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Ruined for me by hopeless narration

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

Reviewed: 07-02-17

However good the Bolt story itself might be, and however worthy it might be of a ten and a half hour audio book, I have simply given up with this after around three hours. It has managed to bore me senseless. The book is narrated by the author. He does a very poor job in my view, speaking in a flat and un-animated monotone. After three hours, he'd simply stopped making this book interesting for me in any sense. This is a great shame, because Richard Moore is also the author of some some really good books that I have enjoyed greatly.

Be warned. You'll need to be drinking lots of strong coffee to survive this. Possibly my poorest choice of audiobook for a long time.

1 person found this helpful

Superb

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

Occasionally, I buy an audiobook because it strikes me as likely to be better value to me than buying the hardback. I got it wrong with this one! It is a superb story, really well told and utterly fascinating. When I'd finished listening, I went straight out and bought the hardback too.

This is a unique insight into Himalayan exploration and human physiology. Harriet Tuckey has a privileged viewpoint, being the daughter of the subject of the book, Griffith Pugh, and she has been able to do a super job of researching an amazing life.

A great book.

1 person found this helpful

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Stunning

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

It's probably a good idea to read "Shindler's Ark" or see the film version, "Shindler's List" before listening to this audiobook, because it will heighten your enjoyment and amazement at the story told. I found it really quite compulsive listening - beautifully written and very well narrated indeed by Humphrey Bower.

You will not regret adding this to your library.

A big disappointment

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

I have greatly enjoyed almost every tv programme Johnathan Meades has fronted, so I looked forward to hearing his life-story as an audiobook, read by him too. However, I was greatly disappointed, There is a place for self-depracation but chapter after chapter of it palls really quite quickly. I gave up on the book about two thirds of the way through, as a result. Maybe it has a more upbeat and engaging ending, but I rather doubt it.

1 person found this helpful

All you ever wanted to know and a great deal more.

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

This is a huge piece of work. I stuck with this audiobook to the bitter end, but in retrospect, I can't say it's left me feeling I enjoyed it all that much. It very much underlines how much McCartney has done since The Beatles, but sadly, and perhaps predictably, much of it is far less interesting. Long stories of legal battles, personal relationships gone bad etc don't really do it for me in a book like this - or certainly, not at the length to which this book plays them out. Disappointing, although nevertheless good value in this format.

1 person found this helpful

Possibly my favourite audiobook ever

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

I'm not exaggerating.

I found this book interesting and occasionally very gripping, from start to finish. Johnathan Keeble reads it extremely well, and maintains consistency over the 13+ hours of the story. McCullin has led an extraordinary life; one that few of us would ever want to have lived ourselves, yet he's able to write about it with that blend of dispassionate observer and compassionate participant that makes for the kind of story that would, in great part, make a best-selling thriller in its own right.

On the day I finished listening to this audiobook, the news came that McCullin had been awarded a knighthood in the 2017 New Year Honours. Very appropriate.

2 people found this helpful

Very good value

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

At over 14 hours, this audio book is a great investment, and to have Tony Robinson read it himself is very much a bonus. Lots of detail about the author's early life can occasionally become a bore in some books. In this case Tony's tales of his childhood and upbringing, etc all give real weight to the book's title, and emphasise how he has often almost stumbled upon the great opportunities that have made him "a national treasure".

I enjoyed the whole thing a very great deal.

3 people found this helpful

Good, but maybe hard-going at times.

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

I leapt at the chance to hear John Cleese read his own autobiography, although, by the end, I felt I might have enjoyed it more if it had been read by someone else. At times, the text becomes a bit of a rant, or so relentless that I paused the recording to take a good break from it. It could be hard going on occasions.

It's also, in my view, less balanced than some might have expected. There is a very great deal of detail about Cleese's early life, but the story pretty much peters out around the time of Monty Python. His take on the production and recording of, say, Fawlty Towers, would have been good, but it merits hardly a word, as does much from the mid 1980s onwards.

Maybe he has a second volume in mind?

Almost as good as one of Forsyth's own novels

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

I'd not realised what an immensely interesting life Forsyth has lived, and it's easy to see from this book almost all of the main influences behind his novels - the earliest three in particular. However, you do not need to know the likes of "The Day of the Jackal", "The Dogs of War" or "The Odessa File" to enjoy this audio book. Robert Powell reads it brilliantly, at just the right pace to maintain interest and credibility. My only criticism would be that the story is maybe a bit less interesting in the last hour or so, but maybe that's just life?

Really Excellent

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

What did you like most about Jeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories?

I was amazed at how one man could have been involved in so many significant legal cases that shaped Britain towards the end of the 20th Century.

What did you like best about this story?

Hutchinson's own story of each case he was involved with was preceded by a very adequate potted history of its background and significance. This helped greatly to put his involvement in context.

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

No, but I look forward to hearing him again. This is a long book, but he struck exactly the right tone and pace to keep the stories vivid.

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

A Brief's History of Time

Any additional comments?

No

7 people found this helpful