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Cookie Monster

E Yorks, UK
  • 58
  • reviews
  • 51
  • helpful votes
  • 64
  • ratings
  • Born Survivors

  • By: Wendy Holden
  • Narrated by: Anne Dover
  • Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 103

Among millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944, Priska, Rachel and Anka each passed through its infamous gates with a secret. Strangers to each other, they were newly pregnant and facing an uncertain fate without their husbands. Alone, scared and with so many loved ones already lost to the Nazis, these young women were privately determined to hold on to all they had left: their lives and those of their unborn babies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A truly incredible story

  • By Mrs J M Blanc on 25-11-15

The more we remember the less we will repeat past mistakes

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

Beautifully told from survivors' own accounts.
An often horrific but ultimately uplifting listen about the indomitable human spirit.
Well worth a listen.

  • The Girl Before

  • By: JP Delaney
  • Narrated by: Emilia Fox, Finty Williams, Lise Aagaard Knudsen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,061
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,559
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,551

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultraminimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a rerun of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the listener off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense portrayal of psychological obsession.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping thriller

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-05-17

Couldn't finish it, ridiculous and trivialises rape

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

Reviewed: 15-11-18

The premise sounded interesting and there were some unexpected, harrowing topics covered but then it descended into a farcical imitation of 50 Shades.
Spoiler: A woman is orally raped by a burglar and then apparently wants to leap into bed with her enigmatic new landlord. Ridiculous.
Not for me.

  • Nine Perfect Strangers

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 523
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 486

The 10-day retreat at boutique health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises healing and transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage and absorb the blissful meditative ambiance while enjoying their hot stone massages. They are all on a path to a better way of living. Or at least a better waistline.... Watching over them is the resort's director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate these tired bodies and minds. But to what lengths will she go to achieve her goal? These nine perfect strangers have no idea what's about to hit them.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Did not like this book at all

  • By sabine on 21-10-18

Well crafted characters and swift moving plot.

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

Reviewed: 05-11-18

Liane Moriarty creates characters so vivid I can't help but be drawn in every time.
Some reviewers have criticised the events in the second half of the book for bordering on the ridiculous but I disagree. It's fiction and the characters' reactions and revelations are far more important.
Caroline Lee is one of my favourite narrators and my only niggle this time was the Russian accent in Marsha's chapters when Marsha wasn't even speaking. It gave the reader an audio cue but it wasn't necessary.
Overall highly recommended.

  • The Clockmaker's Daughter

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Joanne Froggatt
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared, a priceless heirloom is missing and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins. Over 150 years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable!

  • By Mrs. A. Hemsworth on 30-09-18

Strap yourself in, this one gallops along!

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

Reviewed: 13-10-18

I'm a big fan of all of Kate Morton's novels and also Joanne Froggatt. The Clock Makers Daughter doesn't disappoint in terms of threads being cleverly woven but pay attention, there are a lot of threads! It's the only Kate Morton novel where I've written down who is who to keep track but that may have been a symptom of the speed of the narration.
Joanne Froggatt narrates clearly although she does gallop through at a rate of knots! Her pace slows when she's doing accents and that was much better. Her accents are also excellent.

  • 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 954
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 890
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 886

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

Loose ends or devilishly clever?

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

Reviewed: 27-09-18

I can't decide if the ending just left more questions than answers or whether it was just very cleverly done.
Overall the story was well written and well paced but I felt it lacked closure for the reader. But that's just perhaps personal preference to have all the threads nicely tied up.
The performance was good although there was little variation in the characters voices which was confusing when starting/stopping listening in the middle of a chapter.

  • When You Disappeared

  • By: John Marrs
  • Narrated by: Simon Mattacks, Elizabeth Knowelden
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 865
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 770
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 764

All she wanted was the truth, but she'll wish she never found out. When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing - except him.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing - don't waste your credit

  • By Mav on 21-07-18

Twisty and engaging

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

Reviewed: 25-08-18

This is my second John Mars novel and again he's produced a riveting read.
The pace is good with twists and turns just where you need them and well drawn characters.
The narration is excellent and makes it easy to identify each character.

  • The House of Secrets

  • By: Sarra Manning
  • Narrated by: Karen Cass
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

When Zoe and Win move into their new home it's meant to be a fresh start. But pushed to the back of a cupboard is a suitcase - inside is a wedding dress, letters and a diary all belonging to a woman called Libby. Zoe follows Libby's trail across Europe, but when Libby's story takes a darker turn, Zoe becomes increasingly obsessed with discovering what really happened all those years ago.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • unputdownable

  • By A. Campbell on 31-08-17

It gets better the longer you listen.

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

I nearly gave up on this one because the portion of the story dedicated to Zoe was so annoying - what a wet lettuce. But Libby's story is far more intriguing because her character is more fully developed, she carries this book.
The narration was good although it was at times impossible to distinguish between male characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A God in Ruins

  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 995
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 914
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 911

Kate Atkinson’s dazzling Life After Life, one of the top-selling adult books of 2014, explored the possibility of infinite chances, as Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother, Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband, and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Moving and memorable

  • By Kirstine on 16-06-15

Well researched and very well written

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

Reviewed: 18-07-18

This is the first Kate Atkinson novel I've read and although the chronology of the plot confused me at times it was an entertaining and enlightening read.
The performance by Alex Jennings was excellent.

  • A Stranger in the House

  • By: Shari Lapena
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 477
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 444
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 443

You're waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You're making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day. That's the last thing you remember. You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident; you lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous part of town. The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend isn't so sure. And even you don't know what to believe....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bloody brill

  • By Johanna Laughton on 13-01-18

Much better than I was expecting

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

Reviewed: 01-07-18

The plot didn't grab me initially but as it progressed it got better and better and the twist at the end was very good.
The narration by Tavia Gilbert was very good.

  • The Nightingale

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 708
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 659
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 655

Bravery, courage, fear, and love in a time of war. Despite their differences sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband, Antoine, and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight, and Viann finds herself isolated, so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength are tested.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • hreatbreaking and horrifying story

  • By Lynda on 17-10-17

Heart rending yet wonderful.

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

I put off listening to this audio book for too long. Although the subject matter is horrific at times it is so sensitively handled and cleverly woven into a story of love, hope and the resilience of the human spirit.
I loved how all the threads were pulled together at the end.
Polly Stone's performance is perfect.
Highly recommended.