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Simon McMahon "Film Buff" (Chelmsford, Essex, UK)
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Dr No
Dr No
by Ian Fleming
Edition: Audio CD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb reading of a great story., 12 Aug 2013
This review is from: Dr No (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As soon as Dr No finished I jumped onto Google to find out if Hugh Quarshie had read any other audiobooks. Why? Because his performance is quite honestly one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I would rate him alongside Stephen Fry (who for me reached the pinnacle of audiobook readers with the Harry Potter series). Sadly he only seems to have done a couple of others - I really hope he does more!

He is extremely versatile when it comes to "doing voices" for various characters - including Honey Ryder - who sounded much more like she should than the Ursula Andress version of the character. It's a great story and a superb reading - I heartily recommend it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2014 7:55 PM BST


Argon Digital Radio with iPod Dock - High Gloss
Argon Digital Radio with iPod Dock - High Gloss
Offered by Gagi Spares
Price: 55.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great looking DAB radio with iPod port, 12 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this to replace my PURE Siesta - which is the second PURE product I've had which died prematurely. So when I saw this being offered as part of the Vine program I snapped it up. Reception so far has been excellent - previous radios have involved a lot more aerial fiddling to pick anything up. Sound quality is surprisingly good - even routing my iPod through this leads to pretty decent results (it's never going to be Hi-Fi quality of course but no one should expect that!). The only minor annoyance for me is how loosely the iPod sits in the dock. I think it would come out quite easily if knocked.

There are 10 preset station slots which is plenty for me (in fact I only use 3!) and the unit looks swish enough. I have seen other reviewers mentioning the poor placement of the snooze / alarm button. I also use this as an alarm every morning - and it is annoying that they are on the front. However - this unit is primarily a radio - Aves have another model that is specifically made as a alarm which has the buttons on top.

Overall I would recommend this as a good sounding, cost effective DAB. I've had this now for 5 months and have had no issues in that longer term.


Torchwood: The Lost Files (Radio Drama Box Set) (BBC Audio)
Torchwood: The Lost Files (Radio Drama Box Set) (BBC Audio)
Price: 30.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Two out of three isn't so bad!, 15 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really enjoyed Series 2 of Torchwood and the Children of Earth was just an amazing piece of television. Series 1 and the recent Miracle Day left me a little bit cold though. And the experience I've had of the audioplays has been similar. Some brilliant some really not very good. I've previously heard Asylum (which I didn't enjoy) and Lost Souls (which I very much did).

This collection for me has one dud, The Devil and Miss Carew. It's a fairly standard story with a few holes in the logic. It also sometimes feels like members of the cast are telephoning their performance in, which is a shame really. It's okay but nothing special and I found my concentration wandering on several occasions.

The other two stories however are great. Submission is brilliantly atmospheric, featuring the team descending into the Marianna Trench. I listened to this in bed at night and I have to say it freaked me out a bit! I really enjoyed this one and the sound design really helped. There's a bit of backstory expansion for Ianto as well which I liked.

The last story is the best of the bunch. The House of the Dead is set in a haunted pub and is quite brilliant. There is a superb twist in this which sadly is given away in some reviews. A brilliant bit of writing and the cast do a brilliant job.

Overall I would recommend this set. However, don't judge it on the very generic first CD as the next two more than make up for it!


A Certain Justice (BBC Audio)
A Certain Justice (BBC Audio)
by P. D. James
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 19.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Audiobook!, 15 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are plenty of review for the story "A Certain Justice" so I'm going to review the audiobook itself. I'm a big fan of audiobooks and plays and have listened to numerous examples. For me the pinacle of audiobooks has to be Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter books. They are an incredibly enjoyable listen and Fry brings a huge amount of characted to the reading (not least of all because he has a vast range of voices).

It may seem like I'm digressing a little here, but for me Michael Jayston comes very close to Fry. His reading is wonderful and makes for an incredibly enjoyable listening experience. Again, like Fry he has a superb way of making the characters seem and sound like individuals. The production is also good, the sound is very clear and there is no mudiness.

If you're a fan of PD James or just really well produced audiobooks I can't recommend this highly enough. A great story made even better by the excellent reading of Michael Jayston.


News of Paul Temple (BBC Audio)
News of Paul Temple (BBC Audio)
by Francis Durbridge
Edition: Audio CD

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting once it gets going, 15 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I actually struggled with this for a long time as it does start off pretty slowly. I also think it would probably help if you'd heard previous installments as this doesn't cater for listeners new to the series (i.e. there are no real introductions to the characters). However, I would consider this a plus point as I do find it frustrating when writers constantly write lengthy introductions for characters regular readers / listeners will be familiar with.

Once the story get's going however, it clips along at a fair old pace. There are a few twists as the story progresses however nothing too taxing. I understand that this is one of the more straightforward Paul Temple mysteries.

I rather enjoyed my first foray into the world of Paul Temple and may well pick up some of the earlier tales in the series.


Kaspersky Pure Total Security (3 PC, 1 Year subscriptions) (PC)
Kaspersky Pure Total Security (3 PC, 1 Year subscriptions) (PC)

5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent product from Kaspersky, 8 Oct 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used Kaspersky Internet Security for the last 3 years or so. Prior to that I used Norton, McAffee and Bulldog. With each of those others I have, at one time or another, experienced issues, most often intense slow down and system hogging. I have never experienced this with Kaspersky and Pure seems no different thankfully on that count!

It's dead easy to install and get running. And once it's up you shouldn't notice it too much as, like I said, it's not much of a system hog. I think my PC loads slightly faster too when compared with Internet Security 2010 (my previous Kaspersky software). Pure seems to catch most of the nasty things out there. I also run a seperate Spyware removal tool and I've noticed that with Pure there seems to be less missed from it's scans (i.e. not as much will show up on the Spyware scanned).

If you do need to go into the software it's fairly easy to navigate with large bright buttons pointing you in the direction you need to go. Virus definitions are updated each time you start up and this again is done without you noticing. My only criticism is that it can be a bit difficult to find certain features, such as detailed reports.

One thing I will also say, I uninstalled my old copy of Kaspersky Internet Security before installing Pure and had no issues with that. I know some Anti Virus can be a pain to get rid of in it's entirety. As another Kaspersky product I presume Pure will be removed in a similar way.

No antivirus software is perfect, you still need to be very aware of where you're travelling on the old interweb and avoid anything suspect. But as defences go you could do a lot worse than Kaspersky. I should also point out that there is a very active Kaspersky community online where you can go an ask questions. People there are very helpful!


The Eagle of the Ninth (BBC Radio)
The Eagle of the Ninth (BBC Radio)
by Rosemary Sutcliff
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 9.27

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A promising story - a sadly lacking audio interpretation, 8 Oct 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The following review contains a couple of broad spoilers.

When I ordered this audiobook I had no idea that I had actually read the Eagle of the Ninth many moons ago when I was about 12! Alas I have little recollection of the book aside from the basic premise; which follows a young Roman, Marcus' quest to find out what happened to the lost Ninth Legion, sent north into Scotland under the command of his father.

The basic concept is indeed a pretty interesting one. A single Roman setting off with his faithful slave Esca into the wild lands of the north on a perilous journey. Except... it's not very perilous. I presume that in order to fit into a two hour audio play some elements of the book have been removed. The problem is, not a huge amount really happens. On their journey they meet a Roman legionary who has "gone native" as well as some of the local tribesman.

They manage eventually and without any trouble to find what they seek and, well, that's about it. There's a pretty well produced scene of pursuit and capture which I enjoyed but the rest of the tale is just a little empty. There's no real threat and no real excitement. I was actually a bit shocked when it ended as I was expecting something more to happen.

I'm not sure if these issues can be laid at the books feet or if they are peculiar to this audio rendition. It seems as if this has been stripped down to the bare minimum, keeping the key events of the book but getting rid of the flavour perhaps? I can't say as I can't remember the book I'm afraid. But whatever the case, I'm not sure this was hold a child's interest as, like I said, not much happens.

I know others have mentioned the sound design and some of the odd choices there, so I won't repeat what's been said elsewhere. But I would say that again, there's a sense of emptiness in some scenes, with not much going on with the audio, and when things do happen it can be a little too much. This feels like it was produced much earlier than 1996 to be honest. Another reviewed has mention the excellent BBC Lord of the Rings production and I would also cite the Hobbit which has some rather wonderful sound design. For me the Eagle of the Ninth never really amounts to much. Perhaps if it had been longer with more flavour to it and not stripped down to the bone as this some times feels...


Just a Minute: Best of 2010 (BBC Radio 4 Comedy)
Just a Minute: Best of 2010 (BBC Radio 4 Comedy)
by Just a Minute
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 12.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Just 110 minutes...., 14 Mar 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love Just a Minute. My parents would listen to Radio 4 religiously and I grew to love this and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. The concept of the game is simple, the panellists are given a subject to talk about and must speak for 60 seconds without repetition, hesitation or deviation. If any of these rules are broken one of the other panellists can challenge and if the challenge is upheld by chairman Nicholas Parsons (who is hilarious) they have to speak on the subject for the remaining time, whether that's 59 seconds or 1 second.

Of course, the entertainment factor comes from the fact that you have Paul Merton, David Mitchell, Ross Noble, Gyles Brandreth and other witty folk as the panellists and the results can be hilarious. I'm particularly fond of that point after about 30 seconds that the speaker starts to speak in a rather odd fashion as they try to drag out their words as much as possible... without actually hesitating!

The subjects are diverse, in the 3rd episode The French, Motorcycles and Your Local are all subjects for discussion in the first few minutes. I doubt anyone reading this will be unfamiliar with Just a Minute but if you are I'm not sure this is the best place to start. Perhaps tune into the radio show first.

The only downside to this set is the price and the fact that you only get four episodes. As others have said a multidisc box set would be a great idea. But if you're happy to shell out you'll find 110 minutes of comedy genius!


The Fall
The Fall
by Guillermo del Toro
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A more enjoyable second part..., 14 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Fall (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wasn't as blown away by the first book in this trilogy as some other people. I had very high expectations of Guillermo del Toro, the man is an incredibly visionary director, and I was disappointed that The Strain fell below these expectations. How does The Fall hold up in comparison? I'd say it's an improvement as it brings in some interesting concepts about the vampires and the ancients which I hope will be further explored in the final book in the series.

This book chronicles the breakdown of society and the plot of the Master for world domination. The idea of an ancient book is also introduced in The Fall and this is something that characters on both sides covet. This ancient tome also led to one of the slightly bizarre moments. In all the chaos that's going on in the city Sotheby's still manage to hold an auction? It's one of these moments that breaks your suspension of disbelief. It really doesn't make much sense!

Another part of the book I enjoyed was the blog of the exterminator character Fet. I really wished there were more of these, though again it was a bit of an odd way of getting into a characters head... could I really imagine Fet writing a blog at this time? Not really, but then neither could he!

I really liked the new character, a Mexican wrestler and actor who's internal monologue is quite entertaining (thinking back to the glory days of his career as he's dealing with vampires) and the action in this book is certainly ramped up a notch or two. Eph's wife reappears and has some cracking moments in this one and there is a scene on a train and in the subway tunnels which are extremely tense and exciting.

Overall I enjoyed this book more than the first, whether this has to do with my expectations being reduced I'm not sure. But as a modern vampire tale goes this trilogy is turning into a cracking good yarn!


Out Of The Blue [2007] [DVD]
Out Of The Blue [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Karl Urban
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly realistic..., 14 Mar 2011
This review is from: Out Of The Blue [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Some towns make history for the right reasons and other towns make history for all the wrong reasons. Aramoana in New Zealand sadly falls into the latter category. A gunman went on a rampage which took the lives of 13 people before he was killed by Police. This tragedy took place in 1990 and a film of the events faced a difficult task. Could such a film be done in a way that was respectful to the victims?

The answer with Out of the Blue is a resounding yes. In the first part of the film we are briefly introduced to various people inhabiting the town as well as a couple of the Police officers. Whilst these moments are fairly brief they've been carefully handled and it's easy to pick up on what kind of people these were. We also follow the gun man and there are some well place scenes indicating the deterioration of his mental well being and his increasing paranoia.

When the violence does come, there is no glorification of it over the course of the shooting. It feels genuine and it becomes very easy to imagine yourself being present at that awful time.

There is a moment when an officer is comforting a child in the back of a truck. One of the shots really makes it apparent just how exposed he was, and it made me squirm in my seat, I expected a shot to ring out at any moment. For me it really emphasised the bravery of the officer who risked his life, so important was it to him to provide comfort to the child.

Out of the Blue does a difficult thing. It places us in a town where a horrendous act is taking place and makes us feel a tiny part of the tension and helplessness the townsfolk must have felt and showing us the acts of heroism undertaken by ordinary people. It's never gratuitous and handles it's subject matter with respect, whilst at the same time being quite a disturbing and realistic portrayal of an ordinary day that became extraordinary for the worst reasons...


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