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Michael

Banbury, United Kingdom
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The Door into Summer cover art
  • The Door into Summer

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Dan Davis, an electronics engineer, had finally made the invention of a lifetime: a household robot that could do almost anything. Wild success was within reach, but then Dan's life was ruined. In a plot to steal his business, his greedy partner and greedier fiancée tricked him into taking the "long sleep": suspended animation for 30 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful

  • By Christopher on 13-08-10

Heinlein at his VERY best

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-07-11

I have been reading Heinlein all my life since my first time in the mid 50's [I started young!]. This is one of my favourites - it was at first reading and remains so today. It is a story I delve into when feeling somewhat low for it has the power to make one see the good things in life. I think that everyone wants to find 'A Door Into Summer'. Something that provides a raison d'etre. This story, of time travel and the achievement of dreams has it all. Hero, down on luck, fleeced completely, sent to sleep for a long time, manages to go back, turn things around, and arrange to marry the woman he loves. What more can one want? The story is written in the normal 'Heinleinian' fashion - fast and furious. Dialogue is sparky and the story flows easily. Future predictions [the novella was written long ago] have not all come to pass [sadly some might say] but this does not detract from a very special story. The narration is OK, not brilliant, but acceptable. It may be that the rather slow, somewhat laconic, performance does not live up to the pace of the story but that is a minor criticism. Great stuff. If you like time travel stories, romances, SF, etc., listen to this book.

  • Marque and Reprisal

  • Vatta's War, Book 2
  • By: Elizabeth Moon
  • Narrated by: Cynthia Holloway
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Although the exciting military career she hoped for never got off the ground, Ky Vatta ended up seeing plenty of combat when she took the helm of one of the commercial transport vessels in her family's fleet...and steered it into a full-blown war. Now the lessons she learned in that trial by fire are about to pay off---because this time, the war has come to her. Someone has launched a full-throttle offensive against Vatta Transport Ltd., Ky's father's interstellar shipping empire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story but poor narration

  • By Michael on 09-07-11

Good story but poor narration

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-07-11

This would be my third 'reading' of the Vatta's War books. A feisty heroine, interesting characters, and a nicely developing story line. You probably have to read [listen] to all five books to get the most pleasure and, in truth, some of the later ones do seem a little contrived in the plot lines but are still enjoyable. This book, the second in the series, continues the development of the 'last' Vatta. Unfortunately the narration leaves a lot to be desired. The main problem seems to be the narrator's inability to recognise full stops, paragraphs, and even chapter, changes. Her voice remains the same throughout the reading with just minor adjustments for characters. The latter is fine but one has to really pick up on the fact that the story has moved to another location or facet. There is no change of emphasis to let the listener identify a sentence ending, etc., so you will not realise that from the narration. In truth, the story is so interesting that, whilst the narration detracts, it is not so bad as to make the book unlistenable. Compare the narration to the Honor Harrington books and the problems become obvious.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Selfish Gene

  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,065
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,043

Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen

  • By Amazon Customer on 20-08-11

A wonderful book, wonderfully narrated

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-07-11

I have lost count of the number of times I have read this book. From my battered copy of the first edition to the newer, but still well thumbed, later one. Now an audio book! An audio book narrated by Richard Dawkins himself and his wife Lalla Ward. It was a must have! It is a must have for anyone interested in the great question - where did we come from! In this early book Dawkins has not yet displayed his atheistic position quite so obviously [although it is still present] and, in a way, that makes the book even more impressive. As a scientific narrative it is excellent. The arguments, the examples, and the explanations are crystal clear and, whether or not you actually agree with the position he takes, it is an interesting journey. It was a book which helped me to get to where I am today and, being honest, clarified my thoughts about God, the Universe, and everything! I think it is the sheer wonder of natural selection as a 'system' that destroys the foundation for a creator. It is such a 'simple' thing.
The narration is above excellent. Dawkins has a wonderfully effective speaking voice [his lectures are a pleasure] and the interposition of his wife's voice add interest and variety. If you have an interest in one of the 'great questions' - if not the only one - then listen to this book.

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • In Enemy Hands

  • Honor Harrington, Book 7
  • By: David Weber
  • Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
  • Length: 19 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76

Honor Harrington has survived ship-to-ship combat, assassins, political vendettas, and duels. But this time, Honor and her crew, ambushed and captured, are aboard an enemy ship, bound for a prison planet aptly named "Hell" - and her scheduled execution. Yet the one lesson Honor has never learned is how to give up. She and her people are going home--even if it means conquering hell to get there!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great series but some flaws

  • By Michael on 25-09-10

A great series but some flaws

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-09-10

I really do enjoy the HH series. I have read them all in paperback and am now re-enjoying them in the excellent rendition of these audio books. I have only one real negative criticism - a criticism that seems to be exacerbated by the audio versions. This concerns the plot devices that Mr Weber uses to ensure that Manitcorian ships lose battles. He will know, as a student of Hornblower, that it was usual in the British Navy, to meet the dawn at action stations. It seems this particular approach has not translated to the Manticorian Navy. I am just listening to the chapter that Prince Adrian translates back into N space in the Adler system. Surely, any Commodore facing jumping into, an even considered friendly system, would be at Battle Stations. ALso the continued apparent uncetainty about various inconsistencies seems to me to be manufactured. When reading one can skip these bits that annoy - it is much more difficult to take in the audio books. The continued delay is, of course, used to increase tension but, in truth, in a war situation, it seems contrived. The whole situation in Adler is a manifestation of previous situations.
Having said this, the books are still excellent and I enjoy every one. I would recommend the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • On Basilisk Station

  • Honor Harrington, Book 1
  • By: David Weber
  • Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 316
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211

Having made a superior look a fool, Honor Harrington has been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin. Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship's humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station. The aborigines of the system's only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very good production of a good Space Opera

  • By Jernau Gurgeh on 15-05-09

An good intro to the audio versions of 'Honor'

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-06-10

I have read all the HH books both as paperbacks and e-books. I tend to re-read when a new book appears so have read the early ones several times. This time I decided to try an audio book. It was a good choice. I think this is the most enjoyable of ways to 'read'. The early HH books are far, far, better than the later ones which tend to get tied up in explanation of political shenanigans here and there. HH's progress is logical and well deserved and the situations believable. Of course Weber owes much to Hornblower and Napoleonic history but isnt that the sign of a competent author that he can relate both to a futuristic situation. HH is a believable heroine. The reading is pleasant, the female voice relaxing, and the characterisation of various voices is well done without being too much. All in all, a very enjoyable experience - one that makes me want to listen to the whole series but with some reservations about the later ones.
Recommended

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Defiant

  • Kris Longknife, Book 3
  • By: Mike Shepherd
  • Narrated by: Dina Pearlman
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52

Born into a family of wealth and political power, Kris Longknife turned her back on high society and followed a different family tradition by joining the Marines. But now she finds herself relieved of duty. She's gotten in the way of someone's agenda - to bring down her father, the Prime Minister of Wardhaven.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another good adventure

  • By Michael on 12-06-10

Another good adventure

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-06-10

I had read all of the Kris Longknife books previously (as e-books and paperbacks incidentally) and was re-reading the series as another appeared so thought I would try one as an audio book. It was a wise decision for I think I enjoyed this more than either paperback or e-book. There is sometimes tendency to 'speed read' certain parts of a particular book: you cant really do that with an audio book so, somehow, this seemed more interesting. I would recommend the story to anyone interested in space opera. It is well written, good characters, and interesting situations. It has made me want to listen to the other books in the series and to move to my other favourite space opera series, that of Honor Harrington.
So, finally, a good story read well - the female voice is a nice change for science fiction and soothing as well as interesting. If you have a mobile device (I have and iPAQ) you can even listen in the bath.
Highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful