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Michael

Northmead, Australia

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 324 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (596)
    Performance
    (483)
    Story
    (479)

    At the dawn of the 20th century, humanity was facing global disaster. Mass starvation, long predicted for the fast-growing population, was about to become a reality. A call went out to the worlds scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two enormously gifted, fatally flawed men who found it: the brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and the reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, controlled world markets, and saved millions of lives.

    sarah says: "Riveting"
    "Surprisingly Satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Alchemy of Air rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best non-ficiton books.


    Any additional comments?

    I was expecting to be educated a little but I was entertained by the unfolding storyline and I learned much more than I had anticipated. A phenomenal story that needed to be told - so few people have heard the facts of the discovery that has changed the world. If all knowledge could shared as cleverly as in this book, we wouldn't need schools.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3538)
    Performance
    (2464)
    Story
    (2465)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Alan says: "Outstanding"
    "A Brilliant Surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Prayer for Owen Meany again? Why?

    Like a seduction by a great lover, the foreplay was slow and I was impatient to get to the action but, as the end approached, I just wanted it to go on forever. How could I not want to do it again? I will certainly listen to this audiobook again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Owen Meany was the hero of the story. He worked for what he believed in and he triumphed. He was unique and a few tears leaked from my eyes on a couple of occasions especially near the end.


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

    The voices were marvellous and "The Voice" of Owen Meany still resounds in my mind. An excellent narration. At first it didn't seem that way but, as the story progressed, I longed for that Voice! I don't think it could have been so grasping without Joe Barrett's excellent reading.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me both laugh and cry. Not in any extreme way but it evoked unexpected emotions as I shared some moments of Owen's story. John Irving is a wonderful writer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angelmaker

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nick Harkaway
    • Narrated By Daniel Weyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    All Joe Spork wants is a quiet life. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don't always get paid and he's single and has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he's not trying to compete with the reputation of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, his infamous criminal dad. Edie Banister lives quietly and wishes she didn't. She's nearly ninety and remembers when she wasn't. She's a former superspy and now she's... well... old. When Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. It's a 1950s doomsday machine....

    Lola says: "Just a bit too silly."
    "Bizarre!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Angelmaker better?

    Angelmaker would have been better if it had never been published. It was too far from any reality I have ever experienced or imagined. I must be getting too old and crotchety. But this really was bizarre and was not enjoyable. Perhaps those who immerse themselves in bizarre fantasy might have a different view. I kept hoping it would get better but now I wish I had cut my losses and given up part way through the book. Or better that I hadn't bothered with this book at all - but I let myself be persuaded by a recent newspaper review by Australian writer James Bradley.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    My next listen will NOT be anything by Nick Harkaway (or James Bradley for that matter). In fact I'll probably never read, or listen to, anything by either of them again. Now I'll look for something related to the world that I know or at least a world that I can imagine or relate to.


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

    I do not recall listening to this narrator previously. His performance was reasonable, given tne material he had to read from.


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

    This book evoked disappointment that I had wasted money buying this audiobook and then wasted time listening to it. I was also annoyed with myself for letting myself be swayed by a dud book review in a newspaper.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Broken Teaglass

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Emily Arsenault
    • Narrated By Eileen Stevens, Oliver Wyman, Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (659)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (198)

    The dusty files of a venerable dictionary publisher, a hidden cache of coded clues, a story written by a phantom author, an unsolved murder in a gritty urban park: all collide memorably in Emily Arsenault's magnificent debut, at once a teasing literary puzzle, an ingenious suspense novel, and an exploration of definitions: of words, of who we are, and of the stories we choose to define us.

    Ed says: "Enjoyable Book with Great Characters"
    "An Unexpected Treasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Broken Teaglass rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the most enjoyed books. I had no particular expectations but .... what a joy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story commences with fragments .. like a literary jigsaw in which the full story slowly falls into place. The dictionary references reminded me of The Surgeon of Crowthorne and anyone who loves words and language will find this a great book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's difficult to tease out a single scene. The best was probably when it dawned that one of the literary citations had originated in the very office where the characters were located. Then I knew this was going to get more and more intriguing.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Does someone have to die to get a word into the dictionary?


    Any additional comments?

    This author deserves great acclaim for a literary triumph.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Illness

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By David B. Agus
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (167)

    Can we live robustly until our last breath? Do we have to suffer from debilitating conditions and sickness? Is it possible to add more vibrant years to our lives? In The End of Illness, David B. Agus, MD, one of the world’s leading cancer doctors, researchers, and technology innovators, tackles these fundamental questions, challenging long-held wisdoms and dismantling misperceptions about what “health” means.

    Roderick says: "The "techie" medicine needs!"
    "Save your credits"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from David B. Agus and/or Holter Graham?

    I would not waste my money or time on another book by this author and I'm sorry I purchased this one. Not that it contains anything incorrect but there are better books on how to look after one's health.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something non medical.


    What aspect of Holter Graham’s performance would you have changed?

    No criticism of narrator but he needs better material.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    An entirely ignorant person may benefit from this book. But it will bore most people with an established interest in health matters.


    Any additional comments?

    Did I already suggest that you use your credits on something else?

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Farthing: Small Change, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (168)

    One summer weekend in 1949 - but not our 1949 - the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before....

    Nancy J says: "It Couldn't Happen Here, Right? RIGHT?"
    "Great Fiction and Excellent Readers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Farthing in three words, what would they be?

    a great yarn


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author's imaginative wielding of the fictitious storyline with the edges of fact.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The place that Britain nearly became.


    Any additional comments?

    I've already listened to the second part of the trilogy - it is just as good and I am about to listen to the third one. What a shame it's only a trilogy.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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