LISTENER

redfeend

  • 45
  • reviews
  • 54
  • helpful votes
  • 61
  • ratings
  • I'll Keep You Safe

  • By: Peter May
  • Narrated by: Anna Murray, Peter Forbes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,191
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,185

Husband and wife Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own Ranish Tweed: a Hebridean company that weaves its own special variety of Harris cloth, which has become a sought-after brand in the world of high fashion. But when Niamh learns of Ruairidh's affair with Russian designer Irina Vetrov, then witnesses the pair killed by a car bomb in Paris, her life is left in ruins. Along with her husband's remains, she returns home to the Isle of Lewis bereft.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very disappointing

  • By Michael D Hewitt on 28-01-18

Very very good

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

Reviewed: 21-11-18

I had listened to all the books of The Lewis Trilogy, so decided to give this book a try.

The narration was spot on, as in previous books. The description of the islands, the people, the culture is outstanding, bringing the story to life. I hate telling half the tale in a review, so I’ll just say that the conclusion is not what you expect it to be. You keep guessing who the murderer might be, and later on, whether Rory is in fact still alive. You are kept on the edge of your seat during the police investigation. Some of the characters in the book are complex, but their back stories are well told. The regular change between the present and past events is well written. In some books you get sick of constant flash backs, but here, they meld seamlessly into the story as a whole.

There is one annoying loose end left, after the book ends, but overall I can forgive this.
I describe Peter May’s novels as ‘dark’. It’s not all misery, but if you want lightweight chick lit, then this is not for you. If you enjoy a meaty detective story, with real fallible characters, set mainly in a dark and brooding physical landscape, then you will enjoy this book.

I recommend you read The Lewis Trilogy first, to understand the background of many of the character’s families.

  • Painting the Sand

  • By: Kim Hughes
  • Narrated by: Oliver Hemsbrough
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 833
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 773
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 769

Kim Hughes is the most highly decorated bomb disposal operator serving in the British Army. He was awarded the George Cross in 2009 following a gruelling six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, during which he defused 119 improvised explosive devices, survived numerous Taliban ambushes and endured a close encounter with the Secretary of State for Defence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A truly great read!

  • By D. J. Craig on 31-10-17

Listen to this!!

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

Reviewed: 15-11-18

This is a hard hitting account of one boy’s journey into manhood, via the British Army and bomb disposal (predominantly improvised explosive devices.....IEDs) in Afghanistan during the late 2000s. I don’t want to spoil the listen for others, so I’ll just say that this book follows an unhappy, semi delinquent youngster, through a full spectrum of emotions and life experiences, into maturity and heroism. Kim Hughs most certainly earned and deserves his George Cross. I salute and thank him for his service.

There is suffering, brutality, laughter, fun, love, comradeship, mutilating injury and the untimely death of friends and colleagues.

This book is all about the writer’s own personal life, but we are left wondering whether British & NATO involvement in Afghanistan was worth the human cost to those directly and indirectly affected by what happened there, and what it achieved, if anything.

The narration is excellent. I highly recommend this book to absolutely anyone.

  • Slow Horses

  • Slough House, Book 1
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,094
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,028
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,024

Slough House is Jackson Lamb’s kingdom; a dumping ground for members of the intelligence service who’ve screwed up: left a secret file on a train, blown surveillance, or become drunkenly unreliable. They’re the service’s poor relations – the slow horses – and bitterest among them is River Cartwright, whose days are spent transcribing mobile phone conversations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Smiley than Pilgrim

  • By Robert on 17-08-17

Something different; something really very good.

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

Reviewed: 16-10-18

I enjoyed Slow Horses very much indeed. Slough House is a place where defunct MI5 failures are sent, in the hope that they will resign out of boredom. The Slow Horses are like James Bond on barbiturates, but when bad things happen and they get into scrapes, for the most part, they escape death threats and manage to solve the mystery of what is going on. Each character is believable and interesting. I don't want to spoil the book for others, so won't describe them.

Suffice to say that this book has originality in spades. I do enjoy a book whose style is unique. This is a detective tale with a difference. The plot, characters, ending and narrator are all excellent. I thoroughly recommend it.

  • Chosen

  • An Alex Verus Novel
  • By: Benedict Jacka
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300

Life is quiet for Alex Verus. Amazing. With a flat full of friends (and the occasional fish) and business booming, why not enjoy the humdrum here and now? But of course that's too good to be true. In a sudden and cruel pincer movement of fate, Alex finds himself fighting a sinister and powerful gang as well as his own demons - for the same crime. Held hostage by the choices of his past, Alex's future is now in jeopardy....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great read

  • By Christopher on 22-07-16

Another super Alex Veras story.

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

Reviewed: 15-10-18

I’ve really enjoyed all the books in this series and Chosen is no exception.
The story line and characters hold your attention. I would advise listening to the earlier books first as you will be aware of the back story, however Chosen does hold its own as a stand alone novel.
Alex and his friends and associates have umpteen battles and there are casualties. Life won’t be the same again for any of them.
Besides Alex himself, my favourite character is Arachni, a giant magical spider and dressmaker, who lives in her lair under Hampstead Heath. She is probably Alex’s best friend and confidante.
Chosen, is the tale of a struggle between good and evil, but with a magical twist......in fact, many twists, both expected and surprising.
I don’t like spoilers, so I’ll just say that good wins the battle, but not necessarily the war. The story ends with a cliffhanger, so I’ll just have to listen to the next book.
If you like magical fantasy, you’ll enjoy Chosen. It is not boring or predictable, and the author’s power of description is amazing. The narrator does a top class job too.

  • First Light

  • By: Geoffrey Wellum
  • Narrated by: Andrew Brooke
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 209

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of First Light by Geoffrey Wellum, read by Andrew Brooke. Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, 18-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF. Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terrifying dogfights with German Me 109s. Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum, many never return.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-08-18

Gripping memories.

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

Reviewed: 14-10-18

I have read some half a dozen personal accounts, written by BoB pilots. This one is different, in that Geoffrey Wellum discloses his emotions and mental highs and lows in a way that other veterans do not. He also talks in more detail than most about the actual mechanics and physical process of flying a plane, in particular, the iconic Spitfire.

I’m lucky enough to have flown in the back of a two seater Spitfire for pleasure. His description of flying in combat, in impenetrable cloud, in the heat and the cold and on empty fuel tanks, both the Spits and his own empty physical and psychological reserves is so very moving. I cried at some points, for this boy. He WAS only a boy. Rolling over and spiralling about the sky for fun is exhilarating, but I just can’t imagine the utter fear of doing this in a war situation. Wellum’s recollections take the listener as near as is possible to being with him in the cockpit.
He also tells us more than other writers about the effect the loss of friends and colleagues has on him. He often wonders when his time will come. By the end of three tours, he’s completely ground down and ‘spent’ in every possibly way.

He speaks of his girlfriend ‘Grace’ who he meets during his service. He talks about how she supported him during bad times, and how he found out what romantic love was all about. The book ends without telling us what happened to Grace. I had a look round the inter web and found that they did in fact marry and have three sons. Good on you, Geoff & Grace.

The narrator does a superb job of recounting Geoff’s story. I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in wartime aviation and the people who were there.

  • The Outcasts of Time

  • By: Ian Mortimer
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 872
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 805
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 804

December 1348: With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries - living each one of their remaining days 99 years after the last. John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Imaginative, thought-provoking historical fiction

  • By Kirstine on 13-10-17

Fantastic !

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

I’ve listened to very many sci fi & fantasy novels on Audible & this one ranks up there with the best of them.
I don’t want to give any of the story away & spoil it for others, so I’ll stick to generalisations. Barnaby Edwards is a perfect narrator. Each of the character’s voices is easily discernible. He handles the dialects through the 600 years of the tale with ease.

The story itself held my interest & I would have listened to it in one sitting, had I not needed to sleep, go shopping & the like. The story, set around one man’s choice to either go home and spend his last 6 days of life, surrounded by his family, or to ‘do a good deed’ to save his soul, but still only live 6 days is a scenario I haven’t come across before. He chooses the latter, but each of the 6 days left to him is 99 years into the future from the last. His adventures, trials, tribulations & encounters with people, both good & bad, new technology, social etiquette & a changing built & political environment are really very good. I found the balance between (well researched) description of each historical period.......and story telling, to be just right.

The story is not predictable & there are unexpected twists & turns, both tragic and joyous. The ending of the book is most satisfying. So often there are loose ends and the final chapter is a big disappointment. The end of this book is extremely well crafted and wraps the whole tale up perfectly.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in English history, and human nature.........if you know your way around South Devon, the book will be all the more interesting.

  • The Society of the Sword Trilogy

  • By: Duncan M. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 31 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,235
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,232

When Soren is plucked from the streets and given a place at the prestigious academy of swordsmanship, he thinks his dream of being a great swordsman has become a possibility. However, with great intrigues unfolding all around him, Soren discovers that he is little more than a pawn to the ambitions of others.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Took a chance on a new author and....

  • By Graham on 27-11-17

Really enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 24-04-18

I enjoyed this book very much. Great narration apart from the inevitable odd Americanism.
The story revolves around Sorren, an orphan pauper, who is taken off the streets by a nobleman to train as a swordsman. The plots keep you interested and some unpredictable things happen, keeping the story engaging and interesting.
Sorren’s love interest adds a further dimension to the saga.
Near the end of the book, the tale turns into a classic goodie V baddie encounter. I won’t spoil things by disclosing the outcome.
I’ll probably listen to this book again sometime. It’s easy to give it a 5* rating.

  • House of Suns

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404

Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every 200,000 years to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reynolds gets better and better

  • By Nick on 01-06-10

I enjoyed this story

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

Reviewed: 02-04-17

This story kept my interest all the way through, and as always John Lee's narration was spot on.
The plot was not obvious and predictable. There were surprises, twists and turns and treachery along the way. A good number of characters get killed off when you want them to survive. For the part of the story involving Hesperus the machine person, I was rooting for him all along. I don't like spoilers so won't ruin the story for others by saying what becomes of him.
The same goes for lovers Campion and Purslane. The ending of the book comes quickly without preamble. It's a good ending but leaves many questions. There don't seem to be any sequels to this book but there is definitely scope. You are left having to imagine for yourself, what happened next.

  • Jimmy and the Crawler

  • Riftwar Legacy, Book 4
  • By: Raymond E. Feist
  • Narrated by: Matt Bates
  • Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69

The Crawler: a name whispered in fear... In the crime-ridden back alleys of Krondor, a rival gang has sprung up to threaten the Upright Man's Mockers. Does the Crawler control the rival gang? Where does his power come from? And does it threaten the peace of the Kingdom? James, personal squire to Prince Arutha of Krondor, but in the underworld known as the thief and trickster Jimmy the Hand, must travel to Kesh in disguise.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • classic fiest

  • By david longstaff on 27-07-17

Good enough

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

Reviewed: 29-03-17

Having finished Magician's End I decided to have a go at one of the stand alone books.
It's a great shame that Peter Joyce has not done the narration, but this reader does OK.
The story is strong and this short book is surely improved by having a limited cast of players. The end is sad, made more so if you have read the other books and aware of William's fate.
This story also fills in some unanswered questions from previous books, but it works as a stand alone story too.

  • Great North Road

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 36 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,095
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 920
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 916

Great North Road is a standalone science fiction adventure from Peter F. Hamilton, the author of The Night's Dawn trilogy. When attending a Newcastle murder scene, Detective Sidney Hurst finds a dead North family clone. Yet none has been reported missing. And in 2122, 20 years ago, a North clone billionaire was horrifically murdered in the same manner on the tropical planet of St Libra. So if the murderer is still at large, was Angela Tramelo wrongly convicted?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, but this is only half the story

  • By tim on 17-01-13

Really good

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

Reviewed: 28-03-17

What did you like most about Great North Road?

This stand alone story was an easier listen than some of Hamilton's 'space operas'. I really enjoyed it all. It held my attention and the characters and storyline were excellent.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Great North Road?

I don't like spoilers so feel I must be vague. Discovering exactly who betrayed who, a bloody massacre, and a good ending. Its a long book and there are many memorable moments.

What about Toby Longworth’s performance did you like?

All his narrations are top quality and this one is no exception.

Any additional comments?

One of Hamilton's best.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful