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K. Fearnley

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 16
  • ratings
  • The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire

  • The Complete Series
  • By: Rod Duncan
  • Narrated by: Gemma Whelan
  • Length: 29 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 547
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509

The complete set of The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire trilogy, featuring The Bullet Catcher's Daughter, Unseemly Science and The Custodian of Marvels. Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life - as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Steampunk Adventuress rights wrongs

  • By Andrew on 23-02-18

A good adventure yarn, told well

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

Reviewed: 15-04-18

I enjoyed this a lot and there's a lot to like about it. Good characters with accomplished dialogue, some nice ideas and a generally consistent approach throughout.
I guess it stands as steampunk - one of few with a reason for the old tech still being used into the 21st century; a reason that is core to the story rather than just a contrivance to explain the background.
There are a couple of minor niggles but not enough to spoil enjoyment.
Generally very well read indeed (the London habit of using a 'w' sound instead of the 'l' at the end of words began to intrude a little towards the end but it's a very minor thing and possibly personal to me).
Worth a listen.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Jerusalem

  • By: Alan Moore
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 60 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218

In the half a square mile of decay and demolition that was England's Saxon capital, eternity is loitering between the firetrap tower blocks. Embedded in the grubby amber of the district's narrative, among its saints, kings, prostitutes and derelicts, a different kind of human time is happening. Through the labyrinthine streets and minutes of Jerusalem tread ghosts that sing of wealth and poverty, of Africa, hymns and our threadbare millennium.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning, Flawed, Fantastic and Poetic. And a bit long.

  • By Boggy of Bucks on 15-05-17

Wonderfully conceived and narrated epic

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

Reviewed: 10-08-17

What did you like most about Jerusalem?

The scale and inventiveness, coupled with the depth of characterisation. It ties things together in various (and multiple ways) to weave the narrative.
The form of the writing (as interpreted audibly, of course) spans from middle english, through dialect speech, play format to formal verse and semi-insane rambling.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Alma Warren is fairly central, she's different and inventive, well drawn as a character and remains believable.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

The range of voices, accents and emotions he carries off is very impressive. It is a difficult thing to do - both for the length of the piece and the variety of forms, with many complex parts in both presentation and content (e.g scientific terms and philosophy).
I think he did an excellent job.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It certainly made me think. There are definitely some laughs and wry smiles in there, as well as some sad (or perhaps poignant) parts. When finished I didn't want to read or listen to anything else for a while, so I could reflect on this... which is not usual for me.

Any additional comments?

I would encourage people to try it. The language is compex at times, the descriptions rich and inventive - some may find it slow or turgid, but fans of books like Gormenghast, Tolkein and the like would enjoy it the more for this, I think.
It's worth sticking with - some of the ideas only really 'click' after hearing the same thing from several angles in different chapters - be prepared to learn gradually rather than have a simple 'reveal' for everything straight away. It really is worth it.

  • Seveneves

  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Peter Brooke
  • Length: 32 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 714
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 670
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 670

The astounding new novel from the master of science fiction. What would happen if the world were ending? When a catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb, it triggers a feverish race against the inevitable. An ambitious plan is devised to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere. But unforeseen dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Soooooo... that's it?

  • By Mrs. E. Brewington on 31-07-15

Good storytelling

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

Reviewed: 08-02-17

Having had others from this author, I was looking forward to this. I wasn't disappointed but not blown away either. I felt the story faltered somewhat in the second half, being less convincing (I would expect more change in that amount of elapsed time).
The narration was good on the whole, some possible editing that could have caught a few mis-pronounced words, but for a reading of this length I'd say it was pretty good, with clear characterisation on the whole (an odd 'British' accent being the only thing that really seemed unfortunate).
For me this was not as good as Cryptonomicon or Reamde but still engrossing and worthwhile.

  • Player Piano

  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 88
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55

Kurt Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a supercomputer and run completely by machines. Paul's rebellion is vintage Vonnegut – wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Uncanny prediction of today's world of automation.

  • By Matthew on 18-09-16

Still great, don't worry about it being dated

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

Reviewed: 16-09-16

Despite being full of technical stuff dated in the 50s, the issues and ideas are still relevant and the story telling is timeless. Very well read, with good voice acting across the range of characters. A funny and thought provoking book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Year of the Flood

  • MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 535
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 394
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 398

Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, the preservation of all species and the tending of the Earth - has long predicted the Waterless Flood. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have avoided it: the young trapeze-dancer, Ren, locked into the high-end sex club; and former SecretBurgers meat-slinger turned Gardener, Toby, barricaded into a luxurious spa. Have others survived?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Sharp Divide

  • By Isolde on 31-01-13

Well-written post-apocalypse tale

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

Reviewed: 03-12-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Year of the Flood to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, though I have read other Atwood novels, so I have an idea of how the experience might vary. The pronunciation of names is often the common difference, I feel. This reading did a good job on the whole, rendering the unusual portmanteau words in such a way that their make-up and derivation was apparent.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character, Snowman, was well characterised, I think, with believable flaws as well as strengths. Overall, however, my favourite(s) were the children of Crake, in their innocence.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Without spoilers, I found the scenes where Snowman was trapped by animals to be compelling and suspenseful, with no reliance on silly or superhuman artifices to get our protagonist out of the situation.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I'm not sure that would be possible, given the length! I listened over a week or more, mainly whilst running and driving. The plot was too interesting to listen whilst working or needing to concentrate - I tried and found myself sitting like a zombie with my attention on the story, not advisable.

Any additional comments?

The story stands alone, though it does provide clear links for follow-on stories (as this is the first of a trilogy, that's to be expected). I don't think you'll feel cheated here, as with some trilogies that are really one long story, leaving each book incomplete and unsatisfying. I want to read the next one(s) but I do feel satisfied.