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Ben

CHELMSFORD, United Kingdom
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 30
  • ratings
  • Neverwhere

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,731
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,426
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,425

Under the streets of London there's a world most people could never even dream of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully Neil Gaiman!

  • By Bookworm. on 23-12-12

Very Good, very Gaiman!

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

Reviewed: 31-01-14

As always with Neil Gaiman, the story was amazing. Just as magical as Ocean at the end of the lane, if less fantastical.

I love the authors voice, he does recordings so well, the characters are amazing and such a wonderful story. Although slightly dark and depressing at times, especially in the beginning, it picks up becomes a lifetime adventure story.

I find all of Neils books, start off a bit mundane and depressing and then quickly throw you into a world of magic and adventure. Definitely worth a listen and the time.

Ocean at the end of the lane, was better in my opinion. Definitely give that one a listen.

  • The Light Fantastic

  • Discworld 2
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Nigel Planer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,524
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,195

The Great A'Tuin, the heroic turtle who supports the weight of the entire Discworld, not to mention four giant elephants, swims through the galaxy day and night with the burden of being the only creature who knows exactly where the universe is going. Philosophers have long debated where this is, and are due to find out in about 2 months. Shall they worry?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The start of the legendary series...

  • By J Whitney on 05-10-07

A good sequel.

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

Reviewed: 31-01-14

I prefer the first book, maybe just because it was first. :P

More of the same amazing story, with our two favourite characters. Keep you entertained and easy to listen to. Wonderful, I recommend listen to the first book before this one!

The recording is pretty bad, not as bad as book 3, but still pretty bad. It does seem to get better as you go along, one might be getting used to it. There are some questionable "sound effects" as well...

But all in all, the brilliant story trumps the poor quality. Definitely worth a listen and the time. :)

  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • By: Douglas Adams
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,863
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,349
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,342

One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story, really well-read

  • By Tony on 14-10-13

Amazing, want more!

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

Reviewed: 31-01-14

I absolutely love this book. I originally didn't want to read it, thinking it was a spin-off of the movie and would ruin the really good film. The book is much more than the film!

This is one of my favourite stories ever. Wish there were more books like this, classic British humour, read by classic British voice.

A really good story, keeps you gripped and entertained without stressing you out. The lighthearted and fun syntax is uplifting, the character descriptions and generally everything about its universe is perfect. Beautiful.

Brilliant. Wish there was more like this! :D

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Equal Rites

  • Discworld, Book 3
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Celia Imrie
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,464
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,161
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,163

Right before the wise old wizard Drum Billet died, he passed on his magical staff of power to the newborn eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately, Drum Billet never bothered to check the gender of the newborn baby, and it turns out it was a girl. Now his chauvinistic colleagues are forced to deal with a young girl who has all the qualifications to join their all-male profession.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bad quality!

  • By Margit on 19-03-12

Good, not the best.

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

Reviewed: 31-01-14

Loved the first books of Discworld (books 1 and 2) however this story didn't really grab me as much. Still very good and I would suggest a listen before you move onto book 4.

However, as was the case with the book 2 recording I had, the sound quality is terrible, it seems to get better as you go along but generally not great sound.

The Caves of Steel cover art
  • The Caves of Steel

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74

Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, police detective Elijah Baley has little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. Then he learns that he has been assigned a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worse, the R stands for "robot" - and his positronic partner is made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic adventure

  • By J on 05-09-07

Not for me.

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

Reviewed: 07-11-13

I'm a massive nerd. Love computers, robots, SIFI and all. Since Isaac Asimov is considered the father of humanoid robots, I needed a listen!

Sadly it was not what I expected from a robot-based science fiction. Every minimal robot/future story and much more depressive average man (in the future) going through a less than normal experience at work.

The whole tone of the book was sad, upsetting, not fun or interesting at all. Rather disheartened really, I was hoping for much more, maybe that contributed to my negative opinion of this book.

The characters are well designed but uninteresting, too real... Lots of distrust, heartache and highlighting everything wrong with, no-effort, it will do, relationships.

Specifically I'm referring to the main characters marriage and his general conversation/manor towards his wife.

Did not enjoy this book, there was not anything good nor bad to say about the voice recording.

  • Robinson Crusoe

  • By: Daniel Defoe
  • Narrated by: Ron Keith
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 76

Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, was Defoe’s first novel and survives as his best-known work. Loosely based on a true account of a Scottish sailor—Alexander Selkirk—it is a tale of one man’s fall from grace and progress to redemption. The account of Crusoe’s life, scratched out with rationed indigo ink on a dwindling supply of paper salvaged from the hull of a wrecked ship, speaks eloquently of the tenacity and ingenuity of the human spirit.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very good, very old!

  • By Ben on 07-11-13

Very good, very old!

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

Reviewed: 07-11-13

I was after a true, classic adventure survival story. Stemming from my recent love for a survival video game called Minecraft. I wanted a really detailed step-by-step adventure. Robinson Caruso gave me just this!

It is quite obvious that this story was written a very long time ago (one of the first of its kind). On a side note - the vast differences between normal life back then and now (slaves, racism, communication etc.) actually provide some wonderful incite into human nature and social development.

The story is a true epic; adventure, action, disaster and overwhelming joy. It really gives you an appreciation for what you have and how to make the best of a bad situation.

Many lesions to learn and fun to be had. Lovely story, I would certainly recommend this book to anyone! Enjoy.

The voice recording was done quite some time ago and is not flawless. Never the less, a good performance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Magic of Reality

  • By: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146

What are things made of?What is the sun?Why is there night and day, winter and summer?Why do bad things happen?Are we alone?Throughout history people all over the world have invented stories to answer profound questions such as these. Have you heard the tale of how the sun hatched out of an emu's egg?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant Book

  • By Guilio on 23-12-12

Not his best work

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

Reviewed: 07-10-13

I really liked the authors other book "The God Delusion" and even though this book was presented in the same manor, it did seem rather simple. This could just be my personal perspective but nothing in this book was groundbreaking and I would not recommend it to the average person. Bordering of boring.

3 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

  • By: Edwin Abbott
  • Narrated by: Alan Munro
  • Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

Abbott used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to offer pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions, for which the novella is still popular amongst mathematics, physics, and computer science students. Several films have been made from the story, including a feature film in 2007 called Flatland. Other efforts have been short or experimental films, including one narrated by Dudley Moore and a short film with Martin Sheen titled Flatland: The Movie.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very thought provoking!

  • By Ben on 01-10-13

Very thought provoking!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-13

If you could sum up Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions in three words, what would they be?

Incredible, was quite entertaining. Very different take on a story, using math, shapes and dimensions to explore reality and society.

The first few chapters were rather complicated and required some concentration, but once you get your head around the basics it's an easy going and very enjoyable story.

What did you like best about this story?

Loved the new approach to highlighting issues and features of society and reality. Really gets you thinking about our existence in physical dimensions and the possibilities of the unknown.

Would you be willing to try another one of Alan Munro’s performances?

Although I enjoyed the book, it's not the best reading. Very deep and monotone voice. I wouldn't specifically avoid another but I wouldn't hunt one down either.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Nope, the voice made it hard to concentrate on the technical bits, especially when tired! :P

Any additional comments?

I'm not a mathematician or physicist, however I think the fundamental principles of the main characters' reality are wrong? If they are two-dimensional beings - they should exist only in two-dimensions... The main character describes how he can only see the two dimensions of length (X) and distance (Z) but then goes onto describe objects having a thickness, a height (Y) of some sort. He sees objects as "lines", but if he were in a true 2D space he would not be able to perceive the side of objects and therefore no edge or slice to be see. It seems they actually live in a three-dimensional space where one dimension (height, [Y]) is fixed at a slither, although this dimension is small and uniform for all objects, it is by no means a two-dimensional existence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,248
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,517
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,470

A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's fascinating and humorous quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A short Review of Nearly Everything

  • By Roy on 08-08-05

Nice collection of information

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

Reviewed: 01-10-13

I did enjoy this book, specifically the early chapters. A lot of information presented in an easy to understand and digest manor. There was great coverage of many important subjects, and not quite to my taste, the politics and people surrounding them.

It did seem very "American", I'm not sure if this is solely due to the voice actor or the book itself. This did put me off a bit, I'm not American and constantly surrounded by their society and ideology, maybe I'm not the most impartial judge!

However the quality of the book got me past this and I do recommend this book to everyone, technically minded or not.

Very eye opening.

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,565
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,440
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,445

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman. It's about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us. It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Cunning Darkness

  • By Simon on 08-10-15

Amazing!

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

Reviewed: 29-07-13

If you could sum up The Ocean at the End of the Lane in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful, immersive and epic.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the way the author pulled you into the story with taste, small and childhood.

What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

The reading of this book was amazing, so good in-fact that I'm going to buy the hard-copy book just to see if its possible to be written that well!

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

Our thin crust of an existence.

Any additional comments?

I don't normally ready fiction, but I'm glad I did. This was amazing, loved every minute of it, loved the ending and wish the book continued! I'll be checking out the authors other books now! :O