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Mark Jeffrey

Brit Abroad. Nearly six hundred Audible books heard, many more than once. Yes I'm hooked.

Chene en Semine, France | Member Since 2012

  • 4 reviews
  • 104 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Maggie Hope Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susan Elia MacNeal
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    London, 1940: Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined....

    Katherine says: "Lovely"
    "A good yarn, if you can overlook the errors"
    What did you like best about Mr. Churchill's Secretary? What did you like least?

    The reading was excellent, whoever she is! Donada Peters, or Nadia May, or whoever.The story is pacey, fairly complex, and weaves in some historical people and situations.

    What was most disappointing about Susan Elia MacNeal’s story?

    The story suffers from a large number of errors.Some of these are artistic license for the sake of the story (e.g. German spies in places where they would have done massive damage if they existed - don't want to spoil the story so can't say where).Some however are Americanisms of expression ("math", "wash up"), or blatant inaccuracies such as WRNS in brown uniforms which could have been picked up be a British editor. These were made more obvious by using an English reader.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The crazy professor.

    Do you think Mr. Churchill's Secretary needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It's a good starting point, though the cascade of characters can be a bit daunting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Empress of Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kage Baker
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber

    When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get. Outcasts, misfits, and dreamers emigrated in droves to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet - only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn't turn a profit on Mars. Mary Griffith and her struggles and triumphs are at the center of it all, in her bar, the Empress of Mars.

    Dave says: "I love this book."
    "Brilliant, funny, and compelling"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I had this on my wishlist for a long time after seeing it as a recommendation. Wish I had taken it earlier. The cast of misfits are adorable, the back story is different, and the sci-fi elements are pretty minimal (antigrav being the exception).

    Life on Mars is portrayed as a mix of European colonialism gone bad, with elements of life on the wild west frontier. Most of the people are reluctant colonists, either signed up from psychiatric hospitals, on the run from their previous life, or victims of "get rich quick" government and company propaganda.

    As the Company tries to gain leverage over their errant tenants, and to take control of their more valuable assets, the tensions builds to a climax.

    Any additional comments?

    The book manages to keep a high degree of action and tension while only showing a bare minimum of violence. No sex scenes or bad language. Shows how it can be done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • War of Honor: Honor Harrington, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    No one wanted another war. Thomas Theisman didn't. Not after risking his life to overthrow the Committee of Public Safety's reign of terror and restore the Republic of Haven's ancient Constitution. Baron High Ridge didn't. The Prime Minister of Manticore was perfectly happy with the war he had. No one was shooting anyone else at the moment, and his government could continue to milk all those "hostilities only" tax measures for their own partisan projects.

    Aaron Sher says: "Oh my God, it's slow!"
    "A necessary but painful listen"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This is by far the worst of the HH series (so far), because it spends almost the entire book building up the political background to a resumption of war and another change of government. It's all talk about doing things, with very little actually being done by anybody.

    I felt I needed to stick it out as there IS some important story arc in there, but it drags horribly. The essential story could have been written with a quarter of the words and a lot less filler.

    Hopefully the next one gets us back on track.

    Has War of Honor turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, since this is clearly an aberration from an excellent author.

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

    Allyson puts a lot of effort into putting some emotion into an empty story, but she's pushing a rock up a hill.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I can't say I was disappointed, since other reviews had warned me this was going to be a tough job of work to get through.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • My Early Life: A Roving Commission

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Winston Churchill
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the story of the first 25 years of Mr. Churchill’s life, up to the point where his unique parliamentary career was just beginning. From childhood and his apprentice days at Harrow and Sandhurst we follow him on active service to Cuba, the North-West Frontier of India, Omdurman and the Boer War (including the historic story of his escape from captivity), while in the background are his early adventures in politics and literature.

    Mark Jeffrey says: "Excellent history and entertainment"
    "Excellent history and entertainment"
    Would you listen to My Early Life again? Why?

    Yes, I can well imagine going back to this. Churchill writes a rich combination of history, journal, reminiscence and sheer entertainment.

    What does Frederick Davidson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Frederick Davidson brings a very dry-wit style of reading, with a steady unhurried delivery and excellent pronounciation.

    Any additional comments?

    This would be a great story of anyone's life. Being the story of such a pivotal figure of history makes it so much more meaningful. His early life sets the pattern for WWII; determination, personal courage, a keen eye for political meanings and personalities, and an empathy for all he meets.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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