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  • Halfway To Hollywood

  • Diaries 1980 To 1988
  • By: Michael Palin
  • Narrated by: Michael Palin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111

The second volume of Michael Palin's diaries covers the 1980s, a decade in which the ties that bound the Pythons loosened as they forged their separate careers. After a live performance at the Hollywood Bowl, they made their last performance together in 1983 in the hugely successful Monty Python's Meaning of Life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really Nice

  • By Trebor on 04-09-13

Treat yourself ... you will not regret it

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-11-09

Rather than write word after word about how much I enjoyed this audiobook, I will just say that at every opportunity - be it going to bed a little earlier than usual, offering to wash up, allowing longer than usual bath times my children, or washing the car - I listened to this. Funny at times, sad at times, but always leaving the listener wanting more, Michael Palin has yet to fail me with an book he has written. And although I've never seen Monty Python, his writing makes me think I'll enjoy it. Really can't wait for diary number 3.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blue Rondo

  • By: John Lawton
  • Narrated by: Lewis Hancock
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

A new breed of gangster appears and the battle for the East End begins. Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy is quite literally caught in the crossfire, when he is hit by the blast from a car bomb.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • poor

  • By Amazon Customer on 17-04-09

poor

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-04-09

Many years ago I bought John Lawton's Black Out, in paperback, and although I finished it eventually, it was a struggle from the very start.

Last month I was pleased to see a Lawton book available on Audible. Having read reviews of Lawton's work on other site, I decided to give it a go in digital format. Certainly the subject of Blue Rondo - gang warfar, London, 1950's - sounded interesting.

Just like Black Out I realised my mistake very early on in the story. It's just ... too long. Way too much padding. Large chunks of story could be disgarded as they were of little relevance to the overall story. Hints of villans, gangs, murder. Some interesting sections about regeneration of London. Sadly, this come infrequently as instead we have to meander away on sub-plots and follow weak characters.

The main character, Troy, is clearly from a well-to-do family and having the luxury of a family estate to wander around in makes the London Copper character a little hard to believe. A brother who is highup in the Shadow Cabinet in Parliament, twin sisters who share lovers from time to time. Just some of the characters that flit in and out of the story but add nothing except more pages / listening time.

The voices given to the characters on the audio book were OK but I'm left with the impression that Troy is about 22 and could be 'had' by any street smart teenager. Future recordings should beef up the characters voice as it really is just too whiny to be believable. Stay away from American women too as that voice just forced me to skip every section where 'Katie' and Troy were together.

I'm sure the book is well researched and for some readers it will be an entertaining, gripping read - a trip down memory lane. However, I found it disappointing and considered just not bothering to finish it. Where I originally hoped for a gutsy London-based gangland war story, what I actually got were some OK villans, weak characters, annoying voice-overs, and way too much padding.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful