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  • 7
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  • Zafir and the Seventh Scroll

  • Bassam Saga, Book 2
  • By: Paul B. Skousen
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

An engaging old-fashioned adventure story, Zafir and the Seventh Scroll will take you to lands far away in time and place, as Bassam is called on to grow from a boy into a young man. The story continues as Bassam rejoins his caravan, only to find his mentor, Zafir, gravely injured and facing death. Will Bassam be able to get him the help he needs - and will he ever learn what is in the seventh secret scroll, to complete his education and become the upstanding young leader Zafir sees in him?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It was nice but i feel he's drawing out the story

  • By Andra V. on 01-22-17

Excellent!!! Spectacular trip thru Ancient China

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

Reviewed: 12-01-16


Loved it! Can't wait for Book 3. Bassam's impossible dilemma from Book 1 finds a surprising escape and he's back on the trail, but things have changed. There's urgency in his race along the rivers of Ancient China, to find the ocean. Passage through the Kantoli Straits left me exhausted and exhilarated! Fawzi was his usual barbarous self. Ammar has the answers. And Zafir? Yes!

Beautiful writing, historical, brings to life the centuries' long project to build the Great Wall and the Emperor's madness behind the Terracotta soldiers and his massive underground tomb complex that rivals the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Seventh Scroll is exquisitely presented. Gives interesting twist on goodness and cynicism in the world today and how to address broken faith and scornful people. The Seventh Scroll is the satisfying capstone to the six scrolls discovered in the first book. I listened to those chapters two more times, you'll see why.

Great adventure, great ending, great narration. Mark Deakins is the master! Accents, drama, engaging, clipped right along. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, those who read Book 1 will love this delightful continuation. Looking forward to Book 3.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • How to Read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence

  • By: Paul B. Skousen
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 3 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Have you ever wanted to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and really understand what they're saying? Millions of others have, too. But getting a real understanding of the legal language of 200 years ago can be challenging - and as a result, few Americans know these important documents as well as they should. Recognizing this, Paul Skousen has written exactly the book you've been looking for. It's an easy step-by-step guide that makes these documents come alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simplicity

  • By Mr. Mitt on 07-01-16

Understand them for the first time

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

Reviewed: 07-02-16

Would you consider the audio edition of How to Read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to be better than the print version?

I bought both, my wife liked the audio, I read the book. I enjoyed the audio version but made notes in the book. Split vote

What other book might you compare How to Read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to and why?

I've tried reading the Constitution and Declaration before, back in high school. Never made much sense. This "How To" approach opened the door, now I get it. Articles, sections, clauses, preamble, assertions, charges, rights, permissions, control, unalienable, the book nails it. It's a fast read, to the point. Why isn't this taught in the schools anymore?

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

Mark Deakins is the master. I've listened to half a dozen of his works and he brings everything to life. The Constitution is hard reading but he makes it come alive, clips right along, he emphasizes important words and makes it understandable.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I really appreciated Mark Deakins powerful reading of the Declaration. I could feel the anger and frustration in the Americans at the king. Those words stirred some strong feelings inside, made me think of problems in America today.

Any additional comments?

I heard the author on the radio and decided to give the book a try. I’m thrilled. Author walks you through the Declaration and the Constitution so you understand what you're reading. That's what got me. I thought it was a bunch of lawyer words. You really can understand both of these if somebody will just give a few pointers. He includes ten myths that answered my question about being "old fashioned" and "a living Constitution." There's a little quiz after each section to make sure you're catching the main points, and a timed reading test. The glossary really helped a lot. It's a very fast read. I recommend it to everybody.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Naked Communist

  • Exposing Communism and Restoring Freedom
  • By: W. Cleon Skousen
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 294
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 292

The Naked Communist has sold almost two million copies. It found its way into the libraries of the CIA, the FBI, the White House, and homes all across America and the world. The Naked Communist contains a distillation of more than a hundred books and treatises on communism, many written by Marxist authors. We see the communist the way he sees himself - stripped of propaganda and pretense. Explained here is the amazing appeal of communism, its history, and its basic and unchanging concepts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The History of Communism

  • By Freedom on 11-16-15

"Must Reading" before the 2016 elections

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

Reviewed: 11-17-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I've heard about this book for years. Finally, here's a format so I can listen while driving, etc. The book gives a clean description of the reasons that America is in the mess it is in today---and, the way out is therefore more easily seen and understood. It is suitable content for high school and above. Skousen gives history, context, reasons and warnings. Being an old book, some might dismiss it and that would be a mistake. It sounds like it was written for today. Finally, a breath of fresh air regarding America's problems. Now I'm pointed in the right direction to help turn things around.

Which character – as performed by Mark Deakins – was your favorite?

Deakins performance brings the nonfiction subject matter to a high level of delightful listening, and thereby, greater understanding. I've heard other works by Deakins and I'd recommend this particular book for those not yet familiar with him---you will become a fan.

If you could give The Naked Communist a new subtitle, what would it be?

How to Prevent the Fall of the United States

Any additional comments?

People who believe the Constitution is out of date need to read what happens when documents such as that one, and the Declaration of Independence, are pushed aside for alternative forms of government such as Communism and Socialism. Skousen spells it out clearly and succinctly. People who think they've got these upcoming elections all figured out should first read this book---it will prevent some bad judgments from being made at the ballot box.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Bassam and the Seven Secret Scrolls

  • Bassam, Book 1
  • By: Paul B. Skousen
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 17 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 475
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 478

This is the story of the last holder of the scrolls, an old chief named Zafir. Worried that his life was nearly spent, Zafir chose young Bassam to be his heir to the scrolls. Was Bassam ready? To prove the young man Zafir took him on a caravan trek with the intent of teaching him the scrolls. And then, partway into the trip, a startling surprise changed everything. The scrolls are timeless.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I couldn't get out of my car

  • By Freedom on 12-04-14

What Secrets Were On Those Scrolls?

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

Reviewed: 12-04-14

Would you listen to Bassam and the Seven Secret Scrolls again? Why?

This was a movie---I could see and feel and suffer through the most delightful adventure story I've heard in years. I love this story. It transported me to a time and place I never knew existed---the great caravans that moved the world's wealth from Arabia to China and back again, for thousands of years before Columbus. The story paints a life 2,000 years ago, life on a caravan as seven secrets are unfolded, with the story focusing on one old sheikh name Zafir, a young man named Bassam, and the secrets of seven scrolls. I loved the riddles in the messages and how Bassam discovers them. I loved the trek across the continent and the problems such travel created. It was history, geography, adventure, love, loss, death, life, heat, cold, survival, thirst, discouragement, resolution, reality. I feel immersed in a part of history that I never knew existed, and after I catch my breath, I want to go hear it again. My kids loved it, we'd hear a chapter every night. They were glued, their eyes glazed over with their minds creating a far away time and place that one day they wanted to go visit.

What did you like best about this story?

I had to smile at Bassam and Rasha and their clumsy love story. It reminded me of my own, and how awkward new love is. The author captures the uncomfortable blossom of friendship growing into love through teenage years, then into maturity, and then postponement while a caravan trek must be taken. It was great insight into the beauty of life without the modern stress and distractions that rob people of so much. Rasha is a wonderful young woman, and the whole story is a delightful telling suitable for all.

Which scene was your favorite?

I don't want to give it away, but there's an event where Bassam finds himself alone in an extremely stressful situation where he's hiding in a black alley way of an old stone village on the banks of the Euphrates. There he has no options but to plead in his crushing depression through desperate prayer for help, and how help came, beautifully, quietly, simply, surprisingly, and to his salvation. It was a wonderful ending to that particular event, and another of several stories within the story. There's more of that I liked a lot---that white-out blizzard sandstorm, I can feel the grit in my teeth and in my eyes and ears. And that sword fight in the dunes. Perfectly presented, I loved it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The moment that Bassam says goodbye to Rasha, that was fantastic. It was richly portrayed and my pulse went up, I had to go cool off afterwards! I think the closing chapters touched me the most, such a deeply moving story on so many levels. Those closing chapters really pulled at my heart. Beautiful writing, beautiful resolution, it left me wanting more.

Any additional comments?

I didn't know I liked stories like this. I think its effectiveness is its historical accuracy and picture-painting of life among the ruins and silk and spice routes of ancient times. I learned more about camel caravans and the trials the riders encounter than anywhere else. The characters are all roundly developed and the interaction was fantastic. Fawzi made me laugh, he's a character. How did the author get all of that information? I didn't know they had navigation tools like the kamel, or the south pointer---they were brilliant people. It's a story of a day when life was much slower than today, and being paced to the rigors of nature, far more beauty and intrigue is found when there's time to see it than in today's hectic world where all that makes life beautiful is lost in the rush. Thank you to the author for that nice break and that wonderful breath of fresh desert air. It's a long ride worthy of stops and pauses to reflect and relive, to take in pieces and not all at once. I loved it.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • The Real Story of Christmas

  • By: W. Cleon Skousen
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92

In an era when Christmas is often portrayed as little more than a celebration of consumerism, many Christians are searching for a way to offer a deeper appreciation of the holiday to their children and family. New York Times Best Selling Author W. Cleon Skousen's The Real Story of Christmas reconnects the reader with what Christmas is supposed to be about: peace, goodwill, and the story of Jesus Christ. Skousen breathes new life into the Nativity story, with ample political and historical context.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Christmas Spirit

  • By Mr. Mitt on 11-20-14

Best Rendition Ever: Scriptural History Clarified

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

Reviewed: 12-04-14

Would you listen to The Real Story of Christmas again? Why?

The historical and geographical setting to the birth of Jesus, lightly tying Old Testament and New Testament connections as one, suddenly comes together in a moving, tender fashion making this a story to hear over and over. The details that typically go missing when this story is told are included here without the corruption of the traditional embellishments that Christians of later years have heaped upon this simple story. The specifics are laid out in understandable order, and with meaning. There was so much information in pleasantly flowing story-telling form, it was easy to listen to it, and would be easy to play again multiple times during the Christmas and Easter season. I loved it, the whole Christmas story now has a simple and beautiful authority and reality I didn't realize existed.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Surprisingly, my heart goes out to Joseph, that stalwart husband of Mary's whose faith carried him through the disappointing discovery that his beloved was expecting, and not by him, and how he came to understand the truth, and stood by her side through this important and sacred event of the birth of Jesus. His labors to find a place for Mary's child delivery in a crowded city, the pressure he must have felt. He is such a good person whose part in this I had never really appreciated, and for whom I now have such respect.

What about Mark Deakins’s performance did you like?

Mr. Deakins did a masterful job. I'm a fan of Deakins and have enjoyed several of his books. He moves this story along with feeling, proper emphasis, beautiful cadence and pronunciation, and easy listening. He has the gift of transporting the listener to another time and place, and keeping me there for the duration, and wanting to go back for more.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I think the massacre of the innocents in Herod's attempt to kill the newborn king caught me by surprise. All of those mothers in Bethlehem suffering the slaughter of their own newborn sons, what terrible agony, what cruelty, what terror, and what an evil man Herod was, what horror he inflicted on these little babies and their mothers. I was also moved by the wrapping up of the real purpose of the life of Jesus, that he was born to bear the sins and woes of a fallen world. Beautifully written, beautifully narrated. I would share it with all of my friends and acquaintances, it brightened my day, gave encouragement for the trials of life, thank you Mr. Skousen for this wonderful experience.

Any additional comments?

I liked the background information that explained things such as who the wise men from the east were, Herod's reasons for concern, the business of taxation that overflowed the villages at the time of Jesus's birth, why Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt and why they felt it was safe to come back. And, for me December never seemed to fit the scripture story of when Jesus was born, and I really liked how Skousen clarifies that, showing that the scripture makes it more of a spring-time event when shepherds are on the lookout for hungry predators preying on the flocks just as the spring-time green grasses are just starting to show.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • True Stories from the Files of the FBI

  • By: W. Cleon Skousen
  • Narrated by: Corey M. Snow
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

Be the FBI Agent in training under J. Edgar Hoover and run the gauntlet of Machinegun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson, and the Barker Karpis Gang. Step back into downtown Chicago of the 1930s and retrace the steps of some of America's most notorious mobsters. True Stories from the Files of the FBI was written by W. Cleon Skousen under the direct supervision of Mr. Hoover himself. These first-hand accounts of actual "do or die" situations were used for decades to train thousands of FBI agents.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating and enlightening American history!

  • By Inspector on 08-27-14

Captivating Slice of American History

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

Reviewed: 08-16-14

Would you consider the audio edition of True Stories from the Files of the FBI to be better than the print version?

The glamour of Hollywood could never capture the real horror and struggle the FBI had to deal with when confronting home-grown terrorists. The telling is more arresting than the reading, I loved it.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The tenacity of criminals to try and out-wit a deck stacked against them just astonishes me. And to fight it at the cost of innocent lives reflected darkly on their ugly value of human life.

Which character – as performed by Corey M. Snow – was your favorite?

I enjoyed Ma Barker and the Gang the most, riveting listening.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The Lindbergh kidnapping was particularly poignant to hear, that was a rough difficult time for every parent who has feared for a child.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended for a quick education on what crime and crime-fighting was like in the mob era. My respect for the FBI grew by miles as I listened to what they had to put up with in those earlier days, and by realizing that today it's got to be a million times more complex and difficult.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful