"Lloyd James can't read!"
Terrible reader - make sure you listen to the sample before you buy it.
"Stick with it"
Like some of the longer Harry Potter books, I found this a bit ponderous at first. But the characters, humour and the fantastic way J K Rowling has of drawing things together made for a final 3rd as addicting as any of her previous work. I greatly enjoyed Tom Hollanders reading and accents too. So stick with it if the first downloadable chunk doesn't grab you. I was very glad I did, this is the best book I have listened to this year.
I was sad to hear that some quarters of the Sikh community have been critical of the portrayal of one of the teenage characters. The same advice applies here too, stick with it - I think the treatment of Sikhism is actually very positive.
"makes listening to radio phone ins impossible"
Down the Line features some of the best and cleverest character comedy I've heard. It often gets so near the knuckle that you have to remind yourself that it's not real. If you liked Harry Enfield and Chums, the Fast Show or Little Britian you will recognise most of the performers and their character voices. But there's plenty here for anyone to enjoy. Like Spinal Tap or Withnail and I, Down the Line rewards repeated listening and it's a shame that as a radio comedy it isn't likely to reach a wide audience who can memorise immortal lines and repeat them in pubs up and down the land in the way that those films have. Deserves an immediate download!
"Not such a classic"
I found this book confusing.
C S Lewis wrote that it was a book for 'ley people', i.e. normal folk and not theological academics. I can only assume that normal folk were a lot smarter 50 years ago then I am now!
This is one of Lewis's earlier books on Christianity and it shows. To mind my he writes here for the Oxford undergraduates and fellow Dons he enjoyed debating with, even if that was not what he set out to do. The problem is that he doesn't take a very straight forward approach to the main question ('How can a good God allow bad things to happen to people?'), but asks lots of smaller questions that certainly never occured to me and didn't shed a lot of light on the main problem. E.g. the first chapter is a brilliant piece on the historical acceptance of the pressence of God, but it doesn't say much about pain. There's fascinating stuff abotu dinosaurs and all sorts of things later on, but it won't give you any comfort.
The book is brimming with ideas and gives an interesting back ground to his fantastic novel Out of a Silent Planet, which works some of them into a story.
I would advise anybody who wants some solid answers on the problem of pain or anyone starting to read Lewis to stay away from this book. The issues are much better (and more clearly) examined in the undisputed Lewis classic Mere Christianity and the far more personal A Grief Observed, both great books that I highly recommend.
"packed wuth vitamins & irony"
This striking book makes complusive listening. Kurt Vonnegut offers up all kinds of things between the begining and the end of the story including theories on human sexuality, spirituality, mental illness, the racial divide in America and tap dancing as a means of communication. Things get increasingly strange towards the end but even at it's most unhinged this is a fascinating novel expertly read.
"An interesting approach"
This BBC radio production takes an interesting approach to adapting old TV sci fi. For the 'lost' Dr Who TV stories the Beeb took the original sound tracks (mostly recorded by fans) and produced new scene naration by original cast members. In practise what we got was a lot of old people doing dull audio description in the present tense. Certainly an accquired taste!
For Quatermass we have a mix of the original sound tracks, character naration and writer Nigel Kneales commentary on world events at the time of the TV broadcasts. This appraoch generally works very well. Occassionally the naration has to gloss over vast chunks of the story. This is frustrating and had the effect of throwing me out of the story.
By far the best part of the whole thing are Nigel Kneales fascinating 'real world' contributions, particulalry on the racial elements of 'Quatermass and the Pit'.
This is an very interesting production but I felt that it lacked something overall. There is certainly plenty to enjoy, but some of the story telling doesn't totaly work, at least it didn't for me. If you are a fan of BBC sci fi or old telly then add an extra star.
I was looking forward to this as I came to it after listening to a brilliant 3 part BBC radio play based on the Ilyad. That play was full of interesting social commentary and successfully made several links between the source material and modern day political war, whilst also sensitivily handeling spirituality and even hinting at C S Lewis's fondley held belief of Jesus Christ furfilling paganism. Fascinating stuff!
This production doesn't hold a candle to it. The english 'regional accents' are terrible and sound very put on (is it necesary for the Cyclops to sound like a Yorkshireman?). There's far to much 'adult' purile humour. And worst of all, the classic story feels dragged out and over long.
I really can't recommend this production. I couldn't bring myself to finish listening to it in the end. I do however recommend the Naxos Children's classic production 'the tales of Odysseus' also availible from Audible.
I may be being a little harsh and I do intend to do back to this download with fresh ears and give it a second chance. But definitly listen to the preview before you buy this one.
This a very good retelling of the classic adventure. Stick it on, loose yourself in the story and you will wonder were the last 2 hours went. Perfect for car journeys and something the family can enjoy together. Also offers a great introduction to Homer if that's what you are after.
I think this production is much more satisifying and mature then the BBC radio version of the Odyssey 'for adults' also availible from Audible. That version is silly and a bit to clever for it's own good. Typically of good children's fiction, this version is totally accessible and focused on telling a gripping story.
This is a great yarn very well told and with a lot to offer. It serves as a nice little over view of the Ilyad by Homer or a good introduction to great classics in general. But it's also a good story, full of great characters and compromised heroes, those Trojan boys just do not date!
Naxos are very good at covering the sexual and violent elements of classic stories in ways that will be appropriate for most young families but with out skipping over the events altogether. This approach is employed to good effect here.
The production also weaves in atmosphereic and pulse surging classical music to great effect.
Once you've enjoyed this one be sure to download the Naxos Odyessus volume, it's just as good.
"A very mixed bag"
Would you believe that this collection of Dr Wo stories takes a sudden turn for the better when Colin Baker turns up?
Oh sweet irony!
The first two stories are pretty uninspired TV adaptations read by Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison. Then Colin Baker reads one of the best Cyber Man stories ever and things really get going.
Along with the TV adaptations there are short stories that sound like they were commissioned as audio books. Readers range from Dr's past, to assistants to apparently random actor who mostly turn in good if uninspiring performances.
As you might expect from a TV series of such varied heritage as Dr Who, some of the stories are gripping adventure sci fi at it's best, some are plain old dumb 'run from the monster' hi-jinkery, some are apparently random and a bit dull (especially one about the Dr's train set coming to life).
Overall there are enough good & well told stories here to make it worthwhile, but it is far from essential listening and doesn't deserve a place near the top of your wish list until you've worked your way through the 5 star sci fi titles availible on audible.
So you're thinking of downloading Dr Who: The Dalek's Master Plan. First, ask yourself this very important question:
Are you a Dr Who maniac who loves all things DW no matter how naff and is fascinated by the 60's stories that are only availible as sound tracks due to the infamous BBC archiving policies?
If the answer is 'no' please walk away right now.
There is a lot wrong with this product and not much right with it.
Let's start with the good things:
You get a lot for your money
It's interesting to hear the 'lost' TV stories
er.... it's got daleks in it.
Now for the not so good:
The story provides a new definition of incoherency. It's very very long. It goes on mayor detours (the best of which being the Christmas episode, also one of the worst episodes of all time according to fan sites).
The naration lacks any kind of enthusiasm or pathos, sounding instead like a retired Blue Peter presenter sat in a small room.
It's reallly quite boring, quite often.
This one is for Dr Who completeists only I'm affraid!
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