Mr. Paul M. Quirk

Reading, UK
  • 24
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  • 32
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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-17

Strange book

I've just finished listening to this audiobook & I'm not entirely sure what to think. It is a surreal tale mainly centred around a man with a very loose grip on reality who thinks he hops around in time between many, mainly unpleasant, episodes in his life and who had at one point been abducted by aliens. There is a heavy focus on his time in WWII of course, culminating in the bombing of Dresden.
Have I been enlightened by this book? No. Have I been gently entertained? Yes. Is the book well written? Yes.
Up to you whether you choose to listen. I cannot imagine there being many other books like it and it's only a few hours long...

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-01-17

Fascinating book

I very much enjoyed listening to this book but was concerned about the way Richard Holloway chose to interpret parts of the Bible. (But then, according to Richard, I would.)

He takes us on a journey through the development of the idea of "God", why this would have been important and how the idea was maintained and changed through time. He addresses the big questions of life such as what happens after we die and why there is evil in the world.

His approach to various holy writings is that the authors of each had some sort of revelation which they believed to come from God and then wrote for there. However their understanding was probably muddled or incomplete, hence the various religions. These revelations may or may not have come from an external source. In any case they could have no knowledge of the future so all apparent prophetic writings must have been written after the event. Thus the biblical book of Daniel must have been written during the second century BCE despite evidence to the contrary.

I have the impression the book was written by someone who used to be a Christian but has now transferred his faith to humanity. A kindly soul nonetheless.

The walk through of the many faiths of the world and their origins was very helpful and, I can only hope, fairly accurate.

Overall I found this a fascinating listen even where I disagreed with the author and would recommend it to anyone seeking such an overview.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-07-16

Brilliant, unusual and unexpected

As others have said, this is something of a unique story, mixing fantastic creatures from two different mythologies, yet making a wondrous variation on the "boy meets girl" stereotype.
About three quarters of the way through I was convinced I knew what should be done by the characters but the author confounded me and provided a clever twist to the tale.
A "must listen" book for any lover of fantasy stories.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-06-16

We've found a madman. Let's abuse him!

What disappointed you about Don Quixote?

We've all heard of Don Quixote and his tilting at windmills and I I thought it would be good for me to listen to. In practice it was quite hard work. I guess we know the idea of a sensible man becoming deranged and imagining himself a knight errant. The bits we don't know about are some of the people he comes across. While some are indeed worthy and compassionate, others think it merry to set up situations where he and Pancho will be injured or otherwise come to harm.In today's society this is abuse, plan and simple. I did listen to the end and there are some good bits, but I found much of it tedious.

What will your next listen be?

Something actually funny or uplifting.

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

The narrator did an excellent job, with easily identified voices for the various characters. He is English though, and as someone else has pointed out, a narrator with a Spanish scent might have helped the Spainish flavour of the story.

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

Frustration with the tedious parts, anger at the abuse and the occasional bits of amusement and sympathy.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-15

Excellent yarn & great value for those who like longer stories

I have just finished listening to this trilogy. First just to mention that all three books are included in the single purchase in case that's not clear.

The story follows 2 heroes, Blaze and Dante (sp?) on many an adventure as they perfect their weapons and magical abilities from their mid-teens through to maturity. They make intelligent and argumentative characters who deal with the challenges of their larger than usual lives with swashbuckling daring.

The characters who populate the world are fun to read about and provide an enjoyable backdrop. I especially liked the Norren and their honest, open attitude to life.

I think it would be fair to summarise my views on this listen by describing it as a "ripping yarn".

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-09-15


So much more realistic than the Disney film. (Assuming you accept the premise of a boy stolen by a tiger & raised by jungle wolves of course.)
Great performances all round, good incidental music and atmospheric sounds.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-08-15

Good business book, narrator a bit old fashioned

A good book, made a little harder to follow by the narrator. He has a somewhat stern approach to the narration which I found made it a little harder to follow.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-08-15


An enjoyable look at Simon's life & film influences. Odd with the fiction interleaved, felt like padding.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-07-15

Gentle and winsome tales from Barcetshire

This series of six gentle, interlinked tales is a true treasure, giving a perceptive take on social, political and gender issues with various characters and character types held up for examination.
This series of dramatisations is brilliantly acted and rarely are we in doubt about who is speaking or their individual concerns.
If you choose to listen to these works you should expect a gentle pace and mainly gentle people, but like me you may find yourself drawn into their lives and looking for excuses for time to continue listening.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-07-15

A great reminder of a very enjoyable series

Where does Murder on the Orient Elite rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Grimnoir Chronicles has been a very enjoyable series of books and the only problem with this last one is that I wanted it to be longer. (It is a short story btw).

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoy the whole "Philip Marlowe meets forces of nature altering magic" which characterises this series. Good inventive story telling with good character development and background.

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

Bronson's performance helped bring the story and characters to life in a way I couldn't have done if reading a book. Excellent work.

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


Any additional comments?

If you're new to the Grimnoir Chronicles, don't start here. Get the first book in the series "Hard Magic" and work your way from there, otherwise some of this short story will have little relevance.

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