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  • Crash

  • By: J. G. Ballard
  • Narrated by: Alastair Sill
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 42

The definitive cult, post-modern novel - a shocking blend of violence, transgression and eroticism. When our narrator smashes his car into another and watches a man die in front of him, his sense of sexual possibilities in the world around him becomes detached. As he begins an affair with the dead man's wife, he finds himself drawn, with increasing intensity, to the mangled impacts of car crashes.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • it was better when i read it

  • By am on 08-01-16

REVOLTING: UNBELIEVABLE IMAGINATION

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

Reviewed: 20-02-17

Nasty, nasty nasty.

Don't, if you have any sensitivity at all, read this near-pornographic book. Recognising the author's name from the movie Empire of the Sun, I imagined it might turn out to be a post-modern history of some kind, but what a mistake; and all I can conclude is that Ballard wrote this as an experiment in how many times he could variously describe the sex act in as many positions as possible in the most vivid and picturesque language English provides.

If you have any imagination at all, you will dislike it as much as I did.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • No Country for Old Men

  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 650
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 495
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 492

Cormac McCarthy, best-selling author of National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, delivers his first new novel in seven years. Written in muscular prose, No Country for Old Men is a powerful tale of the West that moves at a blistering pace.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First time author for me

  • By Mark on 28-05-08

As harsh as the land it is set in.

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

Reviewed: 22-01-17

Long, brutal story of unsophisticated yet deep thinking people who live in the deserts of the American South West, and how their lives ere profoundly changed by a battle between drug peddlers, the law and their sense of right and wrong. The highly skilled narrator brings the story brilliantly to life with an excellent grasp of the region's dialogue and accents, and their taciturn reluctance for long, detailed explanations.

I was not aware that Cognac McCarthy was such a prolific writer, as the only other work of his I have read is his "All the Pretty Horses" a tale of boyish rebellion, which takes the reader from the bleak farmlands of Texas to the equally bleak and cruel towns and villages of Mexican border country. This story was filmed, as was "No Country for Old Men", but the first story was a disappointing approximation of the excellent book which fortunately cannot be said of "No Country" the casting of which was excellent and the acting first class, especially that of Billy Bob Thornton as the ageing sheriff and Joaquin Bardim, as Seguerro the man with no scruples.

Highly recommended, as is the film of the book.

  • News from Tartary

  • By: Peter Fleming
  • Narrated by: Richard Mitchley
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

For most travellers, and all merchants, the road from China to India lies as it has lain for centuries, through Singkiang along that ancient Silk Road which is the most romantic and culturally the most important trade route in the history of the world. In 1935 Peter Fleming set out to travel that route, from Peking to Kashmir. It was a journey which swept him and his companion 3500 miles across the roof of the world. It took them seven months to complete the journey.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Matter of Taste Perhaps

  • By David on 16-06-15

BRILLIANT IMPRESSIONS OF A WORLD LONG GONE.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

Peter Fleming's famous book, News from Tartary makes for compelling listening. It is a fascinating and colourful tale of his extraordinary journey from the wilds of China across a huge range of mountains and into India in 1935 - something that none of his small party of four ever thought would be possible. For some reason I have yet to discover, Fleming did not appear to have any particular reason for making the trip, except perhaps that he enjoyed testing himself in every way, and perhaps because the impossibility of the journey appealed to his sense of adventure - which, in his case, was clearly a great deal stronger than most of his contemporaries. His description of the journey by overloaded truck along impossible roads, hanging on the outside of the towering cargo as all possible seating places were occupied and spying a great fat louse climbing up his neighbour's back, but not having a hand free to remove the creature and put it to death as both of his were fully occupied with clinging desperately onto the swaying bundles of goods, is riveting....

Read the story and be amazed by the fortitude and resourcefulness of the four travellers and rejoice when they finally reach their destination. Definitely a must read for anyone interested in travel and adventure nearly 80 years ago and marvel at how they all survived.