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Monsieur Ghost

  • 15
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  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 63
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  • Jill the Reckless

  • By: P. G. Wodehouse
  • Narrated by: David Ian Davies
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    1.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 6

Young Jill Mariner, who sits comfortably at the lower end of upper-class society, is engaged to be married to the handsome Sir Derek Underhill. But life is full of surprises, and hers is about to be turned on its head. This classic tale from master humorist P. G. Wodehouse follows Jill from England to New York as she faces financial disaster, a broken engagement, familial troubles, work as a lowly chorus girl, and that which we all seek - the discovery of true love.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Gave up by 3rd chapter.

  • By kenneth on 24-08-14

Good book, poor quality performance

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

Reviewed: 27-02-15

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Of course not the major highlight in the vast output of Woodhouse, I nonetheless greatly enjoyed the story. It is the performance and sound quality that are lacking.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jill the Reckless?

Freddie - a Bertie type (and it has been argued that he is the precursor of Bertie, so for this reason alone the book is worth checking out)

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of David Ian Davies?

Frederick Davidson - the best Wodehouse narrator. Otherwise go for Jonathan Cecil, who narrates most of the Wodehouse books available on Audible.

What character would you cut from Jill the Reckless?

No idea - they all fit

Any additional comments?

Audible - record the audiobook anew with a different narrator and get the sound right. Sounds like David Ian Davies is calling from a callbox and the way he tells the story suggests he wants to get as many words in as possible before the coins run out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien

  • Inspector Maigret; Book 4
  • By: Georges Simenon, Linda Coverdale (translator)
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

Georges Simenon's haunting tale about the lengths to which people will go to escape from guilt, translated by Linda Coverdale as part of the new Penguin Maigret series. A first ink drawing showed a hanged man swinging from a gallows on which perched an enormous crow. And there were at least twenty other etchings and pen or pencil sketches that had the same leitmotif of hanging. On the edge of a forest: a man hanging from every branch.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The follies of youth

  • By Monsieur Ghost on 07-07-14

The follies of youth

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

If you could sum up The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien in three words, what would they be?

Regret, Regret, Regret

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien?

Not spoiling it for everyone, and thus not giving any details, but has to be Maigrets unwitting involvement in the death of somebody, the conclusion of the story and the significance of the hanged man

What about Gareth Armstrong’s performance did you like?

He is a proper voice actor, who manages to convey the right atmosphere every time.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end - thinking of the children.

Any additional comments?

In some ways one of the more grim books of Simenon featuring Maigret, who this time finds himself more than a little involved in the whole sorry business and in a serious predicament as what to do in the end.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Yellow Dog

  • Inspector Maigret; Book 6
  • By: Georges Simenon, Linda Asher (translator)
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 3 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Georges Simenon's gripping tale of small town suspicion and revenge, part of the new Maigret series. There was an exaggerated humility about her. Her cowed eyes, her way of gliding noiselessly about without bumping into things, of quivering nervously at the slightest word, were the very image of a scullery maid accustomed to hardship. And yet he sensed, beneath that image, glints of pride held firmly in check. She was anaemic. Her flat chest was not formed to rouse desire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not a black dog, but a yellow one as a bad omen

  • By Monsieur Ghost on 07-07-14

Not a black dog, but a yellow one as a bad omen

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

Would you listen to The Yellow Dog again? Why?

In time, yes, when the details have escaped my memory.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Yellow Dog?

Maigret caring for the dog

What about Gareth Armstrong’s performance did you like?

Different voices for different people - narrates with "precision". Puts emphasis on words exactly where that is needed. Not hurried. Maybe it is just me, but his voice for Maigret reminds me of the voice of the TV Maigret, portrayed by Michael Gambon.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Has to be helping the injured dog.

Any additional comments?

Another dark and brooding mystery by an author who is an absolute master of painting a picture of the human psyche with few words. Things are also never that black and white in Maigret books - the criminal is never necessarily 100% the bad guy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Hangman's Song

  • Inspector McLean, Book 3
  • By: James Oswald
  • Narrated by: Ian Hanmore
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,041
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 965
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 967

The body of a man is found hanging in an empty house. To the Edinburgh police force this appears to be a simple suicide case. Days later another body is found. The body is hanging from an identical rope and the noose has been tied using the same knot. Then a third body is found. As Inspector McLean digs deeper he descends into a world where the lines of reality are blurred and where the most irrational answers become the only explanations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A MUST AUDIO BOOK

  • By Animal lover on 05-03-14

The story continues....

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

Reviewed: 01-07-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, definitely. However, as this is book 3 in the series, I would also need to recommend books 1 and 2 to them. The "investigation" is standalone, but not the underlying story about Inspector McLean and his friends (and enemies).

What did you like best about this story?

Those moments where you are wondering whether you are dealing with something supernatural or not.

What does Ian Hanmore bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He is a proper voice actor and thus brings the story fully alive

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

Multiple hangings. Everybody thinks it is suicide, but is a clever hangman on the loose preying on vulnerable people?

Any additional comments?

Bring on nr4 as an audiobook!

  • Thou Shell of Death: Nigel Strangeways, Book 2

  • By: Nicholas Blake
  • Narrated by: Kris Dyer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Fergus O'Brien, a legendary World War One flying ace with several skeletons hidden in his closet, receives a series of mocking letters predicting that he will be murdered on Boxing Day. Undaunted, O'Brien throws a Christmas party, inviting everyone who could be suspected of making the threats, along with private detective Nigel Strangeways. But despite Nigel's presence, the former pilot is found dead, just as predicted, and Nigel is left to aid the local police in their investigation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Crack this nut

  • By Monsieur Ghost on 23-06-14

Crack this nut

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

Reviewed: 23-06-14

If you could sum up Thou Shell of Death: Nigel Strangeways, Book 2 in three words, what would they be?

Classical convoluted whodunnit

What was one of the most memorable moments of Thou Shell of Death: Nigel Strangeways, Book 2?

Nigel visiting Ireland

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Nigel being invited for a sparring bout

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It is light-hearted entertainment in the style of Agatha Christie and others - all about a gentleman sleuth. To enjoy, but not particularly moving.

Any additional comments?

Nicholas Blake is the pseudonym of Cecil Day-Lewis (yup, father of Daniel Day-Lewis). He was a professor in English Literature, specifically poetry, and taught poetry in Oxford. That is apparent in this book and others in the series. The language is in places quite rich and fruity, there are numerous references to poets and quotations from their work, and the odd reference to Oxford. Nigel Strangeways may be a gentleman sleuth, but on many occasions he comes across as an eccentric Oxford don and bachelor. The narrator actually portrays him thus as well, making him sound somewhat older than he apparently is. In the previous book he drank enormous amounts of tea, and although very fond of it still, his consumption is somewhat less in this book. The narration is excellent by the way.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Grand Banks Café

  • Inspector Maigret, Book 9
  • By: Georges Simenon, David Coward Translator
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

Sailors don't talk much to other men, especially not to policemen. But after Captain Fallut's body is found floating near his trawler, they all mention the Evil Eye when they speak of the Ocean's voyage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good yarn full of humanity

  • By Andrew Lyndon-Skeggs on 11-09-17

Delilah and the cod-fishers

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

Reviewed: 17-06-14

Would you listen to The Grand Banks Café again? Why?

Yes, in a few years time, when the finer details of the story have slipped my memory.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Not entirely suprised

Which character – as performed by Gareth Armstrong – was your favourite?

Apart from Maigret himself of course, the brawling sailor, worried about that "wallet-business".

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and I did.

Any additional comments?

In the series that is published so far ...its nr 8), this was the weakest story. Perhaps I should rephrase that. Weakest detective story. Simenon mostly uses the detective genre to tell little stories about human drama, and colours in the grey areas in the crimes committed. This book was very much a novella about how men can be, and were, driven to distraction by a Delilah figure. The "crime" element in the book felt a bit forced, and there most definitely was not an investigation as such. Maigret walks into the drama on his holidays, ferrets the story out of people, and then simply walks away again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Crime in Holland

  • Inspector Maigret; Book 8
  • By: Georges Simenon, Sian Reynolds (Translator)
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 3 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

When a French professor visiting the quiet Dutch coastal town of Delfzjil is accused of murder, Maigret is sent to investigate. The community seem happy to blame an unknown outsider, but there are people much closer to home who seem to know much more than they're letting on: Beetje, the dissatisfied daughter of a local farmer; Any van Elst, sister-in-law of the deceased; and, of course, a notorious local crook.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Maigret ruffles some Dutch feathers

  • By Monsieur Ghost on 17-06-14

Maigret ruffles some Dutch feathers

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

Reviewed: 17-06-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

take a train journey through the North of The Netherlands and listen to the book whilst gazing out of the window. Enjoyable and relaxing...

Who was your favorite character and why?

Maigret himself. Although Simenon is a master at making his characters come alive with the minimum of words, it is the main man himself that is developed best throughout the series, including this one.

What about Gareth Armstrong’s performance did you like?

Different voices for different people. Small note of criticism, - Gareth Armstrong can be forgiven for not speaking Dutch, but I would have thought the production team and the narrator would have verified how to pronounce the Dutch words spoken here and there in the book. I do speak Dutch and spend quite a while figuring out what he was on about.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It is not the kind of book really to be "moved" by.

Any additional comments?

As usual with Simenon, in my opinion, the "detective element" is the authors device to tell the story of a human drama in a close-knit community, and that seeking justice is not always what everybody wants.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Night at the Crossroads

  • Inspector Maigret; Book 7
  • By: Georges Simenon, Linda Coverdale (translator)
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

A new translation of Georges Simenon's sensational tale of deceit and back-stabbing in an isolated community, part of the new Maigret series. Maigret has been interrogating Carl Andersen for 17 hours without a confession. He's either innocent or a very good liar. So why was the body of a diamond merchant found at his isolated mansion? Why is his sister always shut away in her room? And why does everyone at Three Widows Crossroads have something to hide?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The French Bonnie?

  • By Monsieur Ghost on 23-05-14

The French Bonnie?

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

Reviewed: 23-05-14

Where does The Night at the Crossroads rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 25%

What did you like best about this story?

Maigret almost being bamboozled by Else

What about Gareth Armstrong’s performance did you like?

Very good in portraying different voices. The voice he does for Maigret actually reminds me of the Maigret portrayed by Michael Gambon on the telly.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Kept me spellbound

Any additional comments?

Enjoyed this book a lot - Simenon conjures up, as usual, a dark and brooding atmosphere. What I personally find interesting is the "American" element. A (large) gang involved in drugs and jewellery smuggling, bumping people off along the way. There is even a drive-by shooting. The book was written in 1931, when similar real-life gangs were starting to capture the imagination in the United States. Bonnie and Clyde, for example, operated roughly between 1931 and 1934. Else actually has got more than a touch of Bonnie (Parker) about her: enigmatic, seductive, high-necked dress (B&W photos of Bonnie portray her thus), chain-smoking and although not shooting anybody dead, wielding a gun around.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Autographs in the Rain

  • Bob Skinner, Book 11
  • By: Quintin Jardine
  • Narrated by: James Bryce
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

As Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner takes an evening stroll with Louise Banks, an old flame and now a film star, it seems his biggest worry is that a new colleague is scheming to enlarge his territory at Skinner's expense. But when a frightening shot-gun attack sends them diving for cover, it seems danger has chosen to zero in on him once again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Super Bob

  • By Monsieur Ghost on 22-05-14

Super Bob

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

Reviewed: 22-05-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Autographs in the Rain to be better than the print version?

Well, both are good - just different formats

What was one of the most memorable moments of Autographs in the Rain?

The death of the old man in the bath and subsequent revelations about his sordid life.

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

The whole of the Skinner series is narrated by James Bryce, which provides a pleasing consistency when one listens to the books in succession. As usual, James is on top form.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I am a fan of the Skinner series, but I am still not entirely sure why to be honest, which sounds kind of weird. The thing is, the plots are at times too fantastic to be believable and I am not sure I actually like Bob Skinner, or for that matter his wife and daughter. Funnily enough the most sympathetic in their household is a kid they adopted. Of course he is special as well - sole survivor of a plane crash, both parents bumped off in different books - and highly intelligent. Bob is super Bob - super lover, super strong, super amateur golfer and super smart. He effectively rules Edinburgh. He has one superior, but that is "not a real policeman" as often stated, and politicians have a rather hard time reigning him in. He surrounds himself with friends, and promotes at least one or two of them per book. He should be desk bound, but solves the crimes usually himself, punching (and shooting) his way through the books. Although he sometimes makes an arrest, he usually does not hesitate to shoot his suspects, up close or sniper-like, or even rip their heads off (almost literally). When his marriage goes through a bad patch, both him and his wife have affairs with people who wish to do them harm (directly or indirectly). They are taken care off, which is that. And oh yes, his wife's father of course played footie with Kennedy, as you do, and Bob en passant also solves that little shooting from years back. In this book Bob meets an old lover, an actress. Not your everyday one, but one that apparently has won, at a ridiculously young age, such a slew of awards (Oscars and BAFTAs) that would actually mean she is one the greatest actresses there has ever been. Hmmm.....Sure, Skinner has weak sides, and the author has tried to portray this and that not everything works out well for Skinner, but it is marginal. But....I keep picking up the next instalment in the series every time as I am curious what fantastic story-line Quintin Jardine, the author, has dreamt up this time. It is a saga effectively :-)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Past Reason Hated

  • A Novel of Suspense
  • By: Peter Robinson
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 51

A picturesque Yorkshire village is dressed in its finest for the upcoming Noel. But one of its residents will not be celebrating this holiday. Chief Inspector Alan Banks knows that secrecy can sometimes prove fatal---and secrets were the driving force behind Caroline Hartley's life...and death. She was a beautiful enigma, brutally stabbed in her own home three days prior to Christmas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really good read

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-01-15

Laudate

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-04-13

I am a huge fan of the DCI Banks books, and although all of them are very good, a few stand out - this being one of them. For one, I was listening to it around Christmas time, and it is set around that time. For another, it fleshes out Banks's character quite a bit, and makes frequent references to his musical tastes. In fact music seems to play a big role in this book. So much so, that I bought the CD of music mentioned in the book, and went on to write a review about the CD as well!



Vivaldi wrote four different versions of Laudate pueri Dominum (RV600-RV603), differing in tone and mood. Personally I used to like the RV600 version the best as it is the most solemn. RV601 can be somewhat more frivolous, and many sopranos seem keen to let their vocal skills loose on it, making it sound even less solemn and too "frilly" in my opinion. So, I have never been too keen on RV601.

The Magda Kalmar RV601 recording seems to play a key role in trying to uncover who murdered a young woman, and the why. According to Banks, this version is also the best of all the Laudate pueri versions and recordings. Thus intrigued I bought it and played it as the soundtrack to the book, as Peter Robinson does in a way, by mentioning it in the narrative as playing, over and over again. I have to agree with Banks, it is a great recording and makes for an interesting experience in combination with reading the book.



Of all the Banks books, this book conjures up most of an "athmosphere" for me, draws you in, makes you want to draw the curtains and put the Kalmar CD on - it is in fact almost like a classical who-dunnit (excuse the pun....).



It is easy to see why the rest of the series became so popular, and long may Peter Robinson write the Banks mysteries....



2 of 2 people found this review helpful