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Rob in Nelson NZ

New Zealand
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 10
  • ratings
  • The Fault in Our Stars

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clever, heart warming, real.

  • By Anthony on 05-04-2014

Faultless Story and Performance......

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

Reviewed: 09-10-2018

I'd read The Fault in our Stars in book form, and had watched the movie. So this audiobook was reasonably low on my wish list, but I'm glad it recently made it onto my actual book collection. The Story is a true roller-coaster. Parts of the book made me laugh, and parts made me happy. But there were a lot of tough aspects to it. The characters are very well developed, and I emotionally invested in them. I tend to read while I'm walking, and this was the first book that made me genuinely worried that I'd burst into tears out in the street alone. That would have looked seriously weird, but this book is so well written I never regretted the listen. The reader, Kate Rudd, deserves particular praise. It's hard for one gender to read multiple characters covering a wide variety of ages, and two genders. I thought Kate was outstanding reading this book. The highs were that much higher, and the lows so much more emotionally challenging because her performance was outstanding. A highly recommended book, from someone whose own children are older than the characters in this book. This book is too good to have its readership defined only as a Young Adult genre. It's a great book by any measure.

  • How Not to Be a Boy

  • By: Robert Webb
  • Narrated by: Robert Webb
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274

Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5/5

  • By Anonymous User on 29-11-2017

Not what I expected....... But well worth a listen

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

Reviewed: 20-09-2018

I added David Mitchell's autobiography to my library a while ago. I enjoyed his partnership with Robert Webb with their sketch show work. So I expected a pretty similar listen. It wasn't. Robert Webb's upbringing was very troubled, and he had a difficult early life and significant trauma in his teenage years. I found it quite hard to listen to. Robert is very, very hard on himself. Often taking the piss at his teenage life which involved a lot of self-centred poetry, and angst. I have to say I didn't laugh as much as I expected to. Other reviewers have said they laughed a lot, so perhaps I mistook some of the irony for pathos. I found myself genuinely concerned for his mental health. He's obviously struggled with depression and alcohol at times. I hope he has become a better friend to himself now. The audible extras are well worth a listen and what I found to be most uplifting, and enjoyable. The actual book I found to be more interesting than enjoyable. If you're interested in Robert Webb, and he is a very interesting personality, I recommend you give this a listen.

  • Believe Me

  • A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens
  • By: Eddie Izzard
  • Narrated by: Eddie Izzard
  • Length: 14 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140

The stand-up comedian of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion icon. Human. There is no one quite like Eddie Izzard. This is the story of how a boy who wanted to become a professional footballer and win the lead in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat found comedy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW! ....... just WOW!

  • By Mark on 04-09-2017

I'd give this six stars if I could............

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

Reviewed: 30-08-2018

I have over 100 titles from Audible, but this is top of my list of recommendations. I think when you decide to purchase/listen to an autobiography, you're hoping to get a sense of the writer/reader (I won't buy an autobiography not read by the author). That's typically because you have a sense of admiration for their life/career. I didn't know a lot about Eddie Izzard. I'd vaguely remembered him from a few chat shows in the 90s. But living away from the UK, I had little idea of his success. Eddie had plotted his own career, and it largely involved starting small, relying on word of mouth, and building towards the goal. I'd kind of remembered he would wear women's clothing. I'd seen him in a few movies. I vaguely remembered something about running a lot of marathons. I didn't really have a strong sense of who he was. He wasn't on TV where I live in NZ, so his profile outside the UK was not high. But I saw the book and thought "Ok, this might be interesting".

What I'll say about this audio-book is that it very much gives the listener a sense of who Eddie Izzard is. For me: a much stronger sense than any other autobiography. Eddie could probably have read the words from the book version in 8 hours or so. This book is around 14 and 1/2. What sets it apart is the "footnotes". Eddie will be reading his book, but remember something more, and 'ad-lib' more information that really adds to the story. It felt very intimate, and he seems to open up to the listener, and you get a very comprehensive sense of the person reading. I found it very enjoyable.
As someone who would very vigorously ignore a bloke in a dress (I don't think I'd be rude, but I'd probably cross the street to avoid eye contact), I now feel I understand the difficulty trans-gender people face, and this book has changed my perceptions. To enjoy this book, I think you'd want to enjoy his humour. If you're reading this review, you've probably heard of Eddie Izzard, and are interested in his life. I whole-heartedly recommend the book if you fit that criteria. I really doubt you'll be disappointed. If you've not listened to/seen his standup comedy, have a look on the 'net. Start with a search of "Darth Vader in the Death Star Canteen" If it makes you laugh, then give this book a go............ A wonderful human being with a fantastic outlook on life.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase

  • And Another Thing...
  • By: Eoin Colfer, Douglas Adams
  • Narrated by: Jane Horrocks, Sandra Dickinson, Mark Wing-Davey, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 39 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

The brand new BBC Radio 4 full-cast series based on And Another Thing… the sixth book in the famous Hitchhiker’s Guide "trilogy". Forty years on from the first ever radio series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent and friends return in six brand new episodes, in which they are thrown back into the Whole General Mish Mash in a rattling adventure involving Viking Gods and Irish Confidence Tricksters, with our first glimpse of Eccentrica Gallumbits and a brief but memorable moment with The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast Of Traal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I'm glad they did this. Better than nothing......

  • By Rob in Nelson NZ on 01-07-2018

I'm glad they did this. Better than nothing......

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

Reviewed: 01-07-2018

Hitch-Hikers material by Douglas Adams draws intense fan loyalty. I'm pretty die hard, and have been listening to the first two series for 30+ years and would have lost count how many times I've heard them. I loved the first 3 books, really liked the 4th book, and was disappointed by the 5th book. Eion Colfer's efforts to continue to the story with a 6th was OK, but I think telling that he didn't try again. Dirk Maggs does a wonderful job of continuing the radio series legacy, and has turned the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th books into radio adaptions. Much like the books, the story-lines have steadily declined. That's not a reflection on Dirk Maggs or the others involved - the performances and adaption quality are excellent I thoroughly enjoyed. It's just that everything seems to be running out of steam.

I was really glad they made the movie, but it didn't take off. Similarly, I'm really glad they have made this radio series.

Sadly, Douglas Adams died in the early 2000s. I'm still incredibly sad about that. My attitude to these examples of 'new' material fall into the category of "better than nothing". If you are young, and have recently heard of the "Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" don't start with this. Start with the the earliest versions. It just makes sense regardless, and I can't recommend them highly enough. But if you're a fan, and are wondering "Should I bother?" I recommend you do.... just not strongly........

  • Small Man in a Book

  • By: Rob Brydon
  • Narrated by: Rob Brydon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 68

Who is the man behind the many voices of Rob Brydon? Read by the man himself, this audiobook memoir will reveal the warm heart behind one of Britain's favourite impressionists. A multi-award-winning actor, writer, comedian and presenter known for his warmth, humour and inspired impressions, Rob Brydon has quickly become one of our very favourite entertainers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book.

  • By Tracy on 02-11-2018

Great reading of Rob’s autobiography.... but....

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

Reviewed: 29-04-2018

Having this book read by the man himself was outstanding. One of the best voices in the business. But one concern. I think this was only recently released on Audible, yet the book stops in the mid 2000s. So much of Rob’s recent achievements aren’t covered. Nothing of “Would I lie to you?” Or “The trip(s)” in the reading. Still a great reader reading an interesting story and recommended.

  • Turtles All the Way Down

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178

The wait is over! John Green, the number one best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars, is back. It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT............

  • By Rob in Nelson NZ on 22-12-2017

IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT............

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

Reviewed: 22-12-2017

Would you consider the audio edition of Turtles All the Way Down to be better than the print version?

I thought Kate Rudd did a very good reading of the book. It's always difficult for any reader to alternate between male and female, but she did well. I've not read the print version, but that's why I subscribe to audible - so I can "read" and do other things (walk, drive).

What other book might you compare Turtles All the Way Down to, and why?

It's probably appropriate to compare it to John Green's other books, all of which I've either read or listened to. Like all the others, John Green writes about late teen life. This has similar emotional depth to "The Fault in our Stars", and was told from the female perspective. For me I didn't find much humour, which permeated TFIOS. This was a hard 'read' at times, but I was always cared about Aza, and felt myself really caring about what happened next. Not a "fun ride" that was Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, but they were told from the perspective of healthy males. This is a female with challenges. I don't know if I'd say I enjoyed "Turtles" more or less. A bit like your favourite song - it depends on your mood at the time. Sometimes you want a slow ballad, other times a rock epic, or other times something to dance to. What I will say is that I found myself emotionally involved in this character at least is deeply as I was with TFIOS.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The ending wasn't what I expected, and that's about all I should say. I don't think it's fair to go into that too deeply for a review that someone might read when they're trying to decide whether or not to buy this book.

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

Not too keen on spoiling the book for readers of this review, but there was a scene when Aza was driving her car after finding she'd been starring in her friends Star Wars fan fiction. Quite challenging, but it added a lot to the emotional depth of the character and book.

Any additional comments?

I was always emotionally involved in the main character, and thus the book was one I would recommend strongly. If you enjoyed TFIOS, I would expect you will enjoy this book. John Green writes his stories, and develops his characters, incredibly well. They seem very real. But don't expect a lot of fun with this one. Be ready for an emotional roller coaster which takes a long time to get out of the darkness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Not Dead Yet

  • By: Phil Collins
  • Narrated by: Phil Collins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

Phil Collins gained fame as both the drummer and the lead singer for Genesis and continues to enjoy worldwide success today. He's one of only three recording artists who have sold over 100 million albums both as solo artists and separately as principal members of bands - the other two being Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very telling Biography

  • By Ros H. on 16-01-2017

DEAD INTERESTING.....

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

Reviewed: 25-06-2017

If you could sum up Not Dead Yet in three words, what would they be?

Courageous, Honest, Interesting

What was one of the most memorable moments of Not Dead Yet?

The song "In the air tonight" has been a great example of how false rumour repeated often enough can become urban legend. Listen to Phil tell what it's about, and how it came into being. With some irony, I found it really interesting just how uninteresting the story behind it really is.

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

I'm far more likely to buy an autobiography in audiobook form if the author has read it themselves. Phil does a great job. The ups and downs of his life are so much more real because he's read it himself.

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

At over 12 hours I'm sorry I don't have that much spare time in my life. But I often found myself listening that extra 30 minutes or so because I really wanted to know what happened.

Any additional comments?

I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. Between his solo career and Genesis, Phil was on top of the english speaking world for quite a few years. But he seemed to drop out of fashion quite quickly, seemingly because of overexposure. That relatively sudden fall must've been hard. He rode the rock n roll rollercoaster, and is all the more interesting for it.

  • Made in America

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very entertaining account of American vocabulary

  • By Aileen on 03-07-2015

VERY DIFFERENT TO BILL BRYSON'S TRAVEL BOOKS

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

Reviewed: 22-01-2017

What did you like best about Made in America? What did you like least?

Made in America largely focusses on the words that are considered to be "American English", or the place names and how they came about. There is also quite a lot of history, which is probably what I enjoyed most, and the fallacies that surround the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Columbus, Paul Revere, etc. Not being from America some of it was perhaps lost on me.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Made in America?

There must have been a phenomenal amount of research go into this book, by a man with genuine love for the written word. By and large that love comes through the book, but some of it was not that interesting to this reader. I did enjoy the 'debunking' of historical figures, and legends, such as the fact the settlers heading west never used canvas covered wagons, and how small a percentage of the population of the west were "cowboys".

What didn’t you like about William Roberts’s performance?

Others have commented that Bill Bryson should read his own books himself, and I'm inclined to agree. This must've been a difficult book to narrate, and William Roberts makes a solid effort, but I didn't find myself laughing at all. Other books, narrated by Bill Bryson, had many laugh out loud moments. Not sure if it is the material or the narration - probably a bit of both. But for a Bill Bryson book to lack humour seems to indicate something is missing from the narration.

Did Made in America inspire you to do anything?

It's a history lesson in the main, and an interesting one. What it did for me was convince me how hard it was for the early settlers, and immigrants. The early days of America were pretty rough, and while the rewards were immense for a relative few, it was very, very hard work for most, and life was tough. The present day may have it's faults but I'm glad to be living now and not 200 years ago. Thanks to Bill Bryson for 'keeping it real'.

Any additional comments?

I do note that Bill Bryson's latest book is self narrated, and I'd encourage him to continue reading his own books. Mr Robert's efforts were solid and clear, but for whatever reason any humour in the text was lost.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45

Bill Bryson's hilarious memoir of growing up in middle America in the Fifties, complete, unabridged and read by the author. Born in 1951 in the middle of the United States, Des Moines, Iowa, Bill Bryson is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24 carat memoir gold.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thoroughly enjoyable

  • By Jeff on 02-01-2017

The Development of the USA alongside Bill Bryson

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

Reviewed: 02-01-2017

Where does The Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kid rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I've taken to listening to Audible books in my lunch-hours, while walking around our local residential streets. I was always interested, always entertained, and frequently causing casual passers-by to wonder what was going on with the many laugh out loud moments. It's an interesting narration of middle America in the early 50's through to the 60's, told by Bill Bryson via his alter ego "the Thunderbolt Kid". Funny, and informative. Just a great story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

As an autobiography, plain Bill is the central character, but many, many interesting characters intersected with his childhood.

Which character – as performed by Bill Bryson – was your favourite?

Too many to mention. I'd be explaining the whole book all over again. All characterizations are explained in wonderful detail, and it was easy to imagine them.

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

I'd love to have the luxury of having 8+ hours in a block to listen to audiobooks, However, I'm afraid life gets in the way. I listened to this as quickly as I've listened to any audiobook,which is a recommendation. Given the time, I'd have given it a go to listen in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

This was my first Bill Bryson audiobook. On the strength of the enjoyment of this, I bought "Made in America", which I've just started. It's narrated by William Roberts - competently. My own preference, and a very strong one, is Bill's narration compared to William Roberts. The subtle humour comes through for me much stronger with Mr Bryson's narration. Mr Roberts seems a bit serious for a Bill Bryson's writing style. I've noted that many of those narrated by Bill Bryson are abridged versions, which seems a waste. So a solid vote for Bill Bryson to narrate his own books, and I do note that the latest One Summer - America 1927 is self narrated. That's my next purchase come the monthly subscription renewal.