The story is up to Peters' usual standard. Unfortunately, the reader seems unable to offer a Welsh accent, and all the male characters sound the same, which caused me a lot of confusion at times. The 13 year old male character sounded like a 6 year old. Poor narration.
Unfortunately, in Australia, we are unable to download the version with the male narrator. Pity.
I should have guessed that listening to Maths is not the way to learn about it! Ideas such as Pascal's triangle are not easily grasped by a spoken description. There is a lot of repetition in this book, concerning the lives of various mathematicians, and how their theories have been read, re-read re worked, and reapplied. Very little of this book was new to me, and I think the title should have read "an introduction to probability theory, with historical references". The populist title used by the author, I don't feel to be a good description of the contents.
Fortunately, I got this book at cut price. I'm glad I didn't pay the original price for it.
This is an adequate rendering of the life and career of England's greatest Naval Commander. However, the reader spits the story out like an angry primary school teacher, eager to go home after a stressful day. Maybe she was short of money and wanted to get to the end of the book as soon as possible, get her pay, and start on her next one. Her speed-reading style also results in her missing the correct intonation in many places. However, despite these annoyances, I managed to reach the end of the 3 hours farily well. Had this been a longer book, I think I may well have got fed up of the reader's style.
In the US, they're allowed a better narrated version of this. In australia, we are stuck with Johanna, probably due to licencing issues. Bless her, she does her best, but has no idea how to approach any of the necessary accents. In some places she rambles, possibly because some of the linguistics of the sentences are a bit complicated for her. Definitely worth a listen, but whoever chose her as the reader, did a poor job of casting, in my opinion.
Well presented and well read. It's a pity that in Australia, we have to put up with Johanna reading some of the others, presumably due to licencing or international copyright issues.
Stephen Thorne is an able reader. However, this particular recording sounds like it has been made piecemeal, on different items of equipment, at different times, in different locations. There is, at times, what sounds like tape hiss, and sometimes background noise is evident. Occasionally, there is a slur in the audio, which sounds like tape slipping over playback heads. I think it needs re-recording for the 21st Century! It's still a much better effort than Johanna's reading, in my humble opinion.
The story is, of course, well written, and executed in impeccable English. Enjoy the atmosphere of the middle ages, and try to ignore the technical shortcomings of this audio book.
I've become interested in middle-age historical fiction since reading ken follett's "pillars" and "world without end". As a teen, I saw a few snippets of Derek Jacobi playing Cadfael in the TV series, so decided to download this book and see if I liked the style and content. It's very different to Ken Follett's style, slower moving and a bit more turgid, but the story is good and the portrayals convincing. The problem is the audio quality. Sometimes I can hear talking in the background, and sometimes the audio sounds compressed, more like a tape than a digital download. Which detracts a bit. But I will read the others.....
I'd heard good things about Terry Pratchett, and had a little knowledge of his work, bits of which I'd come across from reading "Scientific American" many years ago. So I decided to begin reading his works, taking the early ones first. Carpet People was originally written in 1971. Pratchett came back to it and re-wrote a lot of it, which was a good idea, because even after the rewrite, I don't find it an amazing read, particularly after hearing from so many people that Pratchett is a witty and capable author.
The story is about tribes and animals living in a carpet (unsurprisingly), and of course there are parodies of everyday objects which impact upon this two-dimensional world. The characters are a bit basic, and the character development is little more than minimal. The plot is very linear and the surprises which occur are situations rather than sub-plots impacting on the main theme.
Tony Robinson does a good job of trying to accentuate the (sometimes marginal) differences between the tribes and characters. From a humour point of view, there are a few vaguely amusing witty comments and some situations which brought a rather pained smirk to my face.
In a nutshell, a slightly amusing fantasy novel. Pratchett was pretty young when he wrote this one. In no way will this slightly flat balloon put me off reading his other works. 3 stars... barely.
I was pleased to see the NCI providing a podcast about Melanoma, but this was a terrible disappointment.
Firstly, the narrator had a horribly "flat" voice. Also, and rather irritatingly, he lifts the tone of his voice at the end of every sentence, making it sound like a question.
The other problem is the layout of the information. The first 3 minutes is spent reading a list of contents. It seems that this podcast consists of someone slavishly reading through a leaflet. One problem with this is that when one holds a leaflet, one can browse, which is why leaflets are set out in sections. It's much more difficult to browse a podcast, and it would have helped had the author of this horrible travesty, changed things around a bit and put the important information first.
I'm sorry to say that this will put me off listening to other NCI offerings.
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