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ScottG

Dover, DE
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  • Resistance Is Futile!

  • How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind
  • By: Ann Coulter
  • Narrated by: Ann Coulter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 435
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 403

Since the day Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign, the left has waged an unhinged, hysterical war against him. Now, with her trademark candor and wit, Ann Coulter defends Trump's policies in the face of liberal hypocrisy and exaggeration. Liberals used to pride themselves on their ultra-hipness; they mocked right-wingers for supposedly overreacting to headlines and believing in conspiracies. But as soon as candidate Trump emerged, 100 percent of the moral panic has come from the left. They think everything Trump does isn't merely wrong - it's a national crisis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and rational

  • By Nancy J. Brown on 09-07-18

Always interesting

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

Insightful and opinionated no one will ever accuse Ann Coulter of being dull. Even though she makes it clear she is no fan of President Trump's personality, behaviors on social media, and management style, she thinks even less of liberals and the media. in this book Ann Coulter provides compelling reasons for all her positions. Filled with often hysterically funny quips, satire, and sarcasm this is an easy and enlightening book no matter what you think of politics if you can filter out things you might disagree with.

  • The Dawn Patrol

  • By: Don Winslow
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,337
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,112
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,106

Every morning Boone Daniels is out with the Dawn Patrol: four men and one woman as single-minded about surfing as he is, or nearly. They have real jobs; Boone works as a P.I. just enough to keep himself in fish tacos and in the water. But Boone is also obsessed with the unsolved case of a young girl named Rain who was abducted while he was with the San Diego police.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don Winslow always surprises me

  • By Hannah on 09-08-15

Fun, Fast, and Clever

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

This book made me nostalgic and I have NEVER lived in California or Surfed in my life. What it made me nostalgic for is those days, that I think most people had, right after high school or college where they had that core group of friends. The group that just always seemed to be together before growing up and real life started to happen. In this fast moving story, the hero, Boone Daniels, a former San Diego police officer just shy of 30-years old scratches out an existence as a private investigator now. Satisfied to be seriously underemployed, wanting only to spend every morning with his close friends, dubbed the Dawn Patrol, looking for the best waves to surf. Maybe one of the best or at least most entertaining points of the book is the entirely new language I discovered - who knew the English language could be so mangled and become "Surf-bonics" - In any case, Daniels is hired to locate a missing witness in a civil suit and action begins. No huge mystery, just a great race against time.
Ray Porter, as always does an amazing job reading, not over playing, not trying for female voices he can't perform but just softening his voice enough to give the feminine impression. This is a great book for that time when you are just tired of reality, over thinking, politics, and reality. Sit back, relax, and get lost in the So-Cal sun.

  • Bad Blood

  • Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
  • By: John Carreyrou
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,271
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,492
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,479

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes' worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Off the chart expose’!

  • By Angela Lauer on 06-23-18

Fast and completely Engrossing

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

This is a true story... I swear. I Googled it after I listened to/read this book just to make sure! The book is so well written, the story so completely engrossing, when I got done I truly had a hard time believing it was true. And to have NEVER heard of this billion dollar swindle perpetrated by 2 sociopath con-artists that no one to this day is likely to know the names of is staggering. So the story goes: 20 something girl drops out of Stanford U after a semester because clearly she is too smart for anyone else, so she can start a manufacturing company. Her idea is to develop a machine that is so small a patient can do blood tests at home with just a pin prick on the finger, the chemistries are transmitted wirelessly to the lab for review and in seconds, boom you have results. And the machine is so good that it can do all of the various blood panels, hundreds of tests, that any doctor would need and that currently requires a couple TUBES of blood sample and several days to perform. She meets and begins living with whack job #2, an Indian (the Asian variety not the Cowboys And type) who is a couple decades older than her. IF it is possible, he knows even less about medicine, people, engineering, business and just about everything else it takes to make a startup business really work. The two of them together are just evil and the only thing they seem good at is sucking investors in, not actually building anything. So the answer - Lie, Cheat, Steal, Fire Everyone who catches on, Bluster, Pretend, and lastly Threaten to bankrupt naysayers. Its a great formula... for a book... not so much for a long term business model. The list of supposedly smart people take in by the con will scare you while at the same time making you laugh at how even the smart people are really rubes; they just don't know it and won't actually admit it.
The book is super well written with easy to understand explanations, deep and thorough research, enough intrigue to keep you hooked, and a cast of characters fully developed by the author that complete the impression this has to be fiction. Nicely read by Will Damron, John Carreyrou brings this classic old school investigative reporting to life. In my opinion, this is WAY better than "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and a far more satisfying (from an understanding perspective not outcome) ending to the story.

  • Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump

  • By: Dan Bongino, D.C. McAllister, Matt Palumbo
  • Narrated by: Dan Bongino
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 154

The comprehensive story of how the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton campaign, and foreign entities tried to sabotage the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • felonious moppery

  • By Fred Silva on 10-08-18

I [quote] Can't Take it [end quote]

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

Reviewed: 10-15-18

The good - This is probably the most intricate and seemingly complete detailing of the Russia-Trump "Collusion" investigation, that I am aware of, to date. It picks apart everything I thought I understood about how the case came to be. It is truly interesting how manipulative people in power can be, how deceptive and devious those working for government are, when they want to be. It should be scary for everyone, even those that are rooting for the investigation to turn up something, anything. You may like the conduct now, but you won't like it when the tides turn and you are on the receiving end. This book is the best way to make it clear that this brand of government and law enforcement conduct, choosing the winners and losers, is so very dangerous for us all.
The bad - sort of - This is so in the weeds with the minutiae of how it all came about, distractions of any kind magnify the interruption (at least for me). If my mind wandered even for a second, I lost track of the tenuous hold I had in understanding what was being said and needed to retrace my steps. This is kind of a good problem to have because it does go to the depth of the detailed information being conveyed.
The ugly - if not down right, SHOW STOPPING, [quote] Make it Stop [end quote] because [quote] it is very distracting [end quote]. I continue [quote] Reading every quote and end quote [end quote] causes much annoyance and distraction for the [quote] reader [end quote]. OK... so you have no idea what that is about? Well, imagine passage after passage, page after page where Dan Bongino who is the author and narrator/reader, actually reads EVERY quote symbol, end quote symbol, and parenthesized entry. My conclusion is that he has seriously and HORRIBLY, to the point of destroying the book, OVERUSED QUOTATIONS. It is possible to overuse quotes when you are writing Informational Text as opposed to a Factual or Official Reports. In some places, he literally quotes and end quotes 1 word separated by a word and then quotes one or 2 more words e.g.: The writer [quote] CLAIMS [end quote] it's [quote] necessary and justified [end quote] to use peoples actual words in order to [quote] add credibility [end quote] to the text. - That is my own made up sentence because I couldn't stand the thought of actually quoting one of his. When you overuse quotations to stress a single word or to take the place of the incredulous eye roll, you risk breaking up your flow and taking away from our own observations or points of the text. It is ESPECIALLY not good in an AUDIO BOOK. Use inflection and pauses if you must, but DO NOT READ PUNCTUATION.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Red Alert

  • By: Marshall Karp, James Patterson
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 712
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 645
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639

The richest of New York's rich gather at the Pierre's Cotillion Room to raise money for those less fortunate. The mayor-with Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald of the elite NYPD Red task force providing security - is on hand to applaud the Silver Bullet Foundation's new plan for public housing. A fatal blast rocks the room, stirring up horrifying memories of 9/11. Is the explosion an act of terrorism - or a homicide? A big-name female filmmaker is the next to die, in a desolate corner of New York City. Zach and Kylie investigate, and the intimate details of the director's life remind them of their own impossible situation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, good series Excellent Narrator!

  • By shelley on 03-27-18

Great book, Easy Listen, Perfect Narration

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

Reviewed: 07-25-18

For me, James Patterson is a hit or miss author and this is (actually the series is) a definite hit. It is a bit racy in parts - he has a tendency at times to over describe sex and violence (in many of his books not just this one) - so I would not listen to it in the car while taking the kids to the pool or on the Bluetooth speakers at the beach while laying next to the white socked - sandal footed Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop. But for the rest of the world, even people like me who are not offended by such "gritty realism" but also don't particularly need it to find it a great story, this is not completely over the top X-rated. This is an easy book to listen to, no score cards required, even though it is actually 3 stories (crimes) wrapped into one book (talk about realism... no cop in the world EVER is working just one case...well... except Feds... but I meant real cops). And to put it into the excellence category Edoardo Ballerini narrates. Ballerini is a master at getting things "Just Right" in my opinion. He never goes over the top with character's voices and affect. There is enough variation and voice acting to make each character unique but never distracting. His NY-Brooklyn accents are perfect and in general, is exactly what I like for this type of book. Soft voiced but firm and clear, never gritty, over acted, or excessively done. In the end, this is the James Patterson I truly like with stories that are logical and seamless but do not require silent rooms and full devotion of attention to read and understand.

  • Vindication

  • A Matt Royal Mystery
  • By: H. Terrell Griffin
  • Narrated by: Steven Roy Grimsley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37

In this John Grisham-style mystery, Matt Royal, the retired lawyer turned beach bum is called back into the courtroom to defend his girlfriend J. D. Duncan's Aunt Esther, who lives in the sprawling North Central Florida retirement community of The Villages. A best-selling author has been murdered after a book signing, and Aunt Esther has been arrested. Matt has a history with the local sheriff - one which may not bode well for his client.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Matt Royal legal mysteries are always excellent!

  • By Wayne on 04-28-18

Unbearable - on so many levels

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

I have read or listened to several of the "Matt Royal" series and liked them. This was just so bad, so I gave up after only 17 chapters. The narration by Steven Grimsley is horrible, particularly when voicing female characters. His inflection is just odd and his "pre-cise art-ticu-lation of each word is an-noy-ing" Just read and stop trying for the actors award.
But, the story itself is what makes it a deal breaker for me. Starting with the horrible dialogue and moving right on through the characters and absurd story-line, there is just nothing that makes me want to find out who the killer is.
The story revolves around a murder at the well known, cult like, retirement mega-town of The Villages in Florida. The entire story is like the Anti-Advertisement for buying a house in The Villages with pages and pages of descriptions of activities and life in The Villages. In The Villages, we have "Driveway Parties" that are hosted by various residents of The Villages. -Have you gotten tired of my writing THE VILLAGES for this review yet? Well, that is this story. Over and Over again it details life in The Villages reinforcing ALL of the reasons I will NEVER join that senior living cult.
In any case, the murder of a writer on a book signing tour leads police to arrest a woman in her mid-60's and charge her with 2nd degree murder. The accused, as novel luck always has it, is the Aunt of our hero, Matt Royal's darling, honey, sweet heart, TMI girlfriend/local cop.
So here is where the story turns just so dumb I can't take it. First the police arrest the Aunt for murder, but the body wasn't killed where it was found in the middle of one of the many town squares that make up "The Villages". When Matt Royal gets to The Villages to defend his girlfriend's Aunt, he sees the video cameras in and around the Square where the body was found. Then, because he is a perfect schmoozer and all around perfect guy, he comes upon a witness that tells him about a vehicle speeding out of town at 6:00 A.M right before the body is found. Matt Royal, genius attorney is the first to realize that MAYBE they can find video of whoever dumped the body. Right, because the police would NEVER think to do that before arresting a little old lady for murder. Oh, and of course, the police must ignore the obvious question of how a little old lady dumps a body in the town square by herself. And hours after a body is dumped, police arrest said little old lady before the autopsy is even done.
Then we have a long discussion between Matt Royal and the female prosecutor who is just the ideal perfect prosecutor, pretty and honest, about charging a murder 2nd and not a murder 1st because "that is what seems to be the right and honest thing to do based on the evidence" at that point. WHAT EVIDENCE? At that point they don't have anything but a dead bod, and certainly nothing that would lead anyone to believe it WASN'T a Murder 1. A crime writing novelist is found shot ONCE in the BACK at 6:00 A.M. in The Villages town square where she has clearly been DUMPED and the weapon is a .22 caliber pistol. What in that "evidence" screams No Premeditation murder 2? And these are the best points in the mystery.
Then, just to add insane to implausible, the GREAT Matt Royal decides that the only way to get at the truth and learn what really happened in this RETIREMENT VILLAGE of 70,000 Sexagenarians, Septuagenarians, and Octogenarians - is to have his girlfriend, the trained police officer take a one month "leave of absence" to go "UNDERCOVER" in The Villages. Those devious old people are just too slick for straight forward door to door questioning. They go so far as to plot a back story for her (she is assuming the role of a divorcee niece of a resident in The Villages who if anyone is clever enough to do a background check, the story will look legit), have her hair cut and dyed, and avoid contacts with Royal. REALLY? WHY? In the story, his girlfriend has only been to the villages a couple times years ago. Why would you need some elaborate "Undercover Operation" as if you are trying to penetrate the Sinaloa Cartel? And really, cops and great lawyers need to go undercover to get the truth for those hardened criminal types that live in the RETIREMENT COMMUNITY? And why exactly would an entire community band together to cover for a murderer? For that matter, what retiree in The Villages is so good at lying that they have to be tricked into giving up the goods on ANYTHING much less a murder investigation. And of course, mind you, at the point Royal enlists 3 or 4 people into his "undercover operation" the murder is hours old and NO ONE has indicated a great conspiracy of silence that requires subterfuge to break it.
The dialogue is horrible and it is used to explain "legal concepts" or words that the hero uses or investigative tactics and phrases used by his cop girlfriend. The result of the choice is that you end up with a lawyer having a discussion with another lawyer (prosecutor) and going into lengthy and strained conversations about a particular pleading or filing that is planed, which would NEVER happen since both people in the conversation are lawyers and know what a "pleading" is. At one point, Royal is explaining "Discovery" to the prosecutor as if this were a little known defense tactic and the prosecutor "suggesting" to Royal he file a court order and then detailing what that is. But all of this takes place as if it is a perfectly normal conversation. It would be like your walking into a dentist's office and having a whole conversation with him about what dentures are.
Last it is the character development, and the Matt Royal character in particular. I do not recall in previous books (it's been a while or me) that the character was just so lame (and the narration only adds to that quality). The only simile that I can offer is that Matt Royal is like a character written by a fat lonely middle aged under employed guy living single in his mother's basement. The sad sack writer projects onto the protagonist what the loser wishes himself to be. So, the hero lawyer of the story is a tall, brilliant, clever, funny, guy that makes all other attorneys wish they were him and all women he passes wish they had him. He is so rich he of course doesn't need to work but sets that aside as he is the only lawyer that can save the day. The hero is just too perfect making him glaringly absurd.
In the end, I think I have listened to my last book read by Steven Roy Grimsley and definitely the last Matt Royal "mystery". This was just too bad to be redeemed in future editions.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • An Engineered Injustice

  • By: William L. Myers Jr.
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 263

What if the deadliest train wreck in the nation's history was no accident? When a passenger train derails in North Philadelphia with fatal results, idealistic criminal defense attorney Vaughn Coburn takes on the most personal case of his young career. The surviving engineer is his cousin Eddy, and when Eddy asks Vaughn to defend him, he can't help but accept. Vaughn has a debt to repay, for he and his cousin share an old secret - one that changed both their lives forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting legal thriller!

  • By Wayne on 02-11-18

Good story falls off - Narrator just stays bad.

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

This is maybe the most mixed bag story I have ever listened to. It is the hardest to "rate" that I can think of.
The easiest for me to rate however, which makes it the place to start, is the narrator. To say cartoonish is not quite the adjective, but close. Some of his voices sound like Bela Lugosi (1930ish actor for Dracula) doing Scooby Doo voice overs. Every line is read in the overacted "loud whisper" voice that make all Narrator lines not belonging to a character sound like it is being read as the overly dramatic guy hat does Movie Trailers. It is distracting and annoying to me and I was never quite able to get passed it. It wasn't the worst ever for sure. I have heard worse. The pronunciation, sound quality and edits were fine. It was just badly "acted".
Now for the less clear. It is actually a good story and for anyone in the Philadelphia region, the story will be very familiar. In the beginning the characters are all well developed and the story setup has no big gaffes or continuity errors that make you say "this could never happen." Unlikely and difficult, but the set up "could" in theory work. The story was good enough that you don't feel a need to role your eyes and "debug" it every 10 minutes while listening. In fact, it is the opposite and you do get caught up in it (despite the narration). Basically, a likable enough, good in his heart guy is the engineer of an Amtrak train that is involved in a catastrophic high speed collision with maintenance equipment improperly left on the tracks. As a result there are dozens of fatalities and scores of injuries. The engineer is set up to take the fall and personal injury attorneys of the unscrupulous variety line up for victim's in the multi-millions of dollars in damages that arise in the case.
There are many side stories and events, all OK, some adding nothing none seeming to take away from the core of the story.
It is toward the end, where the court battle (PRELIMINARY HEARING) begins that the story slowly fades into the just plain dumb. There is no clear line where it goes south, but by the end, you (or maybe its just me) role the eyes and shake the head. In solving the story the Judge (who is purportedly "fair" according to the hero lawyer) is making comments that would get a real Judge censured. The prosecutor, in clichéd style, is a win at all cost - to mean and pit-bull stupid to see the obvious. A lawyer bent on getting a conviction instead of the truth. The "law" is so distorted that evidence is disallowed when it would be admissible if entered by a 3rd year law student; while at the same time, things inadmissible in any court outside a Gulag are admitted. It just makes you want to call all of the lawyers MORONS and call it a day.
Finally, there is the end, sort of a pro-log intended to be a summary of good guys riding into the sunset and bad guys, well getting their just deserts. You cant be more specific without spoiler alerts. But, to my tastes, it was unnecessary to explaining anything or putting a period on the end of the story. It only served to make it my final piece of evidence that the story fell apart. In a word, that last bit of unneeded writing was just plain juvenile.
In all, I do not feel like I wasted my time or money. I liked the story, but by the end was disappointed but not robbed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fogbound

  • By: Joseph T. Klempner
  • Narrated by: David de Vries
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

A Lincoln Navigator carries three well-dressed people through the barren New Jersey salt flats. The trip is uncomfortable but necessary. Their target has no phone, certainly no email, and never answers his mail. But August Jorgenson is no country bumpkin. Before retiring, he was one of the most famous judges in the country, and only opinions like his fierce opposition to the death penalty kept him from a seat on the Supreme Court.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great book. Great in many ways. I loved it.

  • By Richard Delman on 12-11-17

Dissertation on Autism with political bias

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

Reviewed: 04-16-18

I read books to get away from the sometimes petty often vicious real world and political differences. It truly grates on my last nerve to hear people belittle and demonize others of differing opinions. That goes double if they do it in a spineless and covert way, unwilling to stand up and admit they are bent and have no intent of being fair. Agree with me, you’re the hero, disagree or even fail to agree, and you are the demon. This book sounded like a promise of an interesting legal battle. And to be fair, there may be one, in the ½ I didn’t read (listen to).
You do not have to be liberal or conservative to think that executing a person of some diminished capacity is wrong (or that it is just wrong, period). You do not need to be conservative or liberal to believe that there are varying degrees of diminished capacity and no clear line as to where the death penalty is immoral. This author would have everyone believe that Liberals are ALL against the death penalty and ALL are compassionate and care about those with impairments and disabilities. On the other hand, Conservatives are blood thirsty devils (Justices Rhenquist, Scalia, and Thomas for this story) devoid of compassion and rational thought anxious to see someone, anyone, convicted and hanged. It is a perpetual theme but cowardly. It is written in a sly way through slanted barbs rather than direct statements. At one point there is a mention of the Country having “…just suffered through an ‘actor becoming president’…” and how that had affected death penalty cases and the nation in terrible ways. Of course, that actor is President Reagan. It takes swipes at conservative Justices and individuals while lauding liberals or at least implying all attempts toward good and compassion are the work of Liberals.
To make the book less exciting, endless paragraphs are dedicated to descriptions and detailed essay style monologues about Autism that would make medical texts proud. I love learning, and I truly love when an author explains and educates a reader to provide background and insight into a main plot or idea in a book. It is always necessary to have a little of it as no one can appreciate or understand the story without it. And as serious and important as understanding Autism and other afflictions that adversely impact people’s lives is, I did NOT purchase this book to be lectured or learn about Autism. I also did not buy it because I was hoping to discover Mr. Klempner’s political opinions and biases. I wanted a good story about legal wrangling and “who done it” intrigue. Instead I got the author lecturing me and hiding behind the guise of a novel. If you are looking form more information on Autism and how a liberal sees the legal system, this is likely a good book for you. If you do not like thinly veiled insults of differing opinions, maybe not so much.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Whistleblower Onslaught

  • By: David P. Warren
  • Narrated by: Christopher Johnson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6

When experienced employment attorney Scott Winslow takes on a whistle-blower case for fired energy company executive Kevin Walters, actions are set in motion that will change lives forever. Scott pursues a lawsuit alleging that his client was fired for complaining about unsafe conditions in the company's mines that endangered workers. Along the way, Scott discovers that government records were altered in the wake of an explosion that killed one mine worker and injured three others.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • 2 hours of story CRAMMED into 13.5 hours

  • By ScottG on 01-07-18

2 hours of story CRAMMED into 13.5 hours

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

Reviewed: 01-07-18

Where to begin? I like good courtroom battle stories with a good (please forgive the oxymoron) lawyer be it defense, prosecutor or otherwise, springing the trap on the other (and more common) bad lawyer. Mix it with action, a la John Grisham - Sycamore Row or Michael Connelly - Lincoln Lawyer, and I am completely engrossed. This is NONE of that.
FULL DISCLOSURE, I only made it to Chapter 23 of 41 before I threw my hands up and surrendered. The synopsis of the book seemed as though it could be a good legal thriller. The premise COULD HAVE BEEN developed into a great story. Instead, I had to keep my finger on the Fast-Forward button constantly. There are 3 PARAGRAPHS of story related information or character and plot development and then 3 CHAPTERS of the main protagonist lawyer talking to his 4-year-old daughter: "isn't she just the most adorable thing with her mispronunciation of Good Lawyer that comes out Good LIAR?" And for a break from that, we do just 1 paragraph on his six-year-old son’s baseball games and sullen personality. That equated to 30 seconds of story related dialogue and 10 or 15 minutes sometimes of tripe that I assume, was supposed to make the main character likable and human. This happens over and over not just in one place.
As for the great legal maneuvering that we were given in those brief 30 seconds of relevant conversation, it was as dry as reading the transcripts from a motion hearing on discovery. The hero lawyer, an "Employment Attorney" is representing an executive from an energy company that was fired after he reported multiple mine safety violations in a coal mine owned by the energy company. According to the synopsis, this whistle-blower set off a chain of events that would change lives and communities forever. But, more than 1/2 way through the book, NOTHING. A Lawsuit with a single corporate counsel that slowly or improperly responds to the plaintiff’s demand for discovery and is generally unlikable.
The READER and the Audio Editing is probably the worst or maybe second worst I have ever heard. Audio Editing was horrible. At one point in chapter 11, the reader in mid-sentence clears his throat - Um hmmmm - then restarts the paragraph from the beginning. I just shook my head. I actually thought for a time that the book was really the Google Text To Voice program reading the book. Inflections are weird and the cadence halting and slow. ANY authoritative voices (the lazy and unhappy judge) have a deep cartoon voice that sound like Mr. Ed (the talking horse). The other corporate lawyer who is both authoritative and shady, sounds like a BAD cross breeding of Mr. Ed and Eeyore (oh me, oh my). The President of the bad energy company that apparently sometime (after the half way point of the story) turns out to be a REALLY bad guy, has a brother in law that just got out of prison. He did 3 years for drugs and theft and is going to temporarily stay with the company president to get back going. This character has a voice that is a cross between Phineas and Ferb (Cartoon Network) and Bart Simpson with a hint of petulant 5-year-old thrown in. Dude would NEVER survive 3-years in prison. 5 chapters into the book and I wanted to beat him! And, again, half way into the book and I still can't say if the prison tatted brother-in-law is or is not relevant.
Last, the writing of dialogue is just unbearable. I am sure this is not helped by the train wreck of a reader, but the writing is amateurish. Although I am not sure that is exactly what I mean. It may be more a case of a precise lawyer or engineer, used to writing for reports or pleadings, thinking that being a novelist is closely related. Real people in real life speak in conversational English with contractions and mutilated grammar. They use informal and imprecise terminology with the understanding that inflection, facial and hand gestures, and overall context fill in the meaning and intent that is not found in the exact words. Here, the author writes long hand "I have not yet had the time to..." instead of the more real... "Not yet" or "No time". There’s more, but why beat a dead horse?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky

  • A Novel
  • By: Mark Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,007
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,039

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He's a normal Italian teenager - obsessed with music, food, and girls - but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior. In an attempt to protect him, Pino's parents force him to enlist as a German soldier - a move they think will keep him out of combat.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Thing? It Really Happened!

  • By Charles Atkinson on 08-07-17

Unimaginable heroism and perfect story telling

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

Reviewed: 12-12-17

This is such a totally engrossing story you sometimes have to remind yourself it is ALL actually Non-Fiction. Oddly, there were several times where I wanted it to be fiction.
It is a story of the 17-year-old Pino Lella who becomes a Partisan fighter of sorts. Ordered by his parents (wonderful and strong in their own right) to a Catholic boys school in the Italian Alps to escape the escalating Allied bombing of Milan, Lella is recruited by the Priest to guide Jews fleeing through the perilous Alps in to Switzerland. Through highway robberies, Nazi patrols, vertigo inducing snow covered rock climbs, leading frightened families with small children through avalanches and impossible passes, that story alone is enough. But then, by chance and circumstance, he becomes a high level spy driving for the highest placed German General in Italy. It is an unforgettable and mind boggling World War II adventure story for sure.
In truth it is that and so much more. It is the story of a boy going from 17 to 90-years old and the people that surround him. It is a breathtaking story of violence that 17-year-old boys (and his 15-year-old brother) should be shielded from by adults. Instead, it was inflicted upon them by Nazi's and they were pressed into service by family and circumstances that could not shield them from horrors. It is a story of enduring love and forgotten hatreds.
As a bonus, there is a story within the story which is the authors own life and his interaction with the now old and well worn Pino Lella.
Artfully written, perfectly narrated by Will Damron (enough can not be said about his work here) and a true life story that you can not help but visualize as you read or listen to it, make this an ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE book. I am not sure I have a more favorite story than this.