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meredith mcarthur

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unexpectedly wonderful and uplifting

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

Reviewed: 26-07-2020

Taking a "tree change" from corporate life in the city, moving to a rurual idyll with vineyard and acreage is something that many people including me would consider a fantastic option. The guys that do this are skilled in many ways not normally associated with farming. However they do an amazing job, and the outcome is this lovely story. There is a great sense of humour and a lot of warmth in this story, which had me laughing out loud on a several occasions.

amazing

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

Reviewed: 18-02-2020

For anyone new to forensic investigation this is a fascinating introduction to a constantly evolving area of knowledge.
As much as I was appalled by the kind of low life criminals that come to the attention of forensic scientists, there was something so heartwarming in the examination of how science is employed to solve crimes that would otherwise go unsolved. I loved the search for justice that goes into this pursuit, and the positive outcome being that for each low life who destroys other people's lives and liberty, there are a hundred others who are working to defeat such ghastliness. There is undoubtedly a human element of intuition and dedication that comes into this field as well, although we are given examples of where such input can cause the search for truth and justice to go awry.
Elizabeth Murray has a lovely voice, and is obviously passionate about her subject. She employs many fascinating anecdotes to illustrate the depth and breadth of how forensic knowledge is used. Some of these stories come from her own direct involvement involvement is cases. I found audiobook to be well worth the investment, and plan to review it again at some stage.

sweet revenge

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

Reviewed: 18-01-2020

I would never have thought that listening to a book relating to 'misadventures in a tech start-up Hub-Cap' could have been so entertaining and even educational. So much of the story was way beyond my experience. But I found the content accessible, and can't help but be thankful that someone has the courage to write this account of his experiences.
Dan is clearly a very clever and capable guy who comes to the tech start up 'HubCap' as an older person who has had a successful career elsewhere before winding up in this organization, trying to make a success of it. His honesty and openness in trying to bend to the ways of this dystopian milieu work to his advantage. Attempts to understand and adapt to the culture in which he finds himself are fraught with difficulties. It reminds me of how in most people in any organization, even unpleasant ones, will naturally try to conform, to blend in, even maybe knowing that the stakes are against them, because this is what we do as humans. Dan would be unlikely to ever have started his job intending to write about it, but as a former professional writer the temptation to write would have been therapy as much as anything. And this place provided such opportunity.
I think that one of the most important things to come out of this account are questions about how organizations are going to structure their workplaces to provide a fair and equitable employment opportunities and work environment for the people that are obliged to seek employment there. It seems for some organizations it is too tempting to allow people to be carelessly and unfairly treated. The response to problems can be (as happened in this narrative), that of deflecting criticism and putting a positive spin on such situations by the means they have at their disposal.
Further, if it is true that "HubCap" made attempts to illegally gain access to the manuscript of his book before it was published, and possibly to prevent publication, then perhaps this account has been an eye opener for the organization involved.

I loved it

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

Reviewed: 12-05-2018

I hesitated over buying this audiobook, thinking that it could be a tirade of gen Y.self indulgence. However, safe in the knowledge that Audible would let me return the book if it was too dreadful, I submitted to temptation.
Joel is a fabulous raconteur. His stories were so engaging and so delightful. They comprised drama, introspection and huge doses of self-deprecating humour. He does metaphorically lampoon others in the course of the narrative, but this never seemed particularly unkind, and he sends himself up more than anyone.
Certain vignettes were absolute standouts during the course of his narration. In particular, the story he relates of one of his first public performances in grade 4 standing in front of the class while using his grandmother's fur stole as a loincloth while singing a song from a popular musical, perhaps 'the lion king' was one such example. Clearly even at a tender age, this guy had star quality and had landed on his feet in this world.
As well as delivering an entertaining narrative, this book was a glimpse into someone's world. Joel is obviously comfortable about talking about himself, but his observations regarding people and society go so much further without feeling ponderous, and made his story such an entertaining listen. When he advises listeners at the beginning of his story to "strap yourself in for the ride", as if anticipating a roller coaster, it is a bit like that. I took a chance on this audiobook, and was richly rewarded. Joel delivers comedy in its most elegant form.

3 people found this helpful

West Cork cover art

true life murder investigation

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

Reviewed: 11-02-2018

Would you listen to West Cork again? Why?
The guilt or otherwise of "person on interest" is explored in attempt to uncover the truth in a true life murder mystery. Many mistakes were made by initial police investigators. Some of these are then uncovered by this investigation (reporters Sam Bungey and Jennifer Fforde) during the course of a three year period. The reporters do a wonderful job in accessing people who are able to shed light on evidence which has been overlooked. Some of these people tried to give evidence but were either disregarded by authorities or intimidated by a person intimately involved in the situation.

What did you like best about this story?
Having listened to carefully collated evidence the conclusion is almost inescapable as far as I was concerned. I became less and less sympathetic to the 'person of interest', whose conduct appeared to be a good example of the old adage about needing a good memory to be a good liar. He sounds credible enough at times, continues to try and bluff his way through, but his efforts are ultimately unconvincing, and nauseating to listen to at times.

What about the narrator’s performance did you like?
The producers or principle narrators remained very open and neutral throughout the investigation. This must have been difficult, because it would be difficult not to come to their own conclusions as the investigation went on.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I like the way that justice seems to have a way of working itself out over time.The French justice system has now become involved in the case. This apparently dates from the time of Napoleon, when French citizens were distributed far and wide, and the justice system needed to be flexible as a consequence. Consequently the story is continuing to unravel even today as the family of the murdered victim fight for justice.

Any additional comments?
Originally a radio program the recording was turned into an audio book and offered to Audible listeners free of charge. Thankyou Audible for such a generous gesture.