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Matthew

London, United Kingdom
  • 28
  • reviews
  • 53
  • helpful votes
  • 47
  • ratings
  • God Is Not Great

  • The Case Against Religion
  • By: Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hitchens
  • Length: 4 hrs and 2 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 960
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 944

With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which the heavens are replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wish it was unabridged!

  • By rossl1986 on 10-04-17

Compulsory reading for all. A true legend.

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

Should be compulsory reading at all schools.
Such a brutal and transparent deconstruction of the filth that is religion is a wonder in itself.

  • Sharks

  • Investigating the Criminal Heart of the Global City
  • By: Conor Woodman
  • Narrated by: Conor Woodman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Curious about the modern love affair with criminal personalities, investigative reporter Conor Woodman spent four years exploring the hidden depths of dynamic cities across the globe. Sharks takes us on a journey through the lawless backstreets of cities as diverse as Mumbai, Bogot√°, New Orleans, Barcelona and London. In each he uncovers the people and the scams that keep the global black economy moving.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Decent but a bit shallow<br />

  • By Matthew on 27-06-18

Decent but a bit shallow<br />

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

Reviewed: 27-06-18

I understand he put himself in harms way but it's a very shallow book. Scant on depth and dips, just dips, into separate scams. Would have been better for him to get more examples.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Make Your Bed

  • Small things that can change your life...and maybe the world
  • By: Admiral William H. McRaven
  • Narrated by: Admiral William H. McRaven
  • Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310

'What starts here changes the world' was the university slogan that inspired William H. McRaven to take charge of the small things that could change his life...and even the world. Here McRaven shares the 10 life-changing principles he learned during his 37 years as a Navy SEAL. These 10 philosophies helped him to overcome challenges not only in his career but also throughout his life. What's more anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves, and the world, for the better....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A guide for life

  • By Steve V on 07-08-17

Less is most definitely more.

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

Reviewed: 13-04-18

No need for flowery prose when the best lessons are simple.

Accent isn't the easiest at first but coming from the author gave the narrative greater authority.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Soldier Spy

  • By: Tom Marcus
  • Narrated by: Jason Langley
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,445
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,268

In the boot were six homemade pipe bombs, all linked to detonate at the same time from a single call on a brand-new pay-as-you-go phone found on the target. Special Branch also found Chinese Type 56 assault rifles with eight full magazines of ammunition. His target was a local school. He planned to attack two coaches of teenagers returning home after a school trip to France. Approximately 60 children, their accompanying teachers and their waiting parents. He was going to kill them all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic account, fantastically narrated.

  • By Gareth on 11-01-17

Rather overblown for my liking.

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

Reviewed: 29-12-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The author has an interesting story. He does rather telegraph the outcome.

The performance is rather over dramatic and just "too much"

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have tried to hide the outcome a bit better. He does rather enjoy the hype and use of big adjectives. I've worked in this space in the Army and have to say that it's not quite all he states.

He has chosen a path akin to Steve Mitchell, aka Andy McNab. Hype and "look at me" writing.

Not quite the reality of this space were the main course is a diet of "hurry up and wait".

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jason Langley?

The narrator was fine, the flaw was in the briefing to hype up every word.

Did Soldier Spy inspire you to do anything?

Yes. Write my own book about this space were......very little happens!

Any additional comments?

It's always interesting to read books on this topic. This chap has fallen into the hype and almost fictional to make his point and tell his story.

To give it more gravitas I'd tone down the "quick, run, panic!" of the narration and relax about your experiences.

He seems to blow everything into the realms of "crash, bang, wallop". Calm down and tell us something interesting.

I also find the ending were he states where he cannot disclose even his job title as slightly hard to believe. In my job I've seen CV's from ex-Watchers who are happy to state their role but won't discuss detail or anything sensitive.

Is this person 1) real 2) telling the truth? I'm not sure.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Establishment

  • And How They Get Away With It
  • By: Owen Jones
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,407
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,268
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,253

Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms, and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Won't do your blood pressure any good....

  • By Colin on 11-04-17

Interesting take on the question, but....

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

Reviewed: 29-02-16

If you could sum up The Establishment in three words, what would they be?

I liked the style, pace, and the whole book.

However, I do feel a lot of it is a touch over blown.

Would you recommend The Establishment to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend it, but with a pinch of salt.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The passage where he called a Social Enterprise called "The bike works" a 'pet project' of EY.

I know the Bike Works and they are not a pet of EY. I also run an organisation which has benefited from EY's pro bono work and can confidently say that the author got that bit grossly wring.

  • The 33 Strategies of War

  • By: Robert Greene
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

Spanning world civilizations, synthesizing dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts and thousands of years of violent conflict, The 33 Strategies of War is a comprehensive guide to the subtle social games of everyday life, informed by the most ingenious and effective military principles in war. Structured in Greene's trademark style, The 33 Strategies of War is the I Ching of conflict, the contemporary companion to Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting.

  • By ganiyu on 16-02-14

Brilliant! Simple.

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

Reviewed: 16-12-15

What made the experience of listening to The 33 Strategies of War the most enjoyable?

The short bite size chunks and the references thereafter.

Any additional comments?

I've a few of these books and have to say the format works for me.

I have them, which is rare for me as I struggle to read due to PTSD, in hard copy and each chapter is covered in scribbles and notes.

I'm also a former soldier and find this a great way to translate the startegic and tactical theories into my entrepreneur life.

  • Beyond Belief

  • My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
  • By: Jenna Miscavige Hill
  • Narrated by: Sandy Rustin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144

Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable insight into the closest ranks

  • By Jamie on 08-12-13

The Emperors new clothes

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

Reviewed: 16-12-15

What made the experience of listening to Beyond Belief the most enjoyable?

The honesty.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Beyond Belief?

All of it!

Any additional comments?

It is a worry that the US government gives such an organisation religious status.

Surely they are perpetuating the myth and causing more suffering. Religion is simply a way to numb the brain for the pain which follows.

You can apply pretty much all of the principles of what happened to this young girl/lady to all religions, but obviously at different levels.

Religion is abuse. This is just one lens into one of the most abusive.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Oversubscribed

  • How to Get People Lining Up to Do Business with You
  • By: Daniel Priestley
  • Narrated by: Roger Davis, Daniel Priestley
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,751
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,536
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,514

Don't fight for customers; let them fight over you! Have you ever queued for a restaurant? Preordered something months in advance? Fought for tickets that sell out in a day? Had a hairdresser with a six-month waiting list? There are people who don't chase clients; clients chase them. In a world of endless choices, why does this happen? Why do people queue up? Why do they pay more? Why will they book months in advance? Why are these people and products in such high demand?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This book is not for 1 or 2 "person" start ups

  • By Paul on 26-03-16

4 times listened too now.

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

Reviewed: 16-12-15

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

No idea. I don't read print copy due to my ptsd

What was one of the most memorable moments of Oversubscribed?

The last sentence where he teases you about the 'most important lesson'

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

No. Simply because of my work load.

Any additional comments?

I've been through this audiobook 4 times in the past 3 months.

It's rare I find a book which offers case studies which are not bloated or packed full of ego.
Whilst the author isn't shy, his case studies about his own success seem relevant and not bloated.

I know Rob Gardner who was mentioned in this book and can testify everything stated about him is true. This gives me a confidence in the text and as such I have taken on board much of what is said.

A must listen too.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Church of Fear

  • Inside the Weird World of Scientology
  • By: John Sweeney
  • Narrated by: John Sweeney
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182

Tom Cruise and John Travolta say the Church of Scientology is a force for good. Others disagree. Award-winning journalist John Sweeney investigated the Church for more than half a decade. During that time he was intimidated, spied on, and followed, and the results were spectacular: Sweeney lost his temper with the Church's spokesman on camera, and his infamous 'exploding tomato' clip was seen by millions around the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truly Bonkers

  • By David on 16-07-15

The Emporer's new clothes

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

Reviewed: 04-09-15

Wonderful book. Sweeney has a manhood made of Brutish steel too take on this brainwashing cult.
the world can only improve with the death of religion, with these cults top of the list.
looking at the main character's lives now most have left the cult, the scam is laid bare for all too see.
I'd like Sweeney to tackle Catholicism next.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success

  • By: Andy McNab, Kevin Dutton
  • Narrated by: Andy McNab, Kevin Dutton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 416
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 367

If you are bored and unfulfilled by dry and overly worthy self-help manuals, then this is the audiobook for you! Listen to this and take a very different look at yourself! Former SAS hero Andy McNab and eminent psychologist Professor Kevin Dutton are unlikely partners. As Oxford academic and bestselling author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Kevin Dutton has plenty of experience of psychopaths, but he'd never met anyone quite like Andy McNab, decorated war hero and special forces warrior.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Andy McNabb does it again!

  • By Phil on 30-11-14

Look at me, look at me!!!

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

Reviewed: 29-05-15

If you could sum up The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success in three words, what would they be?

Interesting - inspiring - a good guide

What did you like best about this story?

The Professor has covered an area which has been overlooked. As someone who sits very close to this category, I learned a lot about how to maximize my own skills.

Any additional comments?

It is a shame it is written with too much of a lads day out style with Steve Mitchell telling us how great he is. It's old and boring. I would have much rather had another person who could give us insight without Mitchell telling us to kiss his feet.