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Mark Stedmond

  • 20
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 21
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  • Pierrepoint: A Family of Executioners

  • The Story of Britain's Infamous Hangmen
  • By: Steve Fielding
  • Narrated by: Norman Gilligan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

Between them, the three men in the fearsome Pierrepoint dynasty executed over 800 people during a career spanning more than half a century. Henry, his brother Thomas, and his son Albert, dispatched some of the most infamous criminals of the 20th century, and in the process earned a public notoriety that followed them throughout their eventful lives.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Boring and repetitive

  • By PAUL on 08-09-16

Fascinating yet chilling

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

Reviewed: 22-03-19

Although the bulk of this biography could be seen as a simple list of names and dates, it's the back stories and comments that engage the listener.
It shows a man who viewed the application of capital punishment as simply a job of work that had to be done.
Well worth the time to listen and it shines a light onto the secretive world of capital punishment.

  • Pushing Ice

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 312
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307

2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it. The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, annoying main characters..

  • By Martin on 26-04-12

A great story.

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

Reviewed: 19-03-19

A great story with a good performance.
I found some of the leaps in the timeline a bit jarring but they're necessary due to the vast time scales involved in the narrative.
Well worth the time to listen.

  • Good Omens

  • By: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 441
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403

The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top class storytelling!

  • By Rebecca on 02-02-19

A hell of a story

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

Reviewed: 25-01-19

Pratchett and Gaimin tell a great story about the end of the world, featuring characters who don't quite fit into the moulds that you would expect them to be in.
A great book in its own right and it's always good to listen to the original before the tv adaptation comes out so you can enjoy some of the subtle humour that Gaimin puts into all his work.
We'll worth the time to listen.

  • Raising Steam

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,360
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,158

To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork - a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it’s soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Essential for fans, but not the best of Discworld

  • By Andrew John Rae on 19-11-13

Another great discworld novel.

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

Reviewed: 18-01-19

As usual terry prattchett gives us a novel that reflects our world in the madness that is the discworld.
Well worth the time to listen.

  • Artemis

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: Rosario Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,517
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,089
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,076

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jazzed Up Sci-Fi Crime Caper

  • By Simon on 15-11-17

Artimus is great

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

Reviewed: 07-01-19

Andy weir created a living breathing city on the moon which will suck you in and thrill you.

  • Snuff

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,520
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,782
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,777

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse. And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder. He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, and occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. They say that in the end all sins are forgiven.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More true to life than fantasy should be!

  • By Mr. C. Horsfall on 31-03-12

Great story and performance.

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

Reviewed: 24-12-18

Having been away from prattchett for a while it was great to hear a lively performance of this novel.
Well worth the time to listen.

  • Stormrider

  • Rigante, Book 4
  • By: David Gemmell
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 103

Centuries after Connavar's triumphant battles against the invading army of Stone gained the Rigante their freedom, the clan finds itself oppressed once again. Magic that once flourished has been all but snuffed out. The Varlish king and his barons have stolen Rigante lands and robbed the people of their culture and liberty. From the Rigante's former seat of power the black-hearted Moidart rules; only in the north are the clansmen free.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The end of another great saga.

  • By Mark Stedmond on 18-12-18

The end of another great saga.

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

Reviewed: 18-12-18

Loved this novel, once again Gemmell brought a world to life and created characters with real soul.
Well worth the listen.

  • Midnight Falcon

  • Rigante, Book 2
  • By: David Gemmell
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 17 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 142

They called him Bane the Bastard - though none said it to his face. Born of treachery, his name a curse, he grew up among the warriors of the Rigante. They valued his skills in war, but they feared the violence in his heart. And when, as a Wolfshead and Outlaw, he left Rigante lands, they breathed sighs of relief. But Bane would return, the destiny of the Rigante in his hands, the fate of the world resting on his skills with a blade.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heroic Fantasy at its best

  • By Northern Boy on 07-04-18

Well worth the time to listen.

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

Reviewed: 17-11-18

Yet another great tale from Gemmell. Performance was good overall but some of the accents felt a bit forced.

  • Sword in the Storm

  • Rigante, Book 1
  • By: David Gemmell
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 16 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189

Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land and its gods. But beyond the border, across the water, an evil force is gathering strength, an unstoppable force that will change the world beyond all recognition. Haunted by malevolent spirits and hunted by evil men, Connavar sets out on a spectacular mission to save his people.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great story. Narration is somewhat discordant.

  • By Ben on 26-11-17

A good read.

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

The first in the ringante stories, this is a great introduction to conavar and his story.
Narration can be a bit sketchy at times with some forced accents but it does not distract from the tale.

  • Sacred Cows

  • A Lighthearted Look at Belief and Tradition Around the World
  • By: Seth Andrews
  • Narrated by: Seth Andrews
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 20

Well into the 21st century, our species continues to participate in beliefs and customs that seem more suited to the Bronze Age than the Information Age, some of which involve poisonous snakes, holy smoke, urine bubbles, crystals, tarot cards, aliens, costumed virgins, and, of course, an offering plate. Join Seth Andrews for a random romp across the planet and a humorous look at some of humanity's Sacred Cows.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and informative

  • By Voltaire on 29-08-15

Hits the nail on the head.

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

Reviewed: 16-10-18

Seth Andrews look at the bewildering array of traditions around the world will amaze you and should force you to examine some of your own beliefs and customs with a more critical eye.
Well worth the time to listen.