come into being, how pornography is a major factor influencing a student's view of sex, and how this new perspective on sexuality is impacting the lives and future sex lives of this generation of young people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Every parent should read this book

  • By John on 05-03-16

Every parent should read this book

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

Reviewed: 05-03-16

Would you listen to Sex at First Sight again? Why?

Maybe but probably not since the subject matter can be clearly understood in one reading.

Who was your favorite character and why?

not meaningful

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

professional reading capabilities

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

no...just sad at the possible consequences for our younger generation

Any additional comments?

parents of teens should read this and heed the message

  • April 1865

  • The Month That Saved America
  • By: Professor Jay Winik
  • Narrated by: Professor Jay Winik
  • Length: 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98

April 1865 could have destroyed the nation. Instead it saved it. As April begins, the battered Confederate capital of Richmond falls to the Union Army. Robert E. Lee surrenders his forces to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox one week later. In good spirits and sensing the war's end, President Abraham Lincoln attends a comedic play - and is assassinated. Simultaneously, Secretary of State William Seward is brutally attacked but survives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent re-interpretation of history, but...

  • By Bruce Nichols on 09-17-15

written well; performed poorly

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

Reviewed: 05-03-16

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

I would readily recommend this book to anyone interested in the Civil War period. The author has researched this subject of the final days of the CW very well and treats both the Union and the Confederacy without prejudice. The reading was one of the worst performances I have experienced among the hundreds of books I have listened to from Audible. Nothing can lessen the enjoyment of a good audible book than a poor reader who seems utterly inexperienced at this work.

What did you like best about this story?

The attention to details that are not common knowledge about the last month of the CW and the extraordinary depth of his character study of the various personalities involved in this epic struggle. Excellent job.

How could the performance have been better?

Have a professional reader do the job.

Could you see April 1865 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Possibly since the time frame is but one month.

Any additional comments?

Professor Winik's other book about FDR is equally as satisfying but the reader is very good as well. Good for the listener that he did not choose to read this himself.

  • Bloody Spring

  • Forty Days That Sealed the Confederacy's Fate
  • By: Joseph Wheelan
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65

In the spring of 1864, Robert E. Lee faced a new adversary: Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. Named commander of all Union armies in March, Grant quickly went on the offensive against Lee in Virginia. On May 4th, Grant's army struck hard across the Rapidan River into north central Virginia, with Lee's army contesting every mile. They fought for 40 days until, finally, the Union army crossed the James River and began the siege of Petersburg. The campaign cost 90,000 men - the largest loss the war had seen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than Bruce Catton?

  • By Rick on 09-13-14

Excellent read

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

Reviewed: 06-08-15

As always, Grover Gardner does a super job of reading books. This is a very detailed and easy to listen to story about one of the most significant period of the Civil War. Couldn't put the book down.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Never Go Back

  • A Jack Reacher Novel
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,767
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,060
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,039

Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. Reacher is there to meet - in person - the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Tired Series

  • By Michele Kellett on 02-19-14

how did this book ever sell?

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

Reviewed: 04-18-14

boring, full of filler material...blah, blah, blah... and just not a good story. I would think again before buying another Jack Reacher series book after this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Four Fires

  • By: Bryce Courtenay
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 29 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,721
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,340
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,335

The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • His very best!

  • By Dave on 08-26-10

extraordinary in every respect

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

Reviewed: 01-26-13

I have listened to hundreds of books from Audible but the narrator of this book is the best I have ever listened to bar none. Great writing and great narration equals a truly delightful experience.