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Biographies & Memoirs

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Kirstine

Kirstine Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom Member Since 2007
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  • "As lively a story as a good novel"

    Overall

    I really enjoyed this biography read excellently by Alex Jennings. The author had a colourful character to write about which helps, but she has created a pacy life-story that cracks along like a novel, but is also a work of scholarship involving much delving into archives. Dickens is presented as a complex man, not all good, and driving himself to extinction by over-work. The characters and themes of his books are woven into the biography and one can see how his life experiences have enriched his writings.

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    Charles Dickens: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Claire Tomalin
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (94)

    The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Charles Dickens: A Life, the major new biography from the highly acclaimed Claire Tomalin, published for the 200th anniversary of his birth. Read by the actor Alex Jennings.

    Kirstine says: "As lively a story as a good novel"
  • "History brought to life"

    Overall

    Who would have thought that about 25 hours of listening about the life of William Pitt the Younger could be so interesting, informative and engaging. I?m interested in history but only had a vague knowledge of the life and times of this historical character associating him in my mind with being the youngest Prime Minister ever and his exhibiting acumen over financial matters. What a life it was and at such a turbulent time in European history. William Hague has produced not only a book of great scholarship, over the details of the political scene, but also a cracking good narrative that had me eager to return to the recording to find out what happened next to this extraordinary man. The biographical side of the book reveals the complexity of Pitt?s character and his interactions with all the famous men (and it was virtually only men) set against a series of crises in Britain, including the ?madness? of George III, and repeated wars in Europe.

    The authors writing style is well-suited to being narrated and is ably read by Richard Burnip. The narrative is enriched by the fact that the author is a politician who knows the ins and outs of the parliamentary system and pokes fun at the shenanigans of his predecessors. Events subsequent to the publication of this book show that little has changed over the last 200 years.

    I see that there is an abridged version of this book that some may think an easier listen, but I would recommend this unabridged book as there is so much going on during Pitt?s life that is pertinent to current events coupled with the fact, that in my opinion, this is a cracking good listen.

    More

    William Pitt The Younger

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By William Hague
    • Narrated By Richard Burnip
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    William Pitt the Younger is an illuminating biography of one of the great iconic figures in British history: the man who in 1784 at the age of twenty-four became (and so remains) the youngest Prime Minister in the history of England. In this lively and authoritative study, William Hague himself the youngest political party leader in recent history explains the dramatic events and exceptional abilities that allowed extreme youth to be combined with great power.

    Kirstine says: "History brought to life"
  • "A captivating account of an adventu..."

    Overall

    David Attenborough is a giant of natural history and this book charting his many TV series brought home to me just what a contribution he's made to our understanding of the natural world. I hadn't really realized what hardships and privations he's had to go through to capture the footage of unusual life forms in inaccessible places. It's fascinating to hear how the advances in technology have aided his work and enabled him and his team of dedicated camera and sound men bring the natural world into our living rooms. This is a wonderful book and I enjoyed every minute of it. Attenborough is an excellent raconteur with a lively sense of humour. Unreservedly recommended as a great listen.

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    David Attenborough - Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By David Attenborough
    • Narrated By David Attenborough
    Overall
    (736)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (281)

    His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited. In this volume of memoirs David tells stories of the people and animals he has met and the places that he has visited. Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world's leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark BBC series.

    Mark says: "Unforgettable David"
  1. Charles Dickens: A Life
  2. William Pitt The Younger
  3. David Attenborough - Life...
  4. .

Meet Harper Lee

From First Lady to Secretary of State

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    • By Stephen Fry
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
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    • By Jennifer Saunders
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    Jennifer Saunders' comic creations have brought joy to millions. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia, her characters are household names. But it's Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, moving, and frankly bonkers memoir, filled with laughter, friends, and occasional heartache - but never misery. Bonkers is full of riotous adventures.

    Sandra says: "Absolutely Fabulous!!"
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UNABRIDGED) by Clare Balding Narrated by Clare Balding

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    In Clare Balding's family, walking just took too long - she galloped through the countryside and she galloped through life. Then, in 1999, Clare took a call from a BBC producer looking for a presenter for a new radio series. "Do you walk?" she asked. "Well, I walk the dog...." That series, Ramblings, is still going strong - and Clare's caught the walking bug. Now she wants her family to share some of that pleasure. Her and her brother Andrew are determined to conquer the Wayfarer's Walk, a 71-mile route. What could possibly go wrong?

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    This dazzling memoir promises to be a courageously frank, honest and poignant read. It will detail some of Fry's most turbulent and least-well-known years, with writing that will excite you, make you laugh uproariously, move you, inform you, and, above all, surprise you.

    Mary says: "Hours of delighted listening"
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    Well hello to you dear audiobook browser. Now I have your attention it would be rude if I didn't tell you a little about my literary feast. So, here is the thing: is it just me or does anyone else find that adulthood offers no refuge from the unexpected horrors, peculiar lack of physical coordination and sometimes unexplained nudity, that accompanied childhood and adolescence? I am proud to say I have a wealth of awkward experiences - from school days to life as an office temp - and here I offer my 18-year-old self (and I hope you, too, dear listener) some much needed caution and guidance on how to navigate life's rocky path.

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