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  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 52
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  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16,725
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,744
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15,716

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exhilarating adventure. Brilliantly executed.

  • By Kaggy on 30-08-14

Watch the film!

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

Reviewed: 07-05-16

I don't normally say this, but now realise that sometimes the film can be better than the book: better-paced and done in two hours.

  • Chasing the Scream

  • The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
  • By: Johann Hari
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 421
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 381
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 380

It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, 30,000-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating and thought provoking

  • By Stephanie on 09-02-15

The story you were never told

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

Reviewed: 07-05-16

This is an in-depth and highly thought-provoking examination of the so-called 'war on drugs' of the past century. You will not think about drugs in the same way after this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief History of Seven Killings

  • By: Marlon James
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean, Cherise Boothe, Dwight Bacquie, and others
  • Length: 26 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 634
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 600
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 600

On 3 December 1976, just weeks before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert. Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, whispered and sung about in the streets of West Kingston.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hope it wins Booker.

  • By Musicista on 30-09-15

Stunning

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

Reviewed: 04-02-16

I'm delighted when I come across and audiobook which is likely to be better than the book in written form. This is a perfect example: the performances are astounding. The story is gripping and clearly a worthy Booker Prize winner.

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book cover art
  • Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book

  • The Mowgli Stories
  • By: Rudyard Kipling
  • Narrated by: Bill Bailey, Richard E. Grant, Colin Salmon, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,893
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,723
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,726

The magical story-telling and unforgettable characters in Bev Doyle and Richard Kurti's audio adaptation of this children's classic have been brought to life by many well known voices from film, TV, radio and comedy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible!

  • By The Evil Robot on 02-10-15

An utter revelation

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

Reviewed: 29-10-15

I now realise how stupid I was to assume that the classic Disney version contained 'most' of the story: it doesn't. This is a wonderful, enthralling, imaginative - and well performed - version, and would surely delight children and adults of all ages. It simply feeds the imagination.

  • A History of Britain, Volume 1

  • At the Edge of the World, 3000 BC - AD 1603
  • By: Simon Schama
  • Narrated by: Timothy West
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112

To look back at the past is to understand the present. In this vivid account of over 4,000 years of British history, Simon Schama takes us on an epic journey which encompasses the very beginnings of the nation's identity, when the first settlers landed on Orkney.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very informative

  • By Andrew on 20-07-15

Abridged, or rather, curtailed

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

Reviewed: 29-10-15

I really enjoy Simon Schama's television programmes. This abridged version of his History, whilst ably read by Timothy West, misses out by not having Schama speak his own words. It's also very overweighted towards the latter part of the period, which is a pity because it's hardly difficult to learn about Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, but so much more interesting to discover the origins of Britain - there must be so much more that could have been said but was missed out. Not having heard the unabridged version, I don't know if it contains all the interesting nuggets someone decided to remove for this one.

  • 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 2,099
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,286

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

Fascinating

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

Reviewed: 29-10-15

My first experience of Bryson: a delightful stream of curiosity. It's astounding how far and how easily he wanders from topic, and yet he is always interesting and always - eventually - finds his way back to his point of origin.
For those with enquiring minds, a wonderful exploration of domestic life.

  • F--k It Therapy

  • The Profane Way to Profound Happiness
  • By: John C Parkin
  • Narrated by: John C Parkin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

If every therapist and psychotherapist on the planet could repeat this to their clients, like a mantra, again and again, there would be fewer therapists and psychotherapists. Because it works. Very quickly. Realising that what you're worrying about and stressing over doesn't really matter so much in the grand scheme of things is the door to freedom and healing. And the little profanity 'F**k It' is the key to that door.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • . f**k it a waste of money

  • By Anthony on 09-03-15

F**k It - I liked this

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

Reviewed: 13-03-15

What made the experience of listening to F--k It Therapy the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed the relaxed tone of the presentation. Yes, I know some people will criticise this book as offering little that's new, but it's nicely done, straightforward, tries to be realistic, and yet challenging.

What does John C Parkin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He sounds relaxed, and I get a good sense of his character through his voice.

Any additional comments?

The original F**k It book was recommended to me some years ago, and it's only now that I've sat down to listen to its most recent incarnation. There's a lot of good stuff here: it may sound over-simplistic but the core concepts are sound. If you're into this kind of thing. Which I am.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Broadchurch

  • The Official Novel
  • By: Erin Kelly, Chris Chibnall
  • Narrated by: Carolyn Pickles
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 175
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158

The unmissable Broadchurch novel, inspired by the first season of 2013's mega-hit ITV series. Containing never-before-seen material and adding great depth and insights to the unforgettable cast of characters, this is a must-listen not only for everyone who loved the TV programme ahead of the second series but for all fans of evocative, atmospheric crime drama.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just as good as the TV show

  • By Heidi on 02-09-14

Couldn't bear it

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

Reviewed: 13-03-15

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you like watching telly with 'audio description' turned on, then this is for you: I haven't seen the TV series but what I don't want from a novel is a step by step description of what I'm 'seeing'. The BHS duvet - really?

Has Broadchurch put you off other books in this genre?

Books written from a TV series, probably. Where is the beauty of the authorship and imagination?

Any additional comments?

When I read the reviews for this - which were generally positive - I expected a book which, despite having been written 'after' the TV series, would have its own integrity and 'feel', but this feels like an extended description of what's on screen. I think I'll try to find the TV version.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Nora Webster

  • By: Colm Tóibín
  • Narrated by: Fiona Shaw
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 239
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 211

The downloadable, digital audiobook edition of Colm Tóibín's new novel, read by Fiona Shaw. It is the 1960s and Nora Webster is living with her two young sons in a small town on the east coast of Ireland. The love of her life, Maurice, has just died.Nora must learn how to forge a new life for herself, how to give her sons a future as she tries to hold onto the past.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected pleasure

  • By Amazon Customer on 13-01-15

I kept waiting for something to happen!

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

Reviewed: 10-03-15

What does Fiona Shaw bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Fiona Shaw's reading of the story is good - she gives it a secure, steady tone.

Any additional comments?

As an observation of a woman struck with the death of her husband, it's a beautifully drawn piece, but I kept expecting an event of significance to occur - which it didn't. That's probably truer to 'real life' but it leaves me feeling a bit empty.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Collectors

  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Bill Nighy
  • Length: 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,834
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,530
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,545

"But the thing is," said Horley, "they didn’t know each other at all. Never heard of each other. It wasn’t about the makers. Only about the works." On a dark winter's night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully dark story engagingly read

  • By Alexander Patterson on 12-09-15

Nothing special though nice as a Christmas freebie

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

Reviewed: 08-02-15

Any additional comments?

I like Bill Nighy A LOT, but this audiobook didn't offer much that was special or stimulating. A nice, short listen, but I wouldn't rate it more highly than that.