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Transformer Books

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Too Silly

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

Reviewed: 10-02-20

I like Holmes pastiche stories generally, and had great hopes of this series. However I found this just too silly, no sort of storyline, and the constant regional accents were overdone. Stopped when I couldn't bear it any longer.

Not very good and too much boring extras

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

Reviewed: 09-06-19


The later series are not nearly as sharp or funny as the early ones, and depend far too much on speech impediments and gobbledygook for its laughs. Not funny at all. The humour has always been silly, and loaded with unsuitable attitudes, which are also perceived as funny in themselves; however this series veers to the tasteless in the jokes and also in the stories. In addition about half this compilation is additions, interviews etc, and of little interest. The description does not exactly make this evident.

Harsh

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

Reviewed: 05-02-19

The other reviews all raved about it. Well, it looked like it would turn out a clever story, but too hard-edged and brutal for me. I'd like to have been warned that this isn't light entertainment, so I am submitting this as a counter to all the fanmail. No doubt it's very good of its kind, but it's not the kind of crime story I enjoy. There can be harsh portions in most crime stories but the unpleasantness described on his undercover mission for the drugs bust was the stopper for me. Didn't finish it, and that's a first. So, not so much a critique of the book, as a warning to others, because the introduction doesn't give a fair impression.

Not Typical Wodehouse

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

Reviewed: 05-02-19

An early Wodehouse, and pretty disappointing. Basically just a romance. Wodehouse is not on his form, this is neither witty nor outrageous nor daft nor zany and definitely not laugh-out-loud funny. And some of the descriptive passages go on a bit! Vintage Wodehouse never never wastes a word. This one was really not worth resurrecting as an audiobook. The narrator does a pretty good job, but I wouldn't want to listen again.

Sparkling

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

Reviewed: 23-11-18

This one is a joy from beginning to end, witty, charming, interesting, and the denouement delightfully unexpected. I have been a fan now through about a dozen Phryne audiobooks, and this has been the most purely enjoyable. They are always interesting, but many have a very dark side, to the point of harrowing in some cases, and this one is just sheer entertainment. A lot of fun.

Mainly Very Good

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

Reviewed: 23-11-18

A good series of Navy Lark, and contains many episodes not included in the set which the BBC has been cycling around iplayer for several years now. Only poor point about this one is the inclusion of some completely irrelevant uninteresting and unfunny, and rather lengthy, commentary material at the end. As all these later series do, it suffers from too much gobbledygook (speech impediment humour) raising howls of laughter from the audience. Very trying. For those who are searching out particular incidents or eras, this is the one with Murray and Rita getting wed.

SELF-INDULGENT

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

Reviewed: 24-08-18

A decent story and an interesting music aspect ruined by endless recitations and not very enjoyable singing. The emotional connection between the two men was overdone to the point of tedium, with far too much far too explicit sex. Always a fair amount of sex in the Phryne books, to make the point what a liberated and independent person she is, but here the long-drawn out scene is tiresome, and out of place in, essentially, a detective story. Also the ensuing change in character of the aggressive irritable egotist Rupert is entirely unbelievable, dewy-eyed idealism at its worst. As for the singing, Stephanie Daniel does a great narration, but she does seem to like singing, the passages here are far too long, far too frequent, not an attraction even to a music enthusiast; they contribute nothing to the flow. Pure self-indulgence. This audiobook could have benefited from some judicious editing. I have been a great fan of Phryne and Stephanie Daniel in 11 books so far, more or less, but this one is very disappointing.

Slow and Stupid

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

Reviewed: 23-08-18

This is a slow and tedious listen. The stupidity of the Superintendant is so blatant as to become really annoying. The narrator is fine, not much he can do with this endlessly drawn out story. But we devotees of detective fiction are used to being credited with a modicum of intelligence, and there is a limit to just how much sheer wilful incapacity to perceive the blindingly obvious we can tolerate. No use even as an insomnia cure, as it gets you so aggravated.

Impenetrable accents

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

Reviewed: 22-07-18

Quite a decent plot of the traditional village variety. Interesting and holds a reasonable pace. As so often happens it is marred by the narration. He's good at maintaining distinct characters, and certainly regional accents can add colour and atmosphere, but in this case, the heavy country accents are overdone to the point of distortion, and occasionally completely impenetrable. I found listening through these passages exceedingly wearing, and gave up for a while to give myself a rest from it.

Deeply Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 14-08-17

What did you like best about Mrs Pargeter's Public Relations? What did you like least?

As a fan of the early Mrs Pargeter books, I expected sparkling, witty and entertaining. I loved Mrs Pargeter. This book is none of the above. Dull, laboured, and a feeble story.

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

See above. I have already abandoned the Fetherings, for the introduction of gratuitous nastiness, and I should have known better, but I had hopes of Mrs Pargeter. Very disappointed.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration too is not up to the standard of his other audiobooks. Simon Brett used to be a wizard with voices and characters. Not so now. The narration mainly depends on accents for differentiation, there is no change in timbre or register for the different characters, and the voices are really really dull, as also is the narrative. Lumbering, in fact.

Do you think Mrs Pargeter's Public Relations needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No definitely not, for all the reasons given in other sections.

Any additional comments?

The continual leitmotiv of Mrs Pargeter's rejection of mention of her husband's crime career, (where her violet eyes become cool and distant), is not only entirely unbelievable but also endlessly repeated and endlessly irritating. The narrative is wordy, slow and dull, not at all the sharp witty style of past years. In fact the laboured narrative, and the repetition of character indicators, bear all the hallmarks of beginner's faults, which Brett patently isn't, or alternatively of utter contempt for his readers. The writing has no verve, no wit, no liveliness, and no humour except of the heaviest. It's as if he's coasting on past glories, doesn't seem to know when to give it up, or possibly views himself as a Grand Old Man of crime writing who can do no wrong..

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