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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

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 194 titles in library
  • 30 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
    (60)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (52)

    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.

    Wayne 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 Toymaker

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Chuck Barrett
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (321)

    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 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hard Way: Jack Reacher 10

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (59)

    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.

    Lynda 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
    (4082)
    Performance
    (3642)
    Story
    (3639)

    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
    (3533)
    Performance
    (3090)
    Story
    (3106)

    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
  • Forced to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (1611)
    Performance
    (1238)
    Story
    (1241)

    Bravery. Honor. Sacrifice. These are more than mere words to trained Marine sniper Nathan McBride. He’s never backed away from danger and he’s not about to start now, even if it means confronting the cold-blooded interrogator who tortured him to the brink of death more than a decade ago.

    1BookJ says: "Awsome sequel!!!"
    "Lot's of action. Ruined by poor narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine a movie version of this thriller and doing the casting.
    The lead, Nathan McBride would be a lot of fun. (John Wayne?) A bit late now.
    Hollywood's elite action men could all give it a go. ( Maybe not Tom Cruise, Nathan McBride is 6ft 5".)
    A different story when it comes to the leading lady / love interest ("Holly"- tough guy Nathan McBride's girlfriend) 'A real looker' according to the author. She would be harder to cast. Carol Channing is the voice Dick Hill used for her and it sort of ruined the whole story for me. She's in her 90's now so I don't think she'd be too active, bless her. The voice was so comical it was very hard to take seriously. I found it hard to maintain my belief in the plot or storyline. This, along with some very poor 'serious acting' in the dramatic scenes when NB decides that good wins out over evil near the end, and a distinct lack of breath at the end of any long sentences ( I hope I'm wrong but I think Mr Hill needs to see a doctor.) mean I won't be buying any more audiobooks with his narration, sorry.

    As for the characters and plot, they were good enough, but when you can't believe in the characters, the battle is lost. To his credit, Nathan McBride and Harve, his sidekick, were gritty and believable. So was the despicable Latin torturer. Well done for those voices Dick. It must be hard to do women's voices without sounding daft I suppose, so I sympathize somewhat. I'm prepared to give a little bit of license when it comes to getting women to sound 'sexy' or feminine when you have a voice that sounds like gravel in a bucket, but this was akin to using a Mickey Mouse voice or sucking on Helium before she spoke. In audiobooks it's so important not to have the characters sound ridiculous Not a consideration in the print form. Unconvincing to say the least.

    To sum up: Not one of the best Nathan McBride books. My recommendation? Skip this one unless you simply have to read them all.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Michael Palin: Full Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Palin
    • Narrated By Michael Palin
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    The third and most ambitious of Michael Palin's adventures is a voyage of epic proportions - the circumnavigation of the Pacific Rim. He travels for almost a year through the 18 countries that border the world's largest ocean, and is forced to negotiate mountains, plunging gorges, cross glaciers and dodge icebergs. Volcanoes also mark Palin's journey. He climbs one which has freshly erupted and follows great rivers like the Yangtze and the Amazon to some of the most remote places on earth.

    Mark says: "Great fun travelling the world with Michael Palin"
    "Great fun travelling the world with Michael Palin"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A lovely man who gets the best reactions from people of all nations. It's great to share in his travels. The journey is entertaining and the world seems a little more accessible when you tag along with Michael. I've been 'along for the ride' with him for over 20 years and never miss a trip. All the interesting people Michael meets know they are not being taken advantage of. His interviewees are at ease and never feel threatened or suspicious. Michael Palin is honest and never gets his laughs at anyone Else's expense. That's why you can trust him to entertain without exploitation. On his travels the focus is on the story and not on him. His humility is his big advantage over others who concentrate on being the stars of the show. Michael makes sure everyone else is the star. Kudos MP I've been a fan since I was a kid. Loved your Python days. Loved your career since the 80's too.
    If you like travel, interesting people and geographically based tales served up with humour and a sympathetic ear check out any of Michael s great travel books.
    This one sees him traveling 'Full Circle' right around the Pacific Rim and visiting many countries along the way.
    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Deadly Sin

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Lawrence Sanders
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (120)

    The First Deadly Sin made him a success. The Tenth Commandment made him today's best-selling suspense novelist. Now Lawrence Sanders presents his biggest and best ever - the nonstop thriller about a "Hotel Ripper" stalking New York's nightside with a Swiss Army knife, and the retired cop named Edward X. Delaney determined to catch him. Or the killer.

    Joe says: "The best book in a fantastic series"
    "The Third Dreary Sin."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The First Deadly Sin was my first Lawrence Sanders and I was really impressed. I bought the next two and although the Second Deadly Sin was not in the same league as the original, it was still enjoyable.
    The Third Dreadful Sin was as dreary as the mixed up murderess with the menstrual problem and was hard going indeed. If the first book was in techni-colour then this was an old black and white, no, make that a sepia flop. No bite, no action and nothing to grab ones attention. I actually found myself thinking " Oh no, isn't this over yet " towards the end and really couldn't have cared if the ending had been torn out or omitted.
    In the rainbow colours of the mystery and thriller genres this was ...beige at best. Bland, dull and lifeless. Don't waste your time yet alone your money. Thumbs well and truly down.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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