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Mark

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 36
  • helpful votes
  • 134
  • ratings
  • Paradox Bound

  • A Novel
  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 560
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town's still got a video store, for God's sake. So why doesn't Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he'd ever admit it, but maybe he's been waiting - waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who's roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who's a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model A Ford.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The American Dream

  • By Mark T. on 10-11-17

Decidedly different, but entertaining nonetheless!

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

Reviewed: 29-01-19

I'm not a fan of Clines' zombie series but did enjoy The Fold, so this departure was more in 'my line' literature. Some have called it steampunk, and yes there are elements of it, but it is more the odd backdrop than a prominent feature, within a History travelling based storyline. Yes the book is a little far fetched at times, but to be honest, I never let it both me. What you have here is a reasonably well written, enjoyable novel, with some quirks, that is delivered very well by the very reliable Ray Porter. It will never win a prize for literature, but, you are in the wrong place if you are looking for that sort of thing. I enjoyed it and felt it was well worth a credit.

  • Sword in the Storm

  • Rigante, Book 1
  • By: David Gemmell
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 16 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178

Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land and its gods. But beyond the border, across the water, an evil force is gathering strength, an unstoppable force that will change the world beyond all recognition. Haunted by malevolent spirits and hunted by evil men, Connavar sets out on a spectacular mission to save his people.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great story. Narration is somewhat discordant.

  • By Ben on 26-11-17

Excellent Gemmell and Andoh

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

I know a number of people have criticised the female narrator... for me it works well, and in all honestity the performance is on the whole very very well delivered. The tone, pace, volume etc all contribute to a excellent delivery with just one flaw, which is arguably the fault of the produce/editor.

Adjoa use inspiration and accents from across Europe and Asia that typify Gemmell's inspiration for this novel. Anyone who knows a little history will instantly equate the armies of stone with the romans. The problem here is that the Rigante are depicted as 'west country cider drinkers', rather than the Scottish. Regardless Andoh delivers them very well, the pace, tone, volume levels and the general reading of the text are all very good and delivered exceptionally well. After a few initial moments the female voice made no difference to me, as I was absorbed into story. There are one or two minor zealous edits, where the story runs into the next section, with a decent pause, but I blame the editor for that.

Is it worth a credit? If you are worried about the female voice, then listen to the sample, if you can get on with it, then Andoh is definitely worth giving an opportunity to, and hopefully like me, you won't be disappointed!

  • Waylander

  • Drenai, Book 3
  • By: David Gemmell
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 291
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 270
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 270

The Drenai King is dead - murdered by a ruthless assassin. Enemy troops swarm into Drenai lands. Their orders are simple - kill every man, woman and child. But there is hope. Stalked by men who act like beasts and beasts that walk like men, the warrior Waylander must journey into the shadow-haunted lands of the Nadir to find the legendary Armour of Bronze. With this he can turn the tide. But can he be trusted? For he is Waylander the Slayer. The traitor who killed the King...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Helping of Gorgeous Gemmell

  • By Simon on 01-08-17

A Gemmell Classic very well delivered!

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

I won't ruin the story, but suffice to say that if you like your fantasy generally brutal with a touch of magic, you will be at home here. What is interesting to me is the choice of Sean Barrett as the narrator. His voice, deep, dark, semi brutial, stark maybe, fits Gemmells work very well. I originally ready the book in the early 1990s and enjoyed revisiting it, with Barretts delivery. As Barrett seems to be the voice of Gemmell, at least for the Drenai series, then I am strongly considering picking them all up at some point the future. I know quality, written and verbal, when I see and hear it.

Undoubtedly worth a credit.

  • Ice Station Zebra

  • By: Alistair MacLean
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Oliver
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102

The atomic submarine Dolphin has impossible orders: to sail beneath the ice floes of the Arctic Ocean to locate and rescue the men of weather station Zebra, gutted by fire and drifting with the ice pack somewhere north of the Arctic Circle. But the orders do not say what the Dolphin will find if she succeeds - that the fire at Ice Station Zebra was sabotage and that one of the survivors is a killer....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not the Movie, but still good

  • By Mark on 05-10-17

Not the Movie, but still good

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

If you have seen the movie then the story here is similar for the first third to half of it, but it changes afterward. In fact the book is less cold war spy thriller ala the movie, but more arctic murder mystery.

The story is generally good, varied and interesting with a few moments that Macleans just about gets away with. There are some errors, for instance the mannicker schoenhower one (they never made pistols), but in general it is a good listen and worthy of a credit.

Where most of the recently release Maclean books fall down, is in the narration. Jonathan Oliver is ok and just about bearable in this one, unlike the Guns of Navarrone and Where Eagles Dare. He does better with the normal narration here, but he struggles to maintain the American accent, and I am not convinced with the irish and scottish ones. Some times he is good, sometimes it hurts my ears, which leads to a mixed response on my part.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Where Eagles Dare

  • By: Alistair MacLean
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Oliver
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110

The classic World War II thriller from the acclaimed master of action and suspense. One winter night, seven men and a woman are parachuted onto a mountainside in wartime Germany. Their objective: an apparently inaccessible castle, headquarters of the Gestapo. Their mission: to rescue a crashed American general before the Nazi interrogators can force him to reveal secret D-day plans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great story, not dealt justice

  • By Mark on 07-09-17

A great story, not dealt justice

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

Reviewed: 07-09-17

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

Possibly not. I love the story, it is a classic, and possibly Maclean's best work... but.. it is only a good listen if the narrator can recreate this. The producer/editors should also take some of the blame to. This recording is not upto the standard of the 40 year old cassette version!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jonathan Oliver?

Anyone! (David Rintoul, Toby Longworth, Matt Addis, but as they are soooo good and therefore possibly to expensive to employ).. how about Colin Mace who read 'Nomad' so well ? ...actually that is a bit unfair, but Oliver struggles much like with 'The Guns of Navarone' with accents. The German ones all sound the same and like a cliched parody more akin to the BBC's 'Allo, Allo!', and the female voice of Mary, nearly made my ears bleed. The american accent for Schaffer is identical to Dusty Miller in Guns of Navarone, the germans the same, and I can only thank god that there were no greeks in this story. He seems to only be able to recreate one version of an accent. His fluency is in question as well, as he struggles to turning that into a coherent and not disjointed experience (lots of unnecessary pauses, or bad edits?). The problem here is that this is repeated from previous books, and although I believe he delivers this one slightly better, it is still a long way off from good, let alone perfect.I originally listened to this on cassette read by Martin Jarvis...the cassette, even in it's 40 year, mangled state is better!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I nearly cried in places when the accents assaulted my ears!

Any additional comments?

Oliver's performance in Fear is the Key, was a lot better (less accents), so I will be looking at 'When Eight Bells Toll' in the future, but will be weary of acquiring other Maclean works, that he reads. It is a real shame as I like Maclean's work, but it is only good if delivered to the same standard.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Running Blind

  • By: Desmond Bagley
  • Narrated by: Paul Tyreman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

The assignment begins with a simple errand - a parcel to deliver. But to Alan Stewart, standing on a deserted road in Iceland with a murdered man at his feet, it looks anything but simple. The desolate terrain is obstacle enough. But when Stewart realises he has been double-crossed and that the opposition is gaining ground, his simple mission seems impossible....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bagley's Best?

  • By Mark on 11-08-17

Bagley's Best?

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

Reviewed: 11-08-17

Would you listen to Running Blind again? Why?

I originally listened to the abridged story on cassette when it was read by Martin Jarvis many moons ago. I've been waiting for a full version for a while. The story is still exciting even when you know it (I don't intend to give the game away here), and swings one way, then the other and back again, whilst exhibiting the stark reality, directness, and lack of Hollywood theatrics that is Bagley's style. Of the Bagley books I have read this is the one I come back to.The setting is wonderful and Bagley spent time in Iceland researching it, when writing the book. The characters are representative of the time, and you have to remember that this was written in the 1960's! Additionally I like they way that the back story unfolds and supplements the main story line.

What does Paul Tyreman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Tyreman does a better job where, when compared to the other book I have reviewed, High Citadel. There are less accents to jump between, and, although the Icelandic names are difficult, it seems that he had researched them, and delivers them. They all sound good. It is a better performance than High Citadel, and it seems that he is improving, he just isn't Martin Jarvis! (OK I am probably being a little harsh there).

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

I always love the start of this book....this and the opening lines of When Eight Bells Toll by Alistair Maclean are two of my favourite openings to any book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Killing Bay

  • Foroyar Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Chris Ould
  • Narrated by: Matt Addis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 225
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 222

When a group of international activists arrive on the Faroe Islands intent on stopping whale hunts, or grindadrap, tensions between islanders and protestors run high. And when a woman is found murdered only hours after a violent confrontation at a whale drive, the circumstances seem purposely designed to create even more animosity between the two sides. For Faroese detective Hjalti Hentze and DI Jan Reyna, the case exposes personal connections and conflicts of interest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent book, well read

  • By mollyeyre on 03-03-17

Addis Aces it Again

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

Reviewed: 11-08-17

Would you recommend The Killing Bay to your friends? Why or why not?

I paid £2.99 for it in cash, on the daily deal, so value for money wise I can't really complain. With that in mind, I admit I have not heard the first book in the series, although I believe they are only loosely connected via a few characters. Is it worth a credit? Yes it probably, is. I wouldn't feel hard done by if I had paid that. However, for me the story lulled a little in the middle and although the author is trying to develop some suspense, leading us down wrong paths, the weren't as dynamic or gripping as I would have hoped and I could have skipped a couple of hours in the middle and it probably wouldn't have made much difference. The setting is different and interesting, although the characters come across as a little one dimensional. The author tries to enhance this by mixing first and third person narratives, but it seems a little forced to me, not natural in the way that Peter May does it. Again this could have just been delivered in third person, and you wouldn't have know the difference. (Note: the first book may have laid some character ground work, but I haven't read it). It isn't that the book is bad, it isn't, it is just that it isn't great. I'd listen to it again, but it would be in a few years time, not the next 12 months.

What about Matt Addis’s performance did you like?

Many people are read a book.... Matt Addis Delivers it!... Accents are well done, pronunciation is good (not that I can really check, but it sounded good!). Male and female voices, different, distinct and believable....What I really like about Matt Addis, is that he speaks the book how I would read it. Which makes listening to it so easy! He isn't in a rush to get the sentence finished, and pauses at all the right points, like you would if it was placed in front of you. Another awesome performance.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Nomad

  • By: James Swallow
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 16 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,205

Marc Dane is an MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when a brutal attack on his team leaves Marc as the only survivor - and with the shocking knowledge that there are traitors inside MI6 - he's forced into the front line. However, the evidence seems to point towards Marc as the perpetrator of the attack. Accused of betraying his country, he must race against time to clear his name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For lovers of I Am Pilgrim

  • By Robert Rawlins on 28-10-17

Simply.... very very good

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

Reviewed: 21-06-17

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

It's good, not quiet sure if it is great, but it is definitely good. Definitely worth a credit, although I as fortunate enough to pay £2.99 on a daily deal for it. If you like this sort of thing, then I would recommend it.

What other book might you compare Nomad to, and why?

There are airs of Jason Bourne in here, with a bit of Len Deighton and a dose of Forsythe's detail. The technical detail, for me is very well done, enough in there to understand, but not too much that it goes on for paces. Unlike some of the comments made about this book, I welcomed it, thought it added to the story and explained a lot.

What about Colin Mace’s performance did you like?

I'd never experienced anything he had narrated. But, in this book, I felt he did a very good job. Accents were good, tempo too, he know how to read a book. HOWEVER, the production team and editor should be shot at dawn, possibly after a good flogging... The problem is that when reading a book and there are a series of line breaks, but not a chapter you naturally pause before going on to the next part. In real life you would put it down and make that cup of tea that you have been yearning for, but couldn't put the book down.
in this book it sounds like someone has edited them out and they all flow into each other like normal sentences. If you aren't pay attention and are listening for them, it seems like the story can flip to something completely non-connected inside 2 -3 seconds It is a shame really, as Mace's narrative is very good.

  • Fear Is the Key

  • By: Alistair MacLean
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Oliver
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

A sunken DC-3 lying on the Caribbean floor. Its cargo: $10.25 million in gold ingots, emeralds and uncut diamonds guarded by the remains of two men, one woman and a very small boy. The fortune was there for the taking, and ready to grab it were a blue-blooded oilman with his own offshore rig, a gangster so cold and independent that even the Mafia couldn't do business with him and a psychopathic hired assassin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Edge of your seat thriller!

  • By Hamish Lambert on 05-12-17

Much better from Oliver

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

Reviewed: 21-06-17

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

The Maclean Classic given the audible treatment. This delivery is much better from Oliver, although it has to be said that there are much fewer foreign accents in this book, when compared to the poor performance in 'The Guns of Navarone" where he really struggled. The producers/editor should take a some of the blame for that too. At the very end of the book, his narration (under the circumstances) is very good. However, he still needs to work on his fluidity.

Is it work a credit?... Yes.

Hoping for 'When Eight Bells Toll' sometime soon!

  • The Cleaner

  • John Milton, Book 1
  • By: Mark Dawson
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,228
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,051
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,054

Meet John Milton. He considers himself an artisan. A craftsman. His trade is murder. Milton is the man the government sends after you when everything else has failed. Ruthless. Brilliant. Anonymous. Lethal. You wouldn't pick him out of a crowd but you wouldn't want to be on his list. But now, after ten years, he's had enough - there's blood on his hands and he wants out. Trouble is, this job is not one you can just walk away from. He goes on the run, seeking atonement for his sins by helping the people he meets along the way.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good but oddly unsatisfying

  • By Lucy on 05-11-16

Should have been a Movie

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

Reviewed: 05-05-17

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

I can't complain as I picked the book up a little while back when it was free for a few days. I'd looked at it a couple of times but had been put off by the reviews. If I was using a credit or paying for this I would probably want my money back. There are much better works to be spending them on. If you are expecting Jason Bourne 2 then go and look for something else, this isn't it. This story only features an ex spy/assassin, the story is not espionage based. (Without ruining any of it).

What was most disappointing about Mark Dawson’s story?

Everything is so cliche and the writing seems to be at extremes. lots of average writing backed up with a rare large word plucked out of the dictionary. It doesn't really flow. I think Dawson has spent too much time watching Americanised movies and hardly any actually studying well crafted literature as he struggles to fabricate something original. For example you can forget chapter 2 completely.. guy walks into a bar, orders an orange juice, watches some tv, finishes the juice.. end of chapter... it is a movie scene turned into a poor prose. The entire story reads like a movie, not a book. The main character might as well be a cardboard cut out, as you do not get to know them, understand their motivations or feelings. OK Milton is an assassin, arguably an automoton, and taught to ignore emotions, but Dawson makes no attempt whatsoever to try and relay Milton's motives or reasons for doing anything. The book even states this at one point and no outline or support is given to explain it. Because of this it is hard to relate to the characters or to the plot.

Any additional comments?

The narration has it's moments and I genuinely think that David Thorpe made a good attempt. Some of the black gangster accents he does very well, although, and I admit I am no expert, I think he does struggle on occasion, it is just that the story is so poor and formulaic, and therefore hard to convey convincingly. I also noted that every time he introduced a new section e.g. 'Chapter 34!" there was a kind of jubilation in his voice as if to say... another one done, another step closer to the end of this damn thing. Maybe the remainder of this series are better, but I doubt very much that I will be finding out, there are other things that I know I will enjoy much more than this.