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Patrick

dublin, Ireland
  • 33
  • reviews
  • 83
  • helpful votes
  • 85
  • ratings
  • Anna

  • By: Niccolò Ammaniti
  • Narrated by: Eva Alexander
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

The extraordinary new dystopian novel from the author of the international best seller I'm Not Scared. Summer has ended, but the heat will not let up. Ash has covered everything. Anna and Astor live in the house behind the fence, surviving in a world stripped of adults. The rooms are piled high with rubbish. Their mother's skeleton lies perfect on the bed. And every few days, Anna must head out beyond the fence for provisions and medicine. Each time she goes, she may never come back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • When a virus has wiped out all the grown-ups

  • By Rachel Redford on 03-10-17

Limp post-apocalyptic story

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

Reviewed: 23-08-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. I have loved Ammaniti's previous novels and enjoy a good post-apocalyptic yarn but felt this story fell flat on both counts. He is a writer who can really capture the mind and speech rhythm of children but felt neither worked here.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I think Ammaniti should stick to the world he knows.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Unlike the previous reviewer I felt that the narrator's school-prefect-like delivery was totally unsuited to the gritty, unsophisticated girl Anna is meant to be. I got more and more irritated by it as the story progressed.

Do you think Anna needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Definitely not. Ammaniti should stick to the real world.

  • Montpelier Parade

  • By: Karl Geary
  • Narrated by: Karl Geary
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

The house is on Montpelier Parade: just across town, but it might as well be a different world. Working on the garden with his father one Saturday, Sonny is full of curiosity. Then the back door eases open, and she comes down the path towards him. Vera. Chance meetings become shy arrangements, and soon Sonny is in love for the first time. Casting off his lonely life of dreams and quiet violence for this new intoxicating encounter, he longs to know Vera, even to save her. But what is it that Vera isn't telling him?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting story poorly read

  • By Patrick on 26-01-17

Interesting story poorly read

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

Reviewed: 26-01-17

What did you like best about Montpelier Parade? What did you like least?

This is a well written story and it was interesting to read about a Dublin I recognize. The development of the hero from boy to young man is well handled and his deprived background is very well observed. My enjoyment of the story, however, was very much affected by the monotonous tone of the narrator. It is not always a good idea to have a writer read his own work and it certainly did not work out here.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The three main characters are all well portrayed but the narrator, Sonny, is probably the most interesting.

Would you be willing to try another one of Karl Geary’s performances?

I would certainly read another of his books but not listen to him as a narrator.

  • I See You

  • By: Clare Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,760
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,441
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,439

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation, no website - just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I See Something Very, Very Impressive Here!

  • By Simon on 28-07-16

Chilling!

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

Reviewed: 17-08-16

What made the experience of listening to I See You the most enjoyable?

The fact that Mackintosh tells the story of an ordinary woman caught up in extraordinary events makes it feel very real. She captured the panic someone might feel when you realise that there is danger around but you are not believed.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Zoe, the central character is very well portrayed as is PS Kelly Swift.

Which character – as performed by Rachel Atkins – was your favourite?

Atkins is a great reader and made all of the characters come to life.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The conclusion of the book was a disappointment as they often are in this genre but the journey to get there is well worth it.

  • Death and the Seaside

  • By: Alison Moore
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 8

With an abandoned degree behind her and a 30th birthday approaching, amateur writer Bonnie Falls moves out of her parents' home into a nearby flat. Her landlady, Sylvia Slythe, takes an interest in Bonnie, encouraging her to finish one of her stories, in which a young woman moves to the seaside, where she comes under strange influences. As summer approaches, Sylvia suggests to Bonnie that, as neither of them has anyone else to go on holiday with, they should go away together - to the seaside, perhaps.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hard to take seriously

  • By Patrick on 17-08-16

Hard to take seriously

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

Reviewed: 17-08-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Alison Moore seemed more interested in proving a thesis rather than in presenting believable characters. She includes long extracts from psychological studies and then manipulates her characters to illustrate the point made in the extracts.

Has Death and the Seaside put you off other books in this genre?

Cannot think of a comparable book but I do not think I will read another of Moore's books.

Which character – as performed by Imogen Church – was your favourite?

None. There are no likeable characters in this book but Church's portrayal of Bonnie's parents turned them into total caricatures.

Do you think Death and the Seaside needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I cannot imagine that anyone who struggles through this book would want to hear about any of the characters ever again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Paradise Lodge

  • By: Nina Stibbe
  • Narrated by: Helen Baxendale
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 415
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 411

This is the story of Lizzie Vogel, a 15 year old girl who finds herself working in a ramshackle old people's home in the English suburbs. It is the late 1970s and the place is in chaos - there's a much swisher old people's home nearer the supermarket with better parking which is taking all the best patients; Matron seems to be utterly without qualifications, and Lizzie has no idea what she's doing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • absolute Paradise

  • By Alexis on 04-06-16

Perfect for summer beach listening

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

Reviewed: 25-07-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Paradise Lodge to be better than the print version?

Yes. Helen Baxendale was the perfect reader for this book and added an extra dimension to an already very good book.

What other book might you compare Paradise Lodge to, and why?

I can't think of anything to compare it to. It combines lots of laugh out loud moment with a poignant and moving story.

Which character – as performed by Helen Baxendale – was your favourite?

The story is told from the point of view of Lizzie Vogel and Helen Baxendale totally captured her unique voice.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is both funny and sad. A really enjoyable book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • So Say the Fallen

  • By: Stuart Neville
  • Narrated by: Deirdre O'Connell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

The fallout from DCI Serena Flanagan's last case, which saw her home invaded and her husband attacked, has left her family fractured.

Serena is asked to sign off on the suicide of a severely disabled businessman whose widow's close relationship with the local reverend starts to sound an alarm. But with no evidence to back her up, have Serena's instincts led her astray? Serena's determination to unlock the mystery of what happened in that house may cost her her job - and her family.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing book from a normally good writer

  • By Patrick on 25-07-16

Disappointing book from a normally good writer

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

Reviewed: 25-07-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No.I have really liked all of Neville's previous books but found this one dull, predictable and found it difficult to be interested in any of the characters. The central character, DCI Flanagan is no match for Neville's other detective, DI Jack Lennon, and the long sections dealing with her troubled family life were utterly boring.

Would you recommend So Say the Fallen to your friends? Why or why not?

Absolutely not. I felt like giving up after the first hour but as Neville's other books have been so good I was sure it would improve. It didn't!!

How could the performance have been better?

The reader's dreary, monotonous voice killed any chance of the book coming to life and her Northern Ireland accent was terrible.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

There has already been a recent tv film with a similar story (The Secret with James Nesbitt in the lead role)

Any additional comments?

Listen to any of Neville's previous books. Much better than this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • It Can't Happen Here

  • By: Sinclair Lewis
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 64

Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, is dismayed to find that many of the people he knows support presidential candidate Berzelius Windrip. The suspiciously fascist Windrip is offering to save the nation from sex, crime, welfare cheats, and a liberal press. But after Windrip wins the election, dissent soon becomes dangerous for Jessup. Windrip forcibly gains control of Congress and the Supreme Court and, with the aid of his personal paramilitary storm troopers, turns the United States into a totalitarian state.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A story for our times

  • By Patrick on 20-07-16

A story for our times

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

Reviewed: 20-07-16

What made the experience of listening to It Can't Happen Here the most enjoyable?

Though written in 1935 and inspired by the rise of Fascism in Europe this could read as a warning of what can happen when an unscrupulous demagogue takes on the Presidency of the USA.

What other book might you compare It Can't Happen Here to, and why?

It describes a similar kind of scenario as Philip Roths's The Plot against America.

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

Very good reader. Really captures the different characters and makes the story live.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some sections dealing with the mistreatment of prisoners were hard to listen to but worth it in the end.

Any additional comments?

Though there are political and philosophic parts to this book it is never heavy or hard to listen to. Beautifully written.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Black Water Lilies

  • By: Michel Bussi
  • Narrated by: Joan Walker
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

Giverny. During the day, the home of the famous artist Claude Monet and the gardens where he painted his water lilies. But once the tourists have gone, there is a darker side to the peaceful French village. This is the story of 13 days that begin with one murder and end with another. Jérôme Morval, a man whose passion for art was matched only by his passion for women, has been found dead in the stream that runs through the gardens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow! A captivating, emotional and dark story.

  • By cynical chick on 02-08-16

Intriguing conclusion but.....

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

Reviewed: 10-07-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This book could do with serious editing. While the conclusion is unexpected and original, there were long sections when it was difficult to remain interested - not helped by the monotonous reader.

If you’ve listened to books by Michel Bussi before, how does this one compare?

I have not read any of his other books and don't think I ever will.

What didn’t you like about Joan Walker’s performance?

A very affected voice which became progressively more irritating. There are three main characters in the book, one a child, one a young woman and the other an 80 year old and she made them all sound alike.

Do you think Black Water Lilies needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Most of the characters were dead at the end....so unlikely!

Any additional comments?

There are so many excellent readers around it is hard to understand why such a dull one was selected for this book.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All

  • By: Jonas Jonasson
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 344
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 346

It's always awkward when 5,000 kronor goes missing. When it happens at a certain grotty hotel in South Stockholm, it's particularly awkward because the money belongs to the hitman currently staying in room seven. Per Persson, the hotel receptionist, just wants to mind his own business and, preferably, not get murdered. Johanna Kjellander, temporarily resident in room eight, is a priest without a vocation and, as of last week, without a parish. But right now she has two things at her disposal: an envelope containing 5,000 kronor and an excellent idea....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An enjoyable adventure

  • By TomPhil on 01-05-16

Zany roller-coaster read!

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

Reviewed: 27-04-16

Would you listen to Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All again? Why?

I'm not sure I'd read it again but it was great fun while it lasted. An amusing story, like reading the script of a Marx Brothers' movie!

Who was your favorite character and why?

The three central characters are all good fun but the Hitman himself was very well portrayed by Peter Kenny.

What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

He was the perfect choice for this book. His brisk, no nonsense reading underlined the comic elements and he never overdid anything simply for comic effect.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There are certainly laugh out loud moments in this story.

Any additional comments?

An entertaining way of spending a few hours. I'd be happy to listen to other books by the same author and will certainly look out for Peter Kenny as a reader.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • My Name Is Lucy Barton

  • By: Elizabeth Strout
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 290
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 259

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, read by Kimberly Farr. A mother comes to visit her daughter in hospital after having not seen her in many years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great pleasure!

  • By Louise Christie on 15-08-16

A subtle tapestry of family relationships

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

Reviewed: 21-02-16

What made the experience of listening to My Name Is Lucy Barton the most enjoyable?

Like all of Elizabeth Strout's works this is beautifully written. The anecdotes that make up Lucy's past are fascinating to listen to.

What did you like best about this story?

This is not a novel of action, more of meditation. I feel you could listen to any part of it and be moved.

Which character – as performed by Kimberly Farr – was your favourite?

The novel is told in the first person so it is Lucy's voice we hear.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Too many to mention but the last few lines are really moving.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful