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Cold Sweats and Vignettes

Narrated by: Phil Mayes
Length: 1 hr and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Summary

"The Steal" - A thief is hired by a collector to acquire an occult artifact....

"Crash" - A hard landing on an alien planet....

"Collision" - A world-changing incident at the Large Hadron Collider....

"The Fall" - A London gangster finds himself in a bad situation....

©2015 John Bowen (P)2015 John Bowen

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • DubaiReader
  • Holsworthy, Devon, United Kingdom
  • 23-06-19

Four short stories.

I think this series of four short stories was probably a mistake for me, given that I'm not a fan of science fiction, horror or short stories. So if you like these genres in your reading, you'll probably love this book.
The narration by Phil Mayes was suitably menacing, though in one of them I was a bit confused as to who was speaking.
Each of the stories had a twist at the end, a little predictable, but a twist all the same.

The first story, The Steal, related to a professional thief who stole on behalf of art collectors. His final job was acquiring an occult item from a locked vault.
Collision was about a fault in the Hadron Collider at Cerne, which messed with time. This one was presented as a series of news snippets and was my least favourite story.
In Crash, a space station takes an unplanned visit to a remote planet.
Finally, The Fall, which is going to give me nightmares tonight and narrated the experience of a gangster who finds himself on the receiving end.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous short stories, brilliant narration - great fun!

I adore John Bowen’s writing and would by now probably happily read his shopping list, but thankfully that’s not necessary!
I absolutely loved these four short stories and listened to them in two half hour walks to and from work - they are all different, but all of them are very well written and thought out, clever, sassy and fresh. The brilliant narration by Phil Mayes puts the story telling cherry on the top. Great fun to listen to and highly recommended to anyone looking for some tasty story morsels in between longer reads.

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Clever Stories

A clever set of short stories - a perfect introduction to this excellent author, highly recommended

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Tasty snippets


Mini stories, tasty snippets, you choose what description you’d like.
Mixed from Sci fi to murder these will whip you along in the turmoil and nail biting.
A good mix of different genres to introduce you to this authors work & believe me the longer books/audiobooks are well worth a listen.
Good narration & tempo. A plus to listen to from me

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Cool Stories!

I like short stories.They are a real test of an author's skill. The writer has to plunge you head first into a story and make you care about it very quickly. Stephen King and Roald Dahl are the masters but John Bowen is hot on their heels. The first story is my favourite but the others are great too.

Would have liked more stories in this collection but then I hated EPs back in the day when vinyl was king!

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  • TG
  • 14-05-19

Short stories

Enjoyable short stories. Quick paced and engaging and around an hour in total. Looking forward to more from this author

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great little gem of short stories

This was a lovely little audiobook of a variety of stories that I loved. The author has compiled a set of complex stories that are fun to listen to and the narrator was perfect for these sci-fi story arch’s. Loved it.

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Short but very sharp!

I'm not really a short story fan, but for John Bowen I decided to make an exception. This is a fun, short listen (about an hour). The stories are short but very sharp and they all have a twist at the end. Reminded me a bit of Tales of the Unexpected. Surprisingly I even enjoyed the sci fi ones, as this is a genre I really do not usually enjoy. In fact my favourite story was Collision, which was very cleverly written as a series of news articles.

The narration by Phil Mayes was excellent.

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eclectic stories that work well together

Would you consider the audio edition of Cold Sweats and Vignettes to be better than the print version?

n/a

What other book might you compare Cold Sweats and Vignettes to, and why?

Hard to compare due to the fact it's a group of short stories

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Narrator was able to swap between genres comfortably, voice was pleasant easy to listen to.

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

This book was possible to listen to all in one sitting but as they were short stories they were easily to slot in between other reads, especially as the shortest story was only 7 minutes long.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding!!

If you could sum up Cold Sweats and Vignettes in three words, what would they be?

Original, Chilling, Entertaining

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

Phil Mayes brings an authoritative and believable presence to the stories.

Any additional comments?

Excellent, and highly recommended.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • happyjo
  • 05-05-18

Vignettes

This very short book was entertaining. I listened to it while on the net doing work that I really didn't want to do.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deedra
  • 24-09-16

ColdSweats

This was a great set of stories to make you think and shiver.I especially enjoyed the first one.Phil Mayes was the perfect narrator.I was given this book free for an honest review.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Vimo
  • 01-10-15

Okayish

Any additional comments?

It was thrilling (no too much though) but I don't think I can judge such short stories.

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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 26-09-15

A nice mix of SF and thrillers.

This book contains 4 short stories: The Steal, Collide, Crash, and The Fall. All four are full of suspense and delicious tension. I am hard pressed to say which was my favorite in the collection as they were all worthy. Perhaps Collide or Crash simply because I gravitate towards science fiction. My only small quibble is that there appear to be no females in any of the stories, though it is possible they are hidden in the story Crash (genders are not spelled out).

The Steal – A thief is hired by a collector to acquire an occult artifact….

Mortcombe hires Mr. Lucas Smith to steal something for him. Mortcombe is dying and greatly desires this thing before he departs this world. World class security for a world class vault: a solid challenge for Lucas. There is a singular item that Mortcombe has coveted for the last 30 years. Lucas will get that item for him, for a price. This was an excellent short story! It’s a little dark and mysterious. Couple that with Lucas’s practicality when it comes to thievery, and we have a most entertaining tale. The story switches back and forth from Lucas’s conversation with Mortcombe in a seedy bar to Lucas sneaking past security, into the vault, and then perusing the vault’s contents. It worked really well as we get to hear through Lucas how he did some background checks on Mortcombe and the man Lucas has been hired to steal from. The ending was rather unexpected, a little spooky, and a fitting end. 5/5 stars

Collide – A world-changing incident at the Large Hadron Collider….

This story is captured in news reports starting immediately after the event and spanning 4 years. Immediately, there are many deaths due to the explosion. As more info comes in, folks are trying to figure out how to deal with temporal abnormalities. Past and future have collided. Not just people have been temporally transplanted, but also animals and inanimate objects. Scientists and journalists bring up some great questions – communicable diseases? definite knowledge of events past and present and thier affect on the present? This short piece brought up several good points to mull over concerning the larger impact of time travel. 5/5

Crash – A hard landing on an alien planet….

Kul, Hue, and Ben are crashing on an uncharted planet. This little tale is told through Ben’s eyes. It’s Ben’s first jump and it has all gone wrong. Poor dude. The crash landing doesn’t leave him and the crew whole and hardy. Pretty quickly they and their ship are discovered by the local alien life. This story had a lovely little twist at the end that had me chuckling out loud. 5/5

The Fall – A London gangster finds himself in a bad situation….

In a boiler room, Eddy Flynn is tied to a chair. A single bulb glares above. A man, in a highly tailored expensive silk suit, wants a chat with Eddy. Now Eddy is a big shark in his world of London gangs. He’s earned a reputation for his violence. Yet Eddy knows he’s in a bad situation here. His best bet is to buy time (his men are looking for him, surely?) and try to bluff his way out of this. The assortment of tools on a nearby table don’t portend good things for Eddy. He talks a good game but will it be enough? I was sucked into this story quickly and I really wanted to know why Eddy was tied to that chair and who put him there! I almost wanted Eddy to make it out of this if I could just have those answers. The suspense was great! 5/5

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the narrator (via a post on GoodReads Audiobooks group) in exchange for an honest review.

Narration: Phil Mayes did a really good job with this book. His voice was excellent for the hardboiled male roles and for all the suspense. I especially liked his voice for Lucas Smith in The Steal and for Eddy Flynn in The Fall. He had some great London accents for The Fall. In Collide, he did these wonderful fade outs for the news reports that trailed off. All around, an excellent performance for this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 03-09-15

Excellent execution in these short stories

This is a collection of short stories written by John Bowen -- I would say it was 2 horror and 2 science fiction stories. The four stories don't mesh together too well, but I promise that does not take away from the impact that this book has.

These stories did get my heart racing, and scared me a from time to time. The horror in them was well written and had the right impact upon being read by narrator Phil Mayes. The science fiction stories were really unique and unlike other sci-fi that I've read. One of them could have been a full novel, but the other was perfect as a short story.

The whole audiobook takes an hour to get through and is a great read for a short plane ride or over a few lunch breaks.

The narration and audio quality from narrator Phil Mayes was excellent and he added to the terror and suspense that Bowen wrote.

I was given a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for my honest review.