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Cylestra

  • 4
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • The Outcasts of Time

  • By: Ian Mortimer
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 872
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 805
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 804

December 1348: With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries - living each one of their remaining days 99 years after the last. John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Imaginative, thought-provoking historical fiction

  • By Kirstine on 13-10-17

Crushingly Dull

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

Reviewed: 20-07-18

Ian Mortimer might have been described as one of the most remarkable historians of our time, but he's definitely not one of the most most remarkable writers. The Outcasts of Time manages to take a good idea and turn it into a seriously tedious trudge through the less fascinating aspects of life in seven different centuries. Interested in the details of tin mining, types of guttering used on Elizabethan houses or the difference between chickens and turkeys? Then by all means get this book as it uses a very frayed narrative thread to rope together unconnected and irrelevant facts that even the most dedicated history buff would struggle to stay awake through. This all takes place within endless stilted two-person conversations between the main characters - a proselytising pain-in-the-rear and a sex pest who seems more interested in getting off with women rather than solving why he is waking up in a different century every day. I had to give up halfway through as the narration, which was delivered in a tone probably worthy of the material but better-suited when addressing the terminally befuddled, was also starting to grate. If you enjoy historical fiction, I wouldn't recommend this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • No Man's Land

  • By: Simon Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 23 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

No Man's Land is Simon Tolkien's first literary novel - it's a picture of early 20th-century England torn apart by the First World War, as seen through the eyes of a working-class boy whose turbulent life is finally coming together when he is posted to the Somme in 1916.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Average Book - Awful Narration

  • By Cylestra on 20-09-16

Average Book - Awful Narration

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

Reviewed: 20-09-16

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

There's very little a great narrator can do to improve an awful book, but an awful narrator can absolutely savage a half-decent story! No man's Land needs a damn good edit to excise some of the meandering waffle that pervades the start and end of the book and which actually detracts from what is a gripping and detailed depiction of the First World War. But I might have forgiven that had the narration not been so terrible. Steven Crossley's style seems best suited to four year-olds or the educationally sub-normal, employing an odd, upward intonation at the end of sentences which sounds a bit patronising and hence begins to grate very early on. Combined with absolutely ridiculous attempts at female voices (thankfully the female character who he decided should sound like Brian's mum in Life Of Brian died relatively early) and comedic 'posh' and 'common' voices, it really is a groan-inducing listen at points.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • No Easy Hope

  • Surviving the Dead, Volume 1
  • By: James N. Cook
  • Narrated by: Guy Williams
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 72

Eric Riordan was once a wealthy man leading a comfortable, easy life. Until one day Gabriel, his oldest friend, Marine Corps veteran, and a former mercenary, told him how the world was going to end. He did his best to prepare. He thought he was ready for anything. He was wrong. As the dead rise up to devour the living, one man finds himself struggling to survive in the ruins of a shattered world. Alone, isolated, and facing starvation, his only chance is to flee to the Appalachians and join forces with Gabriel.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Its ok

  • By Bradley P on 23-09-18

Oh God - This is TRIPE!

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

Reviewed: 31-08-15

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

This book really is an appalling load of tripe and falls into the familiar trap of forgetting it's a zombie novel in favour of what sounds like the classified section of Guns 'n' Ammo. It veers horribly from pages of boring, stilted dialogue to tooth-grindingly dull prose which sees our office worker hero selecting and loading, unloading, shooting, discussing, cleaning, and strapping-to-his-manly-chest various forms of gun, rocket launcher, grenade etc. Over and over and over again. The zombies barely get a look-in. Add to this the fact that the only female characters are cooking, having sex or looking after babies and you have a novel that bites in all the wrong ways!

Has No Easy Hope put you off other books in this genre?

No, but will listen to a sample first next time.

What three words best describe Guy Williams’s voice?

Narrator was OK. Made Gabriel sound like an even bigger jerk than he actually was - which demonstrates some talent.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

All of the above!

Any additional comments?

Really, if you enjoyed World War Z, Zone One etc don't buy this - it's not fit to sit in the same genre with them.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Echo

  • By: F G Cottam
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

Dark Echo is an unlucky boat. Despite this knowledge, Martin Stannard falls under her spell and prepares to sail her across the Atlantic with his father. But his lover, Suzanne, is uneasy and begins exploring the yacht's past. What she finds is terrifying. Dark Echo isn't just unlucky, it's evil. It was built for Harry Spalding, a soldier and sorcerer who committed suicide yet still casts his malevolent spell nearly a century after his death.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good solid yarn

  • By Drew on 04-10-13

Not good.

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-04-11

Gareth Armstrong is one of those readers that makes you laugh - but doesn't necessarily mean to. He reads at a fair old clip, misjudges the pitch of sentences so that unnatural emphases get added to certain phrases (which he then gamely rescues by suddenly dropping his pitch to 'seamlessly' retrieve the situation) and then exacerbates a relatively poor show by actually misreading words to often comic effect. For example: 'he suffered from a congenial heart disease'. I'm guessing this should have been 'congenital' as I know of no heart diseases which are particularly congenial. Another corker was 'she retrieved the bag that compromised her luggage' - again, I'm thinking that should have been 'comprised'. I'm blaming the reader because I can't believe that an author and numerous subs and editors would let such sloppy prose through. However, F G Cottom is so horribly verbose, maybe they got so far and just thought 'sod it.'

Basically, a fairly bad novel and read by someone who thinks that Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire all have the same, slightly retarded-sounding, accent. Grating - avoid unless you have a great admiration for hammy acting and a fondness for crappy prose.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful