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C. J. Lansdown

Bristol, England
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 48
  • ratings
  • The Holocaust

  • A New History
  • By: Laurence Rees
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 19 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 322
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 294

Laurence Rees, in his magnum opus, combines largely unpublished testimony with the latest academic research to create the first accessible and authoritative account of the Holocaust in over three decades. Rees argues that whilst hatred of the Jews was always at the epicentre of Nazi thinking - and the Holocaust was the most appalling crime in history - what happened cannot be fully understood without considering the murder of the Jews alongside other Nazi plans to kill millions of non-Jews as well.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Holocaust - A masterly telling

  • By Rathelstan on 28-02-17

Best History of this Awful Time

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

Reviewed: 30-03-17

Well written and well read, this history feels authentic. It draws on many surviving victims of the Nazi killing machine and, even with its brilliantly drawn vignettes, it still leaves one trying to understand why educated, civilised (in their own view, at least) men and women became mass murderers and even went so far as to torture those selected to die.

I believe the story of man's descent into evil should always be told both to try to stop such atrocities, but also to allow the brace and righteous people who stood holding a flickering candle of hope and those whose lives had hardly begun before being dashed and trampled by jackboots, live again in our minds.

  • Judgment Before Nuremberg

  • The Holocaust in the Ukraine and the First Nazi War Crimes Trial
  • By: Greg Dawson
  • Narrated by: Gary Dikeos
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6

When people think of the Holocaust, they think of Auschwitz, of Dachau; and when they think of justice for this terrible chapter in history, they think of Nuremberg. Not of Russia or the Ukraine, and certainly not a town called Kharkov. But in reality, the first war-crimes trial against the Nazis was in this idyllic, peaceful Ukrainian city, which is fitting, because it is also where the Holocaust actually began.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Hugely Important Story Damaged by Bad Writing.

  • By C. J. Lansdown on 25-11-16

Hugely Important Story Damaged by Bad Writing.

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

Reviewed: 25-11-16

The thing that many disliked, the reading, seemed largely OK to me. Sadly it is the writing which is badly flawed. It seems disrespectful to quibble over details because the subject matter is so awful. Sadly, for me, the author blows the opportunity to write a great, best seller. Which would have put the information, that the Holocaust actually started in Ukraine where atrocities and crimes against humanity were at least as bad as in Poland or Germany, before the eyes of the world. The story of his mother's escape would be a powerful one but the repetitions and the lack of linearity make the work hard to listen to.

One annoying repetition was the constant mention of his and his mother's first book, 'Hiding in the Spotlight'. It seemed hat the author was so intent on advertising the earlier book, that he spoiled this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Tourist

  • Sightseeing in the World's Most Unlikely Holiday Destinations
  • By: Dom Joly
  • Narrated by: Dom Joly
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,298
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 802

Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places. In part this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection -- the schoolboy currency of Beirut. These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern-day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amusing, engaging and thought-provoking

  • By Helena on 26-04-11

Joly Good (sorry)

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

Reviewed: 15-11-16

Thankfully not funny in the main. I found it amusing and well written in the main. Could do with some repeats editing. Overall as good a travel book as I have read.

  • The Golem and the Djinni

  • By: Helene Wecker
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,052
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,049

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899. Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free - an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extraordinary

  • By AnneDriscoll on 29-01-15

Strangely Gentle Book

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

Reviewed: 17-08-16

I really enjoyed this book. It is undemanding in a good way and the story flows around one in a magical stream of words.

Not the most exciting book I have read. It contains some violence but only what is vital to the story. It's power lies in pure story telling and leaves one wanting more. I hope you enjoy it as much as I.

  • Carpe Jugulum

  • Discworld, Book 23
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Nigel Planer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,051
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 804
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 808

Mightily Oats has not picked a good time to be a priest. He thought he'd come to the mountain kingdom of Lancre for a simple little religious ceremony. Now he's caught between vampires and witches, and he's not sure there is a right side.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A book with bite

  • By Clare on 17-01-11

A Right Royal Pain in the Neck

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

Reviewed: 01-03-16

Sadly Terry has reached "THE END" and rereading or listening will have to suffice. Happily, with the number of books and Terry Pratchet's superb word play, this is the second or third time I have listened and read his oeuvre. The reading is very good with only the odd error and it is a pleasure to listen. I didn't care for this title on the first listen but, as with all really good things, the story line becomes better with each reputation.

Sorry for errors in my review. It is 2 am and my glasses have escaped once more!

  • The Last Continent

  • Discworld, Book 22
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Nigel Planer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 739
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 575
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 577

It's hot. It's dry...very dry. There was this thing once called The Wet, which no one believes in. Practically everything that's not poisonous is venomous. But it's the best bloody place in the world, alright?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Really poor sound quality

  • By Bethany Black on 27-04-15

To misquote another writing genius's character, a departing dolphin, "so long and thanks for the books" Sir Terry.

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

Reviewed: 18-02-16

Not quite his best book but 'still a bonzer read' colonially speaking! Another great, understated performance by Nigel Planer.

To quote Terry's last words -

THE END

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 23 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13,676
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,344
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12,292

As he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid's motorbike and takes to the skies, leaving Privet Drive for the last time, Harry Potter knows that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not far behind. The protective charm that has kept Harry safe until now is broken, but he cannot keep hiding. The Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything Harry loves and to stop him Harry will have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. The final battle must begin - Harry must stand and face his enemy....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Long live Longbottom

  • By Victoria Gallagher on 24-01-16

Good value - it seemed to last for ever.

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

Reviewed: 29-12-15

It's a shame but it feels as though "The Half Wit Prince" and this pot boiler were written after the magic has gone.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Proxima

  • By: Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 517
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 487
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 488

The very far future: The Galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous Galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light...

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling story, odd accent

  • By Gadget on 24-01-15

New worlds

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

Reviewed: 10-07-15

An interesting book. Great descriptions and some interesting ideas only let down by a sudden and annoying cut off ending. In the mid...,

  • The Janus Affair

  • A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Book 2
  • By: Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 60

Certainly no strangers to peculiar occurrences, agents Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are nonetheless stunned to observe a fellow passenger aboard Britain's latest hypersteam train suddenly vanish in a dazzling bolt of lightning. They soon discover this is not the only such disappearance...with each case going inexplicably unexamined by the Crown. The fate of England is once again in the hands of an ingenious archivist paired with a beautiful, fearless lady of adventure.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as good as book 1

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-03-14

Janus Affair?

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

Reviewed: 08-01-15

Perhaps I am too pedantic but the title seemed divorced from the story - OK, it referred to the twins, an unsubtle and ancient twist which seems lazy,

Overall the book series is enjoyable enough but rather slow. I wanted to slap Books and Braun (did you spot the 'clever' device? Your character's character summed up in their name). Two books into 'The Ministry of Unlikely Plots' and they kiss! Give me strength!

  • Three Men in a Boat

  • By: Jerome K. Jerome
  • Narrated by: Ian Carmichael
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

In this comedic masterpiece, three young men, increasingly given to thoughts of hypochondria, decide to embark on a journey along the river Thames. Confident that the fresh air and daily exercise will grant them immunity from a myriad of illnesses and diseases, they pack up their frying pans, toothbrushes, food and canine companion, Montmorency, and set off on an unexpected adventure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Review of this version of the book!

  • By C. J. Lansdown on 28-12-13

A Review of this version of the book!

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

Reviewed: 28-12-13

This book is superbly read by Ian Carmichael, not Hugh Laurie as stated by another reviewer!

A terrifically well written and funny period piece - in no way slapstick, it's humour is based upon language and anecdote and I found it an easy and delightful book to listen to.

Please at least get the narrator right before commentating on a recording.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful