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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-09-18

A good thriller.

Like LeCarre this takes a while to get into the grove of the world. However, like LeCarre this also builds a world where personality and character is just as important as plot. I really enjoyed it. Much more than I thought I would. Sean Barratt hasn’t been one of my favourite narrators in the past but here he puts in one of the best readings of his career in audiobooks. Well worth the time and the credit.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-08-18

One of the best biographies of Napoleon

This is a very good book, if you are familiar with Napoleon it won't give you much that is new - but what it DOES do is cut through the myth, the propaganda and it becomes a wonderful sequential history that gives a rounded overview of this man - like Andrew Roberts I came to the same conclusion - Napoleon was one of the greats - alongside Caesar and Alexander the Great it is hard to comprehend how he managed some of the military victories.
I would have liked a little more on "The Return of the Ashes" and maybe Andrew Roberts could supply and audible short book on that? As that is a great story that is yet to be told well.
A great listen.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-01-18

After the hype - it is huuuuuuge

What did you like most about Fire and Fury?

After all of the hype from the Trump White House - trashing the book - the trashing makes the point. This is a President obsessed with the media, with his own image and those around him are amazed that they even got this far. It is comedic, frightening and to my ear and mind aside from a few minor inaccuracies and the fondness for Bannon which I don't share this book could be the game changer that the White House fears.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Fire and Fury?

I think the chapter on the firing of the Mooch. It is by turns a farce and by turns the most scary non-fiction thing I have ever heard.

Which character – as performed by Michael Wolff and Holter Graham – was your favourite?

Trump - to hear someone read his speeches is chilling - the fragmented ramblings of a very troubled soul.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

It is worth it - everything you heard is true - listen and be amazed. Dickens couldn't have made this up!

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-07-17

A fun and topical summer thriller

A good idea from Jonathan Friedland writing as Sam Bourne. Clearly a take on the current POTUS this conspiracy thriller follows a dense protagonist as she uncovers a web of conspiracy both against and by the President.

A good tale but made rather comedic by the reader's performance. Characters bellow. Characters shout in OVER ENUNCIATED sentences which a more mature performance would face found more nuance. The character of McNamara in particular is howlingly badly read. If you can let that go the story in and of itself is a fun listen

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0 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-05-17

Best one of the bunch

Would you listen to All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain's Political Class again? Why?

Having read a few I would go back to this one as the best overall source on the events surrounding Brexit.

What was one of the most memorable moments of All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain's Political Class?

The best moment is the way it deals with how the campaigns were set up and the machinations on the leave campaign - the sections on Farage in particular are illuminating

What about Rupert Farley’s performance did you like?

Very good - best of all these narrators

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

No - but I did rattle through it quickly

Any additional comments?

Best of the bunch

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-05-17

A problematic book

What disappointed you about Unleashing Demons?

There are a few books about Brexit out there and I have read or listened to most. This is without doubt the weakest of the bunch. The author seems to write with hindsight and it is clear in many sections that we are being spun a retrospective narrative. The actual description of the vote and the aftermath lacks depth, drama or any effective writing skill.

Would you ever listen to anything by Craig Oliver again?

No, although I am sure that I will read some of his work as a speech writer. The long format just does not suit his style.

Would you be willing to try another one of Craig Oliver’s performances?

Very flat, and should have used the skills of an actor to bring the text to some form of life.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, it is an interesting account, but at an undergraduate level the book would get a solid 2.2

Any additional comments?

Read ALL OUT WAR by Tim Shipman - a much better and more balanced account of the same events.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-09-16

Interesting. But it's not history. It's entertainment history

I bought this because i am interested in the period and not many books have been written about crimes of the time.
This is good as an overview. An intellectual bookend about Orwell and his view of crime. However it isn't history. Too much is made of what characters did together where there is no evidence and quite a bit of it is clearly taken from autopsy reports and police reports and over written. It's fun but not that exhaustive.
Kim Hartman's reading is excitable and sometimes far too much. Like a cross be written a school teacher reading to nine year olds and an Agatha Christie hammy performance.

It's ok. Just not the best.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-08-16

Great adaptation

Addictive. Great performances. The only thing (as previously mentioned in other reviews) is that the music gets rather annoying. This is because originally the piece was made for radio in stand alone episodes. My tip would be to set your skip to 20secs and then tap it when the 'gather ye rosebuds' song begins. You will clip it out.
That is my only quibble. Other than that a most excellent programme.
And so, to bed.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-04-16

A great story - a great tale - an apalling telling

If you could sum up The Romanovs: 1613-1918 in three words, what would they be?

History, Tragedy and Epic

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Romanovs: 1613-1918?

The opening juxtaposition of the end and the start of the Romanov rule

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Simon Russell Beale?

Anyone who has energy. The languid, overtly reverential tone is appalling. Martin Jarvis, Robert Glennister, anyone other than SRB. I would never ever download another book narrated by him. Totally ruined a great piece of writing and an epic biography with his languid detached style.

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

No - with this narrator couldn't even get through it - so read it instead.

Any additional comments?

Hate to be so negative about what is a good book - just so undercut by the narrator.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-04-16

A great story - a little ramble - a lot of history

Would you listen to An Officer and a Spy again? Why?

No, but as with all Robert Harris books it makes me eager to listen to the next book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of An Officer and a Spy?

I think the opening and the final sequence of events.

Have you listened to any of David Rintoul’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes, this is good, I think the energy runs out a little half way through, but I have a feeling that this is the book more than the narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not moved as such, but intrigued. The traitor - his flight to England intrigued me enough to do further research

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful