Woonona, Australia | Member Since 2012
Bill Bryson has yet again shown his exceptional talent for the creation of entertaining and instructive non-fiction texts. To those who have already listened or read a Bill Bryson title, you know that his work is unparalleled in its' ability to instruct and entertain using true stories and Bill Bryson's excellent research.
One Summer America 1927, basically tells you what the book is focussed on. This brief period of time in the first half of the 20th century laid the ground work for many and varied events on the world stage. This was the time of the "roaring twenties", the pre-depression period, the creation of many ideas, inventions and dreams. America was reaching a turning point that would help to change the world forever.
This book tells the tales of audacious aircraft pilots, pioneering inventors, sports stars, bucking politicians, dastardly murderers and ploting mobsters. Bill Bryson delves into the depths of matters of this period and analyses the effects of the happenings on the future and how they were effected by the past.
One Summer America 1927 is a stunning example of Bill Bryson's best work and is delightfully humorous and clever whilst being able to instruct and inform.
So listen on, for there is One Summer in America during 1927 that is amazing.
Terry Pratchett is a well known writer of humorous Science Fiction and Fantasy. His popular series is Discworld. A world perched on the back of four elephants whom themselves stand on the shell of a gigantic turtle that swims through space. On this world logic takes the back seat as magic drives towards a cliff and since its conception by Terry Pratchett, the Discworld has created more than forty stories that push the bounds of imagination and make fun of everything from the traditional view of witches to the stereotypical view of operatic actors and singers.
Raising Steam is Sir Terry's latest work, in the sub-story line of the character Moist Von Lipwig, a former serial confidence trickster, who after being hanged to within an inch of his life, was employed by the Patrician of Ankh Morpork, the despotic Lord Vetinari, to rebuild several of the important services within Ankh Morpork.
However with the rise of the steam locomotive to the Discworld, Moist Von Lipwig is charged with making its introduction smooth and without hitches. But troubles stir as the ultra-radical and conservative Dwarven 'Grags' begin to make their presence felt.
I found this story amusing and highly clever in the use of the common ideas for the hay-days of the railway revolution and the amusing way that Terry Pratchett tied ideas together to create such an excellent story.
Monarch of the Glen is an absolute gem of comedy. Set in the Scottish Highlands in the area around the fictional Glenbogle Castle, it details a brief period during the summer hunting season in the early half of the 20th century.
This humorous tale involves the tenacious current Laird of Glenbogle, his family, the family of an American millionaire, Scottish Nationalists, The Union of Hikers and the many staff of the estate, all of whom are come together to create a set of amazingly hilarious occurrences which culminate in such unexpected outcomes that you can barely stop laughing.
Published in 1941, by Sir Compton Mackenzie, this novel is one of his better works and led to a spin-off television series that was broadcast by the BBC for several years. It however remains an excellent novel and is well worth a listen.
Once again L.E. Modesitt has produced a world of magic that is stunning to behold. The Imager Portfolio of which "Imager" is the first book, is set in a world in which the principle magic is "imaging", a power that allows those with the gift, to bring images from their mind into reality. But of course all magic has a price.
Imager begins in the city of L'Excelsis on the continent of Solidar on the world of Terahnar. Solidar is the only place in Terahnar where the Imagers are free to live without constant persecution as they provide vital services to the governing body of Solidar.
It is into this world of political intrigue, war, fighting Factoridges, vengeful High Holders and scheming artisans that Rhennthyl, former journeyman portraiturist and newly found Imager must walk. Rhennthyl must navigate the new world of the Collegium Imago and learn his skills fast before his lack of skills get him killed.
The Imager Portfolio is a fascinating series that encompasses a world where the main characters deal with playing the proverbial "Great Game". From assassinations to acts of subversive intrigue the Imager Portfolio is certain to keep the listener interested. This book would be recommended for upper age teens and adults and is a fantastic and gripping read or listen.
Ender's Game is a deeply complex and intriguing novel, that asks and answers a simple question. What would you do to save the world?
Ender's Game is set in the near future of Earth, in a world that has united in order to fight off the Alien menace known as the "Buggers". The International Fleet guards the Sol system, The Stratego commands the Solar System defence and the Hegemon controls the planet Earth.
In the emergency, every married couple is only allowed a maximum of two children, unless mandated by the military. Into this world is born Andrew (Ender) Wiggin, a 'Third'. Specially requisitioned by the military for his potential, Ender is thrust into the desperate world of the International Fleet Battle School. In this world he is one of the youngest but will he survive the infighting of the school and prove himself worthy of being a military commander. For all that matters in the battle school is "The Game".
Ender's Game is a masterpiece of writing and poses an intriguing question "What would be do or give up in order to save the world?". Ender's Game explores what would possibly occur if Aliens attacked Earth. What the human race would do to help each other, how would the battles be fought against a technologically superior race and what sacrifices would be needed to save the world.
Orson Scott Card has produced a master-work asking deep questions that truly ask us what it means to be human and why it is important. As indicated by my ratings this Audio-book is well read by a small cast of narrators who help provide depth and emotions to the characters within the story. This audio-book is suitable for Mid-teens upwards and has a engaging storyline of truly gifted children.
The Eyre Affair is a remarkably amusing book that is a testament to the intriguing writing of Jasper Fforde. His writings are akin to those of the literary genius of Terry Pratchett with crazy worlds, mixed up magic and insane parallel universes.
The main character of 'The Eyre Affair' is one Thursday Next, a Literary Detective whose job is to police the literary world and prevent fake or bootleg copies of Literary works from entering the literature market. This book is set on a parallel version of Earth where the Crimean War is still being fought in 1985, cloning kits for animals like Thylacines and Dodos are available over the counter and Literature is the defining interest of the world's population. Thursday Next's life is sent into a dive by an encounter with the demonic Acheron Hades and is sent into a series of events that lead her to love, The Socialist Republic of Wales and the pages of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.
I Found the book a highly amusing read and believe that Jasper Fforde's writing is incredibly clever and engaging and it well deserves the epithets of "playfully irreverent", "delightfully daft", "whoppingly imaginative" and "a work of ... startling originality".
Our Mutual Friend is one of Dicken's most masterful works. It is a most amusing and creative story of mercenary marriages, watermen, a Dolls Dress Maker and enormous piles of dust.
Set after the onset of the Industrial Revolution in smoky, smoggy, London, Our Mutual Friend gives the stories of the engaging and beautiful Ms Lizzie Hexam, the humble and good-hearted Mr and Mrs Boffin, the pretty Ms Bella Wilfer, the nefarious Mr and Mrs Lammle, the villainous Silas Wegg and the mysterious Mr John Rokesmith.
Our Mutual Friend tells of the evils of money, the redemption of character, the happiness of love, the poison of jealousy and the human need for rebirth.
Charles Dickens has shown his extraordinary and well known talent of displaying the Human condition through his superb work.
Swallows and Amazons is a masterpiece of children's literature, written by author Arthur Ransome and the winner of the inaugural Carnegie Medal in 1937.
Set back in the time before overwhelming and constricting parental protection became practice, this book is about four children on their Summer holidays sailing on a Lake in the English Lake's District. With parents and other responsible adults far away, they engage in adventures in the sailing dinghy 'Swallow'. While sailing around this lake they make-believe a world of exploration where they are the explorers mapping the Lake. On their journeys they meet the Amazon Pirates, establish an explorer's camp on Wild Cat Island, fight a war and sail in the dead of night.
This book is the first of a series of 12 books that take place on the Lake, the Norfolk Broads, and on the high seas and have capture the imagination of many children since their first publication in the 1930-50s.
This book is perfect for children to read or have read to them and conveys the innocence of childhood imagination and adventure in such a way that many children would love to have a holiday such as this.
Little Dorrit is possibly one of Dickens' greatest stories encompassing the experience of a lifetime beset by poverty, riches and poverty again. It is also a story of betrayal, love and perfect charity.With such engaging characters as Amy Dorrit, Mr Pancks, Flora and Mr Flintwinch this story is a delight to listen to.
When talking about Orson Scott Card, many think of his highly successful Science Fiction novels. This book is an excellent starting point to Card's new series of Fantasy books involving the magic practitioners he names the Mithermages. The Mithermages find their power through loving and serving the elements of the world that they feel an affinity with, allowing them to control the forces of nature and help the world become what it wants to be.
Card has provided a tantalising new world and yet another form of magic.
Overall this story is an excellent novel for young adults upwards and has an excellent and tantalising flow that keeps interest and hardly makes you want to stop listening.
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