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Literary

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Tom

Tom West Wickham, United Kingdom Member Since 2007
HELPFUL VOTES
708
ratings
REVIEWS
288
144
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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0
  • "A gripping and thoughtful book"

    Overall

    This is one of the best audio books that I have listened to for some time - out of about 250 in all! William Boyd's books transfer to audio really well, and 'Restless' is no exception. He always has a thoughtful and believable plot, characters are interesting and well drawn, the story both grips and provokes, the pace of the book never lets up, and it is never for a moment dull. He gets inside of the mind of what it might have been like to be a spy, trusting no-one.

    The background detail is very convincing too (though I heard him on the radio saying that he had made much of it up!).

    Narration is excellent too.

    Get this book - you will not be disappointed.

    More

    Restless

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Rosamund Pike
    Overall
    (499)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (104)

    Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read, 2007.
    Winner of the Costa Book Awards, Novel of the Year, 2006.
    A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.
    Longlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.

    What happens when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? During the summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother, Sally, is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigrée and one-time spy.

    Tom says: "A gripping and thoughtful book"
  • "Absorbing and inventive book"

    Overall

    This was the second John Irving audiobook I have listened to - the other being A Prayer for Owen Meany. It's taken me a while to get round to it as I was slightly put off by the length; although I enjoyed Owen Meany, it did lack the narrative momentum that makes a really good audiobook, and I was a little concerned that Son of the Circus might be the same, and this might make it a demanding and long listen.

    But I was very pleasantly surprised. The plot is certainly an original one, very interesting and inventive, and the book never flags. The cast is quite a big one, but the author paints them all with a sure and vivid touch, and yoou want to know what is going to happen to them. Narration by David Colacci is excellent and he really makes the book such a pleasure to listen to.

    All in all, a very enjoyable book and strongly recommended.

    More

    A Son of the Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    Born a Parsi in Bombay, sent to university and medical school in Vienna, Dr. Farrokh Daruwalla is a 59-year-old orthopedic surgeon and a Canadian citizen who lives in Toronto. Once, 20 years ago, Dr. Daruwalla was the examining physician of two murder victims in Goa, India. Now, 20 years later, he will be reacquainted with the murderer.

    Tom says: "Absorbing and inventive book"
  • "a truly spellbinding and brilliant ..."

    Overall

    Nabokov is a truly great writer (a Nobel prize winner I think); only a great writer could take such a potentially tawdry subject - a middle aged man's obsession with and sexual exploitation of a 12-year old girl - and turn it into a compelling story of the complexity of human relationships without glossing over the darkness, the emptiness and the pain. And the combination of Nabokov's brilliantly fluent and poetical prose and Jeremy Irons' superb narration is such an intoxicating mix - an outstanding audiobook by any yardstick. Superb stuff indeed. I've listened to around 500 audiobooks over the last 15 years and this must be one of the best. Strongly recommended. A genuine 5-star listen.

    More

    Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (85)

    Savagely funny and hauntingly sad, Lolita is Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel. It is the story of tortured college professor Humbert Humbert and his dangerous obsession with honey-skinned schoolgirl Dolores Haze.

    Sara says: "Excellent"
  1. Restless
  2. A Son of the Circus
  3. Lolita
  4. .

A Peek at MsRanPan's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
55
 
69 REVIEWS / 100 ratings Member Since 2011 33 Followers / Following 0
 
MsRanPan's greatest hits:
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    "Read it"

    Overall

    This is an incredible book, do I really need to say anything, it The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck! I couldn't understand how good it was until I read it. Read it, read it, read it!!!

  • The Handmaid's Tale

    "Worth a listen"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw the film and, as is the case, when I realised it was actually a book first I had to read (hear) it. It's completely absorbing and a quite scary. I was really drawn in both by the writer and reader and it really makes you think and feel for the people involved. I think there could have been more depth in places (I won't say so as not to spoil it!) just to add more to the story and get you as a reader more invested but that didn't detract from the story. It's definitely worth a credit!

  • Cannery Row

    "A small story worth reading"

    Overall

    I decided to read some more highly regarded authors/books and Steinbeck was one of them. This is what I would call a 'small story' in that its just a little tale about a group of friends but obviously with all the things you can expect from Steinbeck, it's not Of Mice and Men or Grapes of Wrath but worth a read

  • The Casual Vacancy

    "Better and worse than I expected"

    Overall

    I enjoyed this, I agree that if it had not been written by JK it probably would not have been so popular and the big let down was the excessive overwriting - it sometimes felt it had been written for a GCSE exam.

    That said, I think listening to this helped as I was able to tune that stuff out and the rest I found engaging and interesting. It is about small town politics, examining in depth the various people and their lives. I didn't think the character list was excessive, I managed to keep track of who was who and I liked the diversity of the characters. It built up very well, JK slowly layered the characters so you could form a view of them but then she would make you completely rethink this which I loved and she didn't shy away from the realities of life. I did miss it when it ended and was saddened by some of her decisions which I like in a writer, I don't like to always be given the fairy tale ending because that is not real life.

Kaggy

Kaggy Kent, United Kingdom 11/02/2014 Member Since 2010

Audible addict. Listens while commuting,walking and any chance possible. Enjoys all genres although is yet to read a sporting biography.

HELPFUL VOTES
64
ratings
REVIEWS
69
66
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
27
9
  • "A very special book about love and ..."

    7 of 7 helpful votes

    This is a deceptively simple story told through the eyes of a young man who has been driven mad by events in his life. Despite the subject matter it is full of warmth and love and even moments of great humour. This is a stunning debut novel and as somebody who was a teenager in the 70's I can completely vouch for the authenticity of the setting. If you want to read something that is brave and honest this is highly recommended. The relationship between the young brothers and their father will stay with me for years to come.

    More

    We Used to Be Kings

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Stewart Foster
    • Narrated By Tom Lawrence
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Six years ago Tom's brother died. The next day he came back. It's Tom and Jack's 18th birthday, but it isn't a cause for celebration. For the past three years they've been in a care home for troubled children, a place where Dr Smith tries to silence the voice of Jack in Tom's head. But Tom doesn't want that. He's already lost his brother once, he's not going to lose him again. And so, when they go in front of the review board, they will have to pretend Jack has gone so they won't be sent to the Young Men's Institution or they'll have to escape.

    Kaggy says: "A very special book about love and madness"

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    Kirstine says: "An amazing and memorable book"
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    A novel of high adventure, great storytelling and moral purpose, based on an extraordinary true story of eight years in the Bombay underworld. In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail.

    ANDREW says: "Excellent reading of a great story"
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    • By Karen Joy Fowler
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    Caroline says: "All consuming"
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    • By Erin Morgenstern
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    In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice.

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UNABRIDGED) by George Orwell Narrated by Simon Callow

    Animal Farm

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    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Callow
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    Performance
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    Story
    (71)

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    Peter says: "A brilliant reading of a classic work"
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UNABRIDGED) by Cheryl Colwell Narrated by P.J. Ochlan

    The Proof

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Cheryl Colwell
    • Narrated By P.J. Ochlan
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Shrouded in mystery, a precious relic known as Il Testamento, or The Proof, circulated among the early Christians for centuries. Before their deaths, its guardians hid it from their adversaries, leaving only a crude map of its location. For centuries, it lay in darkness. Until now. Reports of its existence have resurfaced, inciting an ancient rivalry between a ruthless group that seeks to destroy it, and a secret association that lusts for its power.

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UNABRIDGED) by David Flusfeder Narrated by Lee Maxwell Simpson

    John the Pupil

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By David Flusfeder
    • Narrated By Lee Maxwell Simpson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    John the Pupil is a medieval road movie, Umberto Eco seen through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino, recounting the journey taken from Oxford to Viterbo in 1267 by John and his two companions, at the behest of the friar and magus Roger Bacon, carrying a secret burden to His Holiness Clement IV. As well as having to fight off ambushes from thieves hungry for the thing of power they are carrying, the holy trio are tried and tempted by all sorts of sins: Ambition, pride, lust - and by the sheer hell and heaven of medieval life.

  • Running Wild (






UNABRIDGED) by J. G. Ballard Narrated by Ric Jerrom

    Running Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By J. G. Ballard
    • Narrated By Ric Jerrom
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A high-security luxury housing estate in the Thames Valley is the setting for a disturbing outbreak of violence in this compelling novella from the acclaimed author of 'Cocaine Nights' and 'Super-Cannes'. Pangbourne Village housing estate is exclusive, expensive and protected from the outside world by the very latest in security systems. It should be the perfect place to bring up a child.

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UNABRIDGED) by Rosie Garland Narrated by James Lailey and Alex Tregear

    Vixen

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Rosie Garland
    • Narrated By James Lailey and Alex Tregear
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Devon, 1349: In Brauntone, where seagulls screech across the fields and the wind has a mind to change, Father Thomas arrives as the new priest. Determined to impress his congregation, he quells fears of the coming pestilence with promises of protection. For Anne, the priest's arrival is an opportunity that at 16, she feels all too ready for. Convinced a grand fate awaits, she moves in as Thomas' housekeeper, though hopeful of something more. But his home is a place without love or kindness.

  •  
  • Without You (






UNABRIDGED) by Saskia Sarginson Narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis

    Without You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Saskia Sarginson
    • Narrated By Lucy Price-Lewis
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    1984, Suffolk: When 17-year-old Eva goes missing at sea, everyone presumes that she drowned. Her parents' relationship is falling apart, undermined by guilt and grief. But her younger sister, Faith, refuses to consider a life without Eva; she's determined to find her sister and bring her home alive. Close to the shore looms the shape of an island - out of bounds, mysterious, and dotted with windowless concrete huts. What nobody knows is that inside one of the huts Eva is being held captive.

  • Small Country (






UNABRIDGED) by Patricia Grace King Narrated by Casey Holloway

    Small Country

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Patricia Grace King
    • Narrated By Casey Holloway
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
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    Fleeing a turbulent Guatemala with her missionary parents, Penny returns to America and is forced to deal with a fresh kind of trauma: summer Bible camp for Mennonite teens. Along with her outspoken and rebellious friend, Gina, Penny struggles to deal with her past, the camp's fierce regulations, and the sexual energy that electrifies the air between the campers, counselors, and even visitors. This coming-of-age story offers an intimate look into a young girl's attempt to find her place and start figuring out which rules are worth breaking.

  • An Episode of the Reign of Terror (






UNABRIDGED) by Honoré de Balzac Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    An Episode of the Reign of Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (44 mins)
    • By Honoré de Balzac
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
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    Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) is arguably the greatest European novelist in terms of the range and power of his writing. Most of his short stories predate his long novels and are written in a different style. One of the earliest is An Episode of the Reign of Terror in which two nuns and a priest in hiding from the mob are visited by a stranger with a very peculiar request, and even odder motives behind it.