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Red Metal audiobook cover art

Authentic & Realistic

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

Reviewed: 09-02-19

Commies. They don’t change whether they are Russians or Chinese. Great realistic view of warfare, politics, courage and leadership. Outstanding story. Will hit the next one ASAP.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Slow Horses audiobook cover art

Need help sleeping?

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

Reviewed: 08-26-19

Slow Horses is slow. More chamomile tea than adrenaline. Sort of a shuffle through a story. Maybe narration or maybe the story isn’t strong enough to capture one’s attention. But I can tell you these reviews calling it an example of the next Le Carré and edge of seat excitement are wrong this story is as about as exciting as watching my neighbor’s Shih Tzu sleep. Characters are really meh. I returned this book.

Tribe audiobook cover art

Deeply moving

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

Reviewed: 04-01-19

Sebastian Junger has written a book which describes so many ills in our society and provides a solution for them. If you’ve ever wondered why people don’t hang out on the stoop anymore in white suburbia, this may help explain it. He also doesn’t need an 18 hour audiobook to do so either. American Indians (used intentionally- read the book) figured out a long time ago how to take care of their warriors and reintroduce them to their society and community. We could learn a lot from this.

So he talks about our loss of societal cohesion and what it means. It’s startling and blindingly simple but I’m sure our pursuit of the material will prevent that lesson from being absorbed too.

I had this book on the shelf intending to read it when I learned a buddy had been badly injured. So I went to Walter Reed and brought this book right to him. The audio version was just excellent and helped me process my own war demons. I hope it helps him during recovery both physical and mental.

Theater of War: What the Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today read by Adam Driver (former Marine) is another title to help salve the wounds of war.

Thank you Sebastian for this profound book.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August audiobook cover art

Reincarnation... good?

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

Reviewed: 02-17-19

The author tries really hard to convince us that reincarnation is good, faith of any kind is bad and that in 15 lives you might just accomplish something. I really tried hard to like the premise but fought through the middle to maintain interest. Should’ve returned this by hour 6. I listened to the whole thing. Not a bad book but intellectually hollow.

Christmas Eve, 1914 audiobook cover art

Beautiful tear jerker

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

Great story, well told, cast wonderfully. Lush British accents in main characters and background as well. Sound effects were effective. German character well played as well. It was over a hundred years ago now. But senseless killing continues. What would Christ say whose birthday we celebrate shortly? What would He say to the narcissism and ego (incompetence too) of the leaders? WWI was over in 4 years yet we continue on 17 years In Afghanistan and 14 years in Iraq. And now Syria? 3 years for WWII. In WWI we went from 125,000 in uniform to 5 million in 2 years. 2 million overseas. WWI, no jets, internet, transport planes. Think about it. Where are we today?

Deep Silence audiobook cover art

Great story reflecting today’s sorry politics

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

Another great Jonathan Mayberry story enhanced and delivered with great passion by Ray Porter. The not-so-subtle reminders of our current politics are believable and rendered well. I blew through the story so fast that I need to listen again. The congruence of all of the players from previous stories - Toys, Arclight et al - was welcomed and logical. In fact why it didn’t happen sooner is another question. But DMS become RTI. Gawd that’s an awful un-Church like name. Perhaps this means the characters become more Ledger-like? God help the bad guys! Keep up the great work and look forward to more, even if it’s RTI.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

The Coming Storm audiobook cover art

How Monetizing Public Records for Private Gain Is Harming America

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

Reviewed: 09-30-18

Fascinating story of the Dept of Commerce - I know! Stay with me here - and it’s NOAA and the National Weather Service which collects and provides crucial weather data to America’s farmers, emergency responders except when big business takes over key government positions and tries to strangle your access to taxpayer paid for free information and tries to make you pay for it again. Some really interesting people are cameo’d here - an astronaut, data scientist, Oklahoma emergency responded as well as some villains. Enjoyable listen left me wanting more info.

The Bloody Shirt audiobook cover art

Presaged 2018 in 2008

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

An incisive and deeply disturbing story of domestic terrorism carried out by the KKK and similar groups which were staffed by Confederate soldiers and officers during Reconstruction. Thousands of Americans were killed, tortured, raped, imprisoned and had their inalienable rights taken away. We all knew reconstruction was a mess but this paints a bleak picture of the reality of these domestic terrorists. This is not some poorly researched opinion piece, the materials were gathered from the state archives of Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina and show very clearly the intent, desire and hope to suppress the right to life, the right to vote, the right to assemble, the right to bear arms, and the right to express oneself freely. Clearly this domestic terrorism turned the victory of emancipation on its head when the government was unable to enforce its own laws.

It’s also a startling description of media control by anti-American elements in the South. There was no disputing the acts that took place, they were documented and admitted freely and proudly by the participants. Unbelievably and much like al Qa’ida and ISIS, they enjoyed what they did to fellow human beings and sought religious and civic leaders to back them up. Many were happy to do so. Like the Nazis and Communists in Europe, Asia, the America’s and elsewhere, they wanted to disarm, defeat and destroy anyone who challenged them legally, morally or civically. And they were highly successful. What was so surprising was that that their sense of righteousness was offended when their acts of murderous terrorism were discussed. In other words, they did not dispute what happened, they were mad people MENTIONED their traitorous acts. What an evil mentality.

This book tells that story very well. What is also highly interesting is that Budiansky presaged the recent political trolling of today. It is very clear (and equally sad) that the Russians were able to massively influence, direct and even exert some control over the same sense of victimhood still felt in the South today. Today the same dupes are conducting themselves in the same manner as the KKK has always done. Budiansky, to his everlasting credit, unveiled this mentality ten years ago in a brilliant but depressing story that continues to haunt our country to this minute. This is a must read. You will see the parallels between them and now and your eyes will be opened and your heart and soul will be filled with sorrow for the victims but also for our country.


Hissers audiobook cover art

Lost me on military portrayal - anti-Marine stuff

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

Reviewed: 08-09-18

So I bought this book ages ago and just listened to it. I have not read the sequel but after 80% of this book I gave up. The idea of teen heroes is interesting here and their resilience and courage are to be applauded. The coming of age during a zombie apocalypse is a solid theme and handled well for the most part. The zombie virus created by the US military is not novel but the basis for the outbreak was a treatment to help wounded warriors was certainly somewhat novel 6 years ago. This helps explain why they grow limbs out of parts of their bodies. All this occurred after an inexplicable plane crash near the town of Castor/Caster in an unidentified state. I do however find that authors, this one included, who have a penchant for criticizing the military ought at least to get it right. I mean if you're going to through darts at someone, at least have the sense to make them sharp. So Ryan Thomas was unable to do so in Hissers. I was particularly turned off by his portrayal of a group of MARSOC Marines sounding like a bunch of squealing squeamish 13 yr olds to be dishonest or just ignorant or maybe it's just a projection of where one is in life or he's just a Marine hater. So that was a major turn off as was the author's lack of knowledge of modern mil terminology and equipment. Like who uses a jeep these days? Hummer yes, jeep no. Marines haven't used jeeps since maybe 1979? Yet the author uses that vehicle and of course the MARSOC Marines are killed by multi-legged zombies because they are unprotected in an open vehicle no longer used by anybody. It was just weird. The portrayal of the Marine Lieutenant General, and I've known a few, just sucked. I cannot imagine any Marine Corps general grade officer calling a civilian "private". I suppose its supposed to be a clever literary tool but it doesn't work. Lastly, all the MARSOC Marines I have known have been nothing but the highest, most courageous professionals I have ever known. So if you know nothing about the Marine Corps, then don't believe a word of this crap. Can generals be douche bags? Sure, all the time. But their doughiness doesn't extend to calling civilians "private".

Columbus Day audiobook cover art

Downeast Hero

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

Great story about a soldier who ends up a Colonel who saves the world from a bunch of hostile aliens with the help of a narcissistic sentient being and a handful of skeptical humans from a variety of countries. Hilarity ensues. Really this is a fast moving story with tension and soldiers’ humor making it a bit vulgar at times for younger readers. What I really enjoyed was RC Bray’s narration and doing a solid Maine accent. Finally a guy who does not drawl for a change. Really well done. anxious for Vol II.