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Gareth

Lincoln, United Kingdom
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One of the Best Audio Books I Have Ever Listened To!

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

Reviewed: 21-12-17

A true story of business, politics, life and death which tells one man’s tale of growing up, making his way in the world, achieving great success in the business world, but along the way becoming an adversary of Vladimir Putin, and the subsequent fallout - including the murder of an innocent family man and battle for justice which has resulted in new laws across the globe. The book is very well-written. The story is fast- moving and deeply evidence based. The author, a family man himself, admits to writing the book partly as an insurance policy against him being assassinated by the Russian State, at Putin’s request. Once you hear the story you will understand that this is a rational fear. This book ultimately provides that Russia can still be a very dangerous place where the rule of law is subservient to the whims of violent criminals. It suggests that the head-criminal is Vladimir Putin. It is very well- detailed and is very convincing. Overall an excellent audio book.

Inside the mind of a serial-troublemaker

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

Reviewed: 05-12-17

Where does No Nonsense rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty high up. An interesting and entertaining book written and read by Joey himself. An honest account of his life. It's easy to listen to and flows well. Quite revealing about his upbringing and career in football. Overall he comes across as a man still fighting his demons. When he's not fighting them, then he usually finds someone else to fight. When you listen you get the impression of someone who has made mistakes, learnt from them and grown as a person. However as he appears to lurch from one self-inflicted crisis to another you can't help question if he has really grown/learnt much or if the appearance of maturity is just an image that he has learn't to portray to gain attention or respect. Similarly he has a tendency to play the victim quite readily, and he has a habit of complaining about a lot (the government, his community, facilities, family, the world in general.....) without suggesting anything constructive to improve things. He also has that child-like outlook of being anti-authority but never seems to have demonstrated any evidence of seeking much responsibility himself. A very self-centred man but still interesting to understand how his mind works.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The book is about Joey. He comes across as honest, opinionated and a man (possibly man-child) still on a journey. At times he appears insightful although he does have a tendency to be highly judgemental of other people but very sensitive and defensive if anyone has criticised or crossed him. The book details many of his ups and downs from his point of view. He is no sheep but hasn't seemed to use his questioning and restless nature to actually improve things. Very critical of managers, other players, people in general but never someone so far who has stepped up to the mark himself in life to hold any position of any great responsibility or authority. Comes across of a bit of an idealist who perhaps has an over inflated view of his own intellect. He's obviously not stupid but many of his thinking shows a bit of logic and reasoning but lacks deeper and more complex thought and reasoning. Maybe this will come in time although maybe not.

What about Joey Barton’s performance did you like?

The book is helped by Joey reading the story. It feels more authentic that he is telling his story and this enhances the listening experience.

Any additional comments?

Overall a good book, easy to listen to, helps to understand what makes him tick. I enjoyed listening to the book and appreciate the author's honesty in him telling his story. Hope he does wise up and mature over time, learns to count to 10 more before acting and uses his energy to help others more in time. If he learns to spend less energy complaining and uses this energy in a leadership role, he eventually may end up OK. I have to admit I'm left with the impression that he will likely not want to let go of his 'play the victim' comfort blanket I question how reformed he is willing or able to be.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Martian cover art

Slow to get going, an OK story, a bit predictable

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

Reviewed: 22-10-15

Would you try another book written by Andy Weir or narrated by R. C. Bray?

The narration was quite well performed. I just found the story a bit boring. Spoiler Alert.
An engineer with a dry sense of humour, stuck on Mars, pro-actively and reactively solves problems to survive. A bit on the support cast, racing against time and conditions to save him.

Would you recommend The Martian to your friends? Why or why not?

Not really. One of the reasons that I bought the audiobook was that it had good reviews/feedback. I'm an engineer so the book should appeal to me. I just found it a bit too predictable. Sorry.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

They matched well. I just found the story slow to get going, a bit monotonous and a bit predictable. Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Problem solving to survive in a harsh environment. The main character of Mark Watney gives life to the story. He is a resilient, intelligent engineer/botanist, with a dry sense of humour. The character makes the story bearable.

Did The Martian inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

No

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Those in Peril cover art

Entertaining Story. Great Narrator

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

Reviewed: 22-09-15

Where does Those in Peril rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Most on my audiobooks are non-fiction so it is difficult to compare. One of the best fiction books that I have read - I am a Wilbur Smith fan though.

What did you like best about this story?

It was fast paced, the characters were interesting, and it was generally enjoyable to listen to.

What about Rupert Degas’s performance did you like?

Rupert Degas captured the different accents of the characters well. He brought out the characters well and differentiated them. In fact when I was considering purchasing the follow-up story to this novel (Vicious Circle), one of the things that put me off was that the narrator is not a patch on Degas (from what I could hear on the sample free 5 minute clip).

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

No.

Any additional comments?

An entertaining, action-packed story, with good characters and a great narrator.

Well worn stories, more harrowing than uplifting

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

Reviewed: 21-03-15

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

No. There are some well worn stories in this book (spoiler - see 'The Killing Fields, 'Hotel Rwanda, 'Lone Survivor' and more of the same). I like Mr Fiennes' books in general but this seemed to be too much of a retread of stories already told. I listened to one chapter at a time but after listening to the first few chapters I found that I wasn't really looking forward to listening to the next ones - I knew that it would be more of the same, tales of murder, torture, and generally harrowing stories.

Would you recommend My Heroes: Extraordinary Courage, Exceptional People to your friends? Why or why not?

See above

What aspect of Andrew Wincott’s performance might you have changed?

Nothing to say about Wincott but this book has the worst person I have ever heard trying to do accents.

Did My Heroes: Extraordinary Courage, Exceptional People inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

No

Interesting in parts, too repetitive, some bias

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

Reviewed: 19-02-15

What disappointed you about Guns, Germs and Steel?

I felt like the author started off by a) telling me what he thought I believed (that 'westeners' were more intelligent than non westerners) and b) then telling me how I was wrong. I didn't actually believe the thing that I felt the author was accusing me of so that was a bad start. The book was extremely repetitive. It was very much, tell them what you are going to tell them x10, tell them x10, tell them what you just told them x 10. There was no need for all the repetition. I got it the 1st, 2nd and 3rd time. Some of the analyisis seemed quite flawed when compared with other books like Chip Walters' Last Ape Standing, and Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. Overall some interesting snippets of information within spoiled by a biased writer who writes as if his readrer has the memory retention of a goldfish. Disappointing!

Has Guns, Germs and Steel put you off other books in this genre?

No

How could the performance have been better?

Performance was OK

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Guns, Germs and Steel?

Much of the repetition

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

The Truth Will Out!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-11-12

Tyler Hamilton, pro-cyclist, Lance Armstrong team mate, Olympic Gold Medalist, Doper, Cheat, Human being. The book tells the story of Tyler Hamilton, how he became a professional cyclist, how he was one of Lance Armstrong's closest team mates, how he was doping on an almost industrial scale (but not quite as much as Lance, EPO, blood transfusions, Human Growth Hormone, Testostorone etc). I bought this book partly to get insight into Lance Armstrong (LA). Before buying the book I suspected that LA was a doper. By the end of the very detailed, but entertaining, book, I came to understand how LA had obviously had kept one step ahead of the other (many) dopers and in essence how his 7 TdF titles was as much down to his willingness to go that extra mile in cheating and in keeping the competition from getting access to the latest drugs and cheating techniques. It also reveals how LA is quite a bully, a ruthless one at that. But the book is not written as a character assassination of LA. It's the story of how a human being, made mistakes and how he has been affected by those mistakes. The moral of the book is: If you are going to live a lie, don't expect to sleep easy at night (unless you are one of those rare people who lacks a conscience). The author of the book also gives insight by speaking to and about other characters involved in pro-cycling and by the depth of research he has done which underlines the credibility of the story. Overall a very well researched and written story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Want to unlock the power of your mind/ be happier?

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-08-12

An outstanding book. Having previously seen Dr Peters cited by famous sportspeople including Bradley Wiggins, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, David Millar and Craig Bellamy, for helping them reach their potential and be happy, I did wonder what his magic formula was. The model and techniques that he introduces and explains in his book help solve the mystery. I found myself agreeing with so much of what he was saying, and he helped me connect some thoughts which were already in my head but I hadn't yet worked out how they joined together; a real insight into what makes self and others tick. In some ways I wish that I had read this book years ago. It is by no means a book just for high performing sports people as his model has utility in helping people from all walks of life gain more self-awareness and manage their thoughts and emotions in very constructive way. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in personal growth.

59 of 66 people found this review helpful