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Masaryk Station Audiobook

Masaryk Station: A John Russell Thriller, Book 6

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Publisher's Summary

Berlin, early 1948: The city, still occupied by the four Allied powers, still largely in ruins, has become the cockpit of a new Cold War, and as spring unfolds its German inhabitants live in fear of the Soviets enforcing a Western withdrawal. Here, as elsewhere in Europe, the legacies of the War have become entangled in the new Soviet-American conflict, creating a world of bizarre and fleeting loyalties, a paradise for spies.

John Russell works for both Stalin's NKVD and the newly-created CIA. He does as little for either as he can safely get away with, and between the tawdry tasks they set him - assessing dubious defectors in Trieste, running a spy ring in a Berlin VD clinic, rescuing ex-Nazis who might prove useful from Czechoslovakia - he seeks a way to cut himself loose.

His partner Effi Koenen has an easier time, starring in a popular radio series and looking after their adopted daughter Rosa, until a woman she helped save in the War turns up on her doorstep, and admits to a child she left behind all those years before, a child now trapped behind the new iron curtain.

©2013 David Downing (P)2013 AudioGO

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.7 (15 )
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3.6 (14 )
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Story
2.2 (14 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Wirral, United Kingdom 22/03/2014
    David Wirral, United Kingdom 22/03/2014 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
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    "having loved David Downing's previous books..."

    ...I thought I'd go against the previous reviews and get the book anyway because it can't be as bad as the narrator was painted...it is...and then some. So far I've stopped it twice and read other books...the narrator is appalling, it must've been done on the cheap this...he reads it monotone, like he didn't bother to proof read it the first time, it's awful, I'm so disappointed. I will be staying away from him in future...and Mr Downing, if you use him again, I'll be staying away from you too!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr 02/11/2014
    Mr 02/11/2014 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Plot. Awful narration."
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Masaryk Station?

    Having enjoyed Zoo, Silesian and Stettin stations on audio, I was doubly disappointed a) by two missing volumes: Pottsdam and Lehrter stations and b) by one of the worst audion narrations I've ever heard. I didn't trouble to check the narrator but it sounds as though English is not his first language. Perhaps someone thought this might lend the novel authenticity... or perhaps the narrator came cheap. Either way, a dreadful disappointment after the first 3 audios... made worse by the gap of two novels. Who plans this stuff? Seriously...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chusan Services Ltd 18/06/2015 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    4
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    "Don't buy this book"
    Would you try another book written by David Downing or narrated by Michael Healy?

    David Downing - YesMichael Healy - No


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Didn't get beyond chapter one.


    What didn’t you like about Michael Healy’s performance?

    Nothing!This, unfortunately, is the second book this month that has been spoiled by the choice of the reader. Michael Healy is another American who can't read aloud. I doubt he's ever heard the phrase 'tonal modulation' and wouldn't know what it was if he had! Remember the teacher/tutor/instructor who spoke in such a monotonous, boring way that most of the class were asleep in the first five minutes? That's Michael Healy!


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

    Anger and sadness.


    Any additional comments?

    Luckily I have the Kindle version...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    merlinsrevenge 25/01/2015
    merlinsrevenge 25/01/2015 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "I have heard instructions read aloud better"

    This narrator makes me wish for an abridged version........just awful. Ruined a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flossie dog 08/05/2014
    Flossie dog 08/05/2014 Member Since 2009

    gez53

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Brilliant book spoiled by a dreadful narrator!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Masaryk Station to be better than the print version?

    I've listened to the audiobooks of the first 3 books in this series and read the 4th and 5th (as they don't seem to be available on audio as yet). I have thoroughly enjoyed all but this last one. The story-lines are excellent - informative, atmospheric and gripping; real page-turners. Masaryk Station, however, was totally spoiled for me by the dire narration. The modulation and inflection were dreadful and pronunciation (of English, German and Russian) was little,short of pitiful. I can't believe that the director / producer could be satisfied with producing such a dreadful audiobook. I was so disappointed that I shall be reading the printed version for myself!


    What other book might you compare Masaryk Station to, and why?

    Similar to the Bernie Gunther series by Philip Kerr - all excellent stories. All these, however, had competent narrators!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Healy’s performances?

    Definitely not!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Intrigue in post-war Berlin


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Joyce
    ESSEX FELLS, NJ, United States
    16/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a disappointment...and it's all the narrator"
    Would you try another book from David Downing and/or Michael Healy?

    I love David Downing! this is the 6th audible book of his i purchased. The narrator is so miserable you can hardly follow the story. Simon Prebble made Downing's words come alive. In fact, the listener is riveted. This narrator should be fired from all future readings. his voice is droning, and i finally figured out why my Iphone has settings for increasing the speed at which you listen...If I didn't love these stories so much and was so interested in the lives of the characters, I would have given up long ago


    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Joshua
    Spring Mills, PA, United States
    06/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A nice completion to a good series, nearly ruined."

    I've worked my way through the John Russel series, by David Downing, and enjoyed all of them. I don't understand why the whole series isn't available. I bought the paperback of the missing book so I could maintain the story line. I suppose the series can be read out of order, but it is really more of a single long novel and more enjoyable to read in order. This book did a nice job of summing up and closing the series. If you've enjoyed the story and characters in these somewhat slow paced, but well written books, I think you could enjoy this one.

    But,,,,(and it's a significant but), the reader is nearly awful. The book is full of mispronunciations. I can ignore a lot of that, but the reader sometimes pronounces the proper name "Thomas" in the ordinary way, (tomas), but then, inexplicably will pronounce the Th, (thomas, as in Thermos), Again and again. It's really annoying.

    So, if you can find this book performed by another reader, buy that version. If you can't, well, the story is a good solid David Downing story and important for closure to those of us who follow a series, so you'll just have to try to turn a deaf ear to the narrator, and do your best to enjoy the writing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Liz
    Adelaide, South Australia
    17/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Appalling narration"
    What would have made Masaryk Station better?

    Simon Prebble narrating


    What other book might you compare Masaryk Station to and why?

    Can't, as I couldn't finish it. Will have to read it instead.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Healy’s performances?

    Certainly not. If I could have given this zero stars I would have.


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

    Couldn't finish listening to it.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I'd taken note of the comments from other readers before purchasing it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • David Holroyd
    Fairhaven, MA United States
    01/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Big fan ...but"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator. I was tempted to give up.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His diction and pronunciation are poor.


    Any additional comments?

    Not the best work in the series, but once you're hooked!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jim McBride
    Los Angeles, CA United States
    21/08/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deserves a better reader"

    I can't imagine a narrator less interested in the material he was reading than this one. He made almost no effort to differentiate among the characters with voice, inflection, accent, dynamics -- i.e., acting. Nor did he even try to properly pronounce the myriad of foreign names and phrases sprinkled throughout the book.I've read all of David Downing's excellent John Russell novels that depict the intrigues, human and political, that formed, deformed, and reformed the German experience before, during, and after World War II. This latest installment stands tall among them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • DANNY DOSS
    29/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Do not Waste Your Credit!"
    What disappointed you about Masaryk Station?

    Narrator


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Same narrator as previous books by David Downing.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Any other narrator.


    What character would you cut from Masaryk Station?

    Narrator


    Any additional comments?

    Who in their right mind would approve this version to be allowed on the market?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Godwillen
    beverly hills
    17/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A SHOCKINGLY BAD NARRATOR"
    Would you try another book from David Downing and/or Michael Healy?

    Downing is fabulous; Healy, unspeakably awful. How so manifestly untalented a narrator - erratic, unnuanced, and approaching the material seemingly for the first time, all but stumbling over words - was chosen to replace the likes of Simon Prebble and Simon Vance suggests corporate folly, directorial incompetence, and oh, a close personal relationship with someone at Audible.Dump this guy and start again: he RUINS the book.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Healy?

    How about the first person you meet in the hallway? Couldn't do worse. Simon Prebble and Simon Vance narrated the earlier John Russell books - beg them to come back!


    Any additional comments?

    Yes. Don't use Michael Healy to read anything more dramatic than a phone book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prof Dee
    Savannah, GA
    20/08/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A turgid tale told with little enthusiasm."
    Would you try another book from David Downing and/or Michael Healy?

    I have read all of David Downing's previous "station" books and I'm afraid this last one went off track. It seemed tired and narratively listless. This lethargic storytelling was amplified by the nearly somnabulistic narration. It lacked excitement, enthusiasm, or engagement. It's the first book I've listened to read by Michael Healy, and it will be the last.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The concept could have been interesting, however, the extremely flat reading defeated whatever drama the writer tried to imbue in the pages.


    How could the performance have been better?

    It could have had some variation which expressed the underlying subtext. As it is, it is without a doubt the most boring performance of any audio book I've yet encountered.


    Do you think Masaryk Station needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Put the series to sleep. If this current version is any reflection of Downing's current work, then he needs to find something new to pursue.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark S. Traub
    Westchester, NY USA
    18/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Horible narration"
    What did you like best about Masaryk Station? What did you like least?

    I love these characters, John Russell and Effie, I have followed them through 6 books and found their depth wonderful.

    The narration was as bad as I've ever heard in over 600 books.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a nice wrap-up to the series (or is it a wrap-up?)


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance was riddled with terrible rhythms, horrible pronunciations and boring intonations.


    Could you see Masaryk Station being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    There should be a series for TV with John and Effie for the 6 books.


    Any additional comments?

    This book deserves a do-over with a better narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catharine
    20/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's all about the narrator"
    What would have made Masaryk Station better?

    a different narrator


    What was most disappointing about David Downing’s story?

    Story is great but I couldn't finish it because the narration was so poor


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Healy?

    George Guidall, Simon Preble, William Kitchens


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

    Disappointment because of the narration. I've read all the preceding books and will now buy this one if it's available


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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