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Will

Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 45
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • The Iliad

  • The Fitzgerald Translation
  • By: Homer, Robert Fitzgerald - translator
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

Anger be now your song, immortal one, Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous, that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls into the undergloom, leaving so many dead men-carrion for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done. (Lines 1-6)

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Will on 08-01-17

Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 08-01-17

A beautiful reading of a spellbinding translation. I was hooked. Definitely recommended for anyone who is wondering what all the fuss is about.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Perdido Street Station: New Crobuzon, Book 1

  • By: China Mieville
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Oliver
  • Length: 31 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 320

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Slough of pugnaciously ineluctable ululation

  • By Martin on 21-05-13

Flawed. Overlong. Masterful.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-01-12

This book badly needed a more authoritative editor. The description passages are far too long. The author uses words like "bathetic", "vertiginous" and "solipsistic" where they're not needed. Space spent on excessive detail could have been spent extending the ending, which is perfunctory and unsatisfying and does almost none of the main characters justice.

Why, then, have I given this verbose, poorly-ended book five stars? Because it's a thing of beauty. A truly unique fantasy work, breathtakingly creative and lovingly realised. It contains one of the most distinctive settings you're likely to find, one of the most genuinely affecting relationships I've experienced in speculative fiction, and some of the coolest characters and monsters anywhere. The world of Bas-Lag is brilliantly complete and endlessly surprising; dark and unpleasant yet fascinating. It's somewhere in between science fiction and fantasy (I would describe it as retrofuturist fantasy), and it's changed how I think about both. The plot, up until the last couple of hours, is coherent and engaging, and twists and turns with an unpredictability rarely seen. It's definitely political, but not excessively so. It's marvellous.

Sometimes a bad ending retroactively ruins the whole book, or film, or game, or at least permanently tarnishes your appreciation of it. Not here. When I finished this audiobook yesterday, I was annoyed at the ending, but I'm definitely glad I went along for the ride. Jonathan Oliver's narration fits the tone of the writing brilliantly. In places, it has an excess of drama to match the excess of verbosity, but when the writing is more measured the narration really shines, and his voices are great. I especially like the way he voices the non-human characters, particularly Lin.

I've never written a review for audible this long before, but I wanted to make my complex feelings known. If you like speculative fiction, Perdido Street Station offers something unique. Try it out!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Company of Liars

  • By: Karen Maitland
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 18 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,978
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,292
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,288

On this day of ill omen, plague makes its entrance. Within weeks, swathes of England will be darkened by death's shadow. While panic and suspicion flood the land, a small band of travelers comes together to outrun the breakdown in law and order. But when one of their number is found hanging from a tree, the chilling discovery confirms that something more sinister than plague is in their midst.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Medieval Road Movie - Well worth a listen

  • By I. Jamie on 02-02-09

Good, but...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-12-11

I enjoyed this book a lot - it was well-written and well-read, with good characterisation, an interesting plot and a real sense of the horrific and terrifying impact of "the pestilence" upon Medieval Europe. The 4-star rating is due to the ending , which I thought was rather sudden and a bit weak, without enough real resolution, and with a plot twist which I thought was unnecessary and which damaged my immersion in the setting. So, a good listen, which offers (hopefully) genuine insights into Medieval Europe woven into a compelling and (largely) believable story - I only wish it had ended that way too.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Night Watch

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,355
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,940
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,940

Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a hard-boiled egg! Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past, without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck. Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive; he has a job to do.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Serious fun.

  • By Will on 15-11-11

Serious fun.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-11-11

I don't remember being blown away by this book when I first read it, but that was close to a decade ago and I wasn't really old enough to appreciate this story, which is deep and complex even by Pratchett's standards. Listening to it now I'm very glad I chose it. Pratchett's understanding of human nature and capability for more serious storytelling shines through here. Both the hero (Vimes) and the main villain (Carcer) make great character studies and are treated like real people influencing events rather than plot-driving juggernauts. The time travel element is handled sensitively and believably and gives an insight into old Ankh-Morpork which fits in perfectly with the previously sketchy details of how bad things were in the old days. This book is perhaps less funny than some other Discworld novels (though still amusing), but it more than makes up for it in the depth of the setting and the quality of the storytelling. Highly recommended.

Stephen Briggs's reading is as always excellent, though here more than ever his habit of giving everyone different accents is a bit jarring. Still, the narration is good and the voices and characterisation is engaging.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Monstrous Regiment

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,466
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,107
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,112

It begun as a sudden strange fancy...Polly Perks had to become a boy in a hurry. Cutting off her hair and wearing trousers was easy. Learning to fart and belch in public and walk like an ape took more time. And now she's enlisted in the army, and searching for her lost brother. But there's a war on. There's always a war on. And Polly and her fellow recruits are suddenly in the thick of it, without any training, and the enemy is hunting them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The First blast of the trumpet...

  • By Rogayah on 25-05-08

A great book, well-read.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-11-11

Okay, so the main character of this book is a bit of a Mary Sue. However, that doesn't detract overmuch from an arresting and amusing story set in a part of the Discworld that has not previously been covered. Stephen Briggs brings the varied cast of characters to life, especially Sergeant Jackrum. Highly recommended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Blade Itself

  • The First Law: Book One
  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 22 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,765
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,271

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Possibly My Favourite Listen So Far...

  • By Andrew on 18-10-13

Wow.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-11-11

I bought this one in a sale on the site since I'd run out of audiobooks and it was a while until my next credit came through. I was not in the least disappointed and will definitely be getting the other books in the trilogy. Abercrombie's interesting and well-characterised world is vividly brought to life by Steven Pacey's fantastic narration. With one exception (Captain Luthar, who I disliked strongly throughout the entire book) the protagonists are all interesting, well-formed and sympathetic, and it's a skilled author indeed who can make a torturer into a complex and likeable character. If you like fantasy, check this out. You're unlikely to regret it.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Thud!

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,022
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,605
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,606

Koom Valley? That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. It was far away. It was a long time ago. But if he doesn't solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hrrruuurrh

  • By Vinx on 30-07-08

One of my favourite discworld books.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-11

"Thud!" is the 30th adult Discworld novel, but if asked to rank them I would put it near the top. Several of the books after this have been a bit lacklustre for me, but this one is amazing.

This is Vimes and Co. at their best, and is a brilliant and funny study of racial prejudice and mob mentality told with Pratchett's characteristic optimism and faith in humanity. The Discworld seems a richer and more believable world than ever, and I really hope Pratchett has time to elaborate on the hints of troll culture he makes here. Several of the new characters are also brilliant.

I really like Stephen Briggs's readings, much more than Nigel Planar. It's true he seems to feel the need to give every single character a different accent, which is a bit odd, but does certainly help to distinguish them. His voices are great, and his Vimes is spot-on.

The only warning I would give is that by this point in the series a certain amount of foreknowledge of the Discworld mythos is helpful. It's not as bad as in some subsequent books, but I would say there are other books that it would be better to start with (Feet of Clay, maybe - that's another of my favourite Vimes books). Still, if you've read a Discworld book before, you can't do much better than this for your next one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful