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A hard and boring slog

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

Reviewed: 09-02-2021

I listened to this because I didnt mind the first couple of books and the narrator is very good. And a crime thriller on long drives is usually a good way to spend time.

I also listened because of all the criticism it received in its lead up.

Honestly the criticism should have been for a terrible tortured text, with clumsy handling of important themes, sub stories that went no where, flowery and almost embarrassingly over wrought drafting and a storyline that was VERY familiar to the Prime Suspect mini-series’ that Dame Helen Mirren brought to life in the early / mid nineties.

Except unlike Prime Suspect, this was just amateurish and I suspect if the author wasn’t who she is, it would never have made it to print. That said, I’m still struggling with how the text was so ‘controversial’. I suspect those critics haven’t actually read the book. Lucky them!

Something for everyone

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

Reviewed: 06-09-2019

A sincere congratulations to Professor Straker and Dr Winship on an amazing piece of work.

I am a Psychiatry Registrar (a trainee psychiatrist) and I think I have listened to this book about 9 times in the last 5 months. Its that good.

Gillian and Jacqui take turns in narrating each chapter, and each chapter is a stand alone case study. What makes this book (in my opinion) unique and a joy to return to, is that there is so much nuance and humanity in each study - with some new take away every time I listen to a chapter.

As a trainee, it is a a gift to hear the thoughts and reflections of a psychotherapist - the candid thoughts and feelings regarding efficacy, uncertainty, clear empathy and care for the patient and also strategies on how to roll with resistance and work towards therapeutic alliance and alleviating patient pain. I have put so much of these lessons into my daily work and the changes I have seen in myself and my patients are amazing.

But as a human being, there are also so many lessons in these stories. Understanding my own patterns of thought, looking for blind spots and taking on new ways of thinking - and being inspired by the stories of these patients to have the courage to change and have difficult conversations - is something so much more than your usual 'self help' books.

This is an amazing book and one that I will come back to time and time again over my life and career. There is no better example of why therapy is for everyone and Gillian and Jacqui have done a great service to both the profession of psychiatry and to the general Australian public (yes, an Australian therapy book!).

I hope sincerely that they collaborate again for another book (or series of books) and consider this a 'must have' book for anyone interested in behaviour, beliefs, emotional struggle and for those interested in therapy and what it can do for them. Professionally, I have recommended this book to so many colleagues and all agree that it is a fantastic resource.

2 people found this helpful

A wonderful, exciting series

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

Reviewed: 06-09-2019

I purchased this ages ago and for some reason, didn't get around to reading it until very recently. Foolish foolish me! Once I started, I couldn't stop.

Pamela Bedore is a fantastic narrator and her enthusiasm for the subject matter is simply contagious. Coupled with her clear expertise, her easy going and down to earth explanations and her delightful way of narrating - almost as if you're sitting across from her at a bar - its a joy to listen to these lectures.

Pamela has selected an amazing array of books covering centuries of work and in each work, finds a way to show examples of each genre and also where you can go if you're interested in the topic / theme / particular style of that movement.

Easily the best lecture series I've purchased and one which I will revisit again (particularly as Pamela has given me a huge list of books to read / listen to). A brilliant series and a wonderful author narrator. Cannot recommend this enough.

1 person found this helpful

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 14-06-2018

I cannot begin to explain just how good this book is. The subject matter is so well researched. The writing style is amazing and Michael Pollan as narrator is just fantastic. As a trainee psychiatrist, I learnt so much more about my profession and yes, got a little bit excited about about what this means for our profession and for our patients (and for the rest of humanity).

I'll be listening to this one again for sure. Absolutely the best book I've listened to this year, hands down.

16 people found this helpful

A great conclusion

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

Reviewed: 30-05-2018

I didn’t expect to get this far into this series but once I started I couldnt stop. There is something about the way Hobb fleshes out the characters and their relationships which makes you invest in (most) of them. Its complex stuff at times and Hobb does not treat her readers as simpletons. I’m now looking at the next cycle - even though the Fool was one of my favourite book characters in quite some time.

The change of narrators was a little jarring at times. I really did quite enjoy the original narrator. But honestly they really do justice to the characters though some of the feminine voices are a bit ... well a feminine voice would have been better to be honest. But its a small quibble with an otherwise excellent book.

Great series

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

Reviewed: 23-01-2018

Where does Royal Assassin rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A great story and well conceived

Which character – as performed by Paul Boehmer – was your favourite?

I know a few other reviewers don't like Boehmer's narration style. I must admit in the first book, I initially thought it was very odd. Now I absolutely love it. His high english accent is a bit of a hoot really, but his characterisation of each character is great. Each character has a unique accent and tone and I for one have really grown to love his style. This is not one of those books where the narrator ruins the book. In fact, now that I've gotten past the high english accent, I can't think of anyone better for the book. And the story is really worth it.

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

Yes but also I wanted to savour it.

Boundary pushing stuff

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

Reviewed: 24-01-2017

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book was recommended to me by a friend. I have in turn recommended it to others. The genre is my thing and I was looking for something after relistening to the Dune series.

This book is not laid back listening. It has a constant undertone that kept me off kilter and made me think the whole way through. I imagine that I will get more from it each time I listen to it. I am going to get the hardcopy as well, as this is a story that is original, originally told and uses a very different style of prose to put together quite a complex and interesting story.

What other book might you compare Annihilation to, and why?

I don't think I can compare it to another book. The style is quite unique in that the full story is told in a linear fashion but is actually not a linear narrative.

Which character – as performed by Carolyn McCormick – was your favourite?

I listen to the books at 1.25x speed - I think this meant that I lost some of McCormick's intonation and phrasing. Others have praised her narration - I think they are right but there was something a little off kilter (and perhaps that was deliberate).

1 person found this helpful