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Colin

Live in Sydney, Australia. South African heritage. Love audio books. Constant company on my non-stop business travels.

Manly, NSW, Australia | Member Since 2003

109
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 248 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paul Torday
    • Narrated By John Sessions, Samantha Bond, Fenella Woolgar
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (21)

    Written as a "report into the circumstances surrounding the decision to introduce salmon into the Yemen", this is a novel that is made up of e-mails, letters, diary extracts, records of the prime minister's Question Time, interviews, and chapters from the memoirs of a fantastically weasely Peter Mandelson-type figure.

    Sheila says: "Brilliant"
    "Fun"
    Overall

    The premise does echo the craziness of government policy in all countries. Paul Torday's 'Salmon Fishing' is a romp... he really plays with some interesting ideas. The book is a bit of a tapestry though - with some thematic elements not quite fitting. The humour can be a tad obvious - not evident in Torday's earlier 'Irresistible Inheritance' (which is a great read). The narrative strides along and is an enjoyable journey into insanity and inanity that shapes so much of the geopolitical economic landscape today.
    Recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dimension of Miracles

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Robert Sheckley
    • Narrated By John Hodgman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (493)

    Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home.

    Author Ronda Del Boccio says: "Hilarious! - Could have been written this year"
    "This was before Douglas Adams owned the genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a surprise.

    In his preface Neil tells us that Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker et al) only read Robert Sheckley after Guide to the Galaxy was published. They have very similar voices in regards to their ideas, playfulness, humour and sheer imagination. Very very similar. One suspect that Sheckley did not get the honour that is his due.

    I wonderful romp with the sub-text not that sub and the humour bubbling continuously. Really enjoyable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (289)

    Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you ever know the person you love? These are the questions that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

    Janie says: "Get Gone Girl soon!"
    "Twists and turns and a little bit of wow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Get this. Gone girl deserves its best seller status because it is good old fashioned story telling where the journey is just a thrill and ride and the destination a... well, you will see. I felt myself listening without distraction (as I would if reading a book) which for me is the best test of a really good audio book. The narrators both do an excellent job.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (191)

    Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces. As Dan Brown comments: "Although I studied Dante’s Inferno as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world."

    Garry says: "Dan Brown at his best"
    "Whoa. Clunky, contrived, another Brown cash cow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dan Brown has forged a place in publishing history but not in literature. The story is painfully contrived as Dan Brown reaches for the obtuse, obscure and irrational in a story that barely hangs together. It's clunky and clumsy. It also it has a 'cut and paste' feel when he describes places and things Dantesque. Travel guide stuff. He also has this odd obsession with brands from suits, shoes and glasses. Still, I did buy it. And I did listen to it. Damn.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    In June of 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van while walking along the shoulder of a country road in Maine. Six operations were required to save his life and mend his broken body. When he was finally able to sit up, he immediately started writing. This book - part biography, part a collection of tips for the aspiring writer - is the extraordinary result.

    Karen says: "Part 'How to' part Autobiographical"
    "Pragmatic, practical, no fluff."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this book and have listened to it on three occasions over the years. It tells Steve's story in Steve's way with asides on technique, method and practice. His excoriating views on literary conceits and sloppy writing are a hoot. He despises 'ly' adverbs which is a really good thing actually. Inspiring. And his central advice 'just write' says it all. Really.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (595)
    Performance
    (514)
    Story
    (511)

    Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

    Brodie says: "On the Day we lost Bryce"
    "For Bryce Courtenay fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    His last book and so a truncated conclusion as you may expect given the rapidity of his decline. Have had many enjoyable hours of listening to Bryce's work over the years. Power of One was his first and best in my humble opinion. Vale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cat Who Tailed a Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Lilian Jackson Braun
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    >In this latest installment, prize winning reporter Jim Qwilleran - along with his lovable Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum - solves a mystery that arises when a local banker dies under suspicious circumstances, leaving behind a flashy young widow, an unfinished house-restoration project, and a trail of clues as elusive as a cat burglar in the night....

    Lynn says: "KoKo Still Reigns Supreme!"
    "The formula is getting tired."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series is really just a light stroll over gentle hills in a city park. I've enjoyed "The Cat" series as a diversion - mainly because I like George Guidall's work. However when you are 'writing' each sentence ahead of the narrative then the word formulaic is apt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skippy Dies

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Paul Murray
    • Narrated By Patrick Moy
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Skippy and Ruprecht are having a doughnut-eating race one evening when Skippy turns purple and falls off his chair . . .And so begins this epic, tragic, comic, brilliant novel set in and around Dublin’s Seabrook College for Boys.

    Paul says: "Perfection. Listened to it twice! *****"
    "A mixed bag but worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Patrick Moy is such an outstanding narrator... so much so I was occasionally 'distracted' by his performance. The story is layered and character led and, despite wandering out where the buses don't go, it is a nourishing read with surprises, chuckles and winces. My only issue was it was a story in search of a genre... but perhaps that's what made it interesting. Recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Is It Just Me?

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Miranda Hart
    • Narrated By Miranda Hart
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (219)

    Well hello to you dear audiobook browser. Now I have your attention it would be rude if I didn't tell you a little about my literary feast. So, here is the thing: is it just me or does anyone else find that adulthood offers no refuge from the unexpected horrors, peculiar lack of physical coordination and sometimes unexplained nudity, that accompanied childhood and adolescence? I am proud to say I have a wealth of awkward experiences - from school days to life as an office temp - and here I offer my 18-year-old self (and I hope you, too, dear listener) some much needed caution and guidance on how to navigate life's rocky path.

    Lily says: "Cackle Worthy"
    "Miranda is just delightful..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Miranda played on Australian TV a couple of years ago. Miranda Hart simply demands attention... her quirkyness, her authentic playfulness, her relish in being herself. All of this is found in "Is it just me?"

    A romp. And genuine fun. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Italian Shoes

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Once a successful surgeon, Frederick Welin now lives in self-imposed exile on an island in the Swedish archipelago. Nearly twelve years have passed since he was disgraced for attempting to cover up a tragic mishap on the operating table. One morning in the depths of winter, he sees a hunched figure struggling towards him across the ice. His past is about to catch up with him.

    Colin says: "Mankell shows his humanity again"
    "Mankell shows his humanity again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sean Barrett is a truly gifted Narrator and, once again, he takes Mankell readers on a deeply moving, original and authentic exploration of the human condition. Mankell understands the inner-worlds we all inhabit without being diverted into cliche or indulgence. His descriptions of the Swedish landscape and season augment the narrative beautifully. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • If My Body Is a Temple, Then I Was a Megachurch: My Journey of Losing 132 Pounds with No Exercise

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Scott Davis, Tim Luke, Mark Lowry (foreword)
    • Narrated By Scott Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Spiced with his trademark comedy and self-deprecating humor, Scott Davis serves up a dose of reality about the correlation between the state of our hearts and the location of our waistline. Scott explores the spiritual depths and practical steps to losing significant weight and shows how you can adopt a healthy lifestyle too. Foreword by Christian singer and comedian Mark Lowry.

    Jennifer says: "Wrong Audience"
    "This is not a book but an extended pamphlet."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Fundamentalist Christians who believe god and the devil rule everything


    Has If My Body Is a Temple, Then I Was a Megachurch turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Definitely. There is no place in the Audible catalogue for these proselytizing diatribes - it's not literature or falls into entertainment genres.


    Did Scott Davis do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He read his own words with conviction and understands rhythm and tempo.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyed at the fundamentalist rhetoric whilst advertising a diet management business despite no claims of benefit for his endorsement. As a diet book it suggests eat less, eat healthy foods and take responsibility for planning your daily diet. Astounding insights.


    Any additional comments?

    These sort of 'books' should not be part of the Audible offering. Would you offer books advocating racism, sexism or prejudice?

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful

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