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Simon Forsyth

Brisbane, Qld Australia
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 409
  • ratings
  • The Happiest Refugee

  • By: Anh Do
  • Narrated by: Anh Do
  • Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

The laugh-out-loud, reach-for-your-hanky story of one of Australia's best-loved comedians. Anh Do nearly didn't make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing - not murderous pirates nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days - could quench their desire to make a better life in a country where freedom existed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Despite narration and writing shortfalls

  • By Simon Forsyth on 07-20-18

Despite narration and writing shortfalls

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

Reviewed: 07-20-18

Anh is pretty poor as a narrator, and the story is all over the place in time, pacing, completeness, description. Strangely, none of that seems to matter. This is one of the best listens that I have come across in a long time. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Shadowlith audiobook cover art
  • Shadowlith

  • Umbral Blade, Book 1
  • By: Stuart Thaman
  • Narrated by: Josiah Davis
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    1.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Alistair the Fourth was a mighty general from a long-forgotten war. Four hundred years later, Alster Lightbridge is barely a shadow of his legendary namesake. Crippled and confined to his family’s estate, he spends his days dreaming of something larger than himself - something worthy of his name. Encouraged by his tutor to explore the Lightbridge archive, Alster discovers a magical dagger with the power to cleave shadows from their bodies. Blade in hand, Alster finally understands his purpose, though he needs to find a four-centuries-old grave in order to fulfill it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Core of a reasonable novel

  • By Simon Forsyth on 04-23-18

Core of a reasonable novel

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

Reviewed: 04-23-18

Any additional comments?

There's a core of a novel that I'm sure I would enjoy, but Stuart needs a high quality ruthless editor to work through the text, expand here, contract there, and generally fix up the text "breathed his last breath" -> "drew his last breath", things like that.
Josiah Davis is quite wooden, and clearly had a mental meltdown when trying to make up an eastern rift accent. Most of his other voices were passable. There were some written voice emphasis in the text that Josiah missed completely. The echo effect needs to be toned way down - the text was unintelligible in parts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Dungeon Born

  • Divine Dungeon Series, Book 1
  • By: Dakota Krout
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,583
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,552

For eons, conquering dungeons has been the most efficient way to become a strong adventurer. Although not everything is as straightforward as it seems. Several questions have always plagued the minds of those who enter these mythical places of power: why are there so many monsters? Where do the amazing weaponry and heavy gold coins come from? Why does the very air fill with life-giving energies? Cal has all of the answers to these age-old questions, for a very simple reason. He is a Dungeon Heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Gem in the RPG/Fantasy Genre

  • By SirMehr on 04-01-17

Interesting concept, excellently executed

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

Reviewed: 04-21-18

Any additional comments?

This is a very well crafted story that evolves with the characters. The author, Krout, has very interesting concepts that are built upon to develop a consistent universe. For us IT nerds, there's a bunch of easter-egg references to Un*x esoterica and programming. You probably will be inspired to check out a dungeon building computer game - is this story some sort of disguised advertising?

Generally I avoid books that I think are young adult books, but this is *not* one to avoid.

Krout uses playful prose throughout the book which might offend the Tolkien-is-god types who insist stories of dwarves and elves have no humour and be treated with reverence. Don't be put off by the very few negative reviews that hand-wave at criticisms which I would say form the baseless support for their poor opinions of the writing. Some people are put off by certain writing styles.

Yes - I highly recommend that you continue through the series to the third book; it is a very pleasant ride and a neat twist ending.

The Narrator, Vikas Adam, is absolutely amazing. The range of distinctive voices and the brilliant interpretation of acting he puts into text raises the value of listening to this audiobook as opposed to reading the alphabet coded version. Vikas is now one of my favourite narrators - I hope he won some sort of award for this reading.

  • Time and Time Again

  • By: Ben Elton
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 13 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 216

It’s the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be.Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Don't Mess With Yesterday!

  • By Carole T. on 01-03-15

Excellent work, but ...

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

Reviewed: 11-08-16

Any additional comments?

I have read some of Ben Elton's previous books and thought them to be quite well done. I think this book has been the best of the selection I have read. The main criticism would be that it appears Ben became bored and finished the book early.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Matter

  • By: Blake Crouch
  • Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84

'Are you happy in your life?' Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he wakes to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before the man he's never met smiles down at him and says, 'Welcome back, my friend.' In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing, Emotional, Gripping.

  • By Anthony on 07-28-17

Plot holes, scrambled science

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

Reviewed: 10-26-16

What disappointed you about Dark Matter?

The main character is a genius who can't identify a plot point that everyone who has an interest in physics, let alone: superposition, would instantly recognise. I rank this 1.2 on the Peter Clines Can't Write Genius scale.

Has Dark Matter turned you off from other books in this genre?

I am much more weary of works by Blake Crouch.

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

Lindstrom's performance is excellent.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dark Matter?

I would have Crouch rewrite everything starting with Jason understanding the situation as soon as he pulled on the clothes. J-2 would grab the family and head to an alternate universe. There would be multiple J-2s trying to do the same thing including versions that want to help Jason.Crouch needs a tougher and smarter editor.

  • Bloodfire

  • Blood Destiny, Book 1
  • By: Helen Harper
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,723
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,725

Mack might be, to all intents and purposes, a normal looking human, but she lives with a pack of shapeshifters in Cornwall in rural England after being dumped there by her mother when she was just a young child. She desperately wants to be accepted by her surrogate family, not least because a lot of them hate her for merely being human, but for some reason her blood just won't allow the transformation to occur.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much better than I was expecting

  • By Andy on 07-25-14

Ok story, poorly edited

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

Reviewed: 02-18-16

Harper desperately needs a strong editor. Her action scenes seem to be central to the plot but are an exceedingly poor effort, having laughable vagueness when trying to be specific. The story had potential, the writer's lack of skill is a let down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Year Zero

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Reid
  • Narrated by: John Hodgman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,672
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,459
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,457

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic Performance by Hodgman

  • By Robert on 08-15-12

Superb

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

Reviewed: 05-16-15

Any additional comments?

Excellent snarky science fiction with a good hard dig at corporate greed. To be honest, the story tailed off a little, however Hodgman's performance is masterly making this a must-listen audiobook, particularly for people paying attention to the legal wrangling of the music industry over the last decade or two.

  • The Thought Readers

  • Mind Dimensions, Book 1
  • By: Dima Zales, Anna Zaires
  • Narrated by: Roberto Scarlato
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 591
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 554
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 552

Everyone thinks I'm a genius. Everyone is wrong. Sure, I finished Harvard at eighteen and now make crazy money at a hedge fund. But that's not because I'm unusually smart or hard-working. It's because I cheat. You see, I have a unique ability. I can go outside time into my own personal version of reality - the place I call - "the Quiet" - where I can explore my surroundings while the rest of the world stands still.I thought I was the only one who could do this - until I met her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Thought Readers: Mind Dimensions, book 1

  • By Johan on 03-04-15

Great story idea, execution poor

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

Reviewed: 04-23-15

What disappointed you about The Thought Readers?

The writing style is somewhat shallow and conversation feels unnatural. This is clearly a juvenile book written by a moderate author. I can live with this. However, the main problem with the production is the narrator and the editor for missing his mistakes. A shame, because the ideas are very interesting.

Would you recommend The Thought Readers to your friends? Why or why not?

The ideas behind the story and the background seem to be reasonably well fleshed out, although the enmity between readers and pushers feels contrived. However the implications of these types of people existing and their effects on (1) their own lives, and (2) the politics of the world, is incredibly underplayed.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Roberto Scarlato?

An automated reader would likely do better, however Jeffrey Kafer, Mark Boyett, Luke Daniels, R.C.Bray. Someone who can read a full sentence and get it to flow. I wish Audible had a way of red-flagging narrators so I can automatically avoid them in the future.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Starship Troopers

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Lloyd James
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,887
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8,143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,177

Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite book ever

  • By Michael on 06-28-06

Excellent book! Poorly narrated

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

Reviewed: 03-17-15

Any additional comments?

If you have seen the movie but not read the book then read the damned book! Very different. Unfortunately Lloyd James is very average at reading, he gets somewhat better as the book progresses but he actually has trouble with the flow of sentences in the early chapters. There are also a number of audio editing mistakes in this production - pretty weak for such a classic. Mark Boyett would be perfect to narrate a new production.

  • The Dead Sun

  • Star Force, Book 9
  • By: B. V. Larson
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,375
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,223
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,216

Kyle Riggs sits uneasily upon Earth’s throne. He’s liberated his homeworld from a tyrant, only to replace him. In The Dead Sun, the ninth book of the Star Force Series, the Great War between life and the machines reaches its final chapter. Both sides have new technology and expanded industrial bases. Star Force and the machines attempt to exterminate one another in a final, glorious conflict. Along the way, Riggs finally learns who his real friends and enemies are. The Dead Sun is a military science fiction novel by best-selling author B. V. Larson.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Finally, the end

  • By Jesse on 03-15-14

Leader of the world fights on the front line

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

Reviewed: 03-13-15

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

Mark Boyett does an excellent job at narrating, great choice for this series.

Any additional comments?

Larson is pretty one dimensional. Advanced civilisations that have a uniform behaviour. Nearly nothing happens that Riggs doesn't personally do or think of, other characters are grudgingly given ideas, but they will always complain and moralise, while Riggs stands alone with nearly no support. If something has to be invented to save the day then there is Marvin, the regularly verbally and occasionally physically abused genius AI. Riggs goes about thinking up good lines to partially speak only to get cut off mid sentence, and then everything changes. Well you'd hope so, but it doesn't. 9 books of pretty much the same stuff. The guy in charge of everything deciding he better go be on the front line, micromanage everything.