LISTENER

Martin Castilla

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 100
  • helpful votes
  • 57
  • ratings

Interesting travel tale with woeful narrator.

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

Reviewed: 09-10-2020

Tony Kevin's background as a diplomat is evident in his thoroughly researched tale of his walk of El Camino de Santiago. Much of it is interesting, if at times laborious, given the rich historical background information included. However, the narrator is terrible. He seemingly has NO IDEA of the sound of Spanish words. Where Kevin has inserted prayers and poems into the book in their native Spanish, for brevity, the narrator butchers them with totally ignorant, unaware and cringe-inducing pronunciation. I'm talking some of the most basic Spanish words like 'hombre' (he says 'jombre') and chorizo (narrator says 'choritzo', repeatedly), and 100 other words and names I happily - or rather, sadly - forget. The narrator also is lifeless, bland, monotone. How can you read about the glory of the vistas and architecture Kevin encountered in such flat tone? Sacrilege! It robs the story of its life. I listened to most of the book at 1.5 times speed so as to not be lulled into sleep while driving. For this native Spanish speaker, this was too much. It ruins what might have been a very fine book. Purchase at your own peril.

Outstandingly entertaining!

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

Reviewed: 05-10-2020

As pretty much every other reviewer writes, this book is GOLD. Hilarious, warm, tragic, and witty to the extent you gasp at author Trent Dalton's cleverness. It's all in the detail... a theme shared with the story's central character, Ely Bell. The depth of characters, the frequent drama, the offhand humor injected into every 'page', and the relatively complex web of events in young Ely's life is astonishing yet told with such grace, humor and humility that the book glides from one chapter to the next. I was so sorry there was a final page and happily would buy any sequel. Narrator Stig Wemyss does an incredibly brilliant job too - in this Audible version, a lot of the credit is owed to him. Sparklingly entertaining. Download it. I only imagine that you love it.

Gut-wrenching at-the-coal-face tell all.

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

Reviewed: 09-07-2020

Not for the squeamish, Rita Therese's story will satisfy those of us who wonder what it's really like working the streets, lap dancing, stripping, and soliciting for business in brothels. It's warts and all, superbly read, in my opinion, by Tamala Shelton. It's a monotonic reading of story after story about physical, emotional and sexual abuse, paid-for sex in utmost detail, the lowlifes who mistreat and show zero respect for working women. They often lash out in disdain of the women, so you feel for the workers. Therese suffers the greatest humiliations both in her work and private life when in relationship/s, and details it all, seemingly unattached, sometimes as a 3rd person - hence Shelton's monotone reading. It's a fascinating, voyeuristic, and for me (and I consider myself open minded) at least, eye opening read. You end up wishing Therese well. I empathise hugely with her, and take her side. This is a good read (listen), IMO well worth your time and investment.

Excellent message, author sounds bored.

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

Reviewed: 28-04-2020

I'm long a fan of Brené Brown, have read and Audibled several of her books. Daring Greatly is more of the same on shame, vulnerability, guilt, parenting and so on. All excellent, strong stuff, and as with the others I've ingested, I learned much. Her quoted research and examples are gold. And more than once I was choked up as I listened to one of her stories. Always interesting, Brené at times to me sounds tired, as if she herself found the information tedious or monotonous. Her voice - usually tinged with wit and spunk - sounds, well, labored. Regardless, I enjoyed the book and, as always, learned much.

Compelling argument for 'curiosity'.

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

Reviewed: 21-10-2019

Grazer lays out his reasons for making curiosity THE driving force behind all human achievement, be it industrial, artistic or physical. It's curiosity, he argues, that precedes experimentation, testing, and adaptation of new ideas, techniques, modes. His own life story involves an astonishing (literally) list of interviews over 35 years with many dozens of people from all walks of life. The celebrity, the politician, sportsperson, industrialist, author, actor, musician, CEO, president (of nations, several) and so on. He openly relates his own at times inadequate preparation for these events and getting caught out (his 10-minute meeting with Isaac Asimov & wife a butt-clenching classic!). Overall, it left me open to be more wonder-full, questioning, a better listener and, yes, more curious. I much enjoyed this book.

Intimate insides from the man who created Cookies.

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

Reviewed: 10-08-2019

Garcia Martinez relates a lot of inner sanctum workings of Silicon Valley and IT companies in general, including Facebook, Google and others. He explains how Social Media works, and funnels, how computers trace and track our every single keystroke, how you can read an article about running shoes on one website on your phone then you log into Facebook and start seeing ads for that same shoe, and you get emails advertising half-price sales of those shoes etc.. If you've ever thought there's a bit of Big Brother shenanigans happening there, you've no idea the enormity of the intrusion. He also explains how he created Cookies, what they are, how they track your movements, and why they're such a valuable asset to advertisers and a commodity in SM. At times it got so deep in detail that it lost me, or I foundered in my understanding. I just kept going and eventually rejoin the story. Interesting and worthwhile reading.

Rollercoaster ride with a nonconfrmist Rock Star

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

Reviewed: 10-08-2019

Dickinson's story is captivating, made more so by his ability to imitate accents so each (real life) character in his book 'speaks for him/herself'. From a small town two-bit band frontman to exhibitionist rock star of one of the world's most successful and enduring heavy metal rock bands, Iron Maiden. Dickinson carries you from his and the band's trajectory from obscurity to superstardom, at the same time learning to fly small aircraft (which gripped him so much he flew the band cross country on tours) to actually becoming a real life airline pilot and captain of heavy metal (airline speak for the largest passenger commercial jets), his story moves along at a high pace, never boring, often humorous and always interesting. Much enjoyed it.

Enthralling real life tale of intrigue & capture.

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

Reviewed: 10-08-2019

From the opening page (so to speak) Bilton engages and doesn't let attention slide for a moment. If you're aware of the Silk Road saga you know the result going in, but still I was taken aback by the sheer front of the ringmasters. Given the Original founder's intent for the Silk Road, and temporary runaway mission success (100s of millions in turnover), it makes one question if an unregulated, laissez faire society can successfully exist. A thoroughly researched and very well put together story.

Bloody (no pun) hilarious.

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

Reviewed: 10-08-2019

This is a very funny book - actually it's hilarious. I thought it was just me but my wife and I drove somewhere for 45 minutes and I asked her if she minded listening to what I'd been laughing about the past few days. Everybody's SOH is different, there's no predicting if another will enjoy it. I warned her certain parts (truly) are cringe-inducing, arse puckeringly graphic. Anyway, we drove along laughing our heads off - a huge hit. If you're in the health profession, particularly, I'm guessing you'll even more closely relate to the subject/s. I have a new-found respect for student doctors, nurses, midwives and (as if I already didn't) birthing mums. This book is a WINNER.

Gripping (true!) story from first to last page.

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

Reviewed: 09-07-2019

Almost pulling off one of history's most brazen cons, the two main characters in this story are magnetic and - clearly - totally without scruples. Two vipers in a tangle that defies belief. That they were able to dupe some of the world's richest, most sophisticated and famous investors of hundreds of millions of dollars while consistently tripping over their own feet - and being picked up by those same investors - was a feat of majestic proportions. Read this brilliantly written and narrated story. I couldn't put it down.