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Andrew

Banchory, United Kingdom
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 22
  • ratings
  • Area 51

  • By: Annie Jacobsen
  • Narrated by: Annie Jacobsen
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

It is the most famous military installation in the world. And no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside of it. Until now. This is the first book based on interviews with scientists, pilots, and engineers - 58 in total - who provide an unprecedented look into the mysterious activities of a top-secret base, from the Cold War to today. With a jaw-dropping ending, it proves that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • fascinating listen - great narration

  • By N. D. Lenehan on 30-01-12

Part interesting, part nonsense!

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

Reviewed: 30-01-16

The interesting parts covered the development of the A12 aka SR71 and nuclear weapons and associated projects. The nonsense is at the end and links the Nazis, Stalin, Roswell, not-aliens and flying saucers.

Leaving the nonsense bit aside, the factual parts, whilst interesting are riddled with errors, i wouldn't claim to be an expert on the subject matter but I know a fair amount about nuclear weapons and spotted errors almost every few minutes and that rather took the shine off the rest of the book.

  • Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo

  • By: Nicholas de Monchaux
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface in July of 1969, they wore spacesuits made by Playtex: 21 layers of fabric, each with a distinct yet interrelated function, custom-sewn for them by seamstresses whose usual work was fashioning bras and girdles. This book is the story of that spacesuit. It is a story of the triumph over the military-industrial complex by the International Latex Corporation, best known by its consumer brand of "Playtex" - a victory of elegant softness over engineered hardness, of adaptation over cybernetics.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting book but a little diffuse.

  • By Andrew on 14-12-15

Interesting book but a little diffuse.

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

Reviewed: 14-12-15

There are a great deal of interesting facts in this book, however, the connection between some of them and the Apollo spacesuits are rather tenuous. That said, where the narrative relates more closely to its subject the author gives a new slant to the story of the design and development of the Apollo suits, why the soft shell Playtex produced suit was superior to the hard shell competition and so-on.

Those parts of the book were fascinating, unfortunately the other parts, whilst interesting, just didn't grab me so much. My other disappointment was the lack of detail on the actual makeup of the suits themselves. The fact they had 21 layers is right up there but what is never discussed is what most of those layers were and what their function was. I'd have liked even a quick run through as a minimum.

That said there were some stand out moments in the book not the least of which was one of the pitches Playtex made, no paper, no slides, just a short film of a man in one of their suits running around a football pitch alongside an unsuited man, throwing a ball, jumping, etc and generally doing things a man in a hard shell suit could never hope to manage.

Overall, a good book but could have been a great one. The narrator on the other hand was excellent!

  • Cibola Burn

  • Book 4 of the Expanse
  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 20 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,406
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,319
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,314

The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds, and the rush to colonise has begun. Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity's home planets. Illus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire. Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage, and the skills learned in the long wars of home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • They replaced the "bad" narrator with the good one

  • By Finlay on 22-06-18

DREADFUL narration but the story makes up fo it.

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

Reviewed: 24-05-15

Changing to a new narrator after three books was a Bad Idea. Changing to a new narrator who is terrible is an Even Worse Idea. His style when reading the descriptive text is halting with emphasis in all the wrong places, I could go on but I's run out of review space. Suffice to say if you see another book narrated by Erik Davies either AVOID or listen carefully to the sample beforehand.

Moving on, the story was well up to the standard for the series and I'ld whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first three books. I sincerely hope that the pending volume 5 will be narrated by the original guy and not Davies. Please, please, please NOT Davies!

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • A Nuclear Family Vacation

  • Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry
  • By: Nathan Hodge, Sharon Weinberger
  • Narrated by: Laural Merlington
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

In A Nuclear Family Vacation, husband-and-wife journalists Nathan Hodge and Sharon Weinberger hit the road to explore the secretive world of nuclear weaponry. Weaving together first-class travel writing and crack investigative journalism, the pair pursues both adventures and answers: Why are nuclear weapons still on hair-trigger alert? Is there really such a thing as a suitcase nuke? And which nuclear power plants are most likely to be covers for weapons programs?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting topic but oh my, the reader!

  • By Andrew on 11-02-14

Interesting topic but oh my, the reader!

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

Reviewed: 11-02-14

The topic for this book hits my sweet spot so it was an easy choice to buy and generally it lived up to my expectations. It shone some light into some of the dark and often neglected corners of the world of atomic weaponry, I especially enjoyed the segment about Kwajalein and although the technical detail was a little on the light side that is understandable given the subject matter. You have to admire the authors determination to get access to some of the places they visited, it often sounds quite easy but I guess they could have written a separate book about the hoops they must have jumped through. Some of the characters they met along the way were as interesting as the places they visited.

On the subject of the reader, I have to say she started off sounding slightly odd, stilted intonation, odd pronunciation, Cuba pronounced "Koobah", the oddest interpretation of the name "Forrestall" I've ever heard and pronouncing IAEA (I'd say Iyayeeay) as I. A. E. A. with really plonking full stops. By the end it was REALLY annoying and puts me off listening to the book again which is a shame.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Protector
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Larry Niven
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Mark Sherman
    
    


    
    Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
    36 ratings
    Overall 4.1
  • Protector

  • By: Larry Niven
  • Narrated by: Mark Sherman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

Phssthpok the Pak had been traveling for most of his thirty-two thousand years. His mission was to save, develop, and protect the group of Pak breeders sent out into space some two-and-a-half million years before.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • a lengthy and engaging tale

  • By Howard on 17-05-09

Good book, excellent narration but a fatal flaw...

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

Reviewed: 21-05-13

I read this book many years ago and was looking forward to listening to it. It was as good-a story as I remembered and the narration was first class so I was enjoying it as much as I had hoped but then came the stumbling block; there is a chapter (at least, haven't checked against a printed copy). Very disappointed.

  • Angelmaker

  • By: Nick Harkaway
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 17 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 379
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 313
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 317

All Joe Spork wants is a quiet life. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don't always get paid and he's single and has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he's not trying to compete with the reputation of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, his infamous criminal dad. Edie Banister lives quietly and wishes she didn't. She's nearly ninety and remembers when she wasn't. She's a former superspy and now she's... well... old. When Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. It's a 1950s doomsday machine....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Now that is a great book. just so clever. you will

  • By Gavingks on 29-03-13

An excellent story very well read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-13

This is a hugely imaginative story populated by unusual and eccentric characters and conferred around a doomesday machine powered by bees and clockwork. The story takes the hero on a journey of self discovery during which he suffers many trials and uncovers many old family secrets finally realising that there comes a time to turn nasty to win through.



The narrator is superb giving each character their own distinct personality, even the semi-blind one toothed pug



Overall an excellent listen masse all the more enjoyable by the skill of the narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Joe Rochefort's War

  • The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway
  • By: Elliot Carlson
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell
  • Length: 22 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

Elliot Carlson's biography of Captain Joe Rochefort is the first to be written of the officer who headed the U.S. Navy's decrypt unit at Pearl Harbor and broke the Japanese Navy's code before the Battle of Midway. Listeners will share Rochefort's frustrations as he searches in vain for Yamamoto's fleet prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and share his joy when he succeeds in tracking the fleet in early 1942 and breaks the code that leads him to believe Yamamoto's invasion target is Midway.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Throws new light on the battle of Midway.

  • By Andrew on 23-12-12

Throws new light on the battle of Midway.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Joe Rochefort is a name well known to any student of the Battle of Midway and although some other aspects of his pre and post Midway career are well known a modern biography is long overdue. This book fills that gap very well indeed. It covers his life and navy career in detail and explains how he came to be in the position he was at the time of Midway. It also explains how although the intelligence work as a whole was a real team effort it was Rochefort's almost unique combination of skills and knowledge that pulled everything together into a functional whole. If you have an interest in Midway, you should definitely buy this book! The only downside (and it's a minor one) is the narrator, way to folksy in some places.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful