LISTENER

Roger

NORWICH, United Kingdom
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 16
  • ratings
  • Finland's War of Choice

  • The Troubled German-Finnish Coalition in World War II
  • By: Henrik Lunde
  • Narrated by: Tom Parks
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

This book describes the odd coalition between Germany and Finland in World War II, and their joint military operations from 1941 to 1945. This is a topic often missing in English, though in stark contrast to the numerous books on the shorter and less bloody Winter War. That conflict represented a gallant fight of a democratic “David” against a totalitarian “Goliath” that caught the imagination of the world. The story of Finland fighting alongside a “Goliath” of its own has not brought pride to that nation and was a period many Finns would rather forget.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Truly awful narrator

  • By Roger on 04-05-14

Truly awful narrator

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

Reviewed: 04-05-14

Avoid this audiobook like the plague!

The subject is quite acceptable. but a little dry, but the book is ruined. destroyed even, by the terrible narrator. He actually manages to get you to focus on his dreadful mistakes so much that it overshadows the story.
He was so bad I started to take notes of his mis-pronunciations, but there were so many I gave up! I would understand someone to have a little trouble with some Russian names, but Tom Parks pronounces the same name differently (and all wrongly) several different times even in the same paragraph. It's highly unprofessional and really shows a slap-dash attitude to his work. German and Russian names are mangled dreadfully. Some he doesn't even pronounce as they are spelled, meaning he couldn't even be bothered to try.

Its very sad, and I won't be buying any more books narrated by him.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Willing Accomplices

  • How KGB Covert Influence Agents Created Political Correctness, Obama's Hate-America-First Political Platform, and Destroyed America
  • By: Kent Clizbe
  • Narrated by: Douglas R. Pratt
  • Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

CIA case officer, Kent Clizbe, analyzes counter-intelligence details to demonstrate that KGB covert influence agents in American education and academia, Hollywood, and the media inserted the anti-American payload that became Political Correctness (PC). The KGB officers suffered death in Stalin's purges. Their American accomplices, not needing guidance, built the elite mindset of "reflexive loathing of the United States and its people," that defines PC.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting, but needs editing.

  • By Roger on 29-08-13

Interesting, but needs editing.

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

Reviewed: 29-08-13

Overall I liked this book. The beginning I found rather frustrating though, and nearly gave up. I am glad I didn't though.
I don't like books that frequently say that they will be talking further about a particular topic later. At the beginning the book is full of "we'll explore that later" and "you will learn in chapter x more about this" and, the most over-used of all "as we will see later".

The other big niggle is that there were quite a number of repetitions. I think the work should have been checked over by someone else with a view to cutting these out as unnecessary and to make the book more digestible.
It's rather disorganised too, and the author takes a while to decide whether the book is about him, his career (he touts himself a bit!) or the historical subject. It's untidy.

By the 4th (chapter/part - I lost track!) I warmed to the author. He has taken a subject that needs much more coverage and he has really researched thoroughly. Why haven't more authors considered where political correctness came from? In "Marxism, Multiculturalism and Free Speech" Dr Frank Ellis points out that the first person to use this phrase was Lenin.
Douglas Pratt has taken up where Dr Ellis left off, and I'm glad he did.

Stick with it!

  • A Bright Shining Lie

  • John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
  • By: Neil Sheehan
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 35 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52

Sheehan's tragic biography of John Paul Vann is also a sweeping history of America's seduction, entrapment and disillusionment in Vietnam.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very interesting.

  • By Roger on 07-05-13

Very interesting.

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

Reviewed: 07-05-13

This is an important audiobook to listen to if you have any interest in the Vietnam War. Robertson Dean read it excellently, as usual, with only a couple of mispronunciations (primmer instead of primer and other trivial errors).
John Vann was THE Vietnam expert, and the book also exposes what drove him and his difficult childhood.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Battle for Spain

  • By: Antony Beevor
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 18 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137

The civil war that tore Spain apart between 1936 and 1939 and attracted liberals and socialists from across the world to support the cause against Franco was one of the most hard-fought and bitterest conflicts of the 20th century: a war of atrocities and political genocide and a military testing ground before WWII for the Russians, Italians and Germans, whose Condor Legion so notoriously destroyed Guernica.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, complete, not for beginners

  • By christian on 21-10-12

Good

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-02-13

Enjoyable, and balanced. Well up to Beevor's usual standard. An almost forgotten part of recent European history.

  • The Venona Secrets

  • Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors
  • By: Herbert Romerstein, Eric Breindel
  • Narrated by: Jim McCance
  • Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

The Venona Files are several intercepted communiques between the Soviet Union and American Communists following WWII. Some historians and journalists are starting to regard the Cold-War-era American Communist Party as nothing more than a quaint club of polite if misguided ideologues. In The Venona Secrets, Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel intend to create a new impression of treacherous Americans "who willfully gave their primary allegiance to a foreign power, the USSR."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Informative and quite enjoyable

  • By Roger on 20-02-13

Informative and quite enjoyable

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-02-13

I listened to this after the excellent M Stanton Evans book on Senator McCarthy, which really opened my eyes to the media lies told about him.

It's a little dry in places, as there are lots of lists of names (necessarily when talking about spy rings), but well worth buying and downloading.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Vietnam

  • The Australian War
  • By: Paul Ham
  • Narrated by: Peter Byrne
  • Length: 31 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Drawing on hundreds of accounts by soldiers, politicians, aid workers, entertainers and the Vietnamese people, Paul Ham reconstructs for the first time the full history of our longest military campaign. From the commitment to engage, through the fight over conscription and the rise of the anti - war movement, to the tactics and horror of the battlefi eld, Ham exhumes the truth about this politicians' war - which sealed the fate of 50,000 Australian servicemen and women.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly recommended

  • By David on 07-04-13

Very good

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-02-12

Good, well researched book free of the left wing blinkers that lots of authors seem to put on when they write about Vietnam. I kept thinking I'd heard the last chapter, but there was more and more additional information.
Very well narrated. Narrator has a pleasing Aussie accent, and good delivery that makes the occasional humourous sentences even funnier.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Deathride

  • Hitler vs. Stalin: The Eastern Front, 1941-1945
  • By: John Mosier
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

John Mosier presents a revisionist retelling of the war on the Eastern Front. The conventional wisdom is that Hitler was mad to think he could defeat the USSR, because of its vast size and population, and that the Battle of Stalingrad marked the turning point of the war. Neither statement is accurate, says Mosier; Hitler came very close to winning outright.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting

  • By Roger on 22-01-12

Interesting

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-01-12

Very interesting and though-provoking. I bought the hardback copy after listening to this audiobook just so I could refer to it occasionally and look at his sources.
After reading books by former GRU spy and Spetsnaz man Victor Suvorov, then this, it puts a new perspective on the war.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Down and Out in Paris and London

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Northam
  • Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 688
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 592
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 585

An autobiographical study, Down and Out in Paris and London follows Orwell as he tramps around both Paris and London. Pawning his belongings to buy food, unemployment, drinking heavily and jostling for a place in homeless hostels are but a few of the experiences related with candour and insight in this unabridged exclusive audiobook. Orwell was arguably one of the first 'gonzo' journalists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb

  • By Richard Blant on 20-07-15

Good

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-09-11

Good, well narrated book. The narrator did some great impersonations of the characters in the book. Very talented man.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The White War

  • Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919
  • By: Mark Thompson
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 19 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

The Western Front dominates our memories of the First World War. Yet a million and half men died in northeast Italy in a war that need never have happened, when Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire in May 1915. Led by General Luigi Cadorna, the most ruthless of all the Great War commanders, waves of Italian conscripts were sent charging up the limestone hills north of Trieste to be massacred by troops fighting to save their homelands.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • OK, but rather spoilt by narrator

  • By Roger on 30-09-11

OK, but rather spoilt by narrator

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-09-11

An area of history I knew little about so I was pleased to find this book. The rather breathy, exclaimation style of the narrator was a bit off-putting though. It was as if he was narrating for a childrens book. Perhaps a bit of audio "proof reading" would have helped too - he said Australian instead of Austrian once or twice.
Well researched though, and recommended. I will Google some pictures of the mountain fighting to get an idea of what it looked like.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful