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Toby

Frome, United Kingdom
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 97
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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-18

Really Rather Tedious

There are some interesting elements and the character of The Green Lama is a fun idea but the collision with the Cthulhu Mythos just doesn't really work here.

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-18

Just not very good

What disappointed you about Murgunstrumm & Others?

Apart from some flashes this was all pretty dull, dated weaker pulp material. Sub-Howard with occasional nods/borrowings of Lovecraftian phrases.

What was most disappointing about Hugh B. Cave’s story?

One or two were quite OK but very repetitive thematically. Characters of very thin card.

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

Not bad but occasional odd pronunciations.

Any additional comments?

At a loss to understand some of the higher ratings given the often weak material.

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-08-14

Tedious

What disappointed you about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell?

Far, far too long. Huge stretches where nothing really happens, not even any character development. Lots of good ideas that didn't really lead anywhere in the end.

Has Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell put you off other books in this genre?

If there is a whole genre of this stuff, then yes.

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

I have tried to read the book. Simon Prebble's stirling efforts made it bearable.

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

Disappointment, mainly. It begins well but then goes on seemingly interminably. Overall it's just generally dull.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-12

Just Really Not That Good

Friends have raved about both the T.V. adaption and the series of novels, reviews of both have also been positive across much of the media so I was looking forward to finally discovering what I had missed.
Although Martin delivers some good descriptive prose and weaves a complex plot, ultimately I found this very unsatisfying and not engaging of my interest. I didn't really get to care about the myriad characters and I certainly wasn't going to spend money on Part 2 to find out how the various threads came together, if at all, because I started to get the feeling that Martin's main purpose here was to write a multi-volume Fantasy epic rather than tell an epic tale.
I don't think it's my lack of patience or even Roy Dotrice's narration, which was generally good. I found a lot of the book very derivative in some ways and one can tick off various influences as the story unfolds: Tolkien, Moorcock, le Guin etc. but just not as good. This struck me as very much Emperor's New Clothes.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-06-11

Underwhelmed

Having heard and read so many positive reviews of Iain M. Banks' work I was looking forward to this book. Maybe my expectations were too high, maybe I just didn't "get it" but for whatever reason I found this book very ordinary despite the good narration and voice characterisation by Peter Kenny. From the beginning of the story I found it hard to engage with the various characters and by the end of the book I just didn't really care about any of them or the societies they represented. Although the pace was pretty good some of the scenes seemed superfluous such as the episode with The Eaters. I wasn't sure of the purpose of that scene, it almost appeared to be there just to add to the word count. The ending of the book and it's epilogues just seemed to lead to nowhere particularly interesting. Certainly not a dreadful book but also not as good as I had been lead to believe.

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19 of 22 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-12-09

Victorian Values

John Gardner wrote three novels based around Professor Moriarty's subsequent career after surviving his encounter with Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls. I'd read and enjoyed "The Return of Moriarty" and was certainly not disappointed with this audio presentation of the third book in the series.
Gardner's portrays both Moriarty and the seedy and vicious London underworld of the Late Victorian era in gritty and believable style using real accounts of how the London criminals of the time operated and the slang they used to add verisimilitude.
The reading by Sean Barrett is excellent, good characterization and pace make this a cracking journey through the seamier side Victorian London.
I hope the other novels of the series will be available, preferably with Sean Barrett also reading.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-04-09

Great Story - Poor Reading

A superb story that mixes 80s military paranoia with Lovecraftian cosmic horror in a world where a nuclear holocaust may be preferable to the other weapons the superpowers can unleash.
Sadly, the reading is rather poor - badly paced, almost monotone at times. Due to the speed at which it is read punctuation is ignored in places. Maybe the idea was to capture a feeling of numbed senses and rising hysteria, if so it failed. Overall, one loses the subtleties of Charles Stross' writing beneath the poor delivery. Such a shame with such a good story.

I hope that Audible will produce the same author's excellent books "The Atrocity Archives" and "The Jennifer Morgue" that re-work and develop some of the themes found in "A Colder War", however, if they are produced I hope more attention will be paid to getting the reading right.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful