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Lisa

Auckland, New Zealand | Member Since 2010

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 148 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Paul Theroux
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (41)

    In Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Paul Theroux retraces the steps he took thirty years ago in his classic The Great Railway Bazaar. From the Eurostar in London, he once again sets out on a journey to the East, travelling overland through Eastern Europe, India and Asia. Infused with the changes that have shaped the exterior landscape and enriched with developments to his own perceptions and psychology, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is an absorbing and beautifully written follow-up to The Great Railway Bazaar.

    Roger says: "ghost train to the eastern star"
    "Engrossing but kind of depressing"
    Overall

    Good value in the vast distance and many cultures and nations covered, and the many hours of densely packed details he puts in, so if you want to be taken on a very long and detailed journey from Europe to Japan, it's the book to get. By the end though, the overall feeling was a bit depressive and jaded and the impression of nearly all the societies he visited was on the negative side - most of the population he encountered seemed to be either poor, desperate, drunk, grubby, corrupt or willing to do anything for a buck, which of course may well be true but was a fairly humourless theme. And his focus on talking to and about prostitutes wherever he went was starting to tip the balance from general interest to slightly uncomfortable obsession towards the end. Overall, quite engrossing and informative but not very optimistic about that part of the world - which is a pretty big chunk of the world - and I'd have to say ultimately no "feel good" in fact a bit of a "feel bad" experience.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Time and Time Again

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Ben Elton
    • Narrated By Jot Davies
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    It’s the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be.Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war.

    C. Telfair says: "Don't Mess With Yesterday!"
    "Great of course, it's Ben."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Time and Time Again?

    I love everything Ben writes* and have every book he's written.
    This is totally in keeping with his theme of - choose a topical subject, then write the most well researched, original, witty, intelligent, insightful, razor-sharp, entertaining and detailed book about it. With the most memorable and real characters in it.
    With this one, he's also following his recent theme of exploring WWI and II and everything that went on around them, which is obviously a personal interest for him.
    His take on time travel and it's repercussions is typically Ben - original, but about as realistic and down to earth as it's possible to get given the subject matter.


    *(one exception - Past Mortem, where he decided to leap over the boundaries of gruesomeness, way past what the average person - or at least me - could stomach. Don't get that one).


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

    Great. He does other Ben Elton books and is always good.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Ben, it goes without saying - get this book!
    But - don't expect the laughs of his older books, he's gone a bit more serious lately.
    If I had to give one negative point - I'd like it to have been a bit longer.

    If you don't know Ben but like great writing of the easy to read/listen and always absorbing and entertaining type - get this book.

    You don't have to be in to sci-fi or time travel at all - that's quite incidental to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    A novel of high adventure, great storytelling and moral purpose, based on an extraordinary true story of eight years in the Bombay underworld. In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail.

    Ami says: "The read thing"
    "Epic Entertainment; Phenomenal Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Shantaram?

    Hugely entertaining, you get totally immersed in his life and world.
    Felt like I could have kept listening to his story forever, you almost forget it has to end some time.
    The detail and length of the book makes you think it was written by someone who spent years in jail with nothing to do but write obsessively, day after day, year after year.
    Oh right...
    Just as well he's a great writer, with fascinating experiences to draw on and the imagination to fill it out with even more fascinating experiences.
    Every one of the 42 hours is entertaining, which makes it probably the best value book I've ever listened to.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Hard to describe how phenomenally good the narration was.
    This guy is the master of accents. There are dozens of characters, male and female, from many different countries, and he nails every single one of them brilliantly, every one of them totally distinct from the next.
    Also brilliant when not doing dialogue, just narrating the story.
    And he makes you like Lin, even though he spends a lot of the story doing very unlikeable things.
    I was so impressed I immediately looked for other books he's done and got one straight away.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Prabaka is the standout character. Almost every time he speaks he makes you laugh.


    Any additional comments?

    The obvious comments which will have been said a thousand times before -
    It's a little bit disturbing not knowing where the non-fiction blurs with the fiction, and lots of times when you think "come on, do you have to go quite so far into the realm of unbelievability?" But then again, maybe it's true.
    And his casual acceptance of the psychopathic and barbarian behavior of his mafia friends, while making out that he's generally a decent guy himself.

    Be prepared for the ultimate WTF?? When the book abruptly ends in what feels like the middle of a chapter, with several chapters still to go.
    Did he suddenly get an early release and say - right, that's it, I'm over writing, can't do another word. Never mind the story's not finished?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tom Robbins
    • Narrated By Keith Szarabajka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (154)

    Internationally best-selling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long-awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become over the course of half a century a poet-interruptus, an air force weatherman, a radio DJ, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counter-culture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.

    Dubi says: "This Is the Story of Tommy Rotten"
    "Loved it - and I've never even read Tom Robbins."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Packed full of entertaining, good natured anecdotes and philosophies from an exceptionally fully lived life.
    You don't need to be a Tom fan - or even have read his books - to enjoy this.
    Narration is perfect, can't imagine a better match for this book.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neil Peart
    • Narrated By Brian Sutherland
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    The prolific drummer for the rock band Rush travels through African villages, both large and small, and relates his story through journal entries and tales of adventure, while simultaneously addressing issues such as differences in culture, psychology, and labels. Literary and artistic sidekicks such as Aristotle, Dante, and Van Gogh join Peart and his cycling companions, reminding the listener that this is not just another travel book - it is a story of both external and introspective discovery and adventure.

    Karin says: "wonderfully done"
    "Downbeat and Disappointed in Cameroon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most helpful thing I have to say - if you're looking for a great book about travelling through Africa on two wheels - get Sam Manicom's "Into Africa".

    My summary of Masked Rider - he didn't enjoy the trip, didn't like Cameroon or it's inhabitants, didn't like his travelling companions. And didn't even manage to get some humour out of it.
    Whatever the opposite of inspiring is, this book was it for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flanagan’s Run

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Tom McNab
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (118)

    During the Depression the ebullient American entrepreneur Charles Flanagan assembles 2,000 runners from all corners of the earth, to run from Los Angeles to New York for prize-money of $150,000. Flanagan’s Trans-America runners face 3,000 miles, across the Mojave desert and the frozen Rockies, running a daily average of 50 miles for three months.

    Tracy says: "Loved it"
    "A blockbuster movie waiting to be made"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Or maybe a mini series.
    Great cast of characters and sub-plots, great period detail, great landscapes, great entertainment.
    And a genuine love of long distance running runs throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (428)
    Story
    (428)

    Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you ever know the person you love? These are the questions that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

    Janie says: "Get Gone Girl soon!"
    "Hard to switch off and go to sleep"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not the usual type of book I go for, but it was genuinely gripping - flows along in a way that makes it really hard to put down at any given point.
    Very well written, sharp and mesmerising insight into two people's psyche's and the tension never stops.
    It did get a bit too dark for my liking, and though I'd like to read more from the author, I read the synopsis for her other books and they sound ever darker, so think I'll give them a miss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Be a Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Caitlin Moran
    • Narrated By Caitlin Moran
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (67)

    1913 - Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse. 1969 - Feminists storm Miss World. Now - Caitlin Moran rewrites "The Female Eunuch" from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller. There's never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain...Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina?

    Sara says: "Stirring Stuff!"
    "More than you ever wanted to know"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Though I agree with most of her philosophies and opinions on life and feminism,
    I would have liked it if there was a version with not quite so many f and c words in it- more than any other book I've read, or heard of - and the chapter when she's 13 could have done with WAY less detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into Africa: Africa by Motorcycle - Every Day an Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Sam Manicom
    • Narrated By Sam Manicom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    A liberating motorcycle journey through Africa with descriptions of the amazing people and places, the joy of big skies and the open road, and the sometimes harrowing events that would shape destiny. Into Africa tells the story of a novice motorcyclist who takes on the challenge of riding the length of the continent just because, 'it seemed like a great idea’.

    Oubidoobie says: "Great Insight into an Incredible Journey"
    "Great Entertainment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My ideal travel story - great details of the people, countries, landscapes and culture along the way, told in a light-hearted, upbeat, entertaining style. Not a story of soul searching or "finding himself" but not superficial either, packed full of one fascinating episode after another.
    Sam gets fully immersed in Africa and the people around him, and his observations are totally open-minded and non-judgemental. Love that he narrates it himself, and he comes across as a totally likeable guy.
    I loved his pragmatic "just deal with it" attitude - whether getting malaria, dealing with the many excruciating border crossings or having a serious bike crash.
    Found out he's written several more travel books and my only disappointment is - why are they not on audible??

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sam Keith, Richard Proenneke
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (192)

    To live in a pristine land unchanged by man... to roam a wilderness through which few other humans have passed... to choose an idyllic site, cut trees and build a log cabin... to be a self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available... to be not at odds with the world but content with one's own thoughts and company. Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them.

    Reuben says: "Fantastic"
    "An Absolute Gem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you love stories about escaping to the wilderness and living a totally self-sufficient life with only the wildlife for company, you'll love this.
    But what I loved most was Richards' unfailing cheerful, practical, philosophical attitude to everything that happened to him and everything he had to do. This is a guy who gets dropped off in the middle of nowhere and cheerfully sets about building a log cabin from scratch, making every piece of furniture; hunting, fishing and growing food, exploring the surrounding mountains - all of it with no help or company, except for the occasional supply drop and the local friendly wildlife.
    There's no angst or hardship, no preachy-ness, just a genuine appreciation and love for his surroundings, and uncomplaining embracing of the fact that anything you want done, you've got to work out a way to do it yourself.
    It's entertaining, moves at a steady pace, and the overall effect is totally uplifting and inspiring. Makes you want to go live in the mountains and build a log cabin yourself, even if you'd never thought about it before.
    Hard to avoid the cliché - they don't make many like Richard anymore but you so wish they did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazing Sailing Stories: True Adventures from the High Seas

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dick Durham
    • Narrated By Steve Hodson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Tales of adventures on the high seas captivate both sailors and those who stand on the shore and gaze out across the oceans. In this original collection of sea stories, edited by veteran writer Dick Durham, the gamut of human experience is mirrored in a world of tragic shipwrecks and sea monsters, epic races and brave rescues, tall ships and tiny dinghies.

    Matthew says: "Hours of factual unemotional stories"
    "More summaries than stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some potential great stories, but they're so brief you might as well be reading the blurb on the back cover - or that's how it seemed to me. Even Shackleton's incredible epic journey gets turned into a short and not very impressive story which I wouldn't have thought possible.
    I love amazing sailing stories, but amazing story summaries are not the same thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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