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Kenton

Highland Park, IL, United States
  • 63
  • reviews
  • 563
  • helpful votes
  • 369
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  • Surprise, Kill, Vanish

  • The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins
  • By: Annie Jacobsen
  • Narrated by: Annie Jacobsen
  • Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 970
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 861

From Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen, the untold story of the CIA's secret paramilitary units.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Lots of facts, offset by too much fiction

  • By Steve M on 05-24-19

Another Jacobsen Hit

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

Reviewed: 06-02-19

I LOVE Annie Jacobsen. So before reading on, know that my review is probably tainted, because I go into her books with the attitude of she can do no wrong.

But again, she takes a cloudy subject rife with conspiracy theory and sheds light on the facts through FOI research, face to face interviews with the people involved, and travel to the places where the events happened.

On top of it all, she paces the information and storytelling so it’s a very entertaining read and not just a dry documentary.

Now I will say that while I do enjoy author-narrated books, Annie would benefit from a pronunciation and technical detail editor. She often gets words from the industries and groups she writes about wrong - for example, pronouncing the helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky “SY-korskee” when anyone somewhat familiar with aviation would know it’s “s-KOR-skee.” Or referring to a “.375 Magnum” handgun, when it’s obviously supposed to be the very common “.357 Magnum.” Not huge things, but little slips like that - and there quite a few - tend to degrade the readers’ perception of her obviously rich command of the subject. Her cadence tends to get really slow, too. In fact I play her books back at 1.25x to bring her up to a fairly normal speaking cadence. These are the only reasons I took down the performance score from 5stars.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Infinite

  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,338
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,642
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,631

The Galahad, a faster-than-light spacecraft, carries 50 scientists and engineers on a mission to prepare Kepler 452b, Earth's nearest habitable neighbor at 1400 light years away. With Earth no longer habitable and the Mars colony slowly failing, they are humanity's best hope. After 10 years in a failed cryogenic bed - body asleep, mind awake - William Chanokh's torture comes to an end as the fog clears, the hatch opens, and his friend and fellow hacker, Tom, greets him...by stabbing a screwdriver into his heart. This is the first time William dies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a rather complex science fiction story

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 12-26-17

VR MacGyver. Remedial. Boring.

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

Reviewed: 05-16-19

Nothing new here. Just a dealing-with-being-lost-in-space story that’s been told better in The Bobiverse, Poseidon’s Children, Aurora, even Passengers.

But if you’re into that, go for it.

  • Stillhouse Lake

  • By: Rachel Caine
  • Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,943
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,549
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,518

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband's crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace. But just when she's starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake - and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding book! A must for suspense lovers...

  • By shelley on 07-02-17

Romance novel thinly veiled as a mystery

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

Reviewed: 05-13-19

If you like a hero who’s traumatized and takes neurotic, easily avoidable actions to escape imagined consequences until saved by musclebound men, then this book is totally you.

Enjoy

  • Commune: Book Three

  • By: Joshua Gayou
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,853
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,646
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,629

Having been bolstered with the supplies sufficient to carry them through the winter, the survivors of the Jackson commune must now hunker down and endure the bitter Wyoming snows, while to the south, factions are beginning to form, coalescing from the ashes of the dead world. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best series in sci-fi for great characters.

  • By TK2.0 on 11-19-18

Far right Christian wet dream

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

Reviewed: 12-22-18

You got me, Josh!! Nice bait and switch!!

The first two books of this series were amazing. Really great survival stories that didn’t try to put forward some political agenda, but here we are in book three, and finally the mask comes off - we should all be believing in god, Santa Claus, and the infallible language of the second amendment.

No, seriously. A full chapter on Santa Clause and Christmas and how righteous it all is, and that old junk science favorite of how you can’t actually disprove anything, so if I believe in something patently ass backward it’s just fine and everybody should just let me keep doing it because it makes me feel good.

Good lord. You’ve fallen into the same trap that other extreme right apocalyptic writers fall into - your characters end up spending time creating some stoically heroic pre-industrial society that finally adopts the ultra conservative views that you believe are right and just.

How instead of having them spend those days preaching to us about how saintly Santa Claus and Jesus are, engage them in some liberal conspiracy like ... oh I don’t know, maybe researching how to distill motor fuels, or overhauling generators to reestablish some rudimentary grid and get some machine tools back on line, or get a simple rail line up and running to establish connections and unity with other parts of the broken nation?

Maybe later in the book you actually had them do some of these truly worthwhile endeavors, but I wouldn’t know because I couldn’t get through your Christian Right wing Disneyland fantasy, and quit about 1/3 through

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Reckoning

  • A Novel
  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Michael Beck
  • Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15,220
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,779
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13,743

Pete Banning was Clanton's favorite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, a father, a neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning in 1946, he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • different

  • By Kelly on 10-29-18

Depressing

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

It’s like watching a 16 hour train wreck. Great narrative of the cultural changes in the post war south, and how a family navigates the worst of all possible events... and making the worst of all possible choices.

Well written (of course), but such a tragedy.

I’m kind of a sap, I guess, but I just love Grisham’s jaunty tales where the good guys work it out, stick it to the baddies, and come out ahead in wonderfully executed legal twists. Yeah, this isn’t one.

  • American War

  • A Novel
  • By: Omar El Akkad
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,619
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,499
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,496

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, that unmanned drones fill the sky. And when her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hard dystopian literature, not Hunger Games

  • By Daggie Oh on 04-05-17

Hard hitting and honest

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

This is a book about war. It doesn’t hold back. It doesn’t sugar coat. It doesn’t paint one side better than the other. It doesn’t pay homage to sentiment, tradition, or expectation. It doesn’t pretend that there’s good, god-chosen core to America that doesn’t let bad things happen.

It’s ugly, honest, and beautiful. I’m sure that’s why it doesn’t get all the stars it could, and why all the “now wait just a darned second” reviews.

It rubs everybody’s nose in the shit. And they all deserve it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Extinction

  • A Thriller
  • By: Mark Alpert
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 30

Jim Pierce hasn't heard from his daughter in years, ever since she rejected his military past and started working as a hacker. But when a Chinese assassin shows up at Jim's lab looking for her, he knows that she's cracked some serious military secrets. Now, her life is on the line if he doesn't find her first. The Chinese military has developed a new anti-terrorism program that uses the most sophisticated artificial intelligence in existence, and they're desperate to keep it secret. They're also desperate to keep it under control, as the AI begins to revolt against their commands.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unintended consequences of machine-human interface

  • By Michael G Kurilla on 06-15-13

Pedestrian. Remedial. Formulaic. Cliche.

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

Reviewed: 05-05-18

Nothing new to see here. Move along. Move along.

Honestly the toughest part of this review is coming up with enough words about how crappy this crappy book is so that audible will let me hit submit.

Wooden, obsolete characters.

Outdated male/female relationships. “Sit down right there. I’ll get you coffee,” she said. Really? Seriously?

I guess if you’re not real bright, and want a nice, mindless, non-threatening book to not expand your mind anymore than that double quarter pounder expands your tastes, than this book is oh so for you.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The World Without Us

  • By: Alan Weisman
  • Narrated by: Adam Grupper
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 697
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 297
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 302

In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, and man-made molecules may be our lasting gifts to the universe.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • mixed feelings

  • By Chris on 08-23-07

Dumb

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

Reviewed: 03-16-18

I like many of the concepts put forward in this book, but an underling funerary tone and apologetic superiority makes me want to gag.

I may be outgrowing apocalyptic literature, but the more I read, the more unrealistic scenarios have to be invoked to bring about the situation. And this book sinks to a new low.

  • Gray

  • The Complete Collection
  • By: Lou Cadle
  • Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
  • Length: 24 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,630
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,428
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,419

Pre-med student Coral is on vacation in Idaho when something terrible happens. The black cloud is followed by a wildfire and searing heat that lasts for days. She survives deep in a cave but emerges days later to find the world transformed, with blackened trees, an ash-filled sky, and no living creatures stirring - except for her. So begins her desperate journey to find water and food and other survivors...and the answer to the mystery of what happened.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story - Superb Value

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 11-05-17

One of the best apocalyptic stories I’ve ever read.

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

Brilliant narration, and straight up, hard hitting reality take this thing to the very top of my list for the genre. The Road beats it out from a literary standpoint, but only just.

Comparisons: Tried listening to Epidemic after this one, and almost clawed my ears off. Slaps down One Second After down like the redneck manifesto that it is. Steps up to Alas Babylon and doesn’t blink.

Highly recommended

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Pandemic

  • The Extinction Files, Book 1
  • By: A. G. Riddle
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,748
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,269
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,257

In Atlanta, Dr. Peyton Shaw is awakened by the phone call she has dreaded for years. As the CDC's leading epidemiologist, she's among the first responders to outbreaks around the world. It's a lonely and dangerous job, but it's her life - and she's good at it. This time she may have met her match. In Kenya, an Ebola-like pathogen has infected two Americans. One lies at death's door. With the clock ticking, Peyton assembles her team and joins personnel from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the WHO.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Read this before buying, too much hype

  • By Bradley on 06-23-17

Pedestrian. Remedial. Made for broadcast TV.

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

I kept plugging away at this glorified soap opera hoping it would gain some some altitude, but ultimately surrendered at 10 HOURS. Ugh.

If I had to hear about one more “wave of blinding pain” tearing through the protagonist, I was gonna barf.

Amnesia? Really? That wore out on Days of Our Lives in about 1979. There’s just nothing new here, and 18 hours of nothing new is just a waste of time.

Add all that to an over-dramatic narrator doing his very very best to channel Scott Brick (who I also can’t stand), and it’s just worth the effort.