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VINE VOICEon 19 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Tim Frazer is an engineer recruited as a spy by a government agency - a cross between MI5 and CID. Tim's boss; Charles Ross, contacts him and tells him that special agent Leo Salinger has been knocked down and killed by a woman called Barbara Day whilst investigating diamond smuggling. Charles is not convinced that it was an accident and therefore asks Tim to follow the woman to Amsterdam and find out what really happened. Leo was carrying a metronome when he was killed, which seems to hold clues about the smuggling ring.

Tim is convinced that the beautiful Barbara is innocent and starts to fall for her charms. She innocently invites him to her flat in London to meet her fiancee but people keep turning up dead and the lovely Barbara seems to be caught in the middle somehow. Tim is determined to prove her innocence and finds himself in real danger; this is only his second assignment and could possibly be his last.

The story by Francis Durbridge is on two CD's and runs for 2hrs 20mins. It is wonderfully narrated by Anthony Head (Prime Minister in Little Britain and King Uther in Merlin).

Thoroughly enjoyable and very easy listening. It makes a real change from reading a book to just relaxing and listening and recreating the characters in your head.
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VINE VOICEon 30 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The success of Francis Durbridge's Paul Temple is almost unparalleled in crime novel history for not only book sales but also for the numerous adaptations on radio and television and in the theatre in the mid twentieth century.

His lesser known character Tim Frazer about whom just three novels were written did, however, become a household name ~ especially in our house! As the lead in the Francis Durbridge Presents series (which also featured the amazingly brilliant and now probably lost story "The Scarf") in the "The World of Tim Frazer" and Jack Hedley who played Frazer became a kind of national television hero and brought more of an audience to the work of Durbridge.

Interestingly Anthony Head who reads this second outing for Frazer sounds not unlike Hedley and while listening to it I was transported back to winter evenings as a small boy waiting for Francis Durbridge's weekly serial to appear on the telly. Such was the popularity of Durbridge at this time that a new Paul Temple (Francis Mathews) would also appear though poor old Frazer would not ride again.

As with the first recording of the Tim Frazer saga Head brings a jolly warmth and credibility to a story that now creaks a bit and has been eclipsed by so many other authors writing in the genre.

This is a cozy listen for a winter's evening for anyone craving the nostalgia of a ripping yarn. I did wonder why Frazer never had a sidekick and there are times when he sounds a little like the lonely guy from the Strand cigarette adverts
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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having never sampled Durbridge's previous works, I was curious about this non-descriptive title with the only attraction of having Anthony Head's narrative. I liked Head in most of his acting roles, as he brought a certain gravitas to each with his diction.

The story itself was began slightly confusingly, diving deep into a mission brief without introduction to characters in the opening scene. To differentiate them by voices played by the same actor was always going to be disorientating. It doesn't help that Frazer's organisation is never named and his colleagues all refer to each other using surnames. It was only when he goes off on his mission to Amsterdam and has one-on-one conversations with a stranger, allowing descriptions and conversations to develop, that the story picks up and you begin to have a rapport with head's narrative.

The plot is twisted with Frazer seemingly increasingly drawn into the very center of action. There is a strikingly beautiful woman, her jealous fiance, her nosy colleague and various shady persons that have connections to a diamond smuggling operation. A murder ramps up the action and the investigation doubles as a plot vehicle and device to portray Frazer's ingenuity, which comes across as very off the cuff. There seems to be a running joke where Frazer is "saved by the bell".

This entire work relies on you getting past the initial 15 minutes without background history and giving up. I think Head gives a good account of the narrative and doesn't go overboard with the vocal ranges, keeping the voices in order. If you are a fan of Tim Frazer, this will be enjoyable from the start. If not, you may be tempted as I was to turn off. Thankfully I didn't and enjoyed the remainder of the work.
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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Tim Frazer gets caught up in a world of art galleries, metronomes, diamond smuggling and blackmail in this adventure. It has an old fashioned charm to it. It passes the time very amiably. The plot, however, is paper thin and, sadly, does not stand up to a moment's scrutiny.

'Tim Frazer Again' is a sixties spy story. But not of the mold of James Bond or, for that matter, Harry Palmer. This is the sixties of men in bowler hats and tightly rolled umbrellas or grey flannel suits and women in neat suits and hats - the life of the fifties continued without a break. This early sixties world is well captured and very enjoyable.

The plot barely hangs together, however. It relies on some outrageous coincidences. Certain events happen for no better reason than that they help to drive the plot forward, not because they make any particular sense. One character - a mysterious third force in events - acts in a manner that is entirely incomprehensible; at one point he employs an unlikely disguise to provide information to our hero about a villainous criminal gang without any proper explanation offered as to why he could not act on such information himself, felt the need to involve Tim Frazer or did not approach him more openly or straightforwardly.

The extent to which this bothers you will depend on your own personal preferences.

It is worth noting that the story lasts some two hours and twenty minutes. Long enough to cover a decent car journey but not as good value for money as many other speaking books.

Anthony Head reads this story from Francis Durbridge rather well. He successfully brings its characters to life. He somehow manages to give the whole tale an air of plausibility that it does not really deserve.
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VINE VOICEon 18 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Not as well remembered these days but very successful in its time Francis Durbridge's The World of Tim Frazer featured in books and a long-running 1960's BBC TV series both formats being very popular. Tim Frazer was in his mid-thirties, an engineer, alert, generally an iron fist in velvet glove type; an easy-going, albeit independent minded sort.One from the age of the generally unflappable British hero; recruited into a shadowy British intelligence organisation whose scope of operations is never made clear.
In this, the second outing Frazer is easing into his role as agent following up on the seemingly accidental death of another agent in Amsterdam. This is classic Durbridge `no one is who they seem and things are not as simple as you think'. Twists and hidden agenda abound while apparently innocent and unconnected folk conduct shadowy and deadly business. The story, itself, moves along at a good pace and is intelligently crafted so your attention is held. To say anymore would be unfair as the joy of these works is the surprise and the tension.
Anthony Head gives another a soft spoken performance shifting effortlessly between the accents and characterisations of the various people encountered in the story, adding depth and colours by the most subtle of inferences. I do enjoy this style of production as you feel you are seated in a discreet location sitting opposite, listening to a fairly self-effacing person telling you stories from their remarkable past. The soft and gentle orchestral music at the beginning of each cd adds to this atmosphere.
It would be best to purchase the first of this series so you understand the hows and whys of Tim Frazer as a character. If you do have this then you will not be disappointed by the second volume.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Following on from their rather enjoyable abridged audio book of The World of Tim Frazer, AudioGo have followed it up with another of Frances Durbridge's once hugely popular stories. While its predecessor was very much a Boys Own ripping yarn played surprisingly successfully with a straight face, this second adventure has a slightly grittier and more grounded plot - no remote Scottish village pubs, dying Russian sailors or model ships containing missing secret formulas this time, but a tale of murder and blackmail in Amsterdam and London with ramifications for national security. No longer the traditional everyman who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, Frazer has now settled into his new role in British Intelligence and finding his common sense and intelligence perfectly suited to the task. It's still a very benign view of the spy game - no le Carre cynicism or Ian Fleming sex and sadism, with everything our side does right and proper - but it avoids being overly cosy and is still surprisingly entertaining even if the plot isn't too challenging. And once again it benefits immensely from Anthony Head's fine reading that keeps the story grounded and the characterisations believable rather than giving in to the temptation to slyly send it up. It may be one for the nostalgia market, but when it's as confidently done as this, there's nothing wrong with that and quite a lot right about it.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This story by Francis Durbridge is two CD worth's and runs for a refreshing 2hrs 20mins.

It is wonderfully narrated by Anthony Head From the Gold Blend Adverts for the older reader and Prime Minister in Little Britain and of late a much too modern looking King Uther in Merlin).
It's an unabridged reading of 'Tim Frazer Again' and is in fact the second in the series.

The lead, Tim Frazer, is a former engineer now turned undercover agent and this is his second assignment. (The first was good too by the way.)

The case is both difficult and dangerous and of course Tim is in the thick of the action.
The sex angle is nicely covered and as the story develops as luck would have it Tim seems to be getting too close to her for comfort!
Praise should go to Anthony Head who does a good reading with good use of audience effects and voice characterisations that ad to the pace and story in equal measure.

This would make a cracking Xmas present for that man in your life.
A suggestion is to listen to this sat in a comfy chair with a good mug of tea and a couple of Hobnobs rather than the car and listen to it all in one go.
Just as I have.
Bliss!
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Francis Durbridge created the character of Tim Frazer at the end of the 1950s, and featured him first the following decade in an 18-episode series on BBCTV and later in some popular novels. Less urbane or assured than Durbridge's better-known Paul Temple, the rather vulnerable but determined Frazer is an engineer-turned intelligence agent, one of the last of that era of gentleman amateurs, who makes his unconventional approach into a strength to show the crusty professionals how to crack a case. In this second audiobook, Frazer is called into action when a special agent dies a mysterious death and he is charged with the task of uncovering the truth of the matter. What follows is an old-fashioned but pacy little tale of crime, sex and deception. Read superbly well by Anthony Head (who has already recorded several splendid versions of the Paul Temple stories), this 2-disc set will appeal both to Temple fans and anyone else who enjoys the odd dip into a nostalgic world of mid-20th century crime and detective fiction.
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"Tim Frazer Again" is a detective story, read by Anthony Head (of Buffy, Little Britain, Merlin etc). Anthony Head does a good job of reading the Tim Frazer stories. This one is ok, although not the best - I found it a little predictable. However, alongside the main storyline, it has romance, European travel, a good mix of characters etc.

Despite this one being predictable, I enjoyed it, and it kept me amused for a few journeys whilst driving. This was the second Tim Frazer story I have listened to. If there are more, I will be listening to them.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Nicely packaged and very well read by AudioGo regular Anthony Head this story is a throw back to the good old days when every corner hide a number of clues and there were more red herrings than in the local fishmongers. A must for those like me who enjoy old fashioned and yet highly entertaining drama/thrillers. Ideal as a gift for those who also enjoy a bit of mystery and nostalgia from the settings. Keep a look out for more from AudioGo. Excellent value too. Runs for approx 2 hours and 20 minutes. 2 nights listening pleasure...
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