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Portia

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  • reviews
  • 125
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  • 51
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Really needs chapter breaks

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

Reviewed: 21-05-20

Of course it’s great. You know it! It may not become your favourite Terry Pratchett book, but you know your in for fun. And Stephen Briggs is -the- reader for me.
But where have the helpful chapter breaks gone that help listeners find where they are? Please put them back, audible.

High octane guff with a dangerous message

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

Reviewed: 24-04-20

I admit I’m only about a third of the way through, so I’m hoping the key messages change by the end. If the writer is as badly prepared for her long distance wilderness run as she (repeatedly) tells us then surely she will be a lot wiser by the end. Now I don’t mind a bit of feel-good story polish but so far I’ve leant:
1. It’s fine to set out into the wilderness badly prepared.
2. Maybe don’t bother researching the trail you are doing, cos hey, that’s just amusing ditziness and not at all dangerous to you or others
3. Don’t take a GPS, because you not liking the way they ‘look at you funny’ is more important than not getting lost and putting others at risk when they try to find you. Ditto, help your folks back home feel you will be a bit safer if you get lost.
4. It’s fine to start out on something this strenuous and isolated without fully training with all your gear
5. In fact it’s fine to set out when you are injured because - presumably- positive thinking will help you. Putting people at risk to find you because you didn’t listen to your body is, again, fine.

So, the story. A lot of over the top ‘hey awesome’ and very little content or reflection. The descriptions of the landscape sound like they were added by another hand. Maybe they were and the author’s strength is running, not writing. But the disjunct is jarring at times.

I kind of wish I hadn’t paid money to encourage more of this.

1 person found this helpful

A clear introduction to a timeless practice

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

Reviewed: 18-12-18

There’s a lot of books and recordings on offer these days on mindfulness, but not everyone knows it comes out of the Buddhist tradition. I loved this pithy but packed introduction to meditating with the breath and I like the fact this is a book written by someone with a lifetime of practice to back up what they are saying, that I can have confidence in. I already own the book, so it’s a real delight to now have it read by the author himself, and be able to listen and then try out the suggestions.

More speculation than fact

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

Reviewed: 21-09-18

Lots of scene-setting, which may be needed to get across the periods described, but this seems to highlight the paucity of actual historical material. I wanted to like this book, but the speculative nature of how the people must have felt started to wear thin after a while. A good idea, but the material let it down. Nicely presented but failed to engage this listener.

1 person found this helpful

Blood of Dragons cover art

Sorry Ms Flosnik

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

Reviewed: 10-07-15

Love Robin Hobb stories, and whilst the dragon keeper series isn't as strong as her others it's still good stuff.
But sadly Ms Flosnik sounds like a female dalek, at least she does on my iPhone. Such a distracting disappointment. I assume it's the recording settings of the production rather than her - but I won't be downloading other stories with this narrator- a pity as she is narrating other Robin Hobb books.

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 26-04-15

What did you like best about A Game of Thrones (Part One)? What did you like least?

I started reading the series before it exploded onto the TV. Full marks for the story then - it must be good if I want to hear it too! I'm not going spoil your fun by revealing the story - its a great tale, well written and compelling, fantastic characters.
Buy the book.
Sadly the narrator's wheezing style and. hesitant. delivery. weighs the story down. I can't help feeling sorry for him as he labours along ... will he manage all the books ... Or expire first?

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Roy Dotrice?

Patrick Stewart

14 people found this helpful

Dodgy geezer steals throne and bleeds country dry

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

Reviewed: 22-05-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Great stuff ... Illuminated Henry VII very well. Good style, easy and informative listen. Great narration. Finished it in a few days, just didnt want to stop.
Yup, recommended.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hard done by princess? Evil vizier tax-men? His ol' mum? His hero in the waiting son? The perfidious foreigners? Underrated outsider in rags to riches real-life story?
Got it all, really :)

5 people found this helpful

History delivered like a Tolkein novel

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

Reviewed: 27-01-14

What did you like most about The Flame of Islam?

I had to concentrate with this book - not a complaint! I feel much more informed. It does what it says on the tin.. Took a while to realise the odd writing style and language was because the book was written in the 1930s. The style is reminiscent of the epic style of Tolkein, and contains imaginative scene setting sections that are almost poetic amongst the historic facts.
Once I decided to go with the quirks they were charming.

What about Charlton Griffin’s performance did you like?

Great declaiming performance fitted the book style well

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Good grief no! Your head would explode.

2 people found this helpful

Not narrated by Mark Meadows

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

Reviewed: 26-01-14

Would you try another book written by Jonathan Clements or narrated by Mark Meadows?

Bought this partially because I like history, but overwhelmingly because I thoroughly enjoyed Mark Meadows reading another 'A Brief History ...' book on Victorian Britain. Very disappointed when the narrator announced a different name.
Not good, audible.
The narration is fine however - but not as good as I expected. If you are expecting the excellent Mr Meadows, be prepared.

2 people found this helpful

Bill's high standard not fully met

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

This is a great book. For many travel writers, observers and commentators it would be one of their best. Unfortunately Bill sets a high standard, which in this case he just misses. It's still a great book and worth adding to your Bryson collection. After all, who would want to miss Bill Bryson vs. a continent full of the worlds deadliest animals?