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flying_fin

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 64
  • helpful votes
  • 28
  • ratings

Smart, sassy, honest and politically spot on.

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

Reviewed: 07-07-19

I think I would get on with this woman if we met in a bar. I share a similar background (if less impoverished), and overcame it as she did, agree with her on most of the political points she makes and I enjoy her wit and writing style immensely. This is a curated collection of her pieces from the Times and is well put together and forms a sort of coherent whole. Some of the articles are, inevitably, less strong than others, but overall the standard is excellent. A pity she didn't read it herslef as she did with the last collection, but the voice of the person reading is quite close to her own so it doesn't matter. Highly recommended.

Excellent Collection read by my favourite actor

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

Reviewed: 18-06-19

An excellent collection, beautifully read. The audio quality is not as good as it could be, but good enough. Richard Burton is my favourite actor and I owned this collection for many years on cassette tape. His voice is pure power and emotion, and is in my view unsurpassed. He has great oratory skill and brings the poems to life like no other could.
The thing missing here is a listing of the poems - even my cassette tape had sleeve notes. Amazon, get your act together! Why couldn't you have included it in the product description? You might sell a few more if you do. I found it online after searching for 5 minutes - here it is so you don't have to:

The Richard Burton Poetry Collection

Volume 2:

1. William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
2. Thomas Hardy, Wessex Heights
3. John Donne, The Anniversarie
4. Thomas Hardy, Shut Out That Moon
5. John Donne, The Canonization
6. Thomas Hardy, Chancel Firing
7. John Donne, Extasie
8. Thomas Hardy, In Tenebris
9. John Donne, Elegy VIII. The Comparison
10. Thomas Hardy, Weathers

1 person found this helpful

Burton's voice is unsurpassed - pure pleasure

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

Reviewed: 18-06-19

An excellent collection, beautifully read. The audio quality is not as good as it could be, but good enough. Richard Burton is my favourite actor and I owned this collection for many years on cassette tape. His voice is pure power and emotion and is in my view unsurpassed. He has great oratory skill and brings the poems to life like no other could.
The thing missing here is a listing of the poems - even my cassette tape had sleeve notes. Come on Amazon, get your act together! Why couldn't you have included it in the product description? You might sell a few more if you do. I found it online after searching for 5 minutes - here it is so you don't have to:

The Richard Burton Poetry Collection
Volume 1:

1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1817 edition)
2. Coleridge, "Frost at Midnight"
3. John Donne, "The Good-Morrow"
4. Thomas Hardy, "Afterwards"
5. Hardy, "In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations'"
6. Hardy, "At Castle Boterel"
7. Hardy, "The Sunshade"
8. Donne, "Song" (Go and catch a falling star...)
9. Hardy, "At Casterbridge Fair" (I. The Ballad-Singer, II. Former Beauties, III. After the Club-Dance, IV. The Market-Girl, V. The Inquiry, VII. After the Fair)
10. Donne, "Song" (Sweetest love, I do not go...)
11. Hardy, "The Souls of the Slain"
12. Donne, "The Sun Rising"

4 people found this helpful

Interesting effort, but the sequel feels nothing like the original

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

Reviewed: 16-02-17

A few interesting ideas on how the 1907 invasion would have changed the course of history, and some exciting set pieces. It retains the first person narrative for most of the book but then switches to third person when the action shifts from Britain to other landing sites across the world in the second invasion (from 1920), which is jarring.
There is a large cast of characters, and Nathalie Buscombe does an admirable job of trying to breathe life into them, employing an amazing array of different accents, but the variety is also a weakness. The power of the original, for me, came from the loneliness and desperation of Walter Jenkins as he struggled to survive the Martian holocaust.
The writer builds well on the original universe and retains the theories prevalent at the time (canals on Mars etc.) and imagines a much expanded War of the Worlds, taking in Venus and even Jupiter.
The story is very expansive, covering all parts of the earth with a steadily growing roster of characters and interconnections. It is quite a long listen- 15+ hours. I struggled to stick with it, but I had to know how it ended, which is a tribute of a kind. The author himself uses the phrase "deus ex machina" on no less than three occasions (meta!), so I'll say no more about that!
All in all, not a bad effort and I would recommend it to any fan of the original, though this is a very different book. The casual reader would perhaps not find it quite so interesting.

Finely-crafted thriller / whodunit.

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

Reviewed: 26-01-17

The story is fast moving and compelling, the events told from the perspective of three women. It'll keep you guessing until the end. The performances are very good. My only quibble is the male voices, as acted by the female narrators, are less convincing, but it doesn't really detract from the enjoyment. All in all a really good book.

Epic Motorcycle Journey to heal a broken heart

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

Reviewed: 07-02-16

If you'd been through what Neil Pearl had been through you might be tempted to throw in the towel. Instead he gets the urge to go - somewhere, anywhere on his bike a day ends up travelling thousands of miles up and down Canada, USA and South America. The book comprises his attempts to come to terms with his new situation whilst recounting his adventures on "the healing Road."
I loved the book, though some of the description gets a bit long. I'm not normally Into travel writing but this is exceptional Disclosure: I am a massive Rush and Neil Pearl fan.

8 people found this helpful

Dreadful story, good production and performance

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

Reviewed: 16-01-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The story is just risible. Utter trash.

Any additional comments?

As with most of these Star Wars books they are made more enjoyable by the use of familiar sound effects etc. But there was no saving this one.

AKA the death of a radical

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

Reviewed: 16-01-16

If you could sum up Hitch-22 in three words, what would they be?

The life of a great raconteur, journalist and public intellectual as a backdrop for musing on every philosophical and political topic and major event of historical importance imaginable. He name-drops wildly, but not for effect: he really was best friends with Martin Amis, knew Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Gore Vidal. Susan Sontag etc. etc. He charts his beginnings from public school communist to an eventual slide to the right and becoming a non-pacifist and supporter of the war in Iraq, without losing his sense of outrage at the worst aspects of neo-con policies, bigotry, inequality and despotism.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hitch-22?

His accounts of riotously funny lunches with Kingsley Amis, Clive James and Martin Amis et al. Also his stories of life at an English boarding school were an eyeopener. Too many great stories to recount here.

Any additional comments?

My only criticism of the book is that sometimes Hitchens sounds a bit bored with himself whilst reading his autobiography. His voice sometimes trails away and it was sometimes hard to hear what he was saying.

8 people found this helpful

A good idea ruined by irritating narration

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

Reviewed: 16-12-15

What would have made A Million Years in a Day better?

This is a great idea for a book and I was looking forward to hearing it. The content, is reasonably interesting, but I confess I gave up after a few chapters as I couldn't stand anymore of the chirpy, unfunny narration. The book should have been a little more serious in tone. Nothing wrong with jokes, if they are funny, but he tries to hard to be humorous and fails.

What didn’t you like about Greg Jenner’s performance?

Sometimes when an author reads his own book it really works; alas not in this case. I found his style patronising and irritating. He fancies himself something of a comedian, but his humour is puerile and childish.

What character would you cut from A Million Years in a Day?

The narrator.

15 people found this helpful

Some interesting pieces but largely Americana

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

Reviewed: 16-12-15

What did you like best about Now I Know? What did you like least?

I enjoyed the style of the book and the narration, and there some very interesting pieces of information, but I found the overwhelming bias towards the USA (politics, sport, economy, history, popular culture) quite boring. A lot of the chapters mean nothing to a non American. Now I know, but I didn't want to know in the first place.

3 people found this helpful