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D. Fyler

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  • 132
  • helpful votes
  • 220
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  • Enemy at the Gates

  • The Battle for Stalingrad
  • By: William Craig
  • Narrated by: David Baker
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 695
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630

On August 5, 1942, giant pillars of dust rose over the Russian steppe, marking the advance of the 6th Army, an elite German combat unit dispatched by Hitler to capture the industrial city of Stalingrad and press on to the oil fields of Azerbaijan. The Germans were supremely confident; in three years, they had not suffered a single defeat. The Luftwaffe had already bombed the city into ruins. German soldiers hoped to complete their mission and be home in time for Christmas.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • great, but difficult to follow

  • By Ed on 03-19-16

Such details

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

I’ve always liked history written in a narrative format, making the history almost like a novel. William Craig does this for the Battle of Stalingrad, in the book, The Enemy at the Gates. Although his narrative style style is very simple he does a good job of painting a picture of the chaos of this long-term siege and the bloody battles during the siege.

Craig has a number of different characters that he focuses on. Through the character’s stories we see the unfolding events from the Russian side as well as the German side of the war. From the eyes of civilians versus the eyes of soldiers( both female and male, in the case of the Soviets)and their commanders.

This was a very good book and well worth your credit.

  • The Forever War

  • By: Joe Haldeman
  • Narrated by: George Wilson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,224
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,241

William Mandella is a soldier in Earth's elite brigade. As the war against the Taurans sends him from galaxy to galaxy, he learns to use protective body shells and sophisticated weapons. He adapts to the cultures and terrains of distant outposts. But with each month in space, years are passing on Earth. Where will he call home when (and if) the Forever War ends?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A classic.

  • By John on 09-24-08

A Males subconscious fears

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. Haldeman quite brilliantly adds surreptitious criticism of the military industrial complex and its financial basis for war. He also makes cogent points about change in society, and how societal change can cause inversions in social status.

It is at that this point that Haldeman tips his hand. It’s quite clear that the young soldier, the main character is his own doppelgänger; therefore the soldiers discomfort with the rise, acceptance and eventual dominance of homosexuality is quite telling. It’s interesting that initially the infantry was heterosexual, and the female soldiers were NOT ALLOWED to deny sexual favors. In Haldemans world, the rise of women in command coincides with the feminization of men and the male lack of easy access to female bodies.Not to mention that there is a “ browning” of the human race were racial categories are eliminated through mixture.

I could go on and on about Haldemans various tells in this book, but the most concise thing I could say is that this book is a dominant males subconscious fears( more like nightmares)of the loss of status, power and supremacy that societal change may bring.

  • Sworn to Silence

  • A Thriller
  • By: Linda Castillo
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,005
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807

In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and "English" residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But 16 years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish. Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. She's certain she's come to terms with her past - until the first body is discovered in a snowy field.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I'm sorry.....

  • By SHEILA on 08-01-09

Tedious except for the Amish setting and characters

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

Pro: The addition of Amish culture is interesting and adds a touch of originality to this book. However, the rest of the book from the characters to plot to narrative style was so unoriginal and basic that it reminded me of something written in a college, Intro to Fiction Writing Course. The only reason I’m giving this a 2 star is because of the Amish characters and setting.

  • The Last Days of August

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,824
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,005
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,989

In December 2017 the famous porn star August Ames committed suicide in a park in the Conejo Valley. It happened a day after she’d been the victim of a pile-on, via Twitter, by fellow porn professionals - punishment for her tweeting something deemed homophobic. A month later, August’s husband, Kevin, connected with Jon Ronson to tell the story of how Twitter bullying killed his wife. What neither Kevin nor Ronson realized was that Ronson would soon hear rumors and secrets hinting at a very different story - something mysterious and unexpected and terrible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a healing masterpiece

  • By A. M. on 01-04-19

Ronson does it again

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

I loved the Butterfly Effect for its canny eagles eye view of the world of Porn. The Last Days of August is still involved with the world of Porn, here he examines Porn on a more detailed, microscopic level, through the life and early death of a young up and coming porn star.

Without being pedantic, Ronson allows the members of the industry to give an indictment of the mental health issues that often afflict both males and females, issues that the industry uses to both control and profit from performers and then ultimately cast them away. A wonderful but heartbreaking audio selection.

  • How Long 'Til Black Future Month?

  • Stories
  • By: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Shayna Small, Gail Nelson-Holgate, Robin Ray Eller, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed speculative fiction authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, Jemisin equally challenges and delights listeners with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful

  • By R. Davis on 11-27-18

Amazing collection of short stories

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

The best compendium of short stories that I have ever read. I read the broken earth trilogy and also the thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemison. I love her novels. Short stories however are completely different animal. As someone who loves to read and has tried to write, I believe that short stories take the most amount of talent to write. Not only do you have to hook the reader quickly and spin very satisfying plot in a short period of time, you have to develop a depth to your characters in a very short period of time. And Ms. Jemison has shown herself to be one of the best writers in the genre today having obviously mastered the novel and the short story.

All of the short stories are wonderful. I loved many of them and liked all of them. My favorite short stories were The City Born Great which she won an award for, The Effluent Engine, The Brides of Heaven and Sinners, Saints, Dragons and Haints in the City Beneath the Still Waters Which is the last story in the collection.

Her love for New York City shines bright and strong in this collection as well as her enjoyment of New Orleans. This book is well worth your time and credit.

  • An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew

  • By: Annejet van der Zijl, Michele Hutchison - translator
  • Narrated by: Teri Schnaubelt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 444
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 373
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 372

 Born to a pioneering family in Upstate New York in the late 1800s, Allene Tew was beautiful, impetuous, and frustrated by the confines of her small hometown. At eighteen, she met Tod Hostetter at a local dance, having no idea that the mercurial charmer she would impulsively wed was heir to one of the wealthiest families in America. But when he died twelve years later, Allene packed her bags for New York City. Never once did she look back. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • American princess

  • By ZOE R on 05-12-18

A life well lived

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

This was an enjoyable biography of a woman that I had no knowledge of. Allene Tew was the daughter of pioneers in upstate New York who defied Victorian convention and Ended up becoming a wealthy woman. She married an heir to a great fortune at the age of 18 and reinvented herself as a member of the American aristocratic elite.She subsequently married for more times she divorced her first husband. Her glittering and eventful life spanned the Victorian age through the Cold War.

The narrator was wonderful. Unfortunately the biography was never able to achieve what the best biographies are able to do which is To lay open The emotions, fears and motivations of a person which change
throughout their lives in response to Life’s events and inevitable changes. A good biography is able to not only Show us a persons life but also to clearly show the Impact of relationships on the person’s emotional growth as well as the impact that the person has on the people around them. This biography was never able to achieve that pinnacle but rather gave a fairly entertaining linear timeline of the persons life only.

This biography is very good at laying out a timeline but it lacks the necessary depth to really examine the Allenes motivations.

I would say that this biography actually is most successful in Portraying the growth of the United States from a pioneering country with great potential that was still dependent on British capital through the Wealth of the Gilded Age to post World War II preeminence.

  • The Boy on the Bridge

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,901
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,724
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,722

Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world. To where the monsters lived.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Bridge Worth Crossing

  • By John on 05-23-17

Great after a slow start

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

This is a follow-up to him. Or. Carrie‘s first book, the girl with all the gifts. It takes place about 20 years prior to the first book. At first the book is quite slow and tedious. However, after the first 20% the story picks up, takes off and boy what a fun ride it is.

Carey does his usual wonderful job of presenting full blown characters As well as delivering a thumping good story. And the narrator Finity Williams is stellar as usual.

A good use of a credit.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Clementine

  • The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill
  • By: Sonia Purnell
  • Narrated by: Susan Lyons
  • Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 769
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 712
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 706

By Winston Churchill's own admission, victory in the Second World War would have been "impossible without her". Until now, however, the only existing biography of Churchill's wife, Clementine, was written by her daughter. Sonia Purnell finally gives Clementine her due with a deeply researched account that tells her life story, revealing how she was instrumental in softening FDR's initial dislike of her husband and paving the way for Britain's close relationship with America.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well told history of inspirational unsung heroine

  • By Go Steelers on 02-10-18

A Life well illustrated

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

I very much enjoyed this book about Clementine Churchhill, Winston Churchill‘s wife. I enjoyed it not only because Not only because it was an excellent biography free but because through her life the author was able to Illustrate the changing mores roles and attitudes of The British, especially Concerning aristocratic women, from the Victorian age through the 1960s.

Where else would we have learned about the pivotal role that Mrs. Churchill played not only in Winston’s life but in the running of England during its most desperate hour during world war two. The women’s point of view was also brought out in this narrative regarding what the women of England contributed to the war effort as well as peculiar but significant contributions of specific women such as Pamela Churchill Harriman or Pamela Churchill as she was known at that time. You have to read the book to find out what her important contributions were!

All in all this was an interesting book to read. It’s especially interesting to read as a woman of middle-age who can‘
empathize with Mrs. Churchill and her angst and final acceptance of actions and consequences that she’s made had made in her early life specifically regarding her children.

  • Ordinary Grace

  • By: William Kent Krueger
  • Narrated by: Rich Orlow
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,955
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,432
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,432

Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way

  • By tooonce72 on 03-29-13

What a beautiful book

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

I am not a very sentimental person , but This story of heartbreaking occurrences from the POV of a 13 year old boy is amazingly sentimental and wise and beautiful. Krueger paints an almost impressionist like portrait of a small town and its people and a family buffered by unspeakable tragedies and the role of faith in healing. Definitely one of my fav audiobooks,

  • The Templars

  • The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors
  • By: Dan Jones
  • Narrated by: Dan Jones
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,035
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 932
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 923

In 1307, as they struggled to secure their last strongholds in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Templars fell afoul of the vindictive and impulsive king of France. On Friday, October 13, hundreds of brothers were arrested en masse, imprisoned, tortured, and disbanded amid accusations of lurid sexual misconduct and heresy. They were tried by the Vatican in secret proceedings. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected

  • By Protogere on 10-30-17

And interesting overview of the rise and abrupt demise of the Knights Templar

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

I had decided to read this because The only information that I had about the knights Templar were from Hollywood movies, historical fiction and other dubious sources.

This book by Dan Jones delivered the information that I was craving in a fairly entertaining fashion. He did a very good job of laying out the timeline of the Knights Templar from its high minded origins to its ignominious and abrupt downfall at the hands of secular and religious authorities. Jones also does a very good job of integrating the templar timeline using a lively, almost novel like narrative fashion with simultaneous cultural demographic and Geo political shifts. This necessarily brings in such interesting characters such as Saladin, Richard the first, the Byzantines of Constantinople and other historical entities. My only quibble is that because of the breath of his subject he was unable to concentrate much on the development of the details of the personalities and lives of various Templar masters and other important and interesting people. For example the homicidal and very possibly suicidal Templar master Gerard of Beaufort was given short shrift. There were other masters and political entities that I believe were not given their just due.

However, all in all it was an interesting book and well worth the credit.