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John

Bradford, United Kingdom
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 58
  • helpful votes
  • 58
  • ratings
  • The Evolutionary Void

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 24 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 972
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 695
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 698

Peter F. Hamilton’s startling perspectives on tomorrow’s technological and cultural trends span vast tracts of space and time, his stories are as compelling as they are epic in scope, and yet they are always grounded in characters – human, alien and other – who, for all their strangeness, still touch our hearts and fire our imaginations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great end to the trilogy

  • By John on 25-01-11

Great end to the trilogy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-01-11

All reviews are by their very nature subjective and so this is only worth what my opinion is worth. From my view point this was an excellent end to the series. I really enjoyed this book and Hamilton delivers an excellent tale that finishes off the saga nicely whilst leaving a few characters around with the door open for fresh adventures in the Commomwealth 'world'.

Like Terry Pratchett, or Iain M Banks, Hamilton produces novels which whilst set in a 'world' can still stand alone in its own right. The plot is solid but for me, if you want to know what happens to a character the author has done an excellent job and Hamilton does this in spades.

Given what I have said why only 4 stars? Well sorry to say but any audiobook is 'a game of two halves' - the author and the narrator, whilst I find Hamilton work superb I have to say that I am not as keen on Lee's narration. I have listened to some good work by Lee but I really don't think that this genre is his best, for example I thought that he was very good with his narration of 'Cochrane' but must admit that I found this much harder work. I felt that Toby Longworth's narration of the first book was much more engaging and to be honest if I hadn't gotten into Hamilton work I might not have been so keen to listen to the later Lee narrated volumes. That being said I don't think Lee's work is as bad as some reviewers have suggested (if you want someone really dire then try Charlton Griffin - the only audiobook I have failed to complete, a pretty good book absolutely ruined by the narration, I would rather stick pins in my eyes than listen to it again - no wonder some people hate History if it was present to them like that).

The bottom line is an excellent book that draws the arcs of the various story lines together in a masterly fashion, the narration is okay but I feel that Toby Longworth or Peter Kenny might have been a better choice for this book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • A History of the Middle Ages

  • By: Crane Brinton, John Christopher, Robert Wolff
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 19 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

A History of the Middle Ages is the amazing story of European man in transition. It is a dramatic chronicle of 1,000 years of political, social, and economic transformation beginning with the dissolution of the classical Mediterranean civilization and ending with the first flowering of the Renaissance. It is also the story of two new religions, Christianity and Islam, both of which were destined to dominate the mind of every person in those new civilizations arising in their wake.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A very good book ruined

  • By Vaughan on 15-02-11

Reasonable book, ruined

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-02-10

Any audiobook is a game of two halves. The first part is the text written by the author and the second the narration.

The first part of this book is fine, well researched if a little pro-Western, pro-Church stand point. It is a little dated in places but otherwise excellent.

The downfall comes with the narration which at best sounds like Hugh Denis doing his best pompous voice but most of the time is dreadfully dull and precisely the tone that puts so many off history. At point one I really did wonder what was going on as he mispronounces even the simplest things dan-e-geld is actually dane-geld (gold paid to the Danes to go away). The patronising, condescending and frankly turgid tones were eventually enough even for me and I couldn't face the final part. My view is that it was a good book ruined. There are many good books on audible, this just isn't one of them. My advice, get Caesar's Legion instead and cracking book and an excellent narrator.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Caesar's Legion

  • The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome
  • By: Stephen Dando-Collins
  • Narrated by: Stuart Langton
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52

Stephen Dando-Collins paints a vivid and definitive portrait of daily life in the Tenth Legion as he follows Caesar and his men along the blood-soaked fringes of the Empire. This unprecedented regimental history reveals countless previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Caesar's conduct as a commander and his relationships with officers and legionnaires, and the daily routine and discipline of the Legion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Caesar's Legion

  • By John on 03-11-09

Caesar's Legion

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-11-09

I felt this was an excellent book, extremely well researched and superbly written. The narrator (Stuart Langton) was also excellent. The book does concentrate on the 10th Legion's early years which is unsurprising and tells the story of Roman legionnaires well. I would have liked more information about the 10th legion's later days as post Caesar & Augustus the portrait does become decidedly broad brush. This is however a minor quibble but is probably a testament to just how good the rest of the book was, leaving me wanting more. It is certainly in a class above the time traveller guide to Middle Ages which I am listening to at the moment. The scholarship, writing style and narration in this book are decidedly top class whilst our medieval friends are more of the semi-pro league.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Unabridged)

  • By: Mark Haddon
  • Narrated by: Ben Tibber
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,346
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,112

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns, and the truth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent book

  • By John on 03-11-09

An excellent book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-11-09

I had this book recommended by a friend, although she had read it hard copy rather than the audio version. I was somewhat wary of the book to be honest as I have an autistic son, and wondered how exactly it would unfold, would it make those who suffer from autism sound like weirdos? Would it just caricature them? Instead what I got was a superb piece of writing which gives anyone who does not know someone who is autistic a view of the world they try to make sense of in a sensitive manner. The book isn't really there to explore autism but does give a perspective that non-sufferers can understand. I can identify with the characters that are well written and believable and I found myself really caring for the them and wanting things to work out, for my money the true mark of a writer is how good they are in creating engaging characters and I must admit I felt that Mark Haddon excels in this. Any audiobook is only as good as the narrator and I felt that Ben Tibber was first class. Thanks to both the author and narrator, I really enjoyed this book.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Revelation Space

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 22 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 921
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 639
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 640

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story - Fell out with the narrator.

  • By Peter on 06-07-10

Revelation Space

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-09-09

To be honest it took a little while to get into this as I took a while to warm to the narrator. The delivery seemed a little ponderous but once I got use to it, it just became part of the story. The story itself is excellent with Alistair Reynolds producing an excellent environment with a range of characters. Part of the problem I had with the book in the beginning was that the central character wasn't someone I warmed to but as the book progresses and the chapters, like archaeological layers, reveal fresh insight I enjoyed the book more and more. This is my first Alistair Reynolds book and on the basis of this I will be getting a few more.

  • The Antipope

  • The First Part of the Brentford Trilogy
  • By: Robert Rankin
  • Narrated by: Andy Greenhalgh, David Gooderson, Robert Rankin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 183

You could say it all started with the red-eyed tramp with the slimy fingers who put the wind up Neville, the part-time barman, something rotten. Or when Archroy's wife swapped his trusty Morris Minor for five magic beans while he was out at the rubber factory.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Anti-pope

  • By John on 12-07-09

The Anti-pope

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-07-09

The book is in the vein of Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett but in the occult rather than sci-fi or fantasy. A friend recommended this book a long time ago and I never got around to getting a copy. Browsing audible I saw it and thought I would give it a try. It was an excellent choice on my part, which shows I do make some occasionally. It is well written and superbly read, with wry, dry humour and characters that don't just live but are likeable, and I really wanted to see how it would pan out. I subsequently got 'Hollow chocolate bunnies of the apocalypse' which I also enjoyed. In a publishing world where clones of success swarm, Rankin and his work stand apart. You get the idea that he is a genuine story teller who wants about all to entertain, which certainly does. The only negative comment is that none of the rest of the series are available on audible. If they do become available I will be the first to buy.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful