LISTENER

Steven

EdinburghUnited Kingdom
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 61
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • Assassin’s Apprentice

  • The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 17 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,318
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,161

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chilvary Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great book but the narrator is all wrong!

  • By Lucy Clarke on 11-10-12

A narration that subtracts rather than adds

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

Reviewed: 17-10-16

Paul Boehmer reads from the American edition of this book and, for those like me who are listening to his narration and following the text simultaneously, there are enough changes of words and sentence structure to become a distracting annoyance. The idiosyncrasy of his pronunciation and pacing have been commented upon by others. It is deathly slow and I opted to use a x1:25 speed to get some momentum. Some of his misplaced words I can only imagine a reading errors as they make no sense in context. I found his reading lacked characterisation and did nothing to elucidate the intrigues of the plot. I will try the sequel without him in the hope that I find it more engaging.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters

  • By: Adam Nicolson
  • Narrated by: Dugald Bruce Lockhart
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

From where does Homer come? And why does Homer matter? His epic poems of war and suffering can still speak to us of the role of destiny in life, of cruelty, of humanity and its frailty, but why they do is a mystery. How can we be so intimate with something so distant? The Mighty Dead is a magical journey of discovery across wide stretches of the past, sewn together by some of the oldest stories we have - the great ancient poems of Homer and their metaphors of life and trouble.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Often thought provoking, occasionally cringeworthy

  • By Richard Bowden on 03-06-15

Fascinating book, woeful narration

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

Reviewed: 27-08-16

Adam Nicolson is, by his own admission, a latecomer to appreciating Homer and in this book he writes with characteristic thoughtfulness and insight about how his awakening to the Iliad and the Odyssey have contributed to his understanding of himself and of the meaning of human life. It is a persuasive and at times provocative case, stripped of sentimentalism and illuminated with moments of harrowing autobiography. His language is as visceral and vibrant as the poems themselves. As an audiobook, however, it is let down by the narration which I found rather hurried and breathless. Worst of all was Dugald Bruce Lockhart's pronunciation and misplaced stresses of proper nouns, not only of the classical characters and places, but more generally. To pronounce Titian 'tight-ee-an' for example is just nonsense and the less said about his attempt at Srebrenica the better! The 9hrs were littered with such stumblings, enough to become an annoying distraction from what is a work of compelling erudition.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Agent

  • By: Joseph Conrad
  • Narrated by: David Threlfall
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 68

Exclusively from Audible. The Secret Agent is based on an actual attempt made in 1894 to blow up the Greenwich Observatory. A labyrinth of greed, corruption, and betrayal, it is the most darkly humorous of all Conrad's tales. It follows a European secret agent, Adolf Verloc, 'a London shop owner' with anarchist leanings who becomes reluctantly involved in a plot to blow up the Greenwich Observatory. Full of great characters, melodramatic irony and psychological intrigue the tale is far from simple....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Faulty product

  • By Steven on 25-08-16

Faulty product

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

Reviewed: 25-08-16

Joseph Conrad's darkly humorous fictionalisation of a real-life attempt to blow up the Greenwich Observatory is a classic and excellently narrated by David Threlfall. Unfortunately the product itself was faulty, with chapter 4 missing and playing chapter 13 in its place. Audible admitted the fault and refunded my credit without any quibbling. I'm therefore surprised to find that the book hasn't been withdrawn from sale as I was assured that I would be alerted once the fault was corrected.

45 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Dune

  • By: Frank Herbert
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
  • Length: 21 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,818
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,638
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,639

Shortlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.
Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A superb production of a sci fi classic!

  • By Peter on 21-07-07

High drama but more of it please

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-01-10

Dune is a book of high tension, filled with treachery, suspicion and dangerous characters with dark motives. The early scenes of this audiobook are dramatised and they capture the mood expertly. This is edge-of-the-seat stuff and makes for compelling listening. I could feel the 'gom jabar' at my own neck as my hands went all clammy! What a pity the dramatisation lessens, giving way to straight narration as the book progresses. It is read very well throughout but it could have been so much more gripping if the full cast had been retained. Another annoying gripe, common to so many audiobooks. Why can't the audio 'chapters' correspond with those in the book instead of ending randomly mid paragraph? It makes navigating a long book unnecessarily difficult.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

Titus Alone cover art
  • Titus Alone

  • Volume 3 of the Gormenghast Trilogy
  • By: Mervyn Peake
  • Narrated by: Robert Whitfield
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

Enter the fantastical world of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast Trilogy, one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. Novelist C.S. Lewis called Peake's books "actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience."

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Caution: check you have the right version

  • By Steven on 18-01-10

Caution: check you have the right version

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-01-10

Published posthumously and suffering at the hands of an unsympathetic editor, Titus Alone disappointed many readers and baffled critics at the time of its release. It has since been polished and expanded with reference to Mervyn Peake's manuscript notebooks in an attempt to re-create the author's intentions at a time of failing health (though not flagging creativity). The revisions, which include the insertion of whole new chapters, clarify some of the obscurities of the original and make greater play of the nightmarish references to factories, machines and scientists. Although still by no means an easy read, the revised version has a greater logic and cohesion. Unfortunately, although Robert Whitfield concludes his Gormenghast series with the same excellent standard of reading and characterisation of the previous two volumes, he reads from the original version. Therefore, if you are using book and recording together, take care your versions match or, like me, you will find yourself leafing backwards and forwards in vain for the missing sections.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful