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I. A. Wright

Didcot, Oxon, England
  • 48
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  • 40
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  • 160
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Good selection of Asimov’s work

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

Reviewed: 22-10-19

Many unrelated tales of sci-fi imagination, not all of which now engender the willing suspension of disbelief, other than to make one wonder how people might have shrugged acceptance those years ago.

But even those tales are fun, in their own way.

This collection contains some really good yarns.

My one reservation is that the narrator puffs his way through the stories, catching his breath after every one to eight words. My emphysemic father spoke in the same manner. The pauses make the stories somewhat hard to listen to and concentrate on.

A fascinating life

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

Reviewed: 15-10-19

An amazing and eclectic collections of interwoven stories from Mr Forsyth’s life. Engagingly narrated. The backgrounds to his novels make me want to relive his books and their film adaptations.

An excellent and fascinating life that all should enjoy.

OKish

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

Reviewed: 14-10-19

I kept losing concentration, while listening to this audiobook. That possibly tells a tale.

The story’s mostly OK. The infelicities of Ms Slaughter’s grammar did get in the way. And I was quite surprised when told that the heroine put a knife in her bra, a knife whose blade was long enough to reach the baddie’s heart when she would stab him in his shoulder. That’s a long blade... and an impossibly massive big bra. Things like that I found broke the willing suspension of disbelief.

Perhaps most people will enjoy this book, without being distracted by the infelicities I found so disturbing.

Sensible comments

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

Reviewed: 27-09-19

I’ve been an atheist for some 62 years and a questioner for several years before. The points about indoctrination by family and society are key to ‘belief’. Synaptic plasticity (q.v) ensures that a message repeated often enough will usually create fixed Ca+ pathways in the brain, that will probably cause the brain to always take those pathways whether the message is true, such as 2+2=4, or completely false, such as the supremacy of Caucasians over others.

When synaptic pathways are set in Ca+ concrete, the brain accepts that message to be infallible and denies the possibility of any other truth. It considers any alternative to be a face-threatening act and adopts a fight-or-flight position. Hence, the ‘My god is bigger than yours’ conflicts and murders.

Dawkins argues his points well, carefully explaining terms that some readers might not understand. This book is worth reading, especially by theists, who I sincerely hope will take up the challenge and prove that any god exists.

Honest, wide-ranging, insightful

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

Reviewed: 25-09-19

Mr Cameron takes us through his years as leader of the Conservative Party and those as Prime Minister with almost painful honesty. At times, I felt that his self-flagellation when describing the things that, in 20:20 hindsight he ‘got wrong’. In his defence, I say, quoting IBM‘s TJ Watson: ‘Anyone who makes no mistakes isn’t working’. Yes, Mr Cameron might have done better, but he might have done far worse, as epitomised by Gordon Brown. He tried. He was committed to do the best for the UK.

Samantha deserves a medal for her support, through good times and not so good times, helping her husband through many crises.

Mr C reads his history eloquently and passionately. Good for him.

10 of 19 people found this review helpful

Remarkable

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

Reviewed: 05-09-19

This book shows the real, non-glamorous side of work in MI5. Tom Marcus takes us through a number of counter-terrorist incidents, including high-speed driving through London’s streets, to secure the safety of the public.

Perhaps this book might be made available to the Careers Section in schools?

Staggering exposure if psychotic evil

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

Reviewed: 12-08-19

Figes takes you on an incredible and incredibly disturbing, even sickening, tour of Soviet society from before the Russian Revolution, through Lenin’s and Stalin’s purges, to Glasnost and the 1990s. He reveals the horror of totalitarianism and of Stalin’s psychotic paranoia and their effects on ordinary people who were generally innocent of the charges laid against them. Many were murdered, shot as punishment for innocence. Many were denounced by family, friends, neighbours out of spite or jealousy or desire to claim someone else’s property—aspects of the human condition that Marx had completely failed to take into account.

These were the effects of the implementation of Marxism in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, of the initial demands that all thought of family were anti-social, against the good if the state, which was to be the only goal, the only love.

The number of people murdered by the state in the name of the state will never be known because, unlike the Nazis, the Soviets did not keep accurate records, but that number was anything from 20 million to perhaps something like 40 million. (If a person who was sent to a gulag dies of cold, disease, exhaustion, or starvation, is that death to be recorded as ‘natural causes’ or as murder?

People should be encouraged to read ‘The Whisperers’, so that they learn and understand the evils of Soviet-Marxist totalitarianism.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Above and beyond

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

Reviewed: 10-08-19

While most novels tell essentially a single story, Soldier Spy tells of several incidents in the active life of an MI5 agent and of how his experiences affect him.

Soldier Spy is at once enthralling and disturbing.

Eye-opening and very scary

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

Reviewed: 09-08-19

This book reveals the horrors of the Moscow-planned famines in Ukraine and the other Soviet actions to destroy Ukrainian society.

Something too briefly mentioned is that, because of their treatment by the Communists, some Ukrainians fought for the Nazis against the Soviet forces but, when they realised what the Nazis intended, set up as Partisans, attacking both the Soviets and the Nazis.

Red Famine is really worth reading/listening to. The narrator performs excellently.

A promising start

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

Reviewed: 07-08-19

All writers must start somewhere. This early novel by Peter James shows the beginner’s overenthusiastic errors that an experienced editor might have guided him away from. Some violent scenes, for example, are over-long to the point of becoming almost funny. When Jim Eldridge made a similar error, with a violent scene taking two pages, his editor told him that it was too far over the top and that he should shorten it, which he did, reducing it perhaps too far to short sentence.

The plot also showed an immaturity that James would soon overcome in his subsequent novels, making them far more enjoyable.

Many will surely find Dead Letter Drop an enjoyable read, warts and all. Others might see in it a guide for aspiring novelists in things not to do.

The narrator, too, seems to be a young novice whose voice might take some getting used to. But, all in all, he does a reasonable job.

We all start somewhere. We stumble; we learn; we improve and progress, as Peter James has done. I’m glad I read his 19th Roy Grace book first.