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S. Carter

America!
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  • 53
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  • Red War

  • A Mitch Rapp Novel, Book 17
  • By: Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,020
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,722
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,697

When Max Krupin - Russia's leader - discovers that his kidney cancer has spread to his brain, he's determined to hide his diagnosis. He begins by getting rid of anyone threatening to him - as well as creating chaos in the region to keep the world's attention diverted. Soon, Krupin's illness becomes serious enough that he needs a more dramatic diversion, prompting him to invade the Baltics. Desperate to understand what's causing Krupin's unusually erratic behavior and Russia's aggressive moves in the region, America begins working with Russia's disgraced prime minister to stage a coup.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • EXCELLENT addition to the series...

  • By shelley on 09-25-18

Russia Russia Russia...

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

Meh. Mitch Rapp is at his best when combating Islamic terrorists. Terrorism returned to American shores (San Bernardino, Orlando, etc.) thanks to Obama's incompetence and stupidity regarding international strength--the author could have worked that angle, but what's past is past. Since Trump has all but smashed ISIS in Syria/Iraq, it's not as present a threat these days. While the Rapp series held my attention during Flynn's reign, this new series of tales--competently told as they are--just don't have the same zest. With the incessant drumbeat of "Trump Russia collusion!" going nowhere in American culture, it seems forced to have Russian stories in the Rapp series as well.

I'll get the next book in the series, but if it doesn't pick up I'm going to find something else.

  • Atlas Shrugged

  • By: Ayn Rand
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,817
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,269

As passionate as it is profound, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential novels of our time. In it, Rand dramatizes the main tenets of objectivism, her philosophy of rational selfishness. She explores the ramifications of her radical thinking in a world that penalizes human intelligence and integrity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Edward Hermann's masterful performance.

  • By Shawn Levasseur on 07-17-08

The Best Version

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

Whatever a reader or reviewer may think of Ayn Rand's seminal novel, this review is about Edward Herrmann's performance on the audiobook.

Herrmann gives an absolutely spellbinding, tour-de-force performance of what is unquestionably weighty and often dry or repetitive material. His colorful interpretations and exotic accents help differentiate each of the dozens of characters who populate the world of Atlas Shrugged and lend it a clarity which the average reader might find hard to come by just in reading the straight text.

Whether or not the reader agrees with Rand's various beliefs or not, Herrmann's performance on this abridged reading of Atlas Shrugged is not t be missed.

  • Thrawn (Star Wars)

  • By: Timothy Zahn
  • Narrated by: Marc Thompson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 18,003
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,879
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,844

In this definitive novel, listeners will follow Thrawn's rise to power - uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nice To Have Thrawn Back, But...

  • By Michael Hicks on 09-06-17

Usual Modern Star Wars

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

Good background on Thrawn's rise to authority--utterly useless side story about a woman trying to make it as a politician and the travails of climbing the ladder. For some reason, modern Star Wars tales ostensibly about the beloved villain (Vader, Maul, etc.) MUST contain a subplot about a secondary character overcoming adversity and/or rescuing a family.

The descriptions of Thrawn's military planning are straight out of Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, Machiavelli and other geniuses of Earth history, with a bit of motivational psychology and theories of learning tossed in for good measure. Unfortunately the author tends to rely heavily on "they didn't listen to him" a bit much, portraying the other senior leadership as almost uniformly worthless compared to the genius of his main character. The "warrior without equal" is a Marty Stu, and after the first few achievements becomes trite.

When the story's about Thrawn, it's engaging. When it's about the Pryce family soap opera, I wanted to ffwd through it to get to something meaningful. It's not Canto Bight useless, but its tangential relevance was more padding than supporting of the main thread--Thrawn and Vanto's rise through Imperial ranks to achieve their respective statuses.

Marc Thompson's reading was excellent, particularly the asides in Thrawn's inner monologue when presented with the distinctive echo to set them apart.

  • The Outsider

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,335
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,541
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,404

An 11-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing From Stephen King

  • By Myles on 11-02-18

Meh. Typical Stephen King

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

King holds to his formula, albeit with a light dusting of bashing Trump and his supporters. This one's unique in that it doesn't take place in New England but in Texas and Oklahoma. Rather disappointing to hear the lead protagonist's role shift from the lawmen to the savant woman mid-novel, but political correctness has taken over much of modern storytelling.

Will Patton's performance is stellar, though, given the material. Would love to hear him again.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • 12 Rules for Life

  • An Antidote to Chaos
  • By: Jordan B. Peterson, Norman Doidge MD - foreword
  • Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,741
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,468
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,198

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Your Average 'Self Help' Book

  • By LadyReadsAlot on 06-04-18

Good lecture on self-awareness

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

Reviewed: 04-23-18

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

Definitely recommend this work as a bare-bones introduction to self-awareness and improvement.

What other book might you compare 12 Rules for Life to and why?

Non-fiction works by Ayn Rand, who espoused the same kind of self-examination and goal-setting, but decades before this author.

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

The personal stories of his time growing up in the frozen wastelands of Canada. I experienced much of the same whilst living in North Dakota.

Any additional comments?

If not for the incessant advocacy of religious claptrap, this would be a perfect self-help book. But Peterson wastes time advocating for the supernatural and discredits his other advice on being realistic about one's goals, capabilities, and opportunities. He claims that the best parts of Western Culture is based on the Bible, even though the Greek and Roman cultures own that distinction and Christianity has fifteen centuries of war, genocide, theft, rape, torture, and mass murder to its name.

  • The Gates

  • An Apocalyptic Horror Novel
  • By: Iain Rob Wright
  • Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 199
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 178
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 178

What will you do when the world ends? That's a question that needs answering quickly when the gates to Hell open up all over Earth. Taking place across the globe is an apocalypse like no other, and humanity will find itself at war against a smart and merciless foe. Follow the struggles to survive with several characters as things go from bad to worse. Humanity is dwindling.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another interesting book from Iain Rob Wright

  • By Kindle Customer on 06-30-16

So much potential...

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

Reviewed: 09-24-17

What was most disappointing about Iain Rob Wright’s story?

Get out your Social Justice Warrior checklist:
1) men are stupid and cowardly, unless they're defending women.
2) women are virtuous, no matter what, and only err when men are directing them.
3) it's the man's fault for assuming you're straight, even though 97% of the population is; apologize at great length for affronting the lesbian, dammit! Because that's what's great about New York--over in Red State America they're just prejudiced!
4) gang-bangers are actually upstanding and moral.
5) Islamic terrorists will sacrifice themselves to save others.
6) the military is full of rogue operators who refuse to follow orders.
7) obligatory denial of apocalyptic creatures by the "religious right".
8) America is on its last legs because: empires rise and fall.
9) and the list goes on...

Outside the laughably overt left-wing filter, it's a decent story. I liked that the denizens Hell weren't invincible hordes who shrug off bullets and bombs, but were often just as fragile as humans--if not more so. And the "all at once" worldwide disaster is ripe for something so direct and unapologetic in its bravado. However, the glut of agenda-driven storytelling--particularly the coddling of females--poisons the story and has turned me off to continuing the series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Path of Destruction

  • Star Wars Legends (Darth Bane)
  • By: Drew Karpyshyn
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,496
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,825
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,810

Once the Sith order teemed with followers. But their rivalries divided them in endless battles for supremacy - until one dark lord at last united the Sith in the quest to enslave the galaxy and exterminate the Jedi. Yet it would fall to another, far more powerful than the entire Brotherhood of Darkness, to ultimately realize the full potential of the Sith, and wield the awesome power of the dark side as never before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Force is with Jonathan Davis

  • By Mitch on 01-19-13

It's actually about the Sith!

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

Reviewed: 02-04-17

What did you love best about Path of Destruction?

In a rare turn of events, here's a Star Wars book with Sith in the title that doesn't spend the majority of its time focusing on the Jedi.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Path of Destruction?

The thread of events describing Sith culture--not a moment so much as a recurring string of exposition.

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

Jonathan Davis continues to be the man for Star Wars novels.

  • The Lightning Thief

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1
  • By: Rick Riordan
  • Narrated by: Jesse Bernstein
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,795
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,952
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,007

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, terrible narration.

  • By Ariel on 02-05-14

Well done for its genre

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

Reviewed: 02-03-17

Where does The Lightning Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

About average. The story is aimed at youngsters and I got it to see what kids are reading these days. I understand why one of the lads I mentored loved the series.

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

First time with Jesse. It's odd that he gets so much grief for his performance from other reviewers. But given that the story is a first-person account from a 12yo's perspective, his pitch & intonation are similar to the way a 12yo talks in the real world. It comes off as authentic.

Any additional comments?

A good first audiobook for its target audience, and people wanting a basic introduction (if hipsterized) to Greek Mythology.

  • Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

  • By: James Luceno
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,573
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,993
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,993

For the handful of scattered Jedi, survival is imperative if the light side of the Force is to be protected and the galaxy somehow, someday reclaimed. Yet more important still is the well-being of the twin infants, Leia and Luke Skywalker, the children of Anakin and his doomed bride, Padme Amidala. Separated after Padme's death, they must be made safe at all costs, lest the hope they represent for the future be turned to horror by the new Sith regime, and the unspeakable power of the dark side.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid, wish it was Unabridged though.

  • By Randall on 12-11-15

Once you get past the non-Vader material...

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

Reviewed: 01-25-15

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

Takes a while to get to the main story. As is normal with all Star Wars novels about the bad guys, a huge percentage of the book is devoted to describing the Jedi, including the mandatory side story with the youngster padawan. I'm all for setting up conflicts and establishing character credibility, but this is a chronic problem with most Star Wars books ostensibly devoted to exploring the villain characters.

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

Jonathan Davis is quite good at his craft.

Was Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader worth the listening time?

Mostly. Unfortunately it's another Star Wars book with a Sith title and a Jedi story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Star Wars: Maul

  • Lockdown
  • By: Joe Schreiber
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,452
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,269
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,279

It's kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object that will enable the Sith to conquer the galaxy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Maul + Prison = Too Much Fun

  • By Troy on 01-28-14

A little better than most Sith-based tales

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

Reviewed: 04-20-14

Any additional comments?

Generally speaking, any Star Wars book with "Darth" In the title is going to be 60% about Jedi or regular humans; just shy of false advertising. This one's a bit better, incorporating Maul, Sidious and Plagueis with just enough chicanery from the norms to make their exploits interesting. To be honest, I was expecting more from a premise of Maul surrounded by murderers and cutthroats... but the story did its job.