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  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets

  • An Audible Original
  • By: John Woolf, Nick Baker
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,654
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,028
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,998

On the surface, the Victorian age is one of propriety, industry, prudishness and piety. But scratch the surface and you’ll find scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice and murder. Presented by Stephen Fry, this series delves deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. The stories we’re told offer a different perspective on an era which underwent massive social change. As education, trade, technology and culture blossomed, why was there an undercurrent of the ‘forbidden’ festering beneath Victorian society? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating content with noisy background sound

  • By Wayne on 11-12-18

How unpleasant

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-18

Thought I’d love anything with Fry but these stories about people doing unpleasant things to each other are a bit off-putting to me.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Invention of Nature

  • Alexander von Humboldt's New World
  • By: Andrea Wulf
  • Narrated by: David Drummond
  • Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,261
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,262

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infested Siberia. He came up with a radical vision of nature, that it was a complex and interconnected global force and did not exist for man's use alone. Ironically, his ideas have become so accepted and widespread that he has been nearly forgotten.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Poignant origin story

  • By Jeremy Fairbanks on 03-03-16

A thrilling story made dull

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-18

Narrated as if it were a shopping list. Translated (from original German) unimaginatively, adding to the dullness of the experience. I looked forward to this one since it was first published, so disappointed.

  • Soulful Simplicity

  • How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More
  • By: Courtney Carver
  • Narrated by: Courtney Carver
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242

We are often on a quest for more, giving in to pressure every day to work more, own more, and do more. For Courtney Carver, this constant striving had to come to a stop when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Stress was like gasoline on the fire of her symptoms, and it became clear that she needed to root out the physical and psychological clutter that were the source of her debt and discontent. In this book, Carver shows us how to pursue practical minimalism so we can create more with less - more space, more time, and even more love.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Less shiny, more soul

  • By Dianne Coyle on 04-19-18

Not what I thought

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-16-18

I know the author's work from the Internet and I had hoped the book would outline the principles of living minimalistically. However, it is her autobiography, detailing the life challenges and illness that led her to become a minimalist. The author reads her own work, and she's not great. Too bad, because I've learned a lot from her online blog about minimalism. I guess I bought the wrong book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Churchill and Orwell

  • The Fight for Freedom
  • By: Thomas E. Ricks
  • Narrated by: James Lurie
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 606
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 548
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 548

Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930s - Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they'd died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century, they would be considered two of the most important people in British history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Elegantly Written

  • By Jean on 06-11-17

I expected more

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-26-17

Would you try another book from Thomas E. Ricks and/or James Lurie?

Yes, not based on this one, but because I know Ricks to be a sharp and informed observer. He is a smooth writer.

Any additional comments?

I expected some connection to be drawn between the two men, but not so. Chapters alternate between Orwell did this, Churchill did that. Interesting as is, good (but selective and limited) historical detail, but I ended up asking, So what?