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Jack Harrison

Fleetwood
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 65
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  • Dunkirk

  • Fight to the Last Man
  • By: Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
  • Narrated by: Roy McMillan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man tells the story of the rescue in May 1940 of British soldiers fleeing capture and defeat by the Nazis at Dunkirk. Dunkirk was not just about what happened at sea and on the beaches. The evacuation would never have succeeded had it not been for the tenacity of the British soldiers who stayed behind to ensure they got away. Men like Sergeant Major Gus Jennings, who died smothering a German stick bomb in the church at Esquelbecq in an effort to save his comrades.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent. Only one issue

  • By S. Cooke on 24-09-17

Dunkirk - A revelation.

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

Reviewed: 01-03-19

This is an excellent Audio book in many ways, but especially in terms of the massive amount of information on the weeks and days leading up to the evacuation; and besides that - the gallant actions and personal sacrifices made by countless Forces and Civilian individuals and Units. Much of that is possibly still unknown to most people. The story goes a long way in making sure that those involved will not be forgotten.

It also highlights the despicable actions of SS Units and individual Commanders and troops, as in the sadistic reprisals upon Belgian civilians (including harmless women, children and the old and infirm. Not to mention the evil deeds done to British and other nation's surrendering and/or injured Troops. The SS were of course guilty of War Crimes throughout the war; and may those responsible, rot in Hell.

I must also note that there are between four to six identifiable examples of repeated passages and/or phrases. It does not spoil the book for me, but it must add up to a certain amount of 'Padding'. I'd rather see a thinner product of 100% quality, than a fatter book than necessary.

Jack D. Harrison.

  • Elegy

  • The First Day on the Somme
  • By: Andrew Roberts
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

On 1 July 1916, after a five-day bombardment, 11 British and 5 French divisions launched their long-awaited 'Big Push' on German positions on high ground above the Rivers Ancre and Somme on the Western Front. Some ground was gained but at a terrible cost. In killing grounds whose names are indelibly imprinted on 20th-century memory, German machine guns - manned by troops who had sat out the storm of shellfire in deep dugouts - inflicted terrible losses on the British infantry.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another Haig Apologist?

  • By Jack Harrison on 17-11-18

Another Haig Apologist?

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

Reviewed: 17-11-18

I was enjoying this audiobook right up until I began to wonder- Is this just another attempt at rehabilitating Haig?
In fact towards the end, that is indeed implied.

I can only say that however one book or Historian seeks to raise that coldest of cold fish Generals, there will always be several more, that depict him for what he is in the general public's popular view.
Haig was many things, but few (if any) were good. I also wonder the great what IF the British had retained Sir John French and or even Dorian?

Again I enjoyed most of this book - without that element.

Jack.

  • Patriot Games

  • Jack Ryan
  • By: Tom Clancy
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 20 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 341
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341

CIA analyst Jack Ryan, historian and former Marine, is vacationing in London with his wife and young daughter. Suddenly, right before his eyes, a terrorist group launches its deadly attack. Instinctively, Jack dives forward to intervene. By his impulsive act, he gains both the gratitude of a nation and the enmity of its most dangerous men who will not sit on their hate. In an explosive wave of violence, Jack's new enemies will seek to make him pay for his act of salvation...with his life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story just an old recording

  • By Nick on 05-04-15

A great story, written and performmed.

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

Reviewed: 13-08-18

I would first like to counter any previous views, that Patriot Games was a failure, because of it's performance or narration as this Audio-book.

I found it thrilling almost from start to finish.

It accurately tells a story, set in a period of our history, which was easily recognizable; and so, easy to follow.
I found myself unwilling to even pause it to go out or do other things, until the end.

I remember watching the movie years ago, and I was not disappointed to follow tthe story in this format.

Once again 'Well Done Clancy' for another Masterpiece.


  • Steaming to Victory

  • How Britain's Railways Won the War
  • By: Michael Williams
  • Narrated by: Nick McArdle
  • Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 30

In the seven decades since the darkest moments of the Second World War it seems every tenebrous corner of the conflict has been laid bare, prodded and examined from every perspective of military and social history. But there is a story that has hitherto been largely overlooked. It is a tale of quiet heroism, a story of ordinary people who fought, with enormous self-sacrifice, not with tanks and guns, but with elbow grease and determination. It is the story of the British railways...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Our Railway Heroes and Heroines.

  • By Jack Harrison on 02-06-18

Our Railway Heroes and Heroines.

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

Reviewed: 02-06-18

I have also recommend this book as part of my review for 'Wounded.

Perhaps because I spent ten years as a Railway Signalman (1978-88), and the phrase - 'Once a Railwayman, always a Railwayman', it was very easy for me to identify with both audio books.

There are many examples of personal bravery in here, most of which left me completely stunned and perhaps a bit inadequate to comment, meaningfully.

The Signalmen who stayed at their Box during bombing during the Blitz; or Loco crew who were attacked en-route by enemy aircraft, never thinking of their own safety. And Drivers, attempting to move trains from populated areas and dangerous sidings - with wagons ablaze. And of course, the railway-woman showing a fine example as her Railway Ferry itself became a casualty.

Through the years of World War II, Railway men and women worked to protect their trains, passengers and loads, as their own selfless contribution to victory; only to be cast aside by later closures.

But apart from this fine audio book, their efforts and often - ultimate sacrifice is also commemorated by a plaque at the main entrance of London's Waterloo Station. As I have mentioned elsewhere - I usually pause there to think of them.

Jack D. Harrison.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Wounded

  • By: Emily Mayhew
  • Narrated by: Nigel Anthony
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 25

Wounded traces the journey made by a casualty from the battlefield to a hospital in Britain. It is a story told through the testimony of those who cared for him - stretcher bearers and medical officers, surgeons and chaplains, orderlies and nurses - from the aid post in the trenches to the casualty clearing station and the ambulance train back to Blighty. We feel the calloused hands of the stretcher-bearers; we see the bloody dressings and bandages; we smell the nauseating gangrene and, at London’s stations, the gas clinging to the uniforms of the men arriving home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • atmospheric listen

  • By sarah c turner on 12-04-17

Good Timing.

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

Reviewed: 02-06-18

I recently had an idea for one or more poems about Railway carriages being used for various war duties, especially during the Great War.
Then when I heard 'Wounded' I thought "YES, an Ambulance Train". So I will try to get one done in time for my third book, being published around Autumn. It will be my second volume of Verse.

But this Audio book 'Wounded', was an absolute eye opener and education for me.

Some of the examples of injuries to young servicemen, are very disturbing but the use of those train carriages, British nurses, and the little touches like making sure troops had a smoke when needed all helped to assure them, they were really on the way back home; and away from those awful places of death and pain.

And some of the examples of compassion shown by our nurses were certainly worth a good inclusion. Including the young girl in London, doing her bit by covering pillows. Staff on the London Ambulance and on the trains and boats from France to the UK.. The incredibly brave Bearers threading their way across No-man's-land to [relative] safety; the cries and moans of casualties very often attracting Sniper bullets and various shells. And not forgetting the ground-breaking work of Surgeons and Doctors, tasked with having to operate on injuries/wounds that were never dreamed possible before 1914.

If I buy a million audio books from now, this will always stand out above the others. I would be happy and honored to recommend this to anyone, whatever their interests. But with a warning - Be prepared to be shocked, inspired, and awe-struck. As 2018 is such an important year, marking the Centenary of the war's end, I DO consider it 'Good Timing' as my title suggests. I would also recommend 'Steaming To Victory, about wartime Railwaymen and women, many of whom were killed in the line of their duties. As the phrase went - 'They also fight who stay at home'.

HOWEVER- I would like to rise here, another audio book from the Great War- Breakdown.
The Author and Narrator both have my best regards I pity them for the nature of the material; specifically- the utterly caddish behavior of the Senior British officers, in dealing with the poor troops and M.O. of the 'Lonsdales'.

Based upon the accounts given, I have to say this was the trashiest thing I ever heard, of any nation's Army.
I can't help suspecting that Haig was involved somewhere in the outcomes for both Soldiers and Medical Officer.
And if not, than at least in spirit. Gough was after all, favorite of his. S.O.B is the best I can say of them.
To humiliate previously loyal and brave men that way, was the act of complete Ghouls.
But don't believe ME - it is all in the last 20 minutes of Part 1.

Jack D. Harrison.

  • Endurance

  • Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
  • By: Alfred Lansing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,784
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,630
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,629

In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enthralling

  • By penobscott on 10-07-17

Enduring the Polar Regions, and Exploration.

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

Reviewed: 16-07-17

Would you listen to Endurance again? Why?

YES- I will listen many times to this Audiobook, because it draws me.

I have always been fascinated by Polar Exploration from my boyhood, but especially Antarctica. Even the name arouses thoughts and feelings of the ends of the World. As Scott said- "Great God, this is an awful place". And yet it is also incredibly beautiful and very interesting, in terms of its own Geological, Environmental History. Antarctica has been a Global Traveler long before Humans walked the Earth. (SEE LAST SECTION).

I had the old book 'South With Scott'? and I became familiar with Franklin, Greely and of course Nansen and Amundsen's Expeditions, but Shackleton's last epic story has always been my favorite. His way with dealing with men, Crises and other situations, was so different to Scott, although sometimes similar to Amundsen. Not Hierarchical, and yet not Democratic either. He treated men fairly yet he knew how to stop the confrontation with Chippy the Carpenter. Then again he cared for each and every member to a tiny detail, but without each man knowing, or feeling uncomfortable..

I would recommend Endurance not just as a great Audiobook, which it IS, but there are also examples and lessons for our 21st Century lives and situations; and forms of Personnel Management, that are so badly lacking today.

WELL DONE to all concerned in producing yet another Audible success.
Jack.

What other book might you compare Endurance to, and why?

I would have no problem linking this remarkable story, with that of Apollo 13.
The similarities and contrasts are many and varied, but both stories tell of courage and determination to pull victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat - and oblivion.

The fact that an Expedition found itself in serious and immediate danger right at the very end , and even beyond of any possible help. The difference being, with Apollo 13, there was a sense that most of the Earth's Human population WILLED the crew back to Earth and safety; glued to the edge of their seats.
But during 1914-15, only a relative few had any idea of the plight of Shackleton's Expedition members. Or the fact that so many went straight into the Great War after returning home.

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

The story has so many moments that moved me, including the shooting of the puppies; but another moment has got to be when Shackleton found the his party trapped on the Island whilst he went for help.

Any additional comments?

I recently finished my latest poem about (and dedicated to) Polar Explorers. And I'd like to share it here. I present to you, Lost In The Ice.

LOST IN THE ICE.
A land of frozen mountains and endless ice. will crush all human dreams;
and can we ever know what a Polar region really means.
Antarctica was once a Temperate Zone;
this Global traveler, in times before we were known.

From Scott to Shackleton, Franklin, yes and Greely too;
they set out bravely to inspire me and you.
their journeys always start out filled with hope;
winds are fair, as through the floes they grope.

But their trust in skills - a fickle thing;
takes no account of Nature's bitter sting.
Once in the land where no-one's welcome;
the 'Terror' and 'Erebus' would both succumb

Erebus means the 'Gates of Hell’;
their trials and torment, so hard to tell.
Supported by the newly found science;
foods to test Sir John Franklin's patience.

The ticking time bomb, in lead-lined cans;
a poison chalice, accepted by luckless fans.
The man once known for eating his boot;
left three dead witnesses, on Beachy Island they lie and moot.

The man called Scott and four brave friends;
their numbers dwindle with the wind's changing trends.
"Just eleven miles more", screamed the howling storm's might;
The poor man 'Oates' turns and stumbles, alone into the night.

They found them then, as the Sun returned;
No sign of warmth; or that saving oil had burned.
No sign of leaving Scott, from the blizzard to hide;
the bounds of friendship prevented the will to divide.

Then Shackleton's team, and good ship Endurance;
provided hope, preventing all ideas of prudence.
Trapped in the turning jail of Weddell;
they cling to thoughts of home; in frozen Hell.

Never forgotten, we speak their name;
Laying there, no wrong or shame.
Their quest- to stretch the bounds of discovery;
lost forever, all hopes of recovery.

Perhaps one day if you are able;
picture one such nightmare fable.
out there on the ice they toil and drag;
the ghostly team of bone and rag.

Blackened mouths and painful joints through Haemorrhage;
to stagger forever can be, their only heritage.
They want to rest, to sleep and die;
but lost they are, to ever walk on by.

And what of Nansen and Amundsen in all this?
Different methods they used, it went like this.
When Scott said he'd use ponies and dogs;
Nansen replied- "I'd use dogs, dogs, and dogs".

To write some words, an Epitaph new.
is all that those like me can do.
To do for them some form of justice;
Perhaps one day, they'll get to read this.
BY JACK D HARRISON.
MON 03-07-2017.

12 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Let Not the Deep

  • British Military Quartet, Book 1
  • By: Mike Lunnon-Wood
  • Narrated by: John Telfer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259

A crippled cargo ship drifts helplessly in the face of an oncoming hurricane-force storm. On board, a passenger whose presence means the world is watching. Only the skill, determination and raw courage of a lifeboat crew and the British military forces despatched to save them offer any hope of survival. But set against the savagery of the Atlantic even that might not be enough....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting stuff!

  • By clive on 11-04-17

Let not the deep, swallow their name.

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

Reviewed: 03-05-17

If you could sum up Let Not the Deep in three words, what would they be?

Best ever story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is an almost impossible question. As long as ships cross the oceans and seas, and as long as Lifeboat and aircrews risk their lives - and sometimes give it willingly to save others, then they will ALL be the 'favorite character'. Each adding their own bravery to the whole.

What about John Telfer’s performance did you like?

An excellent choice for Narrator; and probably the best.

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

Again the story had so many parts which moved me.The defiance of the Destroyer, Defiance- refusing to be left out of the rescue.The PM's boy, David for wanting to match his Dad's bravery, and give of himself by being the last boy rescued.The Coxswain's refusal to leave 'The Casualty', and to remain 'On Service' against all odds.And last but not least;The way other Lifeboat crews all wanted to support the Maive Corrigan through her hours of crisis, and then to escort her back home; as though closing a collective arm around one of their own. The RNLI Family.

Any additional comments?

This has to be the best story I have ever known, and the best Audio-book I ever bought.My late brother had been out with our local boat. And my Great Granddad (Cptn Peter Harrison) Sailed cargoes around our coast - How could I say any less?'So let not the deep swallow up their names'. Jack.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful