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  • Batavia

  • By: Peter FitzSimons
  • Narrated by: Richard Aspel
  • Length: 17 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280

The story begins in 1629, when the pride of the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, is on its maiden voyage en route from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to leave Holland. The magnificent ship is already boiling over with a mutinous plot that is just about to break into the open when, just off the coast of Western Australia, it strikes an unseen reef in the middle of the night. While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the longboat across 2,000 miles of open sea for help, his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz takes over....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • incredible story!

  • By Lauren on 17-07-2016

Very interesting piece of history.

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

Reviewed: 05-11-2018

Thoroughly enjoyed learning about a very early episode in the Australian continents foray onto the world stage.

I did find some of the Dutch characters very similar sounding names (sometimes the same) confusing at points. Although the author does make attempts explain this in the prologue I still found it mildly confusing.

Although I greatly enjoyed this book, and it may in fact be integral to the story, I feel the book becomes very monotonous and bogged down in the slaughter of victims on Batavia’s graveyard.

All in all a very interesting, little known story, told by a easy to listen to narrator.

  • Burke and Wills

  • The Triumph and Tragedy of Australia's Most Famous Explorers
  • By: Peter FitzSimons
  • Narrated by: Michael Carman
  • Length: 23 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194

The iconic Australian exploration story - brought to life by Peter FitzSimons, Australia's storyteller. 'They have left here today!' he calls to the others. When King puts his hand down above the ashes of the fire, it is to find it still hot. There is even a tiny flame flickering from the end of one log. They must have left just hours ago. Melbourne, 20 August 1860. In an ambitious quest to be the first Europeans to cross the harsh Australian continent, the Victorian Exploring Expedition sets off, with 15,000 well-wishers cheering them on.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good book

  • By Anonymous User on 06-05-2019

Highly recommended

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

Reviewed: 20-07-2018

Very interesting listen, extremely detailed, perhaps bordering on too much detail in sections which slows the pace of the book.

The narrator is very easy to listen to and I enjoyed the life he gives to the characters.

A great Australian tale to which all Australians should be familiar with, I was surprised at how much I didn’t know about the expedition as I thought I was fairly familiar!

  • A Walk in the Woods

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102

The Appalachian Trail covers 14 states and over 2,000 miles, snaking through some of the most spectacular landscapes in America. Reluctant adventurer Bryson recounts his gruelling hike along the longest continuous footpath in the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • <br />

  • By Anonymous User on 11-02-2019

Absolutely delightful.

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

Reviewed: 04-10-2015

Bill Bryson has certainly delivered. A very entertaining summery of his own trip. I found myself sitting in the vehicle long after I arrived at my destinations simply to hear which direction brysons trip would take at the next mountain pass or state line.
It is FUNNY, not in a slap stick way, but with his unique way with words which had me giggling at his encounters with other trail goers, as well as an unassuming public, which certainly had no reason to fathom being included in his tale.
And I learnt a lot about a trail I never would of otherwise, on the other side of the world, as well as about America, American life and the rise and fall of certain endeavours.
I may even plan my own hike! Perhaps a few days at first. And hopefully with a comically inept companion such as brysons!