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M3

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 88
  • ratings
  • Elis and John Present the Holy Vible

  • By: Elis James, John Robins
  • Narrated by: Elis James, John Robins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 161

Comedians Elis James and John Robins have captured the hearts and minds of a generation, and it's time those hearts and minds had a book. Elis and John met in 2005 performing stand-up comedy in a pub called The Yellow Kangaroo in Cardiff. They eyed each other suspiciously before Robins offered the limpest handshake in the history of the world. 'It was a power play,' says Robins. 'I may even have raised it for him to kiss.'

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Anecdotes and Punchlines. It got me on e-mail.

  • By Alex Wiggin on 18-10-18

Not just for fans of the radio show

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

Reviewed: 19-10-18

This is a spin-off from Elis and John's incredibly successful radio show - but that doesn't mean it's only for people already familiar with their work.

In many ways, this book is hard to define. For me, what comes through is a story of friendship. It's about two people who genuinely enjoy one another's company and their sometimes conflicting views on the world.

I realise that sounds heavy but that's why it's so hard to define. There are constant laughs, both for listeners aware of the inside jokes and anybody else who might not be.

What is clear is that it's a must-buy and a must- listen. It's a unique book and one that has plenty of re-readability. Not only that, if you order from Audible, you will get an email to confirm that. After all, email is an increasingly popular medium and you simply have to be on it these days.

  • The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,129
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,693
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,678

Hear the story of what happened when the tech industry gave the world what it wanted: free porn. Lives were mangled. Fortunes were made. All for your pleasure. Follow writer and narrator Jon Ronson as he uncovers our web of desire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow, just wow.

  • By James F Dawes on 25-08-17

Top-drawer work from a master of his craft

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

Reviewed: 02-08-17

I've been a fan of Jon Ronson's for a fair while. I've read his books, listened to his audios and so on. To a degree, I suppose The Butterfly Effect is preaching to the converted in that I very much enjoyed it.

It really is a cracking piece of work, however. It's a story about porn that isn't really about that at all. As with all his work, Jon Ronson has an amazing way of taking a story and making it about people. It takes surprising skill and a lack of ego to do this. He tells a story without making it about himself.

The Butterfly Effect heads off in surprising directions that is constantly surprising and interesting. It's funny and engaging, never boring. I can't recommend it highly enough.

  • Yes!

  • My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania
  • By: Daniel Bryan, Craig Tello
  • Narrated by: Daniel Bryan, Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 167

One of WWE's most unlikely champions of all time and also one of its most popular, Bryan has proved to the world and to all of WWE that looks can be deceiving. Just ask anyone who's ever underestimated him…right before he went out and whipped the WWE universe into a frenzy. This is Bryan's behind-the-scenes story told for the first time ever by the "YES!" Man himself – from his beginnings as a child wanting to wrestle to his ten years circling the globe on the independent circuit and his remarkable climb to the upper ranks of WWE.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An audio of (literally) two parts

  • By M3 on 11-02-16

An audio of (literally) two parts

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

Reviewed: 11-02-16

This is hard to review because of the structure of the audio. Around 80% of it is read by Daniel Bryan himself. It's first person and it's great. It's funny, heartwarming, informative...everything you would want it to be.

Essentially it is the story of a man who overcame a series of potentially insurmountable obstacles in front of him to reach to the top of his profession.

The problem is the other 20%. It's the story of Daniel's Wrestlemania week, written third person as a news article by Craig Tello. Tello is (or was) a WWE.com writer.

Daniel's own parts are understated, a measure of the man himself. This is rambunctious and riddled with over-the-top superlatives that jar with the other style.

For instance, nobody over 'says' anything. Any line of dialogue is followed by, 'he asserts'; 'he announces', 'he details' - or whatever. Look, we know you own a thesaurus. So what? Less is more and all that.

It also contradicts some of the parts Daniel himself describes. Daniel says his first PPV was the 1996 Royal Rumble, which he bought with his friends. Chapters later and Tello says Daniel's first PPV was Wrestlemania 12.

Who's supposed to be editing this?

Lastly, the narrator of the Tello parts is a complete clown. Anyone, ie a professional, who does even the most basic amount of research could tell you that 'John Cena' is pronounced 'John See-na'. But, no. In the first-person parts, Daniel with pronounce it correctly, moments later, Mr Unprofessional will say: 'John Say-na'.

This split format creates such a jarring experience that it's like two different books. Every time Peter Berkrot is busy mispronouncing something (which is a lot), you're yearning to get back to Daniel telling his own story.

I'd still recommend - but with the caveats above. The most frustrating thing is that this is all so avoidable. Why didn't a copy editor cross-reference the two parts so that one doesn't contradict the other? Why isn't there an audio editor to check how names and wrestling terms are pronounced? Absolute basics.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Tides

  • By: Chris Ewan
  • Narrated by: Alex Tregear
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14

From the number-one best-selling author of Safe House comes a story about friendship, family, secrets, lies, and the things we do for love. When Claire Cooper was eight, her mother disappeared during Hop-tu-naa, the Manx Halloween. When Claire was 18, she and her friends took part in a Hop-tu-naa dare that went terribly wrong.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Nicola on 12-12-15

Dragged down by its format

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

Reviewed: 03-12-15

I suppose the most important thing is that I did finish this. There are surprises through to the end - although a couple are contrived to say the least. The one in the final sentence or two especially so.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
What really makes this a complete mess is the setup. The story is told over a series of October 31s, which could be fine - except it simply doesn't work. For instance, one character waits an entire year to pass on information to another for no reason other than that's the format of the book.

As for the series of killings, well, there's only one person who it could be. Concealing the person's identity throughout the story does little other than to bump up the word count. As a reader, if you stop halfway through and guess who the killer is, you'll get it right.

There are a few other names offered up but none would seem legitimate to a rational human being and because of chapter one (which is a sort of flash-forward), we can already rule them all out.

Not only that, there are chapters where Claire is in danger. Chapters end on cliffhangers where we're supposed to worry for her. Except, because of that flash-forward, we already know she's safe!

Near the end, a character tries to escape but, instead of heading anywhere that might be safe, they go for a lighthouse - a place with one door in and out. Why would that happen? No reason other than it seemed a good setup, I suppose.

There's a lot of good stuff here - but the main story really hasn't been thought through. Characters frequently don't act in a way that any actual person would.

The narrator does a good job but she, too, is bogged down by those alternate POVs from the killer. It could have been better with some serious re-thinking.

  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here

  • By: Patrick Ness
  • Narrated by: James Fouhey
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 75

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully asks what if you weren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable and yet the central premise...

  • By M3 on 08-09-15

Enjoyable and yet the central premise...

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

Reviewed: 08-09-15

I really like Patrick Ness's books and have read or listened to them all.

The concept of The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is unique - in all the supernatural teen books with vampires, wizards and craziness going on, what happens to the rest of the kids who go to those schools and live in those towns?

It's a great one-line pitch and the writer just about pulls the story off, although that central idea soon becomes a burden rather than a blessing. The interesting parts of the story frequently seem to happen off-page and, in an effort to keep the story grounded, there are long periods where it feels like very little of consequence is going on.

Of course, that's life. There are long parts of people's every day lives in which nothing happens - but, as a novel, it's not quite enough to consistently pull the reader/listener back to the novel.

I finished it - and enjoyed it - but there were many times where I was fine with putting the audio down and going off to do other things. I never rushed back to it.

Away from the story itself, the narration is excellent. The sign of a good reader for me is that, as a listener, you forget there's somebody's voice telling the story. It simply fits. James Fouhey does an excellent job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Stroke of Luck

  • A short story
  • By: Mark Billingham
  • Narrated by: Mark Billingham
  • Length: 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

So many things that could have been different. An almost infinite number of them: the flight of the ball, the angle of the bat, the movement of his feet as he skipped down the pitch. The weather, the time, the day of the week, the whatever. The smallest variance in any one of these things or in the way that each connected to the other at the crucial moment and nothing would have happened as it did. An inch another way or a second or a step and it would have been a very different story.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent book!

  • By Sarah Hawkins on 18-05-17

Hard to understand why this exists

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

Reviewed: 27-05-15

I'm not entirely sure why this has to be out there as a story at all, let alone an audio.

I do enjoy Mark Billingham's Thorne series, which is why I thought I'd try this. Except... there's not really a story. None of the characters are appealing, either as a protagonist, or antagonist. It just sort of exists. The type of tale with which some pub bore might annoy the regulars.

Billingham's own narration is fair enough, much in line with the reading of his latter Thorne novels - but it's nothing like enough to save what is such a poor story.

I definitely would not waste a credit on this.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 stories cover art
  • Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 stories

  • By: Eoin Colfer, Marcus Sedgwick, Philip Reeve, and others
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Briggs, Frazer Hines
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Anthology is the perfect collection of adventures for Doctor Who fans. This audio edition is the culmination of a year-long series of ebooks to celebrate fifty years of Doctor Who. Eleven Doctors, eleven stories, eleven unique interpretations of the Doctor, his terrifying alien enemies and his time-travelling adventures. The authors involved in this exciting project are Eoin Colfer, Michael Scott, Marcus Sedgwick, Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness, Richelle Mead, Malorie Blackman, Alex Scarrow, Charlie Higson, Derek Landy and Neil Gaiman.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A mixed bag

  • By Angela on 08-04-17

Hit and miss

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

Reviewed: 23-08-14

As you'd probably expect from a collection of stories written by different authors, this is a very hit and miss set.

The stand-out section is Neil Gaiman's eleventh doctor story, which hits the mark perfectly; both in capturing the spirit of Matt Smith and in telling a fun tale.

Patrick Ness's fifth doctor story and Charlie Higson's ninth doctor are both interesting, too - and then it's something of a mixed bag. Eoin Colfer and Michael Scott's first and second doctor stories are OK ... though the first doctor tale doesn't really read as something that would befit William Hartnell. Scott's story is, well, a bit long. That's a strange thing to say about a short story but the premise is better than the execution.

Derek Landy's tenth doctor story is perhaps the biggest disappointment. The characterisation of The Doctor and Martha is spot on and, at the beginning, you're hoping for something special. Then it falls apart under the weight of its own literary references.

Some of the narrator choices are strange, too. Sophie Aldred reads two - but not the seventh doctor story, in which Ace is the companion. The sixth doctor's tale is told first-person by Peri, yet it's read by Sophie Aldred - which sounds odd.

Charlie Higson's narrating of his own story is excellent, as is Peter Kenny's reading in the final story.

In all, despite those reservations, if you're a Who fan, it's probably worth it and certainly offers good value.

  • The Killer Next Door

  • By: Alex Marwood
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 843
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 777

No. 23 has a secret. In this bedsit-riddled south London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, something waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide. Collette and Cher are on the run; Thomas is a reluctant loner; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a 'quiet man' nobody sees try to stay hidden. And watching over them all is Vesta - or so she thinks. In the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the neighbours into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who Do You Trust?!

  • By garry on 07-07-14

A bit boring

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

Reviewed: 17-07-14

I found it hard to escape the feeling that this story is told from so many viewpoints because, if you take a step back and think about the tale, very little happens.

I enjoyed Alex's first book, The Wicked Girls, and it leant itself very well to the audio format. The same wasn't really true of this. There are interesting characters and the odd instance of suspense - but they're few and far between.

By deciding to write solely about the events in one house, the author has written herself into a corner, and there's simply not enough story here for the length. An editor could cut anything from 30% to 50% of this comfortably and barely affect the story.

For instance, what's the point in holding back the identity of the killer when it's later given away in such an obvious matter-of-fact manner that you're left thinking, 'Oh, I assumed it was him anyway.' No suspense, no big reveal, no ta-da, no twist. It's obvious because you're told it's a man and there are so few males in a house of six. The suspense is dead before it's even begun.

The reveal of how Collette is being found is also obvious because it's the only explanation possible. How could she not figure it out for herself when she's supposedly intelligent and world-smart? It's not as if other explanations or red herrings are offered to the reader.

Although the end was half-decent, I found myself barely caring because I'd become bored with the tale so much earlier. Not in the same league as Alex's first book and quite the disappointment.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Wicked Girls

  • By: Alex Marwood
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 481
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 430

One summer morning, three little girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, two will be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside town when her investigation leads her to interview funfair cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day when they were just children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thought-provoking

  • By Amazon Customer on 16-12-13

Pretty good

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

Minor spoilers ahead:

I enjoyed the audio and the performance was excellent. The story itself was good with a single caveat. Although it all played out perfectly believably, I didn't quite buy that Jade and Belle would have been convicted in the way they were. We're told Belle was a cold, calculating child - but there's little evidence for that and the trial itself is never explored. Their alibi seems quite reasonable and yet there's no explanation for why it is not believed.

That aside, the parts in the present work well. The story moves at a decent pace with rounded, believable characters. Definitely worth a listen.

  • Numbers

  • By: Rachel Ward
  • Narrated by: Sarah Coomes
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good read but let down by 'Americanisms'

  • By kp33 on 17-08-13

OK set up but not much story & odd Americanisation

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

Reviewed: 27-06-14

This story starts well and the narration is generally good - but, ultimately, this version is just bizarre.

When has a British kid - or, indeed, person - ever said "five-pound bill"? They might say "fiver" or, at worst, "five-pound note". There are teenagers talking about "chips" (crisps), "sneakers" (trainers), butt (ar*e or bum), flashlights (torches), sidewalks (pavements) - and so on.

Before long, the dialogue becomes so jarring that you're thrown out of the story by how weird it all is.

Then there's the issue that there's not really enough story for an actual novel. The stuff with Britney could be removed entirely with no adverse effect. In those chapters, we learn nothing about Jem, Spider, or her powers. Much of the "middle" is irrelevant, neither driving the narrative, nor having any happen that expands the central characters. It's just padding.

After a good set-up, this quickly fumbles its way into something quite dreary. I would not recommend.