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Allen

Plainwell, MI, United States
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 105
  • ratings
  • Jungle of Stone

  • The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya
  • By: William Carlsen
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael Garcia
  • Length: 16 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 269
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 270

In 1839 rumors of extraordinary yet baffling stone ruins buried within the unmapped jungles of Central America reached two of the world's most intrepid travelers. Seized by the reports, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood sailed together out of New York Harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What they found would rewrite the West's understanding of human history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unsung Explorers at the Heart of History

  • By thomas on 01-10-17

Lacking on adventure, misleading title

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

Reviewed: 02-23-17

Reads more like a biography of Stevens and Catherwood. Narration is good, but I was disappointed how little there was about the discoveries and time in the jungle. The first third I thought I had misread the title of the book. This book is a lot more a full life biography of Stevens and Catherwood than an adventure narrative. Boring in parts even. If you seek Central American ancient civilization discovery adventure try "Lost City of the Monkey God" instead.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Code Name: Johnny Walker

  • The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs
  • By: Johnny Walker, Jim DeFelice
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387

>In this illuminating and informative memoir, an Iraqi translator who risked his life working with American Sniper author Chris Kyle and the Navy SEALs tells his remarkable and inspiring story, offering a refreshing new perspective on the Iraq War. As the insurgency in Iraq intensified following the American invasion, U.S. Navy SEALs were called upon to root terrorists from their lairs. Unsure of the local neighborhoods and unable to speak the local languages, they came to rely on one man to guide them and watch their backs. He was a "terp" - an interpreter - with a job so dangerous they couldn't even use his real name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding and real

  • By Noel C. Stanhope on 06-05-14

Unexpected and unique perspective on Iraq

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

Reviewed: 04-21-15

Best book on the Iraq war from an Iraqi point of view I have come across. Being an American it is not easy to find (what I feel is) an honest account from an Iraqi native on the situation there, a good introduction to its culture, and how that affects, motivates, and creates all the players involved. Not as action packed as some of the seal accounts, but original and a great story.

  • Neptune

  • The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings
  • By: Craig L. Symonds
  • Narrated by: Craig L. Symonds
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182

Seventy years ago, more than 6000 Allied ships carried more than a million soldiers across the English Channel to a 50-mile-wide strip of the Normandy coast in German-occupied France. It was the greatest sea-borne assault in human history. The code names given to the beaches where the ships landed the soldiers have become immortal: Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah, and especially Omaha, the scene of almost unimaginable human tragedy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Whys of D-Day

  • By Mike From Mesa on 02-09-15

Best account of D-Day and related events

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

Reviewed: 01-15-15

Contains much information I have not heard elsewhere, without going overboard and just reciting numbers. Very well written, interesting account of the preparation that began years before, the battle itself, and resulting outcome. Narrator is clear and easy to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Frontiersmen

  • A Narrative
  • By: Allan W. Eckert
  • Narrated by: Kevin Foley
  • Length: 30 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,034
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,031

The frontiersmen were a remarkable breed of men. They were often rough and illiterate, sometimes brutal and vicious, often seeking an escape in the wilderness of mid-America from crimes committed back east. In the beautiful but deadly country which would one day come to be known as West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, more often than not they left their bones to bleach beside forest paths or on the banks of the Ohio River.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't put it down

  • By Eric on 03-23-11

The beauty and excitement of unsettled America

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

Reviewed: 02-10-14

Actually bought this book seeking some insight on Tecumseh the great Indian chief. I was pleasantly surprised to find a book I almost couldn't put down - a great story of the American Midwest before the Civil War in the era of the "frontiersmen". Vivid descriptions of parts of the Midwest before it was settled, parts of which you can find on a map today from the author's description. So well written I felt I was there looking at it. Many adventures and action, and all true stories, of what it was like to be mostly (or all) alone in the wilderness. Similar to what you might expect reading about Daniel Boone (he's in here too) and other similar characters. I am a fan of Ambrose, and bought his Lewis and Clark book, and this book outshines it greatly in it's wonderful descriptions and stories of adventure - it is what I hoped to find in "Lewis and Clark". You will not regret this book!

  • Peter the Great

  • His Life and World
  • By: Robert K. Massie
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 43 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 781
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 660
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 650

This superbly told story brings to life one of the most remarkable rulers––and men––in all of history and conveys the drama of his life and world. The Russia of Peter's birth was very different from the Russia his energy, genius, and ruthlessness shaped. Crowned co-Tsar as a child of ten, after witnessing bloody uprisings in the streets of Moscow, he would grow up propelled by an unquenchable curiosity, everywhere looking, asking, tinkering, and learning, fired by Western ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good

  • By Adam on 10-26-11

Factual account, but slow moving.

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

Reviewed: 02-14-13

Yes, the thick, nasally accent of the english narrator diminishes the listening experience and sometimes gets annoying when listening about the "t-sar", but it's not as bad as people say. The book is VERY long and somewhat slow, but as an American, it is interesting to learn about the history of a great country/dynasty we are taught nothing about. It seems Peter the Great and those after brought Russia out of the "dark ages" and was responsible for much of the great monuments and estates that still exist there. Somewhat of an Alexander the Great who created a more modern day Roman empire in a way. Overall a pretty good book about his reign with a decent amount of background history before his rule. The part about his "secret" travels to Europe while still a young man to learn "Western" practices and concepts was particularly interesting. I can only rate it 3 stars because it is just too slow moving and the narrator detracts from it. An abridged version with a different narrator might be 5-star material.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Outlaw Platoon

  • Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan
  • By: Sean Parnell, John Bruning
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,419
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,113
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,108

At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book...Everyone should listen to this book!!

  • By Chris on 04-09-12

Best modern warfare narrative I have read

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

Reviewed: 02-14-13

Great book with lots of facts about real people and great story-telling. As another reviewer said, "like a modern 'Band of Brothers' narrative". First hand accounts from an officer who was in the field and in the thick of the action and characters that you will dislike and some who will endear you. Great book. I recommend it to anyone interested military history books - Ambrose and WW2 first hand narrative lovers will feel right at home. Will not disappoint.

  • The River of Doubt

  • Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
  • By: Candice Millard
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,977
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,698
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,710

At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • River of Doubt

  • By Steve1290 on 11-12-05

Good book overall, but a bit disappointing

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

Reviewed: 02-14-13

The story sounded promising, but like another reviewer, I was hoping for more narrative and story, and a little less science. This felt less like a story or documentary, and more like a scientific paper. Still a good read, but goes into overly detailed analysis of flora and fauna - some of which is obviously not specifically from the Roosevelt expedition and from our more modern general knowledge of the rain forest. It felt like: journal entry - textbook excerpt - journal entry - textbook excerpt - stop - start - etc. I would have to say the story telling felt choppy and could have woven into the rainforest background better. More detail about the actual expedition and the struggles they faced would have been nice. To the author's credit, in a day without cell phones, telephones, aircraft, vehicles of any kind, or cameras, I'm sure the material to draw on was extremely limited, having to rely solely on written accounts in a place and time where illiteracy must have been rampant. Get the book - just don't have the expectation you will be spellbound by Roosevelt's adventure.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Liberator

  • One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau
  • By: Alex Kershaw
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 654
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 603

From July 10, 1943, the date of the Allied landing in Sicily, to May 8, 1945, when victory in Europe was declared - the entire time it took to liberate Europe - no regiment saw more action, and no single platoon, company, or battalion endured worse, than the ones commanded by Felix Sparks, who had entered the war as a greenhorn second lieutenant of the 157th "Eager for Duty" Infantry Regiment of the 45th "Thunderbird" Division. Sparks and his fellow Thunderbirds fought longest and hardest to defeat Hitler.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Now I Know What a Hero Really Is

  • By Steven on 11-27-12

Best account of Italian campaign and others

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

Reviewed: 02-13-13

I have read a number of WW2 books - almost all the good ones that exist I think. This was probably one of 4 that at least starts with the ITalian campaign, but does a better job detailing some things. I disagree with the other reviewer who said this book is the same material as others - I found details here that were not in other works - both about the journey through Italy, and the landing on the beaches. Good book if you are looking to learn more about some of the lesser known European theater, but not what I would call broad overview of the European campaign. Won't disappoint.

  • Car Guys vs. Bean Counters

  • The Battle for the Soul of American Business
  • By: Bob Lutz
  • Narrated by: Norman Dietz
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 198
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 167
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 161

In 2001, General Motors hired Bob Lutz out of retirement with a mandate to save the company by making great cars again. He launched a war against penny pinching, office politics, turf wars, and risk avoidance. After declaring bankruptcy during the recession of 2008, GM is back on track thanks to its embrace of Lutz's philosophy. When Lutz got into the auto business in the early sixties, CEOs knew that if you captured the public's imagination with great cars, the money would follow.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Lutz Seems a Bit Full of Himself

  • By Cindy on 10-25-12

Somewhat disappointing

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

Reviewed: 12-07-12

I think Bob Lutz is the absolute best car gar guy on the planet with product development and making car companies great through the product they produce. He is in many ways a hero, and I remember being thrilled when I heard GM had him on board - I still hold a high opinion of the man - just not as a writer.

This is a decent account of Bob Lutz's GM experience leading up to the Gov't bailout/takeover, but it seemed more like the focus was on Bob Lutz padding his resume more than story telling. A guy at his level has a right to be arrogant, but it ruins the story and gets in the way. It also does not get into the level of detail or talk much about other key players in the company like I had hoped.

If you are interested in this story, a much better book around similar subject matter is "American Icon". The two stories are incredibly similar with two different outcomes. the Ford book is a third person story telling and much more thorough than Bob Lutz's first person account here. Although I am a "GM guy" the book about about Ford is a much better read. I was disappointed that a book about and from one of my heroes did not measure up to my expectations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bloodlands
    Europe between Hitler and Stalin
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Timothy Snyder
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Ralph Cosham
    
    


    
    Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
    727 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • Bloodlands

  • Europe between Hitler and Stalin
  • By: Timothy Snyder
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 727
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 581
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579

Americans think of World War II as “The Good War”, a moment when the forces of good resoundingly triumphed over evil. Yet the war was not decided by D-day. It was decided in the East, by the Red Army and Joseph Stalin. While conventional wisdom locates the horrors of World War II in the six million Jews killed in German concentration camps, the reality is even grimmer. In 13 years, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed 13 million people in the lands between Germany and Russia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best and scariest books I've ever read

  • By Joe on 11-01-12

Really does present new information

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

Reviewed: 05-18-12

What made the experience of listening to Bloodlands the most enjoyable?

It is amazing that the generally accepted "Holocaust" while terrible beyond words, was but a very small portion of the mass killings, (forced) starvation, and ethnic cleansing that took place in the Eastern European Nations before and after WWII.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bloodlands?

Unfortunately, the endless examples of starving Ukranians who suffered most from Stalin's rule, and the author's oft missed point that while the concentraion camps were terrible, they were not nearly as bad as the (eastern) death camps and sites of mass killings, where few - if any - survived to tell the tale to would-be historians.

Which scene was your favorite?

While interesting in detail and it's presentation of new information to the western world, I feel "favorite" would imply a positive, but so much of the text was grim and tragic.