LISTENER

Mr R B

England
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 25
  • ratings
  • Do No Harm

  • Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
  • By: Henry Marsh
  • Narrated by: Jim Barclay
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 814
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 748
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 744

What is it really like to be a brain surgeon, to hold someone's life in your hands, to drill down into the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason? In this brutally honest account, one of the country's top neurosurgeons reveals what it is to play god in life-and-death situations. Henry Marsh gives us a rare insight into the intense drama of the operating theatre and the exquisite complexity of the human brain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • neurosurgeons, problems and protocol

  • By vectisdodge on 23-04-15

Worth listening too

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

Reviewed: 14-01-18

Didn't search for this as the title popped up as a suggestion and I bought it on a whim to use up a credit.

Really pleased that I did. A well read and interesting insight into someone from a completely different walk of life to me, doing a job which comes across as both rewarding and frustrating (and maybe depressing too) in equal measures.

Worth listening too. Normally there's something to gripe about with a book, but all I would say with this is that if you have sensitive ears, to be aware that Henry knows how to swear quite well.

  • What It Is Like To Go To War

  • By: Karl Marlantes
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

Karl Marlantes left University at 22 to serve in the Vietnam War. Matterhorn was the bestselling novel based on his experiences. Now Marlantes takes us back to Vietnam, but this time there is no fictional veil. It is part exorcism of Karl's own experiences of combat, part confession, part philosophical primer for the young man about to enter combat. It is also a devastatingly frank answer to the questions ‘What is it like to face death?' and 'What is it like to kill someone?'

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling philosophy of war

  • By Rudy on 23-12-12

This is a very good book

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

Reviewed: 17-11-15

I didn't know what to think when I ordered this, as I just found it by browsing and of course we only ever get to hear a little snippet when we sample online - but it's excellent.

Jeff is a very good narrator (which often makes a good book better). For his part, Karl has led what by any measure would be an interesting life and he writes about it very well. His thoughts on the philosophy of war (and life) are very enlightening. I shall listen to this one again.

I suspect that bright as Karl is (and he certainly is smart) getting that scholarship probably wasn't hindered by his dad being school principle. I would also guess that his recollections of the mass for the dead might just possibly have been influenced by the special herbal medication that he used to self prescribe around that time. But these two little points are just me reading between the lines and in no way detract from the book.

I'm pleased that Karl wrote this book and I'm glad that I listened to it.

  • The Shepherd's Life

  • By: James Rebanks
  • Narrated by: Bryan Dick
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 490
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442

These modern dispatches from an ancient landscape tell the story of a deep-rooted attachment to place, describing a way of life that is little noticed and yet has profoundly shaped this landscape. In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes us through a shepherd's year, offering a unique account of rural life and a fundamental connection with the land that most of us have lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Ms J Randalls on 01-12-15

One of my best Audible Purchases

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

Reviewed: 02-11-15

I liked this book very much and would recommend it to anyone.

Bryan Dick's performance reading the book perfectly matches the subject.

It's one of the few books here that you can honestly say is informative and entertaining.

The 7.5 hours went past pretty quickly. I don't know if I'll listen again, but I enjoyed the performance very much.

If I have one gripe (and it is a tiny quibble) I wish that James hadn't told us that his job when he's not farming is as a UNESCO special advisor for world heritage sites. That took something away for me, but I understand that he had to make his money however he could to subsidise the farming - and hopefully the book royalties will now let him drop that and concentrate on the life he obviously loves.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book cover art
  • Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book

  • The Mowgli Stories
  • By: Rudyard Kipling
  • Narrated by: Bill Bailey, Richard E. Grant, Colin Salmon, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,899
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,729
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,732

The magical story-telling and unforgettable characters in Bev Doyle and Richard Kurti's audio adaptation of this children's classic have been brought to life by many well known voices from film, TV, radio and comedy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible!

  • By The Evil Robot on 02-10-15

Classic

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

Reviewed: 02-11-15

Would you listen to Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book again? Why?

Yes. Because it's timeless.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Maybe Bagheera, but no real favourite. I liked them all - even the python - and it's beautifully read.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Too difficult to choose

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, it reminded me of my childhood - it's a great book from more innocent times.

  • Skyfaring

  • By: Mark Vanhoenacker
  • Narrated by: John Moraitis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

In Skyfaring, airline pilot and flight romantic Mark Vanhoenacker shares his irrepressible love of flying on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here, anew, is the simple wonder and transcendent joy of motion and the remarkable new perspectives that height and distance bestow on everything we love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent read

  • By M on 26-05-15

Good in parts

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

Reviewed: 21-07-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not really. There are some really good parts and if it was abridged by a good editor then I think it could be a much better book for the casual listener. As it stands though, it is very wordy in parts and in the end just goes on a bit too long. After 12 hours I was ready for it to finish (and soon!).

Would you be willing to try another book from Mark Vanhoenacker? Why or why not?

Possibly, but I only have so many credits which means probably not. Why not? Well, much like some other reviewers I think Mark just tries a bit too hard in places. I've nothing against the guy (and I liked some of it very much), but I didn't need the literary references to appreciate that he is a very educated guy. Read one of Feynman's memoires if you want an example of an overpowering intellect who never strays from plain English.

Have you listened to any of John Moraitis’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't, but I have no complaints about the narration.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No - and to be fair I think this would be a difficult subject to do justice to in a film.

Any additional comments?

Mark is obviously a smart guy - He mentions his education, followed by the career in management consulting and I think that's maybe the underlying issue here. I can imagine what he would have been like giving a presentation - at the end of it you would have been made fully aware of just how smart he was. Perhaps that seems a little unfair, after all I did like a lot of the book. I do think that as a 5 hour book minus the flowery bits it could be a really good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Pies and Prejudice

  • By: Stuart Maconie
  • Narrated by: Stuart Maconie
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

A Northerner in exile, Stuart Maconie goes on a journey in search of the North, attempting to discover where the clichés end and the truth begins. He travels from Wigan Pier to Blackpool Tower and Newcastle's Bigg Market to the Lake District to find his own Northern Soul, encountering along the way an exotic cast of chippy Scousers, pie-eating woollybacks, topless Geordies, mad-for-it Mancs, Yorkshire nationalists and brothers in southern exile.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best ever

  • By Adrian on 31-01-10

The nostalgic fantasy of one man and his memoirs

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

Reviewed: 14-02-15

What did you like best about Pies and Prejudice? What did you like least?

I don’t normally write reviews on the books that I listen to here, as I feel that you have to know a subject really well to be a fair critic.

But this is a book about the north, particularly the north west, and the part of the region the author spends most time discussing is the place that I was born and have spent the last 47 years.

I just hope that listeners looking north (or south) realise that they're getting more Disney than Discovery Channel.

Has Pies and Prejudice put you off other books in this genre?

I should really have guessed from the promo that this book wasn’t actually aimed at me. By that I mean that a one time sociology lecturer turned BBC music scene reporter’s view of the noble working class in the north is naturally going to be different from somebody who has actually lived that life here – i.e. me.

Don’t get me wrong, it's not all bad. There were some well researched things in the book that I was interested to learn about this area and it could easily have been a very good listen.

What does Stuart Maconie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

What really struck me though (besides the fact that the author obviously spent a lot of time in a thesaurus) is that the old cliché about BBC and Guardian hacks (the author has been both) is absolutely true – they really do live in a different world.

Although being very clear about his student union politics from the outset (for anyone unable to guess that left is right and right is wrong) the author manages to keep that to a minimum for the first half of the book – which is tolerable for someone like myself of the school that politicians (regardless of brand) are mostly in it for their own ends.

By the end of the book though, it descends into some kind of activist poet parody where the noble workers of the north are fighting rabid Tories bent on their destruction whilst Guardian readers are sending food parcels north to striking miners (and no I haven’t made that bit up – it’s in the book).

Do you think Pies and Prejudice needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

If this book were abridged to keep the interesting local anecdotes, whilst scrapping the long-winded parts about social injustice, then it would have the makings of a much better book. Trim further to get rid of the name dropping and the how clever am I bits and it really might be getting close to what it aspires to be – a Bill Bryson book.

Unfortunately it isn’t anything close as is.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful