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SJS

Member Since 2011

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 178 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Cabin Pressure

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By John Finnemore
    • Narrated By Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, Benedict Cumberbatch
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (390)

    John Finnemore (Dead Ringers & Mitchell & Webb) has written this brilliant new sitcom starring Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam & Benedict Cumberbatch. Cabin Pressure is set in a small airline business. The flipside of the glamorous world of international airlines.

    Dawn says: "Fly away on MJN air with these lovable characters-"
    "As Arthur would say: Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This radio program is hilarious. The writing, the premise and the cast are excellent. I just wish there were loads more than three six-episode seasons. All the episodes are good but I have a particular fondness for the first as a marvelous showcase for Martin's dithering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Industrial Revolution

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    From electric lights to automobiles to the appliances that make our lives easier at work and at home, we owe so much of our world to the Industrial Revolution. In this course, The Great Courses partners with the Smithsonian - one of the world's most storied and exceptional educational institutions - to examine the extraordinary events of this period and uncover the far-reaching impact of this incredible revolution.

    SJS says: "Fascinating and very well presented"
    "Fascinating and very well presented"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the third course by Professor Allitt that I've listened to. The courses are very well organized and I find his lectures extremely engaging. He does a good job of presenting a balanced picture of both the good and bad, the admirable and the deplorable effects of the Industrial Revolution, although he does share his belief that the benefits vastly outweigh the costs (which I agreed with before and after listening to the course). I particularly like how he incorporates primary sources-- letters, newspaper articles or fiction of the time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, The Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Edward Dolnick
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1064)
    Performance
    (800)
    Story
    (813)

    The Clockwork Universe is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with natures most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.

    Alison says: "The Royal Society comes alive."
    "The ideas and the times are well explained"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of my favorite types of books: history of science. I think the subtitle is misleading because there wasn't much about the Royal Society. Instead the book describes the scientific and mathematical questions of the 1600's and the men who grappled with them. There were many great details that I had not known.

    Other reviewers complained about the narrator, and I have to agree. He has a nice voice, though I think his Brooklyn accent is not the best match for the book. But it's really his delivery that's the problem. He adds a lot of spin to convey how ridiculous things are. A calmer and more detached tone would have served the material better.

    Nevertheless, the book was just my thing, and I have to give it top marks despite the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By John Taylor
    • Narrated By Benedict Cumberbatch
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (145)

    An Inscrutable Masquerade', 'The Conundrum of Coach 13', 'The Trinity Vicarage Larceny' and 'The 10.59 Assassin'. Inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories, John Taylor has written four more mysteries featuring the world’s greatest detective. Read by acclaimed actor Benedict Cumberbatch, these new adventures share all the suspense of the original tales.

    Janette says: "Cumberbatch is a great Sherlock Holmes"
    "stories are uneven but performance is excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Doyle's stories weren't all spectacular and neither are these. In that sense they fit into the canon perfectly well. My favorite, mystery-wise, is the last one, which seems like a case only Sherlock Holmes could solve. The first one isn't even a proper mystery-- it's just Watson not knowing what Holmes is up to.

    I don't mind admitting I bought this for the lovely narrator. You don't get to hear his natural voice too much, since the stories are narrated by Watson and he has a certain gruff and pompous tone for the good doctor. He also delivers an impressive array of accents, including American and British from a variety of regions and classes. Cumberbatch makes it really entertaining. I listened to it twice and expect to listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By John Finnemore
    • Narrated By AudioGO Ltd
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (229)

    Stephanie Cole, Benedict Cumberbatch & Roger Allam star in the fourth series of the hit sitcom about the tiny charter airline for whom no job is too small, but many, many jobs are too difficult. By John Finnemore (The News Quiz, Mitchell & Webb).

    Mary says: "Laugh out loud"
    "the best yet!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're considering buying this you're probably already a fan, right? I'll just say that this season contains two episodes (Vaduz and Wokingham) with plot lines that fans absolutely yearned for. Other highlights include another Birling Day, Douglas sincerely calling Martin a genius, Herc and Carolyn at the beach, some new twists on Yellow Car, everyone spends the night sleeping on Gertie... The whole season is basically a nonstop highlight reel, actually.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The World until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (290)

    Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence.

    Barbara says: "A visit with our ancient ancestors"
    "Fascinating!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a great fan of Diamond and I enjoyed this book a lot and learned from it. The topic is one I've thought of often-- the world has recently changed so much (cell phones, Internet, pavement, airplanes, cars, movies, television, immense variety of food, medicine) but people haven't changed. Our basic needs are the same and it's not clear how well modern society fulfills some of them even while other needs are satisfied beyond the dreams of our ancestors. The two things that weren't excellent were (a) the section on diet. This is a topic that has been written about extensively all over the place so there wasn't anything new as there was in other sections and (b) the narrator was very good but not, I felt, a good match to the book, since he sounded like a young man (30s or 40s), yet the book was written in the first person by Diamond who mentioned repeatedly that he's 75 years old. I think a narrator with an older but still energetic sound would have fit better. Those minor points aside, I loved the book and recommend it highly.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3125)
    Performance
    (2784)
    Story
    (2790)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Very very long pilgrimage"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If not for Jim Broadbent I would not have finished this book. His narration was excellent. The story, I felt, just went on and on and on. Revelations were withheld until I didn't care anymore. The story was never terribly realistic, but that was OK, it was kind of a fairytale. But after a certain point it became just silly.

    There were some funny moments. Still, not recommended by me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9348)
    Performance
    (8403)
    Story
    (8550)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
    "classic story, didn't like the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this ahead of the release of the first movie, since it had been decades since I read it and I barely remembered anything. The story was charming and clever and I really enjoyed it. The narrator didn't really work for me. The character voices were not at all what I imagined and I never got used to it. That is a personal issue, however, and I'm sure many listeners would appreciate the narration. In any case, I tolerated it and was happy to have an unabridged version to listen to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 3

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Finnemore
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (279)

    Stephanie Cole, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Roger Allam star in the first series of the hit sitcom about the tiny charter airline for whom no job is too small, but many, many jobs are too difficult.

    Amazon Customer says: "Endless laughs"
    "MJN keeps flying, I keep laughing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fabulous as per usual.
    "Qikiqtarjuaq"-- what Douglas puts Martin through is excruciating and hilarious
    "Paris"-- since I came to Cabin Pressure as a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock, this is my very favorite episode, in which Martin attempts to solve a mystery on board
    "Newcastle"-- Benedict Cumberbatch is replaced in this episode and the stand-in doesn't quite have his note of desperation. Wish I could hear the real Martin try to flirt with the female pilot they are ferrying
    "Ottery St. Mary"-- Delves into the age-old questions, (1) can one visualize 100 otters and (2) would they fit comfortably in Gertie? This episode is special because finally, finally, for once, Douglas does something nice for Martin
    "Rotterdam"-- Really makes the most of the radio format as Martin, Douglas, Herc and another man also named Martin compete to sound the smoothest and most confident for MJN's welcome recording.
    "St. Petersburg"-- a tense but great day, in different ways, for Martin, Douglas, Arthur and Carolyn and hence a treat for listeners. I was delighted to hear that a fourth series is planned, but if this had to be the show's finale, it is fitting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 2

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By John Finnemore
    • Narrated By Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, Benedict Cumberbatch, and others
    Overall
    (326)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (296)

    Stephanie Cole ("Doc Martin"), Benedict Cumberbatch and Roger Allam ("The Thick Of It") star in the complete second series of the hit sitcom about the pilots of a tiny charter airline for whom no job is too small, but many, many jobs are too difficult.

    Gwynne says: "Brilliant Fun!"
    "MJN Air, I love you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The second series is as strong as the first. I love the second episode and the revelation about Martin. He is portrayed so fantastically by Benedict Cumberbatch. He could easily be a ridiculous and unsympathetic laughingstock but as voiced by Cumberbatch, his yearnings and frustrations are as real as his shortcomings and I just want to give him a hug! The Johannesburg and Kuala Lumpur episodes are both classics as well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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