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Stephen

Whitstable, United Kingdom | Member Since 2003

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Lancaster and York: The Wars of the Roses

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Maggie Mash
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Lancater and York is a riveting account of the Wars of the Roses, from beloved historian Alison Weir. The war between the houses of Lancaster and York was characterised by treachery, deceit, and bloody battles. Alison Weir's lucid and gripping account focuses on the human side of history. At the centre of the book stands Henry VI, the pious king whose mental instability led to political chaos, and his wife Margaret of Anjou, who took up her arms in her husband's cause and battled in a violent man's world.

    Neil Chisholm says: "Medieval Murder and Mayhem"
    "Clear, engaging, and fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alison Weir has that rare gift of making the convoluted and confusing seem clear and straightforward. She also brings various of the key personalities to life, reminding us that in this violent era,, it was as much people's foibles as glorious leadership, that forged countries.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Brief History of Britain 1485-1660: Brief Histories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ronald Hutton
    • Narrated By Roger Davis
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (20)

    From the death of Richard III on Bosworth Field in 1485 to the execution of Charles I, after the Civil Wars of 1642-48, England was transformed by two Dynasties. Firstly the Tudors, who won the crown on the battlefield and changed both the nature of kingship but also the nation itself. England became a Protestant nation and began to establishment itself as a trading power; facing down impossible odds it defeated its enemies on land and sea.

    Reuel says: "excellent history, balanced perspective"
    "Interesting and engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's not much about on the Tudors and English Civil War - this covers both: Brings us up to date with historical thinking; tells the story of each monarch, and I was left feeling invigorated, engaged, and edified!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Guns of August

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (443)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (387)

    Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

    Chrissie says: "Pay attention!"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A really fascinating view of all the relevant events leading up to the start of the horrors of trench warfare. There are so many people, and the events so complicated, that her ability to make it comprehensible is very impressive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Classical Mythology: The Greeks

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Peter Meineck
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (79)

    Through the study of these time-honored myths, the Greek heroes and gods - including Heracles, Zeus, Achilles, Athena, Aphrodite, and others - leap from the page in all their glorious splendor. The following lectures are not only an entertaining guide to Greek mythology, but a fascinating look into the culture and time that produced these eternal tales.

    Billy Barker says: "Loved it!"
    "It has a lecture on Gender in Greek Myths."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Peter Meineck and/or the narrator?

    It depends what it was about. He narrates really very well indeed.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    He has this weird approach, generally, which seems to leap from "myths can't be taken literally because they're only myths" to fairly detailed extrapolation of the social behaviour of the day from the said myths.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When he, an ex-Royal Marine, got the date of the WW1 Gallipoli campaign wrong!


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

    There've been loads of movies using the Greek myth stories.


    Any additional comments?

    Generally great, but a bit weirdly obsessed with gender issues.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Legion

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Valerio Massimo Manfredi
    • Narrated By Martin Shaw
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The story opens on the day that the Western Roman Empire collapses finally in 470 AD, as the last emperor of Rome is encamped protected by the Nova Invicta Legion. All is lost in the space of a few minutes as a horde of Barbarians sweep through the camp in the fog, kill the Imperial family, and take the young emperor captive. The Roman Empire is in ruins. But all is not lost. From the dust of battlefields emerges a small team of invincible warriors: The Last Legion.

    Stephen says: "Nothing really to do with a Roman legion"
    "Nothing really to do with a Roman legion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Last Legion?

    I thought that it was going to be about a Roman Legion at the end of empire. It was about a guy who'd apparently been in a legion.


    What was most disappointing about Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s story?

    The characters are a bit thin, it's not in the least bit evocative of extraordinary times.


    What does Martin Shaw bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Martin Shaw can make an 'Items for sale' listing sound interesting.


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

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    The book was a really good idea - there is space for another version.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Simon Dunstan, Gerrard Williams
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (117)

    When Truman asked Stalin in 1945 whether Hitler was dead, Stalin replied bluntly, "No." As late as 1952, Eisenhower declared: "We have been unable to unearth one bit of tangible evidence of Hitler's death." What really happened? Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams have compiled extensive evidence - some recently declassified - that Hitler actually fled Berlin and took refuge in a remote Nazi enclave in Argentina.

    Shyam says: "A Very Bizarre Little Audiobook"
    "Not History.... probably"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Grey Wolf in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging unproved idea


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Grey Wolf?

    Hitler was a forgettable little old man, rather in everyone's way.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The most interesting was the scene, and reasoning, behind the idea that the top Nazis fled, rather than die in the bunker.

    It's well established that the SS robbed billions of dollars from almost anything that wasn't nailed down, and much that was. This was done, we're told, after they realised that they were going to lose. So why was there no escape route for Hitler? It always seemed a bit weird. Despotic leaders tend not to be the suicidal type.

    This book is merely a story of the creation of the escape route, the escape, and the life in S. America. There's no evidence provided beyond claims of conversations with people who claimed to have overheard things. I might be doing them an injustice to some extent as this is, after all, an audiobook, and I didn't look at the bibliography, if there is one.

    There are checkable claims (the report from the Russian officer tasked with finding the body, for example).





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

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed listening to it. I usually enjoy these sorts of

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Timescape

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble, Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    In a future wracked by environmental catastrophe and social instability, physicist John Renfrew devises a longshot plan to use tachyons - strange, time-traveling particles - to send a warning to the past. In 1962, Gordon Bernstein, a California researcher, gets Renfrew's message as a strange pattern of interference in an experiment he's conducting.

    Mike Schultz says: "An enjoyable book with problems"
    "Thoroughly enjoyed it"
    Overall

    ... but then I read it when it came out - I found it in a friends house.
    It's a grim view of the 'future', but it has the feel of UK in the 1970s.
    It's the style of sci-fi that I prefer, lacking wizzo tech, and lacking wizzo social stuff: Just a premise, and see where you go.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • We Could Do Worse: A Millennial Collection of Alternate Histories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Larry Niven, Howard Waldrop, Harry Turtledove, and others
    • Narrated By Richard Gilliland, Yancy Butler
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Gary says: "Mediocre"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall

    I'm a great fan of what-ifs, so I bought this without even reading the reviews!
    Most of the stories are not 'what-ifs' as I understand the genre, i.e. the change in the past, in most of these stories, have no effect on the future. When you listen to them, it's a bit odd, you're left thinking 'er, so what?'.
    Personally, I didn't find any of of them evocative enough to make up for the lack of plot interest.
    My most recent 'what-if' is SS-GB, which I did enjoy!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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