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BallaghMan

North Carolina, US
  • 59
  • reviews
  • 78
  • helpful votes
  • 86
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  • Say Nothing

  • A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
  • By: Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Narrated by: Matthew Blaney
  • Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 599
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 545

In December 1972, Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as "The Troubles". Everyone in the neighborhood knew the IRA was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Well Researched and Hopeful Book

  • By Miona on 02-27-19

Gritty but essential

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

Reviewed: 04-15-19

If you are interested at all in the N Ireland troubles then this is the book for you. Using some specific cases and IRA protagonists it travels much of the history of the North since the late 60s in a gritty non sparing way. The reading is excellent, and in the real deal NI vernacular.

  • The Black Count

  • Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
  • By: Tom Reiss
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,018
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,023

Father of the novelist Alexandre Dumas, Alex Dumas has become, through his son's books, the model for a captivating modern protagonist: The wronged man in search of justice. Born to a black slave mother and a fugitive white French nobleman in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but then made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. He was only 32 when he was given command of 53,000 men, the reward for series of triumphs that many regarded as impossible, and then topped his previous feats by leading a raid up a frozen cliff face....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The story behind the greatest novelist of all time

  • By Melinda on 01-13-13

Simply brilliant read / listen.

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

Reviewed: 04-15-19

This is a great counter balance to the biography of Napoleon. In that book he’s treated fairly sympathetically. In this book the story of the Black Count occurs on the backdrop of French colonialism in the Caribbean and elsewhere as well as the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon. It’s a ripping yarn as good as any fictional adventure. Napoleon does not come out as well. But Count Dumas is portrayed as a hero who unfortunately suffers a heroic / tragic life because of the time that was in it. Strongly recommended.

  • Napoleon

  • A Life
  • By: Andrew Roberts
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 32 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,606
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,270
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,260

Andrew Roberts' Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What a dynamo!

  • By Tad Davis on 01-16-15

Fantastic.

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

Reviewed: 04-01-19

Simply brilliant biography of a man that dominated European history and events for decades and left a legacy to this day. Well written and narrated. Highly detailed and apparently meticulously researched based on the voluminous communications by the man and his many lovers wives and contemporaries. Highly recommended for anyone interested in history.

  • In the Hurricane's Eye

  • The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown
  • By: Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 306
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302

In a narrative that moves from Washington's headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette's brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, author Nathaniel Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Even-handed, yet dramatic!

  • By 🔧Eugene on 10-24-18

Simply fabulous.

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

Reviewed: 02-14-19

Riveting account of the final phase of the American revolution with a focus on Washington. Brilliant. Well narrated. Gripping.

  • The Piano Tuner

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel Mason
  • Narrated by: Richard Matthews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 127

In October 1886, Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the British War office: he must leave his wife and his quiet life in London to travel to the jungles of Burma, where a rare Erard grand piano is in need of repair. On his journey to Burma, Edgar encounters prophets and thieves, soldiers and tale-spinners, and an enchanting woman as elusive as the surgeon-major who owns the piano will turn out to be. Edgar encounters a place more mysterious and dangerous than he could ever have imagined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The absolute best in reading, a true classic!

  • By David on 10-09-03

Fabulous

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

Really interesting read. If you like historical fiction of any sort especially Victorian / Colonial England you will like this. A slow but very satisfying burn.

  • A German Requiem

  • By: Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 592
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 441

Bernie Gunther had his first brush with evil as a policeman in 1930s Berlin and came to know it intimately as a private eye under the Nazis, when each case drew him deeper into the enormities of the regime. Now the war is over and Gunther's in Vienna, trying to clear an old friend of the murder of an American officer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a great german whodunnit, cont'd

  • By David on 01-13-09

Excellent.

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

Reviewed: 01-05-19

A bit hard to follow the plot at times,
but it’s a good one, and ties up nicely at the end. The series gets steadily better.

  • The Pale Criminal

  • Berlin Noir
  • By: Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 710
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555

The Pale Criminal brings back Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and richly detailed, The Pale Criminal is noir writing at its blackest and best.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Esxcellent Historical Fiction; Gripping ...

  • By Old Hippy on 07-02-09

A good one.

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

Better written than the first effort. Less obvious “hard boiled” wise cracking and more of a detective story. Nice blend of fact and fiction as Germany tumbled towards the holocaust and war.

  • March Violets

  • By: Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,187
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 923
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 929

Hailed by Salman Rushdie as a "brilliantly innovative thriller-writer", Philip Kerr is the creator of taut, gripping, noir-tinged mysteries set in Nazi-era Berlin that are nothing short of spellbinding. The first book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, March Violets introduces listeners to Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gritty. Graphic. Gripping

  • By Ilana on 05-11-14

Good.

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

Reviewed: 11-16-18

You can tell it’s the first book in the series - could have done with a good editor. The hard boiled thing is a bit over done at times too. But I’ll try the next one in the series to see.

  • Lethal White

  • A Cormoran Strike Novel
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,573
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,097
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,063

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best 22 hours of the last week

  • By Jennifer on 09-27-18

More tangled.

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

Reviewed: 10-30-18

Still really good but I really wish she’d sort out Robins personal life and Cormorants leg before her next book. They are beginning to grate on the nerves. She sure has it in for the English upper classes in this one! The plot is very tangled but gets sorted nicely at the end. Still highly recommended. Reader is fabulous. Accents are brilliant.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • London Rules

  • Slough House Series, Book 5
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166

At MI5 headquarters Regent's Park, First Desk Claude Whelan is learning the rule (cover your arse) the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions himself. Over at Slough House, the MI5 satellite office for outcast and demoted spies, the agents are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. Plus someone is trying to kill Roddy Ho. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The latest and best of a great series

  • By Terry on 10-27-18

Not quite.....

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

The slough house concept was brilliant in the beginning but it’s getting a tad old. The plot wavered quite a bit and some segments were just too long. Needed a good editing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful