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Liz Scully

  • 30
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 338
  • ratings
  • Salt Creek

  • By: Lucy Treloar
  • Narrated by: Ulli Birvé
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

In 1855 Salt Creek lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including 15-year-old Hester Finch. Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Overly long and written in a passive voice

  • By Liz Scully on 16-05-18

Overly long and written in a passive voice

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-05-18

I was really looking forward to this book, but I wish I'd read more reviews before buying it.

It's written in the passive past tense, which is used in courtrooms to create distance from the events described. here it has exactly the same effect - nothing really matters, all action is reported rather than experienced and so it's hard to care about any of the characters and nothing is gripping.

It's well researched and that is rammed down the readers throat as we crawl along through the story. I listened at double speed and even with that it was painfully slow. It wasn't utterly dreadful, but I spent more time considering if I should carry on listening than I did enjoying it. Ultimately, I'd have been better off giving up after a few hours.

I'll be returning this book. it's average, not engaging and overly long. As a Guardian review I read after finishing it (and how I wish I'd read it before buying), there is probably an excellent novel in here somewhere, it's trapped in this longwinded book

  • Charles Paris: The Cinderella Killer

  • A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation
  • By: Simon Brett, Jeremy Front
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Burden, Bill Nighy, full cast
  • Length: 1 hr and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95

A job in pantomime seems the perfect way to spend the Christmas season for Charles, but the cast of Cinderella are a motley crew from reality TV and Charles finds himself having to explain the traditions of panto to their baffled American star whose career is on a downward trajectory. When the star is shot dead, and Charles finds the body, he finds himself under suspicion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By carol on 10-08-17

Ongoing delight in this series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Bill Nighy is a delight and this whole series of adaptions are light and fun. The only downside is they're quite short. less than 2 hours so a very quick listen.

there is one slightly odd thing - there's a piece of business with him changing his trousers at his agents office, which I'm fairly sure also happens, almost identically in another of these adaptions (I've not read the novels at all). It may well be repeated by the BBC adaptors, but... it slightly threw me to hear this charming scene once again.

Other than that, I await more of this series. It would be great to have the very earliest books available too.

  • Longbourn

  • By: Jo Baker
  • Narrated by: Emma Fielding
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 126

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah thought, she would be more careful not to trudge through muddy fields. It is wash-day for the housemaids at Longbourn House, and Sarah's hands are chapped and bleeding. Domestic life below stairs, ruled tenderly and forcefully by Mrs Hill the housekeeper, is about to be disturbed by the arrival of a new footman smelling of the sea, and bearing secrets.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful voice!

  • By Janet on 13-08-14

Very enjoyable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-18

I've just been through a little phase of reading 'new' pride and prejudice books. This and PD James Death comes to Pemberly (I read the book, not the audio of that). They expand the world of a favourite book and add much pleasure.

both are excellent. Longbourn is written from the point of view of the servants and as such the high drama of the house is more muted below, their concerns are more directed to what happened when Mr Collins comes into the house (a lovely and fascinating perspective).

The story develops towards the end more away from the main plot and is finished a little abruptly, as though the author just wanted to wrap the story up quickly. But apart from that the rest of the book is well told, well characterised and a real joy

  • The Confidence Game

  • The Psychology of the Con and Why We Fall for It Every Time
  • By: Maria Konnikova
  • Narrated by: Maria Konnikova
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

Con men are artists of persuasion and exploiters of trust. They hold a deep, enigmatic fascination for us. But how do they do it? Whether it's a suspicious-looking email or a multimillion-dollar global swindle, Maria Konnikova investigates the psychological principles that underlie each stage of the confidence game and the profile of both the con artist and his mark.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book for anyone who wants to understand con

  • By Amazon Customer on 21-03-16

Enjoyed the book and loved the audio version

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-18

I wanted to re-read this book and it was every bit as good in this version read by the author.

So much fascinating information and much to think on. I know I'll listen to it another time. I rarely do this, but this really is so full of great information. Thoroughly recommend

  • The End of the Affair

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Colin Firth
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,225
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,218

Audie Award Winner, Audiobook of the Year, 2013. Audie Award Nominee, Best Solo Narration, 2013. Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King's Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful words; beautifully read

  • By Spa2004 on 14-02-16

A meditation on god

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-04-18

this book was not at all what I expected. It's beautifully written and performed but the subject was not love but loss of faith. It felt dated (it was written in the 50s, so that's fair enough) but the concerns of the book weren't mine. Although a short book, it felt long and tedious in many places

If faith, love and god are of interest then this audio version will be a delight. Colin Firth couldn't have been better cast. So I struggled through and it was worth it.

  • The Bloody Chamber

  • By: Angela Carter
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

A collection of short stories, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories was first published in 1979 and awarded the Cheltenham Festival Literary Prize. This Audible exclusive adaptation is narrated by legendary actors, Richard Armitage and Emilia Fox, who take on different chapters of the audiobook. Among these are 'The Bloody Chamber', 'The Courtship of Mr Lyon', 'The Tiger's Bride', 'Puss in Boots', 'The Erl-King', 'The Snow Child', 'The Lady of the House of Love', 'The Werewolf' and 'Wolf-Alice'.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Modern/feminist twists on well-known fairy tales

  • By K. J. Noyes on 21-03-18

A delight to return to this as an audiobook

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-18

I read this book years ago - yikes, possibly 30 years ago. And it was lovely to reread it as an audiobook. Great narration and beautiful writing. If anything it's actually more lyrical spoken than on the page. Thoroughly enjoyable in all ways

  • The Wicked Cometh

  • By: Laura Carlin
  • Narrated by: Sophie Ward
  • Length: 12 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22

The year is 1831. Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place, and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city's vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible. When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Astonishing. This one is not to be missed.

  • By Joanna Mitchell on 16-02-18

Overly long and not particularly gripping

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-18

I chose this book having just read the Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.

The book had massive dull stretches that took willpower to get through (even when listening at double speed). By the end I was listening at 2.5 speed which is the aural equivalent of flicking through a book skimming. Which I almost never do.

It was a little in love with it's own sense of history and speech. The characters were thinly drawn despite the tedious detail of description. And their motivations were unbelievable over the long haul of the book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Toymakers

  • By: Robert Dinsdale
  • Narrated by: Ruby Bentall
  • Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of London, there is a place of hope and enchantment. The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles of their own. Into this family business comes young Cathy Wray, running away from a shameful past. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • disappointing

  • By Amazon Customer on 26-02-18

Twee

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-04-18

Not a patch on the books or models itself on. No match for the night circus or chocolat

  • Flesh and Blood

  • A History of My Family in Seven Maladies
  • By: Stephen McGann
  • Narrated by: Stephen McGann
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Stephen McGann is Dr. Turner in the BBC hit drama series Call the Midwife. His family survived famine-ravaged Ireland in the 1850s. His ancestors settled in poverty-rife Victorian Liverpool, working to survive and thrive. Some of them became soldiers serving on the Western Front. One would be the last man to step off the SS Titanic as it sank beneath the icy waves. He would testify at the inquest. This is their story.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Blood, sweat and tears

  • By Rachel Redford on 03-01-18

Very overwrought writing.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-03-18

Having read so many good reviews I was excited to read this book - but the fact it's so wrenchingly written became tedious very quickly.

Im Irish and grew up in Liverpool and was hoping to find a familiar world in this book. That partially happened, but there are also wild inaccuracies (Liverpool and Everton football teams never having been sectarian for instance - it's not well known in the city, but it was certainly true at the start of the clubs).

this lack of research outside of the genealogical and medical which McGann so obviously loves was annoying when teamed with such overly emotional writing.

That said you're a super fan of the McGann's or filled with passion for family research this may well be for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stoner

  • A Novel
  • By: John Williams, John McGahern - introduction
  • Narrated by: Alfred Molina
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 356
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 327
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 330

Waterstone's book of the year. Colum McCann once called Stoner one of the great forgotten novels of the past century, but it seems it is forgotten no longer - in 2013, translations of Stoner began appearing on best-seller lists across Europe. William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at 19 to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature changes his life, and he never returns to work on his father's farm. Stoner becomes a teacher. He marries the wrong woman.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully written

  • By mitchell bell on 28-09-17

Slow to start but lingers in the memory

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-03-18

I chose this listen after reading that it's something of a classic. And I felt rather dutiful trudging through the first third. But it grows quickly after that.

This is a deeply woven character who's life is less than he imagined. I've found myself returning to images from it for days after listening. Persevere through the slower parts and it will reward you richly. I see exactly why it's a classic