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Falls flat

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

Reviewed: 27-09-18

The initial third, in which the author documents the trials of working class families in the late 30's is incisive, thought-provoking, shocking and often humorous. Unfortunately, this quickly degenerates into a political monologue and, worse, interminable lists of costings for every single aspect of human existence, from rent and travel to coal and vegetables. These statistics would be soporific even if the account was contemporary, but of course these expenses are all in old money and cannot be translated meaningfully for current comparison. After half an hour solid of thirty shillings and tuppences and two shillings and sixpences and five and ninepence ha'pennies I could take no more and gave up.

And one more thing. Why in God's name are certain words bleeped out? Is it some kind of ironic comment that a book by George Orwell should be censored?

6 people found this helpful

Another one

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

Reviewed: 17-08-18

Why do I do it? Why do I keep on buying King books when he hasn't penned a decent story in 25 years? Another unimaginative foray into the dullest corner of the paranormal, where undirected characters exchange trivia to a level that invokes parody, before embarking on an absurd and cringe-inducing quest to combat evil. Have some dignity, Stephen, and give it up.

1 person found this helpful

Oh boy

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

Reviewed: 17-08-18

No statement has ever been made that's too crazy for Steiger to accept as fact. No account has ever been so laughably ridiculous that Steiger thought it wise to investigate prior to assuming its authenticity. Easily the most ineffectual book on the paranormal I've ever read, beating even Keel in his prime.

Let me guess... ancient evil.

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

Reviewed: 30-04-18

This is the third Barron book I've read. Two novels and this collection of short stories. He writes well but he's a one trick pony. Every story - and I mean literally every one - is the same as the previous one except with new characters in a different location. Ancient evil in the jungle, ancient evil in the desert, ancient evil in China, ancient evil in a cave, and so it goes on. And on top of that the stories are inconclusive and unsatisfying. Someone encounters an ancient evil in *insert location here* and ends up in a bad way, probably.

The narration by Ray Porter is exceptional.

5 people found this helpful

Rubbish

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

Reviewed: 26-12-17

When I write a detailed review, Audible can't be bothered to publish it, so here's the summary.

Superb

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

Reviewed: 27-10-17

The best summary of the Work I've ever read, highly recommended even if you've already read the likes of Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, Nicoll, Nott etc. Perhaps my only criticism is that it doesn't really 'sell' the Work as a whole. Gurdjieff's notion of the levels of man is covered along with the overarching concept of raising one's level of being, but there is little if any discussion of why anybody would want to do this. This topic is covered at length in the more detailed accounts (e.g. 'In Search of the Miraculous') but perhaps it could have been touched on here too, so that a reader new to the Work doesn't simply ask, 'So what?' and leave it there.

4 people found this helpful

Seriously?

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

Reviewed: 23-10-17

Are we expected to believe this? I don't get it. It's blatant nonsense, it's fantasy, not to mention slightly disturbing in relation to what it tells us about the author's state of mind.

The book begins with the most turgid, self-indulgent waffle you have ever heard, read or experienced, and this lasts around one hour. Not so long after this, after an oddly obsessive anecdote about falling off a chair, we hear how the author went to work with the world-renowned fantasist Robert Monroe and suddenly, without explanation or precursor, is wandering the earth in astral form, seeing the future, interacting with aliens and exploring the universe at will. This is suddenly revealed from one sentence to the next, as if it's the most natural thing in the world. And from this point on it only gets worse.

What is there to say about such things? It occurs to me that the way in which this book is structured, from the verging-on-autistic introduction to the abrupt presentation of outlandish material as fact without any insight from the author that the reader might find such accounts difficult to believe, is strong evidence that the author is - how shall I put it? - mentally compromised. On the spectrum. However you want to phrase it. Normally I wouldn't be so blase about such an issue but the author has put himself out there and this is my honest feedback.

4 people found this helpful

I don't think so

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

Reviewed: 18-10-17

The best that can be said of this audiobook is that the author is using a fictional narrative as a vehicle for promoting a distinctly unoriginal self-help philosophy. I've read hundreds of NDE experiences and many are reported honestly and have a ring of truth about them, regardless of whether there is any objective truth to their content, but this is not the case here. It stands out amongst NDE accounts not for its detail but for its remarkable resemblance to fantasy fiction rolled out by a wholly inexperienced writer.

No sooner has Mr Parti disappeared through the ceiling of the operating theatre than the barrage of cliched, saccharine anecdotes of self-examination begin, from making up with his dead father by understanding his motivations in mentally abusing him as a child to apologising to a bunch of farmers he beat up in a previous life. Soon after (although not soon enough) he is floated into the archetypal sweet-smelling green meadow by the Archangels Gabriel and Michael, who tell bad jokes and exchange banter about social workers. He continues on to meet a being of blue light that chats to him like a best mate down the pub and, on occasion, 'chuckles telepathically'. It was not long after this point I decided I could take no more. Life's too short, as it were. If you're desperate to believe in each and every feel-good tale of the afterlife, no matter how ludicrous, then give it a go, otherwise don't waste your money.

9 people found this helpful

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 18-10-17

Written on a much higher, and vaguer, level than 'Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon Jungle', this book does not distinguish itself from countless thousands of other generic spiritual commentaries. Perhaps in combination with real-life experience of San Pedro the message would become clearer and more relevant, but in the absence of that I found there was little if anything to be learned.

As for the narration; the narrator (the author) is fine in terms of delivery but the constant repetition of sentences, paragraphs and, initially, a whole 12 minute section, is ridiculous. This happens too on 'Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon Jungle' and I didn't mark it down because I was prepared to tolerate it as a one-off. Evidently that's not the case. Surely quality control was not so lax that nobody bothered to listen to the final product before it was put up for sale?

Better than expected

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

Reviewed: 15-10-17

Excellent audiobook, essential for anybody considering taking Ayahuasca or who has an deep interest in the experience, culture and etiquette that surrounds it. This is one book that could not have been read satisfactorily by anyone but the author, lest it lose authenticity and immediacy. My only criticism is that several times during the narration sentences are repeated and this is distracting.