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Lisa

Auckland, New Zealand
  • 29
  • reviews
  • 52
  • helpful votes
  • 35
  • ratings
  • 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 214
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204

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

Great of course, it's Ben.

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

Reviewed: 01-23-15

What did you love best about Time and Time Again?

I love everything Ben writes* and have every book he's written.
This is totally in keeping with his theme of - choose a topical subject, then write the most well researched, original, witty, intelligent, insightful, razor-sharp, entertaining and detailed book about it. With the most memorable and real characters in it.
With this one, he's also following his recent theme of exploring WWI and II and everything that went on around them, which is obviously a personal interest for him.
His take on time travel and it's repercussions is typically Ben - original, but about as realistic and down to earth as it's possible to get given the subject matter.


*(one exception - Past Mortem, where he decided to leap over the boundaries of gruesomeness, way past what the average person - or at least me - could stomach. Don't get that one).

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

Great. He does other Ben Elton books and is always good.

Any additional comments?

If you like Ben, it goes without saying - get this book!
But - don't expect the laughs of his older books, he's gone a bit more serious lately.
If I had to give one negative point - I'd like it to have been a bit longer.

If you don't know Ben but like great writing of the easy to read/listen and always absorbing and entertaining type - get this book.

You don't have to be in to sci-fi or time travel at all - that's quite incidental to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shantaram

  • By: Gregory David Roberts
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 42 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 244
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246

A novel of high adventure, great storytelling and moral purpose, based on an extraordinary true story of eight years in the Bombay underworld. In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book I've ever read

  • By Sean Julyan on 09-16-16

Epic Entertainment; Phenomenal Narration

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

Reviewed: 01-23-15

What did you love best about Shantaram?

Hugely entertaining, you get totally immersed in his life and world.
Felt like I could have kept listening to his story forever, you almost forget it has to end some time.
The detail and length of the book makes you think it was written by someone who spent years in jail with nothing to do but write obsessively, day after day, year after year.
Oh right...
Just as well he's a great writer, with fascinating experiences to draw on and the imagination to fill it out with even more fascinating experiences.
Every one of the 42 hours is entertaining, which makes it probably the best value book I've ever listened to.

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

Hard to describe how phenomenally good the narration was.
This guy is the master of accents. There are dozens of characters, male and female, from many different countries, and he nails every single one of them brilliantly, every one of them totally distinct from the next.
Also brilliant when not doing dialogue, just narrating the story.
And he makes you like Lin, even though he spends a lot of the story doing very unlikeable things.
I was so impressed I immediately looked for other books he's done and got one straight away.

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

Prabaka is the standout character. Almost every time he speaks he makes you laugh.

Any additional comments?

The obvious comments which will have been said a thousand times before -
It's a little bit disturbing not knowing where the non-fiction blurs with the fiction, and lots of times when you think "come on, do you have to go quite so far into the realm of unbelievability?" But then again, maybe it's true.
And his casual acceptance of the psychopathic and barbarian behavior of his mafia friends, while making out that he's generally a decent guy himself.

Be prepared for the ultimate WTF?? When the book abruptly ends in what feels like the middle of a chapter, with several chapters still to go.
Did he suddenly get an early release and say - right, that's it, I'm over writing, can't do another word. Never mind the story's not finished?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tibetan Peach Pie

  • A True Account of an Imaginative Life
  • By: Tom Robbins
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 516
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 469
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 468

Internationally best-selling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long-awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become over the course of half a century a poet-interruptus, an air force weatherman, a radio DJ, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counter-culture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This isn't a book, it's a complete experience

  • By David Shear on 05-31-14

Loved it - and I've never even read Tom Robbins.

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

Reviewed: 07-04-14

Packed full of entertaining, good natured anecdotes and philosophies from an exceptionally fully lived life.
You don't need to be a Tom fan - or even have read his books - to enjoy this.
Narration is perfect, can't imagine a better match for this book.



  • The Masked Rider

  • Cycling in West Africa
  • By: Neil Peart
  • Narrated by: Brian Sutherland
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

The prolific drummer for the rock band Rush travels through African villages, both large and small, and relates his story through journal entries and tales of adventure, while simultaneously addressing issues such as differences in culture, psychology, and labels. Literary and artistic sidekicks such as Aristotle, Dante, and Van Gogh join Peart and his cycling companions, reminding the listener that this is not just another travel book - it is a story of both external and introspective discovery and adventure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wonderfully done

  • By Karin on 03-30-15

Downbeat and Disappointed in Cameroon

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

Reviewed: 05-28-14

Most helpful thing I have to say - if you're looking for a great book about travelling through Africa on two wheels - get Sam Manicom's "Into Africa".

My summary of Masked Rider - he didn't enjoy the trip, didn't like Cameroon or it's inhabitants, didn't like his travelling companions. And didn't even manage to get some humour out of it.
Whatever the opposite of inspiring is, this book was it for me.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Flanagan’s Run

  • By: Tom McNab
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 16 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151

During the Depression the ebullient American entrepreneur Charles Flanagan assembles 2,000 runners from all corners of the earth, to run from Los Angeles to New York for prize-money of $150,000. Flanagan’s Trans-America runners face 3,000 miles, across the Mojave desert and the frozen Rockies, running a daily average of 50 miles for three months.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Tracy on 04-20-12

A blockbuster movie waiting to be made

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

Reviewed: 05-28-14

Or maybe a mini series.
Great cast of characters and sub-plots, great period detail, great landscapes, great entertainment.
And a genuine love of long distance running runs throughout.

  • Gone Girl

  • By: Gillian Flynn
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 19 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 671
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 600
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 602

Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you ever know the person you love? These are the questions that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Get Gone Girl soon!

  • By Janie on 06-26-12

Hard to switch off and go to sleep

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

Reviewed: 04-02-14

This is not the usual type of book I go for, but it was genuinely gripping - flows along in a way that makes it really hard to put down at any given point.
Very well written, sharp and mesmerising insight into two people's psyche's and the tension never stops.
It did get a bit too dark for my liking, and though I'd like to read more from the author, I read the synopsis for her other books and they sound ever darker, so think I'll give them a miss.

  • How to Be a Woman

  • By: Caitlin Moran
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Moran
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 128

1913 - Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse. 1969 - Feminists storm Miss World. Now - Caitlin Moran rewrites "The Female Eunuch" from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller. There's never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain...Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stirring Stuff!

  • By Sara on 07-14-12

More than you ever wanted to know

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

Reviewed: 04-02-14

Though I agree with most of her philosophies and opinions on life and feminism,
I would have liked it if there was a version with not quite so many f and c words in it- more than any other book I've read, or heard of - and the chapter when she's 13 could have done with WAY less detail.

  • Into Africa

  • Africa by Motorcycle - Every Day an Adventure
  • By: Sam Manicom
  • Narrated by: Sam Manicom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179

A liberating motorcycle journey through Africa with descriptions of the amazing people and places, the joy of big skies and the open road, and the sometimes harrowing events that would shape destiny. Into Africa tells the story of a novice motorcyclist who takes on the challenge of riding the length of the continent just because, 'it seemed like a great idea’.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Living a Dream

  • By Paul V Hoffman on 05-31-17

Great Entertainment

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

Reviewed: 02-26-14

My ideal travel story - great details of the people, countries, landscapes and culture along the way, told in a light-hearted, upbeat, entertaining style. Not a story of soul searching or "finding himself" but not superficial either, packed full of one fascinating episode after another.
Sam gets fully immersed in Africa and the people around him, and his observations are totally open-minded and non-judgemental. Love that he narrates it himself, and he comes across as a totally likeable guy.
I loved his pragmatic "just deal with it" attitude - whether getting malaria, dealing with the many excruciating border crossings or having a serious bike crash.
Found out he's written several more travel books and my only disappointment is - why are they not on audible??

  • One Man's Wilderness

  • An Alaskan Odyssey
  • By: Sam Keith, Richard Proenneke
  • Narrated by: Norman Dietz
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 642
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 573
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 577

To live in a pristine land unchanged by man... to roam a wilderness through which few other humans have passed... to choose an idyllic site, cut trees and build a log cabin... to be a self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available... to be not at odds with the world but content with one's own thoughts and company. Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Alaskan Read!

  • By Pamela M. on 10-10-14

An Absolute Gem

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

Reviewed: 12-23-13

If you love stories about escaping to the wilderness and living a totally self-sufficient life with only the wildlife for company, you'll love this.
But what I loved most was Richards' unfailing cheerful, practical, philosophical attitude to everything that happened to him and everything he had to do. This is a guy who gets dropped off in the middle of nowhere and cheerfully sets about building a log cabin from scratch, making every piece of furniture; hunting, fishing and growing food, exploring the surrounding mountains - all of it with no help or company, except for the occasional supply drop and the local friendly wildlife.
There's no angst or hardship, no preachy-ness, just a genuine appreciation and love for his surroundings, and uncomplaining embracing of the fact that anything you want done, you've got to work out a way to do it yourself.
It's entertaining, moves at a steady pace, and the overall effect is totally uplifting and inspiring. Makes you want to go live in the mountains and build a log cabin yourself, even if you'd never thought about it before.
Hard to avoid the cliché - they don't make many like Richard anymore but you so wish they did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Amazing Sailing Stories

  • True Adventures from the High Seas
  • By: Dick Durham
  • Narrated by: Steve Hodson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

Tales of adventures on the high seas captivate both sailors and those who stand on the shore and gaze out across the oceans. In this original collection of sea stories, edited by veteran writer Dick Durham, the gamut of human experience is mirrored in a world of tragic shipwrecks and sea monsters, epic races and brave rescues, tall ships and tiny dinghies.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Hours of factual unemotional stories

  • By Matthew on 03-22-14

More summaries than stories

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

Reviewed: 11-20-13

Some potential great stories, but they're so brief you might as well be reading the blurb on the back cover - or that's how it seemed to me. Even Shackleton's incredible epic journey gets turned into a short and not very impressive story which I wouldn't have thought possible.
I love amazing sailing stories, but amazing story summaries are not the same thing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful