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Farah

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  • The Children Act

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Lindsay Duncan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 843
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 759
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 755

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now her marriage of 30 years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful 17-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who is the ultimate judge?

  • By Kaggy on 10-05-17

Should eighteen be the age of consent?

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

Reviewed: 13-11-16

Ian McEwan at his best; stylish, sensitive and very sharp. The cool -not cold - analytical public voice of the protagonist, a respected circuit judge, who as a woman with a successful career has understandably mixed feelings about her childless state gives way to a more intense and troubled private voice. Her husband's announcement of his intention to commit adultery with his naturally much younger research assistant gives rise to such anger in her that her being is changed; so changed that it effects every aspect of her life and judgement.

The Children Act touches on , as usual in his writing, many different ideas and an almost profligate number of plot possibilities, all of which lend an air of excitement to the experience of listening.

,Though it is a short novel he manages to differentiate his characters and to delineate his landscapes with the lightest of touches; the dichotomy of the dryness and gossip of the world of the legal professions are caught wonderfully well. All of which nothing to the series of moral and intellectual dilemmas and failures in which his esteemed judge finds herself mired. A wonderful book, a must read.

Well no, not necessarily a read, because listening to Lindsay Duncan's delivery of the voices of Fiona as she travels through the stages of a not entirely understood journey is superb. The ironies of how children act are greatly enhanced!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • London

  • The Biography, Street Life and the People
  • By: Peter Ackroyd
  • Narrated by: Simon Callow
  • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

Ackroyd portrays London from the time of the druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century, noting magnificence in both epochs, but this is not a simple chronological record. It is a comprehensive account, animated by Ackroyd's concern for the close relationship between the present and the past as well as by what he describes as the peculiar "echoic" quality of London whereby its texture and history actively affect the lives and personalities of its citizens.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Comprehensive, detailed

  • By RELish on 10-07-18

Always with us

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

Reviewed: 18-03-15

Interesting, though given the subject matter - the life of the poor in the great city - inevitably repetitive. From Roman times to the twenty first century the association of poverty with crime, sexual exploitation , and punishment are described using the words and experiences of contemporary witnesses. An interesting survey of a never changing reality which includes some curious changes in attitudes and tolerance through the period.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful