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Skiamakhos

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 57
  • ratings
  • Natives

  • Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire
  • By: Akala
  • Narrated by: Akala
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,677
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,536
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,518

From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realised his mum was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers - race and class have shaped Akala's life and outlook. In this unique book he takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have left us where we are today. Covering everything from the police, education and identity to politics, sexual objectification and the far right, Natives speaks directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain's racialised empire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Very Interesting and Challenging Listen

  • By Ross Clark on 10-07-18

Akala nails it as usual

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

Reviewed: 26-03-19

Akala has written a very detailed, insightful view of race and racism in today's UK. Drawing on his personal experience as a boy growing up with a white mum & black dad of Jamaican origin, & his run-ins with teachers who because of their own racism would not allow an intelligent, opinionated young lad to flourish, he paints a pretty grim picture. At times I raged at the injustices he & his fellows faced & still face daily, at other times I mourned the wasted potential of those many lads binned off by the education system. It reminded me of a friend of mine, also of mixed race, who due to his middle class background & African dad was treated well by school, but having fallen out with his father at 18 was forced to live without that support, and was then just a young black man alone. He was in a hostel, suffering epilepsy, and on more than a few nights came round to mine, in fear for his safety, hard-backed books stuffed into his jacket as improvised armour against the threatened stabbing that his downstairs neighbour had said he'd do if there was any more noise or disturbance - and now because of a grand mal seizure he'd flooded the man's room totally by accident. My friend was lucky, to some extent: he didn't get stabbed, and thanks to a rapprochement with his father he managed later to get out of that situation & into university, where, as the summer began, his older sister came to visit him & found him dead, from a brain haemorrhage. His epilepsy had presumably caused him to break a blood vessel in his brain & he'd died. This kind of thing was to me a glimpse of what Akala recounts again & again, stories of people he knew, and statistics that show it's a common experience - not specifically what happened to my mate, per se of course, but how for so many boys and young men, the system is stacked against them & one false step & you're toast, dead or binned off in prison.
I've heard it said, that in a racist society it is not enough to not be racist - you must be *anti* racist. For most of us non-BAME folks, the experiences Akala writes about are things we never have happen to us. It's just not part of our life unless we hang out with BAME people - but even then (thankfully) we're just observing. It behooves us to find out, to try & understand. This is a good place to start.

  • Doughnut Economics

  • Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist
  • By: Kate Raworth
  • Narrated by: Kate Raworth
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158

Economics is broken. It has failed to predict, let alone prevent, financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies. Its outdated theories have permitted a world in which extreme poverty persists while the wealth of the super-rich grows year on year. And its blind spots have led to policies that are degrading the living world on a scale that threatens all of our futures. Can it be fixed?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Got better as it went along

  • By S J Bennett on 21-05-18

Fairly solid economic theory.

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

Reviewed: 25-06-18

I like that the book is read by Kate herself. This is so much better than Picketty's "Capital" read in a drawling American accent. I think "Doughnut Economics" should be read, or listened to, by everyone. There are changes in this book which need to happen soon. I'm writing this as we begin yet another "hottest summer on record".

  • Broken Angels

  • Altered Carbon, Book 2
  • By: Richard Morgan
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 584
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 544
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 543

Fifty years after the events of Altered Carbon, Takeshi Kovacs is serving as a mercenary in the Procterate-sponsored war to put down Joshuah Kemp's revolution on the planet Sanction IV. He is offered the chance to join a covert team chasing a prize whose value is limitless - and whose dangers are endless. Here is a novel that takes mankind to the brink.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excitement by the fistful.

  • By Martyn. R. Winters on 09-02-15

Pretty good, but...

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

Reviewed: 20-03-18

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

If you liked Altered Carbon, you'll love this. This is Kovacs doing what he does best, as a soldier.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Broken Angels?

Richard Morgan does a great job building dramatic tension. There's a bit where one of Kovacs' team is being ritually executed in the most horrible way, and they're all basically dying but Kovacs decides he's not going to just sit around & listen to it happening. I won't spoiler it but I'll leave it to you to find out how he tries to deal with it and if he succeeds.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Learn to pronounce words like Maori. It's not May-ory!

  • The Society of Blood

  • Obsidian Heart, Book 2
  • By: Mark Morris
  • Narrated by: Ben Onwukwe
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 523
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 491

Transported through time to the dank streets of Victorian London, Alex Locke seeks to unravel the mysteries of the Obsidian Heart, the enigmatic object to which his fate is inextricably bound. When a string of grisly murders takes place across the capital, Alex follows a trail that will lead him through the opium dens of Limehouse, into the dark and twisted world of the Society of Blood and ever closer to unlocking the secret of the Heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Time... to un(t)ravel some threads

  • By petitbilbo on 25-01-16

Required heading despite being marked as optional

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

Reviewed: 22-03-17

Love Ben Onwukwe's various accents he does for the characters. Serious talent there. Story reminds me of the best of Lovecraft & Derleth but brought up to date.

  • The House of Shattered Wings

  • By: Aliette de Bodard
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 14 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43

Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France's once grand capital. House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, now lies in disarray.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Dark, An Acquired Taste

  • By Lulu on 06-04-16

Required heading

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

Reviewed: 01-08-16

I kinda struggled with this one. Great ideas but I got distracted & lost the plot often.

  • The Crow Girl

  • By: Erik Axl Sund
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Glaisters
  • Length: 30 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 400
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 373

It starts with just one body - tortured, mummified and then discarded. Its discovery reveals a nightmare world of hidden lives. Of lost identities, secret rituals and brutal exploitation, where nobody can be trusted. This is the darkest, most complex case the police have ever seen. This is the world of the Crow Girl.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, but not for the faint-hearted

  • By crowdance on 12-11-16

Harrowing story of abuse & depravity

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

Reviewed: 12-05-16

Pretty nasty stuff, but there's a note or two of hope. A bit too much head-hopping between chapters though. I often lost track of who the POV character was. Still, worth the listen.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • High-Rise

  • By: J. G. Ballard
  • Narrated by: Tom Hiddleston
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 961
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 897
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 899

From the author of the Sunday Times best seller Cocaine Nights comes an unnerving tale of life in a modern tower block running out of control. Within the concealing walls of an elegant forty-storey tower block, the affluent tenants are hell-bent on an orgy of destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on "enemy" floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for riots and technological mayhem.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Drama and Dystopia

  • By Jay on 10-03-17

Depressing

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

Reviewed: 15-04-16

Tom Hiddleston does a decent job reading this, but it is quite badly dated & I'm not sure I agree with Ballard that any community secluded away from the cops and government must necessarily devolve into tribalism & violence. So much of it seemed to me like video nasty B- movie porn, Lord of the Flies in a tower block.

  • Discount Armageddon

  • An Incryptid Novel, Book 1
  • By: Seanan McGuire
  • Narrated by: Amy Finegan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity - and humanity from them. Meet Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan to pursue her dream career in professional ballroom dance. That is, until talking mice, telepathic mathematicians, and a tangle with the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George, get in her way.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Funny, engaging and fast paced

  • By KIRSTEN on 01-05-18

Good fun

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

Reviewed: 17-04-15

I gotta admire Seanan's imagination, even if it's a bit short on fact-checking, e.g. about Krav Maga, or fighting generally. Suspend disbelief & enjoy for what it is, a joyful fantasy romp.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 423
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 417

Global phenomenon and Sunday Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman returns to dazzle, captivate, haunt, and entertain with this third collection of short fiction, following Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things, which includes a never-before published American Gods story, "Black Dog". In this new volume, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Skiamakhos on 23-02-15

Loved it!

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

Reviewed: 23-02-15

I was a bit thrown by the intro chapter though! There's 35 mins of Neil introducing each story in turn as though each time he's about to begin reading it. Then there's a pause and another intro. After a while panic sets in - have Audible forgotten to include the stories? But fear not - the stories are there and are all superb.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful