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GC

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 131
  • helpful votes
  • 39
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  • The Meursault Investigation

  • By: Kamel Daoud, John Cullen - translator
  • Narrated by: Fajer Al-Kaisi
  • Length: 4 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

He was the brother of "the Arab" killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus' classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling's memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: He gives his brother a story and a name - Musa - and describes the events that led to Musa's casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 'Publishing Sensation of the Summer'

  • By GC on 22-07-15

'Publishing Sensation of the Summer'

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

Reviewed: 22-07-15

Any additional comments?

If you are familiar with The Cure's song 'Killing An Arab', you will know that it is based on the incident in Albert Camus' 'The Outsider' in which the central character, Mersault, shoots and kills an Arab on an Algerian beach.This book, 'The Meursault Investigation', which has won several awards in France, takes the form of a first-person narration by the dead man's brother (who we find out was called Musa - he remains nameless in 'The Outsider'), putting across his version of events.This is a good idea, and well executed. I thoroughly recommend it - though it makes little sense unless you've already read 'The Outsider'.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • George Orwell

  • English Rebel
  • By: Robert Colls
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Aside from being one of the greatest political essayists in the English language and author of two of the most famous books in 20th century literature, George Orwell was a man of many fascinating contradictions, someone who liked to go against the grain because he believed that was where the truth usually lay. George Orwell: English Rebel takes us on a journey through the many twists and turns of Orwell's life and thought.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • New Biography of a Great English Writer

  • By GC on 07-07-14

New Biography of a Great English Writer

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to anybody with an interest in George Orwell.

What did you like best about this story?

This doesn't replace Michael Sheldon's biography, but, rather, supplements it. If you have already read the Sheldon biography, this book is still worth reading/listening to; if you haven't read Sheldon this book is a decent substitute.

What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

John Lee is a competent narrator, but as this is a non-fiction book the narration isn't particularly important.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I very much doubt that this book will ever be made in to a film.

Any additional comments?

If you've read (or listened) to 1984 or Animal Farm, this book is a good survey of Orwell's life and work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Classics of British Literature

  • By: John Sutherland, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John Sutherland
  • Length: 24 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

For more than 1,500 years, the literature of Great Britain has taught, nurtured, thrilled, outraged, and humbled readers both inside and outside its borders.Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Swift, Conrad, Wilde-the roster of powerful British writers is remarkable. More important, Britain's writers have long challenged readers with new ways of understanding an ever-changing world.This series of 48 fascinating lectures by an award-winning professor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Comprehensive Survey of English Literature

  • By GC on 28-07-13

Comprehensive Survey of English Literature

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

Reviewed: 28-07-13

What made the experience of listening to Classics of British Literature the most enjoyable?

John Sutherland is probably already known to you as an author and critic.

Here, he presents a series of 48 short (30 minute) lectures on English Literature from Beowulf, Chaucer and (of course) Shakespeare up to the 20th Century (Samuel Beckett, John Osborne, and Harold Pinter etc.), talking about some of the best poetry and prose ever written - in any language.

Sutherland's informal, conversational style engages the listener, and also makes the lectures ideal for listening to whilst doing other tasks.

If you are interested in English Literature, this is a brilliant introduction.

Tip: The introduction to these lectures mentions course material which isn't supplied with the audiobook download. Whilst this material isn't essential it can be viewed on The Great Courses website.

11 of 12 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 716
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 511

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

McEwan Takes Us Back To The Seventies

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-10-12

I enjoyed this book, the experience made more pleasurable by Juliet Stevenson's brilliant narration.



I think that although McEwan's best work may be behind him, for me - at least - he remains Britain's best contemporary writer.



The ending is typical McEwan, and the build-up is expertly managed, as one would expect. At the end of Solar (am I the only person who enjoyed this book?) there is a half-hour interview with McEwan. It is a pity this book lacks the same as a lot of Sweet Tooth is clearly autobiographical.



For older folks (like me) this book perfectly evokes the early 1970s. For younger readers (listeners), it will read like a nice little historical drama.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Impossible Dead

  • By: Ian Rankin
  • Narrated by: Peter Forbes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 598
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234

Malcolm Fox and his team are back. They've been sent to Fife to investigate whether fellow cops covered up for a corrupt colleague, Detective Paul Carter. Carter has been found guilty of misconduct with his own uncle, also in the force, having proved to be his nemesis. But what should be a simple job is soon complicated by intimations of conspiracy - and a brutal murder committed with a weapon that should not even exist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant Successor to Rebus

  • By GC on 15-10-11

Brilliant Successor to Rebus

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-10-11

DI Malcolm Fox is a member of 'the Complaints' - what the Americans call 'the Rat Squad' - investigating police misbehaviour in Edinburgh and its environs.

In this story, he and his team are called in to interview the colleagues of a bent cop in Kirkcaldy, but very soon there are murders (both new and old) to be investigated.

Although this is only the second in the series, I think Ian Rankin has come up with a worthy successor to Rebus. Fox is a recovering alcoholic (what fictional policeman isn't?) with both domestic (but not the usual) and work related problems which cleverly interact with his investigations. He is a realistic and sympathetic character and it is also interesting that the 'good' cop - the one the reader identifies with - is regarded by many of his colleagues as 'bad'.

Both books in the series are expertly narrated by Peter Forbes.beta inappVoteInfo

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • The Road

  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,058
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,061

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2007.
America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect for the road - or anywhere else

  • By SKA on 20-09-09

An Excellent Audiobook

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-11-10

Forget the recent film, this is the real deal. A father and his son travel a road leading towards the South - and a respite from the winter cold.
However, this is a post-apocalyptic world they traverse; the atmosphere full of ash, no plants growing and all animals and most humans dead. Most of the people who remain have turned into savages - a real state of nature where human life is 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.'
This book makes you ask questions about yourself - could you survive in such an environment? How would you behave towards others?
McCarthy's spare writing style is well suited to this type of narrative and it is superbly read by Tom Stechschulte.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Modern Scholar: Alexander of Macedonia

  • The World Conquered
  • By: Prof. Robin Lane Fox
  • Narrated by: Robin Lane Fox
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Alexander the Great is the most famous king and conqueror known in the ancient world. In his lifetime, he was given honors equal to those of the gods. After his death, he became a legend and the “Alexander Romance” became the best-selling fiction of the medieval world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • the modern scholar Alexander of Macedonia

  • By PHLY on 13-04-13

Ancient History Brought To Life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-11-10

I have downloaded three (so far) Modern Scholars audiobooks and they have all been of a high standard, both educational and interesting. Useful also is the study guide that can be downloaded with most of these audiobooks.
This Alexander audiobook is presented by Robin Lane Fox, one of the great authorities on Alexander of Macedonia (or Alexander the Great, as he has come to be known). Alexander's father, Philip, conquered Greece and when Alexander succeeded him he extended the empire into Persia and India. When he died, the eastern part of his empire collapsed. However, the western part persevered and we refer to this as the Hellenistic period.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Descartes: An Introduction

  • By: Ross Burman
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Oliver, Roy McMillan
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

René Descartes is one of the formative figures in Western philosophy, logic and mathematics. His famous statement: "I think, therefore I am," has become perhaps the most famous phrase in all of philosophy. Descartes’s ground-breaking writings attempted to establish unshakeable foundations of knowledge, and set a trend for subsequent Western philosophy, which has endlessly critiqued and expanded upon his ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Introduction to Decartes's Philosophy

  • By GC on 23-10-10

Excellent Introduction to Decartes's Philosophy

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-10-10

Rene Descartes is widely regarded as 'the father of modern philosophy'. This audiobook provides an excellent introduction to his philosophical work. As well as being a philosopher, Decartes was an important mathematician and natural philosopher (what we would now call a scientist) and he was one of the leading figures of the early stages of the scientific revolution (he comes between Galileo and Newton). This audiobook will be useful to anybody with an interest in early-modern thought.

  • A Dead Hand

  • By: Paul Theroux
  • Narrated by: Neil Shah
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 2

When Jerry Delfont, a travel writer with writer’s block, receives a letter from an American philanthropist, Mrs Merrill Unger, with news of a scandal involving an Indian friend of her son's, he is sufficiently intrigued to pursue the story. Jerry is swiftly captivated by the beautiful, mysterious Mrs Unger, but the circumstances surrounding the scandal cause him to doubt the exact nature of her philanthropy.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not Really A Crime Novel

  • By GC on 01-10-10

Not Really A Crime Novel

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-10-10

Beware! This is not really a crime novel. True, a young boy is found murdered in a seedy Calcutta hotel, but the novel is really about the relationship that develops between Jerry Delfont, a hack writer suffering from writer's block, and the mysterious Mrs Unger the woman who hires him to solve the crime, and, needless to say, is not all that she seems.

Paul Theroux is a great writer, both of fiction and travel literature, but this isn't one of his best books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nineteen Seventy Four

  • Red Riding Quartet
  • By: David Peace
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 134
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 46

Jeanette Garland, missing Castleford, July 1969. Susan Ridyard, missing Rochdale, March 1972. Claire Kemplay, missing Morley, since yesterday. It’s winter, 1974, Yorkshire, Christmas bombs, Lord Lucan on the run, the Bay City Rollers, and Eddie Dunford’s got the job he wanted – crime correspondent for the Yorkshire Evening Post. He didn’t know it was going to be a season in hell. A dead little girl with a swan’s wings stitched into her back. A gypsy camp in a ring of fire. Corruption everywhere you look.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • When?s the next instalment?!

  • By Michael on 02-07-10

Gritty Off-Beat Crime Novel Set In Leeds

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-09-10

David Peace's books can be a bit challenging, but are well worth the extra effort they require of the reader (or listener). This book is the first of the four book 'Red Riding' quartet and I thoroughly enjoyed it, gruesome though it is.
Saul Reichlin, who did a brilliant job, narrating Steig Larsson's 'Millennium' trilogy, has a slightly dodgy west Yorkshire accent, but one soon gets used to it.
I'm looking forward to listening to the next three books.
This is easily a five-star listen.