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Martin

Yuen Long NT, Hong Kong | Member Since 2003

57
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 155 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • The Planets

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Dava Sobel
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    The sun's family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. Sobel explores the planets' origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history. This intimate account is filled with fascination, beauty, and surprise.

    Ethan says: "Superb story of our changing views of the planets"
    "Eclipsed"
    Overall

    Like some of the other reviewers, I liked “Longitude” very much and so perhaps found “Planets” more disappointing than I should have. However, the science is often weak, the prose style grating at times (if you want to say that a planet has no atmosphere, just say it rather than that, “It lacks the aegis of air”) and the narrator sounds comatose. How some one who made watches interesting can make planets boring is a mystery, but this book manages it. Bill Bryson’s “Short History of Nearly Everything” is far, far better.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By G. J. Meyer
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (506)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (450)

    The First World War is one of history’s greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed 20 million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today. World War I is unique in the number of questions about it that remain unsettled. After more than 90 years, scholars remain divided on these questions, and it seems likely that they always will.

    Andrew Pilecki says: "Excellent Overview of the "Overshadowed" War"
    "Excellent work of history, beautifully narrated."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Without question.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A World Undone?

    The short 'background' segments weaved in to the main narrative.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, but on starting to write this review I looked at the running time and couldn't believe it was so long: it flew by for me.


    Any additional comments?

    The construction of the narrative and quality of the narration made it one of the best Audible history books I've listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Second World War, Part One: The Phoney War to Stalingrad

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Antony Beevor
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    The Second World War began in August, 1939, on the edge of Manchuria, and ended there exactly six years later with the Soviet invasion of northern China. The war in Europe appeared completely divorced from the war in the Pacific and China, and yet events on opposite sides of the world had profound effects. Using the most up-to-date scholarship and research, and writing with clarity and compassion, Beevor assembles the whole picture in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific.

    F-M says: "Expected more from Antony Beevor"
    "Superb and enthralling - highly recommended."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Second World War, Part One: The Phoney War to Stalingrad rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Excellent Audible history - up there with the rude boys.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator is excellent. This is a long listen, so the narration is especially important and Sean Barrett's clarity, diction and expression are first class.


    Any additional comments?

    The mix of grand strategic overview mixed with the words of soldiers and civilians make this brilliantly written history extremely engrossing. I'm eagerly looking forward to Part 2.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • You Are Not a Gadget: Being Human in an Age of Technology

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jaron Lanier
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (65)

    Jaron Lanier, a Silicon Valley visionary since the 1980s, was among the first to predict the revolutionary changes the World Wide Web would bring to commerce and culture. Now, in his first book, written more than two decades after the web was created, Lanier offers this provocative and cautionary look at the way it is transforming our lives for better and for worse.

    Ahmed says: "Thought Provoking"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    This is a thought-provoking listen, helped by an excellent narrator. Mr. Lanier's expertise makes his skepticism about Web 2.0 culture all the more interesting, but he never rants or preaches. His insistence on the primacy of the individual and of individual creativity in the face of crowd-sourcing and aggregation is particularly convincing and timely.
    Warmly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Ireland

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jonathan Bardon
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (44)

    In the wake of its 30th birthday celebrations in 2006, BBC Radio Ulster marked the beginning of a new broadcasting era by embarking on the station's most ambitious project to date: a recounting of the history of Ireland.

    Anne says: "Three and a half?"
    "Good but..."
    Overall

    ...hearing the phrase, "This is a short history of Ireland in 240 episodes" 240 times will drive most people insane. I made it up to about 40 before giving up. This was doubly frustrating as the content was enjoyable and informative. Surely these "links" could have been expunged before turning a radio series in to an audiobook.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Only You Can Save Mankind: Johnny Maxwell, Book 1

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Tony Robinson
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    As the mighty alien fleet from the very latest computer game thunders across the computer screen, Johnny prepares to blow them into the usual million pieces. And they send him a message. We surrender. They're not supposed to do that! They're supposed to die. And computer joysticks don't have "Don't Fire" buttons...It's hard enough trying to save Mankind from the Galactic Hordes. It's even harder trying to save the Galactic Hordes from Mankind. But it's only a game, isn't it. Isn't it?

    Taylor says: "Short, Sweet, and Entertaining"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    This is an earlier work by Terry Pratchett and - unlike the "DiscWorld" novels - firmly rooted in contemporary planet earth. It kept me and my kids (12 & 16) entertained and laughing on a long car journey. The narration is beautifully judged and the whole thing shows that the mark of good writing for children is that it can be enjoyed by adults too. For those who have not yet sampled the delights of Pratchett's other books and for those who want to stimulate a love of reading in their kids, this is a great buy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Assassination Vacation

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Conan O'Brien, Stephen King, Dave Eggers, and others
    Overall
    (1989)
    Performance
    (480)
    Story
    (472)

    Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

    Rachel says: "extremely entertaining and informative"
    "Brilliant!"
    Overall

    This is superb: funny, scholarly and fascinating. Ms. Vowell?s journey in the footsteps of presidential assassins is one of the best books I?ve downloaded from Audible.

    28 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Gore Vidal
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht, Gore Vidal
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (43)

    Volumes have been written about George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, but no previous work captures the intimate and vital details the way Inventing a Nation does. Vidal's consummate skill takes you into the minds and private rooms of these great men, illuminating their opinions of one another and their concerns about crafting a workable democracy.

    Qbook says: "Cynical But Good"
    "Vintage Vidal"
    Overall

    Caustic, witty, scholarly and highly entertaining, Mr. Vidal's book paints a vivid portrait of the post-revolutionary political landscape and the characters who inhabited it. The author delights in drawing parallels with current political and constitutional issues, from the Homeland Security Act to Tony Blair's rise to power. While this may annoy some listeners, it never gets in the way of a pacey narrative that is very well narrated.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Looking for Alaska

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Peter Jenkins
    • Narrated By Peter Jenkins, Rebekah Jenkins
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (27)

    Looking for Alaska is Peter's account of eighteen months spent traveling over twenty thousand miles in tiny bush planes, on snow machines and snowshoes, in fishing boats and kayaks, on the Alaska Marine Highway and the Haul Road. Hearing and living the amazing stories of many Alaskans from Barrow to Craig, Seward to Deering, and everywhere in between, Peter gets to know this place in a way that only he can.

    KPS says: "good yarn, poor delivery"
    "Very Cold Mountains"
    Overall

    This is a fascinating piece of travel writing/journalism and very well narrated. It focuses upon the stories of those who choose to spend their lives in the harsh and difficult climate of Alaska, whether their families have lived there for centuries or are recent arrivals.

    The author clearly shares the infatuation with the landscape and people that leads many Alaskans to strive so hard for the privilege simply of living there, and he invokes the State's beauty and allure with insight and sensitivity. The pieces about the spiritual relationship between native people and the land can go on a bit, but this is a fine and entertaining travel book, highly recommended. Like all good travel writing it makes you want to drop everything and go there.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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