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JOhn

  • 19
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 23
  • ratings
  • Secret Service Dogs

  • The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States
  • By: Maria Goodavage, Clint Hill - foreword
  • Narrated by: Nicole Vilencia
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

In an age fraught with terrorism, United States Secret Service canine teams risk their lives to safeguard the president, the vice president, their families, visiting heads of state, and a host of others. Unprecedented access to these heroic dog teams has allowed a fascinating first-time-ever look at a very special breed of heroes.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty poor

  • By JOhn on 23-07-18

Pretty poor

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

Reviewed: 23-07-18

I thought this book was dire. None of the stories are very interesting and seem randomly thrown together, but worst of all they are written and read in such a patronising way I felt like I was listening to a children’s book. I must admit I didn’t make it to the end so perhaps it improves later on, but I highly doubt it.

  • Plants

  • A Very Short Introduction
  • By: Timothy Walker
  • Narrated by: Mark Ashby
  • Length: 3 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

Plants form a fundamental element of the biosphere, and the evolution of plants has directly affected the evolution of animal life and the evolution of the Earth's climate. Plants have also become essential to humans not only in the form of cereal crops, fruit, and vegetables, but in their many other uses in wood and paper, and in providing medicines. In this Very Short Introduction, Timothy Walker, Director of the Botanical Gardens in Oxford, provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety and classification, their evolution, and their aesthetic and practical value, stressing the need for their conservation for future generations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator's voice makes its boring

  • By DrLMK on 04-12-15

Not for laymen

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

The title, “A short introduction...” kind of implies this audiobook might be vaguely accessible. Unfortunately, I found this audiobook impossible to follow. Is bombarding the reader with scientific jargon from the start and reading at breakneck speed really the best way to introduce someone to a subject? Did the narrator have a time limit imposed on him, or does he always talk that fast? I felt like a primary school child listening to a Masters lecture on fast-forward.

  • Jungle

  • A Harrowing True Story of Adventure and Survival
  • By: Yossi Ghinsberg
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 78

I heard the rustle again, too close and too real to ignore. I clutched the flashlight, stuck my head out of the mosquito net...and found myself face-to-face with a jaguar. Four travelers meet in Bolivia and set off into the Amazon rainforest on an expedition to find a hidden tribe and explore places tourists only dream of seeing. But what begins as the adventure of a lifetime quickly becomes a struggle for survival when they get lost in the wilds of the jungle. The group splits up after disagreements, and Yossi and his friend try to find their own way back without a guide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Touching the Void in the Jungle

  • By JOhn on 09-05-18

Touching the Void in the Jungle

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

Well written and well read. Vivid and believable, although hard to imagine he could remember everything in such detail. I expect to have nightmares.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold

  • Adventures Along the Iron Curtain Trail
  • By: Tim Moore
  • Narrated by: Tim Moore
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

Scaling a new peak of rash overambition, Tim Moore tackles the 9,000 kilometer route of the old Iron Curtain on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike. Asking for trouble and getting it, he sets off from the northernmost Norwegian-Russian border at the Arctic winter's brutal height, bullying his plucky MIFA 900 through the endless and massively subzero desolation of snowbound Finland.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • funny, informative, quality impersonations

  • By Marco on 22-10-17

Unapologetically miserable

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

Reviewed: 27-02-18

This is the story of a man who deliberately does something he knows he will hate and really enjoys complaining about it. It’s impossible to have sympathy for him, even though it was clearly a harrowing experience. His unbridled cynicism is kind of funny to begin with but quickly becomes tiresome. It seems like a very honest account though, and the author narrating his own story makes it all very authentic. He relies heavily on what he saw on a previous holiday with his wife to beef up his story of what was otherwise a fairly boring and monotonous trip. The snippets of history are interesting enough, but the attempt to turn every sentence into a multi-phrased work of poetry makes it harder to listen to than it should be.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • My Friend Leonard

  • By: James Frey
  • Narrated by: Andy Paris
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

Perhaps the most unconventional and literally breathtaking father-son story you'll ever read, My Friend Leonard pulls you immediately and deeply into a relationship as unusual as it is inspiring. The father figure is Leonard, the high-living, recovering coke addict, "West Coast Director of a large Italian-American finance firm" (read: mobster) who helped to keep James Frey clean in A Million Little Pieces.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brillaint

  • By T. Dickson on 04-02-19

Not as good as the first book, but not a disappointment

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

Reviewed: 16-11-17

Adjusting to ‘normal life’ isn’t quite as interesting as the immediate withdrawal from crack and alcohol addiction, but this sequel to ‘A million little pieces’ is still an good book. Frey has a knack for making the mundane sound interesting. His unique writing style - to use short, often one-word sentences and lots of repetition - is better suited to the delirium of the first book rather than the more boring experiences of getting a new job and a new life, but it still works. The narration is excellent.

  • Jupiter's Travels

  • By: Ted Simon
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas, Ted Simon
  • Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331

On October 6, 1973, Ted Simon knew there was no going back. He loaded up his 500cc Triumph Tiger in the pouring rain and said good-bye to London. Over four years he rode 64,000 miles round the world. Breakdowns, revolutions, war, a spell in prison, and a Californian commune were all part of his experience, which was colored variously by utter despair and unimaginable joy. He was treated as a spy, a god, a welcome stranger and a curiosity

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent listen

  • By michael newton on 29-11-15

Brilliant book, brilliant narration.

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

Reviewed: 26-08-17

My favourite audiobook so far. This is written by a professional writer who goes on a motorcycle trip and writes a brilliant account of his experiences (rather than yet another biker who tries to make a book out of a holiday diary). It's about the places he visits and people he meets, but it's also about himself and is very personal at times, although rarely in that awful, pretentious style you find in a lot of travel writing. There seem to be large gaps around the world where not much happens, which seems strange, but I found none of it boring. The narration is also excellent. Although it isn't the author, the voice seems to fit perfectly and even the wide variety of foreign accents is good! A brilliant book and perfectly matched with the narrator.

  • Into Africa

  • Africa by Motorcycle - Every Day an Adventure
  • By: Sam Manicom
  • Narrated by: Sam Manicom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100

A liberating motorcycle journey through Africa with descriptions of the amazing people and places, the joy of big skies and the open road, and the sometimes harrowing events that would shape destiny. Into Africa tells the story of a novice motorcyclist who takes on the challenge of riding the length of the continent just because, 'it seemed like a great idea’.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A mad choice leads to a brilliant adventure!

  • By Roger Spackman on 21-08-14

Boring, and terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

This book is just endless descriptions of uncomfortable and frustrating situations. It could have been funny, but it isn't. It was useful though - I now know not to ride a motorcycle around Africa and spend a year battling with absurd local bureaucracies and jumped-up officials. Sounds like a nightmare. The narration for this audiobook is terrible - the intonation is so repetitive it sounds like it's been produced by a computer.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Afghan

  • By: Frederick Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 225
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116

When British and US intelligence catch wind of a major Al Qaeda operation, they're ready for action. But what can they do? They know nothing about the attack, so they plant The Afghan, a prisoner of Guantanamo Bay and a former commander of the Taliban.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Review of the Afghan

  • By Hayley J. on 15-11-07

Zzzzzzzzz

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

Reviewed: 14-07-17

What a long, gradual, downhill slide since the Days of the Jackel. Just the same old rehashed Forsyth themes.......

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Crisis

  • By: Frank Gardner
  • Narrated by: John Sackville
  • Length: 14 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 457
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 424
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 420

Introducing Luke Carlton - ex-Special Boat Service commando and now under contract to MI6 for some of its most dangerous missions. Sent into the steaming Colombian jungle to investigate the murder of a British intelligence officer, Luke finds himself caught up in the coils of a plot that has terrifying international dimensions.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good but not great.

  • By G.Russell on 19-10-16

Don't buy novels written by BBC journalists

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

Reviewed: 22-06-17

This might actually be worse than Andrew Marr's attempt to write an exciting book. So, so predictable throughout. Thankfully the narration was of higher quality than the plot line although the South American accents were a bit ridiculous.

  • Game of Spies

  • The Secret Agent, the Traitor and the Nazi, Bordeaux 1942-1944
  • By: Paddy Ashdown
  • Narrated by: Paddy Ashdown
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

In the tradition of Ben MacIntyre, Game of Spies tells the story of a lethal spy triangle in Bordeaux between 1942 and 1944 - and of France's greatest betrayal, by aristocratic and right-wing Resistance leader Andre Grandclement. The story centres on three men - one British, one French and one German - and the duel they fought out in an atmosphere of collaboration, betrayal and assassination, in which comrades sold fellow comrades, Allied agents and downed pilots to the Germans as casually as they would a bottle of wine.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliantly researched, possibly a bit too much....

  • By JOhn on 02-05-17

Brilliantly researched, possibly a bit too much....

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

Reviewed: 02-05-17

Meticulously researched and interesting main characters, but I got the impression the writer really tried to spin it out for as long as possible; it starts brilliantly but the pace kind of drops off after a while. There were so many superfluous characters who played minor roles it was difficult to keep track - and at the end when he explained what became of them all after the war I'd forgotten who most of them were and what they'd done.

The amount of detail reflects the huge amount of research which was obviously done for this book, but I would have preferred a shorter version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful