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Kindle Customer49

  • 7
  • reviews
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  • helpful votes
  • 7
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  • The Austrian: A War Criminal's Story

  • By: Ellie Midwood
  • Narrated by: Jonathan M. Matthews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7

 What is going through the mind of a war criminal, tried by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg? Regret for his atrocious actions? Frantic desire to defend himself to the end? Desperate longing to be forgiven by his former enemies or craving of human kindness, even though he knows that he doesn’t deserve any… And the strongest of all, the fear to never again see the one, who he risked everything for, the only woman that he still continues to live for.    

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Important Book

  • By Kindle Customer49 on 01-29-19

An Important Book

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

Amidst the 1946 Nuremburg Trials, THE AUSTRIAN opens with Ernst Klantenbrünner, having received his sentence to hang, literally falls to his death! I was hooked! Where was Widwood going to go from there? I wondered.

Much enhanced by the well-done narration of Johnathan M. Mathews, I soon found out. Using a peel-the-onion-back-slowly technique, the author very cleverly shows us, step by step, how and why this man became the man he was, and how he got to the place where he ended up. We travel to his innocent childhood in Austria, where his harsh, domineering, anti-Semitic father rendered him vulnerable as well as planted the seeds of prejudice. Back to his Nuremburg cell we travel, where he discusses his life’s journey to a sympathetic American psychiatrist. Once again, the onion peels back to his first foray into sex, coupled with passionate college students welcoming him into an earlier version of Hitler’s National Socialist Party, thus seguing into the famous Beer Hall Putsch event. As the book continues to go back and forth, the love of his life emerges, a married woman who isn’t who she seems (the author carefully explains how she is fictionalized at the back of the book). However, real associates do filter in and out, such as Himmler, Ribbentrop, Heydrich, Göring and Albert Speer, all contributing to the tough psyche Klantenbrünner has so developed so completely––a psyche he ultimately regrets. Excellent!


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Motherland's Daughter, a Fatherland's Son

  • A WWII Novel
  • By: Ellie Midwood
  • Narrated by: Kylie Stewart, Eric Rolon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

On the border of this newly divided territory, a young Wehrmacht Unteroffizier, Werner, and a Soviet military interpreter, Kira, meet and fall in love against all odds. Both forced into the military against their will, they wish for one thing only - a peaceful life together. Everything is set for Kira to defect and marry Werner...but the German army invades the Soviet Union, and now the two lovers are forced to fight against each other on the opposite sides of the frontline. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such a Soul-Gripping Book!

  • By Kindle Customer49 on 01-29-19

Such a Soul-Gripping Book!

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

The core of this book is the touching Romeo and Juliet romance between Kira, a young Russian girl, and Werner, a German boy. When they first meet in 1939 Poland, their puppy love is filled with hope and naiveté. Germany is Russia’s ally, and although the two teens come from different countries, different cultures, they feel they are forever destined to be together. Not so, apparently. As they both go their separate ways, innocently swearing they will not forget one another, Hitler reneges on his pact with Russia and abruptly, Kira’s and Werner’s worlds are turned upside down. Werner is slated to invade Russia, and unbeknownst to him, Kira takes on a dangerous mission. Great detail is given to the harsh realities of war––the Siege of Leningrad, the unexpected fierceness of the Russians fighting the onslaught of Nazi soldiers, whether it be in the cities or out in the dense forests. So detailed are Midwood’s descriptions, I felt as though I, too, marched, hid, or suffered along with both sides; heard the blasts of weaponry; saw the horror of the maimed and killed; felt the rain, mud, bitter cold, and the crunch of snow. And ultimately, also witnessed the dehumanization of people and their souls. As the author writes, “They all want blood and revenge––anything just to soothe that bloodthirsty monster that has awakened in each and every one of us.” Truth be told, as I turned the pages I kept wondering: How could their faraway, diminishing love possibly win out, mired as it was in such horrific circumstances?
And what a treat it was to listen to the two narrators, Kylie Stewart and Eric Rolon, whose voices blended perfectly to make the story absolutely come alive. Excellent


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Emilia

  • By: Ellie Midwood
  • Narrated by: Sofia Willingham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13

This story is dedicated to all the victims of sexual slavery in German concentration camps, who had to endure inhumane suffering under the Nazi regime. For many years after the atrocities had been committed, both sides - the abusers and the abused - still vehemently denied certain aspects of the Holocaust, and even the victims refused to admit the ugly truth about their incarceration, some out of fear, some out of shame, until several women decided to break an unofficial oath of silence, and brought their stories to life. This book is based on one of those stories. Emilia is a young Jewish woman, whose life slowly turns into a nightmare as she finds herself facing a dreadful choice: to secure her family's very existence by offering herself to one of the men who had put her behind the walls with barbed wire, or perish together with the least fortunate ones. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Horro, Fascination, and Compassion

  • By Kindle Customer49 on 01-28-19

Horro, Fascination, and Compassion

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

Reviewed: 01-28-19

To me, Ellie Midwood’s books are unique. Fascinating, horrifying, historically accurate, she never shies away from presenting the darkness of the Nazi regime. Yet I’ve noticed she also does something else. Without making excuses for this disturbing time and its despicable characters, she manages to pose the question and possibility of a few of those “villains” as having a human side.

In the midst of all the brutality imposed on Emilia and the other girls forced into sexual slavery, there is a glimmer of protectiveness, kindness, and hope among several of the inmates and even a SS captain and a commandant. Beyond that, when the book continues on after WW2 is over and the totally damaged Emilia arises from the ashes of war and her PTSD, she learns to trust again. Very well narrated by Sofia Wilmington, this book is another page-turner!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Indigo Rebels

  • By: Ellie Midwood
  • Narrated by: Becky Boyd
  • Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

France, 1940 - The German army has marched into Paris. Three siblings, three very different people leading very different lives, find themselves face-to-face with new occupants of their city, and neither of them can guess what the occupation has in store for them, and how it will change their lives. Giselle Legrand, a renowned novelist and a socialite, encounters an unannounced guest in her apartment - a newly arrived chief of the Gestapo, Sturmbannführer Dr. Karl Wünsche, who is intended to billet there and who soon starts making unwelcome changes in Giselle's lifestyle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bravo!

  • By Kindle Customer49 on 01-28-19

Bravo!

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

Reviewed: 01-28-19

What a marvelous story, with the great narrator, Becky Boyd, who breathes even more life into it!
Frankly, I’ve been fascinated by each of this author’s books, whether it be about the Nuremberg Trials, the inter-workings of the Nazis, or the use of female Jewish sex slaves in Nazi camps, but I have to say, INDIGO REBELS is my favorite.

Great detailed descriptions of characters and settings intersperse with factual tidbits that, like all her books, had me visiting Wikipedia, eager to find out even more. But ultimately, fine descriptions aren’t enough for me. As I found myself turning pages with great absorption and anticipation, I realized I was highly impressed with Midwood’s well-thought out and intriguing plot. All in all, a brilliantly executed book which I highly recommend. Bravo, Ellie Midwood!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Asian Shorts

  • Short Stories About Asia
  • By: Owen Jones, Trevor Aindow, Jennifer J. Chow, and others
  • Narrated by: Bob Sterry
  • Length: 3 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 2

Asian Shorts came about because of a sequence of events on one weekend in May 2015. A friend was telling me that he had several short stories with Asia as a backdrop, I was saying that I had a few as well, another friend sent me an email that he wanted to write a short on Pattaya, and one of my Thai cousins sent me her latest photo, the one on the cover of this book. It was like somebody was trying to tell me something, or several were anyway. The 19 stories by nine authors in this anthology were sent to me in one month, but are as varied as their writers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What A Fine Group of Stories!

  • By Kindle Customer49 on 04-29-18

What A Fine Group of Stories!

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

Reviewed: 04-29-18

What a varied collection of short stories! Nineteen different views, styles, and tidbits about Asia gives the listener an up close taste of what it’s like to be connected to this fascinating and sometimes complex continent. From first hand accounts of life in Thailand to a boys school in Malaysia; from a special bike in Asia to slave wages and conditions for immigrant workers in early San Francisco; from a naïve Chinese girl’s personal journey to California to a Chinese government’s “One Child Only” second baby, lost forever; from a small Pakistan village’s opium problems to issues with obtaining a simple passport, just to name a few, this anthology has something for everyone. Coupled with a fine narration by the talented Bob Sterry, whose flowing, expressive voice captures so many different nuances, this audio book is quite a find. Definitely recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Marriage Before Death: WWII Spy Thriller

  • Still Life with Memories, Book 5
  • By: Uvi Poznansky
  • Narrated by: Don Warrick
  • Length: 4 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14

After D-Day, her photograph appears on the most-wanted Nazi propaganda posters. Who is the girl with the red beret? She reminds him of Natasha, but no, that cannot be. Why does Rochelle step into his life when he is lead by SS soldiers to the gallows? At the risk of being found out as a French Resistance fighter, what makes her propose marriage to a condemned man?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "In War There Must Be Secrets"

  • By Kindle Customer49 on 11-23-17

"In War There Must Be Secrets"

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

Using her signature lyrical/poetic style, Ms. Poznansky has once again created a world filled with sights and sounds, inner thoughts, and in this book, riveting action. It begins with an extremely touching portrayal of Lenny and his wife Natasha, a couple facing unspoken––and thus secret––difficult times that promise to grow much worse. The book then guides us back into the couple’s earlier history with an up-close look at the French resistance during WWII. A time when “moaning minies,” mortar bombs, guns blasting, sniper’s firing, and enemy tanks filled everyone with fear, as they traveled through the lush countryside. When “beauty co-existed with horrendous ugliness,” the “rattling of our bones and the tightness of our heads,” and “soldiers falling like pins in a bowling alley” was the norm.

But what resonated with me the most was the nature of Lenny and Natasha’s love, and the ‘secret’ cat and mouse game they played with the enemy to preserve their lives and simultaneously, protect their loyalties. Even with mortar shells flying everywhere, Lenny can’t stop appreciating the little things––In the trenches where “the earth felt good, cradling me” as the soldiers snored, and forever thinking of his cherished Natasha––“Her letter in my breast pocket which made her feel closer to me,” and “flashes of what were if they were at peace.”

And all of this beautifully written novel brought to life by the thoughtful and melodious voice of narrator, Don Warrick, whose sensitivity, timing, and nuance for each scene pulled me in even closer to the author’s words. Truly excellent!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Music of Us

  • Still Life with Memories, Book 3
  • By: Uvi Poznansky
  • Narrated by: Don Warrick
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

In 1970, Lenny can no longer deny that his wife is undergoing a profound change. Despite her relatively young age, her mind succumbs to forgetfulness. Now, he goes as far back as the moment he met Natasha, when he was a soldier and she a star, brilliant yet illusive. Natasha was a riddle to him then, and to this day, with all the changes she has gone through, she still is.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Beautifully Narrated Tale of Love and Loss

  • By Aaron P. Lazar on 01-16-16

A FINE READ AND NARRATION

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Music of Us to be better than the print version?

Although I thought the audio was great, I particularly loved the book in print because I'm a visual person. Absolutely no reflection on the narrator!

Who was your favorite character and why?

I was very touched by the main female protagonist. To be so talented at such a young age with a domineering mother would be a very difficult situation and Uvi Poznansky portrayed her feelings and surroundings very well.

What about Don Warrick’s performance did you like?

I thought for a man, he used a subtle touch, which went well with the author's delicate, lyrical prose.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the two main protagonists, having been separated for long, finally got together. Very moving...

Any additional comments?

Here is my reviewHaving read Uvi Poznansky’s, THE MUSIC OF US (Vol 3), I knew going in just how lovely this book was. In fact, it’s my favorite of all her books. Still, to be honest, I wasn’t sure a man’s voice could give justice to her delicate, touching prose. But I was happy to be proven wrong! Don Warrick did a great job, adding just the right interpretative coloring to this author’s fine writing, and at the same time, pulling the reader in that much more. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful