• 5
  • reviews
  • 55
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings

Please listen to the crew!!!

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-05-12

Loved these books for years, such detail, such knowledge, such style, such a mordant wit and most of all such fabulous and detailed yarns.
I also enjoyed the film which was (loosely) based on this and a later novel "The Far Side of the World".
Comimg to the Audible version I was a little nervous: the main characters have their own voices in my imagination after all these years, but this reading did not let me down. In fact some of the more obscure nautical passages (and for the beginner these can be a tad daunting) became clearer through Mr. Jerrom's excellent reading.
The only disappointment is that I couldn't go straight on to Post Captain, because Audible have only produced one other unabridged novel in the series.
Come on Audible, we may be a smallish crew of admirers, but we are loyal to Honest Jack and we will happily follow him and the admirable Doctor for another 19 of these excellent tales.

13 people found this helpful

First Family cover art

Fascinating insight

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-08-11

I acquired a hitherto non-existent interest in John and Abigail Adams through the TV series, which seems to have been largely based on the First Couple's letters. I loved the TV show (apart from the tricksy annoyng irrelavant camera angles...don't get me started!) but this book drills down in much more detail into a fascinating period of American (and World) politics and society.
As the author points out, the longer John and Abigail were apart, the more information the biographer can glean from their lives. Their loss is indeed our gain.
Mr Ellis manages to walk the line beautifully between John's preoccupations with his position in the National Pantheon (with which he was clearly very obsessed) and Abigail's concerns with domestic dangers and concerns. Three of their 4 children seem to have lived very damaged lives, and John blamed himself for "not being there", but Abigail's support for him and her outspoken,and very advanced political views, mean she was a thinker and activist in her own right.
A fascinating look at a fine couple, with just the right level of not too outrageous speculation to fill in the gaps in the voluminous correspondence.
Well read and presented, I can strongly recommend

2 people found this helpful

Maybe we should start a club

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-07-11

Maybe we should start a club with badges and everything!! Those who have listened to the whole of this monster. I started off thinking the story was brilliant, but the reading a little "idiosyncratic". Then Edmond jumped off the cliff and we had to meet a completely new set of seemingly disconnected characters, which left me a little disorientated.
The reading continued to be a little odd, but I got used to the odd pauses, the coughing and the strange backgound noises. During (if memory serves)Chapter 25 or 26 an outburst of wind however was a little unnerving to say the least! However I was in for the whole adventure by that time, and I can say it was well worth it. By the end of the book I was completely hooke. Highly recommended

3 people found this helpful

Thank the Lord its over!!

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-02-11

I know its a failing in me. If I've invested in a book I have to see it through to the end, and this one required rather more teeth-gritting than is entirely healthy.
I love well-written historical fiction (see Patrick O'Brien) but this was the most unbelievable tosh.
Bernard Cornwell on a bad day making an unholy tryst with Dame Barbara Cartland and a very VERY sub-standard D.H.Lawrence.
Another reviewer refers to the two-dimensional nature of the characters: this is an exaggeration... all the characters are barely one-dimensional, there is little or no psychological development(astonishing considering the time-scale covered by this novel) and they are all either unbelievably good or unremmitingly bad.
I gave a star for the reading and a couple of stars for the descriptions of the Cathedral-building, but then I remembered those endless, passionless, colourless, distincly unerotic,cold, clincal sex scenes, and knocked a star off! You can see them coming a mile off, the bells clang, the sirens sound, the hooters blare (no pun intended) and you know you're in for a very trying 20 minutes indeed!
If a reader is really interested in the Early English Cathedral as a literary journey, may I strongly recommend William Golding's 'The Spire': rather more challenging and rather less a Medieval East Enders.
Save yourself almost 2 days (I can't believe that) and pass this one by!

36 people found this helpful


5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-01-11

A brilliant reading of an excellent and authoritative biography. Churchill's wit and humour shines through the whole incredible story of the man and Jenkins uses extensive research to bring home the merits (and faults) of 'the finest Prime Minister of the 20th Century.'
A fine reading as well, and even an appropriate and accurate impersonation of the great man. Enjoyed it immensely

1 person found this helpful