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  • 19
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  • A History of Britain: Volume 1

  • By: Simon Schama
  • Narrated by: Stephen Thorne
  • Length: 15 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 621
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 537
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 533

The story of Britain from the earliest settlements in 3000BC to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. To look back at the past is to understand the present. In this vivid account of over 4,000 years of British history, Simon Schama takes us on an epic journey which encompasses the very beginnings of the nation's identity, when the first settlers landed on Orkney. From the successes and failures of the monarchy to the daily life of a Roman soldier stationed on Hadrian's Wall, Schama gives a vivid, fascinating account of the many different stories and struggles that lie behind the growth of our island nation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well written but hard to manage as an audiobook

  • By Roderic on 23-01-14

Packed with detail

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

Reviewed: 02-09-17

I was disappointed that this was more a history of the Kings and Queens of Britain, and gave very little social history. It is, however, packed with information, and I will definitely listen to parts 2 and 3, as this book has made me realise how little I knew of our own history.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Elephant in the Room

  • A Journey into the Trump Campaign and the "Alt-Right"
  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 1 hr and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406

'But Hillary is a known Luciferian,' he tried. 'She's not a known Luciferian,' I said. 'Well, yes and no,' he said. In The Elephant in the Room, Jon Ronson, the New York Times best-selling author of The Psychopath Test, Them and So You've Been Publicly Shamed, travels to Cleveland at the height of summer to witness the Republican National Convention.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bit short for a whole credit

  • By Mooma on 31-10-16

Strange but insightful

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

Reviewed: 02-09-17

A typically strange book by this author, Ronson uses a limited range of first-hand experiences to analyse some major political movements but gives an offbeat view of Trump's methods. Close contact with one or two of his cronies helps us to understand this dreadful man's political standpoint.

  • The Silk Roads

  • A New History of the World
  • By: Peter Frankopan
  • Narrated by: Laurence Kennedy
  • Length: 24 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,510
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,278
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,261

The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westward on its axis, it now turns to the east.... For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the West - in the New World of the Americas. Today it is the East that calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from Eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia, deep into China and India, is taking center stage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History that is as entertaining as it is educating

  • By Natalia on 03-12-15

Dreadful!

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

Reviewed: 02-09-17

This was appalling! The book may be better than I realise, but the narration was so bad, it was difficult to see past that and appreciate the content. I was so disappointed as I wanted to gain an understanding of this part of the World that is so poorly understood by the West. The pretentious (and sometimes erroneous?) pronunciations made me cringe and the narrators intermittent and apparently random use of pantomime foreign accents bordered on the racist. I gave up after the first 2 chapters from which I learnt absolutely nothing.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful

Packing for Mars cover art
  • Packing for Mars

  • The Curious Science of Life in the Void
  • By: Mary Roach
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95

Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected Gem

  • By Pete on 18-09-10

Great fun

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

Reviewed: 02-09-17

This book gives the human side of space exploration, and answers many of the questions we would like to know, but were afraid (or too embarrassed) to ask. It demystifies the space programme by exposing the many fallibilities of those involved. It is good fun, hugely enjoyable, and really well written and read.

  • The Penguin Lessons

  • By: Tom Michell
  • Narrated by: Bill Nighy
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell, read by Bill Nighy. 'I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time.' Tom Michell is in his roaring 20's: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting

  • By Sue156 on 18-02-16

light listening but disappointing

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

Reviewed: 02-09-17

A whimsical account of a young man's early career as a teacher in Argentina, and his friendship with a penguin that he rescued from an oil-polluted beach. Bill Nighy's narration was disappointing but probably the best that could be done with the material available.

  • Cosmos

  • By: Carl Sagan
  • Narrated by: LeVar Burton, Seth MacFarlane, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,055
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 959
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 954

Cosmos is one of the best-selling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Astronomy and so much more

  • By Andrei S. on 23-01-18

Profound and moving

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

Reviewed: 02-09-17

I had very fond memories on the tv series linked to this book, and this Audible version did not disappoint. Its profound and often moving messages are still as relevant and important as when they were first written- possibly even more so. Sagan provided a real understanding of what is known about the universe, and an idea of what is left to be discovered. It delivers some stark messages on the dangers of nuclear war (if only Donald Trump could read!) but is an ultimately hopeful and almost spiritual book.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Born to Run

  • By: Bruce Springsteen
  • Narrated by: Bruce Springsteen
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,215
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,124
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,123

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That's how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to this audio the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A real 'Brucie Bonus'

  • By Philip on 10-06-17

A great book.

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

Reviewed: 02-09-17

This was my first Audible book and was a really good choice! It is so well written, and read by the author. It gives a real insight into the life and career of a hugely successful, very hard-working and ultimately (for me, at least) extremely likeable rock star. Without losing any of his cool, here is a star that even his parents would be proud of!

  • No Is Not Enough

  • Defeating the New Shock Politics
  • By: Naomi Klein
  • Narrated by: Brit Marling
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 308

Trump, as extreme as he is, is less an aberration than a logical conclusion - a pastiche of pretty much all the worst and most dangerous trends of the past half century. A one-man megabrand, with wife and children as spin-off brands.... Remember when it all seemed to be getting better? Before Trump happened? Naomi Klein, internationally acclaimed journalist, activist and best-selling author, shows us how we got to this surreal and dangerous place, how to stop it getting a lot worse, and how, if we keep our heads, we can make things better.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A manifesto for the rest of my life...

  • By benslaters on 06-08-17

A clear insight into the rise of Donald Trump

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

Reviewed: 20-08-17

A brilliant analysis of how Trump has achieved the ultimate position of power in the USA, and what he and his cronies plan to do with it (and some insight into reasons for Brexit here in the UK). The first 3 sections are gruelling, harrowing, but essential listening to understand how the far right and commercial interests have combined forces to gain political control in America. The 4th section explains what can be done to combat this, and has a (slightly) more optimistic tone. Klein is a fantastic analyst and everyone with an interest in the World should listen or read this, her most important book.

  • Down Under

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 997
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 801

Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold, and the sun nearly always shines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilarious

  • By Lynette Morris on 24-12-12

A rich and funny account of his travels

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

Reviewed: 26-05-17

I listened to this shortly after returning from a trip to Australia, and certainly recognised the country he describes. Full of Bryson's humour and human insight, and all the warmth that we have come to associate with his books. The reading was enjoyable, but would have been even better by the author. I learnt a lot, whilst being entertained.