LISTENER

Gary B.

Ireland
  • 44
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 66
  • ratings
  • Milkman

  • By: Anna Burns
  • Narrated by: Bríd Brennan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,521
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,392
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,388

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very, Very Good

  • By David M on 20-10-18

Powerful creation

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

Reviewed: 12-04-19

Lyrically written and what feels throughout like an accurate portrait of a place in time. Wonderful use of language particularly when using 'names'. Great moments throughout. Overall story was weaker - but I think the power of this book comes in its intimate glimpse into the life of a community. In the age of Brexit, this is a timely, intricate and in depth reminder of how things used to be.

  • Sal

  • By: Mick Kitson
  • Narrated by: Sharon Rooney
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354

This is a story of something like survival. Sal planned it for almost a year before they ran. She nicked an Ordnance Survey map from the school library. She bought a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs and a first aid kit from Amazon using credit cards she'd robbed. She read the SAS Survival Handbook and watched loads of YouTube videos. And now Sal knows a lot of stuff. Like how to build a shelter and start a fire. How to estimate distances, snare rabbits and shoot an airgun.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • beautifully written & read

  • By Joanne on 27-06-18

Good story, fabulous narration

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

Reviewed: 12-04-19

To my mind, this story was enhanced to greatness by the performance of the narrator. No showy tricks - just the thoughts of a traumatised child. Excellent.

  • A Home at the End of the World

  • By: Michael Cunningham
  • Narrated by: Colin Farrell, Dallas Roberts, Jennifer Van Dyke
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

It was the start of my second new life, in a city that had a spin of its own - a wilder orbit inside the earth's calm blue-green whirl. New York wasn't open to the hopelessness and lost purpose that drifted around lesser places.... Meet Bobby, Jonathan and Clare. Three friends, three lovers, three ordinary people trying to make a place for themselves in the harsh and uncompromising world of the '70s and '80s.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A book of its time

  • By Gary B. on 12-04-19

A book of its time

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

Reviewed: 12-04-19

Fits the 80s and 90s perfectly; nicely written and well paced. A bit of an abrupt finish which on reflection, fits perfectly.

  • Chocky

  • By: John Wyndham
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167

Matthew is a normal 11-year-old boy living with his parents and little sister in Surrey. He's too old and sensible to have an imaginary friend really. Yet when Matthew's parents keep finding him talking and arguing with a strange presence whom Matthew calls Chocky, that's what they believe it must be…at first. But Chocky is oddly sinister, and keeps asking Matthew all sorts of complicated questions about the world and making him behave in unusual and erratic ways. Then Matthew suddenly does something heroic, well beyond his capabilities; the media become interested and the interest in Matthew widens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Too good

  • By Alan on 14-03-13

I loved this

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

Reviewed: 12-04-19

Four and a quarter hours of brilliance. Just when a parent thought he had enough worries about adolescence, along comes Chocky. Fabulous. Give that man a posthumous Nobel prize for literature, please.

  • The Midwich Cuckoos

  • By: John Wyndham
  • Narrated by: Nathaniel Parker
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed - except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant. The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • John Wyndham... peerless.

  • By R. T. on 19-01-18

Another brilliant Wyndham

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

Reviewed: 12-04-19

Fastly becoming my favourite sci-fi writer of all time! Had read the Chrysalids in school and only came back to him recently - but he's just great and this is just great. And a nasty, uncomfortable denouement to close matters. Just what the very British doctor ordered.

  • Company of Liars

  • By: Karen Maitland
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 18 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,033
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,347
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,343

On this day of ill omen, plague makes its entrance. Within weeks, swathes of England will be darkened by death's shadow. While panic and suspicion flood the land, a small band of travelers comes together to outrun the breakdown in law and order. But when one of their number is found hanging from a tree, the chilling discovery confirms that something more sinister than plague is in their midst.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Medieval Road Movie - Well worth a listen

  • By I. Jamie on 02-02-09

A road movie set long before there were 'roads'

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

Reviewed: 12-04-19

Great characters with believable relationships and a shared fear of the plague, sett off on the road to avoid said plague while being pursued by ...
Fast paced and enjoyable; great set-pieces; ending couldn't match the journey but then, it was the journey that was the point.

  • Kafka on the Shore

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett, Oliver Le Sueur
  • Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,478
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,202
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,197

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at 15, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A new dimension of fiction and sleep

  • By Clare on 24-07-08

Haven't been as affected by a book in a long time

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

Reviewed: 12-04-19

A really moving piece of writing that I am not sure whether I liked or not because that didn't seem to matter. Moving, spiritual, funny, mythical; fast paced and meandering at the same time. Loved the characters and missed them when this ended. This will not be my last Murakami.

  • Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling

  • By: Emer McLysaght
  • Narrated by: Amy McAllister
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 619
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 561

Aisling is 28 and she’s a complete...Aisling. She lives at home in Ballygobbard (or Ballygobackwards, as some gas tickets call it) with her parents and commutes to her good job at PensionsPlus in Dublin. Aisling goes out every Saturday night with her best friend, Majella, who is a bit of a hames (she’s lost two phones already this year - Aisling has never lost a phone). They love hoofing into the Coors Light if they’re 'Out' or the vodka and Diet Cokes if they’re 'Out Out'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 10/10 chill and relaxation time

  • By Anonymous User on 28-10-18

I read this because I was stuck for a book...

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

Reviewed: 10-04-19

...and I'm really glad I did. Rollicking story, well told and well constructed; lots of obviousnesses which were nice and a few curve balls which added to the experience. It's a good story very well performed (well done Amy McAllister); nicely paced and captures a real sense of Ireland in the naughties.

  • The Book Thief

  • By: Markus Zusak
  • Narrated by: Allan Corduner
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,262
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,601
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,599

When nine-year-old Liesel arrives outside the boxlike house of her new foster parents at 33 Himmel Street, she refuses to get out of the car. Liesel has been separated from her parents, "Kommunists", forever, and at the burial of her little brother, she steals a gravedigger's instruction manual, which she can't read. It is the beginning of her illustrious career.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great listen

  • By Karen on 17-05-07

From start to finish, astonishing

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

Reviewed: 08-03-19

Really and truly, a stunning achievement. Brilliantly narrated; heart-breakingly sad. You walk with death throughout - who else could accompany you as you wander through German streets in WWII. You must listen to this.

  • Animal Farm

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Simon Callow
  • Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,953
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,592
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,583

Animal Farm is George Orwell's great socio-political allegory set in a farmyard where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours. However, as with all great political plans, some animals see a bigger share of the rewards than others and the animals start to question their supposed utopia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant classic, superbly read by Simon Callow

  • By Anthony on 15-06-14

Stunning

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

Reviewed: 07-02-19

Orwell is known as a seer for 1984 but Animal Farm is just as insightful and far-seeing as that novel. A short story 'fairytale' that explores power and Brexit through the medium of the farmyard. Amazing.