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hdamoca

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Family of Origin story proves dysfunctional

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

Reviewed: 2020-07-23

In Psychiatry, the term Family of Origin denotes who you were raised by and how you were raised in your life. You can be a millionaire and still be skull _uckingly dysfunctional. In the AA field, a man (Ernie Larson, brilliant guy) once said:
What you live with, you learn
What you learn, you practise
What you practise, you become and
What you become, has consequences.

Now, add that to Donald J. Trump. He lived in opulence with a cold psychopath, in an extremely dysfunctional family, he learned it. He practised it and became it. And you in the US, are living with those consequences. He is everything his father was, only not as successful. His brother became an alcoholic, practised it and died from it. My father, a lifelong Commercial and retired RCAF pilot (and recovering alcoholic until his death) understood the love of flying, and the terror of having so many lives in your hands. It draws you down. Some handle it, some do not. I'm sorry, Freddy. Wish you had better parents.

You can guarantee, DJTs family of origin story had a HUGE amount to do with his becoming who and what he has become.

I'm Canadian, and old enough to remember DJT younger and just a classless and loud. My mother used the "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" to describe him in the 70s. Classless, loud, and imo, a carnival barker. Embarrassing. And somehow, the US elected him.

Mary did a really good job reading this.
She could have really gone down the clinical illness rabbit hole, but she was...kind instead. She was kind about her grandparents, and she was kind about her uncle. But she more than anyone, with a Doctorate in Psychiatry, understands just how dangerous this man is. Excellent book, I listened to it twice.


3 people found this helpful

What the heck am I listening to?

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

Reviewed: 2020-05-22

Started in one place, the University, was interesting, made a jump to another place, then became almost porn, which is where I quit and will never tough this author again.

Editor wrecks first words of every chapter!

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

Reviewed: 2020-01-09

I really enjoyed this book with a couple exceptions. Most important-- Audible, your editing SUCKS! Every single Day, and every chapter has the first word or two or 3 clipped by a over zealous editor. Very distracting. We need to hear ALL the WORDS in a BOOK.
Because the first few words say how many died, what day it is, and usually starts with a person's name, it's really hard to track who they are talking about. I wanted to know how many were infected, and how many died, and by about Day 3, these important facts were clipped. Thinking it might be something wrong with the download, I tried downloading again, and listening on my computer but it's the same all devices.

Storywise, I enjoyed it, although as others have mentioned, things just got really coincidental. In this type of pandemic, the loses should have been much, much higher. I liked the narrator, although I didn't love his accents particularly. I'm sure Aussies, Russians, Brazilians, Germans and Africans are not going to give his accents the highest marks, but I'm Canadian, they sounded ok to me though not great. His pace was good, he pronounced words correctly, I just wish (not his fault) that his first words in every chapter weren't clipped off. For those reasons, I'm not rating this higher.

2 people found this helpful

An excellent, grippingly great read

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

Reviewed: 2019-11-02

I read this book more than 20 years ago, when it first came out and it remains without doubt in my favourite top 10 of all books I've ever read. And I read a huge amount when I could see. And now I re-read a vast amount, via audible. ;)

I remember this book terrifying me.
The idea of being trapped in the ground with no light except one in an old buried bus..surviving on cereal, a hole in the floor and water. just the thought of it made me quake the first time round. Add into that being young children, it would be horrible. The terror and the way the children and Walter attempted to survive made it such a good book.
That's almost all I'll give away.

The idea of a religious zealot and followers imprisoning children, well we've seen a similar event several times in my lifetime. Think Jamestown and "drinking the kool-aid" which snuffed out 900 lives. Or Waco. It is an iteration of the same thing--this book is about an insane "prophet" who really was a terrible, narcissistic loony toon, imprisoning 11 kids and their heroic bus driver for 49 days. Walter the character, the ongoing story he told the kids about a turkey vulture named Jacksonville and his sidekick vs The Barbeque Tongs, everything about him and his care for the kids, I loved the character. I loved his story within a story.

Molly Cates is the main character, a plucky crime reporter who made her appearance in an earlier book called "The Red Scream". She's great. She's smart, makes a great protagonist, the story is mostly told from her perspective. Somehow the FBI and Hostage negotiation team let her be involved because she's interviewed the bad guy, the truly evil Mordicai and his band of followers. Such evil in the name of God.

Mordecai is the religious zealot. He believes the Rapture is coming and he's going to be the vehicle to the end of the world. The narrator does an awesome job of bringing a religious zealot's fire-and-brimstone voice to life, I really enjoyed this narrator. Hopefully she has a library here. She did a great job on the different voices in the book.

It's a well written story, just close your eyes and imagine being 10, and in a buried school bus with other kids and a single adult, the bus driver. Imagine that. At times I remember when I read the paperback having a visceral, physical reaction to the subject matter. Gasping with the poor asthmatic boy's ragged breathing. The book kept me reading it in probably 2-3 days in print, and listened continuously from the time I started last night till I finished it tonight. It's also one of the few books that caused me to burst into tears, both then, and now. Both in sadness and in relief.

I highly, higlhy recommend it.

Good first book

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-16

This was a good series, not my favourite TEOTWAWKI series, but certainly not the worst either. If you like this genre, this is probably one of the best series of books, though to me it fell flat the longer the story went on.
I do like this narrator, and the book kept my interest long enough to listen to the whole trilogy.
Just be aware, these books that are 2 or 3 pieces are never stand-alones, and if you like one book you sort of have to get the whole series.

29 mins in and I was hooked

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-13

Because of Rommel, The Rottweiler. Because the world may end, but there are still going to be good dogs out there. I need a little bit of good dog stories in my TEOTWAWKI books. "He had a dawg". (End of chapter) and I was hooked.

That and the languid melodious voice of this narrator, who I've never listened to, wow. I am completely captivated by this very different story. I'm just early into it, but this is probably exactly my type of book, I love what I hear thus far. As hard as my last review was to do, this one is going to be easy unless it changes dramatically.

Farming is important. Keeping animals is important. If the world ends and everyone else is gone, I hope to Hell I still have a good dawg, my horses and in lieu of cattle, my chickens. Because you aren't parting me from them.

Grow food people, that's the best way to survive if you're going to survive some apocalyptic event, as long as we have crops to grow, sun from the sky and rain...and some modern medicine, and an ability to hide from people or fight back. And thus far he isn't wrong about how different animals react to different things. All I can say is someone better not eat Rommel 3/4 way thru the book, is all I'm saying.
Maybe this book will bore some people, but it might be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise difficult to write about genre. So far I haven't heard a million things about different guns, for which I'm thankful. It isn't constant shoot 'em up fights an gore, and that's what I like i this book.

This writer can WRITE! He paints pictures with words. And yeah, Odd Billy Todd is a bit like Forrest Gump, but I'm fine with that.

I'd like to like this better...but a honest review

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-11

I'd really like to like this better, and perhaps for it's genre it's better than most recent attempts, but it's no Alas Babylon or Lucifer's Hammer or The Stand.

The End of the World as We know it books need to have more than a few chapters on the before/during event part. I want to know truly what a CME really does, or what a large asteroid strike really will do to the world, as WELL as the "after" part.
You can give people character so they aren't so plain Jane and stereotyped, my biggest problem was following who was who, where they were going, and why were they doing whatever they were doing, back and forth-- and it truly was confusing.

I also started and quit this book several times. Got bogged down at around hour 4 twice.
Kevin Pierce's voice is great, but sometimes with a lot of characters it can get monotonous. I've listened to other books he's narrated and enjoyed him a great deal as a narrator. But for whatever reason I kept starting and losing the story, and was about 18 hours in--when the Cajun Navy showed up, and they were great for that part of story. I've never been in the South but I live where Acadiens still live. (They were expelled from Nova Scotia...)

The skinhead convicts and gangbangers I could do without. Such stereotypical bad guys with weird names like Spike and Slash and Hand and I'm just making up names now... Once the A/C and refrigeration dies, a lot of those folks would die, too. 3 days without water, you are dead or close. Getting out of Super Max should still be reasonably hard. You need survival skills beyond turning on the tap or going to the corner store. Most city folk would simply be screwed in hot weather. (We're country people with a well)

The FEMA thing...well as a non conspiracy theorist, not my thing but there has to be a bad guy or 10. I'm not done the entire series yet, this review will likely change. Kinda lost who was doing what, with the exception of the Coasties who used rank to clue me in on who was speaking.
Honestly in 30 days would the entire world fall to wrack and ruin? Also, where the heck did the congressman go? I'm at hour 21 and last he was hiding in the valley with his injured son in book 1.(He show's back up in the 25th hour, and becomes quite important, so yay.)

Here's the problem with these books and not just this genre but also in Science Fiction--the writing is repetitive and formulaic, the battles are similar, everyone survives on MREs. No one really survives, they just collect stuff from all over. People, grow FOOD! That's how you survive an apocalypse where we're busted back 150 years, do what people did back then.p without any real ending, it's almost like the writers are paid by the word. A couple times I thought--there, end it there. But there usually isn't any great conclusion, just an ending. (I got the Omnibus so have all three back to back, half through 2) This is a problem, I guess to suck more money out of buyers, because a lot of these books should have been half the size and only a single book, not 3 credits.

Ok, finished the book and while it was a tough slog, I did enjoy it in the long run. At least they kind of addressed the growing food issue at the very last hour. I really appreciate the afterward by the writer, enough that I bumped up the story to 5. Wish it was a forward instead.

5* for the Big city dumb shit. :)

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-04

I've read Stephen King since Carrie came out in the 70s, I think his very first novel. I went through high school and college, young, middle and now way more middle adulthood, reading Stephen King. Yep, am one of the Constant Readers.

Not every book or short story was a masterpiece, but to me The Stand, the Dark Tower series are/were. (And Black House...) . I love how he weaves s from other books throughout his entire writing. (So I was convinced, wrongly that "the back half of backhalf" were The Breakers...) I did pick up the "As George says, and we shall not see him again".

I've honestly listened to this book twice, because for the first part I was wondering if he had actually written this, the tone was "different" somehow. Though it reminded me a bit of Firestarter in theme. But it kept my interest, and I kept with it.

As others have mentioned, it started out about the Night Knocker and then we were with these kids in the Institute. Took a long time to get back to him, but hang in there.
As is often the case, this story is about exceptional children. Some of his most memorable characters have been kids, it's a theme of Stephen's, and It isn't frightening or classic horror. It's a good story, I'm on my second listen because you miss a lot during the first pass.

I liked the narrator, he's no Frank Muller or RC Bray or many of the greats but he's good. He did a good job with the characters, though a few times he starts a chapter in the voice of the person he's about to d, but again, not a big deal, and I'd certainly listen to him again.

Yes, there are a few references to the President who shall be nameless, but it is what it is. Annie has it right. ;) (Canadian here, thankfully)
I digress.

More morbid fun in the Annapolis Valley!

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

Reviewed: 2019-09-24

Makes you want to live here, eh? Zombies and zombie rats notwithstanding.

I've really liked this series, with the exception of Book 2 Safari, which I fairly hated, hence a lower rating than usual.
I'm from NS, Mom from the Valley and Dad not far from Tancook Island, so this was a fun romp through our rather strangely inhabited yards for Maritimers. The author has his geography a bit mixed up, and the funniest thing is ole South Mountain is pretty much a hill, but I digress. All in all, unless you are from here, you wouldn't know the difference anyway.

I take issue with a couple things, while trying not to spoil it. God love him he tries but RC Bray makes Newfoundlands sound a bit like demented leprechauns! He gave it a go and then wisely stopped, to understand how a Newfie talks, say Jaysus, say Bye, and we're good me son.

The other thing I take issue with is the use of "Sound suppressors" which we simply do not have in Canada, we aren't Amer-icans, we don't love our guns here in the North. Most don't own a gun, most wouldn't. I understand the writer is trying to appeal to a certain genre, and that genre tends to love guns and battles, but it's hardly indicative of 98% of Canadians. I have a rifle because I have livestock and predators, but we're probably the only gun in our rural neighbourhood.

But into the meat and potatoes of the books, I disliked Book 2 because it made no sense for Gus to lose his mind and start having long and often tedious conversations with the foppish Captain Morgain, and it makes no sense that he would burn down his place after burning the mythological city of Annapolis. I did not "get" the premise there at all. And then book 3 had nothing of Gus at all. While it was a good story, I hated they had to give Scott a love interest when he and Gus were great together. It does get a bit tedious with all the hiding and running and fighting...I just didn't think it was necessary to the story. Oddly enough, women also read this genre or at least I think so. It isn't all about guns.
Funny, I'm listening to an RE McDermott trilogy, and he just made reference in conversation to "Burning down the house, to kill all the rats", as I finish this review. That one's coming. Have many of the same criticisms.
And while I don't know much about zombie rats, I do understand real not dead rats. Real rats live underground, feed in a different area than they live and generally nest in yet another area, generally within 100 feet of their food source. They tend to make bolt holes every 2-4 feet in my chicken barns, they don't like to be above ground except when feeding. Now wit zombie rats, I guess all bets are off...

I have the last book of the series ready to cue up and I'll wrap up this series. It was fun. RC Bray was mostly awesome--the writing is often quite witty and not so juvenile as most drivel we get from this genre...I enjoyed it. It wasn't the worst in the genre. Probably wasn't the best, either.


Zombies...in Nova Scotia!

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

Reviewed: 2019-09-20

I have to admit, I've never watched a zombie anything, or read a zombie anything, but while looking for my next read, I stumbled upon this jewel.
This was SUCH a fun book to listen to, because I'm a Nova Scotian. The writer's taken some (big) liberties with the Annapolis Valley (where there is no city, nothing even remotely like a city), but it was still really fun, and only those of us who actually live here would understand it. Appreciate R.C Bray for not slaughtering the name of Antigonish. Doubt he'd get Musquodoboit right on the first go, though. Maybe we'll see. ;) I also appreciate that he didn't try to give us terrible accents, though a subtle Scotish lilt is fine. (Anna)
What caught my attention was the name of the 3rd book Hellifax. I thought...no, not my Halifax. But it was.

So, I decided to listen in order, and started here. Turns out I really like the writer so far. He's quite funny, and doesn't use childish grade 7 terminology, which makes me happy. It's always nice when a writer can actually write. Made me buy the Omnibus, and if I enjoy it I'll finish the series. I have almost 1/2 this book to go, but I'll finish it tonight.

We're going to have some problems with firearms in later books I know, because in Canada most of us do not have a gun, we are not a gun society here like our Southern neighbours. I have a rifle because we have livestock but without an FAC, you can't buy ammunition. No semi autos, handguns must be registered, and we don't permit silencers here at all. But I'm sure he's writing for the wider US market, who do love their guns.