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LJ

West Midlands, UK
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 12
  • ratings
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 9,539
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,619
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8,570

Harry Potter's summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors - and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone.... Dobby's sinister predictions seem to be coming true.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Delight!

  • By Simon on 24-11-15

As wonderful as you'd expect!

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

Reviewed: 06-12-17

If you could sum up Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2 in three words, what would they be?

Magical, Rip-Roaring, Funny

Any additional comments?

Brilliantly performed by Stephen Fry. I would chose these audiobooks over the films any day.

  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

  • By: Avi
  • Narrated by: Alexandra O’Karma
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Avi’s swashbuckling tale of murder and mutiny on the high seas has a fascinating twist: the heroine is a 13-year-old girl. In 1832, Charlotte Doyle boards a ship bound for America and is caught in a battle between a mad captain and his ruthless crew. If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure story for girls, you’ll find it in The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant Adventure book

  • By LJ on 28-08-17

Brilliant Adventure book

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

Reviewed: 28-08-17

I read this as a child and always meant to come back and re read it because I had enjoyed it so much. I wasn't disappointed! it was wonderful! perhaps a slightly more tame than I remembered but still a really brilliant adventure.
I always remember how thrilled I felt when I first read it, when Charlotte slices her hair off.... it was just as thrilling this time round too.
Definitely worth a read/listen, and definitely one to get for your kids, especially if you have girls (very empowering for little girls!) .

  • The Girls

  • By: Emma Cline
  • Narrated by: Cady McClain
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 572
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 525

Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air, and the sidewalks radiate heat. Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The human side...

  • By Mark on 05-01-17

Strange and Nothing-y

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

Reviewed: 01-10-16

Any additional comments?

This is a strange one to review. It is well written and evoked the feeling of summer, and the era really well. The narrator, I felt, was good. But the story seems to build up and build up, tension rises, and you're waiting ... and then it fizzles to nothing. No real climax as the story's narrator isn't actually present for it. I realise that that is done to keep her in our good books, but it makes for a poor ending.
Worth a read/listen, but don't expect too much.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Young Bond: Hurricane Gold

  • By: Charlie Higson
  • Narrated by: Nathaniel Parker
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80

As the sun blazes over the Caribbean island of Lagrimas Negras, its bloodthirsty ruler is watching and waiting. Criminals come here to hide, with blood on their hands and escape on their minds. On the mainland, ex-flying ace Jack Stone leaves his son and daughter in the company of James Bond. But a gang of thieves waits in ambush. They want Stone's precious safe, and will kill for its contents.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant book

  • By Alison Thompson on 08-10-18

Good narration of a disappointing book.

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

Reviewed: 28-03-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I wouldn't, no. I would recommend the first few Young Bond books, I found those positively thrilling and exceptionally clever. This one however was quite the disappointment. There isn't such a clever story and it seems to resort to graphic and gratuitous violence to prop itself up.

Would you ever listen to anything by Charlie Higson again?

Yes I would give more Charlie Higson novels a go. Like I said before, his other Young Bond books were good. I have tried his zombie series but that isn't really my thing. I intend to give his next Young Bond book, By Royal Command, a go (I have it from the library) but if it's as violent as this one was then I can't see that I'll finish it. Double or Die has definitely been the high point of these YB books.

What about Nathaniel Parker’s performance did you like?

Nathaniel Parker is AMAZING. He does so many voices and he flips between them quickly and effortlessly. Absolutely top notch.

The Cazalets: The Light Years (Dramatised) cover art
  • The Cazalets: The Light Years (Dramatised)

  • By: Elizabeth Jane Howard
  • Narrated by: Penelope Wilton, Georgia Groome, Raymond Coulthard, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

As the Cazalet family gathers for their annual summer holiday, the onset of war is about to change everything. In the hot summer of 1938, siblings Hugh, Edward, Rupert and Rachel - and their respective families - are reunited at Home Place, in the beautiful Sussex countryside.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gentle Family Saga

  • By LJ on 28-03-16

Gentle Family Saga

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

Reviewed: 28-03-16

Any additional comments?

I found it strange at first, and it took me a little while to get used to, the way the book has been adapted in this way. To hear the dramatisation AND a narration was a bit like watching TV with the audio description on!

The story is a family saga, and it is mostly quite gentle, nothing to hard hitting.

It is performed well and I did not find it hard to follow at all. It has left me keen to hear the next installments, although I'm not fully sure if they are the best value for money as they are quite short really. I think this is one to buy when it's on sale, rather than 'wasting' a credit on it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Gatsby

  • By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Length: 4 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,416
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,293
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,288

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal ( Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. There, he has a firsthand view of Gatsby’s lavish West Egg parties - and of his undying love....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Could be a better investment than the movie

  • By Anthony on 02-06-13

Underwhelming but alright.

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

Reviewed: 26-03-16

Any additional comments?

I didn't NOT enjoy this book, but I didn't quite enjoy it either. It certainly made me feel that it is somewhat overrated.

I found it strange (though perhaps you could call it clever ) how it seems to filt between being so flippant and shallow, to suddenly throwing you an observation so profound that it makes you stop and think.

It's worth a listen, but don't believe all the over the top hype.

  • Crooked House

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Hugh Fraser
  • Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143

The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion - until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection. Suspicion naturally falls on the old man's young widow, 50 years his junior. But the murderer hasn't reckoned on the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire's granddaughter.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Jolly good!

  • By LJ on 26-03-16

Jolly good!

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

Reviewed: 26-03-16

Any additional comments?

Firstly, the actual story is a good one. This is one of the few Christie novels to have never recieved any adaptation and (don't worry, no spoilers) I can see why, the ending is a little strange. It has a slightly different scope to the other Christie novels I've read, seeming in my opinion, much more self contained. But it kept me gripped and listening intently!

Hugh Fraser reads it brilliantly and has a lovely tone of voice. At times he reminded me of Stephen Fry.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl on the Train

  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Louise Brealey, India Fisher, Clare Corbett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,137

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Hated it

  • By Miss N. Bleakley-wadlow on 05-02-17

Kept me gripped

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

Reviewed: 26-03-16

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reading was mostly fine, but I found India Fisher distracting. Her drawl is no different to when she is voicing Masterchef and comes across as very detached and lazy.

Any additional comments?

This is a good story, I can see why it has been called 'the next Gone Girl'. It is cleverly written and aside from one or two very small niggles and stretches of the imagination, I really enjoyed it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Christmas Knit Off

  • By: Alexandra Brown
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Glaister
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

The perfect seasonal tale of how laughter, friends and wacky Christmas jumpers can mend a broken heart. For fans of Trisha Ashley and Jenny Colgan. Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A heart warming read!

  • By Fabulous Book Fiend on 01-01-15

Chick Lit Obviously.

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

Reviewed: 07-01-16

Well, it's chick lit and that's that. Nothing profound but nevertheless a good story that drew me in. It's a bit predictable but who cares! Definitely worth a listen, especially if you're a knitter or crafter!

  • A Christmas Carol

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Jon Smith
  • Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Beloved by generations, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge – the greedy, “bah-humbug!” penny-pincher devoid of kindness and compassion. When he is visited by three specters – the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come – they illuminate the error of his ways, leading to an inspiring transformation. Jon Smith’s brilliant performance, full of fun voices and dramatic flair, will leave listeners riveted. Get in the Christmas spirit with this literary classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator not Great.

  • By LJ on 01-01-16

Narrator not Great.

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

Reviewed: 01-01-16

This is a great book no question. But the narrator isn't so great. He mispronounces many words and at times I got the impression he was just reading a collection of words that he didn't even understand.