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Michael

Vienna, Austria
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 25
  • helpful votes
  • 15
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  • Buried

  • Department Q, Book 5
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 17 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,054
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 996
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 995

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Buried, the fifth installment of the Department Q series by Jussi Adler-Olsen, read by Steven Pacey. More than three years ago, a civil servant vanished after returning from a work trip to Africa. Though he is missing and presumed dead, the man's family still want answers. It is one of the many unsolved crimes left for Department Q, Denmark's cold-case unit headed up by Detective Carl Morck.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Than Just A Crime Book

  • By David F. on 15-03-15

A book that doesn't know what it wants to be

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

Reviewed: 28-03-15

While the writing is top-notch, as usual, it feels like Mr. Adler-Olsen could not decide whether he wanted to write a cheesy Grisham-style novel, like The Client, or dark and gritty Scandinavian crime fiction. As a result, the tonal shifts are quite grating at times.

SPOILER WARNING: I will now give an example that potentially spoils a bit of the plot, so read at your own peril.

The plot hinges upon a boy not being caught by either the police or the bad guys, otherwise the novel would be over. So he is able to get away from increasingly ridiculous predicaments. Consider this:

In the span of 24 hours this fifteen-year-old boy jumps in front of an oncoming bus to avoid his pursuers, then gets away from the paramedics, by essentially telling them "I'm OK and I need to pee." He then dodges Ukrainian criminals in the subway, avoids Nigerian ex-child soldier mercenaries buy jumping down a construction grav chute, lands in a container full of fiberglass, swims through Copenhagen harbour, fights of another mercenary in the water, gets dragged away by a tourist boat, gets caught and beaten up by a gay couple, manages to fight them off with tied hands, gets over a couple of fences before freeing his hands with a knife, evades more Ukrainian criminals and finally gets taken in by three Asian prostitutes who allow him to take a breather. Somewhere in between there he also manages to leave a written message on where to find the bad guys for Morck's assistant, using his elite pickpocketing skills. Did I mention the boy is super-intelligent and also speaks (at least) three languages, among them self-taught, near accent-free Danish?

This is interspersed with Morck fighting with a new boss, a new colleague and having health problems, panic attacks and a mental breakdown.

The contrast between Morck's flawed, all-too-human character and these near-superhuman action set pieces is too jarring for me, and truth be told, I vastly prefer the chapters on Morck.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mask of the Other

  • By: Greg Stolze
  • Narrated by: Trevor Dutton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

In 1974, something came out of the sea during the invasion of Cyprus, killing Greeks and Turks indiscriminately until it was bombed into dormancy and entombed. In 1988 a rock band disappeared while filming on an abandoned island-town off the coast of Japan. In 1991, a squad of US infantry was attacked in Iraq by a bulletproof, invisible entity. Mask of the Other connects these disparate events, as a group of soldiers plunders the remnants of Saddam's occult weapons program and attempts to engage with creatures of an inhuman mythos... as equals.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting modern take on the Cthulhu Mythos

  • By Michael on 01-12-13

An interesting modern take on the Cthulhu Mythos

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

Reviewed: 01-12-13

Greg Stolze's Mask of the Other tells its story by frequently jumping back and forth in its roughly 25 year timeline. This was slightly confusing in the beginning, but I came to appreciate it as the different plots converged on the novel's present day outcome.

This is certainly not high literature, but a fast-paced, action-packed modern spin on the Cthulhu Mythos with compelling characters, an interesting (if not exactly new) premise. The narration is decent and doesn't detract from the novel's strength, but nothing to write home about.

If you're looking for fun genre reading that does not offend your intellect, pick this up.


  • Mogworld

  • By: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Narrated by: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,620
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,474
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,468

In a world full to bursting with would-be heroes, Jim couldn't be less interested in saving the day. His fireballs fizzle. He's awfully grumpy. Plus, he's been dead for about 60 years. When a renegade necromancer wrenches him from eternal slumber and into a world gone terribly, bizarrely wrong, all Jim wants is to find a way to die properly, once and for all. On his side, he's got a few shambling corpses, an inept thief, and a powerful death wish. But he's up against tough odds....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic story and narration after first hour.

  • By Kieran on 17-11-12

Yahtzee's voice is golden

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Mr Croshaw tells an entertaining story of (sometimes) sentient MMO NPCs becoming sentient and the consequences thereof. Nevertheless the protagonist's comically bleak outlook on (un)life is sometimes a bit boring. Too much bleak, not enough comic. As a result the novel, in my opinion, has a few lengths. This, however, is were Mr Croshaw's voice work redeems the book.

The voices he gives his creations are diverse and fun, making this a better listen than read in my opinion. I just couldn't get enough of the perpetual headmastery-smugness of Barry or Slippery Jon's wisecrackery.

  • Blue Remembered Earth

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 21 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 268
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 265

One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease and poverty have been banished to history, Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey's family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superior space opera

  • By Amazon Customer on 24-06-14

Great story, great narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-04-12

I've steared clear of Mr. Reynold's audiobooks so far, mostly because of his usual narrator (John Lee), who's diction I find rather unnatural and who's range of voices (about 2) is distinctly subpar in my opinion.

Holdbrook-Smith's excellent work on Rivers of London has convinced me to finally give this Reynolds book a try, and I haven't been disappointed. It's a thrilling, intelligent scifi story in a setting quite unusual for the genre with a superb narrator.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Seeds of Earth

  • Humanity's Fire, Book 1
  • By: Michael Cobley
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 18 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 288
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 103

First contact: the dream that became a nightmare when the first alien life encountered swarmed locust-like through the solar system. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the invading forces, Earth's last, desperate roll of the die was to send out three colony ships - seeds of Earth - to different parts of the galaxy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bringing It To Life

  • By Anonymous User on 11-03-11

It's a start

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-04-11

A decent enough sci-fi yarn. The story may not win any awards for innovation, but it's very well paced and quite entertaining. The characters, while definitely not as complex or multi-facetted as those of Iain Banks, are also rather enoyable.

I need to mention the narrator. It's true that his work with accents feels a bit artifical, but I think that's forgivable, considering that he manages to give almost every character in the book (and there's plenty) a distinct, recognisable voice and infuses every scene with the appropriate emotions and excitement.
Mr. Thorpe's work on this book was reason enough for me to take a look at his other work on Audible.

One last thing: This is definitely not a stand-alone novel. While some plot points are resolved, it is very much a beginning. Things are put in motion and events are set up for future books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Pandora's Star

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 37 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,664
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,259
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,257

Britain's bestselling SF writer returns to outer space.In AD 2329, humanity has colonised over four hundred planets, all of them interlinked by wormholes. With Earth at its centre, the Intersolar Commonwealth now occupies a sphere of space approximately four hundred light years across. When an astronomer on the outermost world of Gralmond, observes a star 2000 light years distant - and then a neighbouring one - vanish, it is time for the Commonwealth to discover what happened to them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very solid and enjoyable space opera

  • By Stephen on 21-09-13

Horrible, horrible narrator

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-04-11

Another reviewer commented on how great he found the narrator. I absolutely cannot agree.

I can't say anything about the story itself, because I had to quit after 1 1/2 hours (during the bar scene with the socialists).

John Lee's intonation is just maddening. He starts every sentence - every single excruciating sentence - much too loud and then drones off into a low mumble, sometimes making the last few words barely understandable.

At first I found this only mildly annoying, but after the first hour it began to feel like Chinese water torture to me.
Definitely check out the audio sample before you buy the book. If narrator's style doesn't bother you, ignore my review. But if you find Mr. Lee's style even slightly off-putting, consider staying away from this audiobook as the sheer length of the recording will drastically magnify the problem.

19 of 34 people found this review helpful