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Jamie Wilkins

Frome, United Kingdom
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings

Unnecessary 'twist'

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

Reviewed: 23-10-19

I came across these books a few years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed them (like most other reviewers, I found 4 to be a bit of a let down.) This installment starts well with some quite amusing Star Wars references thrown in and it was nice to catch up with some characters I've grown to like. Brit being an exception - I've never warmed to any iteration of Brit.

About two thirds of the way through, the book takes a decidedly odd turn. Brit makes a decision which, to my mind, turns her character from being just unlikeable to horribly vindictive. This decision has dreadful ramifications for the most trustworthy character in the story. I'm genuinely baffled as to why the author decided to go along this path. To my mind it's a lose lose situation.

I found myself disappointed in the way the book progressed which is a shame considering all of the favourite characters were on form. I might give the next book a try.

One final point to mention - Gwen is becoming slightly annoying and her voice seems to have dropped by a few octaves.

A missed opportunity

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

As arguably the world's biggest Who Fan, I approached this book with a degree of trepidation. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are on different intellectual planes and I was interested to hear Rog's memories of his life in The Who to see if they differed from his bandmates' account as written in PT's hefty autobiography.

Firstly, there are no great revelations in this book. Most of the stories / myths are already in the public domain and if you've read Tony Fletcher's excellent biography of Keith Moon and Pete Townshend's autobiography, nothing will come as a surprise.

Narration wise, Daltrey is pretty good. His voice is slightly slurred at times (the result, I imagine, of the viral meningitis.) I did like the way that the producers didn't get him to re-record the bits where he dissolves into fits of giggles at the memories of his questionable behaviour.

What left a particularly bad taste for me was the degree of spitefulness that he reserved for The Who's late bass player, John Entwistle. He mentioned John's extraordinary talent in passing but spent a great deal of time moaning about The Ox's excessive on-stage volume.

He seems to be both very protective of The Who and, at the same time, very dismissive of it. Indeed, at times, he condtadicts himself in the same sentence.

Those looking for an in-depth account of Roger's time with the band may want to look elsewhere (Maximum R&B, Richard Barnes) or Pete Townshend'a own memoir. This book is quite flimsy in terms of detail and, at times, downright frustrating in terms of the lack of respect it pays both John Entwistle and Kenney Jones.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

A compelling listen

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

Reviewed: 17-10-18

I'm a huge Palin fan and his latest offering didn't disappoint. I'm ashamed to say that I'd never heard of HMS Erebus before but the way MP intertwines the historical narrative with his own experiences of the countries and destinations is very interesting.

I feel with this book we had the best of both worlds: a smattering of Palin's travel log but the lion's share of the book taken up with the huge successes and ultimate demise of Erebus.

The historical research and the bringing back to life of men 150 years dead was beautifully done. I now feel compelled to visit The Arctic and experience the beauty and desolation for myself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Superb

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

Reviewed: 08-03-18

I've listened to this audio book numerous times (4 at the last count.) John Nettles narrates it quite brilliantly and is so thoroughly engaging, it's a pleasure to listen to even on repeat visits.

Highly recommended. It's a shame Mr Nettles doesn't narrate 'The Romanovs.'

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not just for geeks!

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

Reviewed: 18-10-17

Part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, part The Shawshank Redemption with more than a smattering of retro video game references thrown in, Ready Player One was a joy.

I was a little unsure about this book as it's outside of my preferred genre but I'm glad I managed to put my preconceptions to one side. It's pointless to regurgitate the synopsis in this review but the fact that I listened to it twice within a month is testament to how much I enjoyed it.

The characters were well rounded and sufficiently down trodden for the reader to be rooting for them from the beginning. The villains of the piece (be they individuals or companies) were a little characatured but this was easily overlooked. I felt there was one quite large plot hole but I was willing to overlook this because of the fast pace of the narrative.

Will Wheaton is a great narrator throughout although his voicing of Ogg was a little strange.

I would recommend this book highly. Not just to the 8 bit generation but to anyone who likes a great concept turned into a fast paced story.

Could've done with a few more female characters though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Better than I, Partridge

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

Reviewed: 01-11-16

Like Viz Magazine, Alan Partridge isn't as funny as he used to be. This isn't to say that this book isn't funny - it is, and very funny at times (probably the funniest part is during the acknowledgements at the very beginning.)

If you like Partridge, you'll love this book and, in my opinion, this feels much more consistently funny than I, Partridge which seemed as though every third chapter was written by the least humerous person of the writing team.

One thing though: The editing is useless. There are a few times when he repeats the last line of the sentence or chapter and there are some very long pauses which get annoying at times.

Overall, lovely stuff.

Magnificent

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

Reviewed: 24-02-16

I had this book sitting in my library for quite some time and, having no other books to listen to, decided to download it. I was very close to switching off after the first few minutes but stuck with it and was transfixed.

I was never quite sure where the book was going. The author skillfully pulls your affections, emotions and sympathies towards each character at different times.

The narration is, at times, more akin to a play than a novel and this serves the narrative far better than a single narrator would.

As the story developed I was never really sure who did what to whom and, whilst the plot is intricate to a degree, it's pretty easy to follow.

My only slight negative thought is that, at times, Rachel did get slightly repetitive with her neediness (which could well be a deliberate inclusion by the author given Rachel's fragile emotions) but I think this was more a case of me wanting the plot to advance more quickly than it was.

All in all, a great listen made better by both innovative and excellent narration.

Well researched. Terrible narration.

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

Reviewed: 23-05-14

The book is a harrowing insight into the life, not just of Hindley, but Brady as well. It's well researched and very interesting.

The author details the futile appeals for parole and Hindley's so called rehabilitation as well as the horrific murders.

All in all a very informative book.

BUT.............

I have never heard such appalling narration! Poor old Maggie Mash seems to think that she has to try and speak in the native dialect of everyone who has been interviewed in the book. So when Hindley's words are being read, we get generic North of England accent. When Brady's words are being read we get Scottish accent with a slightly husky voice. There are some really bad accents on display. There is possibly the worst attempt at an Irish accent I've ever heard!

Unfortunately this, for me at least, detracted terribly from the events in the book lending it an unwitting air of comedy. What on earth possessed the narrator to think this was a good idea is beyond me. It seemed to belittle the very serious and, at times, upsetting subject matter.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Informative and accessible

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

Reviewed: 20-04-14

What made the experience of listening to The History of Ancient Egypt the most enjoyable?

Professor Brier has a nice way of drawing the listener in and conveying his own enthusiasm and knowledge. It is broken down into manageable chunks and the listener is never overwhelmed with superfluous information.

Who was your favorite character and why?

As this is an historical text, this question is somewhat irrelevant. There are many, many historical figures described in the book. I do quite like Akhenaten though.

Which character – as performed by Professor Bob Brier – was your favourite?

Again, this question isn't applicable to this text.

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

No! There are 48 lectures, the majority of which are 30 minutes in duration.

Any additional comments?

The publishers try to maintain the illusion that Professor Brier is talking to a lecture theatre full of students and we are lucky enough to be able to sit in! Alas, this isn't the case and I'm not convinced there is a need for canned applause at the beginning and the end of each lecture.

Professor Brier has a languid delivery which may not be to everyone's taste but I quite liked it. As another reviewer has noted, he does tend to repeat things quite a bit and some of his theories have, since the book was published, proved to be nonsense (the murder of Tutankhamun for instance.)

There are a couple of lectures that I think could have been omitted (magic in Ancient Egypt for instance - unremittingly dull) but, all things considered, this a fantastic and informative set of lectures that I found very interesting.

Easily aborbed and understandable

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

Reviewed: 06-03-14

Would you listen to The History of Ancient Rome again? Why?

Yes. Very informative and a wealth of information broken down into manageable chunks.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator. Brought the story to life with witty asides.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Both the thematic and linear lectures. Also found the derivation of English words very interesting.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me laugh.

Any additional comments?

Not really an audiobook in the traditional sense but a series of academic lectures. Does not detract from the enjoyment though.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful