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Bevan Lewis

New Zealand
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 16
  • ratings
  • The Honourable Schoolboy

  • The Karla Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 20 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

George Smiley has become chief of the battered British Secret Service. The betrayals of a Soviet double agent have riddled the spy network, and Smiley wants revenge. He chooses his weapon: Jerry Westerby, "The Honourable Schoolboy", a passionate lover, and a seasoned, reckless secret agent. Westerby is pointed east, to Hong Kong. So begins the terrifying game.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The honourable schoolboy

  • By dave on 11-01-2016

Fantastic Smiley story, the best yet.

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

Reviewed: 02-11-2017

As always Michael Jayston's performance is flawless. This complex story features a really broad cast of interesting characters, wonderful settings and a suitable ending.

  • The Long 19th Century: European History from 1789 to 1917

  • By: Robert I. Weiner, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert I. Weiner
  • Length: 18 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Few periods of history offer such captivating complexity as Europe in the long 19th century between 1789 and 1914. From the idealism of the French Revolution to the power of the Industrial Revolution to the chaos of World War I, this fascinating whirl of events, personalities, and forces formed the foundation for the modern world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent interpretive overview

  • By Bevan Lewis on 12-09-2017

Excellent interpretive overview

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

Reviewed: 12-09-2017

Robert Weiner provides a thought provoking overview of this fascinating period. I've listened to it twice now and will again. Each lecture is packed with ideas. He adopts more of an interpretive approach rather than just reciting events although he does provide the context necessary. I also appreciated the excellent notes and recommendations for further reading. There is a noticeable emphasise on diplomatic history but other aspects are covered. My only minor criticism is that his vocal volume tends to go up and down a wee bit too much, although I was still able to hear everything. Excellent and I hope the Great Courses release a version of his course on the twentieth century.

  • All Creatures Great and Small

  • The Classic Memoirs of a Yorkshire Country Vet
  • By: James Herriot
  • Narrated by: Christopher Timothy
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 69

The inspiration for the BBC series of the same name. Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offer an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semiferal cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James find he is on a learning curve as steep as the hills around him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beaut book but.....

  • By Nola Coulthurst on 15-11-2018

An old friend

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

Reviewed: 03-07-2017

Those of a certain age will remember the popularity of these books and the spinoff TV series. In retrospect it seemed strange that the gruelling life of a vet in an isolated part of Yorkshire in the 1930s could be an international bestseller. I recently happened across mention of James Herriot and thought I would engage in some nostalgia.
This book is a model of memoir. I now appreciate more than in my youth why these books were so popular. Although the tales are entertaining Herriot's writing is absolutely exquisite. His wonderful language and masterful timing wrimg every ounce of pathos, tragedy (and more than a few belly laughs) out of the reader.
Christopher Timothy, the narrator has a natural bent for the main character due to his years playing him in the TV series, however shows himself to be an outstanding reader, performing all the actors with aplomb.
A wonderful experience to listen to and a superb book to revisit.

  • From Doon with Death

  • The First Inspector Wexford Novel
  • By: Ruth Rendell
  • Narrated by: Terrence Hardiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

The first case for DCI Reg Wexford. When Margaret Parsons disappears, it's assumed that she's run off with another man. But then the missing woman's body is found and a startling discovery is made when Mr. Parsons lets the police into his home...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful novel with beautiful language

  • By Bevan Lewis on 15-03-2017

Masterful novel with beautiful language

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

Reviewed: 15-03-2017

Ruth Rendell introduces Detective Inspector Wexford in this book. Set unashamedly in the early 1960s (I. e. contemporary ), the writing is lucid and beautiful. Everything a police procedural should be. The audible book is superbly read, one of the best performances I've heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

Alec Leamas has ended his time in Berlin. Or his time has ended him. The last of his Eastern agents has been killed, like the others, by the Abteilung. Back at the Circus, Leamas is put on the shelf. He turns to drunkenness and dishonesty and finally disappears from view, a seemingly broken man. But unknown to anyone except George Smiley and his master, Control, Leamas has been given his toughest mission ever. He will have to be himself but more so.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Third reading and listening ....still most brilliant.

  • By david x kelly on 09-03-2016

Still developing

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

Reviewed: 16-04-2016

This was John Le Carre's breakthrough novel. He has transitioned from detective drama with a hint of espionage to full on spy thriller. Good book but still developing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Therapy

  • By: Sebastian Fitzek
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 5

Twelve-year-old Josy has an inexplicable illness. She vanishes without a trace from her doctor's office during treatment. Four years later Josy's father, psychiatrist Viktor Larenz, has withdrawn himself to an isolated North Sea island in order to deal with the tragedy. Then he's paid a surprise visit by a beautiful stranger. Anna Glass is a novelist who suffers from an unusual form of schizophrenia: All the characters she creates for her books become real to her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • excellent thriller

  • By Bevan Lewis on 14-01-2016

excellent thriller

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

Reviewed: 14-01-2016

The first so-called psychological thriller I've read, this is a gripping story. Although I got a sense of what was coming the denouement was still somewhat surprising and satisfying
The Audible audio book is well narrated by British actor Robert Glenister

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A History of Hitler's Empire, 2nd Edition

  • By: Thomas Childers, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Thomas Childers
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Know thy enemy. That's what the wisdom of history teaches us. And Adolf Hitler was surely the greatest enemy ever faced by modern civilization. Over half a century later, the horror, fascination, and questions still linger: How could a man like Hitler and a movement like Nazism come to power in 20th-century Germany – an industrially developed country with a highly educated population? How were the Nazis able to establish the foundations of a totalitarian regime in such a short time and hurl all of Europe – and the world – into a devastating war that would consume so many millions of lives? Professor Childers has designed this gripping 12-lecture course to shed light on these and other questions that have plagued generations.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Heavily biased and poor narration

  • By terry on 25-10-2018

Excellent overview of Nazi Germany

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

Reviewed: 24-12-2015

Thomas Childers is an excellent scholar. His early research was on German electoral patterns and the rise of support for the Nazi Party. This short course provides an excellent history of the Nazi movement from its origins in World War 1 through its extraordinary rise to power. Childers places the rise of Hitler's Empire within the context of German politics and society. He covers the party's tactics, Hitler's beliefs, the evolution of racial and foreign policy expertly. There is brief coverage of World War 2 but Professor Childers has another course specifically on this subject.

  • Call for the Dead

  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52

This novel, set in London in the late 1950s, finds George Smiley engaged in the humdrum job of security vetting. But when a Foreign Office civil servant commits suicide after an apparently unproblematic interview, Smiley is baffled. Refusing to believe that Fennan shot himself soon after making a cup of cocoa and asking the exchange to telephone him in the morning, Smiley decides to investigate – only to uncover a murderous conspiracy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable first book in the series

  • By Bevan Lewis on 22-10-2015

Enjoyable first book in the series

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

Reviewed: 22-10-2015

John Le Carre's deftly drawn characters and well informed books on the world of espionage should need no introduction. Yet despite watching the two BBC miniseries based on the George Smiley character I hadn't read any until I listened to this, the first book in the eight featuring George. Smiley is a fascinating character, quite opaque, quiet and undemonstrative. He is the polar opposite of James Bond yet is a superb protagonist. Le Carre's first book is well plotted and paced, gently ambling towards a conclusion. I did anticipate a couple of plot points but it was still a pleasure to seem them play out.
The audio book is excellently narrated with the characters easily distinguished and full of drama.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Guns of August

  • By: Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Germany bad, everyone else good.

  • By thefinn on 14-12-2018

Classic Narrative History

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

Reviewed: 21-10-2015

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
This is one of those classics that I've wanted to read since getting interested in World War 1 with the centenary. It lives up to its reputation as a gripping, well written narrative history.The reading is excellent with good 'accents' and easy to follow.

What other book might you compare The Guns of August to, and why?
There is a litany of other books and authors who reference themselves instead of The Guns of August. Sean McMeekin, author of "July 1914" is respectful but a bit derogatory. In fact when I read/listened I was surprised that the 'origins' of the war are not a dominant part of the book at all, and the military events of August, as the title suggests, are the central content.
Max Hasting's "Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914" is probably the most comparable recent book.

Which scene did you most enjoy?
The beautifully described encounters between Joffre and his subordinates (and the British) through the book are sometimes frustrating, sometimes amusing but always vivid.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Failure of the Best Laid Plans