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Sandy

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  • reviews
  • 141
  • helpful votes
  • 512
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  • The Man in the Iron Mask

  • By: Alexandre Dumas
  • Narrated by: uncredited
  • Length: 40 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

The mysterious prisoner is called Marchiali - but is that his true identity? And why has an innocent man been imprisoned for so long? The fabled three musketeers suspect a royal conspiracy.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Where's the mask?

  • By Sandy on 14-12-17

Where's the mask?

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-12-17

It is quite entertaining, but the complicated plot doesn't fare well being so abridged because it does not make sense. And there's no mention of any mask, which is something of a large oversight.

  • The X-Files: Cold Cases

  • By: Joe Harris, Chris Carter, Dirk Maggs - adaptation
  • Narrated by: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,284
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,174
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,181

Based upon the graphic novels by Joe Harris - with creative direction from series creator Chris Carter - and adapted specifically for the audio format by aural auteur Dirk Maggs ( The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Alien: Out of the Shadows), Cold Cases marks yet another thrilling addition to the pantheon of X-Files stories. Featuring a mind-blowing and otherworldly soundscape of liquefying aliens, hissing creatures, and humming spacecraft, listeners get to experience the duo's investigations like never before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • oh, how I missed it.

  • By evgenia on 18-07-17

Great fun

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

Reviewed: 02-08-17

Great fun. Really enjoyed it. The characters were as interesting and compelling as when I first saw the X Files way back in the 90s as a teenager. The audio version, especially with Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, gave the whole scenario a new spin and allowed it to feel fresh and original. I really enjoyed it. More please!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Great Pioneer Women of the Outback

  • By: Susanna De Vries
  • Narrated by: Kate Hood
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

Great Pioneer Women of the Outback profiles 10 female pioneers, from Jeannie Gunn, author of We of the Never Never, to equally remarkable but lesser known women, such as Emma Withnell in Western Australia and Evelyn Maunsell in Queensland. Building on the women's records and her own knowledge of Australian history, Susanna de Vries documents the grit and determination it took to build what many today would consider an extraordinary life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and well written

  • By Sandy on 22-09-16

Interesting and well written

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-09-16

I very much enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The narrator does an excellent job at bringing the words to life. The author clearly has a passion for the subject and focused on all the little things, as well as the bigger things, that make a historical book readable and accessible. I felt I understood much more what life was like from the perspective of women, which is a viewpoint often overlooked in preference for the deeds of the men, whose stories have traditionally taken precedence. One thing I would have liked to see more of is recognition of the lives and stories of Australia's original inhabitants and how things were from their perspective. To leave these details out is doing the same thing as historical accounts that only focus on (white) men, i.e. giving the reader only part of the story and hence a (perhaps unintentionally) biased overall picture of life in the outback of the early 20th century.

  • Fawlty Towers, Volume 1

  • Basil the Rat
  • By: John Cleese, Connie Booth
  • Narrated by: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78

Four classic BBC TV episodes featuring a newly-added interview with John Cleese.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Does not transfer well to radio

  • By Sandy on 03-09-16

Does not transfer well to radio

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

Reviewed: 03-09-16

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

If the script were somehow different, perhaps less focus on visual gags because the audience was laughing and, for the listener, there was nothing to laugh at.

What did you like best about this story?

I love Fawlty Towers, but this just doesn't work.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

They didn't.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Fawlty Towers, Volume 1?

Anything with a visual gag.

Any additional comments?

I love Fawlty Towers, but I'll stick to the TV version in future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Macbeth: A Novel

  • By: A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203

Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Russ on 09-07-12

Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 25-05-16

If you could sum up Macbeth: A Novel in three words, what would they be?

Enthralling, vivid, grim.

What other book might you compare Macbeth: A Novel to, and why?

Seeing as this is a reworking of the Shakespeare, I guess Macbeth the play would be the most obvious. Unfortunately I'm ashamed to admit I've only read excerpts. However, other than that I don't know what I'd liken it to, because I've never read anything like it. The power of the Shakespearean story is evident, but there is enough in this adaptation to draw on the Shakespeare and transform it into a workable, indeed a remarkable and unusual (for our culture) tragedy.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I loved the witches. They were extraordinary!

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

I was both drawn in and moved by the good-gone-bad Macbeth. It was possible to feel repulsed by his actions, yet drawn in to the hellish (without being overly graphic or violent) downward spiral of the tragedy.

Any additional comments?

We don't really do tragedy in our culture any more. The only thing this reminded me of was the equally brilliant Chinese film Curse of the Golden Flower. It's a shame, in some ways, that we don't do tragedy because it's a good way of exploring the excesses of the human condition at arm's length, so to speak, and enjoying, in the Shakespearean tradition, a stonking good story. Also, it must be said, Alan Cumming is one of the best narrators I have ever heard. I was there on the hillside with the witches, I was in the castle when Macbeth and his wife cooked up their evil plan and I was there, at the end, when the inevitable happened, all because of Alan Cummings' excellent narration. I do hope he does more audiobooks.

Alien: Out of the Shadows
    An Audible Original Drama
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Tim Lebbon,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Dirk Maggs
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Rutger Hauer,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Corey Johnson,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Matthew Lewis,
    
    
        and others
    


    
    Length: 4 hrs and 28 mins
    5,049 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • Alien: Out of the Shadows

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Tim Lebbon, Dirk Maggs
  • Narrated by: Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,049
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,709
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,688

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell - and trimonite, the hardest material known to man. When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating and waiting for suitable prey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!!!

  • By Chris on 27-04-16

Absolutely brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 08-05-16

What made the experience of listening to Alien: Out of the Shadows the most enjoyable?

Laurel Lefkow is a fantastic Ripley. Rutger Hauer is a great Ash. The rest of the cast are excellent, the script is brilliant - fits in with the prior stories perfectly. The quality of the production is top notch. Can't fault a thing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Alien: Out of the Shadows?

Listening to Laurel Lefkow as Ripley. She out-Weavers Sigourney.

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

I had the opportunity to experience a radio production of the highest quality. Better even than the films because it allows you to imagine for yourself. Everyone always says 'the book is better than the movie' but with a radio production like this you get the best of both.

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

'Moved' is not a descriptor I'd use in relation to a SF thriller, but I savoured every minute.

Any additional comments?

Great fun.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nicholas Nickleby (Dramatised)

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Anna Massey, Sophie Thompson, Ken Campbell, and others
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16

Left penniless by the death of his father, nineteen-year-old Nicholas Nickleby seeks help, along with his mother and sister, from Uncle Ralph Nickleby. The hard-hearted money lender takes an instant dislike to his nephew and gets rid of the boy by securing him a teaching position at Dotheboys Hall, where the evil Wackford Squeers presides. Horrified by the barbarity he sees there, Nicholas defies Squeers and is forced to flee.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story

  • By alan on 18-06-13

Excellent Dramatisation

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

Reviewed: 27-04-16

What made the experience of listening to Nicholas Nickleby (Dramatised) the most enjoyable?

The characters were all very well acted and the voice of the narrator was the perfect blend of seriousness and humour.

What did you like best about this story?

All of it. The script and the cast brought the story to life without the inevitable Dickensian waffle. I loved it.

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

Charles Dickens has a habit of going off on a tangent for pages and pages and although I did love the characters of Nicholas, Smike and Kate, the waffle got the better of me when I tried to read the original Nicholas Nickleby! This dramatisation is wonderful.

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

I think it's already been done and I don't think Dickens needs a tag line.

  • O Pioneers!

  • By: Willa Cather
  • Narrated by: Betsy Bronson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Alexandra Bergsons, the daughter of Swedish immigrants, inherits her family's ailing farm in Hanover, Nebraska upon the death of her father. Over the years, she turns the farm into a successful enterprise. However, success has not brought peace, as passion and love intervene.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Zzzzzzzzzzzz

  • By Sandy on 27-04-16

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

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

Reviewed: 27-04-16

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I enjoyed the story, and persevered until half way, but the narration is dull as dishwater. In fact, dishwasher is less dull because it usually has bits and pieces floating around in it. This narrator has a voice like a computer. No variation or inflection, odd intonation and every character sounds the same.

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

Didn't get that far, unfortunately, which is a shame because I wanted to enjoy it. I will try to read the print version instead.

What didn’t you like about Betsy Bronson’s performance?

As I said, she has a stilted, robotic delivery.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from O Pioneers!?

None. I would hire a different narrator.

  • Sleep Deeply

  • Be Calm, Relax and Drift Off into a Deep, Long, Restful Sleep
  • By: Darren Marks
  • Narrated by: Darren Marks
  • Length: 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

One of the prerequisites to deep peaceful sleep is physical relaxation and part of this hypnotherapy session is designed to guide you into a place of deep physical relaxation. The other prerequisite is a quiet mind and this is where hypnotherapy really comes into its own. The mistake a lot of people make is that they focus on what the don't want because they don't want it and then end up creating more of that thing because they're focusing on it.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Don't buy this

  • By Clarke on 17-04-11

Out like a light

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

Reviewed: 20-04-16

Would you listen to Sleep Deeply again? Why?

I have been listening to this every night for a week or so. At first it was not quite enough, although when I did eventually fall asleep I did not wake as much as usual. The past few nights I have fallen asleep much quicker and have not woken at all, so much so that I really feel rested. It works!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sleep Deeply?

The narrator leads you into relaxation swiftly and expertly. He doesn't rely on vague stories or imagery to do it, so if you have a mind like mine, you're not distracted by thoughts on the efficacy of what is being suggested.

What about Darren Marks’s performance did you like?

The narrator's voice is very calm and gentle. The layering of his voice, so that he's saying different things to induce sleep in each ear, is particularly effective.

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

A film of this would perhaps defeat the purpose of falling asleep and staying asleep.

Any additional comments?

After recognising the effectiveness of this audio book, I bought another by the same person. I hope it is as good as this one.

  • Healthier Every Day Hypnosis

  • Boost Your Well-Being Naturally, using Hypnosis
  • By: Hypnosis Live
  • Narrated by: Hypnosis Live
  • Length: 37 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars 1

Healthier Every Day - Boost Your Well-Being Naturally, using Hypnosis. Good health is more important today than ever before. Millions of people suffer from obesity, diabetes, and countless other issues - and the number of unhealthy people continues to grow. But with so much convenience food and so many distractions, how can you possibly adopt a healthier lifestyle? It's time to make every day a healthy one - with help from hypnosis. Fix Unhealthy Habits Fast.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Imagine you're Cinderella?!

  • By Sandy on 18-04-16

Imagine you're Cinderella?!

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

Reviewed: 18-04-16

What would have made Healthier Every Day Hypnosis better?

The guided meditation is rather obscure. I was left baffled by the Cinderella scenario. Really bizarre.

What could Hypnosis Live have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I think the delivery of the words and music is very good, such as they are.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I think the metaphorical 'jumper in the desert' is a good idea.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Healthier Every Day Hypnosis?

I just can't relate to the Cinderella allegory.

Any additional comments?

I will try listening again, to make the most of my credit, but I'm dubious about the impact this will have as the Cinderella thing is just weird - distractingly weird. I doubt any four year olds are listening to it but I can't imagine who else a Cinderella motif would appeal to. If after a few sessions it's not going anywhere, I'll go back to just using the 'Install Self Discipline' audio (done by the same lady but much better). Shame. It's a wasted credit.