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Paul Hamer

Hampshire, UK
  • 25
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 57
  • ratings
  • Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds: The Musical Drama

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: H. G. Wells, Jeff Wayne
  • Narrated by: Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Theo James, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,872
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,690
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,674

One of the world’s most recognisable sci-fi stories, H. G. Wells’ The War of The Worlds established numerous conventions for the genre, including the threat of an invasive extraterrestrial species, space travel and intergalactic conflict, inspiring directors, gamers, producers and writers alike with its sobering story of struggle and survival. Marrying the suspense, drama and urgency of Wells’ original novel with Jeff Wayne’s rousing and flamboyant score, Audible’s new and exclusive dramatisation uses action, narration, original music and evocative sound design to immerse listeners in a world that’s as thrilling as it is desolate. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning Interpretation of Jeff Wayne's Classic!

  • By Simon on 29-11-18

A full dramatic performance

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

Reviewed: 10-05-19

Michael Sheen is engrossing as George the journalist.
The story is obviously adapted for the drama but skilfully blended with the musical adaptation by Jeff Wayne.
The attitudes of the Victorian English and the ease with which the veneer of civilisation is stripped away retain their relevance today.
The original alien invasion story may seem cliché now, but only because the themes are so familiar.

  • Will Save the Galaxy for Food

  • By: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Narrated by: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,595
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,427
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,425

Space travel just isn't what it used to be. With the invention of Quantum Teleportation, space heroes aren't needed anymore. When one particularly unlucky ex-adventurer masquerades as famous pilot and hate figure Jacques McKeown, he's sucked into an ever-deepening corporate and political intrigue. Between space pirates, adorable deadly creatures, and a missing fortune in royalties, saving the universe was never this difficult!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stumbled across this 'plying' beauty

  • By M.Brad on 11-04-17

Stupid story, but you know that

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

Reviewed: 16-04-19

As you can tell from the author and the title this is a pretty stupid story that pokes fun at lots of sci fi cliches. It’s also very funny. I looked forward to listening to it, but the plot is pretty thin in truth. But you expect that don’t you?
In short, great fun to listen to but don’t expect it to be high literature. It’s not.

  • 84K

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 72

Theo Miller knows the value of human life - to the very last penny. Working in the Criminal Audit Office, he assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full. But when his ex-lover is killed, it's different. This is one death he can't let become merely an entry on a balance sheet. 

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Well read, but difficult dialogue and opaque story

  • By Robert on 05-06-18

Alternative timeline / modern dystopia

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

Reviewed: 16-04-19

Other reviews have covered the plausible modern dystopia portrayed in Claire North’s book. She has taken a number of modern trends and twisted them beautifully to create a world that is so close to ours but just maybe one step removed. Shades of “1984” or “Brave New World” but closer to 21st century Britain.

The narrative style switches timelines and points of view in a complexity that appears to mirror the memories and recollections of the characters rather than a linear sequence. This tangle unravels in the closing chapters. The narrator has to make similar leaps between events and people. I found this to be well done. Other reviewers have said that it is confusing. It is challenging and on occasion I had to ”rewind” to make sure I was in the right place when the story and maybe also the character or their timeline jumped. Maybe in the physical book these changes are indicated somehow, but I was listening to the audio book.

Ultimately it is a story of one man looking for his daughter. But is he also doing much, much more?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • My Name is Markham

  • The Chronicles of St Mary's
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Piers Wehner
  • Length: 1 hr and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 660
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 608
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601

Like a smaller and much scruffier Greta Garbo - finally - Markham speaks! It's Christmas and time for the first (and almost certainly last) St Mary's Annual Children's Christmas Party - attendance compulsory, by order of Dr Bairstow. Discovered practising his illegal reindeer dance and poo-dropping routine, our hero, along with fellow disaster magnets Peterson and Maxwell, is dispatched to Anglo-Saxon England to discover the truth about Alfred and the cakes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Christmas isn't Christmas without St Mary's

  • By Nicole P on 22-12-16

A bit weak

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

Reviewed: 10-10-18

The story, such as it is, lacks depth.
The performance isn’t really believable: the character is supposed to be a rough diamond but the accent is too middle class. Not that it needs to be “mockery” but he does not convey working class, ex-soldier.
The humour is too forced, the character laughing at how funny things are and pointing out the humour. That’s not how it should work, the character doesn’t see the situation he’s in , surely?
It WAS refreshing to use a different character for this story, but it sounds like it was written from Max’s view as normal and then rewritten from Markham’s.
But it’s for charity so what’s not to like?

  • Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce

  • By: Jonathan Swift
  • Narrated by: David Hyde Pierce
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 176

A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lively and unusual

  • By Ruth on 13-02-11

Still relevant

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

Reviewed: 05-10-18

An excellent story in its own right, and well delivered by David Hyde Pierce (DHP). He does not attempt to do a British accent, but stays safely mid Atlantic which was a relief for me as I would have found a fake English accent obtrusive.
Swift’s satire runs under it all, and DHP does not over stress this but allows the listener to enjoy the humour. I am sure I missed many of the historical references, but the principles that he discusses strike home whether considered against the modern political situation in the U.K. or the USA (and probably elsewhere too).
Great fun!

  • Unseen Academicals

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: David Jason, Jon Culshaw, Mathew Horne, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,099
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102

Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork - not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing when you drop them. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else. The prospect of the Big Match draws in a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been, and the mysterious Mr Nutt.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible adaptation of a wonderful book

  • By Kate on 10-07-18

Good in parts

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

Reviewed: 05-07-18

I have read the book, and this is not that, it is a dramatisation of the story.
That’s fine, and most of the performances are excellent, but I felt David Jason was flat and uninspiring as the narrator. That weakens the whole thing. The story gets confused as well especially as some performances try to become caricatures of the real world rather than derive from themselves and mock a stereotype. Sir David Jason could have pulled it together, but it didn’t do so for me.
Some fans object as the performances do not accord with their own view of the character, or worse, what has been seen in TV adaptations.
I will listen again and hopefully allow the Audio drsmatisation to become the new standard rather than a pale copy of a TV show as some other reviews have seen it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Reaper's Touch

  • The Ripper Legacies, Book 2
  • By: Robert Southworth
  • Narrated by: Paul Deacon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

London, 1890. William Harkness is summoned to the scene of a grisly murder. The victim is not a woman of the night, nor a member of the underclass. Nonetheless, Harkness is certain the Ripper has resumed his slaughter. He and his men resume the hunt for the infamous killer, but all is not as it seems. William Harkness soon realizes that hunters can also be prey....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Shows what a difference the narration makes

  • By Paul Hamer on 12-06-18

Shows what a difference the narration makes

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

The style of the story is similar to part 1, with a similar semi pastiche of Victorian thriller. The author curbs some of his previous enthusiasm for echoes of the past blundering into modernity. The narrative draws you along though it’s complexity and like any good pot boiler, keeps up the pace.
I gave the story 3 stars as I found it lacking credibility at times. Without giving away the plot I do not think the Metropolitan Police would ever turn a blind eye to someone threatening violence towards a policeman, let alone standing by as people fight.
The narrator adopts voices for each character which helps enormously (especially compared to the narration of first volume in the series). The voices are instantly recognisable as “gutter snipe” or “posh lady”

  • The Reaper's Breath

  • The Ripper Legacies, Book 1
  • By: Robert Southworth
  • Narrated by: Gavin Foltz
  • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Mary Kelly lies dead upon her bed. Her sorrowful eyes capture the agony of her fate. Anger and fear walk side by side as the populace of London demand justice for the slain. William Harkness is a former officer of the 66th Regiment of Foot and he has entered the hunt. He will not bring a mad man to court, he is not tied by the laws of the land. William Harkness is the killer of killers, assassin of the evil....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • An intriguing story spoiled

  • By Paul Hamer on 16-05-18

An intriguing story spoiled

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

Reviewed: 16-05-18

The good point - the story is reasonable. The set up is slow and contrived but the main story runs along pleasantly - if implausibly. The premise and mystery surrounding the murderer did draw me in though. As an example of how implausible it can be, in the first chapters our hero survives being cut across the body in an attack by Afghan tribesmen. One would be lucky to survive that in modern times if you were airlifted out of the combat zone! There are other issues which I will not reveal due to giving away the plot - but while listening I was thinking "That would not happen in Victorian times". I expand on this below. As a period piece the author should not translate modern values into his characters!
The bad points - the writing is a mix of Victorian and modern which I find jaring and the author does not seem to be familiar with all aspects of the era. However, some parts have been well researched. For example the main male character is called William Harkness, but all of his peers and subordinates address him as William. I would expect surnames and formal titles to be used at this time other than by his immediate family. Adding to this his father is addressed and described as "Sir Harkness", when the convention would be to call him "Sir Simeon" or just "Harkness". The author revels in the use of Victorian terms such as "Billy Club" which are no longer in common use and makes great play of some of the action being set in Bluegate Fields slums.
Now for the narrator. The narration is dreadful. I nearly gave up several times. There is some attempt by him at regional accents but these seem to vanish during the performance and it is all delivered in the same rushed, breathy, mid-atlantic voice. There is no light and shade or tone, so there is little to tell characters apart. Occasionally there are blatant American pronunciations ("clerk" and "route" stand out for me). I note a different narrator is used on the next book in the series. I bought both at the same time. If the second is as bad I will ask for a refund.

  • Norse Mythology

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,835
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,197
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,178

The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling - from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman's own award-bedecked, best-selling fiction. Now he reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Norseome

  • By AnnG on 03-03-17

Classic stories, child friendly interpretation

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

Reviewed: 07-03-18

The classic stories have been excellently retold, however Neil Gaiman’s narration is awkward especially at first. His reading style is simplistic. He uses some accents to differentiate character. Overall it comes across as if he is telling the tales to children. There are violent and sexual scenes which are toned down in a somewhat prissy manner (the use of the words “private parts” for example when referring to a characters sex organs). Horrific scenes such as the resurrection of the dead are glossed over. There are also cultural differences that are not explained. So in summary it is unclear whether he is retelling the stories as if he is a bard in a great hall of the Northmen or trying to reintroduce them in a modern style.
It is like his short story “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains” so fans of that will enjoy this book.

  • Paradox Bound

  • A Novel
  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 690
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 689

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town's still got a video store, for God's sake. So why doesn't Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he'd ever admit it, but maybe he's been waiting - waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who's roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who's a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model A Ford.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty good, with the usual time-travel problems.

  • By Stuart on 08-11-17

Not your everyday relationship romp through history

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

Reviewed: 28-02-18

Somewhat America centric, so an appreciation of the classic US environment is helpful as there are references to places and behaviour that are unknown to British people but a fun listen that led me to resent reaching work or home and having to stop listening.
Well narrated, with personality in the different “voices”.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful