LISTENER

S. W. Holdings

St Martin
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 52
  • helpful votes
  • 79
  • ratings
  • Mr Mercedes

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,028
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,024

Described as 'the best thriller of the year' Sunday Express, the No. 1 bestseller introduces retired cop Bill Hodges in a race against time to apprehend a killer. A cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring Bill Hodges, a retired cop who is tormented by 'the Mercedes massacre', a case he never solved. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of that notorious crime, has sent Hodges a taunting letter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cliched, Predictable but Brilliant

  • By Philip on 26-07-15

I've given up 40 minutes before the end

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

Reviewed: 05-01-19

This is my first and last attempt to listen to Steven King's book and the first time I've given up on a book 40 minutes before the end.
I found the events unrealistic, character unlikable and one dimensional, especially the women who were portrayed as neurotic and annoying.

Perhaps I am too old to be starting on Steven King or maybe having listened to and really enjoyed Robert Galbraight' s excellent detective series, my expectations were too high.
In any case, this was not a book for me.

  • How to End the Autism Epidemic

  • By: J.B. Handley
  • Narrated by: J.B. Handley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 10

In How to End the Autism Epidemic, Generation Rescue’s cofounder J.B. Handley offers a compelling, science-based explanation of what’s causing the autism epidemic, the lies that enable its perpetuation, and the steps we must take as parents and as a society in order to end it.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • very interesting read and so glad I read this

  • By Carla B. on 13-11-18

The most treacherous topic made accessible

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

Reviewed: 14-10-18

Finally my review of the "How to end the autism epidemic" book.

Whether you are new to this topic or a veteran, navigating the depths of the vaccine and autism science is a treacherous terrain to step into.

The under oath depositions of Dr. Plotkin, Dr. Kelley and Dr. Zimmerman all top scientists in their field, are finally sorting the facts from fiction of what is currently known to be true. This alone is a reason why this book should be read by every pediatrician or parent still conflicted and looking for clear answers.

The chapter on the genesis of autism discusses 11 of the most recent and groundbreaking biological studies that piece by piece build a picture of the very plausible mechanism of harm.

Its hard not to gasp in disbelief, interchangeably feel furious and triumphant while reading the depositions.
Some of the passages are so unbelievable, they read like a crime thriller.

It is hard to accept the level of deception happening at such high levels, especially with regards to sealing vital information from the public!

Having listened to this book, re-listened again I am now reading some of the chapters and a thought that comes up is that indeed JB Handley could not have chosen a better title.

My biggest hope is that this book becomes available in other languages to make waves around the world, finding it's way to the hands of pediatricians, autism parents, legislators and scientists that together will help to end the autism epidemic.

Thank you for all you have done JB. Your son is a gift thanks to whom you are fulfilling your higher purpose.

#endautism #readthebook

  • Lethal White

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 4
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,040
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,630
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,595

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most epic Galbraith/Rowling novel yet

  • By Mikey on 19-09-18

Loved every minute of it

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

I listen to a lot of books and most of them have to do with human biology, immunity, health, cancer, genes and vaccines.

This was a much needed and anticipated break from my usual choices.
I loved every minute of it and I looked forward to waking up and putting it on while being busy in the kitchen.

J.K. Rowling has a way of telling the story in a way that to me feels like watching a movie.
You get a sense of the surroundings, the moods the characters are in, their expressions, personality types and all that with just the minimal amount of words.


Perhaps the story itself was my least favorite one of the series, too intertwined and long winded but I loved the book nonetheless.




  • Let Them Eat Dirt

  • Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World
  • By: B. Brett Finlay, Marie-Claire Arrieta
  • Narrated by: Chris Sorensen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

In the 200 years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we've battled to keep them at bay. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to our children's well-being. Our current emphasis on hyper-cleanliness is taking a toll on our children's lifelong health. This engaging and important book explains how the millions of microbes that live in our bodies influence childhood development.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Poorly researched

  • By S. W. Holdings on 18-08-18

Poorly researched

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

Reviewed: 18-08-18

I listen to this book intermittently with the "The human superorganism" which covers the same topic.
While there are a lot of similarities in the information shared, the latter is more detailed, quotes more studies and gives wider information.

I enjoyed the story of a mum telling her little daughter about all the tiny little microbes in her tummy and how important it is for her to look after them well by eating the right foods. Seems like a good idea to encourage kids to eat more healthy fruit and veg.

The chapter on breast milk barely touched the topic which made my wonder why bother at all. It also concluded that formula feeding might be a "societal necessity".

The chapter on vaccines was largely an opinion piece that quotes one study and mentions no other data, surveillance reports or risk benefit analyses but advises that you should vaccinate your kids anyways.

The information on Wakefield is very poorly researched if not simply parroted whats been said in a media without verifying the information. This for example:

"The media picked up the story and very rapidly the rates of vaccination dropped, resulting in a jump in a measles and mumps cases, along with the deaths and long term damage associated with those diseases".

I checked the surveillance records on UK.GOV website and here is what the measles infections and deaths were like 4 years prior and 4 years after the study was published:
1994 16,375 0
1995 7,447 1
1996 5,614 0
1997 3,962 3
1998 3,728 3
1999 2,438 3
2000 2,378 1
2001 2,250 1
2002 3,232

How do you conduct a thorough research while omitting the source?

In overall I found "the Human Superorganism to be much better written book, so consider that one before purchasing.

  • Crooked: Man-Made Disease Explained

  • By: Forrest Maready
  • Narrated by: Forrest Maready
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Why do babies have lopsided smiles? Why are so many people's eyes misaligned? What started as a simple search to understand this phenomenon turned into a two-year quest that uncovered hidden links between our crooked faces and some of the most puzzling diseases of our time. Crooked methodically goes through the most recent scientific research and connects the dots from the outbreak of metallic medicine in 1800s England to the eruption of neurological and autoimmune disorders so many are suffering from today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A theory that sums it all up

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-01-19

A must read for every doctor, scientist, parent

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

Reviewed: 20-03-18

The paradoxical thing about human health is that while the working of the human body, it's cells, organs and systems is incredibly complex and interdependent, the bases for maintaining health are actually very simple: supplying our body with healthy, nutrient dense, plant based food to allow for it's optimum performance, avoiding toxins and stressors.

Similarly, the hypothesies contained in this book while discussing a wide range of seemingly unconnected symptoms and diseases, are actually very simple and too logical to dismiss.

It's not surprising that it took a layman to put all the pieces of puzzles together. I can't imagine a doctor being able to do it.
The downfall of the western medical approach is that while it started branching out to become more and more specialized, it also lost sight, that while we are made of brains, organs, tissue and bones, we are one, complete and inseparable system.

Forrest's wholistic perspective, allowed for him to be able to make sense of fragmented, typically western reductionist information and turn it into a cohesive hypotheses.

I truly wish for this book to receive a recognition and attending it really deserves, so that further research and studies could be undertaken to examine this theory further.

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,588
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,316
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,329

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!

  • By Tara Mcgrath on 02-12-13

Great premise destroyed by pages and pages of bloat

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

Reviewed: 22-09-14

This book is very well written so there is no doubt about the writers capabilities.
Unfortunately I feel that the story dragged on for so long on unimportant events and episodes which haven't added any real value to the story, I simply lost interest in Theo and the painting.
Also, Theo as a grown man, is not a very likable protagonist, he has lost his moral compass, has a weak character and his drug addiction problem is to me an overkill. Theo’s lifelong love for Pippa, with which he does nothing about, becomes frustrating with time and I wish the writer would have either given it a rest or moved forward with it. There were times when I wanted to shake Theo out of his pitiful, numb existence and tell him to wake up and stop feeling so damn sorry for himself.

What started off as a great story, progressed to be more and more tedious as the book went on. The whole episode in Amsterdam, was so overdone and out of character, by the time I reached the ending, I couldn’t wait for this damn book to finish.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Joan Walker
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,781
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,642
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,645

Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He isn't as young as he used to be. He drives a Saab. He points at people he doesn't like the look of. He is described by those around his as 'the neighbour from hell'.Every morning he makes his inspection rounds of the local streets. He moves bicycles and checks the contents of recycling bins, even though it's been years since he was fired as Chairman of the Residents' Association in a vicious 'coup d'état'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All you need is Ove

  • By Kaggy on 22-09-14

I am married to Ove

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

Reviewed: 21-09-14

I feel like I am married to a man like Ove. Angry choleric on the outside, soft and terribly romantic on the inside.
Lovely and heart warming story about a man who after his wife's death, struggles to find a reason to live other than keeping the order in his housing community and having to help his useless new neighbours.

The character of Ove is being uncovered in small steps, while the story of his past and presence unfolds.

Nice Sunday listen

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17,024
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,026
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15,997

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exhilarating adventure. Brilliantly executed.

  • By Kaggy on 30-08-14

Warning: there are no Martians in this book

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

Reviewed: 21-09-14

Lets get that out of the way first. There are no Martians in this book.
What it is, is a hypothetical manual on what could go wrong and how to survive when it does, on Mars, if you ever happen to be stranded there.

Mark is a likeable character, self motivated, inventive and courageous, however he could as well be a paper cut out.

For a guy stranded on uninhabitable planet, with little chance of survival and plenty that could go wrong, his undying self motivation is one ... of a robot.

What exactly keeps him motivated to live, I don't know. Because you see, Mark has no real ties to earth. There is no wife/girlfriend, children, not even a close friend of real family ties that would be the reason for him to get up every day and face incredible dangers and fuel his MacGiver like inventiveness.

The writers attempt to pre empty this question, with a few sentences of Mark's psychological pro filing as an optimist and a joker, hardly cuts it.

Some mention this is a book is for geeks and engineers, but I don't know about that.
I am married to an engineer and have a super geek for a brother and I can tell you, when they talk, they don't sound like juveniles pretending to be super intelligent adults working for NASA.
That, in my opinion was on of the weaker points of this book. The diagoues seriously lacked wit and were more like the pre programmed conversation you hear in a Si-fi computer game in a 13 year old's bedroom.

Good effort for a self published author, but I would have liked this story to be little bit more about Marks personal journey: loneliness, despair, self reflection, maybe spiritual or religious reflections in face of imminent danger?
I would like Mark to have a bit of personality and depth, to keep the story more emotional and engaging. I lost interest in his life about 1/2 of the way.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Hounded

  • The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Kevin Hearne
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 569
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 532

Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he's twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love finding a great new series

  • By Philip on 04-11-13

Dont waste your credit

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

Reviewed: 28-03-14

There is nothing better for any book enthusiast, than to find a story that pulls us into its world within the first few pages, where the characters are so well presented and so coherent we almost feel like we know them. Interesting, engaging and addictive. This book has none of that. It almost felt like a foreword or an intro to a story that is about to happen... except that it never does. At lest not in the first 3 1/2 hours, after which I gave up and deleted it from my laptop. I know the amount of good ratings about this book is baffling, but don't waste your credit.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Ulysses

  • By: James Joyce
  • Narrated by: Jim Norton
  • Length: 27 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 465
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 325

Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Richard on 02-04-12

Forget about multitasking

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

Reviewed: 01-11-13

I really wanted to read/listen to this book. Declared by many to be one of the most important novels ever written, it was sort of my personal ambition to read it.
Unfortunately, this book requires your full attention and as someone else observed, even listening to it while walking is too distracting to follow Joyce's thick narrative, turn gibberish.
He lost me, couple of hours into the story so entangled and impermeable, that in moments I didn't understand what I am listening to.

Perhaps I will go back to it, when I am so grown up, I have absolutely nothing else to do, than submerge myself to every word of this story.
For now, I will keep listening to books that are written for pleasure, rather than for mental work out.

15 of 21 people found this review helpful