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Simon

Windsor, United Kingdom | Member Since 2002

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 326 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • Hunting Eichmann: Chasing Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Neal Bascomb
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (674)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (388)

    Best-selling author Neal Bascomb has garnered critical acclaim for such riveting nonfiction as Higher and Red Mutiny. Based on extensive interviews and previously classified details, Hunting Eichmann is a compelling account of the relentless hunt for the nefarious Adolf Eichmann.

    Scott says: "A Fascinating Story of Eichmann's Capture"
    "Fascinating, but long winded telling of the story"
    Overall

    Enthralling documentary on one of the, many, monsters from the Third Reich. A monster by his actions but a mouse as a man.
    One criticism and its a big one is the story is very long winded and repetitive. It could have ben recounted in half the time and still be as powerful. Perhaps more time couldve been spent on this trial?

    If you have interest in the topic I would recommend. Excellent narration helped me through this.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Eon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Greg Bear
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (316)

    Perhaps it wasn't from our time, perhaps it wasn't even from our universe, but the arrival of the 300-kilometer long stone was the answer to humanity's desperate plea to end the threat of nuclear war. Inside the deep recesses of the stone lies Thistledown: the remnants of a human society, versed in English, Russian and Chinese. The artifacts of this familiar people foretell a great Death caused by the ravages of war, but the government and scientists are unable to decide how to use this knowledge.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Enjoyable solid Si Fi-30 years old- still topical"
    "Very confusing and disjointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    There is an excruciating amount of detail on the geography, technology and peoples of the world. So much so that even after 5 hours Im horribly confused on who is who, what technology is what. Im very used to technology and sci-fi but this one leaves me muddled.


    Has Eon turned you off from other books in this genre?

    The endless descriptions!


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Performance is good but check out the sample to see if you like his voice. Very deep and gravelly.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes - visuals of this would make it so much easier to follow. Also I assume it would be abridged!


    Any additional comments?

    maybe its me, but give this one a miss, there are so many other classics out there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes: The Heirloom Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (58 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (460)
    Performance
    (425)
    Story
    (435)

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales are rightly ranked among the seminal works of mystery and detective fiction. Included in this collection are all four full-length Holmes novels and more than forty short masterpieces - from the inaugural adventure A Study in Scarlet to timeless favorites like “The Speckled Band” and more. At the center of each stands the iconic figure of Holmes - brilliant, eccentric, and capable of amazing feats of deductive reasoning.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Table of Contents & Audible Part/Chapter Notes"
    "The time flew by"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Complete Sherlock Holmes?

    What is there to say - if you are a fan then having the complete works with wonderful narration is a must.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Watson - its elementary.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Runner: A Sam Dryden Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick Lee
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (148)

    Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she's running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal - to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the 11-year-old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn't know much beyond her own name, Rachel.

    TR Jensen says: "Wow!!! Great Story and Performance"
    "Tech/psych thriller with some heart."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Runner rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Given I've listened to so many I cant rate it in the very best. The character development is shallow for instance, however surprisingly for this genre I did feel connected to the main characters and their relationship. Its an emotional ending (wont say happy or indeed sad) which again is surprising.

    Great narration from Raul Esparza as usual.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rachel and Sam - there arent that many others!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last.


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

    Yes but I wont say!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • One Summer: America 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (110)

    One Summer: America, 1927, is the new book by Britain’s favourite writer of narrative nonfiction, Bill Bryson. Narrated by the man himself, One Summer takes you to the summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world forever. In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day, a semi-crazed sculptor with a plan to carve four giant heads into a mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown, and finished it as the most famous man on Earth.

    Ian says: "Classic Bryson"
    "Bill in usual greatness... but too much baseball!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of One Summer to be better than the print version?

    Yes, Brysons dry narration is always a joy


    Would you be willing to try another book from Bill Bryson? Why or why not?

    I already own all of them


    Have you listened to any of Bill Bryson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Exactly the same as usual - if you like Bryson this is a definite buy.. but if you dont then avoid it!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There are moments of history that are extremely saddening, and Bryson gives his perspective. However most of the book is humorous to laugh out loud.

    It's collection of happenings and events that are loosely tied around one theme - the summer of 1927. It's like having him round for dinner and saying.. tell us a story or two Bill.


    Any additional comments?

    TOO MUCH BASEBALL! I know his Dad was a baseball reporter and Im sure its a fab sport but wayyy too much coverage in this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Strata

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    The Company builds planets. Kin Arad is a high-ranking official of the Company. After 21 decades of living, and with the help of memory surgery, she is at the top of her profession. Discovering two of her employees have placed a fossilised plesiosaur in the wrong stratum, not to mention the fact it is holding a placard that reads "End Nuclear Testing Now", doesn't dismay the woman who built a mountain range in the shape of her initials during her own high-spirited youth.

    Josephine says: "how does this man think of these things?"
    "A miss step for Terry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes as I'm a big Pratchett fan. No as it was, by far, the worst novel he has penned.

    The characters where very thin, not 'believable'. I must admit I didn't really follow the plot. (and on this one occasion Terry lost the plot).

    There where several occasions that sentences just didn't make sense.

    Stephen does a good, though not as great a job as usual

    This is only for die hard fans!


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Child 44

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Rob Smith
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1827)
    Performance
    (706)
    Story
    (705)

    It is a society that is, officially, a paradise. Superior to the decadent West, Stalin's Soviet Union is a haven for its citizens, providing for all of their needs: education, health care, security. In exchange, all that is required is their hard work, and their loyalty and faith to the Soviet State. But now a murderer is on the loose.

    Melvin says: "Terror from all sides."
    "Superb - A rare gem of an audiobook."
    Overall

    Great pacing, excellent characters, involved though not too complex of a plot with a few nice twists. Narration was excellent – I have no idea of the accuracy of the Russian pronunciation however it sounded very authentic. I do not know how historically accurate a view of Stalinist Soviet Union it is – however I know enough that it is certainly believable. Kept me guessing right up to the last minutes.

    Be warned it is an adult book with some very disturbing imagery – especially if you are a parent. There is also coarse, though relevant language throughout. Also remember it is a thriller so there may be some occasions where you need to let relax your believability criteria!

    As an extensive audiobook listener this is one of the best I have heard.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (1329)
    Performance
    (649)
    Story
    (654)

    When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history.

    Karen says: "Great Naration, Great Book"
    "Not his best - too legal/political"
    Overall

    Im definitely a Robert Harris fan. His mix of historical thrillers are excellent. I am no historian and as such am unaware how accurate or otherwise his portrayal of events are.
    This is one of his poorer attempts - of course very similar to the next in the series - Conspsirita. The main reason is the emphasis on not just one, but multiple court room 'dramas'. There is little drama as such but a lot of political intrigue. Fine if you like that. You need to pay attention to the multitude of different characters that come, and go. However narration is perfect and you will become attached to the main 'master and servant'.
    I would give 3.5 stars if I could. Great narration and good enough to finish, but not 'page turning'.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By David Grann
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (809)
    Performance
    (301)
    Story
    (306)

    A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon. After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to find out what happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z.

    Jennifer says: "A Worthy Read for Armchair Explorers"
    "Promising content that doesn't deliver"
    Overall

    As a voracious audible listener Im very familiar with publishers marketing of a title. However in this example its misleading. In effect you will listen to the biography, admittedly of a very interesting character, but its not what is advertised.

    As another reviewer stated..how many times can you say the same thing in different ways? The answer in this case ad infinitum! The story is disjointed and feels in all honesty like a rewriting of someone's memoirs.

    However three stars as the narration and production are excellent.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7311)
    Performance
    (4323)
    Story
    (4356)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Phenominal"
    Overall

    Excellent. Very rarely do I give a 5 star review. However this book deserves it. Great plotline, great pacing, wonderful narration.

    Various comments I read mention the ending. Not every ending has to have a nice ribbon tied around it.. You are left to ponder. What a great thing for a book to do. Maybe there will be a sequel, maybe not. Your mind can wander through the possible scenarios.

    Its relatively techy so if you are a luddite avoid, but its very up to date and real technology. People comment on the far fetched or unbelievable plot.. Its a story not a news report! Do all movies you watch have to be believable? If everybook had to be 'believable' not very much would happen.

    If you like a good hi-tech thriller, with believable characters and occasional accidental heroes this is the one. Worth a risk.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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