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Publisher's Summary

Bletchley 1945: a place where nearly 10,000 people would contribute decisively to the Allied war effort. Their role? To decode the Enigma cypher used by the Germans for high-level communications. It is an astonishing story. A melting pot of Oxbridge dons, maverick oddballs and more regular citizens worked night and day at Station X, as Bletchley Park was known, to derive intelligence information from German coded messages. That they succeeded, despite military scepticism, is testament to an indomitable spirit that wrenched British intelligence into the modern age, as the Second World War segued into the Cold War.

©2014 Michael Smith (P)2014 Oakhill Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nick
  • Markham, Ontario, Canada
  • 12-23-14

Great story spoilt by performance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story of Bletchley Park is so fascinating that any history of the accomplishments is worth reading. Highly recommended.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There really is no "star" in the book. Everyone contributed in their own way.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The reading was very disappointing. Whether it was the fault of the performer or his direction is difficult to say. Although the various accents were commendable, the need to read the quotes in a conversational mode lead to very uneven sentences and some very uncalled for pauses.

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

Neither! It is a factual book of which the history is only now being detailed.

Any additional comments?

Wonderful story that could benefit from being re-recorded.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gizmo
  • 01-31-15

Ruined by poor narrator

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Good book, interesting read, but the narrator was very poor.

How could the performance have been better?

Poor accents, not interested in the story, read as though the best thing was to get through it as quickly as possible.

Any additional comments?

Read the paper copy!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chusan Services Ltd
  • 06-13-15

Great True Story Spoiled by the Reader

What disappointed you about The Secrets of Station X?

The 'reader' - Patrick Molyneux - has the reading skills of a nine year old. Poor phrasing, lack of continuity, lack of English vocabulary and laughable attempts at accents.

What other book might you compare The Secrets of Station X to, and why?

The House at Poo Corner because Patrick Molyneux would be the ideal reader!

How could the performance have been better?

Patrick Molyneux has no German. This could be forgiven if he'd asked someone about pronunciation and, by the way, he could also have asked someone about pronouncing English words like Cholmondeley.

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

Anger that the book had been published with such a bad reader and disappointment that such an interesting book has been spoiled.

Any additional comments?

It should be done again with a better reader.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Steve V
  • 01-05-16

Endured because of the story

This is a great story ruined by poor production and a narration that really doesn't warrant a single star. This is the the worst performed and produced audiobook I have purchased. If the subject interests you buy the real book and avoid this appalling misrepresentation. This narrator needs to learn how to read for an audience and the producers need to ensure names are correctly pronounced.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barry
  • 12-18-15

station x

great factual account but the accent of the reader was distracting. as were the unwritten pauses in the narrative.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • J.C.
  • 03-01-15

Interesting content, but not without its problems

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was okay, but could have been so much better

What did you like best about this story?

The insight into what happened at Bletchley

How could the performance have been better?

The reader was little short of awful. He read the book much too fast, but what grated most for me was his lack of research and insight. References to Lord Dacre (pronounced Daker) as Dacree, Caen as Cayenne, and Balliol as Bal e ol are to my mind indicative of the slap dash production of this audiobook it ought to be deleted and re-recorded to bring it up to an acceptable standard.

Any additional comments?

The book was very interesting, but its structure was not one I found helpful. Rather than going back and forth through the years over each element of different codes being broken a more informative and ultimately better book could have been written by outlining the history and development of Bletchley park chronologically, so the reader could get a much better idea of how all the different cyphers and codes were read and dealt with as the war progressed together with summarising the overall impact each year. As it is written the book is disjointed and highly repetitive. It isn't an easy task to pull this subject together, but this book although informative, felt like a missed opportunity. For the audiobook, this problem was compounded by a very poor reader and very poor production. Overall disappointing which is a great pity given the nature of the subject and how interesting it could have been and deserves to be.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Klaus
  • 11-20-17

Badly read

Patrick Molyneux has the reading skills of a 7 year old. One would have expected that he practiced his German pronounciation before he started reading. His voice and diction did not do justice to a great story .

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jon
  • 06-24-17

Great story let down by poor audio production

Loved the story/book, however the recording is poorly produced with pauses, uneven volume and badly cut together 'takes'. Aside from some unusual pronunciation of some words the narrator was about average. If these audio issues are addressed it would be 5/5!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 01-09-17

great story, well written, performance prep so so

shame performance was a little unprepared as some names were miss pronounced but otherwise excellent

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan Rose
  • 04-11-16

the home of most secret sources

Station X was the war,-time code-breaking establishment based at Bletchley Park. It was through the efforts of this mixed bunch of electric academics, civilians and military personnel who listened to the thousands of coded messages coming from all parts of the German Reich.


Michael Smith's book, Station X accompanied the Channel 4 series of the same name. The book and television series detailed the history of Bletchley Park and the efforts of those based there to break the "impregnable" Enigma machine. The German's did not sit still during the war, they refined it for example by adding an additional fourth reel to increase encryption. This meant that the battle to break the codes went on continuously. Many of Britain's brightest minds, worked at Bletchly including Alan Turing, who went on to design the world's first computer in Manchester..


The home of Britain's "most secret sources" was not revealed until 1974. Up to that time only very few people knew of the existence of Station X.  Britain owes a great debt of gratitude to the eccentric men and women who worked at BP, because although they were not front line troops, indeed many of them would not have survived in a regular military unit. Never the less there efforts saved millions of lives.


I bought this book when first published, it was one of the fist history books I ever bought through choice and was the start of my interest of 20th century history, particularly espionage and intelligence, enough about me, Michael Smith's book is a great read.


  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 01-26-16

Such a poor reading of a fascinating book

I am particularly interested in what went on at Bletchley Park and GCCS during the Second World War and there have been many books written in recent years by those involved. As a subject, cryptography can be a daunting matter to make understandable to most readers, but this factual book manages to do a pretty good job of it. The social dynamics are just as interesting as the cryptography - how amazing that several thousand people could keep such a secret over so many years. Also interesting is how some lauded reputations are effectively debunked, for instance Fieldmarshall Montgomery's. So far so good, but my enjoyment was considerably curtailed by this performance I'm afraid. For me, the frequent mispronouniation of familiar place names, and the amazing running together of consecutive paragraphs often left my head spinning. A description of events in Europe, for instance, running without punctuation or pause into the next chapter about events in the Pacific is one example, sadly a frequent non-sequeteur in this performance. I did wonder whether English was the reader's native language at one stage, as the words flow out in a monotonous stream on and on, without imparting sense by suitable changes of intonation,but that's too harsh. I suggest that you buy the paper book, it's much more enjoyable than this tepid offering.