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Alistair

KIRKWALL, United Kingdom
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  • The Quanderhorn Xperimentations

  • By: Rob Grant, Andrew Marshall
  • Narrated by: Cassie Layton, Ryan Sampson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Churchill is Prime Minister for the last time. Rationing is still in force. All music sounds like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. People like living in 1952: it's familiar and reassuring, and Britain knows its place in the world. Few have noticed it's been 1952 for the past 65 years. Meet Professor Quanderhorn; a brilliant, maverick scientific genius who has absolutely no moral compass. With his Dangerous Giant Space Laser, High Rise Farm, Invisible Robot and Fleet of Monkey-driven Lorries, he's not afraid to push the boundaries of science to their very limit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Congratulations for Quanderhorn!

  • By Alistair on 15-07-18

Congratulations for Quanderhorn!

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

Reviewed: 15-07-18

Rob Grant and Andrew Marshall have created a hysterical universe in this adventure. Much like Rob Grant's other major comedy success, Red Dwarf, the characters are absolutely hilarious when they play off each other. Brian Nylon seems like a perfect point of view character. Weedy, whimpy, nervous, never able to assert himself. Plus you've got Gurk the Martian, holder of a number of Martian awards - at various levels - the 'brave hero and warrior' of Mars who seems oddly unwilling to return home and Dr Janason and her scientific journal who is a perfect example of how to take the hard working scientific woman of the 1950s and use it for comedy. And there are so many others!

This entire tale is a perfect piss take of the 1950s Quatermass serials. I don't want to spoil anything too major. All I will say is you are sure to laugh yourself senseless! And I truly hope there are more adventures for Derius Quanderhorn and his scientific assistants. I absolutely loved the audiobook and I can hardly wait for more. Give this series a chance. I certainly didn't regret it!

  • Forever and a Day

  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Matthew Goode
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 225
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226

M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. 'We have no choice. We're just going to bring forward this other chap you've been preparing. But you didn't tell me his name.' 'It's Bond, sir,' the Chief of Staff replied. 'James Bond.' One body. Three bullets. 007 floats in the waters of Marseille, killed by an unknown hand. It's time for a new agent to step up. Time for a new weapon in the war against organised crime. It's time for James Bond to earn his licence to kill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Iconic Legend is Born

  • By Simon on 02-06-18

Another Bond classic by Horowitz!

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

Reviewed: 23-06-18

I won't go into too much detail as I often do with my reviews. James Bond is a classic character and Horowitz is a very talented writer. Very few writers could do what Horowitz achieves in this novel. He manages to keep the story perfectly in tone with the time period without updating anything and completely immersing you in the narrative.
On top,of that in my humble opinion Bond is perfectly in character for the James Bond of the early Fleming books. This book unlike many others suceeds at maintaining or matching the flair and style of the original Fleming novels. Give this book a read or listen you won't regret it at all. Matthew Goode is an excellent narrator and I hope him and Horowitz will grace Audible again soon.

  • Dawn

  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Vol. 1
  • By: Yoshiki Tanaka, Daniel Huddleston - translator
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 17

"The Golden Brat", Reinhard von Lohengramm, a military prodigy and admiral of the Galactic Empire, has ambitions beyond protecting the borders or even defeating the empire's enemies. He seeks to overthrow the old order and become a truly absolute - yet benevolent - dictator. His rival, the humble Yang Wen-li of the Free Planets Alliance, wishes to preserve democracy even if he must sacrifice his political ideals to defeat the empire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent space opera series!

  • By Alistair on 23-04-18

An excellent space opera series!

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

Reviewed: 23-04-18

Legend Of The Galactic Heroes is excellently written space opera. The epic battles between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance and the political manuvers on both sides between the politicans and those who wish to gain power are truly grand. This series comes with writting that personally puts me in mind of Issac Asimov's Foundation series or the world building of Robert A. Heinlein.

It is fascinating watching the characters of Reinhard Von Lohengramm and Siegfried Kircheis of the Galactic Empire and Yang Wen-li of the Free Planets Alliance and those around them grow and develop. Lohengramm's practically childish nature is especially interesting when you compare him to the nobles and - the in some cases too mature - Yang Wen-li. The obvious comparisons make both sides very interesting.

Another point of interest is the writing of the characters. The book does a very good job of making you understand each character's separate viewpoint on the issues being discussed. You might not agree with the views of certain characters...in fact you definitely won't agree with everyone! But you will still understand why they believe what they do.

The narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds is also sutibly well done. The space epic style he takes with the narration suits the series well. He is also expert at the commanding militaristic tone that many of the commanders use when giving their orders be it for defence, offensive or panicked retreat. I honestly can't imagine anyone else doing this series.

The series is truly worth your time. Even use a credit if you have to. I absolutely adore this series and I hope that more people will give the series a chance. It deserves the title it has as an epic story. If you are at all interested in space opera give this a listen. I cannot recommend this series enough.

I know it may not be to some people’s tastes but I hope some of you will give it a try.

  • The War of the Worlds (Dramatized)

  • By: Orson Welles
  • Narrated by: Orson Welles
  • Length: 57 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

The original uncut Radio Broadcast. On the evening of October 30th, 1938, Earth went to war with Mars. Martians invaded New Jersey! Here, the famous panic broadcast that shook the world, starring Orson Welles.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A legendary broadcast which deserves praise!

  • By Alistair on 21-04-18

A legendary broadcast which deserves praise!

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

Reviewed: 21-04-18

This is the legendary radio broadcast of Halloween 1938. Orson Welles's dramatisation of The War Of The Worlds is extremely well staged. Written and performed in the style of emergency radio transmissions of the time - complete at first with musical interludes - they do a very good job of persuading you of the horrific monstrosity of the invading martians and the - in some cases - absolutely vile actions they commit.

The dramatisation may be dated now especially since it was recorded on equipment we would now consider practically ancient and as such the audio quality and in some cases the personal attitudes of the characters in the play would be considered extremely old fashioned depending on your point of view but I still highly recommend people listen to this version. It became famous for a reason after all!

Another aspect of the drama I wish to praise is the relocation of the main focus of the invasion. Clearly in an attempt to modernise the original story to 1930s eyes and ears and his American audience Welles and his team successfully managed to relocate the play to a small rural area in New Jersey.

Unlike future modernisations or Americanisations - such as the 1950s film version in my view - I feel that in this less than an hour long version Welles does a better job of getting to the heart and the core of the story through the somewhat less than subtle anti-imperial subtext the original book version had than a lot of other versions I've heard

Long story short: It's a piece of sci-fi history that's less than hour long. It deserves its place in the pantheon alongside the original novel and the surprisingly good Jeff Wayne version. It's more than worth your time and money. Give it a listen.

  • 47

  • By: Angela Peach
  • Narrated by: Megan Green
  • Length: 4 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

My name is Lilith Mae Madison and I am captain of the Phoenix. There is something strange happening on my ship, something that cannot be explained. On the other side of the known universe, we are waiting for a wormhole to open so we can return home with news that could save the human race, but someone, or something, has other ideas. My crew are being picked off one by one, and whoever is responsible is very, very strong, and very, very clever. I'm struggling to hold onto my sanity while also maintaining control of my ship and crew.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So many unexpected pieces!

  • By Staci D Black on 04-04-18

An absolute hair-raiser! Very highly recommended!

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

Reviewed: 13-04-18

Full disclosure: I volunteered to review this book when the narrator asked for people to review the book shortly after release. On the other hand I did definitely enjoy the book!

Angela Peach has come up with a very tense novel in 47. You never quite know where the plot is going to go. You initially think you might have some idea but very quickly she takes you on a number of twists and turns. She is also very good at making you understand the Captain's thought process right from the beginning all the way to the thrilling conclusion.

The only thing that confused me was one of the later 'private' scenes in the captain's bedroom as it didnt seem to flow in the heat of the moment although that is very much a minor niggle in a very good story.

She was also quite good at making the majority of characters at least likeable although there were one or two that aggravated me more than was most likely intended. The story may be short but it's very well worth your money, an absolute hair-raiser!

The narration is also good. It is fairly clear to indicate who is talking and an effort is definitely made to differentiate between the characters using different accents or tones of voice. The character of Maggie in particular was very well narrated and her gentle kindness came through very clear in the audio.

I must be honest however: As much as I enjoyed the narration there were moments where I ocassionally could not make out what was being said initially and had either to rewind slightly or refocus. This did not affect the majority of the book and I still believe the narrator did a good job particularly at portraying the captain, Commander John and Maggie.


Overall I do recommend this audio book. I have disclosed any potential bias but I admit I would still be willing to buy this book even if I had not volunteered to review it when asked. I'll keep an eye out for any more audiobooks from this team.

  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

  • By: Jack Weatherford
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 792
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 691
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 687

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing! Wonderful! Couldn't get enough!

  • By Simone Teufel on 30-06-10

Genghis Khan: Ruler of All Under The Sky

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

Reviewed: 29-03-18

This book sometimes feels like a contradiction in terms. Genghis Khan genuinely was a great man who achieved many things. He reformed large swaths of Mongol traditions and - despite many roadblocks - managed to make himself the ruler of all Mongols and conquerer of many territories.

It was fascinating to learn about what little we know of his early life and the struggles he went through as well as hearing about the conquests of Europe and China from the Mongol perspective.

On the other hand it sometimes felt - especially later on in the Great Khan's life - like the author was somewhat biased. He acknowledges the faults of the Mongols in some cases particularly Genghis's children and grandchildren but it felt like he was bending over backwards to excuse some of the atrocities committed in the name of war or looking at the Mongol Empire through somewhat rose tinted glasses. Even if the author is correct about all his claims I feel that he could have used some better word choice in certain instances.

I highly recommend listening to this book. The narration is done very well by Johnathan Davis, pulling you into the story as though you are riding a horse across the Steppe alongside him and the Khan. He took passages that were already fascinating and made them feel incredibly engrossing.

Overall I highly recommend giving this book a listen. I certainly enjoyed it even if I may have taken issue with some elements. You may enjoy it even more than I did. Who knows? I certainly don't regret my purchase.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism

  • By: Aron Ra
  • Narrated by: Aron Ra
  • Length: 16 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 20

Religious fundamentalists and biblical literalists present any number of arguments that attempt to disprove evolution. Those with a sympathetic ear often fail to critically examine these creationist claims, leading to an ill-informed public and, perhaps more troubling, ill-advised public policy. As Aron Ra makes clear, however, every single argument deployed by creationists in their attacks on evolution is founded on fundamental scientific, religious, and historical falsehoods - all of them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Aron-Ra doing what he does best

  • By George Bernard Raw on 10-02-17

A very informative read. Highly recommended

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

Reviewed: 13-02-18

This is an excellent read. It is not an insulting diatribe against all religion. It is simply a counter argument against some of the more anti science beliefs of the more extreme creationist groups.

It is written seriously and intelligently but also reasonably and kindly. There are no attempts to insult the mainstream religious but simply to inform the listener as engagingly as possible by an author and narrator who are invested in their subject. Even if you are extremely religious I recommend listening to it. It may surprise you.

  • The Storm Before the Storm

  • The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
  • By: Mike Duncan
  • Narrated by: Mike Duncan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 244
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 231

The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. After its founding in 509 BCE, the Romans refused to allow a single leader to seize control of the state and grab absolute power. The Roman commitment to cooperative government and peaceful transfers of power was unmatched in the history of the ancient world. But by the year 133 BCE, the republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 7 minutes to 11 hours...

  • By borodude on 25-10-17

Mike Duncan's excellent Roman history

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Would you listen to The Storm Before the Storm again? Why?

I already have listened to this audiobook three times! Mike Duncan makes history fascinating. From the age of the Gracchi brothers to the Sulla dictatorship he takes things that either bored you at school or you never learned at all and makes you want to learn all you can. Much like the other reviewers I heartily endorse Mike's podcast projects The History of Rome and Revolutions. You learn so much through this book and all this man's other work.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Storm Before the Storm?

Without spoiling anything I would say the eventual fates of the Gracchi brothers and the multiple attempts to solve the Italian question were some of the most memorable and intriguing parts of the book. The Roman political machinations were impossible to put down.

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

If Mike Duncan didn't read this audiobook it would take away so much from it. As the original author - and technically the original podcaster - he is able to make sure the tone of his speaking and of the audio match the tone of the original book. After 10 years of experience with history based audio he knows how to work his magic!

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

Yes! I never wanted to put it down. I give this book an incredibly high recommendation. Well done Mike Duncan. I just hope he writes another book soon!

Any additional comments?

Go ahead and buy this book! Use a credit if you have to. Even if history bored you at school I urge you to give Mike Duncan a chance. He more than made a believer out of me.

  • Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen

  • 4th Doctor Novel
  • By: Douglas Adams, James Goss
  • Narrated by: Dan Starkey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

An unabridged reading of the brand-new novel based on a storyline by Douglas Adams. The Doctor promised Romana the end of the universe, so she's less than impressed when what she gets is a cricket match. But then the award ceremony is interrupted by 11 figures in white uniforms and peaked skull helmets wielding bat-shaped weapons that fire lethal bolts of light into the screaming crowd. The Krikkitmen are back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Douglas Adams's original concept given form!

  • By Alistair on 27-01-18

Douglas Adams's original concept given form!

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

Reviewed: 27-01-18

Would you listen to Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen again? Why?

I certainly would listen to this again. It is absolutely hilarious. It is based on the same concept as the third series of Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy as Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen was the original concept albeit fleshed out in some ways by the also hilarious James Goss. I couldn't possibly recommend this more highly. If you are a fan of Adams or Goss BUY THIS BOOK!

What did you like best about this story?

Regarding the story I loved some of the planets they visited. Bethselamin - a planet with practically no concept of negativity or evil was especially hysterical - as well as Mareeve II. On top of this The Doctor and Romana are characterised especially well along with some other characters later in the book. Almost every line makes me want to burst into laughter just remembering it.

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

I have listened to one of Dan Starkey's other performances as a narrator - Doctor Who: Devil In The Smoke which I also recommend - and I think his narration here is superior. It is superbly done. He has the perfect tone of voice for all the characters which allows the jokes to hit so well. Regardless of if he is supposed to sound like an unusually flipppant.travel guidebook, an unnervingly jovial or deadly serious alien traveller or the world's most arrogantly officious bureaucrat he pulls it off magnificently. I'll keep an ear out for any future audio books he narrates.

Any additional comments?

I give this audiobook my highest possible recommendation especially for fans of Doctor Who, Douglas Adams or James Goss. Grab it as soon as you can!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks

  • 4th Doctor Novelisation
  • By: Terrance Dicks
  • Narrated by: Jon Culshaw, Nicholas Briggs
  • Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 33

The place: Skaro. Time: the Birth of the Daleks. After a 1000 years of futile war against the Thals, Davros has perfected the physical form that will carry his race into eternity - the dreaded Dalek. Without feeling, conscience or pity, the Dalek is programmed to exterminate. At the command of the Time Lords, the Doctor travels back through time in an effort to totally destroy this terrible menace of the future. But even the Doctor cannot always win....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Read....

  • By Kevin on 13-10-17

A classic novelisation of a classic story

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

Reviewed: 06-10-17

This was a fantastic audiobook. The original television version of the story is already a classic and this audiobook is not a disappointment. John Culshaw does a brilliant job with the narration - with the possible exception of Sarah Jane. Your mileage on that may vary.

His Tom Baker in particular is almost perfect as it has been since the days of Dead Ringers. His version of Nyder sounds like he came straight out of the television version. On top of that Nicolas Briggs once again performs excellently as the Daleks. They just seem just as indimidating and horrifying as they always have at their best.

From what I could hear there were no moments cut from the television version in the novel version and the same applies to this audio version. The story is as perfectly morbid and intense as ever. I was particularly impressed by the opening scene and its wonderful scene setting. As well as the scene at the end with Davros and The Daleks in the Kaled bunker.

If you are collecting the Target novels in audio form or if you are any kind of Doctor Who fan I highly recommend you give this a try!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful