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Phaedo

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  • 43
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  • Kill for Me

  • Victor the Assassin, Book 8
  • By: Tom Wood
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

For years, two sisters have vied for the turf of their dead crime boss father. Across the streets of Guatemala City, bodies have piled up; the US Drug Enforcement Agency, operating far from its own borders, is powerless to stop the fighting. But now one sister has a weapon that could finally win the war - a cold, amoral hitman known, fittingly, as 'Victor'. Freed from previous employers the CIA and MI6, Victor is a killer for hire whose sense of self-preservation trumps all else. Yet as betrayal and counterbetrayal unspool in the vicious family feud, Victor finds himself at the centre of a storm even he could be powerless to stop.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Buy the paperback<br />

  • By Amazon Customer on 28-07-18

Dont Worry - the narration is great!

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

Reviewed: 21-10-18

Lots of people worried about the change of reader - me too! However, the reader us excellent, Victor sounds slightly tougher at first but this seems to be dialled back as the story progresses. I used to enjoy the irony of soft spoken civility combined with deadly lethality but the new guy does a great job. Good story as well!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hellbent

  • By: Gregg Hurwitz
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 662
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 628
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 626

To some he was Orphan X. Others knew him as the Nowhere Man. But to veteran spymaster Jack Johns, he was a boy named Evan Smoak. Taken from an orphanage, Evan was raised inside a top secret programme designed to turn him into a deadly weapon. Jack became his instructor, mentor, teacher and guardian. Because for all the dangerous skills he instilled in his young charge, he also cared for Evan like a son. And now Jack needs Evan’s help....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By ben on 16-03-18

Superb!

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

I nearly lost patience with this series at Book 2 which seemed stuck on rinse and repeat.

This book gained back the momentum of the first book,; good characterisation and lots of credible action.

Excellent narration too.

  • A Dark So Deadly

  • By: Stuart MacBride
  • Narrated by: Steve Worsley
  • Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 764
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 756

Welcome to the Misfit Mob... It's where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can't get rid of but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it's his job to find out which museum it's been stolen from. But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely amazing

  • By Andromeda's Twin on 24-04-17

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 22-08-17

Slow start but persist, this is a very good story with interesting and we'll developed characters. I really enjoyed the Scottish setting and in the darkness there is a lot of humour! I am sorry that the 'Misfit Mob' seem only to be having one outing. Recommended!

  • Real Tigers

  • Slough House, Book 3
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Seán Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 552
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 552

London's Slough House is where disgraced MI5 operatives are reassigned to spend the rest of their spy careers pushing paper. But when one of these 'slow horses' is kidnapped by a former soldier bent on revenge, the agents uncover a larger web of intrigue that involves not only a group of private mercenaries but also the highest authorities in the Security Service.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Undiluted enjoyment

  • By Earnest on 10-03-16

Believable Mayhem!

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

Reviewed: 19-02-17

What did you like most about Real Tigers?

Funnily enough I like the Slow Horse characters; the first time I encountered them in 'Sleeping Lions' I thought I would not get on with such an unprepossessing crew but they are great!. Jackson Lamb whilst physically and socially abhorrent is caustically funny and made this reader laugh out loud in the street at several points.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Real Tigers?

I won't deal in plot-spoilers but I can say that there are many memorable moments for the reader!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There were convincing scenes of the ruthless dog eat dog nature of the secret world. The political element was represented by a character who was uncannily like a contemporary public figure and seemed to me to accurately portray him in all his repulsiveness! There is plenty of coherent and believable action as well to add a zing to the read!

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

Yes, I would have been happy to do that but I listen to about 30 minutes every day whilst power walking and it is just as enjoyable at that pace. I can't give higher praise than saying that even tramping through mud and rain is an enjoyable prospect with a 'Slow Horses' book to listen to!

Any additional comments?

Very high quality performance as always from Sean Barratt - he is one of the very best! The book is brilliantly written with superb characters and superb dialogue - there are brilliant Jackson Lamb 'one-liners' to treasure. The plot 'emerges' realistically from the actions of 'real-life' people not gun toting, karate chopping playstation figures.

In both the Slough Books books I have read - they have kept me guessing right the way through.

  • The Trinity Six

  • By: Charles Cumming
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159

Europe is still littered with the darkest secrets of the Cold War. And the most deadly revelation of them all is about to be made…Hard-up Russia expert Dr Sam Gaddis finally has a lead for a book that could set his career back on track. He has staggering new information about an unknown sixth member of the infamous Cambridge spy ring – a man who has evaded detection for his entire life

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Trinity Six

  • By JOHN M. on 22-12-16

History Mystery!

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

Reviewed: 14-01-17

Pretty good. Dependent on stupid protagonist a little too much. Sam Gaddis I'm looking at you!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Divided Spy

  • By: Charles Cumming
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 164

From the winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012 for Best Thriller of the Year comes a gripping and suspenseful new spy novel. Perfect for fans of John le Carré, Charles Cumming is 'the master of the modern spy thriller' ( Mail on Sunday). Thomas Kell thought he was done with spying. A former MI6 officer, he devoted his life to the service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin. Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Never again

  • By Louize on 01-09-16

Another intelligent story!

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

Reviewed: 04-11-16

Any additional comments?

This is a very good continuation of the Tom Kell series. By the time you get to this book you are aware of why Tom is a divided, ambivalent character. This books shows a path to his repair, and old fashioned word, redemption.

The series is realistic in that it does not use 'super human' characters and allows for frailties and failure along with an admirable desire to get the job done. Tom is a surprisingly sensitive and thoughtful man and that contrasts satisfyingly with some of the more functionally amoral protagonists one comes across in this kind of literature. The 'double-think' and 'analysis paralysis in such a devious world is convincing and its effect on the characters shows how destructive and exhausting this kind of life must be.

Some themes run through the 3 Kell books: a lot of the characters have surprisingly positive moral limits, there is a theme of patriotism, they drink and smoke a lot and everyone in SIS seems to be able to live in good areas of central London - must be good wages in the spy game!

Excellent narrator with a successful and very believable range of characterisations.

The books are recommended!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Colder War

  • By: Charles Cumming
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 174

MI6's Head of Station in Turkey is killed in a mysterious plane crash. Amelia Levene, chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, wants the incident investigated - quickly and quietly. The only man she can trust is Thomas Kell, a disgraced spy searching for redemption. Arriving in Istanbul, Kell discovers that MI6 operations in the region have been fatally compromised: a traitor inside Western Intelligence threatens not just the Special Relationship, but the security of the entire Middle East.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Credible, imaginative and unexpected - brilliant!

  • By Philip on 20-05-14

Character Driven Spy Series

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

Reviewed: 14-10-16

Book 2 in series.. Interesting settings, good continuation of themes from Book 1.. Realistic scope of intelligence work relying on intelligence rather than super hero whiz bang machismo.. Narration is absolutely top notch.. Going to check if there is a Book 3!! Highly recommended.

  • A Foreign Country

  • By: Charles Cumming
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 298
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 275

Six weeks before she is due to take up her position as the first female head of MI6, Amelia Levene vanishes without a trace. Her disappearance is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced for more than a decade. There has been no ransom demand, no word from foreign intelligence services, and no hint of a defection. Should news of Levene’s disappearance leak out, the consequences would be catastrophic. But for disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell, the crisis offers a chance for redemption.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cracking story incredibly well read

  • By A on 13-11-16

Slow Burner But Very Good

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

Reviewed: 28-09-16

Very entertaining. Slightly involved writing at times but creates solid characters. Book changes midway for better

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Don Quixote

  • By: Miguel de Cervantes, John Ormsby (translated by)
  • Narrated by: Roy McMillan
  • Length: 36 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 564
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 474
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 475

The most influential work of the entire Spanish literary canon and a founding work of modern Western literature, Don Quixote is also one of the greatest works ever written. Hugely entertaining but also moving at times, this episodic novel is built on the fantasy life of one Alonso Quixano, who lives with his niece and housekeeper in La Mancha. Quixano, obsessed by tales of knight errantry, renames himself ‘Don Quixote’ and with his faithful servant Sancho Panza, goes on a series of quests.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Mother and Father of all novels

  • By P on 22-02-12

Probably/Possible the Greatest Book ever?!

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

Reviewed: 07-09-14

What made the experience of listening to Don Quixote the most enjoyable?

The quality pf the story is incomparable. The reading by Roy McMillan is - what can I say? Outstanding does not cover it. I am not a wordsmith or I would find the right word - as many others have said - Roy brings this book to life. I could have read it myself and had a much inferior experience.

What did you like best about this story?

I think that DQ offers an insight into humanity which is as great as a select few works of fiction. It is full of Spanish sensibility but it is also just as mind provoking as a modernist icon like Ulysses. DQ, the man, is counterparted by Sancho's realism. But then DQ is full of a sense himself. He is viewed as a fool but also as a man of sense by his contemporaries.

The book develops a perspective of 'celebrity; because DQ's adventures as a knight errant which start as hopeless and irrational are written about and DQ and Sancho acquire 'fictional' counterparts .Then socially prominent individuals begin to engage with the real DQ and Sancho as 'real people' and also with DQ and Sancho the 'irrational' and 'legendary' characters! It is bewildering and exhilarating and of course it provokes reflection on what is 'irrational' and what is 'realistic?' I am old enough to remember when people who were worried about the earth and conservation were 'hippies,' and when vegetarianism was seen as a 'fad.' These are now mainstream schools of thought and DQ, the work holds up a mirror to conventionalism and shows it wanting.

What is mad about being idealistic? Are realists admirable?Or just lazy people who settle for less because they lack energy and creativity? There is also a very modern self consciousness about creating a text (because of the layers of narration) and how a text and I suppose - a life - escapes the 'control' of the 'author/human?!' What a wonderful book.

What does Roy McMillan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Roy McMillan, as many have said, has voiced the characters in this complex book in a wonderful way. I can hear the voices as I write this and I finished the book 4 weeks ago. Roy is a brilliant narrator like Neville Jason in War and Peace. I could never have had the experience I have had just by reading. There are some 'tough' points to this book - there are some extensive 'cataloguing' pages about every knight errant that ever lived for example and if I never hear the name of 'Amadis of Gaul' again - it will be too soon! But the range of characterisations, the sense of humanity is just not to be missed.

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

Nothing to do with 'Man of La Mancha!' or anything to do with windmills.. I would be a bit dour and I suppose too boring but I would want to say something about an essential contribution from Spain towards understanding and valuing of our common humanity. This would be a film that uplifts you in understanding your fellow human.

But - actually - don't waste your time - it is too subtle and important to be a film - just listen to the book!

Any additional comments?

As previous commentators have remarked - it is a slow burn at first. Stick with it through the cataloguing of heroes of chivalry, books of chivalry and the more absurdist episodes such as the windmills etc. They almost lay the basis for the picaresque tales within tales and then you will experience the unravelling of DQ, the man as a human and the endlessly admirable and loveable Sancho - a true 'everyman.' I now have some of Sancho's proverbs by heart and whilst they madden DQ - I enjoy them very much - after all - 'St Peter is well in Rome! Oh - and I shouldn't miss a shout-out for 'Roscinante' and 'Dapple!'

By the next stage of the book you are questioning who the 'mad' are.. the gentlemanly classes are shown up as they try to fool with DQ who actually has many admirable human qualities and you willl learn to value Sancho ( especially as a governor) , the Curate, the Barber and the inimitable Bachelor Carasco as representatives of the disinterested kindness that humanity can be capable of in its sense of community and friendship.

I have found this book a deeply uplifting experience.For those who have read it - there is a free course on Yale on the i-net which expertly analyses the work. This is a great Spanish (amongst many from that wonderful country) contribution to world culture. Thanks

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • War and Peace, Volume 1

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Neville Jason
  • Length: 30 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 422

War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An epic reading

  • By Francis on 01-05-07

Do not miss this book!

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

Reviewed: 07-06-14

Where does War and Peace, Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

W&P1 is my first audio book. I think after I have listened to W&P2 that it will all be downhill from then on. This book is one of the most compelling books ever! It's characters and structure are magnificent - there are scenes that made me excited, nervous, tearful and joyful! I wlll be bereft without my daily excerpt and I envy anyone who is yet to read this for the first time. Don't be put off by the length or any fear that lingers from its reputation. This a cultural highpoint for humanity and best of all - it is fantastic entertainment.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There are too many wonderful characters but I guess I tend towards the Bolkonsky family, old Nikolay, Andrei, Maria plus that eternal seeker and optimist, Pierre Bezuhov! They are all trying to find purpose in life in an uncomplaining and energetic way.

What about Neville Jason’s performance did you like?

Neville Jason is a narrative genius! He has an incredible range of voices and brings characters and the book to vivid life. I think that after exepriencing his beautiful voice and his authorative voicing of the vast range of characters that anyone will be filled with admiration. I always think of Martin Jarvis as a narrative 'gold standard' but Neville is 'Martin Jarvis plus'.

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

The book does make you laugh in parts and experience joy. There are parts that are incredibly exciting cliff hangers, you fear for characters and you can also experience a range of perspectives on life from the very old to the very young. An example would be the cares of a parent for the wayward nature of a carefree young child - the parent sees the fearful potential and the child sees opportunity and challenge. Both views are valid and they contribute to the richness of this book.

Any additional comments?

I can only urge members to listen to this book - as others have said - it is unmissable!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful