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The Supreme Galactic Overlord of Ipswich

Ipswich
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  • 5
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  • 5
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  • The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn't Always the Smart One

  • By: Satoshi Kanazawa
  • Narrated by: Paul Neal Rohrer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9

Satoshi Kanazawa's Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters (written with Alan S. Miller) was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "a rollicking bit of pop Science & Technology that turns the lens of evolutionary psychology on issues of the day." That book answered such burning questions as why women tend to lust after males who already have mates and why newborns look more like Dad than Mom. Now Kanazawa tackles the nature of intelligence: what it is, what it does, what it is good for.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • interesting facts bent to author's agenda

  • By Ben on 26-06-17

Fascinating yet repetitive & robotically narrated

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

Reviewed: 29-04-17

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I liked the no-nonsense style, cutting out all the apologising and hand-wringing that what he had to say was politically incorrect. That was like a breath of fresh air.

In short, it's a fascinating, concise book but a little repetitive, too full of statistics for an audiobook and the narrator made rather heavy weather of it. This is an audiobook only for blind pop science fans. Any sighted person should read it instead.", "type" : "Misc", "question" : "Any additional comments?", "id" : -1, "typeString" : "misc" } ]

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Kolymsky Heights

  • By: Lionel Davidson
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 175
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174

Kolymsky Heights: a frozen Siberian hell lost in endless night and the perfect location for an underground Russian research station. It's a place so secret, it doesn't officially exist.... Once there, the scientists are forbidden to leave. But one scientist is desperate to get a message to the outside world. So desperate he sends a plea across the wilderness to the west in order to summon the one man alive who can achieve the impossible....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Skip the introduction, it contains spoilers

  • By alice on 17-11-17

Great story, well read

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

Reviewed: 29-04-17

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

Yes, I would, but more to my male friends than female friends. This is a man's book. The story keeps you wanting to know what is going to happen next. The scene sometimes changes and tells of related things happening in another place, thus it is never a boring linear narrative. The final third of the book is told in lock-step, shifting from one place and then back to the other. It is a genuine thriller.

What other book might you compare Kolymsky Heights to, and why?

I suppose the book is a little like a John Le Carre novel but much more expansive. Or maybe Eric Ambler is a better comparison. I have read one other book by Lionel Davidson, The Rose of Tibet, and he is clearly fascinated by exotic places. I can imagine him poring over an Atlas, both when he was a child and when he was writing his novels. In fact the setting is a large part of this novel's appeal.

Which character – as performed by Peter Noble – was your favourite?

The male narrator had a pleasant voice and I thought he had a pretty convincing Russian accent. You always knew which character was speaking from his tone of voice and even the women's characters were well done. It's quite easy for male narrators to do annoying women's voices but Mr. Noble was at no point annoying. He also did the intensity thing well. Some narrators overdo it and you are exhausted by the constant intensity. Others don't sound intense enough. I thought Mr. Noble got it about right. I neither fell asleep nor felt frazzled.

My least favourite character as performed by Peter Noble was Johnny Porter, the protagonist. I now wish I had read the book before listening so that I could had formed my own idea of what Porter might sound like. As it is I now have the permanently sullen, dour sounding voice of Porter stuck in my head. This may indeed have been what the author intended. I just wasn't attracted to Porter at all and felt that a man with such a dead-pan voice was incapable of love, even sounded a bit dumb. Still, when I think about it I'm not sure that a smarter-sounding, more emotional Porter would have been true to character. That's the only misgiving I have about the narration.

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

Kolymsky Heights: the spy who went into the cold.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Molloy

  • By: Samuel Beckett
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett, Dermot Crowley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

Written initially in French, later translated by the author into English, Molloy is the first book in Dublin-born Samuel Beckett's trilogy. It was published shortly after WWII and marked a new, mature writing style, which was to dominate the remainder of his working life. Molloy is less a novel than a set of two monologues narrated by Molloy and his pursuer, Moran.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Circles and Straight Lines

  • By Antti on 16-10-15

Great performance but the story became tedious.

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

Reviewed: 21-03-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes and no. I have seen one or two Beckett plays and thought I liked his language. However, it turns out that what works in a play doesn't necessarily work for the duration of a novel. Finding this out was time well spent but that was the only reason.

What could Samuel Beckett have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have made it less of an amorphous blob and structured it. That is probably very hard when you are writing a stream of conscious novel and asking me what a man of Beckett's stature could have done better is like asking me what is wrong with Tiger Woods' swing. It's just that after the first 30 minutes this wasn't the book I wanted to listen to any more.

Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett and Dermot Crowley – was your favourite?

I have to confess that I only made it about 90 minutes in so was not aware that there were two narrators. However, the narrator that I heard was absolutely brilliant. It was on the strength of the sample 5 minutes that I bought the book. The narrator had a beautiful lilting Irish accent which I could have listened to all day.

Could you see Molloy being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No. It would require an even greater chunk given over to interior monologue. This worked in Reginald Perrin but I think it would become too much with so little actually happening.

The stars? Maybe a younger Wilfred Bramble or David Kelly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

  • By: M. R. James
  • Narrated by: Bart Wolffe, Emma Hignett, Emma Topping
  • Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

Eight classic spine-tingling tales to thrill you by M. R. James. This was James' first collection of ghost stories which he intended to be read aloud in the tradition of spooky Christmas Eve tales.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • variable narration

  • By Anonymous User on 30-08-17

A tale of three narrators

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

Reviewed: 21-03-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend the stories but not the two female narrators.

What other book might you compare Ghost Stories of an Antiquary to, and why?

It's a little like the Sherlock Holmes stories but with horror rather than crime as the central theme.

What aspect of the narrators’s performance might you have changed?

I thought the male narrator, Bart Wolffe, was terrific. His delivery was like an especially disdainful Sherlock Holmes when Watson has been particularly slow. In fact it didn't surprise me at all to see that he has indeed narrated the Sherlock Holmes books. He sounded supercilious and contemptuous of almost everything, which for me added some humour to the horror. I suppose his delivery is similr to that of Richard E. Grant in 'Withnail and I'.

I thought the two female narrators deliveries were totally unsuited to old Horror stories. The first Emma (Topping, perhaps?) sounded like she was reading the East Midlands news on a particularly uneventful day. And Emma Hignett (I think I have the Emmas the right way round) had a voice ideally suited to modern day women's fiction.

In short, I ended up listening only to those stories narrated by Bart Wolffe. The other stories I shall read on my Kindle.

Did Ghost Stories of an Antiquary inspire you to do anything?

Yes. After listening to the first story I switched off the light and in the gloom noticed that my wardrobe door was open. I lay awake for a while imagining that I saw a slight movement among the clothes or that I heard a rustling coming from there. Such thoughts would not have gone through my head had I not listened to that story. It thus inspired me to get up and close the wardrobe door so that I could sleep more easily.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful