LISTENER

Kate

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 30
  • ratings
  • The Other Side of Silence

  • Bernie Gunther, Book 11
  • By: Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 470
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 424

It is 1956 on the French Riviera. A world-weary Bernie Gunther is working as concierge at the Grand Hotel, living under a false name. Then his past walks through the door in the shape of Harold Hennig, a former captain in the Nazi security service. Bernie never forgets a face, especially when it belongs to a mass murderer who, in 1945, was responsible for the deaths of thousands; among them a woman Bernie loved. Bernie has a score to settle with Hennig…

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • OK but not great

  • By Mark on 13-08-16

A true thriller

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

I’ve now become accustomed Geoff Harding reading - his America n accent was a surprise at first but it seem s to suit Bernie Gunther. This was a particularly enjoyable read as I like Somerset Maugham‘s books. To have him brought to life as a character in this novel was surprising and intriguing. Can’t wait to read Prussian Blue.

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,047
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,093

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Puts Bridget Jones in the shade

  • By Caroline Mitchell on 10-07-17

A different sort of popular fiction

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

One of those rare books that you want to listen to without interruption. I found the need to sleep an irritating disruption but then didn’t want to reach the end too soon. Beautifully read too.

  • A Breach of Security

  • By: Susan Hill
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 1 hr and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 601
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 518

When a bunch of neo-fascist thugs named The Bulldogs attack a Gay pride march in the sleepy country town of Lafferton, detective Simon Serrailler moves quickly to find the assailants. He’s already got his hands full making security arrangements for a memorial service to honour soldiers returning from Afghanistan. When anonymous threats come in, Serrailler wonders if the Bulldogs are behind these too - and worries that they know the Prince of Wales will be in attendance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely hard-hitting in an hour and a half

  • By Suswati on 27-10-16

Serrailler titbit

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

Reviewed: 29-05-18

Tantalising trailer - leaves you wanting a whole novel. I really wish there were more books featuring the wonderful Simon. I was devastated when Susan Hill retired him. Maybe she will do some flashbacks if his career really can’t be resurrected.

  • High-Rise

  • By: J. G. Ballard
  • Narrated by: Tom Hiddleston
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 939
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 878
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 880

From the author of the Sunday Times best seller Cocaine Nights comes an unnerving tale of life in a modern tower block running out of control. Within the concealing walls of an elegant forty-storey tower block, the affluent tenants are hell-bent on an orgy of destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on "enemy" floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for riots and technological mayhem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing Fable

  • By G. K. Lowell on 14-05-15

Beastly book

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

Reviewed: 28-05-18

Quite the most horrible book I’ve read. Persevered because I was curious to know how it ended. Not sure I’d inflict it on my worst enemy. I gather there’s a film but, despite Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons featuring, I won’t be watching it.

  • Winter: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945

  • By: Len Deighton
  • Narrated by: James Lailey
  • Length: 24 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174

Epic prelude to the classic spy trilogy Game, Set and Match that follows the fortunes of a German dynasty during two world wars. Winter takes us into a large and complex family drama, into the lives of two German brothers - both born close upon the turn of the century, both so caught up in the currents of history that their story is one with the story of their country, from the Kaiser's heyday through Hitler's rise and fall.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good overall

  • By Rob on 15-10-16

History clarified

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

Reviewed: 15-03-17

If you loved Game Set and Match, you'll appreciate this prequel - masterly and utterly absorbing

  • Hero: A Simon Serrailler Short Story

  • By: Susan Hill
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 117

When Simon Serrailler was a rookie constable with the Met, he did something reckless in the course of a night's work which caused a man's death. But his act was praised by his colleagues, and he was called a hero. Years later, now a detective chief superintendent who has been badly injured in the course of duty, he receives a medal for bravery at Buckingham Palace while recollecting that fateful night of his early career, when chance disguised itself as bravery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Neat prequal

  • By Vicuña on 09-08-16

Return from the dead

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

Reviewed: 17-08-16

Tantalising. Please resurrect Simon's career. Such a good series. We need more of it, please

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Spy Hook

  • By: Len Deighton
  • Narrated by: James Lailey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

The long-awaited reissue of the first part of the classic spy trilogy, Hook, Line and Sinker, when the Berlin Wall divided not just a city but a world. Working for the Department was like marriage is supposed to be--"'til death do us part"--but the Department is really not like that, and neither are many marriages, including that of Bernard Samson. The cool and cynical field agent of the Game, Set and Match trilogy has grown older and wiser.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The master of the spy story

  • By Mr Tristram Shandy on 13-02-15

Long-awaited second trilogy

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

Reviewed: 19-07-15

Brilliant writing and great narration. Ends on a knife edge. Can't wait to hear more. Please record third trilogy soon!

  • Brooklyn

  • By: Colm Tóibín
  • Narrated by: Niamh Cusack
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 501
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 454
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 458

It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and her home for the first time. Arriving in a crowded lodging house in Brooklyn, Eilis can only be reminded of what she has sacrificed. She is far from home - and homesick.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Irishwoman abroad

  • By Kate on 11-06-15

Irishwoman abroad

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

Reviewed: 11-06-15

Beautifully narrated. I found it hard to stop listening to it. Transported to an earlier time when life was lived at a slower pace, even in New York. But the problems of relationships remain the same whatever the era. I came to this novel via Norah Webster, his latest, and was interested to find mention of her in this. Would love a further instalment of this very Irish community.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

The Visitors cover art
  • The Visitors

  • By: Sally Beauman
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 20 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922, 11-year-old Lucy is caught up in the excitement that surrounds the hunt for Tutankhamun's tomb. When she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist, the two girls spy on the grown-ups and a lifelong bond is formed. Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the mistakes she made, Lucy disinters her past. And she finally comes to terms with what happened after Egypt, when Frances needed Lucy most.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A sad, sad, sad story

  • By Susi on 28-04-14

Egyptian treasure

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

Reviewed: 30-04-15

Fictional view of the archaeological searches of Lord Carnavon, Howard Carter and others in the Valley of the Kings in the 1920s. I love to learn history this way. A story that finishes at the end of the century with many twists and turns en route, beginning with Lucy as a child and ending with ... well, that would be telling. Convincingly read (lots of characters with widely differing accents). I love Sally Beaumann's novels and this might be my favourite. It's long but very rewarding - I'd recommend it!

  • The Garden of Evening Mists

  • By: Tan Twan Eng
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 187
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

Malaya, 1949. After a career spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, - herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp - seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya. There she meets the enigmatic Aritomo, an exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan. Yun Ling asks Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister. But the jungle holds secrets of its own…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best listen of 2012

  • By Sarah on 02-12-12

Haunting tale of rebirth

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

Reviewed: 12-07-14

If you could sum up The Garden of Evening Mists in three words, what would they be?

Unforgettable EnlighteningBeautiful

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aritomo - he is the wise man of the story; we see in him the complexities of loyalty which conflict induce. A figure of mystery too - his presence haunts all sections of the story.

Which character – as performed by Anna Bentinck – was your favourite?

Yun Ling - such a prickly and opinionated woman on first acquaintance but, as her story is unfolded, we see what has made her the way she is and understanding grows. Anna Bentinck's voices cope well with the emotions Yun Ling confronts and avoid any confusion that might arise for a listener..

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

War is a palette of many colours.

Any additional comments?

I have learned a great deal about the Pacific War from reading Tan Twan Eng's two novels. (The gift of rain is his first). They confirm for me the power of fiction in helping one to understand the differing stresses and consequences that military action places on populations caught up in conflicts.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful