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Michael

Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

ratings
386
REVIEWS
185
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
23
HELPFUL VOTES
171

  • The Vampire Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (635)

    Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now Lestat is a rockstar in the demonic, shimmering 1980s. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying exsitence. His story, the second volume in Anne Rice's best-selling Vampire Chronicles, is mesmerizing, passionate, and thrilling.

    Patricia says: "Finally unabridged! Excellently read, great listen"
    "Not as good as its predecessor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Vampire Lestat? What did you like least?

    Filled in the gaps.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Edited it as it did drag on in parts.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    He is OK, but he sounds too old for Lestat.


    Could you see The Vampire Lestat being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Tom Cruise perhaps?


    Any additional comments?

    OK book but not as fascinating as Interview with the Vampire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharpe's Fortress

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By William Gaminara
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The 3rd and final novel of Sharpe's exploits in India finds him confronting not only Indians and French, but enemies from within Wellesley's forces and a wily English renegade by the name of William Dodd.

    Michael says: "Ruthless Sharpe"
    "Ruthless Sharpe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sharpe shows his ruthless side in this story. He is still finding his way as an officer and not a happy boy but can actually do well at any job he is put to. The bad guys are out to foil his plans and steal his jewels but Sharpe comes out on top at the end. A stock standard Sharpe adventure with nothing so revealing except when it comes to revenge, Sharpe can dish it out with exact proportions. Good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharpe's Trafalgar: Book IV of the Sharpe Series

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By William Gaminara
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    It is 1805 and Ensign Richard Sharpe is on his way home from India. However, his ship is riven with treachery and threatened by a French warship, the Revenant, which is terrorising British shipping. As the French warship races home carrying a treaty that could ignite India into a new war against the British, the hunt turns into a stern chase.

    When the Revenant encounters the combined French and Spanish fleets off Cadiz it seems that Sharpe's enemies have found safety.

    Lily says: "Another great Sharpe story"
    "Sharpe goes sailing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes our intrepid hero is bound for merry old England as he leaves India to join the 95th Rifles. He saves a Royal Naval Captain (Chase) from a jolly good thumping, meets an old foe, gets captured on the high seas in dubious circumstances and is saved in the nick of time by the very same Royal Navy Captain mentioned above. With a good chase on the high seas after the French he ends up at Trafalgar where he meets Nelson, fancy that, and then saves the day by getting his jewels back, killing the bad guys and did I mention he gets the girl in the end. A rip roaring adventure that is actually very good and captures the excitement and the long boring periods at sea on a sailing ship. The characters are stock standard and the villains not so unbelievable. William Gaminara does a great job although I think his Scotch accent is not the best.Bernard Cornwell has turned out a great 'boys own adventure' book and well worth the listen to. I even learnt a thing or two about sailing ships and of course the difference of fighting on sea compared to land. Good book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Strategic Thinking Skills

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Stanley K. Ridgley
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (178)

    Start making savvier decisions and outsmart your competitors with greater confidence and ease with this simple and comprehensive guide to the skills, tactics, techniques, tools, case studies, and lessons behind strategic thinking. Professor Ridgley has crafted these 24 lectures as an accessible way to engage with thinking that will help you think-and act-more strategically in business and in your own life, whether you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or you're preparing to embark on a new career path.

    John Patten says: "Lectures run a bit shallow"
    "A Good Basic Introduction to Strategic Thinking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A little history, basic philosophy, a military, business, social point of view. Politics mixed in and the some tools to work with. Professor Stanley K. Ridgley likes to use American Football (Grid Iron) as a metaphor although even this game uses strategy and even I who has not played team sport since my school days understand his thinking. He makes it interesting and clear and this course is worth the listen to but without follow up reading and practice this would only be a good introduction. Do study more and become better at this skill but if you are content to touch the subject and move on, the time spent with this course isn't misplaced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Oren Klaff
    • Narrated By Oren Klaff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (494)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (424)

    When it comes to delivering a pitch, Oren Klaff has unparalleled credentials. Over the past 13 years, he has used his one-of-a-kind method to raise more than $400 million - and now, for the first time, he describes his formula to help you deliver a winning pitch in any business situation. Whether you’re selling ideas to investors, pitching a client for new business, or even negotiating for a higher salary, Pitch Anything will transform the way you position your ideas. According to Klaff, creating and presenting a great pitch isn’t an art - it’s a simple science.

    Troy S. says: "Awesome"
    "A Refreshing New Way of Doing Business"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the way it should be done. Fun, exciting, professional and short. Oren Klaff knows his stuff and narrates his own work with passion and zeal. I believe his technique will work and I am taking on board his techniques, philosophy and methods, although I will do it with my unique style. I never wanted to be a salesman, but this book has given me the idea that I can do it, do it right and keep to my ideals. I don't recommend you listen to this book as I am not sure I want everybody out there to know this, but then again, bad pitches are such a waste of time. You still have to do your work to get your presentation right and know your stuff, but this book will give you a method that will work wonders, in my belief.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Hans von Luck, Stephen E. Ambrose (introduction)
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (222)

    A stunning look at World War II from the other side.... From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front - von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers. Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman.

    Jean says: "Eminently Readable"
    "Absolutely fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You want to know what the other side was like?
    Want to know how good the Germans were?
    Want to know the other of the story?
    Want to understand better the war?
    Then this book is for you. Great story, excellent narrated by Bronson Pinchot who does the voice and accents very well. This book moves along so well that if it comes out as a film, I am watching it, but I don't think a film would do this soldiers memoirs justice. This is an excellent book for the history, the thinking, the feelings of Hans von Luck, pronounced Luke. It was a shame he was fighting for such an evil regime.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Koran

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Trout Lake Media
    • Narrated By Alec Sand
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (84)

    The Koran is not only one of the most influential books of prophetic literature but also a literary masterpiece in it’s own right. Universally accepted by Muslims to be the infallible Word of God as revealed to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel nearly 1,400 years ago, the Koran still provides the rules of conduct fundamental to the Arab way of life.

    Thomas says: "A Clear and Sober Reading"
    "Not an easy book to listen to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Basically if you don't believe you are going to hell in a hand basket. This book took me three months to listen to and it was not easy. Alec Sand does an excellent job narrating it but it does become repetitive and tedious. I image other religious books are going to be the same. Perhaps in Arabic it has a mantra feel or musical quality but in English it is a little dry. I don't think this book will enlighten you to the Islamic faith.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sharpe's Triumph: Book II of the Sharpe Series

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (505)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (252)

    The paths of treachery lead Sharpe's company to join the army of Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, to take on the Mahratta horde. Sharpe must survive the carnage and live to tell the tale of what will be remembered as one of the greatest battles of the 19th century.

    Don says: "Great story - Poor narration quality"
    "A good keystone book for the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How and why did Sharpe become an officer? In the previous book Arthur Wellesley had little time for Sharpe and plays a minor roll in 'Sharpe's Tiger', but now he and Sharpe are brought closer together. Why? How? This book answers the questions and does it quite well. One problem is that Frederick Davidson is not the best narrator of Sharpe. The recording is also a little off-putting.
    The battle scenes are well written but Bernard Cornwell has vast experience writing these phrases now after all although this is the second book in the series of 21 odd books, it is more likely one of his last written.
    I like the Sharpe series and have read every book including the short stories, support books and the internet traffic on the subject. I play re-enactment soldiers occasionally although I am cavalry and not a rifleman, but these books really bring the period to life and great escapism. Well worth the listen to but to be fair, better to read as this performance is not the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Samuel West
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    When sudden emergencies arise, James Bond is there to meet them. Whether dealing with the assassination of a Cuban thug in America, the destruction of an international heroin ring or a mysterious death in the Seychelles, 007 gets the job done in his own unmistakable style. Contains the short stories: From a View to a Kill; For Your Eyes Only; Quantum of Solace; Risico and The Hildebrand Rarity.

    Michael says: "Surprising nice neat stories"
    "Surprising nice neat stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For film buffs, the only similarities are the titles. These stories, usually an hour long are nice short reads. As you already know Bond and the support characters there is no need to go back and give us their stories and so the narrative moves along nicely. I found the way Ian Fleming told the story of 'Quantum of Solace' was beautifully done. Samuel West is excellent narrating these stories and didn't skip a beat with any of the characters even the womens voices. I found 'A View to a Kill' a little tripe but the other stories enthralling. Now I am ready to move onto 'Thunderball'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Barbary Pirates: An Ethan Gage Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By William Dietrich
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Swashbuckling American explorer and ladies' man Ethan Gage has seen his fair share of danger, having braved the sands of Egypt, the perils of the Atlantic Ocean, and the harsh wilderness of early America. Once more, he finds himself in a desperate race, this time with the Barbary Pirates, a powerful band of Muslim outlaws from North Africa.

    Kevin says: "Difficult to listen to."
    "Unbelievable fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are listening to these books, by now you will know what you are going to get. Totally unbelievable swashbuckling fun. Adventure to the max! Ethan Gage is a sort of unlikely hero who is trying to reform his ways and has picked up some skills along the way. Historical figures are portrayed nicely and much of what is portrayed in this book actually happened, possibly as William Dietrich has described. William Dufris is the best narrator of these books thus far. I listened to this book in one sitting on a long drive from Melbourne to Sydney and was not left wanting for a minute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Michael Dibdin
    • Narrated By Michael Kitchen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (28)

    Inspector Zen receives the order he has been dreading all his professional life: his next posting is to Sicily. Set against the backdrop of the 3000 year old city of Catania, Blood Rain reveals Aurelio Zen at his most desperate and driven.

    David says: "Be prepared for a rain of blood!"
    "A great piece of writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story seems to leave Zen and follow other characters. You get the feeling that Zen is a support character. Little stories are threaded into this story and are fascinating in themselves. Then everything turns on a dime. Zen is back in the centre of the story, and what is happening can only happen to him with his luck. This story ties up nicely with a great cliff hanger. Not my favourite of his books but close to the top of the list.
    Pity the next three books are not on Audible:
    1. And Then You Die
    2. Medusa
    3. Back to Bologna
    I'll have to go 'old school' and turn pages to find out what happens to our intrepid hero.
    Michael Dibdin has really developed a great story line and his writing has really become a dream to listen to. Michael Kitchen is superb in his narration and I can't wait to get on with the next instalment of an Aurelia Zen Myster 'And Then You Die'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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