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B. Pend

Didsbury, Madchester
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 47
  • ratings
  • Not Quite Paradise

  • An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka
  • By: Adele Barker
  • Narrated by: Adele Barker
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

A chronicle of life on the resplendent island. Adele Barker and her son, Noah, settled into the central highlands of Sri Lanka for an 18-month sojourn, immersing themselves in the customs, cultures, and landscapes of the island: its elephants, birds, and monkeys; its hot curries and sweet mangoes; the cacophony of its markets; the resonant evening chants from its temples. When, having returned home to Tucson, Barker awakes on December 26, 2004, to see televised images of the island's southern shore disappearing into the ocean, she decides she must go back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sojourn in Serendipity?

  • By Adisha on 24-12-12

Going to Sri Lanka???? This is a MUST LISTEN!

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

Reviewed: 28-06-18

A wonderful book, full of interesting facts about the history and the culture of Sri Lanka. So much better, than any dry old travel guide.

The narration is mesmerising.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Walk in the Woods

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,648
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,346
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,345

The Appalachian Trail covers 14 states and over 2,000 miles, snaking through some of the most spectacular landscapes in America. Reluctant adventurer Bryson recounts his gruelling hike along the longest continuous footpath in the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wilderness adventure from the comfort of home

  • By John on 28-04-07

Unexpected but another Bryson Hit

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

Reviewed: 14-11-15

What did you like most about A Walk in the Woods?

His friend Catz adds extra spice to the menu of Bryson's dry wit.

What other book might you compare A Walk in the Woods to, and why?

Him & Me. Unfortunately we do not get Catz's personal view, but the listener can imagine.

What about William Roberts’s performance did you like?

He illuminates Bryson

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The separation ....

Any additional comments?

I avoided this Bryson offering, as I thought it would be a little dull. I mean a "A Walk In The Woods"! How wrong could I be. I would of liked Catz to have his own voice in this book, as I think that would have made it even funnier.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Made in America

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 737
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 523

In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A history of America through its language

  • By Tom on 12-05-10

I generally like Bill Bryson, but ......

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

Reviewed: 18-10-15

What disappointed you about Made in America?

It has some good moments, but there too many lists of variations of words and there various spelling, to make it interesting..

Has Made in America put you off other books in this genre?

Yes, I like to be entertained.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration could not improve the endless lists.

What character would you cut from Made in America?

No characters in the book to cut.

Any additional comments?

The subject matter precludes Bryson's dry wit.

  • A Tiny Bit Marvellous

  • By: Dawn French
  • Narrated by: Dawn French
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 653
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 651

Everyone hates the perfect family. So you’ll love the Battles. Mo is about to hit the big 50, and some uncomfortable truths are becoming quite apparent: She doesn’t understand either of her teenage kids, which as a child psychologist, is fairly embarrassing. She has become entirely grey, inside, and out. Her face has surrendered and is frightening children....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Indeed a whole lot of marvellous

  • By Mark on 12-11-10

Not Even A Tiny Bit

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

Reviewed: 18-10-15

Would you try another book written by Dawn French or narrated by Dawn French?

No

What will your next listen be?

Him & Me

What didn’t you like about Dawn French’s performance?

While some characters merit a voice change, the boy's voice did not. Very confusing

What character would you cut from A Tiny Bit Marvellous?

The posh boy and the rest of the flimsy characters.

Any additional comments?

If you are a women of a certain age, who shops at Waitrose and has children, then you might find this book amusing. Any one else should avoid this ......., like the plague.

  • Personal

  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,515
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,379
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,378

Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president. Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him. This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child’s number-one best-selling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris - and then to London.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Reacher gets Dull !

  • By Mr on 09-09-14

Truly Unbelievable

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

Reviewed: 19-10-14

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

If you have personal hygiene problems, America may need you.

Has Personal put you off other books in this genre?

I have another book by this author and it was ok. However he has really pushed the bounds of fantasy with this one.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narration was fine, just the content.

What character would you cut from Personal?

The main character at 25 stones and 6 ft 5 inches, is clearly overweight, unless he spends half his life in the gym (which he doesn't ).
He uses just a toothbrush for personal hygiene. No toothpaste or deodorant. The character only changes clothes every other week, if there is a handy second hand clothes handy which stocks everything including underwear!
He doesn't seem surprised when other undercover operatives spot him. I should think they just follow the smell and the flies.I guess he is supposed to be a real man?

Any additional comments?

The plot is also very weak. I am surprised his editor, let him get away with this offering, it will do nothing for his reputation.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

  • A History of Nazi Germany
  • By: William L. Shirer
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 57 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,723
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,228
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,216

Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A unique account

  • By R. Fowler on 07-12-10

FASCINATING

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

Reviewed: 24-08-14

What did you like most about The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?

An enthralling listen from the start to the finish.
I listened to the book in two hour blocks as I drive frequently, due to my work. If you want to really know about the Second World War, then this book is a must listen.
It is based on the war files found after the war in the German archives and reveals the true machinations of the Third Reich.

What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to, and why?

The book is comparable with the World at War television series.
I found the time line of the different battles fascinating. The initial battle in Europe was a over in weeks after Hitler invaded Belgium and Holland. Why did he stop his tanks from cutting off the British withdrawal?

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

The narration is superb.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There is a chapter towards the end which goes into more detail about The Final Solution. Truly horrific on every scale. I found this chapter very hard to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Britain got a lot of flack for initially appeasing Hitler. I am sure America would of played a large part in advising Britain in this period, although this is hardly mentioned.
At one stage he even says that the King's consort was pro German. He fails to mention that she was American and probably reflected America's views on Hitler at that time.
The author was an American correspondent based in Berlin. He negates to mention his own failure in alerting his fellow countryman.
He also fails to mention the breaking of the Enigma Code, which was a vast help to the allies?
Overall a great listen.