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Pierz Newton-John

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 10
  • ratings
  • Energy

  • A Human History
  • By: Richard Rhodes
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Through an unforgettable cast of characters, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes explains how wood gave way to coal and coal made room for oil, as we now turn to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy. Rhodes looks back on five centuries of progress, through such influential figures as Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, Benjamin Franklin, Herman Melville, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent book but please spare us the accents!

  • By Pierz Newton-John on 12-07-2018

Excellent book but please spare us the accents!

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

Reviewed: 12-07-2018

This is not quite the riveting read that Rhodes' account of the making of the atomic bomb was, but still a very comprehensive and interesting history of the development of energy technologies from the start of the coal age. Jacques Roy has a pleasant voice to listen to, but he has alas fallen prey to the pernicious fashion for reading historical quotes in the accent of the person being quoted. Unfortunately his accents are truly execrable and do nothing but annoy and distract. Please Audible narrators, just stop it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Worlds at War

  • The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West
  • By: Anthony Pagden
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

In the tradition of Jared Diamond and Jacques Barzun, prize-winning historian Anthony Pagden presents a sweeping history of the long struggle between East and West, from the Greeks to the present day.

The relationship between East and West has always been one of turmoil. In this historical tour de force, a renowned historian leads us from the world of classical antiquity, through the Dark Ages, to the Crusades, Europe's resurgence, and the dominance of the Ottoman Empire, which almost shattered Europe entirely. Pagden travels from Napoleon in Egypt to Europe's carving up of the finally moribund Ottomans - creating the modern Middle East along the way - and on to the present struggles in Iraq.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting

  • By Tomas on 23-03-2018

An excellent overview of world history in general

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

Reviewed: 15-03-2018

One of the best history audio books I've listened to in terms of extracting the most important information out of the welter of events and making sense of it. Highly recommended. I dislike John Lee's pretentious performances in general and this was no different, but I've almost learned to ignore that by now...

  • The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

  • By: Francis Fukuyama
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 22 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Synthesis

  • By Shane on 29-05-2016

A fascinating and enlightening account

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

Reviewed: 28-12-2017

Thoroughly enjoyed this analysis of how societies develop (and fail to develop) stable political systems. The comparative analysis of the histories of China and India are particularly illuminating in understanding the present state of those countries. Jonathan Davis’s delivery was clear and free of unnecessary and distra flourishes like bad accents for quotations.

  • The Square and the Tower

  • Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power
  • By: Niall Ferguson
  • Narrated by: John Sackville
  • Length: 16 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45

What if everything we thought we knew about history was wrong? From the global best-selling author of Empire, The Ascent of Money and Civilization, this is a whole new way of looking at the world. Most history is hierarchical: it's about popes, presidents, and prime ministers. But what if that's simply because they create the historical archives? What if we are missing equally powerful but less visible networks-leaving them to the conspiracy theorists, with their dreams of all-powerful Illuminati?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting analysis, but quit with the accents already!

  • By Pierz Newton-John on 12-11-2017

Interesting analysis, but quit with the accents already!

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

Reviewed: 12-11-2017

I’m not sure where the mania came from among Audible readers for performing every quote in the supposed accent of its author, but it should stop. Even among gifted voice actors it serves little purpose other than to impress you with the reader’s mimicry, and is mainly just distracting. In the case of John Sackville, the accents range from passable (Scottish) to terrible (New Zealand), and it detracts from the experience. It’s a history book not a radio play. It’s a pity because Sackville has a pleasant reading voice and nothing extra needs to be added. That gripe over, the book is an interesting take on various significant historical epochs and events, examining them as it does through the lens of the “network”. This does sometimes provide novel insights, though at other times the role of the network seems rather tenuous, with the result that the book can seem a little unfocused.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Jerusalem

  • By: Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 25 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day, and the battlefield of today's clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism, and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the 'centre of the world' and now the key to peace in the Middle East?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Biography of a City

  • By Nelson C on 03-12-2015

Fascinating book, annoying delivery

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

Reviewed: 08-02-2017

Sebag Montefiore is a terrific writer of history, and it's not his fault if some of the history related here is so convoluted it's hard to absorb. However the book is not so much read as intoned by John Lee - an irritatingly affected performance in which he sounds like he is reading the Bible itself. Admittedly I'm sensitive to reading style so others may not have a problem with it. It is a damn long book though so download the sample first to see if you mightn't rather just read it yourself.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Ghost Empire

  • By: Richard Fidler
  • Narrated by: Richard Fidler
  • Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 429
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403

Ghost Empire is a rare treasure - an utterly captivating blend of the historical and the contemporary, realised by a master storyteller. In 2014, Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Fired by Richard's passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire - centred around the legendary Constantinople - we are swept into some of the most extraordinary tales in history. The clash of civilisations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust, murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it.

  • By Fjp on 23-04-2017

Gripping

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

Reviewed: 01-12-2016

A fascinating and entertaining history of an overlooked and maligned empire. The chapter on the final fall of Constantinople is particularly fine.

  • The March of Folly

  • From Troy to Vietnam
  • By: Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
  • Length: 17 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

In The March of Folly, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning historian Barbara Tuchman tackles the pervasive presence of folly in governments through the ages. Defining folly as the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests, despite the availability of feasible alternatives, Tuchman details four decisive turning points in history that illustrate the very heights of folly in government.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good but not great

  • By Kyle on 30-11-2016

An interesting analysis of the nature of political folly throughout history.

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

Reviewed: 14-11-2016

Although written more than 30 years ago, Tuchman's analysis hasn't dated much, and the same principles of folly can be seen operating as strongly as ever today - the Iran and Afghanistan wars being the obvious and depressing examples. A couple of elements of the narration grated, however. The narrator seemed to feel she had to render quotations in the accent of the original speaker, yet the result was unconvincing and distracted from the content. Also, she has a bizarre and ultimately teeth-grating way of pronouncing "non-" as "none", thus reading "non-communist" as "none-communist", for example. A tiny point, but annoying as a grain of sand in your eye (at least to me!).