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Plotting to take over the world since 1969

United Kingdom

  • 5 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 61 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • Terminal World

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different---and rigidly enforced---level of technology. Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue.

    Michael says: "Worthwhile slightly lacking"
    "Well written, well read, but unsatisfying"

    As a Reynolds fan I thought I'd try this, knowing it was different from his other novels. Sadly, I've been disappointed....
    This story is very much a science-as-fantasy travelogue, as the protagonist (who goes from loner into someone who hopes to save all his friends) crosses a post-holocaust/steampunk style landscape on a future "earth" (actually Mars)....

    While the writing style is up to Reynolds usual excellent style, and John Lee's reading is very good, the story itself is the weak point ;
    The unusual sights the protagonist sees (dirigibles, sadistic post-apocalyptic punk gangs) have appeared in a multitude of stories before and unfortuantely Reynolds doesnt do anything particularly new with them. In addition, what ideas he does have that have potential new uses (for example, Angels) are not really used to any great extent and are more or less irrelevant to the majority of the book....

    As a result the storyline itself is over-familiar, and ultimately unsatisfying. While not actually bad, this is not a strong selection from Reynolds otherwise excellent stories.....

    For fans of cyberpunk/steam punk or fantasy, I'd recommend anything by William Gibson or Michael Moorcock over this . For Reynolds fans, I'd say this is the weakest of his stories I've come across - I'd recommend most of his other work over this.( I particularly recommend 'The Prefect' as a far better story which is read by the same vocal talent)

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "Fascinating journalistic piece but not perfect"
    If you could sum up The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in three words, what would they be?

    Journalistic, opinionated, interesting

    Would you recommend The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, with some reservations.

    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Pacing, timbre and expression all excellent.

    Any additional comments?

    Authors somewhat dated homophobia occassionally jars, even to this (straight) listener.. Cant use the word "homosexual" witout adding the word "pervert" for instance . This is not the fault of the performer, who is excellent. Overall a good book, but needs to be read/listened to with the understanding of the times in which the writer lived.
    This is no dispassionate history, and the writers (very understandable) distaste for the subjects of the book occassionally detracts from the narrative. However, it covers many of the events well, and is an interesting and well-researched insight from a person who personally experienced some of the events in Berlin first hand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Skinner: The Spatterjay Series: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Neal Asher
    • Narrated By William Gaminara
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    To the remote planet Spatterjay come three travellers with very different missions. Janer is directed there by the hornet Hive-mind; Erlin comes to find the sea captain who can teach her to live; and Keech - dead for seven hundred years - has unfinished business with a notorious criminal.Spatterjay is a watery world where the human population inhabits the safety of the Dome and only the quasi-immortal hoopers are safe outside amidst a fearful range of voracious life-forms.

    Andrew says: "A good story and reader; spacing needs edit"
    "A good story and reader; spacing needs edit"

    This was my first Neal Asher story; the authors style is very good, an interesting mix of science fiction, action adventure, space opera, humour, and horror.

    The reader is also excellent, his wide range of voices is veery good. The choice of rural english accents may seem odd to american listeners but works very well. Sniper in particular is very well characterised.

    The only real failure - as noted by other listeners - is the odd choice of the editor to not leave audible gaps when the character viewpoints change. Its not too distracting as it quickly becomes apparent, but still could do with changing.

    This book has led me to listen go/read most of Neal Ashers novels. While they're not in any way mold breaking, they are ripping good yarns, entertaining, and with sufficient intellectual and emotional content to satisfy most readers.

    I've now got to the end of the trilogy, and it has proved an interesting voyage. Personally I'd like to hear more of Sniper and 13 adventures, Mr Asher... more please!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Commentaries

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Julius Caesar
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    Julius Caesar wrote his exciting Commentaries during some of the most grueling campaigns ever undertaken by a Roman army. The Gallic Wars and The Civil Wars constitute the greatest series of military dispatches ever written. As literature, they are representative of the finest expressions of Latin prose in its "golden" age, a benchmark of elegant style and masculine brevity imitated by young schoolboys for centuries.

    Dale says: "Great reading of an engrossing classic"
    "Dreadfully false sounding accent !"

    As a Brit, I can only wonder whether the Narrator was trying to sound English and Churchillian (in which case he fails, it sounds terribly false) or whether thats his natural US accent ( note to anyone from the US - the English do not pronounce "route" as "rout", so the narrator is clearly not British).

    The translation is fairly clear and the narration is otherwise done well. However the choice of accent distracts at times.

    Overall, if you can live with the accent its a reasonable audiobook, and worth a credit .

    3 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth and Dagon

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Wayne June

    Howard Phillips Lovecraft has been hailed by literary critics as the inventor of modern horror and a cultivating force behind such modern writers as Robert Bloch (Psycho), Wes Craven (The Craft, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream), and Stephen King (Pet Semetary, Carrie, Children of the Corn), just to name a few.

    Rodger says: "Flawless Narration of a timeless classic."
    "Wayne June gives a fantastic performance"

    Where this presentation stands out is in the narrators work. Wayne June's performance is extraordinary ; His voice is well-suited to the story, and his delivery and characterisation is note-perfect. His reading of the first tale is worth the price of entry alone-------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------------------------------The Shadow over Innsmouth (Story: 4*, Narrator 5*)----------------------------------------------.------------------------------------------------------is a tale of one mans exploration of a decrepit town in Jazz Era America, and his discovery that all is not well. On a journey to research his family history, the story's protagonist makes a stop-off at a fishing village, where his fascination with legends and tall tales lead to him learning more than is good for him....Unlike much of HP Lovecrafts other work, holds up remarkably well to the test of time - it is still a well-told tale.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dagon (Story 3*, Narrator 5*) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------is an associated tale, shorter, and less effective. A sailor is shipwrecked and finds himself on an uncharted isle which has a secret dredged up from the depths of the ocean. This story is definitely a weaker tale, and shows its origins as something written for a magazine. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------IN SUMMARY: I'm a Lovecraft fan and I've heard many audio versions of these stories from all sorts of illustrious actors - but Mr June's reading is for me, the DEFINITIVE version of the tales. Excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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