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Tara Mcgrath

Tara-m
  • 22
  • reviews
  • 297
  • helpful votes
  • 141
  • ratings
  • 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 22,569
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,311
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,311

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

Predictable

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

Reviewed: 18-02-15

Good narration but the story was a little predictable and although the writing style isn't bad I felt a little meh about it as a whole.

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

  • By: Jordan Belfort
  • Narrated by: Eric Meyers
  • Length: 20 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,098
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,104

Stock market multimillionaire at 26, federal convict at 36, he partied like a rock star, lived like a king, and barely survived his rise and fall as an American entrepreneurial icon. By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narration is Brilliant

  • By Deborah on 24-01-14

The 'Real' Wolf

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

Reviewed: 27-01-14

I started listening to this a couple of days before seeing the film and after watching the film almost didn't carry on listening as I thought I'd seen the whole story. When in fact the true story is fairly different to the Scorsasee screenplay, it's a lot less glamorous and more a tale of caution - money really doesn't buy you happiness. However there are still the same hilarious moments you get to see in the film and more rip roaring moments which make you cringe as well as laugh out loud.

The narration is fantastic, really well read and although you should by all accounts really despise Jordan Belfort you can't help but love him in a weird way.
I really hope that Audible record Belfort's second book Chasing The Wolf of Wallstreet, and soon- I can't wait to jump right back on the Belfort crazy train!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,540
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,268
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,281

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!

  • By Tara Mcgrath on 02-12-13

Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!

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

Reviewed: 02-12-13

I was fortunate enough to attend a recent Guardian Book Club where Donna Tartt was talking about her first novel, The Secret History. I was even more fortunate enough to personally ask her about her books being made into audiobooks (she has narrated both her previous novels)

I was curious to find out how she felt about David Pittu's narration of her third novel, particularly as she has always been totally against her novels being made into movies because she doesn't like the thought of her character's voices being interpreted by a director or actor.

Her response to my question was fascinating to me as I've always wondered whether authors have much of an input into their novels being made into audiobooks. She said that she had wanted to narrate The Goldfinch herself but didn't have the time in her schedule, so instead she listened to many audition tapes and eventually chose Pittu because she liked the way he read the very strange,but somehow loveable, Boris.

She then spent many hours with David Pittu on the telephone and described to him all of the voices and how each character should sound. I love that she did this, I am fascinated that each character has the voice she intended for them, this 'schooling' of the narrator really has paid off.

She said that she hadn't yet listened to the finished audiobook but hoped that it was good, she asked me if I enjoyed it, to which I replied it is one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to. And it really is truly the best audiobook I've ever listened to, as good as if not better than some of my favorites- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Under The Dome, The Help, NOS4R2, the Name Of The Wind. I wonder if the authors of these novels had the same kind of input to the audio versions of their novels as The Goldfinch has had.

It is truly a work of art and will stay with me forever. My advice- don't read too many reviews, the less you know the better, just listen to this book and let it take you a place only the most special of authors and narrators can help you journey to.

151 of 159 people found this review helpful

MaddAddam cover art
  • MaddAddam

  • MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne, Bob Walter, Robbie Daymond
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80

A man-made plague has swept the earth, but a small group survives, along with the green-eyed Crakers - a gentle species bio-engineered to replace humans. Toby, onetime member of the Gods Gardeners and expert in mushrooms and bees, is still in love with street-smart Zeb, who has an interesting past. The Crakers' reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is hallucinating; Amanda is in shock from a Painballer attack; and Ivory Bill yearns for the provocative Swift Fox, who is flirting with Zeb.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Struggling.

  • By sheelagh on 05-10-13

A Little Disappointed

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

Reviewed: 01-11-13

I loved the first two books in this trilogy- this not so much. I was so looking forward to it's release and it just didn't do it for me.
I wondered whether it was because it had been a few years since I listened to the first two books, perhaps I'd lost the thread of the story, but I think I agree with other reviewers when they say that the narration let this book down.
It wasn't terrible but the book didn't come to life for me and I just didn't care anymore about this world that had fascinated me previously.
I love Margaret Atwood and her writing always appeals to me, unfortunately this was a disappointing end to what is a great trilogy.

  • Doctor Sleep

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,677
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,563
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,566

Stephen King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special 12-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Doctor Sleep

  • By jennifer on 26-12-13

Not What I Expected...

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

Reviewed: 01-11-13

What made the experience of listening to Doctor Sleep the most enjoyable?

Will Patton's narration was first class. As with some of King's best novels I really enjoy his writing when he focuses on the stories/ thoughts of the characters major and minor. In fact I would go as far as to say that really the main story line doesn't ever really do it for me in King's novels- it's all about the characterisation. This book is no exception, the story line is ok but the characters, places and situations are what make this novel so rich and full of life.My favourite King novels are The Stand, Under The Dome & 11/22/63 - this didn't quite reach the heights of these books for me but almost and certainly better than some of the others I've read. I actually enjoyed it more than The Shinning which surprised me.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doctor Sleep?

The reference to Charlie Manx from Joe Hill's N0S4R2 by Halloran, I love it when books cross reference!

Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favourite?

I loved his portrayal of all of the members of the True Knot, proper hicks!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Pretty much, towards the end I started to lose a little interest as all the action was jammed into the final third.

Any additional comments?

At times I felt that the narrative was a little clichéd and rushed, I loved the first two thirds but lost a little interest towards the end.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Light a Penny Candle

  • By: Maeve Binchy
  • Narrated by: Kate Binchy
  • Length: 19 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

As a child, Elizabeth was sent from her war-torn, rather loveless home in London to stay with a big, boisterous family in a small town in Ireland. There she meets Aisling, and begins what becomes a long-lasting friendship. Over the next 20 years, Aisling and Elizabeth's paths will cross and re-cross. As they face their loves, their marriages, and their disappointments, they realise that not all problems will be solved, nor all wishes granted by lighting a penny candle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Light a penny Candle

  • By Denise on 22-08-10

Great Start...Disappointing Ending

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

Reviewed: 10-07-13

What did you like best about Light a Penny Candle? What did you like least?

Narration was top of class, great character development. Rushed and out of character for the characters ending.

If you’ve listened to books by Maeve Binchy before, how does this one compare?

I've listened to Firefly Summer & Circle of Friends both had more rounded characters and a more believable plot/ ending.

What does Kate Binchy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She really does understand the characters, every book she narrates she takes me to Ireland and back, her accents and interpretations of the characters are spot on.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Possibly but they'd need to change the ending!

Any additional comments?

If you haven't read Binchey before I wouldn't necessarily start with this one, Circle of Friends is a better starting point. To be honest I think 3 stars is a bit mean- if I could I would have given 3.5 but 4 stars is just a step too far.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • NOS4R2

  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 19 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,044
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,043

Summer. Massachusetts. An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business.Anyone could be next. We're going to Christmasland . . .NOS4A2 is an old-fashioned horror novel in the best sense. Claustrophobic, gripping and terrifying, this is a story that will have you on the edge of the seat while you read, and leaving the lights on while you sleep.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic narration and an incredible story

  • By B. Webb on 21-12-16

Yes! Loved this Audiobook in every way!

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

Reviewed: 20-06-13

What made the experience of listening to NOS4R2 the most enjoyable?

The narrator was superb, fantastic gritty voice which really matched the atmosphere of the novel. Great characters, fantastic descriptive writing. Perfect!

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved all of the characters because they were just so well written.

What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

Wow, she has a fantastic gritty voice which matched the novel perfectly. I always say that a narrator can make or break an audiobook and she really did make this come alive for me.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I have a long journey to work and this book made it bearable!

Any additional comments?

As you may be aware Joe Hill is Stephen King's son, this novel really has all the best elements of some of my favourite King novels- I didn't know when listening to it that there was a connection but kept thinking this guy could give Stephen King a run for his money. Great audiobook, pleasure to listen!

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Lisey's Story

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Mare Winningham
  • Length: 18 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 405
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 279

Longlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.
Lisey Debusher Landon lost her husband, Scott, two years ago, after a 25-year marriage of the most profound and sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was a celebrated, award-winning novelist and a complex man. Lisey knew there was a dark place where her husband ventured to face his demons. Boo'ya Moon is what Scott called it ¿ a realm that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed to write and live.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Philomena on 11-12-06

Just A Bit Dull

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

Reviewed: 20-06-13

What disappointed you about Lisey's Story?

I just didn't connect with the Characters or story like I have done with other Stephen King books.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Meh, just ok. I just didn't love the book unfortunately.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Couldn't say, possibly the stuff about Booya Moon.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Lisey's Story?

I really didn't enjoy the book as a whole so is difficult to say what I would cut.

Any additional comments?

I really persevered with this one, I've had a long run of disappointing audiobooks which is frustrating (although thanks to Audible's wonderful exchange policy I haven't wasted any credits!) I wanted to see this one through. I just think I prefer the Stephen King novels where there are a host of characters and don't think I really connected with any of the characters in this book. I loved The Stand, Under the Dome and the one about JFK, so hopefully this is just a one off!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Twelve

  • Book Two of The Passage Trilogy
  • By: Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 26 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,195
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 958
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956

Death-row prisoners with nightmare pasts and no future…. Until they were selected for a secret experiment….to create something more than human.

Now they are the future and humanity's worst nightmare has begun. The Twelve is the epic sequel to The Passage. Read by Scott Brick.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • even better the second time

  • By TSUK79 on 17-07-16

Disappointed

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-11-12

Let me start by saying that I loved The Passage, the audio version was splendid, great characters, exciting narrative and brilliant writing. I have been looking forward to listening to The Twelve since I finished The Passage 2.5yrs ago, I downloaded it the day it came out. Boy was I in for a sugar crash.

Same great narration by Scott Brick and some great sections of writing but the book has been written so self consiously in the knowledge that it will be translated to the big screen it started to become annoying. There is character cliche after character cliche and no end of bad one liners. The narrative really didn't flow and I started to switch off and really not care what happened to the characters i had loved so much in The Passage. Such a shame that money and hype have some how taken away the soul of what this trilogy could have been.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Name of the Wind

  • The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 28 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 9,690
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,511
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,498

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the university at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By Robyn on 31-01-13

Outstanding Narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-05-12

I wasn't sure to start with whether I was going to enjoy this audiobook but a few hours in and I was hooked. Rupert Degas deserves so much praise for the narration of the book, he truly is one of the best narrators I have listened to- his ability to switch between a number of characters and the variety of accents is unbelievable. He really understands the characters and has made this series of books for me the most enjoyable part of my day - I spend 3 hrs in the car each day so this is a welcome distraction.
Fantastic writing as well, I'm about to finish the second book and am looking forward to the next installment.
If you loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for it's magic and excellent narration then you will love this even more.

39 of 43 people found this review helpful