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Stephen

Stephen Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom Member Since 2005

Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.

HELPFUL VOTES
374
ratings
REVIEWS
177
174
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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  • "Start of something big?"

    Overall

    I'm not sure how I stumbled into Murakami - I think it was on the basis of a review or mention in the New Yorker magazine - and a quick look through the available titles on Audible. Having listened to Norwegian Wood I saw the recent BBC Imagine programme where the author refused to appear in person and his readers seemed strangely reluctant to break ranks and give their impressions of the books - other than to say they had established a personal relationship through reading and did not want to betray the 'trust' placed in them. Odd, odd, very odd. The website with its moody based doesn't seem to clear anything up - but it is the beauty and clarity of the prose that has captured me and seems to have entranced others around the world. Give it a try, get on board - you'll really enjoy the experience. The picture of Japan is bang up to date - it is the authentic voice of new Japan - the pictures of Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo similarly ring true. Other readers cite David Lynch - but the imagery is definitely Kar Wai Wong. The Japanese sensitivity may be breaking free of the corporate steam roller and we may see a new Chinese-wave - or he may just be a lone but powerful new voice.

    More

    Norwegian Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By John Chancer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (33)

    Toru Watanabe, approaching middle age, hears The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood" in an airplane and, with Proustian vividness, it transports him back to his student days in Japan with Naoko, Midori, and Storm Trooper.

    Stephen says: "Start of something big?"
  • "Corky, Rocky Todd ? the story begi..."

    Overall

    Rummy sort of a book this, what? I mean, I know squads of chappies wouldn?t touch it with a pair of extending sugar tongs. But then, as my Great Uncle Cleasant used to say, you can?t judge a book by the date of its library stamp. I mean, so far as Cless was concerned, he?d be less miffed by the fact that this appeared in 1919 than by the fact that old Pelham Grenville managed to slip at least three stories by that vagabond Reggie Pepper (son of the Colliery people) when you thought you were getting the full Jeeves and Wooster for your shilling. What a scamp, eh?
    But, other than that, the gang?s all here ? Aunt Agatha, Corky, Rocky Todd and a setting that?s exclusively Manhattan, don?t you know. Station clerks peeping out over the battlements at Penn Station, the girls from 'Frolics at Midnight' and that scourge of musical comedy, the evangelist Jimmy Munday for heavens sake. Its one? long hoot from soup to nuts?The green dust jacket needs a little work, however, I?m sure you?ll agree, sir??

    More

    My Man Jeeves

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By P.G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    My Man Jeeves, first published in 1919, introduced the world to affable, indolent Bertie Wooster and his precise, capable valet, Jeeves. Some of the finest examples of humorous writing found in English literature are woven around the relationship between these two men of very different classes and temperaments. Where Bertie is impetuous and feeble, Jeeves is coolheaded and poised.

    Stephen says: "Corky, Rocky Todd ? the story begins splendidly"
  • "Kirsten is Christina"

    Overall

    The notion of the true story of King Christian IV of Denmark set in the year of 1630 as 'racy' seems a bit of a stretch, but Rose Tremain through the character of Kirsten or Christina Munk pulls it off. Lots of plots and sub plots, great storytelling from a writer who was new to me - really enjoyable. Jenny Agutter's performance is great as well, she has the perfect voice for this one - a pleasure in itself.

    More

    Music and Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rose Tremain
    • Narrated By Jenny Agutter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV's Royal Orchestra. From the moment when he realizes that the musicians perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, Peter Clair understands that he's come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death.

    Stephen says: "Kirsten is Christina"
  1. Norwegian Wood
  2. My Man Jeeves
  3. Music and Silence
  4. .

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014

Now a major film

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UNABRIDGED) by Sarah Waters Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

    The Paying Guests

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
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    Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms - as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.

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UNABRIDGED) by Donna Tartt Narrated by David Pittu

    The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
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    Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

    Tara says: "Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!"
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    When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...

    Dragon says: "Entertaining and likeable"
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UNABRIDGED) by Catherine Bybee Narrated by Amy McFadden

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    When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind - until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out. Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

    Ada says: "Over hyped and dreadfully narrated"
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UNABRIDGED) by Arthur Conan Doyle Narrated by Simon Vance

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    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
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    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales are rightly ranked among the seminal works of mystery and detective fiction. Included in this collection are all four full-length Holmes novels and more than forty short masterpieces - from the inaugural adventure A Study in Scarlet to timeless favorites like "The Speckled Band" and more. At the center of each stands the iconic figure of Holmes - brilliant, eccentric, and capable of amazing feats of deductive reasoning.

    Mr. Gareth J. Stringer says: "Essential for any Holmes fan!"
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UNABRIDGED) by Claire North Narrated by Peter Kenny

    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Claire North
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
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    Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says.

    Asbjørn says: "Perfect Audiobook"
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    The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
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    Tracey says: "Brilliant"
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UNABRIDGED) by Markus Zusak Narrated by Allan Corduner

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    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
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    When nine-year-old Liesel arrives outside the boxlike house of her new foster parents at 33 Himmel Street, she refuses to get out of the car. Liesel has been separated from her parents, "Kommunists", forever, and at the burial of her little brother, she steals a gravedigger's instruction manual, which she can't read. It is the beginning of her illustrious career.

    Jim says: "Superb"
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UNABRIDGED) by Timur Vermes Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt

    Look Who's Back

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Timur Vermes
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
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    (221)
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    (221)

    Berlin, Summer 2011. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of open ground, alive and well. Things have changed - no Eva Braun, no Nazi party, no war. Hitler barely recognises his beloved Fatherland, filled with immigrants and run by a woman. People certainly recognise him, albeit as a flawless impersonator who refuses to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable happens, and the ranting Hitler goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own T.V. show, and people begin to listen.

    Tob says: "Hilter Springer Show"
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UNABRIDGED) by Liane Moriarty Narrated by Caroline Lee

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    Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that 'sharing is caring.' So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified. And one parent is dead. Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad? As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it's the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.

    Heidi says: "Fascinatingly detailed insight into life"
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UNABRIDGED) by Karen Joy Fowler Narrated by Katherine Mangold

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    • Narrated By Katherine Mangold
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    Rosemary's started college, and she's decided not to tell anyone about her family. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There was something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. You'll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.

    A. Hunt says: "Beside myself!"
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    Papa's Boy: Morning Report, Book 3

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    When Ray Sloane tires of the men in his usual club, he finds himself in the Pink Palm, an inauspiciously named spit-and-sawdust dive, not the sort of place an elementary school teacher and pastor's assistant should be seen in. On the other hand, Ray needs a fresh face. But what he gets is a closeted, desperately unhappy divorcé named Zeke. Losing his teaching job and his kids has left Zeke bitter and in denial about his sexuality, but Ray is determined to get under his skin.

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    • By Mary Calmes
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    Weber Yates ha sempre sognato di diventare un professionista del rodeo, ma si ritrova a lavorare come garzone in un ranch in Texas. La sua unica relazione è con un uomo completamente diverso da lui, così al di fuori della sua portata che, fosse stato sulla luna, sarebbe stato più vicino. O a San Francisco, dove Weber si ferma per salutarlo un'ultima volta, prima di cercare di sistemarsi e di vivere una vita umile e solitaria, proprio come quella - pensa lui - di un ranocchio.

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    Breaching the Billionaire: Alethea's Redemption, Legacy Collection, Book 6

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    • By Emilie Richards
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UNABRIDGED) by Angela Ward Narrated by Jennifer Saucedo

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    • UNABRIDGED (12 mins)
    • By Angela Ward
    • Narrated By Jennifer Saucedo
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    Performance
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    My best friend Sonia and I were a little tipsy. One too many daiquiris had affected us and we found ourselves making out. My husband teased us and brought more drinks. Before I knew it, the three of us were in the bedroom. My husband got two girls at once and I had my very first lesbian sex experience!

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    The Thrust: The Pulse Trilogy, Book 3

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    • By Shoshanna Evers
    • Narrated By John Lane
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UNABRIDGED) by Andrea Boyette Narrated by Crystal Marcano

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    • By Andrea Boyette
    • Narrated By Crystal Marcano
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    What do we do when our dreams don't work out the way we plan? In this newest short story, author Andrea Boyette explores what happens when a young woman discovers her wish for a house in the suburbs doesn't end in quite the way she imagined.