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Jerrbear

Post Falls, ID United States
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 106
  • helpful votes
  • 110
  • ratings
  • The Chuckwagon Trail

  • Chuckwagon Trail Western series, Book 1
  • By: J.A. Johnstone, William W. Johnstone
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

Framed for murder, Dewey "Mac" McKenzie is running for his life. Though Mac's never even made a pot of coffee, he talks his way onto a cattle drive heading west as a chuckwagon cook. Turns out he has a natural talent for turning salt pork and dried beans into culinary gold. He's as good with a pot and pan as he is with a gun, which comes in handy on a dangerous trail drive beset with rustlers, hostile Indians, ornery weather, and deadly stampedes. Mac can hold his own with any cowboy twice his age. At least until the real showdown begins . . .

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Need a different narrator

  • By Tom on 04-29-18

The Lone Ranger

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

This is not a genre I have much experience with, except perhaps having read Lonesome Dove, which I enjoyed. This is something different. To me it was like a collection of Saturday morning western episodes from the '50s, strung together to make a book. The main character confesses early on that he has never had enough extra cash to buy the ammunition required to develop his shooting skills. By the end of the book he has become a steely-eyed fast draw killer whose triumph over evil stems from his moral superiority and determination rather than any actual ability. The book begins without any background to make you give a damn about either him or the object of his affections. If you tough it out, you get to his chuckwagon job, which he also has no preparation for except that he saw some chef make biscuits when he was forced to eat in the kitchen of a restaurant because he was so dirty. His biscuit-baking prowess becomes so formidable that other characters repeatedly bring it up as they are dying. It is standard potboiler western fare ground out by an author who irritatingly refers to the hero's gun as a "smoke wagon". If you see nothing wrong with that, this is the book for you!

The narration is pretty good, except when the guy mispronounced the word neigh as negg, as in 'He heard his horse negg'. Simply stating that this book was not for me is probably the most generous assessment I can give it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • True Grit

  • By: Charles Portis
  • Narrated by: Donna Tartt
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,867
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,838
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,836

Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So worth it!

  • By Tommygaus on 12-29-10

Story-telling at its best!

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

This book was a pure pleasure. The story is engaging at every turn, and the narration by Donna Tartt transformed it from a simple reading of the text to a story related by the central character. Donna Tartt brought the book to life and it was regret that I finished the final chapter. She left me wanting much more as her performance had produced a fondness in me for Mattie Ross; now long dead if she ever existed at all.

  • Almost a Miracle

  • The American Victory in the War of Independence
  • By: John Ferling
  • Narrated by: David Baker
  • Length: 26 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 219

In this gripping chronicle of America's struggle for independence, award-winning historian John Ferling transports listeners to the grim realities of that war, capturing an eight-year conflict filled with heroism, suffering, cowardice, betrayal, and fierce dedication. As Ferling demonstrates, it was a war that America came much closer to losing than is now usually remembered. General George Washington put it best when he said that the American victory was "little short of a standing miracle."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb Military History of the American Revolution

  • By Kindle Customer on 08-05-15

Where are the miracles?

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

I have to confess, I haven't finished this book. Seeing the title, I anticipated a series of riveting anecdotes demonstrating how, what is arguably the most prosperous and freest nation ever to grace planet Earth came into being despite overwhelming odds and flawed humanity. I wanted an account of how the hand of providence as George Washington likely referred to it, intervened time after time to shift military battles and other factors in our favor in ways that were otherwise inexplicable. This content that I was so hoping to see may indeed be in there, but it is rendered inconspicuous by a narrative that describes the progress of the war in tedious detail. Scholars of military history may appreciate the endless detail, but I often lost track of which side various generals and other characters were on as the author told their story. Too many names and too many details with too little emphasis on the near miracles left me disappointed and unsatisfied. The establishment of this nation was a miracle wrought by Gold almighty for the purpose of establishing a haven of religious freedom and creating a force for good that has rescued the world from tyranny more than once. Unfortunately, the nation has now turned away from God, and our glory days are behind us.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Swamp Fox

  • How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution
  • By: John Oller
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 269
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 265

In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Francis Marion and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hope alive for the patriot cause during the critical British southern campaign. Like the Robin Hood of legend, Marion and his men attacked from secret hideaways before melting back into the forest or swamp. Employing insurgent tactics that became commonplace in later centuries, Marion and his brigade inflicted losses on the enemy that were individually small but cumulatively a large drain on British resources and morale.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This was a fascinating story of a true patriot.

  • By B. Neuls on 11-29-16

Plenty of reality, but little romance

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

Reviewed: 12-06-17

This history is well-organized, well-written, and doubtless accurate, but lacks much color or romance, which perhaps is all that should be expected of a historical tome. Having finished it, I feel like I know Marion better. I find that he does indeed deserve the admiration that his exploits engendered, but don't really feel like I have heard a story. I do feel like it was worthy of my time, but now i would like to be entertained.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Endurance

  • Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
  • By: Alfred Lansing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,405
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,815
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,804

In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb in so many ways

  • By David on 01-19-14

The story will have you praying for the characters

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

Reviewed: 11-25-17

This is an amazing history of survival in the face of impossible odds. The manner in which devastating events are superimposed upon living conditions that produced extreme suffering is awe inspiring. Imperfect as it is, I highly recommend this book to history lovers.

This book contains a much fuller rendering of the story of the expedition than the Nova episode on this subject, which omitted much detail and left out entire episodes faced by these brave men. For example, there is no mention in the Nova account of a rogue wave that nearly doomed the expedition at one point.

I found two major elements lacking from the book. The first, a matter of perspective, was the hand of God in the survival of this party. Time and time again through the book, the men are miraculously saved from death by some freak occurrence, but it is all ascribed to luck, not the deliverance by a caring God. Their survival rate defies the odds in a way that is breath-taking.

The second element that disappointed me was the failure to record the aftermath of the rescue; the reentry of the men into a war-torn society, the likes of which none of them had never seen. At least one of them was killed in action on a ship two years later. I feel like the story is incomplete.

  • Undaunted Courage

  • By: Stephen E. Ambrose
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 21 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,162
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,316
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,313

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River, across the forbidding Rockies, and - by way of the Snake and the Columbia rivers - down to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, endured incredible hardships and witnessed astounding sights. With great perseverance, they worked their way into an unexplored West. When they returned two years later, they had long since been given up for dead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome! But...

  • By sucks like poo on 11-17-15

A Comprehensive Feast for History Lovers

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

Reviewed: 11-16-17

One of the things that impressed me most about this work was the very thorough way that the author framed the expedition to the Pacific; beginning with Lewis childhood, his upbringing, family and cultural influences that prepared him for and set the stage for the greatest achievement of his life. I could go an and on, but the point is that this is not merely an account of the journey, but a very complete picture of the world Lewis lived in and how it shaped events before, during and after the historic trip. The narrator's performance can perhaps be praised most effectively by pointing out that I didn't notice him. Like a great movie score, he delivers the story without calling attention to himself. This is one of the most enjoyable historic works I have listened to in some time.

  • The Immortal Irishman

  • The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero
  • By: Timothy Egan
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,983
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,973

The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York - the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What A Life!

  • By Carrie Arnold on 03-29-16

A hate-filled diatribe

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

I love historical books; whether it is a pure documentary account, or a fictionalized story synthesized from diaries and journals of the period. This book promised to be an epic account of a moral man overcoming hardship in 1800s Ireland. I know little of the period, that's why I like to read historical books. I did not encounter a single fact that I suspected to be inaccurate or contrived, but the whole tone of the book seemed to be a diatribe designed to engender hatred for England. The entire seven chapters (of 24) that I finished were an indictment of people and a system that is long gone. I can safely state that there survives today not a single victim of the potato famine. The story clearly took a back seat to the apparent agenda of the author. There are so many people on the national scene right now whose apparent goal is to animate a minority victim group with hatred for an ancient foe long dead while they destroy the icons of history and replace facts with revisionist codswallop. I finally baled out of this stinker when the author listed Barrack Obama as one of the descendants of those fleeing Ireland. At the same time, the title character got so little attention by comparison that he still seems like a stranger.

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • Read by Eddie Redmayne
  • By: J.K. Rowling, Newt Scamander
  • Narrated by: Eddie Redmayne
  • Length: 1 hr and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,746
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,901
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,886

A set textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since publication, Newt Scamander's masterpiece has entertained wizarding families through the generations. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world. Scamander's years of travel and research have created a tome of unparalleled importance.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • whoops

  • By A. Bunnell on 04-19-17

My own fault- this is not the story from the movie

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

Reviewed: 03-14-17

Any additional comments?

I snapped this up based on the title, assuming that it was the book version of the recent motion picture by the same name. I got about half way through it before I figured out that it was not going to get to the story. This is OK for what it is, a catalog of descriptions of magical creatures listed alphabetically, but I assume the print version has pictures that go along with the descriptions, which would be great.

82 of 124 people found this review helpful

  • The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1

  • By: Jonathan Stroud
  • Narrated by: Simon Jones
  • Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,307
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,984
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,979

Nathaniel is eleven-years-old and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells far beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A real treat

  • By Eric Shields on 02-08-08

My favorite book series of all time

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

Reviewed: 08-18-16

A masterpiece of dry wit, clever plots and 3D characters in a uniquely original universe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Edge of Eternity

  • The Century Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 36 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,209

Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Some good, some bad

  • By Elisa on 09-22-14

Liberal mythology posing as historical fact

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

Reviewed: 10-23-14

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book is for people whom believe Jack Kennedy was a foreign relations genius, and LBJ was a compassionate civil rights champion. It's for people whom believe that all conservatives are evil bigots, racists and homophobes. If you can actually believe that Ronald Reagan promoted police brutality, and that American cops are worse than the Nazis, as the author states, you'll love this book. If you have no moral fiber; scoff at traditional values, and never let facts get in the way of a good story, you're in for a real treat.

What do you think your next listen will be?

The Alchemist

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

I love John Lee. I love Ken Follett. I have listened to Pillars of the Earth and World Without End three times each, and those are around 40 hours long. I have listened to almost every book written by Ken Follett. He is a wonderful story teller, but his reverence for Woodrow Wilson in the second book was the first hint I had of his Progressive leanings. Edge of Eternity is a full-on fairy-tale about recent US history; one in which all conservatives are evil racists, stupid, hateful and incompetent. There isn't a single heroic conservative character in the story. I still love you Ken, but conservatives should be warned about the beating they're in for if they read, or listen, to this tome.

What character would you cut from Edge of Eternity?

Me, listening to it.

Any additional comments?

I don't really want to start a debate. I'm certain my review will engender an outpouring of venom from the open-minded, enlightened, and oh so tolerant souls on the left. Let's just agree to disagree.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful