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Steena

  • 14
  • reviews
  • 40
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  • 156
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One of the very best!

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

Reviewed: 22-08-20

The fusion of Rachel Joyce’s imagination, and her sensitive and skilful writing with Celia Imrie’s superb delivery, make this one of the best books I have ever listened to. It is a very fitting companion to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry; they fit together to tell you both halves of the story. Beautifully written and beautifully read. You are really missing out if you don’t listen to these two books.

Fascinating but a bit depressing!

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

Reviewed: 17-08-20

This is an extremely interesting and very well written book. The Secret Barrister has an accomplished and engaging way with words, which Jack Hawkins brings to life with his skilful and entertaining delivery. I feel that I gained a great insight into the legal system and learned much about the various players involved. As a lay person, I had no understanding of the constraints and barriers which defendants, victims, juries, solicitors and barristers face. It is quite frightening and not a little depressing that our 'great legal' system may be so broken. The legacy of this book is that since finishing listening, I have thought about several of the stories told and wondered how and where these people now are. It was also enjoyable learning about the history of English Law and how it has evolved overtime to be where it is today.

Mixed feelings

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

Reviewed: 16-09-19

This is a harrowing and tragic story involving a large cast of characters. I had to stop the recording a few times to remind myself who someone was and what part they played. One of the characters says towards the end that he’s a bit confused..I could sympathise! However, I’d pretty much guessed much of the ending by the time we got there. And getting there took quite a while! The story did go on and on; maybe some pruning would have added to the tension at the end. The police chief and the Roman Catholic Church do not fare well. There are quite a number of unlikeable characters in high positions. Having said that, I have thought about the story several times since it finished which means it had an impact and I’m going to give Patricia Gibney another go by listening to one of her other books. This may not the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s not the worst by a very long way. Let’s see what happens to Lottie and Boyd next!

Riveting story; sublime narration

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

Usually when I finish an audible book, I have the next book lined up and off we go! But having just finished ‘Absolute Proof’, I want to keep thinking about the story and pondering the possibilities it presents. It really is an intriguing storyline, made even more fascinating by knowing that it was inspired by a real event. Throughout the story, I wondered how on earth Peter James would end it. I really hoped it wouldn’t be cheesy and it didn’t disappointed. Hugh Bonneville’s narration is awesome. His accents and interpretation of each personality made the characters come alive. It wasn’t hard to see why Peter James personally chose Hugh to narrate his story. This is a book which will stay in my mind for a long time to come. Highly recommended!

4 people found this helpful

Hallelujah, it’s finally come to an end!

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

Reviewed: 17-11-18

What an implausible story! And how long can an author drag out an ending? If I’d been the editor, I’d have been saying....’prune, prune, prune!’ Frankly, I was simply groaning during the final chapters....’please hurry up and finish!’

1 person found this helpful

Now this is really good!

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

Reviewed: 21-03-16

If you could sum up The Ballroom in three words, what would they be?

Compelling, insightful, memorable

What did you like best about this story?

It is very atmospheric with strong characterisation. As I understand it, the maxim for writing a good story is.... 'show, rather than tell'. This did just that. Many years ago I had a work meeting at the place on which this is loosely based and I could visualise it so clearly. The ending is also robust and fitting. The day after I finished listening to this, I bought the book to give to a friend as a gift... it's that good.

Have you listened to any of Daniel Weyman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, this was the first, but I was very impressed. Great job, Daniel. Thank you.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I think something similar has been written elsewhere about it being the British version of One flew over the cuckoo's nest.

Any additional comments?

Do read...

5 people found this helpful

A totally implausible storyline.

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

Reviewed: 21-03-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I am amazed that anyone thought this was good. The story line is totally implausible and fatuous. It was more like a grizzly fairy tale than anything that would happen in real life. It is quite literally a 'story' and not a very good one at that. I was so pleased when it came to an end.

Would you ever listen to anything by M. J. Arlidge again?

No

Which scene did you most enjoy?

None

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Still trying to think of something...

14 people found this helpful

The Back Road cover art

Thank goodness this book has come to an end!

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

Reviewed: 27-09-14

What could Rachel Abbott have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This story is so contrived and long winded, The plot is so thin it could have been told in 5 minutes rather in hours and hours. I'm also incensed that Ms Abbott thinks it is acceptable to portray woman in this non-assertive and puerile fashion. Ellie, the central character, frankly deserved everything she got (and managed to avoid) by being the most incompetent and ineffectual person ever. I wanted to reach through the sound system and give her a jolly good slap for letting down the female race by being so totally non assertive and stupid. Ms Abbott, do you really know woman who are as incompetent as this? And what an utterly stupid ending...

Would you listen to another book narrated by Penny McDonald?

Yes - apart from the attempt to give the policeman an unnecessary northern accent, Penny McDonald did a really great job.

Gripping from start to finsh

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

Reviewed: 14-09-14

If you could sum up Life or Death in three words, what would they be?

Wait and see!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Life or Death?

When you discover why Audie Palmer escapes the day before his official release date.

Which character – as performed by John Chancer – was your favourite?

Probably Audie or Moss...but there were a lot of others besides. John Chancer is truly excellent and really brought the characters to life...

Gripping and absorbing - didn't want it to end!

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

Reviewed: 09-07-14

Any additional comments?

This story is captivating from the moment it begins. I found myself thinking about the story throughout the day and couldn't wait to get back into my car to listen to the next chapter. Gripping story which is brilliantly narrated. So disappointed when it finished. I just wanted it to go on and on. You're missing out if you don't listen to this one!