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Mark

Musician, composer, entertainer. I travel around Australia presenting clinics on drums and percussion. I write music from my home studio. I love film music and salsa music. Love being with Audible and listen constantly to comedy, thrillers etc on my iPhone when I'm setting up my show, packing the van or driving to and from the gigs. It's my friend in my ear!

Sydney, Australia | Member Since 2012

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 40 ratings
  • 232 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2014
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  • Locked On

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (55)

    Although his father had been reluctant to become a field operative, Jack Ryan Jr. wants nothing more. Privately training with a seasoned Special Forces drill instructor, he's honing his skills to transition his work within The Campus from intelligence analysis to hunting down and eliminating terrorists wherever he can - even as Jack Ryan Sr. campaigns for re-election as President of the United States. But what neither father nor son knows is that the political and the personal have just become equally dangerous.

    Amazon Customer says: "Classic Tom Clancy"
    "Not one of the best "Campus" books."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lou Diamond Phillips CANNOT do a Welsh accent! He substitutes a very bad English or a just as ridiculous Irish or Scottish accent in a poor attempt to sound broadly 'British'.
    There is a character who is supposed to be a Welsh fitness trainer early on in the story. He is only a minor character so why not make him a nationality he can do? I'm sure the authors would prefer a small re-write if it meant the listener would stay with their belief of the storyline. This mistake cost me my belief and the story was difficult to take seriously after that. Welsh people don't call other guys "Laddie"! Scots maybe. Perhaps Irish, but if you're that bad at an accent why not change things slightly. No big deal, and then we can read on.
    It's my opinion that the overall integrity of the work of art (the book) is more important than whether the character was Welsh, Irish or Norwegian. As soon as I got to this laughable passage I knew he wasn't Welsh and I was just listening to an Americans idea of what a Welshman sounded like.
    I would like to add that I have a lot of respect for Lou Diamond Phillips. I think he is a very good actor and have admired his work in the past. I have listened to many of his audiobook narrations too and he's very good at telling a story. My criticism is not aimed directly at him. My point is whoever has the final say when a book is adapted for audio should either leave out the joke accents if they are that bad and change the character slightly, especially if it's so inconsequential to the story. Better that than lose credibility, belief and integrity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6976)
    Performance
    (6187)
    Story
    (6248)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Keith says: "Worth the wait!"
    "Very disappointed With this one."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After 11.22.63 I was so pumped up with Stephen King I was ready to tackle another of his very lengthy works. After all, the fabulous time travel story of going back to 1963 and observing Lee Harvey Oswald and the build up to the JFK assassination was so fascinating and superbly written I was willing to trust in the author and in the good reviews I'd read for The Stand. Having just finished this one I have to say it was not in the same league. I thought King missed a lot of opportunities to explore a world where anything you wanted was available behind a shop window and free to take. Outside of a nice moment when Stu organised a cinema experience for his simple travelling companion near to the end, this was hardly explored. The whole embodiment of Good and evil was briefly interesting but not enough for a fifty hour story. At times it was like a daft kids tale or parable and though King is great at characters and did make me believe in some of them, I eventually became indifferent to most of their destinies. The ending was tame and not at all worth waiting for and with such an investment in time listening, was scant payment and small reward. 11.22.63 fairly raced by and was constantly engrossing. It is a master work. The Stand is at best average and felt like 50 long hours.
    Not worth the wait. Try four other titles for your credit. I still have faith in Stephen King so I'm going to try Dumas Key. Fingers crossed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18527)
    Performance
    (16489)
    Story
    (16449)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Absolutely amazing book. First time ever 5-star x3"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What an astonishing book. In 5 years of audiobooks and hundreds of books from every type and genre, this is the best one ever. My first Stephen King book, though I was well aware of his work through the various films, ("The Green Mile" is one of my favourites.)
    11.22.63 or 22.11.63 as we Brits would understand it, is really amazing. First of all the fact that anyone could keep my attention for more than 30 hours is incredible. On the subject of the credible- the story, based on travelling back to the 1960's to try and stop the JFK
    assassination is one I would have thought of as laughable and not really one that could so totally capture my interest for five minutes let alone get me to invest with great pleasure hour after hour of listening to such a wonderful story. The skill of the author first of all for being able to convince me to easily and so completely believe in the concept combined with a narration so expertly convincing that now only hours after finishing the book I already miss the characters and places described in this unreal world.
    I picked this out as I was driving across the vast Australian continent and wanted a long book. Before the first rest stop I realised I was hooked. I have to confess to being slightly shell-shocked at just how much this book meant to me. Simply terrific. I have never seen fit to rate three five stars but if anything deserved it 11.22.63 did.
    Best book I've ever listened to on Audible.
    Made me laugh and cry, made me think in new ways and never once lost interest or my support for the characters. Even in the sub story lines and incidental descriptive scenes the writing is extraordinary. Please, everyone, trust me.
    This book is sensational.
    My sincere thanks to the author and narrator. First class.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mark of the Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (593)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (306)

    When a commercial airliner is blown out of the sky off the East Coast, the CIA scrambles to find the perpetrators. A body is discovered near the crash site with three bullets to the face: the calling card of a shadowy international assassin.

    Dennis says: "Worth your time"
    "Drivel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Awful narration. Gave up on this one when the fourth rate James Stewart impersonation began. What do these guys think a listener will do when they hear that? Wait for the John Wayne character to come along? Not me, I'm off. This narrator joins a growing black list of story tellers to avoid. Rubbish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Equalizer

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Michael Sloan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (161)

    Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

    shelley says: "THE EQUALIZER is truly worthy of an AWARD!!"
    "Lame, over explicit descriptions of weapons."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just say "gun" every now and then. OK we get it, you're another Tom Clancy.
    Not everyone in the world is as familiar or concerned with the make, model and number of every single firearm available. The story is slower for the constant pandering to the US obsession with weapons and the detail is annoying and unnecessary unless you are in the marines.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Toymaker

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Chuck Barrett
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (396)
    Story
    (400)

    Former NTSB Investigator Jake Pendleton faces a dilemma as the line blurs between right and wrong. After his judgment comes into question, Jake is entrusted to his new mentor, an eccentric old man who sees beyond Jake’s flaws. A man who makes ‘toys for spies.’ A man known as The Toymaker. Jake’s first assignment reunites him with Gregg Kaplan in a daredevil mission to rescue a fellow agent held captive in Yemen. He risks his life to stop the first attack of an al Qaeda mastermind.

    shelley says: "Great book"
    "Dreadful book.Never got me hooked."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought I'd try a new author and was ready to enjoy but was disappointed and pleased to eventually get to the end of this one. A plot that was weak and hard to believe. Characters I found hard to care about one way or another and the most irritating attempt to inject a sense of drama by the narrator. Awful. Won't be going back this way.
    I realise I will be in the minority here but I have to say that Scott Brick has read his last book for me. I cannot bear to listen to his kindergarten style of story telling any more. The cadence and rhythm and the annoying way he goes down in tone at the end of every sentence. No more Scott, but thanks for all the ones I enjoyed in the past.

    My advice,for what it's worth; Give this a miss.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Hard Way: Jack Reacher 10

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (65)

    Late at night in a New York café army-cop-turned-drifter Jack Reacher orders coffee in a cup made of foam, not china, so that he can move on at a moment’s notice.He owns nothing, carries less, has never encountered a female colleague he can’t bed, or a case he can’t solve.But now Reacher is confronted by a situation so disturbing and deceptive that the truth eludes him.Has he painted targets on the good guys’ backs?So Reacher starts over at square one. He sweats the details and works the clues.

    Amazon Customer says: "Excellent - couldn't put it 'down'."
    "Awful narration spoiled a good book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lost all interest in this one when a female character called Palling was bewilderingly given an appalling voice by Mr Harding. I got into audiobooks listening to Jeff Harding reading the Jason Bourne books from Robert Ludlum and only had great memories of that experience. How can a professional actor and voice man possibly think that by merely whispering he is interpreting the character of this woman?
    It really is such a stupid and silly voice he uses, it was just not possible to maintain the interest in this, otherwise entertaining story. Belief in the story is everything in an audiobook and this rediculous voice shattered any chance I had for taking it seriously.
    His own normal straight male voice would have been so much more believable and easier to follow. Not only was his idea of a sexy female voice as daft as a brush, it was so quiet it was hard to understand at times. I'm surprised and disappointed in the narrator and will be careful not to make the mistake of buying any more of his work. No complaints about the story, author, or Jack Reacher though. I just hope future narrations will not be so ludicrously flippant and unbelievable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4272)
    Performance
    (3802)
    Story
    (3800)

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "Terrific insight and empathy. Beautifully written."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was aware of a 'buzz' surrounding this book when it was first released on Audible but thought "why would I buy a book about a guy and a dog? " I recently went browsing for something new and decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did. This book is really great. The first few chapters are especially refreshing and show a wonderful insight by the author when describing what an animal thinks and how it works. The interaction between the human and his new K9 partner, both of which have issues and are recovering from mental and physical trauma, is terrific. Together they solve the crime which initially killed the guys original, human, partner.
    This is an unusual but thoroughly entertaining story and I can recommend it to my fellow Audibles. Thumbs up!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Parsifal Mosaic

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert Ludlum
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Michael Havelock watched as his partner and lover, Jenna Karas, double agent, was gunned down by his own agency. There's nothing left for him but to get out, quit the game. Until, in one frantic moment on a crowded railway platform in Rome, Havelock sees Jenna. She's alive - and suddenly Havelock is a marked man, on the run from both US and Russian assassins. Racing around the globe after his beautiful betrayer, Havelock is trapped in a massive mosaic of treachery created by a top-level mole.

    Mark says: "217 Hours too long"
    "217 Hours too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought it would NEVER end. So disappointing from one of my all time favourite writers. Why I kept on waiting for things to get better I just don't know. I learned an important lesson with this one. "If it's boring and confusing, it's OK to stop listening.
    The Parsifal Mosaic was ridiculously over complicated and at times almost impossible to comprehend. I've never used the re-wind button so much on an audio book. I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on and who that particular character was and was he a 'goody' or a 'baddie?'
    I felt it was coming from an author who was being held prisoner somewhere and being forced to write on regardless of any consideration for the poor listener.
    Unless you are struggling to get to sleep at night avoid this book like the plague.
    Dreadful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Threat Vector

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3756)
    Performance
    (3286)
    Story
    (3305)

    Jack Ryan has only just moved back into the Oval Office when he is faced with a new international threat. An aborted coup in the People's Republic of China has left President Wei Zhen Lin with no choice but to agree with the expansionist policies of General Su Ke Quiang. They have declared the South China Sea a protectorate and are planning an invasion of Taiwan. The Ryan administration is determined to thwart China’s ambitions, but the stakes are dangerously high as a new breed of powerful Chinese anti-ship missiles endanger the US Navy's plans to protect the island.

    Jean says: "Spies and a counter espionage"
    "Average thriller. Disappointingly dull."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jack Ryan and son Jack Jnr. failed to grab my attention this time in what I thought was one of the weaker books in this series. The plot was a B movie script of Chinese officials duping their leader into almost going to war with the USA. It really needed someone from Jacks Academy to leap into Beijing wearing a cape, with their hands on their spread hips.
    The ending involved using miffed local boy scouts and girl guides to hold off the Chinese Army whilst Jack Jnr. knocked off the baddie.
    No wonder I kept falling asleep during this one.
    PS. Jack - stop getting girlfriends. They keep betraying you son.
    On a brighter note, LDP did a good job as narrator with what I thought was a dull story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Round The Horne: The Very Best Episodes, Volume 2

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By BBC Audiobooks
    • Narrated By uncredited
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Another volume of the best episodes from the classic BBC radio comedy series, which took comedy to a new level of outrageousness in the late 1960s. Kenneth Horne is the suave host, whilst around him orbit those no-holds-barred satellites Kenneth Williams, Betty Marsden, Hugh Paddick, and Bill Pertwee. Regular characters Julian and Sandy and Rambling Syd Rumpo make a number of appearances, in amongst the usual comedy collage of sketches, songs, spoof series, and news reports.

    Mark says: "Fabulosa! Great show."
    "Fabulosa! Great show."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    J. Peasmold Gruntfuttock { Kenneth Williams ) is hysterically funny. Can't get enough of him. Kenneth Horne, a first rate host and central figure. All the cast is great.

    This show is terrific. A great British radio comedy with fantastic host, characters, players and script writers. I'll be repeatedly listing to this show, and Tony Hancock and Dads Army until I die. Great stuff!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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