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thawstone

Reno, NV USA
  • 55
  • reviews
  • 232
  • helpful votes
  • 80
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  • West with the Night

  • By: Beryl Markham
  • Narrated by: Julie Harris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,462
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,190
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,193

West with the Night is the story of a remarkable woman molded and shaped by many things: the African jungle, a certain dog, horses, airplanes, friendships with white men and black. There is no life, no story quite like it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top Notch Writing; Riveting Stories

  • By Michael Moore on 08-03-09

Phenomenal!

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

I wish I had more time to write reviews, but since I don't, I only write reviews on books that truly move and inspire me. This is one. There is some controversy about whether or not Beryl had help in writing this true life adventure novel, but who cares? The fact is, the writing is extraordinary. I'm going to buy the hard book just so I can pore over the words visually. I read an article where Ernest Hemingway proclaims Beryl Markham to be 10 times the writer he is. And the story, I only wish my life was one tenth as remarkable. This is one of those books you'll eagerly recommend to everyone. At Christmas dinner with the family I brought up the book only to find out many of them had just read it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Western Star

  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,786
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,593
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,574

Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of 25 armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff's Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Warning! This ends in a cliffhanger.

  • By TyrannosaurusRix on 09-21-17

A Big Fan of Craig Johnson's Early Works

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

It's sad how far this series has fallen from the first 5 or 6 books. The Western Star was formulaic, stupid, and sloppy. The reveal at the end was a let down of the Nth degree. Don't waste your money or a credit. This series has jumped the shark.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Mockingbird

  • By: Walter Tevis
  • Narrated by: Robert Fass, Nicole Poole
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

In a world where the human population has suffered devastating losses, a handful of survivors cling to what passes for life in a postapocalyptic, dying landscape. A world where humans wander, drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. A dying world of no children and no art, where reading is forbidden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply Engaging

  • By thawstone on 02-06-17

Deeply Engaging

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

Reviewed: 02-06-17

This is a highly creative, original, and imaginative work. It kept me thoroughly engaged throughout. The only thing that bugged me a little was his use of marijuana as a mind numbing drug used to placate the populous. I don't know if Walter Tevis lived through the late 60s and early 70s, but the drug's use hardly numbed the minds of its users, rather along with LSD, it spurred revolution in the streets and an evolution of art and music. He should have done a little self experimentation if nothing else. However, other than this forgivable mistake, the story and characters will remain with me for a very long time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Shooting Star

  • By: Wallace Stegner
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 25

Sabrina Castro is a wealthy, attractive woman married to an older physician who no longer fulfills her dreams. An accidental misstep leads her down the path of moral disintegration. How she comes to terms with her life is the theme of this absorbing personal drama played out against the backdrop of an old Peninsula estate where her mother lives among her servants, her memories of Boston, and her treasured family archives

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Stegner has given us so much better than this!

  • By HDJ on 11-13-12

Hard to Care for Poor Little Rich Woman.

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

Reviewed: 02-06-17

This is the first book by Wallace Stegner that I was happy to be done with so I could move on to something better. Wallace had a tough sell to make the reader care about the problems of a spoiled rich woman, and I imagine a lot of readers like myself won't find enough character or substance to hang their hat on. I love Wallace Stegner's writing, but in this case, he chose the wrong subject matter. I highly recommend his other works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The River of Doubt

  • Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
  • By: Candice Millard
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,649
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,398
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,411

At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • River of Doubt

  • By Steve1290 on 11-12-05

Too much side story

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

Reviewed: 11-01-16

As a fan of true adventure stories, I see this more and more. I suppose all the epic, novel length stories have been written, so authors are taking short story length adventures and padding them into novels.

Teddy's journey was truly amazing and heroic, and I'm glad I listened the book, but on numerous occasions I found myself becoming irritated at the length of supporting facts and stories, and just wanted to get back to the story. An example is a tiny barbed fish that swims up the urethra, and thus blocking off one's ability to urinate, can ultimately prove fatal when far from medical help. Where a minute or two about the fish would have provided everything interesting and pertinent to the story, the author goes on and on about every know tale of someone who had it happen and every known treatment for the problem. I would estimate that a third of the book is pure padding.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Angle of Repose

  • By: Wallace Stegner
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 22 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 964

Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, and husbands and wives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not too many novels written about marriage

  • By Barry on 08-18-12

Literary Art

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

Reviewed: 10-17-16

This is my first Wallace Stegner book and it won't be the last. Stegner is one of those rare authors who, despite centuries of the written word, has the creativity to still come up with original and awe inspiring phrasing. Writing skill aside, Stegner is also a great story teller. The book has great pacing and is emotionally involving throughout. The narration was spot on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fearless

  • The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown
  • By: Eric Blehm
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,773
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,483
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,496

When Navy SEAL Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan - but he was ready: In a letter to his children, not meant to be seen unless the worst happened, he wrote, "I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • These heros and their families give so much

  • By Susan on 08-13-12

Too much drugs and religion

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

Reviewed: 10-02-16

Having recently listened to Red Platoon, which I can't recommend highly enough, I wanted to listen to another tale about combat in Afghanistan, but very little of this book takes place there. At least a third of the book is about Adam's drug habit. Another third is spent praising god. If anything, this story proves that god has no favorites and prayer doesn't work. Adam was truly a courageous man who overcame monumental obstacles, and if the author had chosen to limit the time devoted to the all too common story about drug addiction and the near constant religiosity, this could have been a truly good book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Skeletons on the Zahara

  • A True Story of Survival
  • By: Dean King
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 585
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 536

Everywhere hailed as a masterpiece of historical adventure, this enthralling narrative recounts the experiences of 12 American sailors who were shipwrecked off the coast of Africa in 1815, captured by desert nomads, sold into slavery, and subjected to a hellish two-month journey through the bone-dry heart of the Sahara. The ordeal of these men - who found themselves tested by barbarism, murder, starvation, death, dehydration, and hostile tribes that roamed the desert on camelback - is made indelibly vivid in this gripping account of courage, brotherhood, and survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Haunting

  • By thawstone on 06-05-16

Haunting

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

Reviewed: 06-05-16

One of the most amazing true stories ever told. I'm a fan of real life survival stories and this one is among the top. It's not just the hardships and suffering the men endure but the constant tension imposed by the rule of their harsh masters. At any moment of any day a wrong move, word, or jester could mean instant death. Meanwhile, bandits and the unrelenting Sahara threaten the lives of both master and slave. Add to this the fascination of a tribal culture born of the necessities of living where no life should exit, and you have all the ingredients of a story that will live with you long after the last word.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • A Higher Call

  • An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II
  • By: Adam Makos
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,997
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,730
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,745

Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Proof the term "Hero" knows no borders

  • By Anon anon on 03-27-13

Fascinating on many levels

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

Reviewed: 11-27-15

This novel is centered around a remarkable incident that lasted all of 20 minutes, but the story of what lead up to this tremendous act of chivalry and its aftermath are equally remarkable. The book mainly follows the life of ace Luftwaffe pilot Franz Stegler who would be worthy of a novel had the incident never occurred. The story goes into many technical aspects of both the allied and German planes to help explain the challenges of these opposing forces, and if you're not technically minded, this could be a minus. I'm not terribly technical myself, but found it all very engaging. The book is well balanced with many lighter moments as well, as when Franz adopts a bear whom he takes along as a drinking companion to the local pub. I've read many WWII novels, and this is one of the cream of the crop.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Deep Survival

  • True Stories of Miraculous Endurance and Sudden Death
  • By: Laurence Gonzales
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,403
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 981
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 981

After her plane crashes, a 17-year-old girl spends 11 days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating 1st Half, Cynical 2nd Half.

  • By Alex Curtis on 07-05-14

A repetitive book about survival mentality

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

Reviewed: 11-27-15

There are very few stories about survival in this book, it's mainly an expose on the mentality of those who survived great hardship versus those who didn't. This is an interesting topic, but the author stretched what could easy have been a pamphlet into a book by being very repetitive. What was needed was more harrowing stories of survival sprinkled with a little insight about the mental requirements instead of the opposite.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful