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Christopher

Social Scientist and Researcher; mostly retired but conducting longitudinal research into social issues especially the media and social networking. Avid SF and alternative history fan; enjoy a good crime yarn and have become something of an addict for audiobooks.

Howrah, Australia | Member Since 2007

43
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 99 ratings
  • 554 titles in library
  • 59 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2

  • No Highway

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Ben Elliot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Theodore Honey is a shy, inconspicuous aircraft engineer whose eccentric interests in quantum mechanics and spiritualism are frowned upon in aviation circles. But when a passenger plane crashes in unexplained circumstances, Honey must convince his superiors that his unorthodox theories are correct before more lives are lost. The title, No Highway, is taken from the poem "The Wanderer" by John Masefield, which Shute quotes at the start of the book.

    Doug says: "Fine writing keeps this story fresh"
    "In many respects, a pioneer work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Be warned that this is an old book and the author has been dead for some while. I like it because of my interest in aeronautical matters and especially the problems of metal fatigue in early jet airliners. The film made in black and white has not stood the test of time but the plot of this story is really quite good as an obsessed and driven man tries to prove he is correct before more disasters occur. I am extraordinarily pleased that audible.com has secured rights to a number of old books. My paperback copy of the book fell apart years ago but as someone who was born to fly and loves the experience, Nevile Shute did a very good job given the time. There is some congruence with Michael Crighton's Airframe and the technological differences are considerable. Well worth a read.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Executive Orders: Jack Ryan, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (51 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The US President, along with most of the Cabinet and Congress, is dead. Dazed and confused, the man who only minutes before had been confirmed as the new Vice-President of the United States is told that he is now President. President John Patrick Ryan. With stunning force, Ryan's responsibilities crush on him. He must calm an anxious and grieving nation, all while attempting to reconstitute a Cabinet and a Congress with the greatest possible speed.

    Christopher says: "This was written pre-9/11: keep that in mind."
    "This was written pre-9/11: keep that in mind."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I regard Tom Clancy as a solid, competent writer who deserved the success he has received. We foreigners who have been to the US have to remind ourselves that while Special Forces are carefully selected and trained to be the very best they can be and enjoy most of the advantages of hi-tech, offensive and defensive, they are still human and can be killed, wounded or mentally damaged. In Executive Orders, a Japanese pilot, seething over conflict described in a previous book, takes a 747 below the radar, kills hi co-pilot and dives the huge bomb into Congress, killing most of the US government, including the President, and the chain of command down to a level beneath the Joint Chiefs. Our hero Jack Ryan is thrust but unwanted circumstance into the role of President, with only one Senator protesting. The reluctant POTUS faces danger from many quarters but manages to find sufficient men with backbone to rally to the cause and uncover/destroy the real perpetrators of the plot to take out the US. If the plunged 747 decapitating the US government only to be foiled doesn't grab you, the underlying plot, which involves the weaponizing of the ebola virus, should make thinkers pause and pay more attention to events in Africa and the Middle East.

    Mr Clancy has written a powerful account of a mega tragedy for the US and the world. I rate Red Star Rising as the best of Clancy's books but even with the passage of time this is a very close second. I purchased not knowing that that it was set on a different time line. Normally, my first reaction would be to return the book but I'm pleased I hung in there. It's a long but very worthwhile read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I, Judas The 5th Gospel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bob Mayer, Jen Talty
    • Narrated By Steven Cooper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    What if Judas is still alive, hidden away in the jungles of the Amazon, waiting for the Second Coming? As a massive object appears in space heading directly toward Earth, the Brotherhood heralds it as Wormwood, one of the signs the Rapture and it's just three days away. They have been preparing to implement the Great Commission as designated by Jesus - where everyone on the planet must hear the word of God before the end in order to be saved. They will use advanced technology to send that message....

    Christopher says: "Unexpectedly good"
    "Unexpectedly good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read a great deal by Bob Mayer and seen some of his TV work. I found this book entertaining and interesting especially as I listened to it just before the world was supposed to end last December. I never regarded those predictions as plausible but the author writes a quite beautiful narrative about the person regarded as the ultimate betrayer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cassandra Project

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt, Mike Resnick
    • Narrated By Brian Holsopple
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (144)

    Early in his career, Jerry Culpepper could never have been accused of being idealistic. Doing public relations—even for politicians—was strictly business...until he was hired as NASA’s public affairs director and discovered a client he could believe in. Proud of the agency’s history and sure of its destiny, he was thrilled to be a part of its future—a bright era of far-reaching space exploration.

    Matthew says: "A lunar winner!"
    "A good read but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The authors are usually excellent and have a fine history of writing behind them. The plot line in this book, namely that US astronauts landed on the moon before Neil Armstrong but it was hushed up because of what was found had so much potential. I was disappointed that it wasn't developed further because while it's a rattling good read and having corresponded with both authors a few years ago, I was left with the feeling of wanting more. In terms of quality the book is one of the best "nuts and bolts" style of science fiction but I would have loved to have sat down with Jack and Mike to discuss other ways of fleshing out the story, perhaps even a hook for an encore. The politics of the times were accurately depicted and although every story needs a victim, it was all too easy to blame Richard Nixon, whom I think will be more fairly treated by history than by current commentators.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In the Country of the Blind

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Michael F. Flynn
    • Narrated By J. Paul Guimont
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In the 19th century, a small group of American idealists managed to actually build Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine and use it to develop Cliology, mathematical models that could chart the likely course of the future. Soon they were working to alter history’s course as they thought best. By our own time, the Society has become the secret master of the world. But no secret can be kept forever, at least not without drastic measures. When her plans for some historic real estate lead developer and ex-reporter Sarah Beaumont to stumble across the Society’s existence, it’s just the first step into a baffling and deadly maze of conspiracies.

    Geoff says: "Excelent Histoircal Conspiracy Novel"
    "A book that has lost nothing with time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michael Flynn is a very accomplished writer and I have several of his books in hardback or paperback form. This is a classic conspiracy theory that maintains Charles Babbage's "difference engine" was built and used to change history. The Babbage story in itself is fascinating and worth reading and a number of replicas do work but they are advanced calculating machines rather than computers. This is a book where you have to switch worlds to a parallel time and immerse yourself for a reasonably complex plot and some taut action about the way organizations rise and fall, split and admit to human weaknesses. Mr. Flynn conveys the outdoors in a very beautiful manner. This is not a book for everyone but rewards the diligent reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Time for Sherlock Holmes

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David Dvorkin
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    When Holmes gives up the adventurous life of a consulting detective and retires to the Sussex countryside to raise bees, little does he or his old friend Dr. John Watson realize that their greatest adventures lies ahead - an adventure spanning centuries and extending across the solar system.... For nothing less than human civilization lies at state as Sherlock Holmes finds himself moving inexorably toward the final and most terrible confrontation with his ancient enemy, the time-jumping Napoleon of crime, professor Moriarty!

    Christopher says: "Sherlock Holmes will never die."
    "Sherlock Holmes will never die."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you want to buy an argument about the greatest detective in the world, some of the modern updates are highly entertaining and although I approach some with apprehension, by and large those to be found on audible.com are well up to standard. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the alternatives and this is no exception. If you are a traditionalist, as I was once, it may take a little time to reorient but it is time well spent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Written Out

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By David Armstrong
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Novelist Tom Oliver is not the most popular man in the world and he isn’t much missed when disappears at the end of a week tutoring at a writers’ centre in rural Shropshire. However, it eventually falls to DI Frank Kavanagh and his colleague DC Jane Salt to ascertain whether one of his literary enemies, a former lover, or perhaps a humiliated husband has finally exacted revenge. Is his disappearance an innocent affair, or has he himself been “written out”?

    Christopher says: "Would have liked some earlier works"
    "Would have liked some earlier works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know the author's work and came at this after the very smooth Stephen Booth. Some familiarity with the UK and police practice is probably required for maximum enjoyment. At first I despaired with the plot but as the author drew it together, with various complexities and the darker side of human nature, it gripped me quite well. The scene is set in Shropshire and the senior cop is from Birmingham via London while his current squeeze is a DC in London. The anticipation in reading the book was knowing that murder had been committed but not finding out until almost the end, who did it and more particularly how. I found it most enjoyable but patience is a virtue.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Improper Relations

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Juliana Ross
    • Narrated By Victoria McGloven
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (195)

    When Hannah's caught watching her late husband's cousin debauch the maid in the library, she's mortified - but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she's used to being ignored. The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she's witnessed, but there's something about Leo that draws her to him.

    bluebelle says: "Definately erotica"
    "Good for a diversion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm interested in the social aspects of erotica but make no judgements - each to their own. For an enjoyable rest and listen, this is pretty good. The story line hangs together quite well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Virtual Gastric Band - Hypnosis

    • ORIGINAL (37 mins)
    • By Hypnosis Live
    • Narrated By Hypnosis Live
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Virtual Gastric Band“Control Your Eating Habits, using Hypnosis”Are you tired of fighting your appetite? Have you tried every diet under the sun, but still struggle against craving after craving?Dieting is hard. Temptation is always there, and your body's cravings are often too strong to ignore.

    Christopher says: "No real substitute for the gastric band."
    "No real substitute for the gastric band."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a definitive substitute for the surgical implant. However, it may work for some, provided you can work at it. The reader is excellent but it probably needed another 15-25 minutes. For those with problems where a band is recommended I suggest that a psychological evaluation is a necessary pre-requirement: as a person qualified to make this statement, you must fully understand what the process involves and the side effects - food that you can no longer enjoy even in minute quantities; sudden reflux and rejection of food you may have enjoyed days before with the band in! Learn the basics of projectile vomiting and practise before you venture out.

    I can assure you your life will never be the same. I would not have my band removed because it reduced weight and appears to have rendered treatment for Type II diabetes unnecessary. I would have liked this track available some 7 years ago - well done Hypnosis Live.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bigfoot's New Mate

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 29 mins)
    • By Soichiro Irons
    • Narrated By Roy Wells
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (4)

    Bigfoot doesn't mind being locked up and studied for science, as he's decided to take a mate - the sexy daughter of the man who'd captured him! Bigfoot's New Mate contains fantasy sex that's not intended for readers under the age of 18.

    Ronnie says: "better than finding bigfoot"
    "Don't waste your money"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story was originally to be found online. It has been modified a little and even if ones suspends the critical faculties and folklore about Bigfoot or similar large hairy creatures said to be found on every continent, the story is badly told. Suggestion: spend your money on Sherlock Holmes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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