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J. A. Hill

London
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings
  • Endurance

  • Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
  • By: Alfred Lansing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 966
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 966

In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enthralling

  • By penobscott on 10-07-17

A magnificent piece of writing and narration

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

Reviewed: 17-05-16

Certainly one of the best books/audio books i've ever read.
The narration is one of the best i've ever heard and seems so well suited to the subject matter.

  • Bandaging the Blitz

  • By: Phyll MacDonald Ross, I. D. Roberts
  • Narrated by: Annie Aldington
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 29

An incredible true story of a young nurse working in the East End of London during the Second World War.In 1938, 18-year-old Phyllis Ellsworth packs her bags, says good-bye to her anxious parents and sets off from her quiet seaside home for the Hackney Hospital in London's bustling East End, where she is to fulfill her dream to train as a nurse. At first it is a whirlwind of long days, hard work, new friends and plenty of mischief....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Alison Boniface on 29-04-16

Fantastic story about life in the Blitz

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

Reviewed: 12-02-16

This is a very sweet story about living and growing up through one of the darkest times in our history. Training as a nurse in Hackney the author had to live through some of the Blitz bombing and describes events very well. The book does not cover as much about the blitz as I expected but more about general life in London and getting evacuated and getting on the with business of training to be a nurse.

Very enjoyable book with great narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Seven Troop

  • By: Andy McNab
  • Narrated by: Paul Thornley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 219
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217

They were like a band of brothers...In 1983 Andy McNab was assigned to B Squadron, one of the four Sabre Squadrons of the SAS, and within it to Air Troop, otherwise known as SEVEN TROOP. This is Andy McNab's gripping account of the time he served in the company of a remarkable group of men - from the day, freshly badged, he joined them in the Malayan jungle, to the day, ten years later, that he handed in his sand-coloured beret and started a new life.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By shane on 13-10-16

A fantastic read my favourite McNab so far

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

Reviewed: 15-01-16

Seven Troop is an absolute blinder, if you're read Bravo Two Zero or Immediate Action then you must read this.

It's not just the action but reveals the lives of these men who were always prepared to go beyond the call of duty. Long live the ice cream boys.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Too Far From Home

  • A Story of Life and Death in Space
  • By: Chris Jones
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

In November 2002, U.S. astronauts Donald Pettit and Kenneth Bowersox, and Russian flight engineer Nikolai Budarin, left on what was to be a routine 14-week mission to maintain the International Space Station. But then, on February 1, 2003, the Columbia space shuttle exploded beneath them. With the launch program suspended indefinitely, these astronauts had suddenly lost their ride home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good but not what I expected

  • By Paul C on 20-07-17

Gripping account of a long stay ISS mission

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

Reviewed: 01-09-15

A fantastic account of life on the ISS and what happens when your return vehicle gets grounded. One of the best space exploration books i've read, gripping at times and even the daily mundane tasks are interesting. The ballistic descent had me on the edge of my chair.

  • The Wrong Stuff

  • The Adventures and Misadventures of an 8th Air Force Aviator
  • By: Truman Smith
  • Narrated by: James Killavey
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26

Between April and July 1944, Truman Smith flew 35 bombing missions over France and Germany. He was only 20 years old. Although barely adults, Smith and his peers worried about cramming a lifetime's worth of experience into every free night, each knowing he probably would not survive the next bombing mission. Written with blunt honesty, wry humor, and insight, The Wrong Stuff is Smith's gripping memoir of that time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What an amazing guy

  • By The BoatBuilder on 27-04-15

What a wonderful account of young 8th AF Pilots

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

Reviewed: 07-07-15

What other book might you compare The Wrong Stuff to, and why?

This is a great personal account and has a lot of very funny moments, in this way it's more light hearted than other combat books such as 'A Higher Call'

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Great tales from some of the antics during flying, such as sleeping on route to a bomb run

  • Rescue Pilot

  • Cheating the Sea
  • By: Jerry Grayson
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16

Jerry Grayson is an ordinary man who chose an extraordinary career. At age 17 he became the youngest helicopter pilot ever to serve in the Royal Navy. By age 25 he was the most decorated peacetime naval pilot in history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and entertaining

  • By DI on 23-07-15

A very enjoyable but too brief account of SAR life

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

Reviewed: 07-07-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Rescue Pilot to be better than the print version?

Not seen the print version

What other book might you compare Rescue Pilot to, and why?

I've read many books on combat flying but this is rather different with the aim to save lives rather then take them, so i can make no comparison to other books i've read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Four Weeks in May

  • The Loss of HMS Coventry
  • By: David Hart Dyke
  • Narrated by: Paul Blake
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

On 25 May 1982, at a critical juncture in the Falklands War, the destroyer HMS Coventry was attacked by Argentinean aircraft. In a devastating strike, she was hit by three bombs, two of which exploded inside her hull, killing 19 of her crew and leaving many others badly injured. Within minutes Coventry had capsized, and would finally sink the following day. It was the first occasion since the Second World War that a British captain and crew had to abandon a stricken ship.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A good account but lacking depth

  • By J. A. Hill on 10-11-14

A good account but lacking depth

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

Reviewed: 10-11-14

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Only if interested in the story of Coventry.
It's a good account but lacks any depth/guts/passion.
The author expends as many words detailing his family history and correspondence home than the actual naval war.

What three words best describe Paul Blake’s performance?

Long winded, could have abbreviated some of the English. All of the have nots and did nots and everything else i can think of are all read out explicitly which seem endless and do nothing to help the flow of the narrative

Was Four Weeks in May worth the listening time?

Yes

  • Frozen in Time

  • An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II
  • By: Mitchell Zuckoff
  • Narrated by: Mitchell Zuckoff
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men vanished. In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing crashes and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic book, gripping story well read.

  • By J. A. Hill on 18-08-14

Fantastic book, gripping story well read.

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

Reviewed: 18-08-14

What did you like most about Frozen in Time?

Fantastic story of human survival and spirit

What did you like best about this story?

I like how it combines a WW2 story with a modern day quest to find the crash site of one of the rescue planes.

What about Mitchell Zuckoff’s performance did you like?

Very well read with a real passion for the subject

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

This is a very engaging story more about the people involved than their flying machines. It's a very personal story too about the struggles to launch an expedition to Greenland to find the heroes frozen in ice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Higher Call

  • The Incredible True Story of Heroism and Chivalry During World War Two
  • By: Adam Makos, Larry Alexander
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 114

Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Suddenly, a German Messerschmitt fighter pulled up on his tail. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would later be called 'the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.'

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • George's review

  • By George on 04-11-16

A must for all aviation fans

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

Reviewed: 24-03-14

If you could sum up A Higher Call in three words, what would they be?

exciting interesting honest

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Higher Call?

Can't say, might spoil it for others

What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

Great spoken voice, easy to listen to

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Near the end, can't spoil it for others though

Any additional comments?

Probably my favourite military history book and one that makes me feel very differently about those we call the enemy.