This excellently read, painstakingly researched audiobook tells the story of a factual Victorian railway murder and the subsequent pursuit of justice. It is however, much more than a whodunnit and it explores arguments about the management of evidence, the astute questioning of witnesses and moreover it debates the morality of capital punishment. The closing few chapters are tense, gripping and almost unbearable. the final chapter is perhaps a wee bit too long...phrenology indeed!
The book started slowly for me whilst the author necessarily established facts, but quickly gathered pace to an extent that I listened to the whole thing in just two sittings.
Comparisons with The Suspicions of Mr Whicher are as inevitable as they are invidious. I enjoyed both books although truthfully speaking, this one just edged it for me.
The intertwined stories of the rise and fall of a great family and of the coal mining industry are grippingly told and very well read.
Unbelieveable as fiction, the fact that this is a true story makes for some jaw-dropping moments as well as capturing a slice of recent social history. "The Fosdyke Saga" it ain't! Recommended.
As an inveterate Edinburgh Festival goer since the mid-1980's, Arthur Smith's (or Daphne Fairfax's) paths and my own have crossed many times. I've always thought that he was "OK" but not much more.
This erudite, charming and generally well read audio biog then, was a surprise. The major events in his life are already quite well known, but what makes this story stand out and be worth hearing, apart from being very well written, is the self deprecating but sincere tone he manages to set. His affectionate, yet honest portraits of the less well known people in his life (there is, as one would hope, plenty of name dropping too!) reveal a thoughtful man with a big heart and a clear understanding of his own failings.
I shall listen to this audiobook again, I know - and in that listening will discover delights missed at first hearing. I hope that he does an unabridged reading - not what I expected to write about a showbiz biog!
I am not a fan of cricket at all. However I am a fan of Mr. Jupp. He is someone who is rather embarrassed about being posh but is really funny with it. A very likeable character. On the whole I found this audio book charming, funny and very well read by the author. But I'm afraid I feel I missed out a lot not being a fan of, in my opinion, the very dull game of cricket. If you are a fan of Miles but not a fan of cricket, then still a good listen. If you are fan of cricket but not a fan of Miles, it's still a good listen. If you don't like either, avoid.