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jon

Meridian, ID, United States
  • 53
  • reviews
  • 100
  • helpful votes
  • 152
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  • Flashman and the Seawolf

  • Adventures of Thomas Flashman
  • By: Robert Brightwell
  • Narrated by: Henry Clore Harrison
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54

This book introduces Thomas Flashman, whose career covers the Napoleonic and Georgian era. This first book covers his adventures with Thomas Cochrane, one of the most extraordinary naval commanders of all time. From the brothels and gambling dens of London, through political intrigues and espionage, the action moves to the Mediterranean and the real life character of Thomas Cochrane.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent continuation of Fraser's work!

  • By Shane Hensley on 08-28-17

Better title:"Falshman's uncle watches paint dry

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

Reviewed: 03-31-19

so, a side from some moderately interesting historical facts this book has nothing to offer. read a history of the war and naval engagements of this period. it would be more entertaining.

the characters were not engaging at all. dull, without depth, and really without charm. I loved Sir Harry Flashman because he was a charming rogue. this character hardly meets either standard.

  • The Assault on Intelligence

  • American National Security in an Age of Lies
  • By: Michael V. Hayden
  • Narrated by: Michael V. Hayden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 890
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 820
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 814

In the face of a president who lobs accusations without facts, evidence, or logic, truth tellers are under attack. Meanwhile, the world order is teetering on the brink. North Korea is on the verge of having a nuclear weapon that could reach all of the United States, Russians have mastered a new form of information warfare that undercuts democracy, and the role of China in the global community remains unclear. There will always be value to experience and expertise, devotion to facts, humility in the face of complexity, and a respect for ideas, but in this moment they seem more important, and more endangered, than they've ever been.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Edifying

  • By Jean on 07-13-18

help us Obe Wan

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

Reviewed: 06-26-18

this is the caliber of public servant who should be in the White House.

a Republican, with experience, integrity, and intelligence. how can we create a third party around him?

  • The Great Train Robbery

  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: Michael Kitchen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,430
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,077
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,064

In teeming Victorian London, where lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side, Edward Pierce charms the most prominent of the well-to-do as he cunningly orchestrates the crime of the century. Who would suspect that a gentleman of breeding could mastermind the daring theft of a fortune in gold? Who could predict the consequences of making the extraordinary robbery aboard the pride of England's industrial era, the mighty steam locomotive?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • UTTERLY DELIGHTFUL!

  • By stevenk1155 on 09-20-17

best book I've listened. ever. wow.

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

Reviewed: 09-30-17

ok, start to finish this was an amazing ride. these guys were the original ocean's 11. way ahead of their time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • National Security

  • By: Marc Cameron
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,475
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,336
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,344

When terrorism goes viral, one man goes ballistic. They can strike anytime, anywhere. A public landmark. A suburban shopping mall. And now, the human body itself. Three Middle Eastern terrorists have been injected with a biological weapon, human time bombs unleashed on American soil. They are prepared to die. To spread their disease. To annihilate millions. If America hopes to fight this enemy from within, it needs a new kind of weapon. Meet Special Agent Jericho Quinn.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not bad if there's nothing left in your wish list

  • By Samuel on 06-15-15

Its easier to get published than I thought

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

Reviewed: 09-27-16

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

People who like shallow characters, campy dialogue, and poorly researched novels will love this book.

Its like the author took a bunch of lego pieces from this genre and pieced them together to make a novel. The main character's "interesting" traits are given to you with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer to the back of the skull.

The only thing that kept my attention during this book was keeping track of the list of horrible and improbable characters.

So, lets look at just a small segment of what made this book horrible. (Some would call it a spoiler, but can you spoil something that is already rotten?) Our main character, is an Air Force officer who disobeys an order in Iraq and is called before a "court of inquiry." First problem, there is no such thing. If you are going to write a book, for Odin's sake at least get on Wikipedia and do some research! Perhaps the author meant an Article 32 hearing?

Next, a three star general presides over this "hearing." Reality check, a three star in today's military would never have time to deal with such nonsense, especially if the accused were an O-3 (captain).

Then, waiting in the ante room of the hearing is none other than the Director of National Security himself. Because as we all know, people at this level of government have no minions to do recruiting for the clandestine service. (It was sweet of the DNI to clear his calendar to wait for the hearing to conclude and personally recruit the main character. )

Finally, in a clumsy homage to James Bond, the DNI brings the main character and his sidekick to a secret compound where they are equipped for a mission by Ms. Miyagi (including the obligatory Karate Kid joke...). Ms. Miyagi was a mix of Bond characters Q, Oddjob, and Moneypenny. After knowing the main character for all of a day, she gives him a priceless japanese sword to take to Iraq on his mission....You know, the kind of stuff that happens every day.

In all, this book inspired me to write. No matter how bad I am, I can get published.

  • The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Rise of Nations

  • By: Andrew C. Fix, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Andrew C. Fix
  • Length: 24 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 415
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 407

Between 1348 and 1715, western Europe was fraught with turmoil, beset by the Black Plague, numerous and bitter religious wars, and frequent political revolutions and upheavals. Yet the Europe that emerged from this was vastly different from the Europe that entered it. By the start of the 18th century, Europe had been revitalized and reborn in a radical break with the past that would have untold ramifications for human civilization.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent! (...but the ending could be improved)

  • By FN2187 on 09-12-13

Horribly repetitive

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

Reviewed: 10-24-15

What would have made The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Rise of Nations better?

This book has about 60 minutes of content. The Author is so ridiculously repetitive, he manages to stretch it out for the lenth of the course. True story. the last five minutes of each lecture are typically almost verbatim the first five minutes of the next lecture! Then, within the lecture he keeps saying the same point over and over and over again.

Add to this, the voice sounds like Mr. Mackay from South Park, and you will want to shoot yourself to make the pain of this book stop.

Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Andrew C. Fix’s performances?

NO. NO. NO.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed that I wasted a credit on this horrible production.

Any additional comments?

Avoid this book

  • Dragons from the Sea

  • The Strongbow Saga, Book 2
  • By: Judson Roberts
  • Narrated by: Jeff Hays
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

In Dragons from the Sea, Book Two of the Strongbow Saga, Halfdan Hroriksson has escaped - for now - the enemies who murdered his brother and seek to kill him, too. Determined to avenge his brother's death, Halfdan knows he must first gain experience as a warrior. He joins a Danish army gathering for an invasion of Western Frankia, for among its fierce chieftains and seasoned warriors he may find the allies he needs.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Decent installment - but feels like a bridge

  • By Katie on 06-29-15

Poorly researched, poorly read

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

Reviewed: 06-05-15

What would have made Dragons from the Sea better?

For starters, if you are telling a story about a people who prize fearless acts of bravery, maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't have someone narrate the story who sounds like a wimpy accountant.

That, and there is the painful story. Sure, the premise of the story is ok, A Viking thrall goes raiding to seek fame an fortune. But the author messes this simple concept up by forgetting that his protagonist is a 9th century (ish) young man, and not a 21st century liberal. The internal conflicts the character has are nothing short of silly and completely out of place in the epoch and culture.

Bottom line is, I really tried to like the series becuase I like this period in history. But skip this series, and try Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles, or the Raven Saga. Thoses are well researched and authentic.

Roberts writes with all the accuracy of a guy who watched a History Channel show on vikings and then decided to write a novel.

What didn’t you like about Jeff Hays’s performance?

He sounds like a wimpy accountant, not a warrior

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Cringeworthy is all I can say about this.

Any additional comments?

pass on this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Yendi

  • Vlad Taltos, Book 2
  • By: Steven Brust
  • Narrated by: Bernard Setaro Clark
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 623
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 561

In which Vlad Taltos and his Jhereg learn how the love of a good woman can turn a cold-blooded killer into a real mean SOB.... Vlad tells the story of his early days in the House Jhereg, how he found himself in a Jhereg war, and how he fell in love with the wonderful woman, Yendi, who killed him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Prequel

  • By Ron on 08-20-12

This is a guilty pleasure

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

Would you listen to Yendi again? Why?

no, because I know the ending, and the only reason to get through this is to figure out that little morsel.

Any additional comments?

This was an interesting second installment. I bought the first on sale, and followed up with this one. Its not my typical genre, but there is something about Vlad that I connect with. Maybe its his amorality? But, its a fun fantasy book.

  • Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History

  • By: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,127

Step into the real world of the spy with this detailed and unforgettable tour of the millennia-long history and enduring legacy of espionage and covert operations. While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey how world powers have attempted to work in the shadows to gain secret information or subvert enemies behind the scenes.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • depends what you're after

  • By Rachel on 08-20-14

Over Promised, Under Delivered

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

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

If this book had really told some interesting stories, and engaged the reader/listener it would be a 4 star book. It did neither of those things.

  • Abandoned in Hell

  • The Fight for Vietnam's Fire Base Kate
  • By: William Albracht, Marvin Wolf
  • Narrated by: Brian O'Neill
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160

In October 1969, Captain William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Fire Base Kate, held by only 27 American soldiers and 150 Montagnard militiamen. He found their defenses woefully unprepared. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments - some 6,000 men - crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story

  • By joe on 04-12-16

Military/Political stupidity hasn't changed

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

What did you love best about Abandoned in Hell?

The story was amazing. It somehow captures the chaotic nature of combat very clearly. It also hints at the amazingly stupid beuarcracy in the DoD, that would sacrifice men's lives to prove a policy theory. Its one thing to die for ground or an objective, but this book highlights the stupidity of letting men die to promote your career or silly ideology.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Viking Warrior

  • Strongbow Saga, Book 1
  • By: Judson Roberts
  • Narrated by: Jeff Hays
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 143

The Strongbow Saga is an epic tale of one man's unstoppable quest for justice and vengeance that carries him across the ninth century world of the Vikings. In Viking Warrior, Book One of the saga, a cruel twist of fate both frees Halfdan and robs him of the mother he loves, setting him upon the path to a new destiny. But a brutal act of treachery and murder upends Halfdan's new life, sending him on the run with ruthless hunters hot on his trail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, great performance

  • By Laura Renee on 11-04-14

Not in the same class as Raven or Saxon Chronicles

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This book was really a long prequel to the next story. It was clearly envisioned as a larger story and was cut into small chunks. Thus, the ending leaves you flat and unfulfilled.

The other thing, after studying a lot about my viking ancestors, the author seems to go off script a bit and ignores the historical record of the vikings. Some of the cultural/religious things noted by the author are out of left field. That said, it is good brain candy, if you like viking books.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

it would not make a good movie because the ending is lame.