LISTENER

michael j jones

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 13
  • helpful votes
  • 83
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Sci-fi doing what it does best

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

Reviewed: 20-10-19

Stephen Baxter paints an epic picture covering millennia from a sort of alternative world history to the origins of the solar system, and projects a range of possible futures for human kind. It makes you think about current global issues while keeping things in perspective speculating on huge universal issues.
I was not so impressed with the 'joke Brits'; a mixture of elements from H. G. Wells to Red Dwarf, world war two daring-do to Kipling's explorers and empire builders. These characters have an important role to play in the plot, and were far from convincing. I thought that the ending to the book was rushed, and had no real conclusion. This may be because there is a follow-up book in the offing: if so, I will have to consider carefully whether I want to listen to it or not.
I did enjoy the book: it was thought provoking and entertaining, doing what sci-fi does best.

1 person found this helpful

Value for money!

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

Reviewed: 07-04-19

There's enough material in this book to fill three novels: and they could be written by three different authors. The last part set in the Caribbean was a bit John Buchan or 'Death in Paradise', but I enjoyed it all anyway. Mr. Forsyth still intrigues and entertains. I will be listening to more of his books.

1 person found this helpful

A great adventure story researched

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

Reviewed: 13-01-19

It's great to hear Michael Palin's familiar and much loved voice reading this book; he makes an excellent narrator. He has researched the story of this famous and fascinating ship thoroughly, and it makes an interesting and complete tale in its own rite.
The Franklin expedition saga is at the core of this book, and I've heard several versions of it over the years. The recent discoveries of the Erebus and Terror wrecks sparked a new interest, and I enjoyed hearing the complex adventure brought together using a range of sources including the new archeology. Palin provides his own views, and has traveled to many of the places of interest, using his well known special ability to bring his travels to life for the reader/listener. You get a great adventure story, history, geography and a travelogue of the poles, all delivered with Michael Palin's special style of story telling. What more could a listener want?
Thanks you Michael.

Not a Patrick O'Brian substitute

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

Reviewed: 08-08-17

Anyone looking for a substitute for Patrick O'Brian will be disappointed with this book, but Peter Smalley does provide a fast moving and interesting maritime adventure tale. Unlike some of the writers in this genre, Smalley has the technicalities of seamanship spot on, and he does create a credible picture of life afloat in the eighteenth century, and the historical references are accurate. The main characters are rather two dimensional, and not very appealing. I suppose it is unfair to compare with the genius of O'Brian, and Jack Aubery is much missed.

1 person found this helpful

Traditional sci. fi.

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

Reviewed: 13-02-17

An interesting story, well told. Sci. Fi always has the advantage of limitless horizons and vast stages to play on. Ben Bova uses his tales to ask intriguing questions and make his listeners / readers think about big issues. I could have done without the rather cheesy love-life of the main character which seems to have no bearing on the narative.

A disappointment

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

Reviewed: 01-12-16

I've read or listened to all John Grisham's 'legal' novels and have enjoyed them to date. There's something different about The Whistler, and I found it awkward to get into. Most of his books lead the reader through often unexpected areas of life, and introduce interesting characters. The reader does get to find out how the F.B.I. goes about dealing with organized crime, but to be honest I found the gangsters more interesting than the investigators. The narration was rather plodding as well. Altogether an unexpected disappointment.

Shadowland: an unusual novel.

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

Reviewed: 19-08-16

Interesting idea. The story rambles a bit, and it's half way through before the King Arthur theme starts to make sense. It also takes a while for the clever idea of the story set in the sixth century being told to an audience in the seventeenth century. The initial assumption is that the audience for the story teller lives within the life span of the teller, and then he fills his pipe with tobacco, not discovered for half a millennia after King Arthur's time. Intriguing. The sound effects used in the recording are a bit crude and become annoying after a while. They are there to let the listener know when the story teller is speaking (because in a confusing way he uses third party) and when the story is being narrated (also third party) I think. The actual recording is poor. Some of it sounds as if it was recorded in someone's bathroom.The narrator deals with all this very well, and it is a good performance.

1 person found this helpful

A beautifully written novel.

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

Reviewed: 25-11-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Where My Heart Used to Beat to be better than the print version?

Faulks is a brilliant writer and I'm sure that the print version would be just as enjoyable to read as the audio version was to listen to. I have read a few of Faulks' novels and enjoyed them nearly as much as the audio version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Where My Heart Used to Beat?

I enjoyed the whole fascinating story. It was a pleasure to try and guess where the twists and turns of the plot were leading.

What about David Sibley’s performance did you like?

It was well read and easy to follow. I would guess that David Sibley enjoyed reading it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I found it difficult to stop listening, but life goes on back in the big bad world.

7 people found this helpful

Grisham at his brilliant best.

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

Reviewed: 25-11-15

What did you like most about Rogue Lawyer?

The main character is fascinating. The reader can't help being drawn in to an unusual life style for a lawyer.

What did you like best about this story?

John Grisham doing what he does best. You really want to know what happens next.

Have you listened to any of Mark Deakins’s other performances? How does this one compare?

The narrator did a good job. It was easy to follow the twists and turns of the plot and keep track of the diverse characters,

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have loved to listen to it in one go. I would not have been bored. But life doesn't permit.

2 people found this helpful

Not John Grisham at his brilliant best.

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

Reviewed: 17-12-14

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was weak and predictable. Grisham usually ends his stories in a far more imaginative way.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator used a monotone throughout. It was sometimes difficult to identify individuals in a dialogue.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

The theme of this book was interesting and full of potential for storytelling. Having read or listened to all Grisham's books to date, this was the only one where the potential for a fascinating story was not realised.