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Martin S.

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 112
  • ratings
  • The Nuremberg Trial

  • By: John Tusa, Ann Tusa
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 25 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 292
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286

Here is a gripping account of the major postwar trial of the Nazi hierarchy in World War II. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the trial proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound examination of the processes that created international law. From the whimpering of Kaltenbrunner and Ribbentrop on the stand to the icy coolness of Goering, each participant is vividly drawn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brings horrible history alive

  • By Tim Conway on 18-04-14

Well written, shocking narration

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

Reviewed: 28-01-19

Positives: This book is well written, treading the fine line of actually teaching the reader something new but without becoming too detailed as to put off those without a fanatical interest in this period of history. It certainly highlights the legal challenges and precedents set at Nuremberg and offers a fair commentary on all the of the parties.

Negatives:. The narration is horrific. The narrator's voice is always a bit muffled, changes in pitch and volume are frequent where edits have been made. The last syllable of a sentence is often missing and most annoying is the "uh" and "ah" noises that are prefixed to so many names:

Uh-Goering
Ah-Jackson

Etc.

Some names like Seyss-Inquart are listed and unclear.

It really is amazing this narration passed anybody's quality control. It Almost ruined a really good read

  • Wuthering Heights

  • By: Emily Brontë
  • Narrated by: Patricia Routledge
  • Length: 14 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 408
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405

The passionate and tragic story of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff is one of the high points of 19th-century Romantic literature. In the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, and in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors of its setting, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with a disregard for convention and an instinct for poetry and the darkest depths of the human soul in torment.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best performance

  • By chloe67 on 11-11-15

Amazing narration

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

I won’t write a full review of this classic as I’m sure I have little to add that hasn’t already been said... but I wanted to give a shout out to the narration which was the best I have experienced on Audible... well done to Patricia Routledge for your work!

  • Bust

  • The Max and Angela Series, Book 1
  • By: Ken Bruen, Jason Starr
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Five valuable lessons you can learn by listening to Bust: When you hire someone to kill your wife, don't hire a psychopath. Don't use Drano to get rid of a dead body. Those locks on hotel room doors? They're not very secure. A curly blond wig isn't much of a disguise. Secrets can kill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, a hidden gem

  • By Martin S. on 19-03-18

Brilliant, a hidden gem

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

Reviewed: 19-03-18

I’ve read some of Jason Starr’s work before, always enjoying his gritty style and would have described him as a solid author. But this book went up that extra gear, twisting and turning and adding in some interesting characters along the way.

It could be argued that non of the characters have redeeming qualities, but having read books by this author before I’m used to that.... it seems Mar Starr loves to show humanity and its absolute worst and he does a great job here.

The length and pacing were spot on, I never felt bored and there was no filler that sometimes crops up in books with lots of violence. The only slight negative with the narrative was it was hard to believe all the heat just melted away as it did, but that’s a minor point.

The narration was mostly ok, but the “sexy Irish woman” voice was horrendous and really detracted from an otherwise top read. Don’t let that put you off though

READ THIS BOOK!

  • The Secret Speech

  • By: Tom Rob Smith
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 268
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 207

Soviet Union, 1956: Stalin is dead. With his passing, a violent regime is beginning to fracture - leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. The catalyst comes when a secret manifesto composed by Stalin's successor, Khrushchev, is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant and a murderer. Its promise: The Soviet Union will transform.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sadly not a match for Child 44

  • By Duncan on 26-05-12

Not up to the standards of the first book

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

Reviewed: 14-03-18

The first book in this series was a really pleasant surprise, with an enjoyable blend of emotion, character development, mystery solving and politics.... and for the first few chapters this book looks to follow suit.

It’s not long before the story goes off the deep end. The promising setup from book 1 (Leo running a homocide department) is cast aside in favour of a convoluted revenge plot that makes no sense. The main characters are compelled to travel the breadth of the Soviet Union chasing after a hugely unbelievable villain.

I’ve read a lot worse, but the wasted potential here makes seriously question whether book 3 is worth a read.

  • Fahrenheit 451

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Tim Robbins
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,817
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,690
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,688

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic story, worth getting into...

  • By Mr on 27-02-17

Good story in the main

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

Reviewed: 02-02-18

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

Probably to fans of the genre, was a little abstract at times for my tastes

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

A bit disappointing, just peters out

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator mumbled a lot and spoke softly, then shouted making finding a good volume impossible

Could you see Fahrenheit 451 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Yes, TV for sure

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Child 44

  • By: Tom Rob Smith
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,024
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,021

MGB officer Leo is a man who never questions the Party Line. He arrests whomever he is told to arrest. He dismisses the horrific death of a young boy because he is told to, because he believes the Party stance that there can be no murder in Communist Russia. Leo is the perfect soldier of the regime. But suddenly his confidence that everything he does serves a great good is shaken. He is forced to watch a man he knows to be innocent be brutally tortured. And then he is told to arrest his own wife.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Evocative if Slightly Preposterous

  • By Karl K Djinn on 02-12-15

Almost brilliant

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

Reviewed: 28-10-17

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. After the first few minutes I started to wonder how a book filled with soviet era cliches could hold my interest, but soon the pace increases and I was heading into a great plot full of twists. Great stuff.

I won't spoil the story, but the climax was a big disappointment, the rationale ludicrous and probably doesn't even make sense if we are honest. Didn't ruin the book, but stopped me giving it full marks.

Enjoy!

  • Entry Island

  • By: Peter May
  • Narrated by: Peter Forbes
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,948
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,798
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,798

When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal's St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city. Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime's destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants - the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good stuff!

  • By Mikey on 26-02-14

A very long slog

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

Reviewed: 18-05-17

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

*This review contains spoilers*

Let me get to the point.... this book took some serious effort to get through. Whilst the narration was pretty solid, the story itself went almost nowhere and yet still managed to feel twice as long as it really was. My summary is as follows:

The location - Bleak, depressing and yet barely adequately described.

The main character - bleak, depressing and essentially devoid of any emotion. He can't sleep due to a chronic disorder, and we are reminded of this every page or so.

The 'whodunnit' part - By far the biggest disappointment, no actual detective work gets done, instead we get a few interviews where nothing is achieved other than meekly asking the suspects where they were (most of them lie or omit details anyway, rendering these scenes pointless). The only reason the crime is solved is because the perp actually attacks the detective near the end of the book. Literally not a single clue is investigated and nobody seems to care.

The flashback/diary story - even more depressing and bleak. Lots of tales of persecution, class discrimination and a very unconvincing story of young lovers split apart. These parts take up more text than the main story, and yet are utterly predictable. Oh and it of course ends in the most depressing way.

Supporting characters - usually you can rely on the supporting detectives to add some humour here... but no. The modern day police are spiteful, dull and again lack any moral character as well as being incapable of doing their jobs. The ex wife is particularly odious.
Nobody who lives on the island offer any sort of relief either.
In the diary scenes, the most entertaining character is brutally stabbed to death for no apparent reason. Because you know, there wasn't enough tragedy already.

Summary : Police investigate a crime very badly, everyone is miserable and so is the Island the crime was committed on. Main character follows his hunch in a sleep deprived state and stumbles across the answer without any skill or insight. This is punctuated by very long historical sections explaining that everyone related to the main character has had a crap life and that tragedy lurks at every turn.

Avoid this book if you want a proper crime thriller or something with at least an ounce of happiness.

What could Peter May have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

A real crime investigation would have been a good start, not this Scottish-noir snooze fest

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator sounded bored

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

Disappointment, disappointment, hopelessness and more disappointment

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Real North Korea

  • Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia
  • By: Andrei Lankov
  • Narrated by: Steven Roy Grimsley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54

Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Really quite good

  • By Martin S. on 26-03-17

Really quite good

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

Reviewed: 26-03-17

I really enjoyed this book. It was very informative, explaining the political and economic issues surrounding North Korea without ever going over my head... also gave a fair account of events without ever resorting to using weasel words or out right criticism.

My only two relatively minor gripes were:

- A few times the author practically repeated a point or sentence he had already made, almost word for word

- The narrator sometimes paused excessively.

but these are very forgivable




1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How to Be a Vigilante: A Diary

  • By: Luke Smitherd
  • Narrated by: Luke Smitherd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 850
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 798
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 798

It's 1998. The Internet age is still in its infancy. Google has just been founded. Eighteen-year-old supermarket shelf-stacker Nigel Carmelite has decided that he's going to become a vigilante. There are a few problems: how is he going to even find crime to fight on the streets of Derbyshire? How will he create a superhero costume - and an arsenal of crime-fighting weaponry - on a shoestring budget?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • We're Only Making Fans For Nigel

  • By Simon on 15-09-16

Very impressive, if a little short

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

Reviewed: 06-01-17

I Really enjoyed this book, starts off very funny but naturally progresses into something more deep and emotionally tense.

The only real negative was that the ending of the book felt very rushed.... and certainly a bit more time could have been given over to explaining the family turmoil etc

All in all though a great listen

  • The Identity Thief

  • By: C. Michael Forsyth
  • Narrated by: C. Michael Forsyth
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

X is an identity thief extraordinaire who steals the identity of the worst possible person! He soon becomes a fugitive, hunted by every intelligence agency in the world. The international adventures of this sardonic and amoral anti-hero combine the irony of The Third Man with the fast-paced thrills of The Bourne Identity. To survive, X must use his talent for deceit and his chameleon-like ability to adopt one persona after another, as his predicament becomes steadily more harrowing and the stakes mount.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Starts wonderfully...

  • By Martin S. on 06-02-16

Starts wonderfully...

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

Reviewed: 06-02-16

Would you listen to The Identity Thief again? Why?

Yes, we'll certainly the first few hours anyway. The protagonists criminal career, motives and techniques are all well described and researched. After the dramatic change of fortunes for the main man, the story becomes a little thin and lacks tension.

Would you be willing to try another book from C. Michael Forsyth? Why or why not?

Yes, a very intriguing read

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Any of the opening few hours, but especially where the main character was describing his previous exploits. The escape from the hotel was also very compelling.

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

The torture scenes were gritty, without being gratuitous