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Si

UK
  • 49
  • reviews
  • 206
  • helpful votes
  • 211
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  • The Road to Wigan Pier

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Northam
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 657
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553

A graphic and biting polemic that still holds a fierce political relevance and impact despite being written over half a century ago. First published in 1937 it charts George Orwell's observations of working-class life during the 1930s in the industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire. His depictions of social injustice and rising unemployment, the dangerous working conditions in the mines amid general squalor and hunger also bring together many of the ideas explored in his later works and novels.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Road to Wigan Pier

  • By M on 15-10-12

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?

  • The Outsider

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,229

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

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Real Encounters, Different Dimensions and Otherworldy Beings

  • By: Brad Steiger, Sherry Hansen Steiger
  • Narrated by: Michael Hacker
  • Length: 17 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

Experts on the unexplained and paranormal, Brad and Sherry Steiger turn their unique and remarkable talents to the bold storytelling of encounters with the unknown from throughout the ages. From mysterious strangers and unpredictable beings to weird behavior and paranormal phenomena, they investigate claims of visits from ghastly ghosts, otherworldly creatures, aliens living among us, phantoms, spirits, and other accounts of encounters with the unexplained.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Oh boy

  • By Si on 17-08-18

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.

  • The Imago Sequence

  • And Other Stories
  • By: Laird Barron
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

The title story of this collection - a devilishly ironic riff on H. P. Lovecraft's "Pickman's Model" - was nominated for a World Fantasy Award, while "Probiscus" was nominated for an International Horror Guild award and reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 19. In addition to his previously published work, this collection contains an original story.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Let me guess... ancient evil.

  • By Si on 30-04-18

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 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Men in Black

  • Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures
  • By: Nick Redfern
  • Narrated by: Morley Shulman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6

Filled with the very latest revelations on the sinister and deadly MIB, this book combines never-before-heard witness testimony with papers from some of the leading figures in UFO- and paranormal-themed research to provide an outstanding look at this creepy and disturbing phenomenon. The book takes the listener on a mysterious, macabre, and menacing journey into the world of the dark-suited silencers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Robert on 10-10-18

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.

  • Gurdjieff, A Beginner's Guide

  • How Changing the Way We React to Misplacing our Keys can Transform our Lives
  • By: Gil Friedman
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

Are you ready for self-transformation? Many spiritual teachers promise transformation, but Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff delivers. Gurdjieff (1872-1949) was born in Alexandropol on the border of Russia and Turkey. Gurdjieff's teachings contain many concepts that, taken together, are referred to as the Work. The idea behind the Work is that our first birth is our physical body, which is all we need to get through life. But we are capable of developing into something higher; just as an acorn can stay an acorn and die or develop into an oak tree....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An inspiring introduction

  • By Lucy Giles on 18-03-15

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • My Big TOE: Awakening

  • By: Thomas W . Campbell
  • Narrated by: Thomas W. Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

My Big TOE: Awakening, written by a nuclear physicist in the language of contemporary culture, unifies science and philosophy, physics and metaphysics, mind and matter, purpose and meaning, the normal and the paranormal. The entirety of human experience (mind, body, and spirit) including both our objective and subjective worlds is brought together under one seamless scientific understanding.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • loved it

  • By bill on 26-06-15

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.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Dying to Wake Up

  • A Doctor's Voyage into the Afterlife
  • By: Rajiv Parti
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

A rare glimpse into heaven, hell, and previous lives - Dr. Rajiv Parti's near-death experience brought him on a journey through the afterworld, leading to a spiritual awakening that transformed his career, his lifestyle, and even his fundamental beliefs. Before his near-death experience, Dr. Rajiv Parti was a wealthy man of science with a successful career as the Chief of Anesthesiology at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital in California. Dr. Parti was the last man to believe in heaven or hell - that is, until he saw them with his own eyes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Profound and life changing.

  • By Ursula Avins on 20-11-16

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • San Pedro Huachuma

  • Opening the Pathways of the Heart
  • By: Javier Regueiro
  • Narrated by: Javier Regueiro
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

Our Western psychic and psychological make-up differs radically from that of Andean people, and our needs as modern people differ just as much from the needs of the ancestors and inhabitants of this land. This audiobook intends to bridge the cultural gap in ways that honor the wealth of wisdom gathered through centuries of native studies and experimentation, and at the same time address our present day state of emotional disconnection and spiritual confusion, which are at the root of most physical, emotional, and mental diseases.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Si on 18-10-17

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?

  • Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon Jungle

  • By: Javier Regueiro
  • Narrated by: Javier Regueiro
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Javier Regueiro not only provides general information about ayahuasca, but he bridges the cultural gap between the native and the current use of ayahuasca by Westerners. This guide offers background about the plant medicine, its history, and how to engage with and learn through its use. It includes stories of Javier's personal experience of transformation as well as stories from those he's guided in ceremonies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Knowledge makes the experience all the better

  • By simon garfield on 13-02-19

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.