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@kelvinj

Cheltenham, UK
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  • 12
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  • My Life in Pieces

  • An Alternative Autobiography
  • By: Simon Callow
  • Narrated by: Simon Callow
  • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

Drawing on a lifetime of writing about theatre and film, Callow takes us behind the curtain and behind the camera to introduce us to the performers and performances that have shaped him as an actor and as a public persona. They include giants like Orson Welles, Charles Dickens, Tommy Cooper, Charles Laughton and Laurence Olivier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An ideal book to be heard

  • By Kirstine on 12-04-14

Insufferably annoying

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

Reviewed: 13-03-19

I struggled to get beyond the first 15 minutes of this audiobook. So self-aggrandising, arrogant and flat out annoying. Just had to switch it off and ask for a refund.

Utter tosh.

  • The Year of Living Danishly

  • Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
  • By: Helen Russell
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,448
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,443

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long, dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born or made?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The Year Of Writing Heinously more like!

  • By D. Payne on 22-03-18

An enjoyable romp through the author's adventure

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

Reviewed: 24-03-18

An escapist page-turner, in a sort of audiobook, nonfiction sort of a way. I really picking this up where I left off over a week of listening.

This is escapism as we seek to see if the grass really is greener in Scandinavia, as the author walks us through the highs & lows (not too many) of moving to Denmark and navigating the cultural waters under the ruse of finding out if it's really the happiest place on earth.

Thoroughly enjoyed the journey and would have been more than happy to have gone on to find out what happened in year 2, and 3.

You can tell from the outset where it's heading, but that doesn't make it less enjoyable. There are many generalisations, "Danes don't bother X & Y, they just Z" is a typical format, but then this merely serves to amplify the escapism, so I was fine with it.

I would happily listen to this again, and probably will.

  • Toast on Toast

  • Cautionary tales and candid advice
  • By: Steven Toast
  • Narrated by: Matt Berry - as Steven Toast
  • Length: 3 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,115
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,106

In Toast on Toast - part memoir, part "how to act" manual - Steven Toast draws on his vast and varied experiences, providing the reader with an invaluable insight into his journey from school plays to RADA and from "It's a Right Royal Knockout" to the Colony Club. Along the way he reveals the secrets of his success. He discloses how to brush up on and expand your technical and vocal skills, how to nail a professional voiceover, and how to deal with difficult work experience staff in a recording studio....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Helpless with laughter!

  • By Wayne on 11-11-15

Some laughs for fans of TV show but a little flat

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

Reviewed: 24-03-18

If you're a fan of the Toast of London tv series, then there are some laughs to be had here, however overall it didn't quite work for me.

The "early life" stuff wasn't great, although once he got into the stories about his professional life it picked up.

Appendix A – where Toast reads old reviews and his responses was brilliant. I could have had 4 hours of that alone.

  • The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

  • The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman
  • By: Richard P. Feynman
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman, from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science - a life like no other. From his ruminations on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will delight anyone interested in the world of ideas.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • All you want to hear is already in the first book.

  • By Fritz on 07-01-17

A fair insight into Feynman but a poor adaptation

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

Reviewed: 24-03-18

This collection of talks, interviews and articles does a fair job of giving insight into the inner working of Feynman's mind.

It's obvious from these works that Feynman had a great talent for science, however it also shines a small light into the other parts of his personality, not always flattering and I wish this small light had a greater intensity. An undertone of jarring sexism pervades throughout, with numerous mentions of "great men", with an unexpected mention of how he thought women's mind incapable of analytical thought… shocker. The book only touches lightly on his ethics, whereby he acknowledged that the people (he'll say men, but they weren't just men) working on the Manhattan Project (developing the atomic bomb) could have stopped what they were doing once Hitler was defeated, but didn't because they didn't stop to think. He failed to really acknowledge any responsibility for that project in bringing about the nuclear world we now live in, or to really explore the topic, which would have been interesting.

Despite a lecture given on Galileo's birthday extolling the thought process Galileo had put in place, I found Feynman could not help but revel in the authorities of his age, these "great men", very aristotelian.

There is a little repetition within the book, but only because a few of the essays, lectures and interviews have a little crossover in their subject areas. I found this helped to remember some of the stories, personally, and so it didn't bother me, ok. (Tee hee – classic Feynman sentence ending right there.)

On the adaptation itself – I found it came up short. Some audiobook production companies seem to think adapting a book to audiobook is merely asking someone to read the book out loud, and if this were the case I would say Sean Runnette does a good job. However, having the same person reading an interview between two people fell flat. Some of it may have been the adaptation of the source material itself, but having someone repeat Feynman's word saying so-and-so "was so high", I knew Feynman would have been demonstrating just how high it was… a decent adaptation would have interjected with a description. As it was, it meant I had no idea what he was talking about in that moment.

It is popular in today's society to hold these scientists up on a pedestal to extoll their greatness, as if they had a hand in it themselves. From what I understand, Feynman did great science using the talents he was fortunate enough to be born with. In other aspects of his life he seems to me to be as flawed as the rest of us.