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Half Hitch

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 77
  • ratings
  • Hunting the Jackal

  • A Special Forces and CIA Soldier's Fifty Years on the Frontlines of the War Against Terrorism
  • By: Billy Waugh, Tim Keown
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133

For more than half a century, Special Forces and CIA legend Billy Waugh dedicated his life to tracking down and eliminating America's most virulent enemies. Operating from the darkest shadows and most desolate corners of the world, he made his mark in many of the most important operations in the annals of US Spec Ops. He spent seven and a half years behind enemy lines in Vietnam as a member of a covert group of elite commandos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hunting the Jackal - epic accounting of SOF/SOG and CIA IV

  • By Eric on 01-08-18

FANTASTIC! One Badass Clandestine Career

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

Reviewed: 01-28-18

Frank and entertaining, this book is written in an engaging and personable way - I felt like I wanted to buy the author a beer and just keep listening. No BS and all backbone, I loved this book.

  • Sea Power

  • The History and Geopolitics of the World's Oceans
  • By: Admiral James Stavridis USN (Ret.)
  • Narrated by: Marc Cashman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 232
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 210

From the time of the Greeks and the Persians clashing in the Mediterranean, sea power has determined world power. To an extent that is often underappreciated, it still does. No one understands this better than Admiral Jim Stavridis. In Sea Power, Admiral Stavridis takes us with him on a tour of the world's oceans from the admiral's chair, showing us how the geography of the oceans has shaped the destinies of nations and how naval power has in a real sense made the world we live in today and will shape the world we live in tomorrow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Recommend. Brilliant, engaging & thoughtful

  • By Francis Claro on 06-22-17

A Concise Primer On Oceanic Geopolitics

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

Reviewed: 11-14-17

Fantastic balance of history, anecdotes, and qualified perspective. It covers ancient history and the state of contemporary Geopolitics as it relates to the world's oceans.

  • The Night Manager

  • A Novel
  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: David Case
  • Length: 18 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 176
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 164

John le Carré, the legendary author of sophisticated spy thrillers, is at the top of his game in this classic novel of a world in chaos. With the Cold War over, a new era of espionage has begun. In the power vacuum left by the Soviet Union, arms dealers and drug smugglers have risen to immense influence and wealth. The sinister master of them all is Richard Onslow Roper, the charming, ruthless Englishman whose operation seems untouchable.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • War is a racket.

  • By Darwin8u on 10-05-16

Mediocre Plot, Over-eager Narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-22-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No - I would highly recommend the Film version of this story to a friend though.

If you’ve listened to books by John le Carré before, how does this one compare?

Characters and places in this book are not described as convincingly in other novels.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Horrible Narration - some of his exaggerated affectations were so ridiculous I had to stop listening. His presentation is distracting and annoying - more caricature than character.

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

I listened to this book because I enjoyed the film version, which truly is SO much better.

Any additional comments?

Authors: Otherwise good books are easily defiled by unprofessional narration. Choose wisely!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blood in the Fields

  • Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang
  • By: Julia Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

The city of Salinas, California, is the birthplace of John Steinbeck and the setting for his epic masterpiece East of Eden, but it is also the home of Nuestra Familia, one of the most violent gangs in the United States. Born in the prisons of California in the late 1960s, Nuestra Familia expanded to control drug trafficking and extortion operations throughout the northern half of the state and left a trail of bodies in its wake.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Horrible narration

  • By michael roe on 08-15-18

Informative, but neither gripping or compelling.

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

Reviewed: 02-07-17

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I grew bored and lost interest - although detailed in some aspects, most of the material is from court documents/transcripts and not from what the "Ten Years Inside..." subtitle might suggest. As a result, it reads like an Academic paper with the occassional flash of artistry.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The material could be condensed into half or 2/3 volume while not losing thrust. A heavy reliance on transcripts/interviews/etc comes across.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Cassandra Campbell?

Yes, her efforts to inflect a Chicano/a accent into the characters dialogue should be noted. 1 thing though; "Tule" is not prounounced "tool", it's "Two-Lee". Gracias

Could you see Blood in the Fields being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes - more artistic license might actually breath some compelling life into the featured characters.

Any additional comments?

Not a bad book, but I'd skip it unless you are pursuing a career in Law Enforcement, Legal, and/or Social Services.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Whoever Fights Monsters

  • My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI
  • By: Robert K. Ressler, Tom Shachtman
  • Narrated by: Tom Perkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,997
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,995

Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned from them how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us - and put them behind bars. Now the man who coined the phrase "serial killer" and advised Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs shows how he has tracked down some of the nation's most brutal murderers. Join Ressler as he takes you on the hunt for America's most dangerous psychopaths. It is a terrifying journey you will not forget.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Murderino checking in

  • By Sarah R Bongiovanni on 06-16-17

Criminal Profiling: The Art and Science

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

Reviewed: 12-27-16

What made the experience of listening to Whoever Fights Monsters the most enjoyable?

A gripping and informative personal history of the FBI's foremost criminal Profiler. It is frank and refreshingly devoid of material not directly related to the Author's professional experience.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, I was intrigued by the depraved behavior of disturbed criminals and the striking contrast between this unimaginable brutality and the objective, methodical approach required by those who hunt them.

What does Tom Perkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator was fantastic, very clear and subtle with no theatrics.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Violently-twisted minds can dwell inside charming and apparently charismatic people.

Any additional comments?

Although disturbing, the book is describes how profiling has been developed and used for the benefit of society. Bravo on sharing your fascinating story Mr. Ressler!

  • American Spartan

  • The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant
  • By: Ann Scott Tyson
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 433
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 385
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384

Some have called him "Lawrence of Afghanistan". To the Pashtun tribesmen he is "Commander Jim", leader of the "bearded ones". He is Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant, one of the most charismatic and controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, a man who changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time", went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THE TRUE ARMY OF ONE!!!"THE SPARTAN"

  • By Hunter on 07-17-14

Peshmerican Warrior

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

Reviewed: 09-23-16

Fantastic book! I highly recommend this to anybody interested in unconventional warfare within the context of the US's policies and approach in Afghanistan. Not your typical war story!

  • The Infiltrator

  • My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel
  • By: Robert Mazur
  • Narrated by: Robert Mazur
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261

Federal Agent Robert Mazur spent five years undercover as a money launderer to the international underworld, gaining access to the zenith of a criminal hierarchy safeguarded by a circle of dirty bankers and businessmen who quietly shape power across the globe. These men and women control multibillion-dollar drug-trafficking empires, running their organizations like public companies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Play by Play

  • By Tim on 11-04-16

Fantastic! One of the best undercover reads out there.

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

Reviewed: 08-10-16

This book is fantastic in both subject matter and delivery. The level of detail and candor are several notches above many books in the genre.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Left of Boom

  • How a Young CIA Case Officer Penetrated the Taliban and Al-Qaeda
  • By: Douglas Laux, Ralph Pezzullo
  • Narrated by: Mike Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 977
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 902
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 905

On September 11, 2001, Doug Laux was a freshman in college, on the path to becoming a doctor. But with the fall of the Twin Towers came a turning point in his life. After graduating, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, determined to get himself to Afghanistan and into the center of the action. Through persistence and hard work, he was fast-tracked to a clandestine operations position overseas. Dropped into a remote region of Afghanistan, he received his baptism by fire.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Frustratingly [REDACTED]

  • By Csaba Turkosi on 12-29-16

Millenials & Espionage in the digital era

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

Reviewed: 08-06-16

Very entertaining and informative. Just bear with the profuse amounts of redaction, they are at times curiously illuminating. Bravo

  • The Apache Wars

  • The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History
  • By: Paul Andrew Hutton
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 17 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 348
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349

They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides - the Apaches and the white invaders - blamed him for it. A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, he was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. He played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout Apache Kid.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Ruined by the Narrator

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-22-17

To be injested with Mescal

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

Reviewed: 07-31-16

A little dry but nonetheless informative and interesting narrative describing a tumultuous window of time in which striking characters of an ancient culture battled with Manifest Destiny.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Hammerhead Six

  • How Green Berets Waged an Unconventional War Against the Taliban to Win in Afghanistan's Deadly Pech Valley
  • By: Ronald Fry, Tad Tuleja - contributor
  • Narrated by: Ronald Fry
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 676
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 666

In 2003, the Special Forces soldiers entered an area later called "the most dangerous place in Afghanistan". Here, where the line between civilians and armed zealots was indistinct, they illustrated the Afghan proverb "I destroy my enemy by making him my friend." Fry recounts how they were seen as welcome guests rather than invaders. Soon after their deployment ended, the Pech Valley reverted to turmoil. Their success was never replicated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Just Another War Story

  • By Jason on 02-28-16

Quite possibly the best Memoir from the Afghan War

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

Reviewed: 05-24-16

The author is refreshingly well-spoken, thoughtful, and provides a multi-faceted portrait of his personal experiences with the Pashtun people and his unit's complex mission in the heart of Afghanistan's most unruly hinterlands. Highly recommended!