LISTENER

Sheila

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 54
  • ratings
  • Outlander

  • Outlander, Book 1
  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 32 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,257
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,789
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,798

This stunning blend of historical romance and time traveling adventure has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted author Diana Gabaldon to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First book of a series

  • By L on 01-10-06

Did not care for the handling of domestic violence

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

Reviewed: 29-07-17

What disappointed you about Outlander?

After almost being raped twice in one day, the protagonist is beaten by her husband as a punishment. Which may be historically accurate, but the husband admits to enjoying doing it, and her physical discomfort after is played for laughs. Also, sex scenes didnt always seem consensual.

Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

Probably not, no.

Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes, she was enjoyable, with each character given a unique voice.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Outlander?

As mentioned above, the sex scenes and beating.

Any additional comments?

I realise this is a very popular series, but I found it super problematic and it wasn't for me. Perhaps I don't get it, but I stopped shortly after the beating, i just couldn't enjoy it anymore.

  • Six Four

  • By: Hideo Yokoyama
  • Narrated by: Richard Burnip
  • Length: 24 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 116

Six Four. The nightmare no parent could endure. The case no detective could solve. The twist no listener could predict. For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter's kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again. For the 14 years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police's apologies. They would never forget the botched investigation that became known as Six Four.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Mr. F. E. Marioni on 25-08-16

Don't Bother

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

Reviewed: 25-01-17

Story was incredibly boring, with the big twist not being nearly worth the 20 something hours taken to get there. Not helped by the performance - names pronounced differently at random (e.g. Korda and Koda being used throughout) and voices changing at random, making it really hard to keep track. Two hours of story in a 24 hour book.

  • The Secret History

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: Donna Tartt
  • Length: 22 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,546
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,268

The smartest murder-mystery you will ever hearA misfit at an exclusive New England college, Richard finds kindred spirits in the five eccentric students of his ancient Greek class. But his new friends have a horrific secret. When blackmail and violence threaten to blow their privileged lives apart, they drag Richard into the nightmare that engulfs them. And soon they enter a terrifying heart of darkness from which they may never return.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Such a disappointment after the Goldfinch

  • By Srjane on 25-07-16

Great Story, Bad Performance

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

Reviewed: 31-03-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret History to be better than the print version?

Absolutely not. It's probably my favourite book, almost ruined by the performance. Donna Tartt is a great writer, not so much reader. It was a very flat performance, and her initial attempts to do different accents and voices was not a good idea. Thankfully, this gave this up after the first few hours and the following monotone was actually a relief. Added to this, it seemed to be recorded with amateur equipment - lots of background hissing, and occasional squeaking, with odd gaps.

What did you like best about this story?

That it's so immersive. Even after many re-readings, the dramatic tension still holds, and I still care deeply about what happens to all these characters, even the minor ones.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Donna Tartt?

Anyone else would have been an improvement.

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

Not crying or laughing, but I do feel a strong connection to the characters. Interestingly, even though I first read this book 20 years ago, and have ready it approx. 10 times since, this was the first time I saw how terrible the main group are, and questioned if I was supposed to like them.

Any additional comments?

Such a great book, cannot recommend enough, just maybe go for a different version, read by a proper voice actor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Runaway

  • By: Peter May
  • Narrated by: Peter Forbes
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,202

In 1965, five teenage friends fled Glasgow for London to pursue their dream of musical stardom. Yet before year's end three returned, and returned damaged. In 2015, a brutal murder forces those three men, now in their 60s, to journey back to London and finally confront the dark truth they have run from for five decades. Runaway is a crime novel covering 50 years of friendships solidified and severed, dreams shared and shattered and passions lit and extinguished.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great listen!

  • By jane on 02-01-15

Not a thriller

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

Reviewed: 21-03-16

Would you try another book written by Peter May or narrated by Peter Forbes?

Probably not. The story wasn't very gripping, and full of tropes and cliches.

What was most disappointing about Peter May’s story?

There was no sense of peril throughout the book, as we knew in the main what had happened to the lead characters. All the pivotal plot points were predictable, and could be spotted coming up a mile off. In addition, the story was quite far-fetched, e.g. (SPOILER ALERT) on their first day in London, they encountered both John Lennon and Bob Dylan. However, lead characters (those that returned to Glasgow anyway) seemed remarkably unaffected by the extraordinary events of their last night in London.

Which character – as performed by Peter Forbes – was your favourite?

Probably Jack the narrator, as he was used most often. Very good performance with mediocre material.

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

No. The story was tied up neatly at the end, and I didn't care enough about any of the characters to want to spend more time with them.

Any additional comments?

It was definitely more of a coming of age story than a thriller, and the author had some interesting insights about aging and coming to terms with one's own mortality, but overall, not a massively enjoyable experience.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Red Queen

  • By: Victoria Aveyard
  • Narrated by: Amanda Dolan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 443
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 408

This is a world divided by blood--red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of godlike superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • In the spirit of twilight...

  • By Rosie on 04-12-15

Very Derivative

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

Reviewed: 11-02-16

Well written and paced, but same characters and tropes from other teen dystopias. Enjoyable, but unoriginal.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Only Ever Yours

  • By: Louise O'Neill
  • Narrated by: Emma Weaver
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 76

Winner of the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year Award. Eves are designed, not made. The School trains them to be pretty. The School trains them to be good. The School trains them to Always be Willing. All their lives, the eves have been waiting. Now, they are ready for the outside world. Companion...concubine...or chastity. Only the best will be chosen. And only the Men decide.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A narrator who can't read?!

  • By "epaggelia" on 30-01-18

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 14-10-15

What disappointed you about Only Ever Yours?

I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't. The dystopia isn't very convincing and leaves too many questions unanswered. If the Eves are genetically engineered/created, why give them free will at all? Or the choice of what to eat if they don't want them to be fat? If there are only 10 inheritors every year, what happens to the other sons born? Who does all the manual labour? Were the women in the girlband The Sluts companions, chastities or concubines? Too many loose ends and nagging questions, and the story just wasn't compelling enough to drown them out. And yes, I realise that it is a YA novel, but that's not usually an impediment to my enjoyment, or an excuse for shabby world building.

Has Only Ever Yours put you off other books in this genre?

No, just by this author.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The teenage girls' voices were grating, but I'm not sure if this was the fault of the narrator.

What character would you cut from Only Ever Yours?

None stand out, which is part of the problem.

Any additional comments?

Hard work with little reward.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tales of the City Audio Collection

  • By: Armistead Maupin
  • Narrated by: Armistead Maupin
  • Length: 18 hrs and 21 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Among the cast of this groundbreaking saga are the lovelorn residents of 28 Barbary Lane: the bewildered but aspiring Mary Ann Singleton; the libidinous Brian Hawkins; Mona Ramsey, still in a'60s trance; Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, forever in bright-eyed pursuit of Mr. Right; and their marijuana-growing landlady, the indefatigable Mrs. Madrigal.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • This is not Unabridged as advertised

  • By Sheila on 23-06-15

This is not Unabridged as advertised

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

Reviewed: 23-06-15

Any additional comments?

I have read and enjoyed some of these books before, and bought this collection on the basis of it not being abridged. Unfortunately, it became apparent during the first book that it had been heavily abridged, with whole sub-plots excluded, and it was very disjointed. Overall, they're still great stories, but I'd recommend seeking out the individual unabridged works.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful