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Michelle

Michelle Watford, United Kingdom

I have always been an avid devourer of the written word. I am now no longer to read books and cannot wait for Audible day each month.

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  • "Great Improvement"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is Dan Brown back to his best; a racy thriller with more twists, turns and total plot inversions than any one book could possibly be expected to contain. It is not great literature, but, then again, it never claims to be. A précis of the plot isn't really possible without spoiling the whole book. Suffice it to say that Robert Langdon, a character who needs no introduction, is back to what he does best, racing across Europe in a desperate attempt to thwart the baddie; who the baddie actually is, however, is swathed in layers of smoke, mirrors and downright misdirection until well into the story.

    Whilst Langdon is delightfully the same, he is supported by a cast of well drawn characters who are at once believable yet, in most cases, fundamentally flawed. It is not possible to say more than this without spoiling some element of the caduceus-like plot.

    For Audible, however, the performance can make or break the enjoyment of a book, and, in this, the American narration spoiled this to a certain extent. The only non-European character is Langdon himself, so I would have expected some effort on the part of the narrator to reflect this. The entire book is read in American English, the exception being the Italians, whose accents were almost risible in parts, and with such verbal horrors of "niche" continually pronounced to rhyme with "pitch", and "fertile" to rhyme with "turtle". This utterly set my teeth on edge after a while. I appreciate that this is entirely my own personal "taste and fancy", but this is my review and it is sometimes difficult to retain total objectivity.

    Overall, this is a great listen, narration aside. Dan Brown fans everywhere will love it; those who never warmed to his oeuvre of the thriller wrapped in conspiracy theory may well be disappointed once again.

    More

    Inferno

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (1142)
    Performance
    (1002)
    Story
    (1000)

    Dan Brown's new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces. As Dan Brown comments: "Although I studied Dante's Inferno as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world."

    Michelle says: "Great Improvement"
  • "Better & Better"

    Overall

    If you are a fan of Paul Sussman's books based in Egypt, then you'll love this.

    It is classic Sussman, but taken to another level. Without wanting to spoil anything, nobody is what they seem; CIA agents with hidden agenda, shady characters who are playing for the opposition and a pair of henchmen who are impossible to dislike, and whilst not quite coming good, having two hidden redeeming features. The ending is one of the most exciting cliffhangers, literally, I've "read" in a long time. Even Inspector Khalifa makes a cameo appearance.

    Gordon Griffin is the narrator, and does his usual sterling job. It is rather strange, however, having just finished one of his, to find characters graced with the same voice as someone from a totally different book, but this is entertaining in itself.

    The plot might disappoint anyone expecting pure factual Egypt, but come into the book with an open mind and a desire to be entertained, and I can guarantee that you'll enjoy it as much as I have.

    More

    The Hidden Oasis

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Paul Sussman
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Egypt 2153 BC: 80 priests set out under cover of darkness with a mysterious object.... Albania, 1986: A plane takes off bound for the Sudan. Somewhere over the Sahara it disappears.... The present: a mummified corpse is discovered in the dunes with a roll of camera film and a clay obelisk inscribed with a hieroglyphic sign.... Three unconnected events - or so it seems.

    Trevor says: "Started well..."
  • "Simply the Best"

    Overall

    This is, quite frankly, the best book I've ever read - and I've read a fair few in my time. 'Pillars' is an epic, in the true context of the word, and despite its length I was disappointed when it ended. It is a tale of good versus evil over the period of the lifetime of the main protagonists; the characters grew from young people into adults and then into old people, and the development of these characters was superb. The evil, as opposed to the merely unpleasant, characters were deepened with graphic descriptions of their acts; some of these made me feel extremely uncomfortable at the time, but with hindsight were an excellent way of moving the plot along and developing the characters at the same time. It should be remebered that the backdrop is 12th century England, and such barbarity was not uncommon at that time. The narration was also excellent, and made each twist and turn of the plot line come alive. I don't often recommend books as reading is a very personal thing, but I can recommend this to anybody, and the length should not deter anybody.

    More

    The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (938)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (218)

    The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known... of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul... of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame... and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.

    Robert says: "The Pillars of the Earth"
  1. Inferno
  2. The Hidden Oasis
  3. The Pillars of the Earth
  4. .

Back at her best

A story of Great Courage shown by an ordinary man!

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