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Mr. J. Forsyth

Durham, England
  • 15
  • reviews
  • 27
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls

  • By: Ernest Hemingway
  • Narrated by: Campbell Scott
  • Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 445

In 1937, Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight", For Whom the Bell Tolls.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • For whom the bell tolls

  • By Martin on 17-10-10

20 mins in

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

Reviewed: 29-10-18

And honestly I can not go on listening to this droning reader. what a waste of a credit. the story comes across as maybe being better read myself but its early days....

  • To Kill a Mockingbird

  • By: Harper Lee
  • Narrated by: Sissy Spacek
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,465
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,168

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the '30s.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the greats.

  • By Simon on 05-10-15

OK

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

Reviewed: 25-10-18

Not a bad book overall, I enjoyed it sure but the ending did not feel like the book peaked; I wont say anti climatic but I felt more was coming or could have. The meat of it in my opinion happens in the middle and the parts either side just coast along. A casual listen/page turner.

Probably less of an impact on me reading it in 2018 than in the years following its release and for that reason I can perhaps see why it is given some if its status. As such however I was not blown away by its subject matter or events but that is perhaps a credit to the book and the influence it has had.

  • Dangerous Years

  • Climate Change, the Long Emergency, and the Way Forward
  • By: David W. Orr
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

This gripping, deeply thoughtful book considers the future of civilization in the light of what we know about climate change and related threats. David Orr, an award-winning, internationally recognized leader in the field of sustainability and environmental education, pulls no punches: Even with the Paris Agreement of 2015, Earth systems will not reach a new equilibrium for centuries.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not very insightful

  • By Mr. J. Forsyth on 19-09-18

Not very insightful

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

Reviewed: 19-09-18

often repetitive without saying anything new or insightful or even inspiring. while I appreciate this book was written 2 years ago and it covers a lot of problems they are problems the public (in my experience, ether actively or passively) are aware of, and Thier consequences too. some examples of attempts to move in a better direction are made but like the problems outlined, not much depth of explanation on how or why this is such a good idea. All valid points however it come across a bit weak and more like a old man dreaming of what could have been in his utopia n dream before we weekend it, no that's sounds far more interesting...

  • Crime and Punishment

  • By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Narrated by: Constantine Gregory
  • Length: 22 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 520
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 468
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 466

A century after it first appeared, Crime and Punishment remains one of the most gripping psychological thrillers. A poverty-stricken young man, seeing his family making sacrifices for him, is faced with an opportunity to solve his financial problems with one simple but horrifying act: the murder of a pawnbroker. She is, he feels, just a parasite on society. But does the end justify the means? Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov makes his decision and then has to live with it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Last two words are missing which is a nuisance..

  • By trufflesmummy on 19-07-16

Dark, funny and strange. Hard work at times

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

A bit long winded and the plot seemed a little directionless at times but sticking with it I enjoyed it overall and it did make sense, I guess it's just a slightly different storytelling style. I struggle to agree with people who rate it as a master piece or whatever but it is good.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 25 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,025
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,023

The fifth novel in Stephen King's magnificent epic, one of the most popular series in publishing history. Stephen King's epic fantasy series, The Dark Tower, is being made into a major movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Due in cinemas February 17, 2017 USA. In the fifth novel in King's best-selling epic fantasy series, the farming community in the fertile lands of the East has been warned the wolves are coming back.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing book, great series, narrator pretty good

  • By Jamie on 21-12-13

Audio series ends here - Change in Narration

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

Reviewed: 14-02-17

Would you try another book written by Stephen King or narrated by George Guidall?

I Intend to finish the Dark tower and perhaps get more S.K. but I cant say I'm eager to hear more fo Guidall.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

Nothing. I wont be finishing it (yet) so cant comment on that score.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of George Guidall?

Frank Muller (RIP). Excellent job on earlier books and over thirty hours in established himself as essential as the words themselves. Changing him for anyone, however good is frustrating. I mean this respectfully. George Guidall however is a poor substitution.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration. Dissapointment.

Any additional comments?

I will read this instead, with the sound of Frank Muller inescapably in my head - the dramatic change is too large to overlook. The importance of a Narrator in some cases, such as this example, is all but equal to the Author and changing the Narrator is akin to changing the Author part way through. I tried the first few hours and Guidall really muddys up the characters and the story suffers as a result. I hope he has better luck elsewhere.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 27 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,305
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,162

Stephen King's epic fantasy series, The Dark Tower, is being made into a major movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Due in cinemas February 17, 2017 USA. In the fourth powerful novel in Stephen King's best-selling fantasy quest, The Dark Tower beckons Roland, the Last Gunslinger, and the four companions he has gathered along the road.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Can't praise this series enough

  • By Michelle on 27-06-13

A bit long

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

Reviewed: 09-02-17

Started to loose interest a bit toward end but it was pretty good and ended in time to save me giving up. On to the next one...

  • The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,609
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,299
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,300

Stephen King's epic fantasy series, The Dark Tower, is being made into a major movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Due in cinemas February 17, 2017 USA. In this first novel in his epic fantasy masterpiece, Stephen King introduces listeners to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey into good and evil, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our own.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very atmospheric

  • By Solaire on 27-12-12

It feels like it is building to something...

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

Reviewed: 03-01-17

I find it hard to give anything other than a 3 though I think it possibly deserves more. I feel like investment in the series as a whole may turn out to be more rewarding than any part as an individual.

Its slow at times and a bit vulgar (unnecessarily) at times and while nothing has blown me away yet, despite the series critical acclaim, it has especially towards the later parts been enjoyable.

I've picked up the second audiobook already and will continue on my return commute.

  • Ubik

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 651
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 613
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 613

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business - deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in "half-life," a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter's face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable

  • By Mr. J. Forsyth on 19-12-16

Very enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 19-12-16

I cant call this a furious page turner (or ear flapper as it was audiobook?) but it was a good read. As with most pkd it didnt seem groundbreaking (anymore) but not without any weight or relevance, like all great sci-fi seems to transcend generations long after publish.

Some seem to see greater meanings or questions in this story and I can understand that if your looking for it but for me it was simply a very enjoyable story of easy digestion that passed from start to finish in just the right length to feel complete.

A welcome rest from aliens, spaceships, time travel, vampires, werewolves and magicians.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Ringworld Throne

  • The Ringworld Series, Book 3
  • By: Larry Niven
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael Garcia
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 58

Come back to the Ringworld - the most astonishing feat of engineering ever encountered. A place of untold technological wonders, home to myriad humanoid races, and world of some of the most beloved science fiction stories ever written.

The human Louis Wu; the puppeteer known as the Hindmost; Acolyte, son of the Kzin called Chmeee: legendary beings brought together once again in the defense of the Ringworld. Something is going on with the protectors.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Worst so far in series. Very poor.

  • By Mr. J. Forsyth on 11-12-16

Worst so far in series. Very poor.

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

Reviewed: 11-12-16

I struggled a bit with this, the first half of the story being so dislocated from the main plot (yes it links up and even set up aspects but really? Talk about the long way round). I dare say without it, vol and vampire nest, the story wouldn't suffer much. That says a lot to me about the story.

A plethora of new characters all with weird unpronounceable names (5* to narrator there!) and alien culture being thrown at the plot in rapid succession only to be held together by Larry Niven's love of rishathra (inter-species sex).. Its the third book and it still makes me cringe and let me tell you this book made me cringe A LOT. Just remembering the sheer amount and I'm downgrading my rating. The ending was more like the other books (actually the same as book 2 in principle) and seemed ok but I will not be reading anymore of these stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Long Earth

  • By: Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,964
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,631
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,635

The Western Front, 1916. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of No Man's Land gone? Madison, Wisconsin, 2015. Cop Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some said mad, others dangerous - scientist when she finds a curious gadget: a box containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a potato. It is the prototype of a life-changing invention....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engrossing.

  • By Martin on 10-03-13

Sometimes a story is in the telling..

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

Reviewed: 27-11-16

Would you try another book written by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter or narrated by Michael Fenton Stevens?

Tenatively. I did not really enjoy the narration and the story showed potential but was weak in comparison to some of the others I read / listen too. Perhaps a bit less mature than my taste. Respected authors though so I'd consider it, tenatively.

What could Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Change the Narrator.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

No depth or range, If I remember rightly it was an English guy trying to portray sterotypical American. It has been a while since I listened but the characters were pretty 1 dimensional to listen to.

What character would you cut from The Long Earth?

None. Kind of would defeat the point.

Any additional comments?

I'd recomend reading yourself, as opposed to listening too.