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George

Harrogate, United Kingdom
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 65
  • helpful votes
  • 10
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  • Consider Phlebas

  • Culture Series, Book 1
  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 16 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,966
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,520
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,522

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Truly Great Sci-Fi Novel

  • By scotty on 09-04-12

Best is yet to come

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-11

I got hooked on the Culture books with Matter, a recent addition to the series. Finally coming back to listen to this, the first in the canon, I was pretty disappointed. The great thing about the Culture novels is the scope, the believable universe, structure and ways of life across so many civilisations captured by a stellar author of philosophical and literary stock. He can spin a yarn well too, but that's all that's here... a space pirate adventure with little substance. The best is yet to come, and theres no need to read them in order at all, so I recommend Matter or another recent Culture novel. Or The Bridge by Iain Banks (no M) which is not quite science fiction but still creates its own world and revels in it fantastically.

  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,091
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,280

Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More Fact Pact Bryson

  • By Stewart Webb on 06-06-10

One of the best books I have "read"!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-11

I'm near the end of this and have to say that it's one of the best books I've ever read. It's astounding, enlightening and gives you so many things to feel grateful for, now you know about the genesis of the things and practices around you, and how it was before they came along. Am on the verge of insisting everyone I know read it too :)

  • Brave New World

  • By: Aldous Huxley
  • Narrated by: Michael York
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,050
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,740
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,740

On the 75th anniversary of its publication, this outstanding work of literature is more crucial and relevant today than ever before. Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A. F. (After Ford, the deity).

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Imaginative, But Flawed!

  • By Robert on 07-05-16

Marred by narration

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-11

Great book, no doubting that, but I'm half way through and had to break to come on here and say I can't STAND Michael York's narration. Really after 20 audiobooks or more from Audible this is the first time it's happened, and it's particularly surprising given he's such a well known actor, but absolutely every moment of his performance is over-egged. It's Jackonory story-telling, subtle as a brick and prone to spasms of indulgent and frankly frightening wailing and crying. And the accents, entirely his contribution from what I gather, are atrocious. I'm probably in the minority given other reviews here, but give the sample a go and try before you buy, that's my advice!

58 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • In the Plex

  • How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
  • By: Steven Levy
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 19 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 518
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273

Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes listeners inside Google headquarters - the Googleplex - to explain how Google works.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen

  • By Mrs on 05-03-12

Remarkable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-05-11

Finally, the inside track to a story you already know! We've all observed the little changes to google search, and big product launches like gmail and android, but if you're like me, you didn't know the how's or the why's. Engrossing and empowering, Steven Levy did a great job with the material and I feel some of the "googleyness" he mentions rubbed off him, and now it's rubbed off on me too. Big picture, innovation, revolution, evolution... I guess this is the first book ive read that you might class as a business book, but it's more of a tale, maybe even an allegory, for making the impossible possible, using smarts to change the world, doing things better than the traditional way, and more. Loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries

  • By: Michael Brooks
  • Narrated by: Matt Addis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 628
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 296
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 290

Science starts to get interesting when things don'’t make sense. Even today, there are experimental results that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. In the past, similar anomalies have revolutionised our world: in the 16th century, a set of celestial irregularities led Copernicus to realise that the Earth goes around the sun and not the reverse. In 13 Things That Don'’t Make Sense, Michael Brooks meets thirteen modern-day anomalies that may become tomorrow'’s breakthroughs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Really interesting listen!

  • By Lillian on 27-03-11

Difficult and dry

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-05-11

While these mysteries may be intriguing on the surface, the devil is in the details, which this book has no shame in diving into to such depths that I gradually lost interest, and soon found I had no idea what the narrator is talking about!

The iconoclastic bent of the author seems to not only probe questions that mainstream science is finding difficult to answer, but to actively take sides of some underdogs while leaving the lay "reader" unconvinced enough (quite possibly due to the complexity of the subject matter) to decided for themselves that most scientists are wrong on the topic.

Above all, i'm not enthused by science for the sake of science, and perhaps I lack the background to make sense of it all, but I think this book is aimed at the moderate to advanced reader, when I had the impression it would try to whip up passion in the uninitiated. If you're in the same camp as me, read Bad Science by Ben Goldacre or the Most Human Human by Brian Christian, two truly fascinating popular science books that relate to the world around you, rather than the rather abstract and as such incomprehensible (to me!) "things that don't make sense". Perhaps stick with some that DO make sense!

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Most Human Human

  • What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive
  • By: Brian Christian
  • Narrated by: Brian Christian
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can "think". Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Turing Test convenes a panel of judges who pose questions - ranging anywhere from celebrity gossip to moral conundrums - to hidden contestants in an attempt to discern which is human and which is a computer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic audiobook

  • By Federico on 28-05-18

Incredible

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-05-11

Gently mind-bending, eye-opening and highly engaging stuff. A little philosophy, many questions, a lot of science and a clever hook, I fear I'll be raving about this book for year to come, and evaluating myself as a human and what it means to be one for possibly longer! Thanks Brian Christian! Best popular science book for the layman since Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, which I will insist on recommending to everyone as long as I persist as a human human.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nerd Do Well

  • By: Simon Pegg
  • Narrated by: Simon Pegg
  • Length: 4 hrs and 49 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 870
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 578
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 576

Zombies in North London, death cults in the West Country, the engineering deck of the Enterprise: actor, comedian, writer, and self-proclaimed supergeek Simon Pegg has been ploughing some bizarre furrows in recent times. Having blasted on to the small screen in the gut-busting and now legendary sitcom Spaced, his enduring appeal and rise to nation’s-favourite-son status has been mercurial, meteoric, megatronic, but mostly just plain great.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not a typical Autobiography

  • By Audrey on 09-12-10

Unabridged please!

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-04-11

Listened to the 15 minute free sample on the Members
Page - it was great. Warm, funny, great voice acting
by the man himself.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful