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Paul

Reading, United Kingdom
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 70
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • The Power of Habit

  • Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change
  • By: Charles Duhigg
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,798
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,113
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,089

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distil vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Appendix missing

  • By Mark Pack on 22-07-12

I stopped biting my nails

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-12

It's now about a month since finishing the book, and I still haven't bitten my nails! That's pretty awesome if you ask me.



Don't be put off by the whining of Mike Chamberlain's narration. Yes, it's very American and nasal, but you soon get used to it. It's worth it for the content, I promise. It would seem out-of-context to deliver self-improvement material in any other accent.



I love the notions and ideas within this book. Personally, a single driver to explain all human behaviour is an appealing concept to me. Of course it can't account for the bursts of creative flair, or capricious emotion that humans sometime display. But by the end of the book, it's hammered home that EVERYTHING is down to habit. And I believe a very large part of human nature is.



The sections about keystone habits are useful and intriguing. There are many case studies, how a football team was turned from underdog to Super Bowl winner, how Starbucks train their staff, why the Kings Cross tube station fire happened, and how you can change your life and more.



All of these rather disparate and sensational events were ALL DOWN to habits! A beautiful, singular theory, but left me wanting to corroborate these events. The book is called The Power Of Habit, so its no wonder all the chapters build on each other to prove the gravity of such power.



I'm not saying that's a bad thing. A book should encourage you to go out and study the the subject further, or research the authour and his findings.



If you love self-help books, or want to change some habits of your own, then this book is a must.



I look at Starbucks in a completely different light now. (Will just go and check if Charles Duhigg is on the board ;-) )



47 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • By: Oscar Wilde
  • Narrated by: Greg Wise
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94

Oscar Wilde's enduring masterpiece, this fable of innocence and corruption, purity and decay has become a true classic. The beautiful, narcissistic Dorian Gray, torn between the influence of cynical hedonist Lord Henry Wotton and tortured artist Basil Hallward, sells the beauty of his soul in exchange for external perfection. Ultimately, he cannot escape the disfigurement of sin. Wilde's remarkable wit and memorable, epigrammatic lines dazzle in audiobook form!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dorian Gray's Story Beautifully Narrated

  • By Dinah on 27-03-14

"The only thing worse than being talked about,

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-12

is not being talked about."



Probably my favourite quote from the book.



I watched the 2009 movie before listening to the book. I thought this might be a mistake, as Colin Firth would forever became Lord Henry. However, the book is so powerful, and the characters come to life more, and soon my own vision had elbowed Mr Firth from my imagination.



The philosophy is deep, hard to really concentrate on in the car but good for digesting at home if you have a spare evening. The plot is thrilling and it doesn't matter if you know the ending, it's still a gripping tale. There is so much suspense, and just enough unsaid that it leaves your mind running free. What did Dorian write on the piece of paper that he passed to Alan Campbell? Well shall never know, it's best not to know!



I keep coming back to turn of the century fiction for some reason. It's heavy, but does not disappoint. If you like Sherlock Holmes, or Great Expectations, you'll love this.



Now onto something lighter!



Greg Wise is another example of an excellent narrator, not annoying, plenty of voices and consistent throughout. Great job!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Something Wicked This Way Comes & A Sound of Thunder
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Ray Bradbury
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Stefan Rudnicki
    
    


    
    Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
    53 ratings
    Overall 3.8
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes & A Sound of Thunder

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 26

In Bradbury's unforgettable modern Gothic masterpiece, Something Wicked This Way Comes, something evil arrives in a small Midwestern town on the crest of the wind one autumn night. A "dark carnival" with frightening attractions and supernatural characters sets up stakes. It is up to two 13-year-old boys, James Nightshade and William Holloway, to figure out a way to save the souls of the town.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Cornish Jan on 09-12-09

Good vs evil, love vs fear. Haunting and random

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-12

SWTWC take up most of the file, I thought A Sound of Thunder was missing. It's just 36 minutes long right at the end.

SWTWC was mostly haunting, but also quite baffling. I would have liked to dwell on the inner meaning of some of the more random passages. But's that not really possible, as an audio book keeps on going whether you are on board or not. So I found myself a bit bored and frustrated at times. The book does pick up at the end, which I personally find more sutiable for an audibook in the car.

Having said that, the book is excellent. What could be more disturbing than a creepy carnival? There is a theme of dualities here. Good vs evil, love vs fear, youth vs age, the fortune cookie with a cockroach in it! (OK thats Stephen King, but it reminds me of It) I can't say too much else without giving spoilers. All science fiction fans will love it and it's not set in space!

Where SWTWC meanders, A Sound of Thunder goes straight for the heart. Of course, it's only got 36 minutes to do it in so not a fair comparison. Guess having the two books together highlighted the contrast. ASOT strikes a perfect balance between narrative and open ended ideas for your brain to feed on. A fantastic listen that delivers so much in such a short space of time.

If you love sci-fi of the more romantic/nostalgic kind and time-travel, you will not be disappointed

  • 11.22.63

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Craig Wasson
  • Length: 30 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,106
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,097

What if you could go back in time and change the course of history?11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless.... King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill who becomes the love of Jake's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Return to top form

  • By John on 14-12-11

Enthralling, provoking and an epic story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-12

Like Bryson, King loves his research. I wasn't alive in the 50s/60s but I am convinced I have been living there for the past few weeks.
The story picks up you up from the first few pages and you are hooked until the very end. Even through the more gruesome scenes (there are only two to get through) you still hold on.
Excellent characters, thought provoking concepts with love and adventure all thrown into one. King is a master storyteller, especially considering the subject matter he went for here. He tackles such a contentious subject coupled with the butterfly effect and predictions of the future. The result is nothing short of genius.
It has made me want to read more Stephen King, plus even some American history. There are also references to other authours' work which I have already looked up. I love it when you can trace a chain of books, one has started here.

Craig Wasson can shift from one character to another with effortless ease. He is a master of accents, from lithe Texan women, to dodgy Feds, to full-on Yankees. An absolute pleasure to listen to, perfect for this book.

  • Steve Jobs

  • The Exclusive Biography
  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Dylan Baker, Walter Isaacson (introduction)
  • Length: 25 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,842
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,548
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,533

In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Walter Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, this is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Adam on 01-11-11

An amazing life, a huge book, made accessible

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-12

This would have taken me months to read. I was glad an audio version came out so soon after the book was released.

It's all true, Jobs really did change the world. If you are interested in people, business or technology, there is something for you here.

There is more business than engineering in here, but it is still fascinating. If you are in the least bit interested, buy it now. You want be disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Great Expectations

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 17 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 985
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 782
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 776

Pip is an orphan, brought up in a village on the Essex marshes by his disagreeable sister and her husband Joe Gargery, the kind-hearted village blacksmith. Life is harsh and Pip has few prospects until he receives from an anonymous benefactor the chance of escaping the forge for a more promising life in London. But his expectations are fraught with difficulties as he is haunted by figures from his past such as the escaped convict Magwitch, the eccentric Miss Havisham, and her proud, beautiful ward, Estella.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • surpassed my expectations

  • By Anonymous User on 21-12-09

Heavy going, but worth the effort

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-12

What can I say that hasn't already been said in any English Lit. GCSE essay? I got a C so this review probably won't be great!
Every now and then I pick up a classic just to see what all the fuss is about. If you want a snapshot of Victorian life, then this is your book. I think it's about class struggle, tragic love, loss, friendship and the grass being greener. All good themes really.
The beginning was gripping, the middle somewhat confusing and the ending left everything wrapped up.
Definitely better than Jane Eyre!
Martin Jarvis does an excellent narration job, bringing what would have a been a heavy and dull read alive in spoken word. This is a great example of how audio books can make some large tomes more accessible.
Here endeth my review.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,370
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,365

Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More Fact Pact Bryson

  • By Stewart Webb on 06-06-10

Mr Bryson does it again

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-12

Wow, Bill Bryson knows how to research! This book is so rich in detail, and it's all killer, no filler. This really proves the notion that there is a reason for everything.
He takes you through each room in the house, and the whole narrative is very well tied together. Fans of A Short History.. will love it, as will any knowledge geek. Great fuel for geeky anecdotes at parties!
I could do a second read easily, as I probably missed a few bits while concentrating on driving.

  • One Day

  • By: David Nicholls
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 16 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,455
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 586
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 591

He is Dexter Mayhew, tall, dark, and (she can't deny it) handsome. She is Emma Morley, bottled red hair, wilfully badly dressed, all principles and no action. Could this be the dawn of the rest of their lives? Or are Dex and Em living proof that - despite an unlikely beginning - men and women really can be just good friends?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You'll laugh, you'll cry.

  • By Charles on 09-12-09

Looks like chick lit, but bloke-friendly. Try it!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-12

I would never normally read this kind of book. I think that being forced to read Judy Blume or get detention at school really put me off the whole teen/chick genre.
But I saw it one day (haha) on someone's desk at work, and they seemed blown away by it. So I thought I'd go out on a limb and go for it.
It's brilliant is all I can say. And yes I did cry, I am not ashamed to admit. The characters are so believable and the authour's observation of life is intelligent, charming and beautifully written.
It will pull you in and not let go until twenty years later! Dex and Em, Em and Dex...

  • Solaris

  • The Definitive Edition
  • By: Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston - translator
  • Narrated by: Alessandro Juliani
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 817
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 671
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 672

At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation, unabridged for the first time, and the first ever direct translation from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani ( Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Blown away!

  • By Peter on 16-07-11

Gripping plot, excellent narration, mind blowing

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-09-11

I was amazed how hooked I was by the plot considering this is set in a small space with a few characters. Several times I had to stop and reflect on the chapter I just listened to in order to fully appreciate what was written there. If you want to have your notions of love, consciousness and reality picked up and shook, then get this book. All with a fantastic atmosphere and suspense that keeps you thinking and guessing in the background. Plus a good dollop of science.

Alessandro Juliani does a sterling job of narration, pace and character interpretation. Well recommended to all sci-fi fans and anyone that loves a good think!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Fort

  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Robin Bowerman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 76

A stand-alone battle book, set this time in the eighteenth-century in the rebellious colony of Massachusetts.This new novel takes place during the very early days of the rebellion, or the War of Independence, before Washington and before the organization of a colonial army. A small British fleet with a few soldiers on board had sailed in to be met, to their surprise, with an overwhelming strength of local militia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why do you read Bernard Cornwell?

  • By R. Fowler on 02-06-11

Bernard brings blasts, boats and bedlam

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-07-11

Bernard Cornwell fans will not be disappointed. Yet again he makes history interesting and his description of landscapes and battles will make your mind's eye gape as much as look away in terror.

It's not ideal for the car, needs quite a lot of concentration. I like to back track to work out the complex mesh of characters. But if you are not a slave for detail like me, then don't worry about it.

All in all a great listen