LISTENER

Peter Richardson

Newbury, UK
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 20
  • ratings
  • One Hot Summer

  • Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858
  • By: Rosemary Ashton
  • Narrated by: Corrie James
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

While 1858 in London may have been noteworthy for its broiling summer months and the related stench of the sewage-filled Thames River, the year is otherwise little remembered. And yet, historian Rosemary Ashton reveals in this compelling microhistory, 1858 was marked by significant, if unrecognized, turning points. For ordinary people, and also for the rich, famous, and powerful, the months from May to August turned out to be a summer of consequence.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • One Hot Summer

  • By Keith on 17-11-17

Will it never end?

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

Reviewed: 10-07-19

Read as part of a book club. I thought it was going to be the story of the building of the intersecting sewers and the embanking of the Thames. It's not. What it is, is repetitive, dull, but well-researched histories of three victorians whose connection to one another seems to be that they're men, that their surnames begin with the letter D and that they were alive during the hot summer of 1858, other than that, not much.

  • Primate Change

  • By: Vybarr Cregan-Reid
  • Narrated by: Vybarr Cregan-Reid
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22

If you think you are you, think again. Primate Change is a wide-ranging, polemical look at how and why the human body has changed since humankind first got up on two feet. Spanning the entirety of human history - from primate to transhuman - Vybarr Cregan-Reid's book investigates where we came from, who we are today and how modern technology will change us beyond recognition. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wake up call

  • By Peter Richardson on 07-05-19

A wake up call

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

Reviewed: 07-05-19

Cregan-Reid brings great breadth as well as depth from his research. He writes with empathy and humour that makes the subject come alive. I like his narrative style. I can also heartily recommend his book Footnotes, especially if you're a runner, though you don't need to be.

  • Footnotes

  • How Running Makes Us Human
  • By: Vybarr Cregan-Reid
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

Running is not just a sport. It reconnects us to our bodies and the places in which we live, breaking down our increasingly structured and demanding lives. It allows us to feel the world beneath our feet, lifts the spirit, allows our minds out to play and helps us to slip away from the demands of the modern world. When Vybarr Cregan-Reid set out to discover why running meant so much to so many, he began a journey which would take him out to tread London’s cobbled streets, climbing to sites that have seen a millennium of hangings, and down the crumbling alleyways of Ruskin's Venice. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A philosophical exercise for the mind, body and soul.

  • By Elliot Fairhurst on 21-11-18

It ended an hour before my run did

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

Reviewed: 15-03-19

I loved every piece of this book. Some have criticised it for being a creed on barefoot running. It isn't. Cregan-Reid talks about barefoot running for sure, and why not, he does some of his running unshod, but it's hardly hardcore on the topic. But what it is, is a soaring paean to the joys of running - anywhere, in any way and in any footwear. He employs a rich array of scientists and literary interlocutors to weave together a beautiful narrative flow that I enjoyed enormously as a I trudged the byways of Berkshire. Had I not been running while listening, I would have been yearning to. I just wish it had been an hour (or more) longer. The narrator is also excellent.

  • The Outsider

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,766
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,564
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,560

When an 11-year-old boy is found murdered, forensic evidence and reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach. But the jailed suspect, arrested in a public spectacle, has an alibi, and further research convinces Detective Ralph Anderson that the coach was indeed out of town. So how can he have been in two places at the same time?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Outsider Stands Tall

  • By Simon on 24-05-18

I can get on with my life now

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

Reviewed: 28-11-18

Completely gripping. A good tale, well told. Stephen King subtly and effectively applies the art of suspense while building a set of characters that each have a thorough inner life. The performance of this audio book is also superb, which helps to elevate the enjoyment. This is the audio equivalent of a page turner and I found myself listening any moment I could. Now it's over my productivity should rise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How Not to Die

  • Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease
  • By: Dr Michael Greger, Gene Stone
  • Narrated by: Michael Greger
  • Length: 17 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 765
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 683
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 682

Why rely on drugs and surgery to cure you of life-threatening disease when the right decisions can prevent you from falling ill to begin with? How Not to Die gives effective, scientifically proven nutritional advice to prevent our biggest killers - heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes - and reveals the astounding health benefits that simple dietary choices can provide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book has changed my life!

  • By ramin rad on 20-04-18

This book can save your life

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

Reviewed: 14-11-18

Extraordinary levels of research have gone into this book. Dr Gregor delivers what could be dry material with dynamism and a nice dash of humour. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Running Man

  • A Memoir
  • By: Charlie Engle
  • Narrated by: Charlie Engle
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 511
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464

After a decade-long addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol, Charlie Engle hit bottom with a near-fatal six-day binge that ended in a hail of bullets. As Engle got sober, he turned to running, which became his lifeline, his pastime, and his salvation. He began with marathons, and when marathons weren't far enough he began to take on ultramarathons, races that went for 35, 50, and sometimes hundreds of miles, traveling to some of the most unforgiving places on earth to race.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By MR P G JEREMIAH on 21-09-16

Amazing

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

Loved it. It sort of combines the road to recovery and discovery of Rich Roll's Finding Ultra, with the amazing endurance feats of Scott Jurek's Eat and Run.

  • Middlemarch

  • By: George Eliot
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 35 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,412
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,147

Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All consuming

  • By Caro on 27-04-11

Astonishingly good

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

Reviewed: 19-06-18

Juliet Stevenson's performance is masterful; I could recommend the book just to experience what feels like a play acted solely for the listener. However, Eliot's writing, plot and characterization are also exquisite. In short, I loved it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • SPQR

  • A History of Ancient Rome
  • By: Mary Beard
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,763
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,600
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,581

Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The tale of Rome on a grand scale. Fascinating.

  • By G. Graham on 29-02-16

If you want to learn more about Rome

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

Reviewed: 10-02-18

I had listened to all Robert Harris' books about Rome. They left me wanting to know more about ancient Rome; its origins, development and ultimate demise. SPQR absolutely fit the bill. It is well structured and sufficiently detailed without being tedious. The performance is a little dry, but appropriate for the subject. I enjoyed it very much.