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  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 46
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  • Slow Horses

  • Slough House, Book 1
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 829
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 770

Slough House is Jackson Lamb’s kingdom; a dumping ground for members of the intelligence service who’ve screwed up: left a secret file on a train, blown surveillance, or become drunkenly unreliable. They’re the service’s poor relations – the slow horses – and bitterest among them is River Cartwright, whose days are spent transcribing mobile phone conversations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Smiley than Pilgrim

  • By Robert on 17-08-17

A good thriller.

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

Reviewed: 17-09-18

Like LeCarre this takes a while to get into the grove of the world. However, like LeCarre this also builds a world where personality and character is just as important as plot. I really enjoyed it. Much more than I thought I would. Sean Barratt hasn’t been one of my favourite narrators in the past but here he puts in one of the best readings of his career in audiobooks. Well worth the time and the credit.

  • Napoleon the Great

  • By: Andrew Roberts
  • Narrated by: Stephen Thorne
  • Length: 37 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 600
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 556
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 557

Napoleon Bonaparte lived one of the most extraordinary of all human lives. In the space of just 20 years, from October 1795, when as a young artillery captain he cleared the streets of Paris of insurrectionists, to his final defeat at the (horribly mismanaged) battle of Waterloo in June 1815, Napoleon transformed France and Europe. After seizing power in a coup d'état, he ended the corruption and incompetence into which the revolution had descended.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A brilliant history

  • By Simon on 20-08-15

One of the best biographies of Napoleon

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

This is a very good book, if you are familiar with Napoleon it won't give you much that is new - but what it DOES do is cut through the myth, the propaganda and it becomes a wonderful sequential history that gives a rounded overview of this man - like Andrew Roberts I came to the same conclusion - Napoleon was one of the greats - alongside Caesar and Alexander the Great it is hard to comprehend how he managed some of the military victories.
I would have liked a little more on "The Return of the Ashes" and maybe Andrew Roberts could supply and audible short book on that? As that is a great story that is yet to be told well.
A great listen.

  • Fire and Fury

  • By: Michael Wolff
  • Narrated by: Michael Wolff, Holter Graham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,801
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,485
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,466

The first nine months of Donald Trump's term were stormy, outrageous - and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, best-selling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself. In this explosive audiobook, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Whirl of Staff and Ideas

  • By Ricci on 22-03-18

After the hype - it is huuuuuuge

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

What did you like most about Fire and Fury?

After all of the hype from the Trump White House - trashing the book - the trashing makes the point. This is a President obsessed with the media, with his own image and those around him are amazed that they even got this far. It is comedic, frightening and to my ear and mind aside from a few minor inaccuracies and the fondness for Bannon which I don't share this book could be the game changer that the White House fears.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Fire and Fury?

I think the chapter on the firing of the Mooch. It is by turns a farce and by turns the most scary non-fiction thing I have ever heard.

Which character – as performed by Michael Wolff and Holter Graham – was your favourite?

Trump - to hear someone read his speeches is chilling - the fragmented ramblings of a very troubled soul.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

It is worth it - everything you heard is true - listen and be amazed. Dickens couldn't have made this up!

  • To Kill the President

  • By: Sam Bourne
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Woodward
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 209
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 195
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 194

The United States has elected a volatile demagogue as president, backed by his ruthless chief strategist, Crawford 'Mac' McNamara. When a war of words with the North Korean regime spirals out of control and the president comes perilously close to launching a nuclear attack, it's clear someone has to act, or the world will be reduced to ashes. Soon Maggie Costello, a seasoned Washington operator and stubbornly principled, discovers an inside plot to kill the president - and faces the ultimate moral dilemma.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting - and plausible - story.

  • By Gadget Freak on 05-09-17

A fun and topical summer thriller

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

Reviewed: 21-07-17

A good idea from Jonathan Friedland writing as Sam Bourne. Clearly a take on the current POTUS this conspiracy thriller follows a dense protagonist as she uncovers a web of conspiracy both against and by the President.

A good tale but made rather comedic by the reader's performance. Characters bellow. Characters shout in OVER ENUNCIATED sentences which a more mature performance would face found more nuance. The character of McNamara in particular is howlingly badly read. If you can let that go the story in and of itself is a fun listen

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain's Political Class

  • By: Tim Shipman
  • Narrated by: Rupert Farley
  • Length: 32 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299

Based on unrivalled access to all the key politicians and their advisors - including Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, George Osborne, Nigel Farage and Dominic Cummings, the mastermind of Vote Leave - Shipman has written a political history that reads like a thriller and offers a gripping day-by-day account of what really happened behind the scenes in Downing Street, both Leave campaigns, the Labour Party, Ukip and Britain Stronger in Europe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magnificent blow by blow account

  • By Mr SA Lambe on 02-03-17

Best one of the bunch

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

Reviewed: 17-05-17

Would you listen to All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain's Political Class again? Why?

Having read a few I would go back to this one as the best overall source on the events surrounding Brexit.

What was one of the most memorable moments of All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain's Political Class?

The best moment is the way it deals with how the campaigns were set up and the machinations on the leave campaign - the sections on Farage in particular are illuminating

What about Rupert Farley’s performance did you like?

Very good - best of all these narrators

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

No - but I did rattle through it quickly

Any additional comments?

Best of the bunch

  • Unleashing Demons

  • The Inside Story of Brexit
  • By: Craig Oliver
  • Narrated by: Craig Oliver
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 153

As David Cameron's director of politics and communications, Craig Oliver was in the room at every key moment during the EU referendum - the biggest political event in the UK since World War II. Craig Oliver worked with all the players, including David Cameron, George Osbourne, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Theresa May and Peter Mandelson.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A partisan attempt to refight the battles

  • By Williams and Company R Stafford on 05-01-17

A problematic book

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

Reviewed: 17-05-17

What disappointed you about Unleashing Demons?

There are a few books about Brexit out there and I have read or listened to most. This is without doubt the weakest of the bunch. The author seems to write with hindsight and it is clear in many sections that we are being spun a retrospective narrative. The actual description of the vote and the aftermath lacks depth, drama or any effective writing skill.

Would you ever listen to anything by Craig Oliver again?

No, although I am sure that I will read some of his work as a speech writer. The long format just does not suit his style.

Would you be willing to try another one of Craig Oliver’s performances?

Very flat, and should have used the skills of an actor to bring the text to some form of life.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, it is an interesting account, but at an undergraduate level the book would get a solid 2.2

Any additional comments?

Read ALL OUT WAR by Tim Shipman - a much better and more balanced account of the same events.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Dark City

  • Crime in Wartime London
  • By: Simon Read
  • Narrated by: Kim Hartman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

There was more to wartime London than stiff upper lips and rousing choruses of 'Roll Out the Barrel'. There was crime and plenty of it in the time of blackouts, Blitz and bloodshed, and it is chronicled here in this lively and accessible history. Criminals hunted their prey without fear of reprisal. Many operated under the cover of darkness, emerging when the city sank into the oblivion of its nightly blackout. Others simply struck whenever opportunity presented itself.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting. But it's not history. It's entertainment history

  • By Mr on 01-09-16

Interesting. But it's not history. It's entertainment history

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

Reviewed: 01-09-16

I bought this because i am interested in the period and not many books have been written about crimes of the time.
This is good as an overview. An intellectual bookend about Orwell and his view of crime. However it isn't history. Too much is made of what characters did together where there is no evidence and quite a bit of it is clearly taken from autopsy reports and police reports and over written. It's fun but not that exhaustive.
Kim Hartman's reading is excitable and sometimes far too much. Like a cross be written a school teacher reading to nine year olds and an Agatha Christie hammy performance.

It's ok. Just not the best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys

  • The BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisation
  • By: Samuel Pepys, Hattie Naylor
  • Narrated by: Kris Marshall, Katherine Jakeways, Full Cast
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 297
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 294

Kris Marshall and Katherine Jakeways star as Mr & Mrs Pepys in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the world famous diaries. Samuel Pepys was 26 when he decided to start keeping a diary, in January 1660. For the next 10 years he faithfully recorded the day's events and confessed his innermost thoughts. That diary has since become one of our most important, and fascinating, historical documents. Pepys gave us eyewitness accounts of some of the great events of the 17th century, including the Great Fire of London and the Second Dutch War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and insightful

  • By Deborah Wyman on 21-10-14

Great adaptation

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

Reviewed: 14-08-16

Addictive. Great performances. The only thing (as previously mentioned in other reviews) is that the music gets rather annoying. This is because originally the piece was made for radio in stand alone episodes. My tip would be to set your skip to 20secs and then tap it when the 'gather ye rosebuds' song begins. You will clip it out.
That is my only quibble. Other than that a most excellent programme.
And so, to bed.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Romanovs: 1613-1918

  • By: Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Narrated by: Simon Russell Beale
  • Length: 28 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 457
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 410
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404

The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire? And how did they lose it all? This is the intimate story of 20 tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic content and narration

  • By H L Condliffe on 03-06-16

A great story - a great tale - an apalling telling

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

Reviewed: 30-04-16

If you could sum up The Romanovs: 1613-1918 in three words, what would they be?

History, Tragedy and Epic

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Romanovs: 1613-1918?

The opening juxtaposition of the end and the start of the Romanov rule

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Simon Russell Beale?

Anyone who has energy. The languid, overtly reverential tone is appalling. Martin Jarvis, Robert Glennister, anyone other than SRB. I would never ever download another book narrated by him. Totally ruined a great piece of writing and an epic biography with his languid detached style.

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

No - with this narrator couldn't even get through it - so read it instead.

Any additional comments?

Hate to be so negative about what is a good book - just so undercut by the narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • An Officer and a Spy

  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 16 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,447
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,334
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,328

January 1895: On a freezing morning in the heart of Paris, an army officer, Georges Picquart, witnesses a convicted spy, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, being publicly humiliated in front of 20,000 spectators baying ‘Death to the Jew!’ The officer is rewarded with promotion: Picquart is made the French army’s youngest colonel and put in command of ‘the Statistical Section’ - the shadowy intelligence unit that tracked down Dreyfus.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Julian Summer on 12-10-13

A great story - a little ramble - a lot of history

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

Reviewed: 30-04-16

Would you listen to An Officer and a Spy again? Why?

No, but as with all Robert Harris books it makes me eager to listen to the next book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of An Officer and a Spy?

I think the opening and the final sequence of events.

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

Yes, this is good, I think the energy runs out a little half way through, but I have a feeling that this is the book more than the narrator.

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

Not moved as such, but intrigued. The traitor - his flight to England intrigued me enough to do further research

3 of 3 people found this review helpful