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A P Smith

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 39
  • ratings
  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,088
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,866
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,801

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Book Changed My Life 💙 New Hobbies Found 💜

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-04-18

Brilliant and unashamedly geeky!

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

Reviewed: 08-08-17

Can't begin to describe how much I enjoyed this. This book is an unashamedly geeky love letter to the 80s in general and 80's video games in particular. If you are a child of the 80s who grew up playing video games you will love it. From the nerding out over game scores to the detailed descriptions of classic video games, this book makes no compromises to dumb down for a mass audience, and thats why its great.

After seeing the trailer for the upcoming film, I'm a little nervous that it will turn out to be a mindless special effects fest. Hopefully Spielberg won't totally lose the nerdy heart of the book in the translation to the big screen.

The narrator did a great job, but personally I would have preferred a British voice. Anyway thats nit-picking, this is fantastic and made me want to download an emulator and play some of those old classics!

  • Hyperion

  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson, Kevin Pariseau, and others
  • Length: 20 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,917
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,679
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,677

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fantastic combination

  • By Mr. S. Gibson on 15-08-10

Great right up until the non-existant ending

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

Reviewed: 12-07-17

I'm conflicted on this one. I really enjoyed each of the characters stories (up until the last one which jumped backwards and forwards in time for no apparent reason so much that it was hard to follow), and I was expecting the stories to be linked together in some clever way by the end of the book. However the stories as far as I can tell are not linked at all (other than by the fact that the characters have all been to Hyperion before).

Then the book just ends.

Now I get that its the first of a series, but look at any of the great epic sci-fi series such as Foundation or Dune, and yes there is an ongoing story arc, but each book stands alone as a satisfying whole. This book reads like an introduction, there is no kind of conclusion, many questions are raised but none are answered, even partially. The Priests story in particular raised many questions, what are the cruciform lifeforms, how did they get there, how did they evolve, are they connected to the Shriek? I was hoping for at least some hints and answers by the end of the book, but there where none.

I am now conflicted about whether to continue with the series. On the one hand I want answers to the questions raised by the first book and as I say I did enjoy the book up until the end, however on the other hand I am so annoyed that the author made no attempt at a satisfying ending to this book I am reluctant to spend more time and money on the series in case I'm left with a similar unsatisfied feeling at the end of every other book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Electronic Dreams

  • How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer
  • By: Tom Lean
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134

In Electronic Dreams, Tom Lean tells the story of how computers invaded British homes for the first time, as people set aside their worries of electronic brains and Big Brother and embraced the wonder technology of the 1980s. This book charts the history of the rise and fall of the home computer, the family of futuristic and quirky machines that took computing from the realm of science and science fiction to being a user-friendly domestic technology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining, Engaging, Enlightening

  • By Ulven on 15-05-18

Comprehensive and enjoyable nostalgia trip

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

Reviewed: 24-02-17

Incredibly thorough history of the home computer in Britain. While listening a couple of times I thought 'hold why hasn't he mentioned X'? Then the next chapter would cover that very topic in detail!

Makes the point that whilst home computers were originally conceive primary as educational and 'tinkerers' devices it was gaming that proved to be the 'killer app'.

Anyone who nostalgically remembers owning the mighty ZX Spectrum (or even one of its inferior competitors) will find this walk down memory lane a compelling listen.

  • A History of the World

  • By: Andrew Marr
  • Narrated by: Andrew Marr, David Timson
  • Length: 26 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,774
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,250
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,250

From the earliest civilizations to the 21st century: a global journey through human history, published alongside a landmark BBC One television series. Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey, Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awsome, educational and epic work

  • By Adisha on 30-10-12

Useful overview of world history

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

Reviewed: 25-09-16

A solid attempt at summarising a huge subject. Far from perfect, jumps around a bit to much for my tastes but still learnt a lot. Mainly that human history consists of enormous amounts of war, genocide, rape and slavery!

The author goes right up to the present day and attempts to cover the resurgence of Islamist 'jihad'. Unfortunately this is where his credibility comes into question as he appears to take the rather naive and simplistic view that its all the triggered by the West and the birth of Israel. He ignores the rather large influence that ideology has on the movement. After all it's not 'foreign policy' that causes people to kill cartoonists or to throw homosexuals off buildings!

The reader does a decent job although I found the slight 'sing-song' delivery a little wearing after a while.

  • Tower Lord

  • Raven's Shadow, Book 2
  • By: Anthony Ryan
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 24 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,060
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,063

The realm burns. Vaelin Al Sorna is tired of war. He's fought countless battles in service to the Realm and Faith. His reward was the loss of his love, the death of his friends and a betrayal by his king. After five years in an Alpiran dungeon, he just wants to go home. Reva intends to welcome Vaelin back with a knife between the ribs. He destroyed her family and ruined her life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better than book 1!

  • By Janine on 08-07-14

Ok but not as good as the first in series

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

Reviewed: 01-08-16

I enjoyed the first book. But this one just seems to be a never ending series of battles. Hard to keep track of some of the minor characters, someone would appear and the reader is obviously supposed to know who they are but several times I was left wondering who on earth are they again?

Not terrible, but not great.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Flash Boys

  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Dylan Baker
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,007
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,014

Michael Lewis, the Master of the Big Story, is back with Flash Boys. If you thought Wall Street was about alpha males standing in trading pits hollering at each other, think again. That world is dead. Now, the world's money is traded by computer code, inside black boxes in heavily guarded buildings. Even the experts entrusted with your cash don't know what's happening to it. And the very few who do aren't about to tell - because they're making a killing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can't praise this book highly enough...

  • By Judy Corstjens on 27-04-14

Brilliant stuff

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

Reviewed: 05-06-16

Even though you kind of knew/suspected this kind of stuff was going on, it's still shocking the extent to which the exchanges are in cahoots with the high frequency traders to rip of their "customers". Unlike the events in The Big Short which can be 'excused' by greed and incompetence, the events described in this book are basically downright dishonest and fraudulent. The most shocking thing is they are still getting away with it...

  • The Big Short

  • Inside the Doomsday Machine
  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Jesse Boggs, Michael Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,310
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 937
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 933

The long-awaited follow-up to the global best-seller Liar's Poker, The Big Short tells a story of spectacular, epic folly. It has taken the world's greatest financial meltdown to bring Michael Lewis back to the subject that made him famous. His international best seller Liar's Poker exposed the greed and carnage of the City and Wall Street in the 1980s; he wrote it as a cautionary tale, but people seem to have read it as a how-to guide. Now, he wants to settle accounts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sub-Primes for Dummies

  • By Olivier on 23-01-13

Good. But not as good as Flash Boys!

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

Reviewed: 05-06-16

Shocking and interesting stuff. Storytelling not as focused as Flash Boys. Hops around a little too much and it's too easy to lose track of who's who. But still essential listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things

  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Length: 3 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,093
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,018
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,019

Patrick Rothfuss narrates The Slow Regard of Silent Things, a companion novella to his bestselling Kingkiller Chronicle novels that shares an enchanting new perspective on the Four Corners realm. Renowned as a bastion of knowledge, the University draws the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences, such as artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below its bustling halls lies a complex web of abandoned rooms and ancient passageways.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A magnificent and delightfully joyful book.

  • By Angus Milner-Brown on 06-11-14

Dissapointing

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-02-16

As the author himself states, this book is not for everybody, well it's certainly not for me!

I loved The Name of the Wind and it's sequel and was looking forward to finding out more about Aurie, where she came from, why she lives in the underthing etc..
However none of these questions are answered, there is not even a story here. What there is is a glimpse inside the mind of a very strange girl with a really bad case of OCD, but with no background or reason for her being were she was and doing what she does I struggled to care.

The author says this book was written for himself. A less charitable description would be that it is self indulgent and boring.

I'm looking forward to the next proper book in the 'name of' series but I would recommend giving this novella a miss.

  • Islam and the Future of Tolerance

  • A Dialogue
  • By: Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz
  • Narrated by: Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz
  • Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 517
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 440

In this short book, Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz invite you to join an urgently needed conversation: Is Islam a religion of peace or war? Is it amenable to reform? Why do so many Muslims seem drawn to extremism? What do words like Islamism, jihadism, and fundamentalism mean in today's world? Remarkable for the breadth and depth of its analysis, this dialogue between a famous atheist and a former radical is all the more startling for its decorum. Harris and Nawaz have produced something genuinely new: they engage one of the most polarizing issues of our time - fearlessly and fully - and actually make progress.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bold

  • By KatieStar on 03-01-17

Important stuff that everyone needs to hear

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

Reviewed: 01-02-16

The more informal conversion between the authors included at the end of this audio book is just as interesting as the book itself.

Essential listening for any who have heard the term 'regressive left' but don't understand what it means or why they are so dangerous as enablers and apologists for Islamist extremism.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Painted Man

  • The Demon Cycle, Book 1
  • By: Peter V. Brett
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 16 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,101
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,956
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,951

The stunning debut fantasy novel from author Peter V. Brett. The Painted Man, book one of the Demon Cycle, is a captivating and thrilling fantasy adventure, pulling the reader into a world of demons, darkness and heroes. Voted one of the top ten fantasy novels of 2008 by amazon.co.uk. Sometimes there is very good reason to be afraid of the dark…Eleven-year-old Arlen lives with his parents on their small farmstead, half a day's ride from the isolated hamlet of Tibbet's Brook.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping and Original Fantasy

  • By Dave on 01-06-15

Just superb

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

Reviewed: 05-06-15

I was a bit sceptical that a book about demons would too far fetched to be enjoyable, but this is the best book I have read / heard in ages. Well written, griping and surprising convincing portrayal of a fantasy world.