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Ryan

Logan, Utah
  • 42
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  • 95
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  • Dead Wake

  • The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,800
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,793
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,777

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Naivety VS Barbarians Of War

  • By Sara on 03-05-16

The Mysterious Room 40

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

Reviewed: 08-30-15

Any additional comments?

On May 7 1915, the giant 800ft British streamship, under command of the ever-stoic Captain William Turner, steamed along just 11 miles off the coast of Ireland on its way to Liverpool, England carrying 1,962 passengers and crew. Waiting several hundred yards away, just under the surface, lay the German submarine U-20 under the command of one Walter Schwieger, the Lusitania in his sights. One torpedo, two explosions, and 18 minutes later, the Lusitania - briefly the largest passenger liner of its time - would capsize in 300 feet of water amid scores of dead and dying passengers struggling for lifeboats. In all, 1200 men, women, and children - passengers and crew - would lose their lives. It was a tragic event - a move by the Germans so brash that it set American opinion decidedly against Germany prior to our involvement in WWI. All of these facts and events are known and well documented. In Dead Wake, the author gives the facts life.

Erik Larson gives the listener a glimpse into the lives of some of the souls onboard the Lusitania and hints at the seemingly millions of random events that could have changed the outcome, small and large. A smaller part of this discussion is why, with the knowledge of German submarine positions that it had, did the British do nothing to prevent the tragedy when in fact they had the ability to do so.

This was my first Erik Larson novel and it won't be my last. I highly recommend this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Arsenal of Democracy

  • FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War
  • By: A. J. Baime
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,178
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,083
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080

The Arsenal of Democracy tells the incredible story of how Detroit answered the call, centering on Henry Ford and his tortured son Edsel, who, when asked if they could deliver 50,000 airplanes, made an outrageous claim: Ford Motor Company would erect a plant that could yield a “bomber an hour”. Critics scoffed: Ford didn’t make planes; they made simple, affordable cars. But bucking his father’s resistance, Edsel charged ahead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Edsel Ford, a tragic hero

  • By TG on 12-21-14

Fascinating story hurt by subpar narration

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

Reviewed: 08-21-15

Any additional comments?

The Arsenal of Democracy is an interesting and thoroughly researched story about America's race to achieve mass production of war material during World War II. The title banners the book as "FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War", but the majority of the storyline focuses on one family and their impact on arming America in WWII.

Henry Ford championed the assembly line as a means of mass auto production. Years later, his son Edsel, against all popular opinion, was able to adapt this style of production to produce the much desired 4-engine bomber - one of the main tools of war the Allies used to defeat Nazi Germany. Not only were the Ford's able to produce the bomber, Edsel promised to produce them at the rate of "a bomber an hour" - a seemingly ludicrous promise considering most aeronautical experts of the time considered the use of auto manufacturing techniques to build aircraft to be a farce. What follows is the dramatic (and redemptive) story of a family and a city that helped change the outcome of WWII in Europe and the Pacific.

The only thing that detracted from the storyline was the narrator, Peter Berkrot, who tends to be overdramatic in parts and has the most "nasaly" voice I have ever heard. I wasn't a fan of his narration at all, especially his pronunciation of certain names throughout the book.

Overall a great book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Fahrenheit 451

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Tim Robbins
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,046
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,878
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,866

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You

  • By W Perry Hall on 10-22-14

The terrible tyranny of the majority...

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

Reviewed: 08-15-15

Any additional comments?

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." - Ray Bradbury

This book isn't only about a government that has banned books. Its about a society where television, game shows, ear shells (errr....iPods), entertainment, and sports have destroyed any interest in literature and deeper learning. Knowledge is comprised of bits and pieces of information and facts, with absolutely no wisdom or context.

One of my favorite quotes from the book sums it up: "If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely `brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy..."

The fact that this book was written in the early 1950s is mind blowing, and in many ways is probably more relevant now than it was then. I suppose this is why Fahrenheit 451 is considered a classic, and by far one of my favorites. We live in a day where everyone and everything fights for our attention. Reality TV, movies, constant entertainment, advertisements, Facebook, cell phones..... there is no shortage of distractions that keep us from thinking about the true wonders of the world. This book provided me with a great reminder that sometimes we need to take a step back - to make time for reflection and "stuff our eyes with wonder...live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories..."

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 156,831
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 144,720
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 144,565

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

The Martian........MacGyver!!

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

Reviewed: 08-12-15

Any additional comments?

Give NASA astronaut Mark Watney a sack of potatoes, duct tape, and some disco music and he'll get through anything!
Most of you know the gist of the book, so I'll get right to it. I didn't know what to expect from this book, but I loved it. The story was intense, interesting, and fun. I loved the main character's random, sarcastic, demented sense of humor. Example: "I can't wait till I have grandchildren - 'When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little (expletive)! Ya hear me? Mars!'"
There were times where the book literally made me laugh out loud.
Probably my favorite part of the book was the science. This is a work of fiction, but Andy Weir did a tremendous amount of research for this book. There are hundreds of little tidbits of information about space travel, engineering, the Martian atmosphere, etc etc - it all added to the story. It made me wish I payed more attention in chemistry and calculus in college, just in case I ever end up stranded on Mars.

A great book!!!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 1776

  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: David McCullough
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,424
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,762
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,735

In this stirring audiobook, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Front Seat on History

  • By Mark on 10-22-05

David McCullough is a master

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

Reviewed: 07-05-15

Any additional comments?

I read "1776" a few years ago and jumped at the chance to pick up the audio version. It is masterfully written and absolutely engaging. David McCullough is one of the finest history authors I have ever read, and it turns out he is a fantastic narrator as well.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Death Cure

  • Maze Runner, Book 3
  • By: James Dashner
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,827
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,978
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,988

WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends — the Gladers. But it's finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test. What WICKED doesn't know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it's enough to prove that he can't believe a word of what they say. Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He'll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all. The time for lies is over.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The big let down

  • By John on 09-10-15

A little disappointing!

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

Reviewed: 05-13-15

Any additional comments?

The Death Cure was the book that I hoped would tie it all together. Unfortunately it didn't.

The first two books in this series were interesting, but they're the kind of books that are only good if the final book is good. And maaaaannn...talk about a disappointment. I don't want to give any spoilers, but what the heck James Dashner!? You totally chose the easy way out in writing this book. It felt like the author painted an portrait that he didn't know quite how to finish. Which is probably why he followed up this "trilogy" with a prequel, which I won't be buying.

I don't want to rail on this book or Dashner too much, I just felt like the last book was a let down.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Scorch Trials

  • Maze Runner, Book 2
  • By: James Dashner
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,759
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,745
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,770

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn't done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch. The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers' destruction—and they're determined to survive. Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • An excited start that quickly fell into drudgery.

  • By Michael on 02-25-15

A quality follow up to the Maze Runner

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

Reviewed: 05-13-15

Any additional comments?

The Scorch Trials was an interesting second installment of the Maze Runner series. Overall I enjoyed it. The book follows the same general story line of the first, with Thomas and his fellow Gladers trying to survive and understand the strange world they find themselves in.

The book did contribute more information to the overall storyline, but it mostly just leaves the reader with more questions than answers, which I expected from a trilogy. But I'm beginning to feel like James Dashner says a lot in these books without really saying a lot - the main questions of the book are never really answered. Instead the author skirts around the issue and doesn't give the reader any resolutions. But that's being nit-picky. The book was entertaining and that's why I bought it.

As usual, Mark Deakins was great with his narration. (Although I still don't know why he gives Newt an Irish accent!?)

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Maze Runner

  • Maze Runner, Book 1
  • By: James Dashner
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12,773
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,303
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,375

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers - boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out - and no one's ever made it through alive. Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, though a little long

  • By Darrin on 11-28-11

As usual, the book is better than the movie

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

Reviewed: 05-12-15

Any additional comments?

The Maze Runner is an interesting and entertaining post-apocalyptic trilogy about a group of kids (or test subjects) put through all sorts of tests and trials by WICKED, supposedly all in an effort to find a cure for a weaponized virus that has nearly wiped out humanity. And yadda yadda yadda...

Having read the entire trilogy, the first book was my favorite. As always, the book is much more detailed and interesting than the movie, although I thought the movie was good too. I don't normally listen to teenage fiction stories, but I was in the mood for a post-apocalyptic thriller so I bit. And Mark Deakins is a great narrator.

The narration was great. The writing is interesting. The kids in the book develop their own language and mannerisms to a large extent, which can take the listener a little bit to understand what is going on. The story is interesting enough to keep the pages turning, and confusing enough to keep an answer seeking reader in an endless search.

I just want to say one thing though about the series and how the story is presented. First it really seems like the author James Dashner starts writing with good ideas in his head but never takes the time to plan out an outline for the story - beginning to end. I think he just starts typing the dialogue in and hopes it leads the story somewhere meaningful. The author does this much more frequently in the next two books. But as for this one, I'd try the movie first to see if it's a series worth reading.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Steel Wave

  • A Novel of World War II
  • By: Jeff Shaara
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 20 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 764
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 599
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 591

General Dwight Eisenhower once again commands a diverse army that must find its single purpose in the destruction of Hitler's European fortress. His primary subordinates, Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery, must prove that this unique blend of Allied armies can successfully confront the might of Adolf Hitler's forces, who have already conquered Western Europe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best kind of WWII history book

  • By Ryan on 04-15-15

The best kind of WWII history book

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

Reviewed: 04-15-15

Any additional comments?

The Steel Wave is the second in a trilogy (which ended up being 4 books) Shaara wrote about WWII, the first three about the war in Europe and the fourth covering the latter end of the war in the pacific.
The Steel Wave picks up right where The Rising Tide left off - with the Normandy invasion and Patton's sweep across Europe. These books have been some of the best resources I have come across for learning WWII battles, major players, and timelines. The book effectively conveys the horror of these key battles through the eyes of several main characters.
And unlike many war novels, Shaara is fairly clean in his writing. He doesn't go over the top trying to mimic soldier-speak or the language any one of us might use if under fire. In other words, the books are a great way for teens or young adults to learn history. That's not to say the books are too polished or boring - they're exciting and well written. Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Night

  • By: Elie Wiesel
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 4 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,863
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,297
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,320

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel offers an unforgettable account of Hitler's horrific reign of terror in Night. This definitive edition features a new translation from the original French by Wiesel's wife and frequent translator, Marion Wiesel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A haunting reminder...

  • By Ryan on 01-20-15

A haunting reminder...

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

Reviewed: 01-20-15

Any additional comments?

This book is raw, and sadly very real. The thought of some of the things described in this book makes me cringe, and yet I would not hesitate to recommend this book as required reading for everyone. It reminds us of what men are capable of doing and the undying strength of the human spirit.
The book is a history of one mans (then a boy) journey into Auschwitz-Birkenau. A journey that VERY few lived to tell about. Elie Wiesel has lived an inspirational life (he's still alive) and has written several other books. I encourage anyone who has the time to take a minute and Google him - he's truly an amazing man.
After finishing the book, I told my wife some of the things I had learned. She stopped me before I could finish - it was too graphic. And it is graphic, and it is real. But it's my opinion that we need to realize that this really happened. We all know that millions of people were killed in these concentration camps, but what we sometimes forget is that these were real life people, each an individual with a story of their own. It's books like this that bring some of those individuals back to life.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful