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Boggy of Bucks

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A melancholic memoir of Europe

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

Reviewed: 08-02-20

Michael Palin is a lovely bloke. You can’t imagine him ever running a country as a dictator and I think it is that extreme difference that makes his journey through and history of Eastern Europe so poignant. The hard men and the powerful nutters that destroyed populations and nations are in stark contrast to Palin’s gentle and humorous personality, that I want to cry.

This is a very well observed and interesting tour and a real argument for the joining together of friendly people of not always entirely compatible nations. The EU project in a nutshell.

Listening to this book a few days after the UK leaves the EU gives me a real sense of loss and shame. The rise of nationalism that Palin worries about in 2007 is more prevalent now. Russia has annexed part of Ukraine, Turkey has turned away from its EU opportunity and the UK has allowed the shouty types to spoil a fine relationship with our neighbours. Shame on us, I say.

By DC, AKA Alan Partridge

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

Reviewed: 30-01-20

I like David Coulthard a lot. I think he and his team on Channel 4 present a better F1 programme than Sky's much more heavily funded version, and I liked him as a driver. I had heard that he had invested in a hotel during his career as a F1 driver and I was interested to hear the story behind this and of his other business ventures. Unfortunately, this audiobook is pretty crap...

I don't know if reading the book myself would have been better but, certainly, having it read to me by the wooden-voiced Peter Forbes made the whole thing come across as if it was a business book written by Alan Partridge. Sorry, but it really was a mistake not voicing the book yourself, David.

Essential Tutorial for Life

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

Reviewed: 27-10-19

These Great Courses lectures are very good. They are essentially university lectures in 20 minute or so chunks.
In this one we learn what we all should have been taught at school but weren’t - how to think critically and sceptically. Good stuff.

Naive and Unprofessional

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

Reviewed: 24-10-19

This is basically an opinion piece rather than a thesis backed by any research or facts. I was expecting better, frankly, from a respected journalist.

I don't have a problem with dreamy optimism as such, but this is not worthy of an audiobook.

Devastating

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

Reviewed: 21-10-19

The history of Istanbul is the history of man’s inhumanity to man, the greed for power and it’s appalling consequences, and the absurd, ridiculous optimism of the human race.

This is a brilliant book and teaches us how lessons are never learned but only repeated endlessly by those who are ignorant of history or too arrogant to bother. I found it profoundly depressing. And incredibly inspiring.

The Middle Bit

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

Reviewed: 12-10-19

This is the second volume of three - not something that is clear from the book’s description on Audible. Therefore, it starts ‘mid-flow’ as it were and ends abruptly and unexpectedly.

If you have not listened to volume one, don’t start here. It is an incomplete story. Volume one felt like a complete story and this one does not. If anything, I would suggest you wait for Volume three to be released then listen to two and three together.

I cannot fault the narration. In fact it is top drawer. However I cannot completely recommend this particular volume as a book, for the fact that it needs the support of its predecessor and yet to be published successor to be complete.

1 person found this helpful

The Voice Actor Deserves an Oscar

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

Reviewed: 06-10-19

I think this one is possibly one of the best-read books on Audible. It sets a very high bar for others to emulate.

The story is well written and keeps its secrets well hidden.

Highly recommended

A thoughtful, characterful, gentle and important novel

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

Reviewed: 22-08-19

I took a chance in this novel, having heard nothing of the author or the story previously. It turned out to be one of the best listens of the year. The author is skilled at characterisation and we come to admire and rather love the main protagonist and to be fascinated by the other characters along the way. Much of the time of listening I found myself appreciating the prose, and this is feasible because the pace of the book is unhurried, with enough time allowed to develop themes, create atmosphere and for me to admire the words.
Although a fairly long book, I was disappointed it was not longer. I will miss the Count in the days to come.

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 25-07-19

I’m really looking forward to more from this author. A very good listen. The main character, Lennox, is like a Scottish (actually Canadian, which has far less relevance than the fact that his life is embedded in Glasgow. I think he counts as Scottish) Philip Marlow but with more swearing.

Excellent narration.

One of the best

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

Reviewed: 25-07-19

One of the best in this series. Very well written and narrated. Highly recommended.
While not essential to have listened to the previous Harry Hole stories, I would recommend doing so before embarking on this one.