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M. Griffiths

  • 45
  • reviews
  • 32
  • helpful votes
  • 71
  • ratings
  • Master of War: Defiant unto Death, Book 2

  • By: David Gilman
  • Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
  • Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169

The Black Prince has launched a devastating raid deep into France, laying waste to everything in his path. In response, the French have mustered an army that outnumbers the English forces 10 to 1 and are determined to drive their hated foe from the land after years of bloody conquest. Sir Thomas Blackstone, the British archer knighted on the field of Crecy, has used the intervening years to forge his own war band and has hacked out his own fiefdom in central France.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great read

  • By Tialdpod on 21-12-18

solid sequel

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

Reviewed: 28-05-18

This is a solid sequel to Master of War. The historical context is interesting and relatively nuanced. I am not quite sure why it falls just short of 5 stars.

  • The Etymologicon

  • A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language
  • By: Mark Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Simon Shepherd
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 868
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 752
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 739

A quirky, entertaining and thought-provoking tour of the unexpected connections between words, read by Simon Shepherd. What is the actual connection between disgruntled and gruntled? What links church organs to organised crime, California to the Caliphate, or brackets to codpieces? The Etymologicon springs from Mark Forsyth's Inky Fool blog on the strange connections between words.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant and hilarious book

  • By Will on 06-01-13

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 06-05-18

This is a great little book about words and a whole lot of other stuff. It's interesting and very funny in parts. I am sure that I will come back to it many times.

  • Birdcage Walk

  • By: Helen Dunmore
  • Narrated by: Emma Fenney
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 363
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 329
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 328

It is1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Diner believes that Lizzie's independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great novel spoiled by narrator

  • By DartmoorDiva on 04-07-17

Sorry

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

Reviewed: 05-05-18

I really enjoyed the Siege and Betrayal. I like the genre, so I really thought that I would like this. It started well enough but I couldn't engage with the characters and was relieved at the end. To be fair the slightly over-wrought feel, reminding me of Sons and Lovers and the Bros Karamazov, I find annoying
I found the narrator intensely irritating. Her characterisations sounded bizarre to me and her interpretation of dialogue stilted.

  • We Were Warriors

  • One Soldier's Story of Brutal Combat
  • By: Johnny Mercer
  • Narrated by: Finlay Robertson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 520
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 480
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 476

A captain in 29 Commando, Johnny Mercer served in the army for 12 years. On his third tour of Afghanistan, he was a joint fires controller, with the pressurized job of bringing down artillery and air strikes in close proximity to his own troops. Based in an area of Northern Helmand that was riddled with Taliban leaders, he walked into danger with every patrol, determined to protect them. Then, one morning, in brutal close-quarter combat, everything changed....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The reality of war..

  • By David MacLean on 26-09-17

Tale of Afghan war

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

Reviewed: 14-04-18

I very much enjoyed this book. It's more than a tale of the awful experience of fighting in terrible conditions in Afghanistan, although this was the highlight. This is well set in the context of a challenging upbringing. There is a scattering of clichés but the decency of author comes over strongly so there's a tedency to cut him some slack. Narration is excellent.

  • The Warden

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Nigel Hawthorne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Set in the world of the Victorian professional and landed classes, the story centres on Mr Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity who is nevertheless in possession of an income from a charity far in excess of the sum devoted to it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Trollope perfectly read by Nigel Hawthorne

  • By APD on 25-07-18

Four stars

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

Reviewed: 09-04-18

Good rather than great. Verbose on occasion but more often witty & wise. Fine narration.

  • The Sisters Brothers

  • By: Patrick deWitt
  • Narrated by: William Hope
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,025
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 804
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 802

Oregon, 1851. Eli and Charlie Sisters, notorious professional killers, are on their way to California to kill a man named Hermann Kermit Warm. On the way, the brothers have a series of unsettling experiences in the landscape of Gold Rush America. And they bicker a lot. Arriving in California, and discover that Warm has invented a magical formula, which could make all of them very rich. What happens next is utterly gripping, strange and sad....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you like the Coen Brothers...

  • By Sara on 15-12-11

picaresque western

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

Enjoyable and dark: somewhere between Blood Meridian and Alias Smith and Jones.
Narration fits perfectly.

  • Everest 1953

  • The Epic Story of the First Ascent
  • By: Mick Conefrey
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 517
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 474
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 473

On the morning of 2 June 1953, the day of Queen Elizabeth's coronation, the first news ebbed through to the British public of a magnificent achievement: Everest had finally been conquered. Drawing on first-hand interviews and unprecedented access to archives, this is a groundbreaking new account of that extraordinary first ascent. In a thrilling tale of adventure and courage, Mick Conefrey reveals that what has gone down in history as a supremely well-planned attempt was actually beset by crisis and controversy, both on and off the mountain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Man! That story is epic!

  • By carrosvoss on 12-09-14

Everest

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

Reviewed: 18-02-18

Excellent account of the 1953 expedition, emphasising the teamwork and leadership, as well as individuals and controversy. In many ways better than Into the Silence, although they compliment each other.

  • The Fry Chronicles

  • An Autobiography
  • By: Stephen Fry
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,935
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,910

This dazzling memoir promises to be a courageously frank, honest and poignant read. It will detail some of Fry's most turbulent and least-well-known years, with writing that will excite you, make you laugh uproariously, move you, inform you, and, above all, surprise you.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hours of delighted listening

  • By Mary on 21-09-10

Irresistible

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

There are aspects of SF that I don't like - for example I find QI too much. I mention this only as a qualification for my endorsement. Loved the word play and insight into the golden age of UK comedy with which I grew up.

  • Zoo Station

  • By: David Downing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 84

By 1939, Anglo-American journalist John Russell has spent 15 years in Berlin, where his German-born son lives. He writes human-interest pieces for British and American papers, avoiding the investigative journalism that could get him deported. But as war approaches, he faces the prospect of having to leave his son and his longtime girlfriend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well plotted and absorbing story

  • By Tom on 30-11-10

Loved it

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

Reviewed: 06-02-18

Good story, well written and great narration. The author does a great job of creating a convincing atmosphere of 1930's Berlin.

  • Giving Up the Ghost

  • A Memoir
  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Jane Wymark
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 67

Opening with "A Second Home", in which Mantel describes the death of her stepfather, Giving Up the Ghost is a wry, shocking, and beautifully written memoir of childhood, ghosts (real and metaphorical), illness, and family. Finally, at the memoir's conclusion, Mantel explains how a series of medical misunderstandings and neglect left her childless, and how the ghosts of the unborn have come to haunt her life as a writer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Acerbic but nice

  • By Earnest on 12-11-14

Childlessness

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

Reviewed: 18-01-18

HM tells her story with great feeling and style. It is remarkable not least of all for its focus and for what she doesn't say.