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Horace Spatula

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 33
  • ratings
  • The Martian War

  • A Thrilling Eyewitness Account of the Recent Alien Invasion as Reported by Mr. H. G. Wells
  • By: Kevin J. Anderson
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12

What if the Martian invasion was not entirely the product of H.G. Wells's vivid imagination? What if Wells witnessed something that spurred him to write The War of the Worlds as a warning? From drafty London flats to the steamy Sahara, to the surface of the moon and beyond, The Martian War takes the reader on an exhilarating journey with Wells and his companions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Don't give up on this story too soon. It gets better

  • By Horace Spatula on 15-02-17

Don't give up on this story too soon. It gets better

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

Reviewed: 15-02-17

An unusual take on background inspiring HGWells stories, such as War of the Worlds, first men on the moon, and The island of Doctor Moreau.
At first I though this would be an uninteresting autobiographical account of H.G., as much was factual. However, it became very exciting and interesting, incorporating many of his stories, such as The Time Machine and The Invisible Man.
Well worth persevering with.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse

  • By: A. L. Kennedy
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

An original novel by A.L. Kennedy featuring the Fourth Doctor, as played by Tom Baker in the BBC TV series. Something distinctly odd is going on in Arbroath. It could be to do with golfers being dragged down into the bunkers at the Fetch Brothers' Golf Spa Hotel, never to be seen again.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • very Douglas Adamsy

  • By John Telfer on 24-01-17

More fantasy than science fiction

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

Reviewed: 08-12-16

It took a while getting going. I would like an abridged version, as the story line is fine and imaginative, but rather repetitive in parts.
Somewhat marred by weird music, which intruded on the narrator.
Worth a try if you have patience.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Short Stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Cathy Dobson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

A superb collection of stories that will enthral both young and old. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is one of the world's great storytellers, exhibiting astounding versatility in his narration, as he ranges between science fiction (in "When the World Screamed"), mystery and adventure (in "The Lost Special"), horror (in "The Leather Funnel"), action and heroism (in "The Croxley Master") and the ghostly occult (in "The Brown Hand"). This outstanding collection will keep listeners on the edge of their armchairs for 10 hours of breathless excitement and suspense.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • What on Earth??

  • By Steve on 29-01-17

Annoying voice.

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

Reviewed: 27-08-14

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I don't think anyone would persevere with this reading

Would you ever listen to anything by Arthur Conan Doyle again?

Yes, definitely, but with a different reader

Would you be willing to try another one of Cathy Dobson’s performances?

No

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Short Stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Cut nothing out

Any additional comments?

Very disappointed. I love Conan Doyle's work, and could not continue long listening because of the repetitive modulation pattern of the reader.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

I, Robot cover art
  • I, Robot

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247

They mustn't harm a human being, they must obey human orders, and they must protect their own existence...but only so long as that doesn't violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities, and unforeseen risks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent stories, shame about the reader

  • By Bibliomaniac on 01-03-09

A great SF series of stories

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Lots of different robot stories all in some way connected in sequence, with mysteries to solve, usually explained (without giving the plots away) by the laws of robotics. Great to dip into. Enjoyable entertainment. A good introduction to some aspects of science fiction.

  • The Man in the Iron Mask

  • By: Alexandre Dumas
  • Narrated by: B.J. Harrison
  • Length: 27 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7

Thirty years after their first adventures in The Three Musketeers, we find Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan in very different situations. Athos has settled down at his own estate. Porthos married a rich widow, and is now a Baron. Aramis joined a monastery, and is now the Bishop of Vannes. D'Artagnan alone remains a Musketeer for the king, and is now captain of the very force he so longed to join all those years ago. In The Man in the Iron Mask, Dumas develops his Musketeers into probing, multifaceted characters.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • You may not fully recognise this story.

  • By Horace Spatula on 23-12-12

You may not fully recognise this story.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

If you have seen the film or heard abridged versions, you may not recognise the story in full. A great deal is changed from the popular version (actually of course, Alexandre Dumas wrote the original and it's the film makers who did the changes).

Loads of background facts, filled in by fiction but mirroring life in France at the time.

References to the 4 musketeers, now grown older, and amazing intrigues, political and financial. Plenty to get your teeth into.

  • The Foundation Trilogy (Dramatized)

  • By: Isaac Asimov, Patrick Tull - adaptation, Mike Stott - adaptation
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Beevers, Lee Montague, Julian Glover, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 308
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240

The opening episode begins on Trantor, capital of the Galactic Empire, with the meeting of Seldon and Dornick, their trial, and their exile to Terminus. The action then jumps forward 50 years, to the first Seldon Crisis, where the repercussions of the recent independence of the Four Kingdoms of the Periphery are being felt on Terminus, and are handled by the first Mayor, Salvor Hardin....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Muffled Foundation

  • By Robert on 28-04-11

An impossible task, but worth the effort.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Anyone who has read the complete Foundation Trilogy will realise that cutting it down to 7 hours, whatever is an impossible task. I hope this fine greatly abridged dramatisation will not disappoint too much. They did their best. It's an epic tale spanning centuries of change across the galaxy. The basis of the plot is the idea of psychohistory where it is possible to predict what very large numbers of people will do. We get some good insights into present day politics/religion/commerce too. It's not all blasters and space ships. Fascinating, as Spock would say. Worth a try.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Les Miserables

  • By: Victor Hugo
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 57 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 164

Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A slog but well worth it.

  • By Alan on 07-06-11

Epic tale of revolutionary France

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Not for the fainthearted! Around 57 hours. Worth persevering with. The underlying story is brilliant, with the characters being well portrayed. Background details are amazing , quite apart from the story itself. If you don't like detail, such as names, places, dates etc., which tie in with historical fact usually, then possibly a good abridgement might be better for you. Personally, next time I listen to this, I will fast forward some of the chapters.

There is plenty of action, but it does drag in parts. You have battles, revolution, a great hero, some tender romantic moments, bloodthirsty bits, scary bits...it's all there. Well worth persevering with.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful