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Toby

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A superficial, PC-tainted version of history.

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

Reviewed: 03-08-17

The earlier episodes were interesting, if unexceptional.

However; when Garland approaches more recent historical events he retreats into abject apologetic.

Not recommended.

3 people found this helpful

Surprisingly tedious

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

Reviewed: 20-12-15

What did you like best about The Steel Remains? What did you like least?

The narration was good, with excellent vocal delivery and expert differentiation of characters.

The narrative was passable. However; after a strong start the character speeches devolved into swear words. If I wanted to hear the F-Word repeated over and over again I'd watch a British crime thriller. No thanks.

I couldn't get through 'Altered Carbon' (one of the authors Sci-Fi outings) either. In that story I grew tired of the main character's weary dissipation combined with his barely-controlled hatred.

I'm sorry to find the author just as one-note in this genre. Morgan has written another 'hero' with a sad life who really, really hates some other people.

Not recommended.

Terrible audio quality.

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

Reviewed: 01-07-15

What disappointed you about The Mystery of Shemitah?

This audiobook sounds as if it was recorded directly from a CD, which skipped atrociously throughout. The reader was also over-dramatic, but I got used to that.The Shemitah is a promising and timely title which could do with a re-release. But I guess there's only two months to go until the next Elul 29 so good luck with that.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jonathan Cahn again?

Yes: Jonathan Cahn is an excellent author - his book the Harbinger was a tour de force. This book was let down by the production values, not by his text.

How could the performance have been better?

Get Jonathan Cahn to perform it (he is an excellent narrator) - and check the recording quality before sign-off.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

My principle reaction was "Why did Audible release such a substandard recording?" This was a baffling misstep from Audible.

3 people found this helpful

The end of chapter nine is missing.

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

Reviewed: 04-11-14

Any additional comments?

Terrific vocal work by Ric Jerrom, who was an inspired choice for the Aubrey/Maturin novels.

Unfortunately due to a production error the end of chapter nine was missing in its entirety.

3 people found this helpful

Jack! You have debauched my Sloth!

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

Reviewed: 04-05-14

What made the experience of listening to Master and Commander the most enjoyable?

The Aubrey/Maturin series are classics. They are quite simply the best historical novels ever written.

They open a window into a world two hundred years gone - the world of the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. This was a time of blood and thunder, of maritime siege, a war of long, patient endurance against a tenacious and powerful enemy.

The story follows the adventures of two heroes in this war: Captain 'Lucky' Jack Aubrey and the physician, naturalist, and secret agent Stephen Maturin.

And what adventures! O'Brian's books are filled with espionage, warfare and the stinking reek of gunpowder. They are also full of humanity: perverse and humorous, dear and terrible, wonderfully alive.

The narration is excellent - Ric Jerrom is a revelation. He gives a supremely able and assured performance - certainly on a par with Audible's other star narrators (for instance Rupert Degas and Toby Longworth).

Start with book one today! There is not a moment to be lost!

13 people found this helpful

Solid military fiction with talented narrator

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

Reviewed: 28-04-14

What does Mark Boyett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The narration is assured and masculine: effortlessly conveying Kyle Rigg's first person POV.

Mark Boyett does an excellent job with the other voices: mysterious and detached Blues, visionary Centaurs - and especially the sultry, sulky, mercurial Sandra. He even creates subtly different musical intonations for the various homicidal computer characters.

Boyett is a five-star narrator who knows his craft and works diligently to fashion just the right character voices. He's right up there with Toby Longworth and Rupert Degas.

Mediocre thriller with a low reading age

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

Reviewed: 28-07-13

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

The *first* chapter is taut and exciting. A woman is fleeing shadowy pursuers through a busy shopping mall. She's only too aware of her diminished options in our ultra-surveilled pan-opticon state. She carries out some desperate and unseen remedy in a lingerie store - the last bastion of privacy in a dystopian world! Awesome! What's going to happen next?

Well - first of all the reading-age drops. Brad Thor rests on his Chapter 1 laurels and starts grinding out dull, over-explained prose. If you were reading it your eyes would skate across whole sections of this plonking explicatory text; you would fast-forward to where something happens.

However with an audiobook you have to listen to every word. It doesn't help that the vocal talent is merely adequate - of which more later.

There's also little in the way of effective scene-setting. Locations across the globe are bland and barely established - there's no immersion and no evocative description.

There's nothing in the way of emotional landscape. The hero is a bland, super-accomplished, emotionless cypher. He moves from one poorly described location to another while the text informs us of his laundry-list of accomplishments and credentials. Scott Harvath never shows a flicker of life, introspection or human vulnerability. Why would we care what happens to him?

The hacker character (on the other hand) is likeable and memorable. I was rooting for that little guy - he was the only character with a discernable pulse. But even his scenes - set against the same wasteland of poorly established locations as the rest of the book - couldn't save this tedious thriller-by-numbers.

Disclaimer: I could only get through about a dozen chapters.

What aspect of Armand Schultz’s performance might you have changed?

On the vocal talent:

Armand Schultz gives a flat read with little vocal variety.

It was adequate (hence the three stars) but it was monotone and added nothing to the admittedly dull material. Schultz compares poorly to audiobook stars like Degas, Longworth, Pacey or Armstrong.

Professional audiobook readers should have a rich vocal palette. The best ones have the ability to move between different vocal instruments - moving seamlessly between accents and phoneme-sets.

Schultz either doesn't have or doesn't exhibit these skills. The most I can say is that he reads the text clearly without hesitation or breath-issues. That's not really good enough.

1 person found this helpful