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Wras

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  • Slow Horses

  • Slough House, Book 1
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 690
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 688

Slough House is Jackson Lamb’s kingdom; a dumping ground for members of the intelligence service who’ve screwed up: left a secret file on a train, blown surveillance, or become drunkenly unreliable. They’re the service’s poor relations – the slow horses – and bitterest among them is River Cartwright, whose days are spent transcribing mobile phone conversations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intelligence, wit and great plot

  • By Kevin on 06-11-10

Politically correctness, almost killed the book

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

Reviewed: 15-09-18

We live in a funny time where writers must self-flagellate if they use terrorism as a plot device unless they make it a totally devoid of reality; so they are made to write Terrorist plots perpetrated by groups that have not ever committed terrorism to be fair to groups that have, making the story a parody of what it would be if written with true headline protagonists, I am sorry to say that this is one those books.
I only hope that the next book is not compromised by the Voldemort effect and allows the good characters shine instead of being PC.

  • Fear

  • Trump in the White House
  • By: Bob Woodward
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 272
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271

The inside story on President Trump, as only Bob Woodward can tell it. With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • balanced and the text is served well by narration.

  • By David W. on 12-09-18

A balanced look at imperial dysfunction

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

Reviewed: 15-09-18

A very well written account of a time in history that reads like a novel, but is based in one of the stranges events of our period, a detailed view of how Trump was moved into the presidency of America and a look at how the dysfunction of that election has permeated the governance of the United States.
The media has focused on a few events and comments made about Trump, but this is an ensemble of this function that has many layers if anything Trump is described with compassion because through all his shortcomings he is a tragedy of mental illness and ignorance being used by the powers that surround him.
This book also shows a more complex set of players than the two-tone presented by the two tribes; we are presented with the intricacies of world power and the historical responsibilities this entails. Also, the dangers of not understanding that money is not the ultimate power but one of many.
I am sure the second part of this story will be just as thrilling, but will we survive it?

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Moskva

  • By: Jack Grimwood
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 74

Red Square, 1985. The naked body of a young man is left outside the walls of the Kremlin: frozen solid - like marble to the touch - and missing the little finger from his right hand. A week later Alex Marston, the headstrong 15-year-old daughter of the British ambassador, disappears. Army intelligence officer Tom Fox, posted to Moscow to keep him from telling the truth to a government committee, is asked to help find her. It's a shot at redemption. But Russia is reluctant to give up the worst of her secrets.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting

  • By Steph H on 23-02-17

The Russians are back and they are bad to the bone

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

Russia is back in the news and the comfort of an old enemy is welcome by writers, you can make them as bad as you like and have no political correctness thrown at you, plus we have the history that is still influencing the future we understand not that new clouded religious terror and all the unmentionables of our new Orwellian reality.

So here we have an old fashion thriller with villains we can mention without the fear of starting a racist protest or having to make our guys into the instigators of the evil.

Entertaining and well paced if not fresh.

  • Need to Know

  • By: Karen Cleveland
  • Narrated by: Mia Barron
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 107
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 109

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she's developed a system for identifying Russian agents - seemingly normal people living in plain sight. After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America's borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her is threatened.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Just One But Two Great Discoveries!

  • By Simon on 26-01-18

The need to manipulate readers

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

This could have been such a good book; It has good characters, a plot that should have been a joy to develop and thrilling. Instead, we get a plot so convoluted it requires many explanations and characters that are marionettes of the writer who continually frustrate the reader by pointing one way but never delivering a logical or satisfactory change, plus it is insulting to women that are professionals by describing a character with so many doubts and weaknesses that she would be in psychiatric care not in the CIA, every decision she makes is the opposite of any person with some training, her husband is described in a very obvious way but then we are told he really is not that way and that is that.

As a thriller it fails, as a feminist story, it is a travesty, as a spy story, it is laughable.

  • My Purple Scented Novel

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Ian McEwan
  • Length: 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

‘You will have heard of my friend the once celebrated novelist Jocelyn Tarbet, but I suspect his memory is beginning to fade...You’d never heard of me, the once obscure novelist Parker Sparrow, until my name was publicly connected with his. To a knowing few, our names remain rigidly attached, like the two ends of a seesaw. His rise coincided with, though did not cause, my decline...I don’t deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don’t intend to give it back. You may treat these few pages as a confession.’ 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Short, sweet and sour; the perfect novella

  • By Wras on 10-09-18

Short, sweet and sour; the perfect novella

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

Many books of hundreds of pages never deliver the punch this few pages have, perfect sarcasm, well-developed plot, characters that come off the page, entertaining and proof that writing can be majestic.

  • Black Dogs

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Philip Franks
  • Length: 4 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

In 1946, June and Bernard set off on their honeymoon. Fired by their ideals and passion for one another, they had planned an idyllic holiday, but in France they witness an event that alters the course of their lives entirely. Forty years on, their son-in-law is trying to uncover the cause of their estrangement and is led back to this moment on honeymoon and an experience of such darkness it was to wrench the couple apart.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Menace within Europe

  • By Rachel Redford on 07-09-18

Metaphors that don't bark but rip your soul apart

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18


Again Ian McEwan brings to life characters and events while placing questions and conundrums that are devastating for the protagonists and the reader, like how can we pretend we know how to change the world when we can not fix the most familial of problems, do we recognize evil when we see it or do we pretend it is just history or a story.

The story of two lovers viewed from an angle that is unromantic at first glance but hides true love and the desperation of not having salvation. Two historical events that change Europe, two beliefs and two metaphors that grow out of this histories and out of the primordial evil of war and creed.

This book is literature that reverberates in the reader.

  • The Rules of Seeing

  • By: Joe Heap
  • Narrated by: Cariad Lloyd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

What you see depends on what you’re looking for.... Nova can do many things. She can speak five languages. She can tell when someone is lying from the sound of their voice. She can even make an excellent sandwich with peaches, pepperoni and pickles...although she can’t convince anyone to try it. But there’s one thing Nova can’t do. She can’t see. Until an operation restores her sight, and everything changes.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Inconsistent, simplistic, unfocused unidirectional

  • By Wras on 20-08-18

Inconsistent, simplistic, unfocused unidirectional

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

Reviewed: 20-08-18

This book desperately needed an editor a critical editor that has read some books or understand what the plot of a book should be about.
The so-called reviewers on the cover of this book are just the mercenary advertisement for a product that will make the writer cringe in the future.
What this book is not about is a vision of any kind, the main character has a list over three hundred and ninety rules for seeing we get to know maybe ten; also we are told at infinitum that vision is a language (the main character is a translator, so apparently everything is a language ).
The only surprise is that the thriller is no thrilling, the relationships are at best absurd at worst the most boring sexual couples ever, and the bony boiler of the story is so pathetic and poorly described it was hard to believe no one told the writer he/she had to start again. Just one example the knife he uses is a serrated bread knife; I will never look at toast the same way, the horror, the horror.
A waste of time and money, the worst book I read this year. .


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Life 3.0

  • By: Max Tegmark
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204

Penguin Audio presents Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark, read by Rob Shapiro. We stand at the beginning of a new era. What was once science fiction is fast becoming reality, as AI transforms war, crime, justice, jobs and society - and even our very sense of what it means to be human. More than any other technology, AI has the potential to revolutionise our collective future - and there's nobody better situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor and cofounder of the Future of Life Institute, whose work has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and thought provoking.

  • By Heisenberg on 09-04-18

A good beginning to the end life 2.0

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

Reviewed: 20-08-18

Definitions and concepts to ideas that are changing the world while humanity fights over gods and philosophies of other centuries, the shock will hit so hard it will change everything or everything will burn.
Politicians are pushing for population growth to stimulate economies and importing humans with retrograde religions to boost modern societies while these societies are advancing modes of technology that will diminish the necessity of ever-growing numbers of human to stimulate economies, and by the very nature of this technologies and sciences contradicting the exitance of god and our own importance as biological beings in this plane of reality. Time to have science influence politics a lot more than just as a possible future, but because science is the main engine of the future good or bad, and having social change created by half blind demagogs will not put us in line with the future shock.
Excelente expose of how our world is changing and how little of this information is bleeding into the general public as a possible total game changer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • No Time to Cry

  • James Oswald, Book 1
  • By: James Oswald
  • Narrated by: Rose Akroyd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

Undercover ops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong. Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He's been executed - a single shot to the head. In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con's shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oswald's Altered Mirror Images!

  • By Simon on 26-07-18

A good beginning

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

Reviewed: 20-08-18

A good start to a new series, with an interesting female character that is likeable and has lots of promise.
A tighter detective story less defined by atmospherics even when encountering a character from the other series.
I like this writer and his style in general but the Edinburgh series took to long to define itself and its reality with one foot in horror and but all the rest in reality, this one seems more grounded and more accessible to follow its logic.


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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Solaris

  • The Definitive Edition
  • By: Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston - translator
  • Narrated by: Alessandro Juliani
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 668
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 532
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 533

At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation, unabridged for the first time, and the first ever direct translation from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani ( Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Blown away!

  • By Peter on 16-07-11

Defining reality when illusions become flesh

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

Reviewed: 16-05-18

Reading this book for the second time made some things more clear and also more in depth, my expectations and time have placed me in a better place to appreciate this novel more. I would recommend not watching any of the film versions they are all deeply flawed.

This is a book that explores several concepts profoundly and intelligently. What is reality and how do you know or test your perceptions of it? What is human and what makes it human? Can a world be a life form a consciousness? Can intelligence manifest in incomprehensible ways? Is matter a definition of what we, are or do we become more when we acquire consciousness and memories?

It is one of those works that at first seems about individual struggles, but in reality, is touching in very profound questions of exploration an understanding of what we confront in an alien environment and alien intelligence.

A book that gets better with time.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful