Barnsley, United Kingdom
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 5
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  • The Outsider

  • My Life in Intrigue
  • By: Frederick Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Robert Powell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

We all make mistakes, but starting the Third World War would have been a rather large one. To this day, I still maintain it was not entirely my fault. But I'm getting ahead of myself. During the course of my life, I've barely escaped the wrath of an arms dealer in Hamburg, been strafed by a MiG during the Nigerian civil war, and landed during a bloody coup in Guinea-Bissau.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An amazing life described with verve

  • By Kirstine on 23-06-16

Curiously No Sense of Irony

4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-10-15

Where does The Outsider rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is very well read, and amongst the best biographical style works I own as audio.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Mr Forsyth sees himself as an outsider, and yet he clearly is not, and has not, been. His networking skills and knowledge stand out in every chapter, and outsiders, but their very nature do not have these.

Which character – as performed by Robert Powell – was your favourite?

This is not a work of fiction (one assumes) and so this is an odd question, but Mr. Powell does both 'serious Freddie' and "Wooster Freddie' very effectively, perhaps adding a little more to the character of the book than would reading it alone.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, several sittings, on long train journeys and sorting tasks, proved very effective.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Forsyth makes his politics clear throughout his writings, and I quite respected him for it before listening to 'The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue', but his exposition of his own story actually left me quite angry. A man who was 'reconstructed' after a serious car accident, at a cottage hospital, by remarkable medics and nursing staff, then does not want to pay into the system that saved him: he leaves the country because the top tax bracket, after the allowances, is 'too much', is not so worthy of respect. A man who later complains that his investments adviser (due diligence is not about money management, it is about character and behaviour) is not effectively prosecuted because the state lawyer is not good enough, is also missing the point, that his taxes were not there to train the best for the CPS - is short on irony. A man who describes the Geisha tradition with such relish, and seems quite happy about the auctioning of young virgins within its framework (evidence suggests that is has continued in Japan into this century), even if he is in his seventies, should be 'an outsider', but I don't think he is. If you want a Ian Fleming style account this is not for you - but if you are happy with right-wing politics, and convenient 'patriotism' this will please you. And it is a brilliant performance by Robert Powell, of course.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Sweet Tooth

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 712
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 505
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 507

Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • McEwan Takes Us Back To The Seventies

  • By GC on 15-10-12

Clever Conceit

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-09-12

This is an evocative book, sensitive to women's developing freedoms to work and live in the 1970s, brilliantly voiced by the excellent Juliet Stevenson. As an earlier reviewer notes Ian McEwan makes a convincing use of the female voice. I never get time to read new fiction, and this is a very nice way of receiving the story. Recommend.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Authoritarians

  • By: Bob Altemeyer
  • Narrated by: Bob Altemeyer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

The Authoritarians summarizes the research of Dr. Robert Altemeyer, whose professional career has focused on the study of the Authoritarian Personality, and development of the Right-Wing Authoritarian (RWA) personality and ideological variable widely studied in political, social, and personality psychology.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A must listen in 2018

  • By JonM on 19-08-18

Brilliant Study of a kind of thinking

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-12

This is a very interesting account of a certain mindset which seem more prevalent in the USA than in Europe. Prof. Altemeyer brings a hint of humour to his own reading of this book, so you get a real feel for a scientist at work, as well as his findings over many years. I would be delighted if there were more of his books available on Audible, as they would bring important work to a wider public - especially in this US election year.

  • The Selfish Gene

  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,049

Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen

  • By Amazon Customer on 20-08-11

Much more than just the book

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-09-12

I first read The Selfish Gene as a year one psychology student in 1982, and had not kept up with the new editions, aside for putting them on reading lists (The Extended Phenotype is my favourite of Darwkins' books). The point about the audiobook is that it is much, much more than a new edition: Prof. Dawkins has used the possibilities of the medium to create a new and more worthwhile communication of his ideas, and perhaps more importantly, the changes in them, as evidence has appeared which tests them. So, using his own voice, and that of Lalla Ward, he weaves the changes in his ideas around the stable parts. As scientific text this works brilliantly, but as a study of change in ideas it would be hard to better. This format is going on my new "reading list" - so that my students can experience the philosophy and development of science, as well as grasp the ideas of a distinguished biologist. Almost as good as a term of Oxford University College tutorials (well, you can stop the play, but not ask a question). Brilliant, highly recommend.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful