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Stephen Wilson

  • 3
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 42
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  • Keep the Aspidistra Flying

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Richard E. Grant
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244

Gordon Comstock loathes dull, middle-class respectability and worship of money. He gives up a 'good job' in advertising to work part-time in a bookshop, giving him more time to write. But he slides instead into a self-induced poverty that destroys his creativity and his spirit. Only Rosemary, ever-faithful Rosemary, has the strength to challenge his commitment to his chosen way of life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unfairly neglected gem of a master novella!

  • By Raphael on 04-01-16

Hard going at times but a satisfying ending

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

Reviewed: 07-11-16

The protagonist is not a particularly charming or likeable character. It is hard to see how he has any friends at all. The love interest in the story plays a key role in shaping his character but it is hard to see what she sees in him. I like listening to this story in short bursts as too much can be quite draining. I like the philosophical reasoning and the relationship between money and doing something meaningful with your life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow of the Wolf

  • By: Tim Hall
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 48

The first book of the trilogy, Shadow of the Wolf, is set in Sherwood Forest in medieval England. In it, Tim Hall presents a Robin Hood more heroic and horrific than ever before: a 14-year-old blind, ruthless assassin and elemental creature of the forest, hell-bent on a mission to avenge his father's death and the brutal abduction of his soul mate, Marian. It is a breathtakingly original - and utterly compelling - retelling of the Robin Hood legend.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great narrator. Tedious story

  • By Darren on 15-01-15

A great re-imagining of a much loved story

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

Reviewed: 28-10-16

It's better if you don't read the blurb too closely. Alternatively buy now and listen later when you've forgotten about it. All you need to know is that it is the story of Robin Hood - but not as you know it! A story that re-visits past events doesn't seem tedious to me but rather it feels like parts of the story are coming together. The narration is superb. I look forward to hearing the remaining books in the trilogy.

  • Switch on Your Brain

  • The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
  • By: Dr. Caroline Leaf
  • Narrated by: Joyce Bean
  • Length: 4 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 76

You are not a victim of your biology! The vast majority of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses. Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives you a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Warning! Try before you buy..

  • By Stephen Wilson on 23-05-16

Warning! Try before you buy..

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

Reviewed: 23-05-16

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

It tries to be accessible claiming it is not a "scientific tome" but I didn't find it very easy to follow or comprehend. Expect a lot of neuroscience technical terms and some made-up terms like "milkshake multitasking". In the most part, I got the gist of the narration however there were plenty of times when my reaction to what I was hearing was one of complete bewilderment.

I sympathize with people who did not know the relationship between the author's Christian faith and her scientific research. The description should have made this explicitly clear and it is baffling beyond belief why this glaring omission has been made.

I did enjoy listening to examples of her research - the personal and very human stories of people who have made amazing medical recoveries. I was disappointed that her scientific mind did not deliver more sound and persuasive reasoning. It is facile to simply throw biblical quotes at people to "prove a point" especially when not given their proper context. For example, when the Bible talks about the "body" it is sometimes referring to "a body of people" or "the church" and not your physical body. Context is everything.

I found the egotistical nature of this book very off-putting. The book is all about the author, her research, her clinics, her clients, her 21 day brain detox plan and even plugs some of her other products. Christianity however doesn't place importance on self but in the personhood of Jesus Christ and selflessness.

Has Switch on Your Brain put you off other books in this genre?

Nope. This particular genre is somewhat muddled. It is filed in the "Health and Personal Development" category but could equally be filed away in "religion and spirituality". Towards the end of the audiobook it makes references to "Mindfulness" and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) so it could be filed away in that genre also.

Would you be willing to try another one of Joyce Bean’s performances?

Not really impressed by the narrator.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Switch on Your Brain?

Take out the last couple of minutes which contains all the boring copyright statements for all the different translations of the Bible used throughout the audiobook. It was a painful listen. Also stop throwing quotes around like a Study Bible. I don't want to pause and look stuff up when I'm listening to an audiobook. I have real books for that.

Any additional comments?

I really wanted this book to "blow my mind" as one of my friends suggested it would. Sadly, I feel deflated by it.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful