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  • The Secrets of Station X

  • How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war
  • By: Michael Smith
  • Narrated by: Patrick Molyneux
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Original Recording Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

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Summary

Bletchley 1945: a place where nearly 10,000 people would contribute decisively to the Allied war effort. Their role? To decode the Enigma cypher used by the Germans for high-level communications. It is an astonishing story. A melting pot of Oxbridge dons, maverick oddballs and more regular citizens worked night and day at Station X, as Bletchley Park was known, to derive intelligence information from German coded messages. That they succeeded, despite military scepticism, is testament to an indomitable spirit that wrenched British intelligence into the modern age, as the Second World War segued into the Cold War.

©2014 Michael Smith (P)2014 Oakhill Publishing

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What listeners say about The Secrets of Station X

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Ruined by poor narrator

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Good book, interesting read, but the narrator was very poor.

How could the performance have been better?

Poor accents, not interested in the story, read as though the best thing was to get through it as quickly as possible.

Any additional comments?

Read the paper copy!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great True Story Spoiled by the Reader

What disappointed you about The Secrets of Station X?

The 'reader' - Patrick Molyneux - has the reading skills of a nine year old. Poor phrasing, lack of continuity, lack of English vocabulary and laughable attempts at accents.

What other book might you compare The Secrets of Station X to, and why?

The House at Poo Corner because Patrick Molyneux would be the ideal reader!

How could the performance have been better?

Patrick Molyneux has no German. This could be forgiven if he'd asked someone about pronunciation and, by the way, he could also have asked someone about pronouncing English words like Cholmondeley.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger that the book had been published with such a bad reader and disappointment that such an interesting book has been spoiled.

Any additional comments?

It should be done again with a better reader.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Endured because of the story

This is a great story ruined by poor production and a narration that really doesn't warrant a single star. This is the the worst performed and produced audiobook I have purchased. If the subject interests you buy the real book and avoid this appalling misrepresentation. This narrator needs to learn how to read for an audience and the producers need to ensure names are correctly pronounced.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

station x

great factual account but the accent of the reader was distracting. as were the unwritten pauses in the narrative.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting content, but not without its problems

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was okay, but could have been so much better

What did you like best about this story?

The insight into what happened at Bletchley

How could the performance have been better?

The reader was little short of awful. He read the book much too fast, but what grated most for me was his lack of research and insight. References to Lord Dacre (pronounced Daker) as Dacree, Caen as Cayenne, and Balliol as Bal e ol are to my mind indicative of the slap dash production of this audiobook it ought to be deleted and re-recorded to bring it up to an acceptable standard.

Any additional comments?

The book was very interesting, but its structure was not one I found helpful. Rather than going back and forth through the years over each element of different codes being broken a more informative and ultimately better book could have been written by outlining the history and development of Bletchley park chronologically, so the reader could get a much better idea of how all the different cyphers and codes were read and dealt with as the war progressed together with summarising the overall impact each year. As it is written the book is disjointed and highly repetitive. It isn't an easy task to pull this subject together, but this book although informative, felt like a missed opportunity. For the audiobook, this problem was compounded by a very poor reader and very poor production. Overall disappointing which is a great pity given the nature of the subject and how interesting it could have been and deserves to be.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Badly read

Patrick Molyneux has the reading skills of a 7 year old. One would have expected that he practiced his German pronounciation before he started reading. His voice and diction did not do justice to a great story .

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Poorly read version of a timeless story.

The Bletchley story is worth reading/listening to again and again - the content of the book is great.

The reader, however, is dire. No German at all - he is painful - perhaps must strikingly by Goethe as ‘goat.’ Unbelievable that this recording was allowed into the open!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

Station X is a great story well written. The thing that lets it down is the reader. Pronunciation is awful. He Must be an uneducated moron.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poor audio version of a very good book.

Michael Molyneux, the reader, clearly has no understanding of the subject, the history, the people involved or the meaning of some of the passages that he read. Pronunciation is often very poor and frankly, very annoying. I would recommend the book but unless you have high tolerance threshold, I wouldn’t recommend this audio version.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poor Narration

A fantastic, well written story ruined by poor narration. Badly attempted accents were not required.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David W
  • 29-09-20

Interesting book APPALLINGLY narrated

Many mispronunciations, awful intonation and phrase breaks. Did NO-ONE edit or produce this audiobook?

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick
  • 23-12-14

Great story spoilt by performance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story of Bletchley Park is so fascinating that any history of the accomplishments is worth reading. Highly recommended.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There really is no "star" in the book. Everyone contributed in their own way.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The reading was very disappointing. Whether it was the fault of the performer or his direction is difficult to say. Although the various accents were commendable, the need to read the quotes in a conversational mode lead to very uneven sentences and some very uncalled for pauses.

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

Neither! It is a factual book of which the history is only now being detailed.

Any additional comments?

Wonderful story that could benefit from being re-recorded.