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  • 6
  • reviews
  • 16
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  • 8
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  • A History of the World

  • By: Andrew Marr
  • Narrated by: Andrew Marr, David Timson
  • Length: 26 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,666
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,150

From the earliest civilizations to the 21st century: a global journey through human history, published alongside a landmark BBC One television series. Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey, Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awsome, educational and epic work

  • By Adisha on 30-10-12

History like, yet not, you were taught at school.

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

Reviewed: 25-03-14

Would you try another book written by Andrew Marr or narrated by Andrew Marr and David Timson ?

No, I don't think so. Marr was engaging enough, for the brief 10 or so minutes in which he narrated the prologue/introduction but Timson was workmanlike at best and my lasting impression, were it to be characterised as a colour, would be "grey".

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Erm....not really applicable, but for the point of glibness I'll say - thank goodness, now I can listen to something a bit more enjoyable.

What aspect of Andrew Marr and David Timson ’s performance might you have changed?

I'd have got rid of David 'Grey' Timson altogether and let Marr read the whole thing, he might have brought it to life a bit more.

Did A History of the World inspire you to do anything?

Get my History fix in another, more engaging, format.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes

  • The Heirloom Collection
  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 58 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,836
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,698
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,696

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales are rightly ranked among the seminal works of mystery and detective fiction. Included in this collection are all four full-length Holmes novels and more than forty short masterpieces - from the inaugural adventure A Study in Scarlet to timeless favorites like “The Speckled Band” and more. At the center of each stands the iconic figure of Holmes - brilliant, eccentric, and capable of amazing feats of deductive reasoning.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A long and rewarding listen....

  • By Lee on 29-04-15

And yet......and yet....

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

Reviewed: 25-03-14

What did you like most about The Complete Sherlock Holmes?

It's Holmes, what's not to like? It feels to me like everyone must be familiar with these stories....

What other book might you compare The Complete Sherlock Holmes to, and why?

There's nothing quite like the orginal Holmes stories....there are many imitators, but that's not quite the same thing now, is it?

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

Vance's performances are uniformly excellent and were the main reason for me choosing to re-visit the Holmes canon in audibook format. I first came across his work many years ago in a performance of Arturo PerezReverte's "Purity of Blood" and since then I've yet to be disappointed by anything of his to which I have listened.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Holmes stories are many things to many people but I can't really imagine any of them being described as 'moving'. This is not a fault, in my opinion. To use a much-overused phrase "they are what they are".

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • One Summer

  • America 1927
  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,415
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,293
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,291

One Summer: America, 1927, is the new book by Britain’s favourite writer of narrative nonfiction, Bill Bryson. Narrated by the man himself, One Summer takes you to the summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world forever. In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day, a semi-crazed sculptor with a plan to carve four giant heads into a mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown, and finished it as the most famous man on Earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bryson hits another Home Run

  • By Colin on 21-10-13

Yes, but what a Summer...

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

Reviewed: 25-03-14

If you could sum up One Summer in three words, what would they be?

Baseball. Lindbergh. America.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Babe Ruth - he was a bit of a boor, and more than a bit of a womaniser yet you couldn't help but sympathise with him and his all-too-human frailties.

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

It doesn't quite scale the heights of, what for me was his finest, "In A Sunburned Country" but this is definitely top 5 Bryson.

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

Not really, by its very nature it was somewhat episodic and this lent itself all the better to being consumed in chunks.

  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,164
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,346
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,341

Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More Fact Pact Bryson

  • By Stewart Webb on 06-06-10

The little things that make a house a home

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

Reviewed: 25-03-14

What did you like most about At Home: A Short History of Private Life?

It's Bill Bryson, so you know by now (if you've ever read and/or listened to any of his other works) what you're going to get - lots of detail and history combined with amusing anecdotes that are made all the more funny by Bryson's wonderful narration.

Would you be willing to try another book from Bill Bryson? Why or why not?

Yes, of course. I've yet to encounter one of his books that I didn't like.

What about Bill Bryson’s performance did you like?

His ability to imbue what are, at best, sometimes only mildly amusing anecdotes with a real impish sense of joy and fun.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

You'll never look at your house in quite the same way again.

  • Paris

  • By: Edward Rutherfurd
  • Narrated by: Jane Wymark, Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 31 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 201
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203

Inspired by the haunting, passionate story of the city of lights, this epic novel weaves a gripping tale of four families across the centuries: from the lies that spawn the noble line of de Cygne to the revolutionary Le Sourds who seek their destruction; from the Blanchards whose bourgeois respectability offers scant protection against scandal to the hard-working Gascons and their soaring ambitions. Over hundreds of years, these four families are bound by forbidden loves and marriages of convenience; dogged by vengeance and murderous secrets , and brought together by the tumultuous history of their city.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great book - hard to follow in Audible format

  • By Penny on 29-11-13

We'll sometimes have Paris...

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

Reviewed: 25-03-14

Would you listen to Paris again? Why?

No, it was interesting enough but there's nothing in it that would persuade me that there's more to be gained from a second listening

What was one of the most memorable moments of Paris?

The final scene between Luc and Thomas was particularly emotional...you could see it coming but couldn't quite believe it was going to play out the way it did.

What about Jane Wymark and Jonathan Keeble ’s performance did you like?

Nevermind that, what I couldn't help wonder was: why didn't they pick a male actor who could do a passable French accent? And as for his female voices....*shudder*. Wymark was excellent though and Keeble, when sticking to male voices, was fine enough.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

It's not all cheese and wine, y'know...

Any additional comments?

Despite my grumbles, I really enjoyed this book, the sense of history and sweeping scope of it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Portrait of a Spy

  • By: Daniel Silva
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

For Gabriel and his beautiful wife, Chiara, it was supposed to be the start of a pleasant weekend in London - a visit to an art gallery in St. James’s to authenticate a newly discovered painting by Titian, followed by a quiet lunch at an Italian restaurant along the Strand. But a pair of deadly bombings in Paris and Hamburg has already marred this sparkling autumn day. And while walking along Wellington Street, the ever-vigilant Gabriel notices a man whom he believes is about to carry out a third attack.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Strangely dull

  • By Trixie on 02-08-18

Good story, great narration

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

Reviewed: 20-08-13

Would you listen to Portrait of a Spy again? Why?

Probably not - there was nothing remarkable about the story itself. Don't get me wrong, it was a good, solid, thoroughly enjoyable spy thriller but there was nothing in it that made it stand out from the crowd. Or indeed the rest of the Gabriel Allon series. I've read a few in the series and they've all been cut from a similar cloth: pick any one at random and you're guaranteed an entertaining story but I suspect if you were to read them all back-to-back you'd quickly tire of them.

What did you like best about this story?

The narration. Simon Vance is a wonderful voice actor and is a joy to listen to; he really brings the characters to life.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"Gabriel Allon has another brush with death"