LISTENER

Janet

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 52
  • ratings
  • Vanity Fair

  • By: William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Narrated by: John Castle
  • Length: 31 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 415
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327

Set during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, this classic gives a satirical picture of a worldly society. The novel revolves around the exploits of the impoverished but beautiful and devious Becky Sharp who craves wealth and a position in society. Calculating and determined to succeed, she charms, deceives and manipulates everyone she meets. A novel of early 19th-century English society, it takes its title from the place designated as the centre of human corruption in John Bunyan's 17th-century allegory.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A glorious romp of a novel!

  • By Clare on 24-08-09

Marvellous narration

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

I wanted to remind myself of this wonderful story before the recent TV adaptation. I’d forgotten how witty and wry the author’s voice is, in commenting on the characters’ behaviour - as if it wasn’t he who’d invented them! And John Castle’s wry and satirical tones bring out every jot of wit in the text.

There are passages that do go on a bit. This is a long book, and Thackeray occasionally meanders off into repetitive musings, but once you’ve battled (or skipped) through those, the story is a right rollicking one! Well worth keeping on to the end. The last couple of chapters are worth the wait.

  • Mansfield Park

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 398
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319

At the tender age of 10, Fanny Price is 'adopted' by her rich relations and is removed from the poverty of her home in Portsmouth to the opulence of Mansfield Park. The transplantation is not a happy one. Dependent, helpless, neglected and forgotten, Fanny struggles to come to terms with her new life until, tested almost to the limits of endurance, she assumes her righful role...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A reluctant Janeite not reluctant any more.

  • By Colin Davey on 20-11-16

Enjoy it more each time!

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

Reviewed: 20-12-16

I'm a big Jane Austen fan but sometimes thought this story a bit dull, but this time through, I couldn't put it down! (As it were.) I listen to audio books to help me sleep at night but I became engrossed in the detail of the characters and didn't want to miss the slightest nuance! Juliet Stevenson really does an excellent job of bringing out the full meaning of every sentence, every subtle humorous remark, and characterises the voices of different characters in an engaging way. Several of them have quite strident voices, so again it was hard to doze off!
I recently attended a talk on how Austen's novels relate so well to our modern day life, and the professor giving the lecture considers this her finest novel! I was so pleased it was the one I was currently immersed in. Such a pity she only wrote six novels, but you can tell she spent years refining each one. Human nature so perfectly observed.

  • Stamboul Train

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Michael Maloney
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 96

Aboard the Orient Express as it heads across Europe towards Constantinople, a relationship develops between Carleton Myatt and Coral Musker, a naive English chorus girl. Around them a web of espionage, murder and lies twist in this spy thriller.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Greene/Maloney - Audiobook Heaven!

  • By GC on 24-03-09

Voice of liquid gold

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

Reviewed: 04-09-16

I choose an audio book for something to lull me to sleep. This is my first Graham Greene, and although languidly written, it does get a tad too exciting to doze off to! I enjoyed the style and the unexpectedness of the storyline. Above all, I enjoyed listening to the liquid gold of Michael Maloney's beautiful voice. I've always enjoyed catching Maloney in his appearances on tv, ever since Truly. Madly, Deeply, where he played Juliet Stevenson's new love interest. He conveys intelligence, humour and an unassuming sensuality.
At the beginning, I had to keep rewinding, because I was revelling in the voice instead of listening to the words! An excellent range of voices and accents as well, to keep track of the widely varying characters so poignantly portrayed by Greene. Very enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Book 1

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17,317
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,519
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15,517

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfectly Fryed Potter

  • By Simon on 20-11-15

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 27-01-16

It's a few years since I first saw this film, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the whole book, and particularly Stephen Fry's excellent rendition. I can't wait til next month when I can buy the second instalment:-)

  • Girl with a Pearl Earring

  • By: Tracy Chevalier
  • Narrated by: Hattie Morahan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106

An international bestseller with over two million copies sold, this is a story of an artist's desire for beauty and the ultimate corruption of innocence. 17th Century Holland. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of Johannes Vermeer in the town of Delft, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry and the care of his six children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • love love love

  • By Andy on 01-12-13

Wistful, evocative, compelling

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

Reviewed: 22-07-15

I've seen the film and was looking for an audio book that I could lose myself in, and happily sleep to at night. This is a beautiful story, sensitively read by the wonderful Hattie Morahan. who played Elinor Dashwood in the TV rendition of Sense and Sensibility.

  • Longbourn

  • By: Jo Baker
  • Narrated by: Emma Fielding
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah thought, she would be more careful not to trudge through muddy fields. It is wash-day for the housemaids at Longbourn House, and Sarah's hands are chapped and bleeding. Domestic life below stairs, ruled tenderly and forcefully by Mrs Hill the housekeeper, is about to be disturbed by the arrival of a new footman smelling of the sea, and bearing secrets.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful voice!

  • By Janet on 13-08-14

Wonderful voice!

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

Reviewed: 13-08-14

One of the better Austen adaptations. Beautifully written, my only reservation being that it is rather a sad story, compared to Austen's usual cheerfulness. However, I must pile praise upon praise for the beautiful reading voice of Emma Fielding! I have been a monthly subscriber of Audible for a few years now, and this is by far the most lovely voice I have heard. I listen to these books to help me sleep, and despite finding some of the storyline a little more sad than I'd like, I still listened over and over to Longbourn because of the soft lilting voice, so intelligently and carefully putting across the exact nuances of meaning in every sentence.
Ms Fielding often crops up in radio plays and occasionally on TV. I keep an eye (and an ear) out for her now. A joy to listen to!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Captain Wentworth's Persuasion

  • Jane Austen's Classic Retold Through His Eyes
  • By: Regina Jeffers
  • Narrated by: Graham Vick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18

Witty, romantic and insightful, this novel retells the love affair at the heart of Jane Austen's Persuasion from the perspective of the suitor--Captain Wentworth. Written in the language of the era, Captain Wentworth's Persuasion re-creates the original style, themes and sardonic humor of Jane Austen's novel while turning the entire tale on its head in a most engaging fashion. Listeners hear Captain Wentworth's side of this tangled story while gazing into his thoughts and emotions.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too American?

  • By English Dave on 05-06-15

An entertaining viewpoint

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

Reviewed: 13-08-14

I'm a big Jane Austen fan and was a bit apprehensive about this version as I love the original Persuasion. However, I did enjoy it immensely, especially the first half. I do applaud Ms Jeffers at making such a good effort with Regency English, though the eagle-eyed (or eared?) will spot the odd little Americanism creeping in here and there. On the whole, it is very listenable-to. I gradually found the final few chapters a bit less gripping, and rather far-fetched. Yes, we'd all like to know how the happy couple got on after their marriage, but somehow the suspense just isn't there once they are together.
The narrator has a jolly, cheerful manner of speaking. I eventually got used to his rather irritating habit of putting emphasis on the wrong word in a sentence, not bothering to correct himself, as I would expect a good narrator to do. On more than one occasion, he sounded as if in the middle of a sentence, when actually having reached the end of a chapter. I don't know how anyone can fail to read ahead so spectacularly, and think it doesn't matter! That said, he does read clearly and at a steady volume, for which I shall forgive him much.
Definitely worth a listen, if you're a Persuasion fan! One of the better adaptations.
If only Austen had written more than six novels, eh?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Little Dorrit

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Anton Lesser
  • Length: 35 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154

William Dorrit has been a resident of the Marshalsea debtors prison for so many years that he has gained the nickname "The Father of the Marshalsea". However, his suffering is eased by his close bond with youngest daughter Amy, or "Little Dorrit". The dashing Arthur Clennam, returning to London after many years in China, enters their lives and the Dorrits' fortunes begin to rise and fall. A biting satirical work on the shortcomings of 19th century government and society.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • little dorrit, narrated by Anton Lesser

  • By Amazon Customer on 20-06-09

Wonderfully amusing characters - Wonderfully read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-03-12

I wasn't sure I'd like to hear Anton Lesser reading the whole of Little Dorrit - he played Merdle in the TV series. But I was pleasantly surprised! He brings out all the amusing little nuances of Dickens' writing - and there are many - and helps make it easy to understand. I adore the story from having seen the TV series with Claire Foy and Matthew McFadyen. I've read many Dickens novels, but didn't like all of them - some are too depressing. But I'm thoroughly enjoying this one! It's not too much of a spoiler to say that some of the characters who start off in a London prison don't stay there. There are interesting travels in Switzerland and Italy as well, so don't be put off by some dismal (but amusingly described) scenery at the beginning. If you loved Ruth Jones as the garrulous Flora, you won't be disappointed by Lesser's characterisation - and Mr F's aunt! After a month I'm only three-quarters through the audio book having listened to it every night - you do get your money's worth! Well worth investing in, I'd say. Jackie.

  • Sourcery

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Nigel Planer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 929
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 934

A "sourcerer" is born in Discworld - a wizard so powerful that he makes all other magicians look like a bunch of fools in pointy hats. Now, suddenly, Discworld is brought to the brink of an all-out thaumaturgical war. The only hope for peace is Rincewind, the failed magician who has a risky plan to save the world. He enlists the help of several odd new characters, including Conina the barbarian hairdresser, Nijel the Destroyer, and a yuppie genie who sees lamps as a growth industry.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent listen but had to strain

  • By Jim on 19-05-08

Good Pratchett!

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

Reviewed: 07-02-12

Another good Discworld book. Just working my way through them all again! I like Nigel Planer's delivery. For myself, I adjust the speed a little slower, as Terry P packs a lot of detail in a small space. I listen at bedtime and find it light enough to fall asleep to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Going Postal

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,656
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,340
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,339

Suddenly, condemned arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig found himself with a noose around his neck and dropping through a trapdoor into...a government job? By all rights, Moist should be meeting his maker rather than being offered a position as postmaster by Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • In the unlikely event you've never read Pratchett

  • By nicole on 26-08-13

Not so funny

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-11

This is about the twelfth Discworld novel I've had, having worked my way through Sam Vimes stories and the Witches. However, I didn't find this so interesting (good for falling asleep to at night) and it was very business-based. Maybe will appeal more to big-business folk? I found the repetitive descriptions of the heaps and heaps of undelivered mail gathered over years, particularly depressing. I'm trying Interesting Times next! My favourite is still The Fifth Elephant, which was my first, and took several 'listens' to work out who everyone was!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful