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JOHN

County Cork, Ireland
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 50
  • helpful votes
  • 34
  • ratings
  • Love Is Blind

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Roy McMillan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 326
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Love Is Blind by William Boyd. Love Is Blind is William Boyd's sweeping, heart-stopping new novel. Set at the end of the 19th century, it follows the fortunes of Brodie Moncur, a young Scottish musician, about to embark on the story of his life. When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future - and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Boyd on Top Form

  • By Mark on 27-09-18

Simply Superb

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

Reviewed: 15-11-18

William Boyd is one of my favourite authors and this, his latest work, is his best since Any Human Heart. It is a wonderful story with a great range of characters (including James Joyce and his brother Stanislaus who feature in a little vignette while Brodie Moncur, the main character, was living in Trieste). The narration by Roy McMillan is masterly and he has an admirable command of accents including Irish, something that non-Irish narrators usually fail at.

  • A Treachery of Spies

  • By: Manda Scott
  • Narrated by: Emma Gregory, Philip Stevens, Sally Scott
  • Length: 18 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167

An elderly woman of striking beauty is found murdered in Orleans, France. Her identity has been cleverly erased, but the method of her death is very specific: she has been killed in the manner of traitors to the Resistance in World War Two. Tracking down her murderer leads police inspector Inès Picaut back to 1940s France, where the men and women of the Resistance were engaged in a desperate fight for survival against the Nazi invaders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By kriss on 14-09-18

Doesn't Live Up To The Hype

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

Reviewed: 06-11-18

I was disappointed with this book given some of the rave reviews it has received. For a start, it's too long - it should have been subject to more rigorous editing to make it a more compelling read. And while the descriptions of wartime Britain and France are well done, they are nothing out of the ordinary. Most readers will also have guessed the identity of Icarus from early on so when it was eventually revealed there was no surprise. The denouement struck me as fanciful in the extreme and totally unbelievable. I was relieved to have finally finished it - I had been tempted to give up about three quarters of the way through - but it certainly is not a book that I will re-visit nor is it one that I will recommend to others. On the plus side, the narration is very well done and the three readers help to relieve the tedium of having to plough on with the story.

  • Real Tigers

  • Slough House, Book 3
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Seán Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 551
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551

London's Slough House is where disgraced MI5 operatives are reassigned to spend the rest of their spy careers pushing paper. But when one of these 'slow horses' is kidnapped by a former soldier bent on revenge, the agents uncover a larger web of intrigue that involves not only a group of private mercenaries but also the highest authorities in the Security Service.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Undiluted enjoyment

  • By Earnest on 10-03-16

Well Written but Poor Plot

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

Reviewed: 23-08-18

This was my third Slough House story in a row. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two but this one disappointed me. Mick Herron's writing is top class as usual but the plot seemed unconvincing if not downright ludicrous. This is a pity as I had high expectations based on many of the critics reviews. I think I'll give the series a rest for a while and I hope that when I return to it I'll find subsequent books to be much better than this rather pedestrian production.

  • Philosophy of Religion

  • By: James Hall, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: James Hall
  • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

These 36 intellectually challenging yet remarkably clear lectures take you on an intellectual journey to explore the questions of divine existence, not from the standpoint of theology, but as an issue of epistemology, the classic branch of philosophy that concerns itself with knowledge theory: how we can know things and how we can know we know them.If you enjoy wrapping your mind around questions for which every potential answer triggers a new set of questions and issues, you will find this course particularly enjoyable, regardless of whether you define yourself as a believer, an atheist, or an agnostic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb!

  • By JOHN on 31-07-18

Superb!

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

Reviewed: 31-07-18

This is without doubt the best of the Great Courses I've purchased. Professor James Hall is a pleasure to listen to: he is a master of his subject and has an excellent speaking voice. He doesn't assume any prior knowledge on the part of the listener and his descriptions of (for instance) the Ontological, Cosmological and Teleological Arguments for the existence of God are the best I've come across. Highly recommended to anyone - believer, agnostic or atheist - interested in the subject.

  • Forever and a Day

  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Matthew Goode
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 635
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 586

M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. 'We have no choice. We're just going to bring forward this other chap you've been preparing. But you didn't tell me his name.' 'It's Bond, sir,' the Chief of Staff replied. 'James Bond.' One body. Three bullets. 007 floats in the waters of Marseille, killed by an unknown hand. It's time for a new agent to step up. Time for a new weapon in the war against organised crime. It's time for James Bond to earn his licence to kill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Iconic Legend is Born

  • By Simon on 02-06-18

Classic Bond

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

Reviewed: 05-07-18

Anthony Horowitz has done the Bond genre proud with this very entertaining story. It starts with the death of the original 007, an agent whose 00 designation Bond inherits (at his request). The story is cleverly constructed and well written. Fans of the Ian Fleming originals will be happy with Horowitz's story which, if anything, outclasses Fleming in many ways. A ripping yarn with a grotesque villain, a beautiful woman, plenty of violence (some of which is very graphically described) and, to this reader at least, an unexpected and surprising finale. Mention also must be made of the excellent narration by Matthew Goode who has done an outstanding job. Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Ordinary Thunderstorms

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Martyn Ellis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 678
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 448
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 454

Adam Kindred, visiting London for a job interview, comes across a little Italian bistro as he walks along the Embankment, admiring the views. During his meal he strikes up a conversation with a diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterwards. With horrifying speed, Adam's encounter leads to a series of accidents through which he will lose everything.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful book, beautifully read.

  • By L. Fuchs on 24-09-09

Brilliant Story, Superbly Narrated

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

Reviewed: 07-04-18

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Boyd has spun a gripping tale of how one Adam Kindred, in London for a job interview, has his life turned upside down by a chance encounter with a man, Dr Philip Wang, in a restaurant. On the run from both the police and a hired killer he has to lie low and eke out an existence as best he can. Along the way we meet with a selection of superbly drawn characters brought to life through Martyn Ellis's mastery of accents. The killer Johnjo Case is unforgettable (as is his description of what he was going to do to the hands of an individual from whom he was trying to get information, a trick he picked up while on active service in Afghanistan). The story is very well constructed and has a satisfying ending. It is also infused with a rich seam of humour. Highly recommended.

  • Restless

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,481
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,027
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,020

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gripping and thoughtful book

  • By Tom on 03-11-07

Superb

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

Reviewed: 17-01-18

This is a great story, it kept me enthralled to the very end and the conclusion was wholly satisfying. Boyd is a wonderful story-teller and this is one of his best. I felt at times that the narrator Rosamund Pike rushed things a little but that is a minor quibble - I highly recommend this audiobook.

  • The Word Is Murder

  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,058
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,930
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,918

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she's arranged her own funeral. A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own. A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control. What do they have in common? Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz's new thriller. Spread the word. The word is murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Unemployed Detective

  • By Sarah on 30-08-17

Excellent Whodunit

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

Reviewed: 06-12-17

This is an entertaining murder mystery starring the author as a character. One is kept guessing as to whom the culprit is right up to the end - I confess I hadn't figured out who it was - and the denouement is expertly handled and satisfying. It is well written and cleverly plotted. The narration by Rory Kinnear is first class. Highly recommended.

Any Human Heart cover art
  • Any Human Heart

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Mike Grady
  • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 815
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 644
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 641

Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the 20th century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A poignant journey through a man's life

  • By Kirstine on 19-03-12

Superb Storytelling

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

I loved this book. The trials, tribulations and triumphs of Logan Mountstuart (1906-1991) throughout the twentieth century made for fascinating and engaging entertainment. As Boyd has Mountstuart say, the definition of a life is the aggregate of good luck and bad luck that a person has had and Logan's life had plenty of both. We the listeners share in his "brief triumphs and terrible losses" and we get to know him intimately. At the end, at his death, I felt a sense of loss - no more adventures, no more wise and witty observations. Mike Grady's narration is masterly - one of the best I've heard. Highly recommended.

  • A Legacy of Spies

  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,032
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,022

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, is living out his old age on the family farmstead in Brittany when a letter summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself are to be scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New life into a favourite series

  • By nicole on 10-09-17

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 10-09-17

Fans of Le Carré will love this. The story is gripping and the narration by Tom Hollander is perfect. It is hard to believe that Le Carré is 85.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful