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Jeff McKenny

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 16
  • ratings
  • The Second World War

  • By: Antony Beevor
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 39 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 763
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 685
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 683

Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of World War II. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the twentieth century, The Second World War. Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on World War II.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It Fills in Gaps I Didn't Know Existed

  • By DJM on 07-31-12

Great History of WW2

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Beevor gets to the heart of the matter of the Second World War in an exciting, interesting, and contemporary way. Reads like an intellectual novel, never loses your attention. Not a better way to learn the ins and outs of this horrific war.

  • The Boys in the Boat

  • Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  • By: Daniel James Brown
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 14 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 25,247
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22,964
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22,910

Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Do you believe in miracles??

  • By Janice on 07-12-13

Reads like the first half of Unbroken, except in a boat.

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

Reviewed: 05-09-16

If you took the first half of Unbroken--the portion about the 1936 Olympics--and made it about 8 boys in a boat instead of 1 boy running track, then you'd have The Boys in the Boat. I understand it's a true story, so I'm not saying that it is copying Unbroken. I'm just saying it was too soon and too similar for me to be interested in it. The most interesting aspect of the book is the parts about the German female filmmaker who made Triumph of the Will and also filmed the Olympics for Hitler. But those parts were few and far between. The one upside to the book for me was that the narrator was fantastic. If he wasn't, I probably would not have finished the book because I'm not that interested in Crew (competitive rowing) and the book really gets into, not only the minutiae of the sport, but even the minutiae of how the boats are constructed.

  • The Collector

  • By: John Fowles
  • Narrated by: James Wilby
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 305
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 278

Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful narration

  • By Sharon on 06-04-13

If I could, I would give this 6-stars!

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

Reviewed: 04-08-16

Imagine Stephen King's Misery, not written as a pop novel, but as a work of literary art. Tremendous character development. This could've been written as a two-person play. The narration is spot-on, with excellent production quality rivaling the BBC. Not a horror novel, but a true novel about horror. A horror that could have (and has in the decades since) happened in real life. Not only is this the book that made John Fowles famous, it has inspired many, many people. If I could, I would give this 6-stars!

  • Son

  • By: Jack Olsen
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 21 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,714
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,558
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,556

Recounts the tragic events that followed the arrest of Fred Coe, a conservative, clean-cut young man, for a series of rapes committed in the city of Spokane and led to revenge and murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Psychopathy Born or Made?

  • By Michael on 04-29-15

Great True Crime!

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

Reviewed: 10-13-15

SON is more of a character study of a mother and son than a traditional story, but it is excellent nonetheless. The narrator, Kevin Pierce, was perfect for the material. He was even good at portraying women. If there is a negative (and this is very subjective), the book runs a little long and there is a bit of repetition in it, but this is secondary to the strength of the meticulous profiles built of two people--two sociopaths--that even their closest friends and colleagues could not understand. If you like your true crime from a journalist's perspective rather than novelist's, you can't go wrong reading SON.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Go Set a Watchman

  • A Novel
  • By: Harper Lee
  • Narrated by: Reese Witherspoon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,739
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,596
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12,564

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, best-selling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • To Kill A Mockingbird vs Go Set A Watchman

  • By Sara on 07-15-15

Below average narration; racist and women beating characters

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

Reviewed: 08-02-15

Reese Witherspoon's narration cannot hold a candle to Sissy Spacek's excellent narration of Mockingbird. Unfortunately, Watchman re-characterizes beloved Mockingbird characters to the point where they are distastefully disgusting. Watchman is also so factually inconsistent with Mockingbird that in order to suspend disbelief one must assume that Watchman exists in an alternate universe. This novel should have never been released and was apparently a cash grab by the publisher and Harper Lee's future heirs.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian Chronicles

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 949
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 945

Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams, and metaphor - of crystal pillars and fossil seas - where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn - first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars...and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Original. Great Stories, Great Narrator.

  • By Troy on 04-05-16

Excellent narration of interlinked short stories

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

Reviewed: 07-10-15

The story dealing with the character "Spender" and the story dealing with Edgar Allen Poe were worthy of this book being deemed a modern classic. The other stories were hit and miss, though Mark Boyett's excellent narration made them entertaining.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful