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David M

UK
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  • helpful votes
  • 97
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  • The House We Grew Up In

  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Karina Fernandez
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 836
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 771
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 771

The Bird children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden. But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating it tears them apart. Many years later something will call them home, back to the house they grew up in - and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • the house we grew up in

  • By AmyAlice on 02-12-13

Not really my cup of tea

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

Reviewed: 14-11-18

I bought this after listening to 'Watching You' which I thought was an great suspense thriller. This one is more of a saga. We hear about a family growing up in a house between 1981 and 2011. It's about family problems and relationships over the years.

I'm sure it's a great read if this type of book is your thing.

  • Our Little Lies

  • By: Sue Watson
  • Narrated by: Katie Villa
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 168

Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy. Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother early, growing up in foster care. But her husband, Simon, is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France: nothing is too good for his family. Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline, gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows it’s nothing - she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best listen ever

  • By Anonymous User on 18-10-18

Psychological Thriller - a simple one

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

For the majority of the book, we hear in endless detail what a subservient wimp our main character is (Marianne). It's cringe-worthy!

Anyway, I'd call this a Psychological Thriller for beginners, an easy listen that doesn't demand too much of the listener. There is the odd twist, but anybody who has read at least one Psychological Thriller before, will see it coming a mile off and be disappointed that that is all there is.

This is not a book that I would recommend - unless you are a beginner.

  • And So It Begins

  • By: Rachel Abbott
  • Narrated by: Olivia Vinall
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He's managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife - but something about Evie just doesn't feel right...When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their clifftop house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets. Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely first class psychological, thriller

  • By David M on 05-11-18

Absolutely first class psychological, thriller

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

Reviewed: 05-11-18

I really don't understand the indifferent reviews posted so far, to me this is an exceptionally good, gripping story. I just couldn't put it down. I was hooked right from the start. The unexpected twists and turns were amazing.

It did take a bit of concentration during the first hour to get some understanding of what the book was all about, then the listening became easier. It was by no means the end of the intrigue because despite thinking we have everything in place, the goalposts just kept moving. What exactly was the crime, who was the guilty one, who was the victim? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? We're kept in suspense all through.

There's a very good court-room drama about three-quarters through. This book though is about much more than a police investigation and a court-room drama. The police play a relatively small role in the book as a whole. I can't say more without giving away parts of the plot, but I can say that I will be seeking out more books by Rachel Abbott.

Olivia Vinall performed well too. As narrator she has an impressive range of voices, both make and female. She added value without adding any distractions,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Watching You

  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Glaister
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 602
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 546

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Watching You by Lisa Jewell. You’re back home after four years working abroad, with a brand-new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re living with your big brother, camped out in his spare bedroom. And then - quite unexpectedly - you meet the man next door. He’s the head teacher of the local high school. He’s twice your age. And he’s devastatingly attractive. Soon you find you’re watching him. All the time. But what you don’t know is that someone is watching you....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A compelling listen!

  • By Mazalicious on 28-07-18

Great read, let down a bit by the ending

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

A psycological, domestic suspense thriller with the woman set as the main character. A standard formula perhaps, but really well written and I was 100% engaged until towards the end. The ending that I'd been looking forward to, so sort of drifted away and I lost concentration. Maybe because of this I didn't really get the significance of the last two lines (about the hair). Some other aspects of the ending weren't well tied up either. Maybe the author wanted to leave the detail to our imagination, but since she introduced clues into the plot, I would have preferred her to tidy them up at the end.

There's a lot of this told from the perspective of different teengers, their shool lives, their circle of friends, bullying, starting to date the opposite sex, aspergers etc. As one of the other reviewers said, it was a bit like reading the Famous Five books again!

So we follow Joey Mullen and her new husband Alfie. They're temporarily living with Joey's brother Jack and his wife Rebecca. Their neighbour Tom Fitzwilliam is a high-flying Head Teacher at the local school and has a geeky son called Freddie who likes to watch people from the elevated position of his bedroom window, using his digital binoculars. As the book title implies, there are other people watching other people too. Lots of relationship issues, people having 'the hots' for other people's spouses, unstable marriages etc. Bit like a soap opera.

  • Crime and Punishment

  • By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Narrated by: Constantine Gregory
  • Length: 22 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301

A century after it first appeared, Crime and Punishment remains one of the most gripping psychological thrillers. A poverty-stricken young man, seeing his family making sacrifices for him, is faced with an opportunity to solve his financial problems with one simple but horrifying act: the murder of a pawnbroker. She is, he feels, just a parasite on society. But does the end justify the means? Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov makes his decision and then has to live with it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Last two words are missing which is a nuisance..

  • By trufflesmummy on 19-07-16

Too many words, not enough action to fill 22 hours

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

Reviewed: 30-10-18

This is about Rodion Romanovich Raskolkikov a destitute former student, who almost at the beginning of the novel decides to commit a murder. As far I as can tell, he almost regarded it as an intellectual exercise because the victim wasn't worth anything. He isn't immediately caught and arrested and the majority of the novel deals with his mental state as he comes to terms with what has happened and as he interacts with family, friends, colleagues and the police.

It felt rather like a Columbo episode at times, although too long for me and too much reflective dialogue and monologue. I need just a little more action.

  • The Diary of a Bookseller

  • By: Shaun Bythell
  • Narrated by: Robin Laing
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 499
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 501

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gentle pleasure

  • By Flint on 11-12-17

Just Marketing Material

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

Reviewed: 23-10-18

I listened through the first half of the book wondering what the point of it was.

It didn't seem to be going anywhere. We get the twice daily sales figures, (for all 365 days of the diary year it seems). Then we get an interesting anecdote of something that happened in the shop that day, but nothing cumulative to reward us for listening. You can just pick any of the 356 days and listen to that one day in isolation.

Then I realised.

Like the Bookshop Twitter and Facebook pages, the "war" with Amazon, the Wigtown Book Festival, TV interviews, hosted performances by the Bookshop Band on YouTube, the plaque of the shot blasted Kindle... this is really just Marketing Material for the bookshop and we paid for it! Shaun Bythell really does excel at marketing his bookshop. On this basis I'm sure he will keep his shop going for years to come.

(To be fair, the book did remind me that I need to get a surge protector for my wireless router.)

  • Milkman

  • By: Anna Burns
  • Narrated by: Bríd Brennan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent narration and a good book

  • By Ruben on 24-08-18

Very, Very Good

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

Reviewed: 20-10-18

This is about Middle Sister, 18 years old, perhaps slightly geeky and a social misfit trying to cope with the troubles by avoiding them. She doesn't like the 20th Century so absorbs herself in 19th Century literature which she reads while walking in the park. That in itself upsets the community.

Anna Burns' writing gives us insight into what it was like to live amidst the Northern Ireland troubles of the 70s and 80s. The no-go areas, over the road, over the water, our religion, the other religion, punishment, behaviour beyond the pale.

Mostly the characters are only given nick-names; Ma, Pa, Elder Sister, Second Sister, First Brother-in-Law, Tablet Girl, Nuclear Boy etc. This makes it really easy to keep track of who everybody is. I wish more books would do that.

There are some wonderful snippets such as..."the only time anybody would call the police would be to shoot them. They know that and don't come." While the reader is absorbing such snippets the narrator continues relentlessly,so you have to keep stopping and winding back 30 seconds.

Mostly the story is told by a sometimes complex series of diversions before getting back to where the author left off. The reader is tempted to lose concentration during such diversions, but shouldn't. The diversions are really what the book is all about and contain the finest writing. I love the way the author seems to delve into a thesaurus to find the best word to use and finds she can't choose the best word so we get them all...(As in: 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace...") Unlike Monty Python, it really amazes me how the author kept up the fine writing for all 14 hours 11 minutes. There really is no padding.

I particularly liked the narration by Bríd Brennan, unlike Ian Paisley, she really makes the N. Ireland accent sound quite beautiful. She seemed to have an appreciation of the work and relished every word that she was reading.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Our House

  • By: Louise Candlish
  • Narrated by: Deni Francis, Paul Panting
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 760
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 757

When Fi arrives home to find a removals van outside her house, she is completely blindsided. Trinity Avenue has been her family's home for years. Where are all their belongings? How could this have happened? Desperately calling her ex-husband, Bram, who owns the house with her, Fi discovers he has disappeared. The more Fi uncovers, the more she realises their lives have been destroyed by a nightmare of their own making. A devastating crime has been committed, but who exactly is the guilty party?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Really good story

  • By Rory on 12-08-18

5 stars...just

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

Reviewed: 15-10-18

Great opening that got me hooked right away, also a nice, concise ending that left me thinking. Perhaps the middle was a bit predictable telling us things that we had already worked out. It was well written so still kept me hooked.

The narrators were OK, but I've heard better. Both had only one voice each to offer us and Paul Panting didn't sound sincere.

So, this is another Domestic Thriller with the woman set as the main character and the one mainly in jeopardy. Usually the woman in jeopardy has lost her 12 y.o. girl, but in this case it is her expensive house in London - we quickly start to assume that this is a matter of identity theft. I was much more gripped by the lost house plot than I normally am by a missing 12 yo girl.

I'd recommend this book and for myself I'm going to look for another Louise Candlish book.

  • War and Peace, Volume 2

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Neville Jason
  • Length: 31 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 418
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 312

War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than I remembered

  • By Philip on 22-04-13

It's very long!

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

Reviewed: 10-10-18

Volume 1 and Volume 2:

Quite a challenge, but I guess that is why I took it on. Keeping a written list of the characters that make up the five main families in the book really helped me. (They are introduced during a party at the very beginning.) Also I followed Spark Notes as I went along, that helped me in understanding the very many characters who popped up briefly during the long plot, and the deeper meaning behind the story being told.

This is about the Napoleonic wars, and especially the 1812 invasion of Russia, so reading up some history before starting the book was worthwhile. That is the War part. The peace part is reflected in the "soap opera" among the 5 families - the usual period drama stuff about who loves whom, who actually has money, and so with that in mind, who will actually marry whom.

Amongst all this the narrator keeps jumping in with his philosophical thoughts on Freewill & Inevitability and their role in wars and history. For the whole of the two hour Epilogue-2, we hear nothing else.

So in all, I would say it is well worth the read, but it takes effort if you are to get anything out of it and not just let it wash over you as you doze. The quality of the writing is excellent.

  • War and Peace, Volume 1

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Neville Jason
  • Length: 30 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 386
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390

War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An epic reading

  • By Francis on 01-05-07

It's very long!

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

Reviewed: 10-10-18

Volume 1 and Volume 2:

Quite a challenge, but I guess that is why I took it on. Keeping a written list of the characters that make up the five main families in the book really helped me. (They are introduced during a party at the very beginning.) Also I followed Spark Notes as I went along, that helped me in understanding the very many characters who popped up briefly during the long plot, and the deeper meaning behind the story being told.

This is about the Napoleonic wars, and especially the 1812 invasion of Russia, so reading up some history before starting the book was worthwhile. That is the War part. The peace part is reflected in the "soap opera" among the 5 families - the usual period drama stuff about who loves whom, who actually has money, and so with that in mind, who will actually marry whom.

Amongst all this the narrator keeps jumping in with his philosophical thoughts on Freewill & Inevitability and their role in wars and history. For the whole of the two hour Epilogue-2, we hear nothing else.

So in all, I would say it is well worth the read, but it takes effort if you are to get anything out of it and not just let it wash over you as you doze. The quality of the writing is excellent.