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Boom Depleter

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 33
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • Dark Waters

  • An Insider's Account of the NR-1, the Cold War's Undercover Nuclear Sub
  • By: Lee Vyborny, Don Davis
  • Narrated by: Braden Wright
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

The story of the NR-1 is told against the tense background of the Cold War and peopled with such rich characters as the acerbic Admiral Hyman Rickover, ocean scientist Robert Ballard (who found the Titanic), the designers and builders who faced almost impossible tasks to give life to the ship, the unique officers and sailors who took the little boat down into depths on covert missions, and the families who waited for them on shore, unaware that there would be no escape if the boat ran into trouble.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best books on the subject. Simply put.

  • By Boom Depleter on 12-27-18

One of the best books on the subject. Simply put.

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

Reviewed: 12-27-18

This is a book that I've already restarted twice and I'm on my third run-through. I don't really want to spoil it too much but this was an amazing account of the NR-1, Admiral Rickover's brilliant tactics and bureaucratic supremacy (and arrogance and tendency to be a mean bully!). I couldn't get enough of the tales of sneaking around in the Mediterranean, observing objects of interest on the sea floor and running salvage missions from the depths. Amazing narrator too, who did an amazing job expressing the intent of the authors. Thank you lee Vyborny, Don Davis and Braden Wright for this awesome partnership. Thanks for your Naval service and professionalism in putting this book + audio book together. I freaking loved this one. I've read all of then, Red November., Blind Man's Bluff, Scorpion Down, and probably 10 others in this non-fiction space. This is a stand out. So good.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Russian Roulette

  • By: David Corn, Michael Isikoff
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,896
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,880

The incredible, harrowing account of how American democracy was hacked by Moscow as part of a covert operation to influence the US election and help Donald Trump gain the presidency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's a sleeper with critically important info

  • By luvdata on 05-07-18

<br /><br />We have a criminal & traitor in OUR White House

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

Reviewed: 04-09-18

This book simply laid out the facts, the things Mueller has to examine and I just hope and pray that he does his work quickly. So that we can excise this cancer, this "Trump" from our democracy as quickly as possible.

Everything they need to know is in these pages.

The book is as neutral as it gets. I found myself enraged at parts of the narrative. This is so obviously going to end with impeachment and even prison terms. Every time I see him write some screed on Twitter or call honest journalism "fake news" in his little sneering way, with Pence lovingly staring at the back of his neatly folded hair I just want to scream. This whole thing is disgusting.

Read this AFTER Fire and Fury. This calmed me down a bit due to its neutrality but the investigation must take this VERY public information seriously. I don't and won't ever consider him an American President. He is a wing of Putin's kleptocracy and dictatorship and everyone knows it. He knows it and it is so obvious every single day in his actions.

Let's stop the nonsense bickering, read books like this, get informed, get upset, and prod every Congressman or Senator you can to get him OUT. As quickly as possible.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Skeletons on the Zahara

  • A True Story of Survival
  • By: Dean King
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 632
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 580

Everywhere hailed as a masterpiece of historical adventure, this enthralling narrative recounts the experiences of 12 American sailors who were shipwrecked off the coast of Africa in 1815, captured by desert nomads, sold into slavery, and subjected to a hellish two-month journey through the bone-dry heart of the Sahara. The ordeal of these men - who found themselves tested by barbarism, murder, starvation, death, dehydration, and hostile tribes that roamed the desert on camelback - is made indelibly vivid in this gripping account of courage, brotherhood, and survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Haunting

  • By thawstone on 06-05-16

Simply one of the great survival stories ever

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

Imagine it. Shipwrecked, yet lucky enough to find land. But what of that land is one of the most inhospitable, raging, unyielding and hateful places a white ship crew could possibly find themselves. Enslaved, these men live to tell a story that spellbound me

Or, well actually Dean King tells the story but does it so well that once I finished it I started it again. Amazing pacing, perfect level of detail, 10/10 narrator. This is up there with In the Heart of the Sea for me - which is something I have never said. Simply a perfect book as far as I'm concerned. I loved this book.

  • Stalking the Red Bear

  • The True Story of a U.S. Cold War Submarine's Covert Operations Against the Soviet Union
  • By: Peter Sasgen
  • Narrated by: Charlie Thurston
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 111

Stalking the Red Bear, for the first time ever, describes the action principally from the perspective of a commanding officer of a nuclear submarine during the Cold War - the one man aboard a sub who makes the critical decisions - taking us closer to the Soviet target than any work on submarine espionage has ever done before. This is the untold story of a covert submarine espionage operation against the Soviet Union during the Cold War as experienced by the commanding officer of an active submarine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How it really was on Fast Attack Subs in the 1970’s

  • By James B. Cookinham on 01-26-18

Excellent (a bit brief) book about submarine ops

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

Reviewed: 03-17-18

This was amazing. I am slowly working my way through all the major Cold War submarine ops books and this just happened to be toward the end of my list, simply due to it's short length. I almost didn't buy it at all due to this. I'm glad I changed my mind. This was a brilliant retelling of Holy Stone sub ops with nice technical detail and storytelling.

I really love how much of this book takes place on submarines and not from a boardroom or from the polished brass & teak furnished quarterdeck of an admiral's Carrier. Many exciting scenarios and vingettes about a brave type of warrior.

Great read, great listen, fantastic narrator, I loved this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Red November

  • Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War
  • By: W. Craig Reed
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 511
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 394
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 394

Red November is filled with hair-raising, behind-the-scenes stories that take you deep beneath the surface and into the action of the Cold War. Few know how close the world has come to annihilation better than the warriors who served America during the tense, 45-year struggle known as the Cold War. Yet for decades, their work has remained shrouded in secrecy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Blind Man's Bluff meets Cuban Missile Crisis

  • By SeaDuck on 08-10-10

Great deep-dive technical book despite some flaws

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

This book shines in places but it somewhat requires that you've already been through Blind Man's Bluff, Taking of K129, Hunt for Red October and still want more. If that's you, then this is the book for you. The book focuses heavily on the people, engineers, and electronics used by submariners and the ships & planes that hunt them. You'll learn a lot about radar, sonar, radio, and burst transmitters - often in advanced levels of detail. I liked those parts a lot. I liked the book more than the sum of its parts. The reader needs to be ready to trudge through actual events told in a fact/fiction hybrid way which, for me, can be exhausting and boring.

I'm a guy that finds Cold War submarine stuff thrilling and fascinating - and this book almost broke me in a few places. The conversations portrayed in many of the book's chapters can't possibly have been recorded, so the line-by-line dialogue from exchanges between C.O.B's and sub captains is 100% makebelieve. With access to so many facts, and reliance on normal nonfiction storytelling elsewhere, I don't understand why the author decided to do this. He had to make up full, lengthy conversations that the author completely conjured up from nowhere. These are by far the worst parts of the book. They are not creatively written. Like this:
Captain Rattlesworth said, "xyz."
Derek Midsipper said, "xyyz."
Then the captain said, "xyyyz."
Derek said, "xyyyyz."
The Captain said, "xyyyyyz."
And it can go on and on this way which really drove me crazy. Thrown in too, you'll find dry comedy and stupid banter in some of these nonfictional exchanges. Many are mundane and feel like filler. Actually, only the exchanges concerning the Cuban Missile Crisis use this well. I'm suprised the editor let so much of this dialogue stay in the book.

Otherwise this book offers a lot of background to the Cuban Missile Crisis, taking of the Pueblo, Scorpion, Thresher, the incident that caused the K129, raising it, and many more tales of deep, dark mysterious submarine ops.

The best early part of the book actually set off my B.S. detector. There's a story about a sub that submerged to hide in the Black Sea sometime in the 1950's (I think). Once down, they report seeing a sunken city 300ft under the water, complete with buildings and a street they called Main Street. Even with the Web at my fingertips I couldn't verify this. I assumed something like this would be a huge archaeological mystery and known site. But I also know that the west coast of Europe is dotted with submerged city sites, so who knows?

Happy to have gotten the chance to learn a few new sub stories. This book has problems but I have way more problems. I enjoyed this book and I'd happily recommend it to the advanced submarine history buff.

  • Scorpion Down

  • By: Ed Offley
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 15 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 239
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114

One Navy admiral called it "one of the greatest unsolved sea mysteries of our era". To this day, the U.S. Navy officially describes it an inexplicable accident. For decades, the real story of the disaster has eluded journalists, historians, and the family members of the lost crew. But a small handful of Navy and government officials knew the truth from the very beginning: the sinking of the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Scorpion and its crew of 99 men, on May 22, 1968, was an act of war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent book

  • By Timothy Prentice, Esquire on 12-21-08

Should be in Journalism schools everywhere

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

This is an astonishingly well researched book. This book gives me enormous faith in the research abilities of the author. This is an endlessly complex story of lie after obfuscation of facts wrapped in subterfuge but it is an unusual book, told unusually. The author takes the reader down every zig and zag of the research, rather than to lead them around like a horse to water. A little unusual in its 4th-wall-shattering perspective, journalist talking to reader directly as he was convinced of one version of the story after another, and sometimes invalidating his previously held thoughts. This is just the kind of story where that unusual technique works. In the end, submarine stuff is about as interesting as it gets so it held me fast. Excellent book, exhaustively researched, and very much a new important text on the subject. As for the narrator, about as good as they get - this narrator does an amazing job with technical military stuff. I really enjoyed how he played this book. I loved this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fire and Fury

  • Inside the Trump White House
  • By: Michael Wolff
  • Narrated by: Michael Wolff, Holter Graham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,348
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,128
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,030

With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as credible as one would like.

  • By Jerry R. Nokes Jr. on 01-29-18

Excellent book about the person living in the W.H.

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

Reviewed: 01-10-18

What made the experience of listening to Fire and Fury the most enjoyable?

The author's natural language and the steady progression of the story provided the best table-setting, fact-by-fact recap of what we've all witnessed in the age of a Trump "presidency".

What was one of the most memorable moments of Fire and Fury?

Many will talk about the parts where he streams Bannon in straight-shooting "they're screwed" narratives. But I liked the intrigue and clashes between the Geniuses (JarVanka) and Bannon. And learning about Hope Hicks' treachery at the hand of the "president" was riveting.

Which character – as performed by Michael Wolff and Holter Graham – was your favorite?

Of course, Bannon. But don't assume this is all from Bannon. Wolff talked to almost everyone involved with this campaign and this attempt at governing.

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

So called "#president"*

Any additional comments?

I've read or listened to all the important books about the 2016 election except "E Pluribus Awesome" (because why) and this was a phenomenal listen. The author did an amazing job collecting and crafting this book. 99% of it sounds like pure fact. Where he adds color to the story just makes those stories come to life even more. Absolutely amazing book and narrator. This is a great purchase and I've recommended it to many friends already.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Wave

  • In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
  • By: Susan Casey
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 566
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 361
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 357

For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dis​missed these stories - waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new evidence has emerged, oceanographers realized something scary was brewing in the planet’s waters. They found their proof in February 2000, when a British research vessel was trapped in a vortex of impossibly mammoth waves in the North Sea - including several that approached 100 feet.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • great narrator

  • By Alexis on 09-26-10

Spare me the hero worship. Great narrator though.

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

Reviewed: 01-03-18

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I don't understand why certain authors decide to go the hero-worship direction with this type of book. The intro was amazing, talking about rogue waves, Shackleton's observation of a monstrous wave and oil drill rigs getting taken down by giant waves thought to be impossible (I'm sorry, the only 2 times I've ever experienced this before, both times the author were women authors talking about technical material - constantly lobbing these platitudes about how attractive almost every single person she writes about is). I just about barfed when I was on the second straight hour about hunky this surfer or that was and I met my limit with the words "his eyes were *beyond* brown". It was E.L.James-level stuff in a few parts. Then it went back to wave science... really engaging again. Then back to a surfing tournament, or surfing settings worldwide. I bought this book because I study the deep oceans. I'm trying to understand the subject of rogue waves. Once I completed the book I had learned nothing new. Some good stories are here, but I was really disappointed at the amount of surfer deets in the book. I wish that entire section had been cut because 1) those locations like Teahupo'o are geoligic flukes and are obviously going to be attractive for surfing 2) once you talk about why the fetch & reach of the wave is as big as it is, you can infer the rest. It was just dumb to get into the specifics of surfing culture etc. I wouldn't make such a big deal about it but she just goes on and on for entire chapters and I really didn't think I'd complete the book.
Let me be clear, when it was about the science or 'myth vs legend' aspects of freak/rogue waves it was awesome. I wish there had been way WAY more of that.

Has The Wave turned you off from other books in this genre?

It's going to make me be a lot more careful, sorry to say.

Have you listened to any of Kirsten Potter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The reader - the narrator, was basically perfect. She did an excellent job and has the perfect steady voice for this kind of work. Her pace, tone, everything was basically perfect. I'd purchase any book she narrates. Up there with some of my favorite narrators in recent memory.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

When she stuck to the science, which she clearly knows a lot about, the book was good. When it was about surfers I was bored to tears and had to skip entire chapters on an audiobook I paid for, which I NEVER do.

  • Empire's Crossroads

  • A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day
  • By: Carrie Gibson
  • Narrated by: Romy Nordlinger
  • Length: 17 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

Ever since Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria onto what is today San Salvador, in the Bahamas, and announced that he had arrived in the Orient, the Caribbean has been a stage for projected fantasies and competition between world powers. In Empire’s Crossroads, British American historian Carrie Gibson traces the story of this coveted area from the northern rim of South America up to Cuba, and from discovery through colonialism to today, offering a vivid, panoramic view of this complex region and its rich, important history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of the most obnoxious narrators on Audible

  • By Boom Depleter on 11-27-17

One of the most obnoxious narrators on Audible

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

Reviewed: 11-27-17

The narrator destroys this, no 2 ways about it. I simply don't understand why she was allowed to perform (ruin) the book this way. Every other, to every third sentence starts in a high falsetto for the first few words, then returns to a somewhat normal, albeit annoying cadence and tone. But then the falsetto returns, and again and again. That sing-songy delivery, accented squeaks and emphasis on random vowels, Disney-on-crack delivery wouldn't work for a children's book let alone this. She dips between a faux baby voice and then morphs into Minnie Mouse - back and forth, and it's like that The. Whole. Way. Through. The material of the book seems strong. I love the time period. Why then, would the author allow it to be smudged and ruined this way. There's just no way to justify it. This narrator is so ridiculous and for the life of me I can't understand why it was permitted in the first place. It's such a waste of a good book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Chernobyl 01:23:40

  • The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster
  • By: Andrew Leatherbarrow
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 525
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 472
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 470

At 01:23:40 on April 26th 1986, Alexander Akimov pressed the emergency shutdown button at Chernobyl's fourth nuclear reactor. It was an act that forced the permanent evacuation of a city, killed thousands, and crippled the Soviet Union. The event spawned decades of conflicting, exaggerated, and inaccurate stories.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding Listen and Read

  • By Ms Discus on 10-12-16

A fantastic & thoughtful travelog/history hybrid

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

Reviewed: 05-18-17

What made the experience of listening to Chernobyl 01:23:40 the most enjoyable?

Too many to mention. I enjoyed this dang book so much. I loved the mixing of current conditions of the site and Leatherbarrow's observations as a traveller. The hindsight the author has, is never used as a blunt instrument to lecture the world about the perils of nuclear power. Though he mentions the benefits and risks, in the end he approaches both aspects thoughtfully and respectfully.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author, meaning the person experiencing everything was my favorite character. I am a Reddit user too - so I really could imagine myself in his place and that was just one aspect of why I enjoyed the book so much.

Which scene was your favorite?

The exploration scene where the group encounters the much-photographed swimming pool, referencing it in Call of Duty, taking about how his pictures will look like everyone else's was one that stuck out but I also liked the part near the end when he discusses the illness & death rates among Chernobyl survivors.

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

Chernobyl 01:23:40 - A Modern Journey
....or just let American Experience do the film and they'll pick an even more boring title and turn out the best documentary on the topic that you've ever seen.

Any additional comments?

The concept of putting all the pics online, referencing Reddit and some other modern touches give it a contemporary feel and a nice demonstration of technology meeting historical literature. Brilliant concepts. I'd read an Andrew Leatherbrrow travelog any day of the week. Also, I wish this book was 3 times longer and yet it was perfect the way it was. I hope this author keeps writing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful