Quality has varied since the first, stupendously funny Ricky Gervais show podcasted 13 free episodes. Only the most desperate fans (like me) were happy with Season 5, although it was at least better than the terrible Season 2.
This installment (call it Season 6, part 1?) is good, and makes me suspect that the upcoming installments in this series on other topics will be equally good stuff.
If you are new to the Ricky Gervais show, do NOT start with this one. You can pick up the complete Season 1 on Audible for a very reasonable price and it is well worth it, plus you get context that makes later stuff funnier.
Audible lists this book in the 5-7 years old age category, and was among the top rated books listed as for that age group. I played it for my 5 year old twins without pre-listening to it. I have had to explain murder, death in childbirth, deliberate infanticide, profanity (mild profanity for me but nothing I say in front of my kids) and various kinds of cruelty. I have to say in all fairness, I listened to it myself and enjoyed it (when I didn't have to worry about the kids), but as a book I bought for my kids to listen to in the car, it gets a bad rating.
I thought of it as similar to how I think of violent video games. I enjoy them privately, when the kids are in bed but do not think them appropriate for small children.
No. I love this stuff. I enjoyed it personally and think the twins will enjoy these books when they are older.
I actually loved the performance. My only objection is the material for the 5-7 age category.
Horror (that my kids were hearing it and really wanted to keep listening). My daughter was frightened for Hiccup and was upset she couldn't finish listening the the death contest between him and the witch, because she wanted to know if she'd be killed.
Simply remove this as a recommended choice for 5-7 year olds. The books are clearly MUCH different than the movie (as often happens) and clearly are not written for little kids...
Quite a lot of the Discworld books were only availabe in abridged versions in north america. Was very very happy to see that has been remedied. I enjoyed Reaper Man very much, both the story itself and the Narration by Nigel Planer, whom I have found to be excellent reading these stories. I'm going to be using a lot of credits now....
I got this book when it was only 1 credit as a promo. Initially it was on the strength of him being the co-author on the last Wheel of time book(s). It was definitely a slow start, he obvious is a long book writer like say Tad Williams. I liked that there was a bit of mystery and a somewhat dystopian world, but was glad it wasn't as thoroughly dark and depressing as say the Game of Thrones books (which I also liked, I will rush to say).
It is definitely for those who are avowed fantasy genre enthusiasts. You have to love SF/fantasy to love this book I think.
With those caveats in mind, I'm giving it 4 stars, and would give 4.5 if that was possible. 5 stars IMHO is saved for the exception, and I rarely give it out. The greatest recommendation I can make is that I will willingly spend 1 or 2 credits for the next volume.
I am perhaps spoiled by the length and fairly consistent humour of the first season of the Ricky Gervais podcast. It was quite lengthy, and fairly consistently hilarious.
To be fair, Season five is definitely funny, and for those who feel bad for Karl from time to time, it is nice to see Ricky and Steven get their share as well.
Sound quality, as always is excellent. Generally funny content. Karl seems to be getting wiser, which makes him stand up for himself more effectively even if we do miss his riduculously bizarre ideas and assumptions.
For those who heard all four previous seasons, I would compare it in quality to Season 3, definitely it is better than season 2.
Perhaps the most telling line, though, comes near the start of the file, when they are having an abortive start to the recording session and after some discussion about whether people should have to pay for such crap (forget the exact quote, might have been "drivel") Karl says something like "don't worry, we'll leave this bit out if we have enough material. If people are hearing this, then it didn't go well".
I suspect that about summed it up. They got together, had a few laughs, but whatever tensions have been keeping them out of the studio until now must have limited the amount of content generated.
Well, that's my theory anyway. Can't complain about the price, only a couple of bucks, but definitely not worth an audible credit.
Anyone who has never heard them before should start with Season 1, it is their best material and is a lot of content for the buck.
I found Celebration of Discipline a great blessing when we did it our our adult small group, and I'm always looking for more edifying content to listen to while driving, at the gym and doing chores. This book is I suppose a bit of a dumbing down compared to "Celebration", but in a lot of ways it will resonate more for people like myself who struggle to integrate our faith daily and are a long way from being able to do spiritual retreats regularly or fasting, etc.
The author shares a lot of personal examples, which are either very helpful and human or a tad narcissistic depending on one's mood and personality. For me, I found it generally helpful and after having listened to it carefully once or twice, I now listen to parts of it at least once a week so as to remind myself of what I should be working on it my life.
In short, the book is a blessing for the younger or modern person, as it challenges us to be Christ-like in real, North American day-to-day life.
Basically this breaks down to the difference between the story and narration, which are great, and the sound quality and intro, which are bad.
Good: Terry Pratchett is dead funny, and the narrator does a great job.
Bad: I suspect this is a digitization of an older audiobook format. Volumes go up and down from section to section, and they've used a chime noise to designate a change of scene/chapter that's a bit annoying. Listening to the whole book means adjusting your iPod volume up and down every 10 to 20 minutes as the next sections volume will likely be different from the last.
Worst: Just skip the first minute. Terry Pratchett apparently thinks we're all stupid or criminal and feels the need to have someone nag us for the first minute about not sharing/reselling his work by reading us portions of the Audible liscence we obviously already agreed to.
Overall: Good book, worth the audible credit and fun enough you can listen to it more than once :)
Generally good (for the good bits, see last paragraph).
As others have noted, the intro, apparently specifically requested by Terry Pratchett, is pretty offensive. Yes, yes, we get it, you're concerned about your digital rights! I reckon you should just fast-forward the 90 seconds or so right at the start, especially if you don't like being lectured like schoolboy.
Pauses between chapters are a tad too long, leaving too much dead air. There were quite a few times at first when I had to take my iPod out of my pocket and look at it, assuming that such a long stretch of dead air was my iPod being accidently paused or running out of battery.
On the up side, this was a good book in print, and is equally good in this format. Takes up a manageable amount of iPod space, sound is generally good and the narrator does a great job of voices, individualizing characters and making the book fun. In fact, I must say the narration absolutely did the book justice, something that can't always be said for books of quality SF/F
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