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Michael

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Brilliantly Billy!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-12-2019

This is a fascinating and, of course, immensely funny look at Billy’s life and connection to his homeland. Although slightly disappointing that Connolly was not up to reading it, Gordon Kennedy’s narration is so good there are times you forget it’s not the Big Yin himself. Billy really opens up in his usual fashion which is to say his honesty and frankness about himself and his life is so refreshing compared to some of the more guarded autobiographies I’ve read. This is a must read (listen!) for anyone who has ever had their funny bone tickled by one of the best comedians the world has ever known.

Alt title: Diary of a Self-confessed Name Dropper!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-12-2019

Idle confesses up front that he’s going to drop a LOT of famous names throughout his book. Why not I say?!?!?! What a remarkable life Idle has led and when one of your best friends was George Harrison, I think you’re entitled, nay - compelled - to list as many of your “connections” as possible. What’s remarkable about all this is that Idle still seems to view all these celebrities with a certain sense of awe - humbly seeming not to realise he is a bigger celebrity than most of them! This is a very warm, frank and above all human, self-reflection on a life that has had all the ups and downs we’ve come to expect of the “rich and famous” yet Idle never yields to self-pity or (worse still) self-loathing and his infectious sense of humour is ever present throughout. A brilliant book, brilliantly told by the funny man himself. Do NOT miss this one!

Highly insightful and entertaining.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-12-2019

As someone who worked for Bob Hawke in the latter years of his Prime Ministership I found so much of this book brought a wry, warm and familiar smile to my face. I had heard Bob tell many of these “stories” in person but the insights of Rielly were still very enlightening and the questions he put to the great man showed both a deep respect of and admiration for his subject. Excellently narrated by Jim Daly who portrays both protagonists perfectly without the “cartoonish” impersonation of Hawke (and others) we have become used to from TV and radio comedians. Very highly recommended.

Absolutely brilliant!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-12-2019

From the war correspondent who would later write arguably the best book regarding Nazi Germany (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich) Shirer’s first hand reporting of all he witnessed in the build up to and commencement of WWII is quite remarkable. This was a man in the thick of Nazi activity and propaganda but some of his insights into the mistakes made be Hitler’s opponents are particularly dismaying. Very well read by Tom Weiner, this was a most enjoyable audible book. Very highly recommended.

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-09-2019

My headline for this review is a summary of this book. It’s thorough in one regard for sure. As thorough as it can be in trying to cover thousands of years of human history in just a bit over 26 hours based on the few scraps of writing we have discovered. The problem is it’s just a long story of war and battle which continues to this day. What does that say about humans and our propensity to destroy each other? Sadly, a lot. In all these thousands of years of “civilisation” we have learned precious little. I persisted to the end because I always do but this was hard going and trying to retain much of the ceaseless descriptions of war and the (mostly) men who waged them is quite difficult. Might be better to read this (making use of the maps etc which, though provided with the audio version, are quite useless when you’re listening while driving!) and use it as an undoubtedly invaluable study guide rather than an entertaining listen on the way to and from work!

Brilliant series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-06-2019

Professor Gallagher clearly knows his American Civil War history but moreover he reminds us constantly to look to what the people of the times thought and wrote not just what historians have written later. His lectures are laced with quotes taken directly from the letters, documents, books and journals of the people who were living the Civil War not just analysing it with the benefit of hindsight. This is a brilliant series of lectures.

Excellent course!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-05-2015

A most enjoyable course of discovery about these amazing men and their teachings. The lectures are interesting, informative and unbiased. As a person of no religious persuasion I was interested in learning about the men who have shaped humanity without the secularism often associated with this subject. I was very pleasantly relieved to discover a lecturer with the ability to approach this course with an analytical mind without losing the "humanism" that any discussion of these four incredible human beings deserves. Brilliantly done!

7 people found this helpful

A brilliant study of humankind's darkest regime.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-03-2015

William L Shirer not only had remarkable access to the documents and diaries of Hitler's Nazi regime but actually experienced first hand as well. This personal insight makes this much more than an academic dissertation on this horrendous period in human history. In Shirer's narrative you can really feel the exasperation and despair of those watching on as the 20th century's worst megalomaniac tore the world apart and ultimately brought himself and his people to ruin.

The fall of Hitler's Third Reich is a favourite subject of so many movies and documentaries but what was particularly interesting was Shirer's insight into how Hitler managed to get to the place where he could wreak the havoc that was WW II. His brutal indictment of the actions, and mostly inactions, of the nations that would eventually become allied against Hitler, that could have and should have stopped Hitler in his tracks long before millions and millions of innocent people lost their lives, was a real eye-opener.

Very well read by Grover Gardner who maintains this strong but very long narrative with great tone and inflection.

The definitive work on Steve Jobs

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-03-2015

Given how difficult it must have been to get close to Steve Jobs, Isaacson's access to him, and his remarkable relationship with him over many years, means nobody will ever have been in a better position to write a biography of one of the most remarkable men of our times. It helps that Isaacson is a great writer with a high sense of objectivity. A great read (listen!). Very well narrated too.