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LondonLass

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 121
  • helpful votes
  • 28
  • ratings
  • Ep. 4 (Hunting Witches with Walt Disney)

  • The Secret History of Hollywood
  • By: Adam Roche
  • Length: 1 hr and 1 min
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

The fallout from the HUAC investigation has fractured the Hollywood community. Friends have turned on one another in order to save their careers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful Reading

  • By Deano Dino on 12-02-19

Amazing--well researched, brilliantly delivered.

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

Reviewed: 14-10-18

Four episodes--gripping, tragic and a true lesson in how wrong things can get, even in a democracy.

  • The Possessed

  • By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Narrated by: Patrick Cullen
  • Length: 29 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Loosely based on sensational press reports of a Moscow student’s murder by fellow revolutionists, The Possessed depicts the destructive chaos caused by outside agitators who move into a provincial town. The enigmatic Stavrogin dominates the novel. His magnetic personality influences his tutor, the liberal intellectual poseur Stepan Verhovensky, and the teacher’s revolutionary son Pyotr, as well as other radicals.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful Story

  • By J. Mann on 18-11-11

A great book ruined by the reader

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

Reviewed: 23-03-18

Would you try another book written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky or narrated by Patrick Cullen?

I certainly wouldn't buy anything that Patrick Cullen reads.

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

I don't know. Cullen's reading was so monotonous and irritating.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

There was hardly any differentiation in the voices, so it was often difficult to know which character was speaking but even worse, Cullen had the habit of suddenly throwing a sharp and completely unnecessary emphasis on a couple of words--usually towards the end of the sentence. It was like someone drumming the table with his fingers in an endlessly repeating pattern. It was just awful.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Possessed?

I can't tell you much about the book, my appreciation of it was completely spoiled by the reader's performance.

  • Prisoners of Geography

  • Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics
  • By: Tim Marshall
  • Narrated by: Ric Jerom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,912
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,707
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,691

If you've ever wondered why Putin is so obsessed with Crimea, why the USA was destined to become a global superpower or why China's power base continues to expand ever outwards, the answers are all here. In 10 chapters, using essays and occasionally the personal experiences of the widely travelled author, Prisoners of Geography looks at the past, present and future to offer an essential insight into one of the major factors that determines world history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Step back and look at politics through a new lens

  • By Unique Pseudonym on 25-07-17

Not as rigorous as it should have been

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

It's OK but more an overview of the present political situation than a serious study of how geography affects politics. Sometimes the geography disappears completely for long stretches. The reader s competent but occasionally cannot resist the urge to adopt a pointless foreign accent when reading a quote from a writer in another language than English.

  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism

  • By: Paul Kengor
  • Narrated by: John McLain
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

The worst idea in history is back! Communism has wrecked national economies, enslaved whole peoples, and killed more than a hundred million men and women. What's not to like? Too many young Americans are supporting communism. Millennials prefer socialism to capitalism, and 25 percent have a positive view of Lenin. One in four Americans believe that George W. Bush killed more people than Joseph Stalin. And 69 percent of millennials would vote for a socialist for president. They ought to know better.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Unbearably bad reader

  • By LondonLass on 13-01-18

Unbearably bad reader

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

Reviewed: 13-01-18

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different reader.

Who was your favorite character and why?

n/a

What didn’t you like about John McLain’s performance?

He treated every sentence like a trailer for an action film--a bad one.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism?

I don't know. I couldn't listen to it past chapter two.

Any additional comments?

The narrator ruined the entire thing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,142
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,326
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,324

Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More Fact Pact Bryson

  • By Stewart Webb on 06-06-10

All you ever wanted to know about your home.

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

Reviewed: 11-03-17

Where does At Home: A Short History of Private Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I expected--and got--some light entertainment but was amazed by the depth and breadth of this study of human domestic history.

What was one of the most memorable moments of At Home: A Short History of Private Life?

I've heard it before, but the section about medical obduracy with regard to cholera vectors was a reminder that the medical profession as a group can be murderously thick.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

It was all enjoyable.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The story of the John Landis Mason, inventor of the preserving jar bearing his name, was rather sad but there were several such tragic stories.

  • Homo Deus

  • A Brief History of Tomorrow
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,683
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,994
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,963

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the best-selling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. Now, in Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Full of "wow, I never thought of it like that!"

  • By david on 17-03-17

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.

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

Reviewed: 11-03-17

What did you like most about Homo Deus?

Well written, thought provoking, stimulating, knowledgeable.
The review will not complete unless I write more words, but there is simply nothing else to say.

Who was your favorite character and why?

(Not applicable)

Have you listened to any of Derek Perkins’s other performances? How does this one compare?

(Not applicable)

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

Where we are going, and why.

Any additional comments?

Read it!

  • Dead Men and Broken Hearts

  • A Lennox Thriller, Book 4
  • By: Craig Russell
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172

It’s November 1956. The world is in turmoil, the Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Uprising boiling away in the background. Lennox, though, has more immediate concerns, like getting his personal life and his business back on track. In a bid to stay out of trouble, he’s looking for more legitimate cases. Anything’s better than working for the Three Kings, the crime bosses who run Glasgow’s underworld. When a woman comes into his office and hires him

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great story

  • By G.Russell on 23-12-12

A good read, if you ignore the holes in the plot

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

Reviewed: 21-07-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Dead Men and Broken Hearts to be better than the print version?

Didn't read the print version.

Would you be willing to try another book from Craig Russell? Why or why not?

Possibly. I read his Deep Dark Sleep first and I'm afraid this does not come up to the same standard.

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

All over the place in Glasgow and the Highlands

Any additional comments?

Sean Barrett is a brilliant reader. I would try almost any book if I saw he was narrating it.

  • The Tail Wags the Dog

  • International Politics and the Middle East
  • By: Efraim Karsh
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Coote
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

The continuing crisis in Syria has raised a question mark over the common perception of Middle Eastern affairs as an offshoot of global power politics. To Western intellectuals, foreign-policy experts, and politicians, "empire" and "imperialism" are categories that apply exclusively to the European powers and more recently to the United States of America. Lacking an internal dynamic of its own, the view of such people is that Middle Eastern history is the product of its unhappy interaction with the West.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intelligent analysis. Shame about the reader.

  • By LondonLass on 02-03-16

Intelligent analysis. Shame about the reader.

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

Reviewed: 02-03-16

What made the experience of listening to The Tail Wags the Dog the most enjoyable?

The well-written, cogent narrative.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tail Wags the Dog?

Description of the terrible decisions about the Middle East made by Western do-gooder governments in the early part of the 20th century.

Did Jonathan Coote do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

It might not have been Jonathan Coote's idea to do vocal impressions of the various leaders, his director could have been responsible for that but whoever came up with it, the effect was ludicrous. It was simply intrusive to hear Churchill's opinions delivered in a pantomime Churchillian accent but the whole thing became downright surrealistic when the narrator bottled out on doing an appropriate accent for the Arab speakers -- probably on the grounds that it might sound 'racist' -- so while some Frenchman talks with a French accent and Obama comes across all educated mid-western, Yassir Arafat holds forth in classless, flat English. Complete nonsense. He didn't need to do any accents for any of them.

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

How many mistakes can you cram into one century?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Deep Dark Sleep

  • A Lennox Thriller, Book 3
  • By: Craig Russell
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182

Human remains are recovered from the bottom of the River Clyde. Not an unusual occurrence, but these have been sleeping the deep, dark sleep for eighteen years. Suddenly Glasgow’s underworld is buzzing with the news that the dredged up bones belong to Gentleman Joe Strachan, Glasgow’s most successful and ruthless armed robber.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First Class

  • By Reader on 15-05-12

Marlowe lives!

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

Reviewed: 20-11-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Deep Dark Sleep to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Deep Dark Sleep?

No "moments" but some witty language. The genre, the structure and even the griminess of the setting was very much in the Chandler style and the author does it very well.

What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

Flawless with accents and characters. Really good Glaswegian heavies.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's a crime thriller--not specifically moving--just a rattling good tale.

Any additional comments?

The end was a bit deus ex machina, and therefore somewhat unsatisfactory. Even with that, there were unanswered questions and, I am sorry to say, enough loose ends to knit a scarf.
If I went into too much detail it would spoil things for prospective readers (and this book is certainly well worth reading) but Russell had a couple of intractable plot problems by the end and it looks like he couldn't be bothered to figure out more than a quick comb-over to obscure them. Most comb-overs tend to draw attention to the lack of what should be there, rather than hiding it. But then, Chandler did that sort of thing as well and we all forgive him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Monarchy

  • By: David Starkey
  • Narrated by: David Starkey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274

The crown of England is the oldest surviving political institution in Europe. Throughout this audiobook Dr David Starkey emphasises the Crown's endless capacity to adapt to circumstances and reshape national policy, whilst he unmasks the personalities and achievements, the defeats and victories, which lie behind the kings and queens of British history. Each of these monarchs has contributed to the religion, geography, laws, language, and government which we live with today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding content and narration

  • By Tarek on 14-06-17

Fascinating history

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

Reviewed: 07-11-15

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

Pretty high.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's a history, this question is irrelevant.

Which character – as performed by David Starkey – was your favourite?

It's a HISTORY not an Agatha Christie. Why are you asking me these questions?

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

Yes, but it would have been too long.

Any additional comments?

As always, Starkey is a good performer and an engaging and of course highly knowlegeable writer.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful