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Hector Chub

Sydney, Australia
  • 17
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 89
  • ratings
  • Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies

  • By: Robert J. Allison, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert J. Allison
  • Length: 18 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

The history of colonial America is a story of extraordinary scope, with Europeans, Africans, and the native peoples of North America interacting in a drama of settlement and conflict that lasted nearly three centuries. Go back in time and relive this epic story in 36 spellbinding lectures.

While concentrating on British North America, Professor Allison also covers developments in the colonial outposts of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the all-important British possessions in the West Indies, which were the source of the most lucrative crop in the New World - sugar - and the reason for the enormous growth in the slave trade.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • good history, but beware if you're british

  • By Jason on 13-12-16

Possibly my favourite history listen to date

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

Reviewed: 08-02-17

Where does Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

See headline title

What was one of the most memorable moments of Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies?

go away

Which character – as performed by Professor Robert J. Allison – was your favourite?

irrelevant - what a surprise

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

The Death of Pocahontas. No just kidding, another stupid irrelevant question - It's a dry history !

Any additional comments?

Now with all the stupid Audible questions out the way I shall proceed.The good professor has an excellent delivery style, a dry wit and an engaging voice. He relates some quite minor events in some detail which paint a fascinating picture of life and development in all the colonies at various points over a span of some 250 years.Particularly interesting are the stories of the reasons for the establishment of all the 13 original colonies. The relationships with the various indian tribes was also enlightening and informative.In many ways this as much as a transplanted European History as much as it is an American History. When after all did these emigrants become distinctly American ?This is the sort of History of America so far removed from the usual stuff though towards the end Franklin and Washington do come into it.So much history we learn about just hits key points and joins dots; simplistic narratives we all doze off to. Some tales , such as Pocahontas are now so historically inaccurate as to be laughable . And it ain't all Disney's fault either.For anyone interested in well told properly researched primers histories of early America, I wonder if anyone could do better than this audiobook

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Plague Charmer

  • By: Karen Maitland
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 171

Porlock Weir, Exmoor, 1361. Thirteen years after the Great Pestilence, plague strikes England for the second time. Sara, a packhorse man's wife, remembers the horror all too well and fears for the safety of her children. Only a dark-haired stranger offers help but at a price that no one will pay.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superstitious Slugfest

  • By Simon on 22-10-16

Desperately depressing and irritating

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

Reviewed: 08-02-17

What disappointed you about The Plague Charmer?

Sludge of a story washed up on some desolate beach, recovered and related by screeching nutter for hour after hour. After hour. I really tried but ended up waking up depressed !

What will your next listen be?

I don't think that's any of your business and what does it have to do with the book I have failed to finish. Ok if you must know it's a BBC football podcast. Enlightening to anybody ?

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Too many village idiots at full throttle

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

What does that have to do with the price of rotting fish ?

Any additional comments?

Stop asking stupid questions and let readers present their own take. It was terrible ok

1 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

  • Muslims, Christians, and Jews Under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain
  • By: Dario Fernandez Morera
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

Scholars, journalists, and politicians uphold Muslim-ruled medieval Spain - "al-Andalus" - as a multicultural paradise, a place where Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in harmony. There is only one problem with this widely accepted account: It is a myth. In this groundbreaking book, Northwestern University scholar Darío Fernández-Morera tells the full story of Islamic Spain. As professors, politicians, and pundits continue to celebrate Islamic Spain for its "multiculturalism" and "diversity", Fernández-Morera sets the record straight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A harrowing account of Islamic Spain

  • By Alex on 10-07-17

Boring boring boring

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

Reviewed: 19-11-16

A scholarly work, tedious in the execution and read very badly. Makes use of 20 examples when a couple would do. Rigorous scholarship. Yawn

2 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Solomon’s Gold

  • Book Six of The Baroque Cycle
  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble, Kevin Pariseau, Neal Stephenson (introduction)
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

The year is 1714. Daniel Waterhouse has returned to England, where he joins forces with his friend Isaac Newton to hunt down a criminal gang attempting to blow up Natural Philosophers with "Infernal Devices," or time bombs. Unbeknownst to Daniel, however, Newton has an ulterior motive: to wrest the Solomonic Gold from the control of his arch-enemy, the master counterfeiter Jack the Coiner, a.k.a Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • London for the imaginary tourist

  • By Christopher on 01-12-10

So over this series

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

Reviewed: 06-09-16

What started so brilliantly in the the first books has become meandering drivel. Even the best character, Waterhouse ,is now tedious to listen to .

OK I didn't finish it but it was so like previous episodes - doubtless going somewhere but via a far off galaxy. Wish I could burn it.

I run a bookshop - probably sold 1 set in 10 years. That ought to have been a clue

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Smiley's People

  • The Karla Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 748
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 745

George Smiley was summoned from his dubious retirement by two seemingly unconnected events - an old woman in Paris is promised the return of a daughter she will never see, and a handover is to take place on a steamer in Hamburg.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An underrated writer

  • By CAL on 24-09-12

Plod Plod Plod

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

Reviewed: 03-12-14

For the first half this is a excellent typically complex Le Carre. The last half is a dull, mechanical trudge to the finishing line. Jayston's performance is top notch , notably his Alec Guinness , sorry, George Smiley. Overall as a story, not a patch on Tinker Tailor.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Curfew

  • By: Phil Rickman
  • Narrated by: Seán Barrett
  • Length: 22 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 272
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 231

For 400 years, the curfew bell has tolled nightly from the church tower of the small country town, Crybbe's only defence against the evil rising unbidden in its haunted streets. Radio reporter Fay Morrison came to Crybbe because she had no choice. Millionaire music tycoon Max Goff came because there was nothing left to conquer, except the power of the spirit. But he knew nothing of the town's legacy of dark magic - and nobody felt like telling him....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Enthralling Listen

  • By Scullywag on 18-02-13

Brilliant first half but a long slow death

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

Reviewed: 22-03-14

Very intriguing and creepy story for the first two thirds, with excellent characters (though perhaps too many). I actually thought the story was coming to an end after two parts - which would have been about right but the endgame was so dragged out, all the terror and creepiness has dissipated and it became at times - a bit hokey. Which was a shame.

Rickman has considerable talent , there is tremendous sly wit in this tale. But the end does drag on and on and the peripheral new age characters are quite poorly drawn. I would still recommend it though and am going to try another. Just hope it's not so over-written.

Sean Barrett is perfect for these type of creepy stories - supreme work

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Making Money

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,713
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,301
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,297

It's an offer you can't refuse. Who would not wish to be the man in charge of Ankh-Morpork's Royal Mint and the bank next door? It's a job for life. But, as former con-man Moist von Lipwig is learning, the life is not necessarily for long. The Chief Cashier is almost certainly a vampire. There's something nameless in the cellar (and the cellar itself is pretty nameless), and it turns out that the Royal Mintruns at a loss.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great fun

  • By Carol on 03-04-11

Very Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 10-02-14

One of the less interesting Pratchetts. I kept going to the end but it lacked the spark , originality and wit of his earlier works. Especially disappointing given that Going Postal was so clever , witty and interesting. The narrator was good.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Broken Homes

  • Rivers of London, Book 4
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,978
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,695
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,673

Ben Aaronovitch has stormed the best-seller list with his superb London crime series - a unique blend of police procedural; loving detail about the greatest character of all, London; and a dash of the supernatural. A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil: an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer? Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case, a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his caseload.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magic and Mayhem...

  • By Sharon on 28-07-13

The first disappointment in an excellent series

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

Reviewed: 02-11-13

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

The story lacked the humour, terror, twists (apart from the end), of previous stories. There was little new and story development was lacking. Very procedural

What was most disappointing about Ben Aaronovitch’s story?

I just told you

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Nothing I can think of

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Broken Homes?

Why do you keep asking these silly questions ?

Any additional comments?

Whoever came up with this review structure is very silly.
The narration was excellent - as ever

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Quicksilver

  • Book One of The Baroque Cycle
  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Neal Stephenson (introduction), Kevin Pariseau, Simon Prebble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 324
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 200

In which Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursues knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe -- in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ambitious and entertaining

  • By Iain on 09-09-10

Oh my , thank god that's over

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

Reviewed: 15-08-13

Any additional comments?

There's little point in adding to many comments regarding the phenomenal length of this story. Stephenson obviously knew what he wanted. But I just can't take it any more. In parts fascinating, funny, clever and engaging , but often a tedious trawl - especially towards the end with Leibnitz when the story drags to no seeming end point. Now even though I've read ahead with reviews - and it appears the story picks up dramatically it is going to eat away another 1000 hours of my life to get to what I am sure with be a brilliant last minute. My main criticisms are that there is little seeming narrative drive, (a disputation about the originator of calculus doesn't do it for me) and the principal character, Waterhouse, is not the most engaging of heroes to follow. I can't I just can't go on with it. I'm sure it's very clever in the end but life is too short and there are snappier works to engage with. It has encouraged me to pick up a history book and review the period.

I just cannot trawl down endless metaphorical and physical byways with this author. I'm getting off the bus

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • David Copperfield

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 34 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 648
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 465
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 462

When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which leads him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak, and friendship and betrayal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Joy of Audible

  • By Mr David Newton on 15-09-09

The Brilliant, The Unlikely and The Windy

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

Reviewed: 20-07-13

Would you listen to David Copperfield again? Why?

Probably not. There are briefer and sharper tales

If you’ve listened to books by Charles Dickens before, how does this one compare?

Lacks the complexity and strangeness of Our Mutual Friend and the overall brilliance of Bleak House. The first half is excellent

What about Martin Jarvis’s performance did you like?

Lively, engaging and with an incredible range of voices

Any additional comments?

A fairly typical Dickens, passages of brilliance, humour and tragedy. Dramatic and sentimental, often over done. Some excellent characters eg Mr Micawber, but then some are frankly irritating eg Mrs Micawber. The co-incidental meetings at times are quite unbelievable. As with other Dickens the story starts to drag at about the 3/4 mark.
Still that's Dickens isn't it - using 1000 words where 10 would have done.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful