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Alex

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  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 34
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  • The X-Files: Stolen Lives

  • By: Joe Harris, Chris Carter, Dirk Maggs - adaptation
  • Narrated by: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 505

Out of the ashes of the Syndicate, a new, more powerful threat has emerged. Resurrected members of this fallen group - now shadows of their former selves - seemingly bend to the will of someone, or something, with unmatched abilities and an unknown purpose. As those believed to be enemies become unlikely allies and trusted friends turn into terrifying foes, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully become unknowing participants in a deadly game of deception and retribution.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not great beginning but ended well

  • By james on 23-01-18

Not worth it

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

Reviewed: 20-03-19

An adaption of stories told first in comics, stuck together in a way that doesn’t gel well.

Don’t get tricked by the excellent cast on show and have a listen to one of the actual novels or short story collections.

  • The Sign and the Seal

  • The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant
  • By: Graham Hancock
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 21 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

The fate of the Lost Ark of the Covenant is one of the great historical mysteries of all time. The Bible contains hundreds of references to the Ark's power, but the Ark itself mysteriously disappears from recorded history sometime after the building of the Temple of Solomon. After 10 years of searching through the dusty archives of Europe and the Middle East, Graham Hancock has succeeded where scores of others have failed. This intrepid journalist has tracked down the true story behind the myths and legends - revealing where the Ark is today, how it got there, and why it remains hidden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Moneenroe on 27-02-19

Good if your into it.

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

Reviewed: 07-02-19

A detailed tale of Graham Hancock’s first foray into pseudo-archeology as he goes full Indiana Jones. More travel journal than ‘fact’ hunting but still a good listen if you’re already a fan.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • David Attenborough: The Early Years Collection

  • The BBC Collection
  • By: David Attenborough
  • Narrated by: David Attenborough
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 52

David Attenborough first appeared in front of a television camera in the 1950s when, together with London Zoo's Curator of Reptiles, Jack Lester, he persuaded the BBC to mount and film an animal-collecting expedition. The result was Zoo Quest. Specially recorded for audio, David Attenborough's early adventures are sometimes life-threatening, often hilarious and always totally absorbing. The warmth and enthusiasm that have made him a broadcasting legend are instantly apparent here as he recounts this magical journey.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good but a lot of overlap with Life on Air

  • By Amazon Customer on 30-09-17

Perfect Insight

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

Reviewed: 21-07-18

Excellent insight into the early career of Sir Attenborough. Each book is short and to the point with the kind of anecdotes you’d expect from someone so well traveled.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Conspiracy

  • Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue
  • By: Ryan Holiday
  • Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127

In 2016, one of the giants of modern journalism fell: Gawker Media, infamous for saying what other outlets wouldn't say, was sued for publishing Hulk Hogan's sex tape, lost the case and went bust. After countless other lawsuits it seemed that Gawker had finally run out of luck. But luck had nothing to do with it. Peter Thiel, PayPal founder and billionaire investor, had masterminded the whole thing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling!! Amazing story masterly told!

  • By G-Montoya on 13-03-18

As [insert famous person] once said...

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

Reviewed: 17-04-18

A Rolling Stone article dredged out into novel length.

As Winston Churchill famously said before the MPs in the House of Commons “a book half comprised of pointless quotations and comparisons is not worth the extra effort to read compared to a quick half hour scan on Wikipedia”.

Add to this the hubris of Holiday to read this himself, a man so chronically nasal, with little sense of verbal timing, makes the whole book a slog fest.

And no Holiday, you’re wrong, the infamous tape is easy to find on the internet. Nothing ever gets truly deleted, which is a real shame when you think about it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Children of Dune

  • By: Frank Herbert
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Simon Vance
  • Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 748
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 534

The sand-blasted world of Arrakis has become green, watered, and fertile. Old Paul Atreides, who led the desert Fremen to political and religious domination of the galaxy, is gone. But for the children of Dune, the very blossoming of their land contains the seeds of its own destruction. The altered climate is destroying the giant sandworms, and this in turn is disastrous for the planet's economy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A different experience

  • By Richard on 19-06-12

The True Dune Sequel

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

Reviewed: 07-06-15

Whereas Dune Messiah felt as though a bridge between works, there is no doubting that Children of Dune is the fully fledged continuation of the story that made the original Dune so mesmerising.

That is not to say that you can skip Dune Messiah, as important plot points are first revealed in that ever so short effort, and a read worth its time. No, instead Children of Dune expands and envelopes in ways I would not have predicted.

I will not spoil any of the plot as the twists and turns are what make the story so great. Only that it involves certain Fremen children of Arrakis and their plots to create a Golden Path for all humanity.

The book is excellently written. Feeling, as with the original, as just a small glimpse of a perfectly realised universe. The complexities however never get too foreboding as the story tends to focus on the important and the specific allowing the reader to enjoy the myriad, rather than sit and ponder who is who.

If this had been the final book in the Dune series it would have been a fitting conclusion, and if you wish it to be, it could easily be the end of your journey. It does however set the next trilogy up beautifully and I can't wait to begin.

Unlike Dune Messiah the voice acting is superb.

  • Let the Right One In

  • By: John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 16 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 601
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 386
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 386

John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, a huge best seller in his native Sweden, is a unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend. And a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship and loyalty. Oskar and Eli. In very different ways, they were both victims. Which is why, against the odds, they became friends. And how they came to depend on one another, for life itself. Oskar is a 12-year-old boy living with his mother on a dreary housing estate at the city's edge. Eli is the young girl who moves in next door.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping

  • By Alexander on 02-01-11

A Perfectly Paced Dark Twisting Tale of Woe

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

Reviewed: 09-05-15

Let the Right One In follows Oskar, a bullied 12 year old and Eli, a centuries-old vampire with the appearance of a skinny 12 year old girl. Their burgeoning friendship and Oskar's slow realisation of Eli's secrets are the crux of the unfolding story but not its entirety.

Along with this main plot thread, are other stories that run parallel and compliment. The drunks at the Chinese restaurant, the Police and their efforts in catching a killer at large, and the local children in the area. All intertwined, yet separate and wonderfully realised, creating a well connected and authentic little piece of Sweden. Set in the early eighties, the use of true historical events adds a sense of perspective and outer world to the somewhat isolated setting.

Although my perception of the story (admittedly from the films) was of a love interest at the heart of the book. It is instead the reaction of the characters towards the vampire revelations that drive the central themes. As such, instead of a light-hearted story of young love. Dark, morose and depraved acts take paramount and stick with the reader much longer than any tenderness.

The book is excellently paced and the inevitable lull towards the end is countered by a brilliant ending.

Narrator Steven Pacey is a natural fit, his pronunciation of Swedish terms and locations is spot on and never feels forced. His characters are thought out and consistent, and his pacing is on key with the story. A brief note should be mentioned for the translator as at no point does this feel like a work that was originally written in another language.

This is not a book for the young adult market as could be inferred. Instead it is a blend of Scandinavian Thrillers and Stephen King's early horror efforts. One of the best vampire stories I have ever read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

  • By: Washington Irving
  • Narrated by: Tom Mison
  • Length: 1 hr and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 855
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 774
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 776

Tim Mison, star of the hit Fox series Sleepy Hollow, narrates the classic Washington Irving short story. In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First time hearing it...

  • By Denise S on 06-03-15

A Gay Dutch Slice of 18th Century America

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

Reviewed: 29-04-15

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow isn't the horror short I thought it would be. Considering all the adaptations that have been made there were certain preconceptions. Instead I found a run of the mill old world'y love story, with a brief scare at the end - that turns out not to be a scare anyway.

The language used is antiquated and Irving has a panache for reminding the reader that the story revolves around the Dutch settlers in America and how strange their ways are. The narration squashes this well however and helps the story move along quicker than if you were reading it yourself.

It is nice to understand the origins of something so well known, if only to say how naff it is.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Dune Messiah

  • By: Frank Herbert
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Katherine Kellgren, Euan Morton, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 916
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 915

The second Dune installment explores new developments on the planet Arrakis, with its intricate social order and strange, threatening environment. Dune Messiah picks up the story of the man known as Muad'Dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to fruition an ambition of unparalleled scale: the centuries-old scheme to create a superbeing who reigns not in the heavens but among men. But the question is: DO all paths of glory lead to the grave?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book, Great readers

  • By Anonymous User on 12-03-08

An Excellent, Albeit Brief, Continuation of Dune

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

Reviewed: 21-04-15

Dune Messiah feels more of an addendum to the original than a fully fledge sequel, but is nonetheless brilliant and a strong continuation of an excellent story.

Set twelve years after the events of the first in the series, Messiah chronicles the conspiracy to dethrone Paul Atreides, the leader and messiah of the Fremen after his jihad has conquered most of the known universe, despite his best efforts in Dune to prevent it.

Delivered with a similar pace to the original, each character is well fleshed out and the introduction of the Tleilaxu and the Guild Navigator Edric add and explain questions that would have arisen during the reading of Dune.

Nothing is set in stone within these books despite the prescience and this unknown carries the story well despite its relatively slow pace.

The narration is mixed. Simon Vance is the main narrator and his variation in tone and accent is brilliant, brining the Fremen to life and adding depth to each character voiced. Scott Brick & Katherine Kellgren are similarly well voiced and the chapter read by Kellgren adds flavour to Alia's character. However Euan Morton who voices Paul in a couple of chapters ruins the characters developed by the other narrators. His Paul is fine, although whiny, but his Fremen, especially Stilgar is awful and demeans the strong characters they are clearly written to be. A shame, but can be overlooked.

This is a great book but far too short. Luckily there are many more left in the series to develop the story of Dune.

  • We Can Build You

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

In this lyrical and moving novel, Philip K. Dick intertwines the story of a toxic love affair with one about sentient robots, and unflinchingly views it all through the prism of mental illness - which spares neither human nor robot. The end result is one of Dick’s most quietly powerful works. When Louis Rosen’s electronic-organ company builds a pitch-perfect robotic replica of Abraham Lincoln, the firm is pulled into the orbit of a shady businessman, who is looking to use Lincoln for his own profit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One Man's Schizophrenia is Another Man's Happiness

  • By Alex on 07-04-15

One Man's Schizophrenia is Another Man's Happiness

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

Reviewed: 07-04-15

We Can Build You follows Dick's fascination with mental illness and what it is to be human, culminating in a remarkably good book that unfortunately loses its narrative theme once too many times to be considered a classic.

The story concerns Louis Rosen, a piano salesman, as he embarks on a joint venture with his business partner in recreating life like simulacra modelled after American civil war icons. During this he falls in love with his partners schizophrenic daughter and slowly tumbles down the rabbit hole into mental illness himself.

Although linked to Dick's novels of the same period 'Clans of the Alphane Moon' and 'The Simulacra', for me this work felt closer to his final novel 'The Transmigration of Timothy Archer'. Told from the first person, we see Rosen's attempts and failures at life and work, and his slow mental decline all told from the matter of fact and simple writing Dick is so well known for.

The problem with We Can Build You is that the main crux of the story, the building of a Abraham Lincoln simulacrum, gets overshadowed by the schizophrenia. An obvious way of portraying life's difficulties with the illness, but as a result lacks the mystery and adventure Dick can do so well.

If you are a fan of Dick's works then this will entertain and enthral you, as it covers so many of his themes. However the strong subject matter and disregard for the story's central narrative may turn some away.

The narration by Dan John Miller is perfect and truly brings the novel to life.

A five star by itself. In comparison to other Philip K. Dick works; an eight out of ten.

  • Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars

  • By: Kevin Hearne
  • Narrated by: Marc Thompson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 388
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 372
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 372

Luke Skywalker's game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he's a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there's no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot - and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there's no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Favourite author, favourite narrator.

  • By mr g j hughes on 07-03-15

A Fun Little Adventure

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

Reviewed: 26-03-15

Heir to the Jedi is a fun little adventure book with little to offer but for the fact it's Star Wars, and more importantly considered canon.

Taking place after A New Hope, the novel follows Luke Skywalker from a first person perspective as he carries out various missions for the rebel alliance, leading up to an attempted rescue of a Givin who is under Empire control.

Along for the ride are R2-D2 and a burgeoning love interest Nakari Kelen. With the occasional appearance from Leia, Ackbar, Han and even Ben. But the focus is on Luke, and as it's written from his perspective we a privy to his thoughts and feelings on the force and what happened after he destroyed the Death Star.

The action and story plots are well paced and entertaining. Not amazingly written, but works well enough for this kind of tie-in and what you would expect from a title like this. Beneath the childish humour and cheesy sound effects (see below) hide however a rather dark and graphic book that can go from heads exploding to stupid one-liners in a paragraph. Along with this are quite a few downbeat moments that distract from the overall happy go lucky tone throughout.

The voice acting is great and Marc Thompson sounds as close to Luke as you could want. There are however a lot of sound effects and background music - running ships, jungles, lightsabers, robots - which may put a few people off.

Fun for what it is, but nothing special.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful