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Swing Swang

UK
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 27
  • ratings
  • The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty

  • How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves
  • By: Dan Ariely
  • Narrated by: Simon Jones
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78

Fascinating and provocative, Dan Ariely’s The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty is an insightful and brilliantly researched take on cheating, deception, and willpower. The internationally best-selling author pulls no punches when it comes to home truths. His previous titles Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality have become classics in their field, revealing astonishing traits that run through modern humankind. Now acclaimed behavioural economist Dan Ariely delves deeper into psychology.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It's yourself you have to fool!

  • By Jim Vaughan on 15-05-13

All blindingly obvious...with hindsight

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

Reviewed: 27-07-16

Well worth listening to, and whilst in no way a self-help book there is much to cause you to do things differently.

This is not a typical review, but just a couple examples of things that I'm now doing differently:

When I come across someone who has a declared 'conflict of interest' I now make much more allowance that what they are telling me is biased and I devalue the worth of what they are telling me much more than I did previously - this is of real value to those of us that read academic papers/attend conferences/listen to expert witnesses/speak to researchers funded by pharmaceutical companies etc.

I now often have a very superficial chat about morality and ethics at the beginning of meetings (which can be easily done whilst you are preparing a drink for someone rather than calling out for coffee and setting down to business straight away for example), it might be something faith based that we can talk about, or totally humanist (and it doesn't matter if you're not a humanist or if you are an atheist) as this subconsciously primes the person in front of you to behave more honestly, and also makes you more honest in your dealings with them so that you are both less likely to behave in that grey area of what is acceptable. Win win.

I would have liked a bit more information about the entry criteria for his experiments as I feel that it would be likely that some of the results could be biased if a high degree of rigour was not applied. The entry criteria were probably very rigorous, but we should have been told.

  • MEMBER GIFT: The Tales of Max Carrados

  • By: Ernest Bramah
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 1 hr and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,157
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,161

Max Carrados, a fictional detective series, was first introduced to the literary world by Ernest Bramah in 1914. In the Edwardian era, Carrados' stories often outsold Sherlock Holmes, with the blind detective sharing top billing with his fictional rival. George Orwell wrote that together with those of Conan Doyle, they were "the only detective stories since Poe that are worth rereading".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Lena on 17-12-15

Great little (and free) listen

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

Reviewed: 22-02-16

This came a a free gift from Audible a few months ago. What a great little listen. I'd never come across the Max Carrados stories before and am really looking forward to listen to more. Well read by Stephen Fry, the first story had the feel of a vignette from a one act play, such as Shaffer's "Sleuth". In fact it's a shame that Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier didn't record this first.

  • Conquerors

  • How Portugal Seized the Indian Ocean and Forged the First Global Empire
  • By: Roger Crowley
  • Narrated by: John Sackville
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71

As remarkable as Columbus and the conquistador expeditions, the history of Portuguese exploration is now almost forgotten. But Portugal's navigators cracked the code of the Atlantic winds, launched the expedition of Vasco da Gama to India and beat the Spanish to the spice kingdoms of the East - then set about creating the first long-range maritime empire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Conquistadors versus Sinbad

  • By Jim on 16-01-16

Brilliant story, atrocious pronunciation.

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

This book is brilliant from prologue to epilogue. This book gives us a deeper understanding of the growth, psyche, and motivations of an overlooked European nation. This book helps us understand our torn sectarian world a little better.

The majority of the book is taken up with the exploits of Vasco da Gama and Afonso de Albuquerque. They are presented as great, tenacious, honest and loyal men who are motivated by their faith, as well as being totally ruthless, evil, and vindictive ‘monsters’ (choose your own expletive). The history does not need to be in any way revisionist. They are condemned and lauded by their own writings and those of their contemporaries.

I cringed at the narrator’s atrocious Portuguese pronunciation.

On occasion names were so abominably mangled that this Lusophone had to go away and look them up. The producers should have coached him, and he should have practiced. They should hold their heads in shame at allowing the excellent narrator to record such a poor performance.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Daunderlust

  • Dispatches from Unreported Scotland
  • By: Peter Ross
  • Narrated by: Robbie Coltrane
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

Peter Ross' articles from around Scotland provide a piece-by-piece portrait of a nation as it changes. They show Scotland as she really is, a hopeful country not without problems and pain but a nation made great by the people who live, love, laugh and graft there. From anatomists who find dissection beautiful to chip-shop owners who sing arias while serving fish suppers, the Scots in these pages come over as eccentric, humorous, moving and extraordinary.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magic! Peter Ross writer Robbie Coltrane reader

  • By Hamburgerpatty on 06-08-15

Not just tartan and whisky

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

Reviewed: 28-07-15

A most pleasing collection of Scottish anecdotes about its people and institutions: obscure or obvious, profound or profane, modern or moth-eaten. All are grist for Ross’s mill. There is much here for the homesick Scot, or for the merely curious.

Each chapter stands in isolation. They were written over a four year period and this does occasionally lead to puzzlement with regard to the exact placing of milestone events that will happen, ‘later in the year’.

Robbie’s narration is not flawless, although I would say that it’s a very minor irritation rather than a hindrance to listening. On a couple of occasions a few words are re-read, indeed a single tongue-tied expletive remains (no time reference given – just to make you pay attention). That notwithstanding Robbie is an excellent choice of narrator; his mimicry of the various Scottish accents of both genders enhanced my enjoyment of this title.

  • Stop Drifting, Start Rowing

  • One Woman's Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the Pacific
  • By: Roz Savage
  • Narrated by: Roz Savage
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

In 2007, Roz Savage set out to row 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean—alone. Despite having successfully rowed across the Atlantic the previous year, the Pacific presented the former office worker with unprecedented challenges and overpowering currents—both in the water and within herself. Crossing Earth’s largest ocean alone might seem a long way removed from everyday life, yet the lessons Roz learned about the inner journey, the ocean, and the world are relevant to all of us.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too long, too worthy, and inadequately narrated

  • By Swing Swang on 10-12-14

Too long, too worthy, and inadequately narrated

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

Reviewed: 10-12-14

I wanted to like this a lot. I didn’t.

I could not identify with Roz from the outset, I could not empathise with her need to declutter, and in particular I could not appreciate her first act; that of getting rid of her husband. Now it may be that she wished to retain a certain degree of privacy and she chose not to present the full story, but she stands judged on what she has written, not upon speculation.

This is a shame, a real shame because in between all of the padding, all of the pithy philosophy, she does have a message that is worth listening too. She just takes too long to say it, and the delivery is less than perfect.

The producers should have re-record the sections where the stress, intonation and pauses of this self-narrated audiobook interfered with relaxed listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Screwtape Letters

  • Letters from a Senior to a Junior Devil
  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Joss Ackland
  • Length: 3 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161

>The Screwtape Letters, now in its 70th anniversary year, is an iconic classic on spiritual warfare and the power of the devil. This profound and striking narrative takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in his first mission on Earth trying to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. Although the young man initially looks to be a willing victim, he changes his ways and is ‘lost’ to the young devil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Those pesky spirits and their ways

  • By A. Halfacre on 12-12-14

Very well written, very well read

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

Reviewed: 22-11-14

Wonderfully narrated production of CS Lewis's classic. Great at so many levels: a great little series of letters, a useful observation on how we're all capable of behaving, and a challenging insight on how we can be tempted. Great to hear this in audio some 30 years after having read this in print.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Yes Minister & Yes Prime Minister - The Complete Audio Collection

  • By: Antony Jay, Jonathan Lynn
  • Narrated by: Paul Eddington, full cast, Nigel Hawthorn
  • Length: 18 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,764
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,612
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,610

Between 1980 and 1988 on BBC television and radio, the exploits of the Rt Hon Jim Hacker MP (Paul Eddington) - later Prime Minister - kept the British nation enthralled. Helped - and hampered - by his diligent Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne) and his Principle Private Secretary Bernard Woolley (Derek Fowlds), Hacker and his department became synonymous with government bureaucracy and administrative double dealing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hasn't dated a day.

  • By Steven Turner on 01-12-15

Some things change, some stay the same

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

Reviewed: 31-10-14

Classic comedy series. Brought back all the memories from 30 years ago. So full of memorable quotes that have become part of the English language.

And thirty years on we're still debating the same things - Some things change, some stay the same:

One: I am not a "badger-butcher".
Two: badgers are not an endangered species.
Three: the removal of protective status does not necessarily mean the badgers will be killed.
Four: if a few badgers have to be sacrificed for the sake of a master plan that will save Britain's natural heritage - tough!
- Episode Six: The Right to Know

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Nonsense on Stilts

  • How to Tell Science from Bunk
  • By: Massimo Pigliucci
  • Narrated by: Jay Russell
  • Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and - borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham - the nonsense on stilts.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but...

  • By MISS on 04-01-12

Good and Bad in Equal Measures

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

Reviewed: 28-08-14

I wanted to like this a lot.
I did in fact like this a lot, at least to start with.
However the latter half of this book seemed to have an such an anti-religeous thread running through it that at times what appeared to be a personal vendetta against anyone who believed in a deity masked the validity of many of Pigliucci's arguments. A little more humility, and a little more respect for contrary, but valid, opinions would have done much to mitigate this.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Etymologicon

  • A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language
  • By: Mark Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Simon Shepherd
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 856
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 740
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 727

A quirky, entertaining and thought-provoking tour of the unexpected connections between words, read by Simon Shepherd. What is the actual connection between disgruntled and gruntled? What links church organs to organised crime, California to the Caliphate, or brackets to codpieces? The Etymologicon springs from Mark Forsyth's Inky Fool blog on the strange connections between words.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant and hilarious book

  • By Will on 06-01-13

A delightful linguistic meander

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

Reviewed: 28-08-14

A delightful meander through the backwaters, rivers and rapids of the English language. This book will enthral and fascinate wordsmiths and students of English language. Beautifully narrated. A real joy to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Elements of Eloquence

  • By: Mark Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Simon Shepherd
  • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295

In an age unhealthily obsessed with substance, this is a book on the importance of pure style, from the best-selling author of The Etymologicon and The Horologicon. From classic poetry to pop lyrics and from the King James Bible to advertising slogans, Mark Forsyth explains the secrets that make a phrase - such as 'Tiger, Tiger, burning bright', or 'To be or not to be' - memorable. In his inimitably entertaining and witty style he takes apart famous lines and shows how you, too, can write like Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listen to to be a better listener.

  • By Swing Swang on 28-08-14

Listen to to be a better listener.

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

Reviewed: 28-08-14

Listen to this to be a better listener, listen to this to be a better writer, and listen to this to be a better critic.

Mark clearly defines some of the 'flowers of rhetoric', then illustrates them with well-known examples from literature.

Brilliantly narrated. The content is so good, and so very accessible, that you'll also want to buy the printed copy for reference.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful