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  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 162
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  • House of Cards

  • House of Cards Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Michael Dobbs
  • Narrated by: Samuel West
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

Michael Dobbs’ entertaining tale of skulduggery and intrigue within the Palace of Westminster has been a huge hit with the public. Its scheming hero, Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, who uses fair means and foul to become Prime Minister, is one of the best-known characters of the last decade - the politician we all love to hate. Acclaimed for its authenticity and insights into a secret world - the result of many years working behind the scenes for the Conservative Party - it became a highly popular, award-winning BBC TV series, with Francis Urquhart memorably portrayed by Ian Richardson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Time to lay the cards on the table

  • By Alistair on 10-08-18

excellent - a wicked insight into British Estab.

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

Reviewed: 17-07-18

Gripping from start to finish. Best narrator on your books. Can't wait for book 2

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Gaudy Night

  • Lord Peter Wimsey, Book 12
  • By: Dorothy L Sayers
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 141
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143

The best of the golden age crime writers, praised by all the top modern writers in the field including P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers created the immortal Lord Peter Wimsey. The twelfth book featuring Lord Peter (the third novel to feature Harriet Vane) is set in an Oxford women's college. Harriet Vane has never dared to return to her old Oxford college. Now, despite her scandalous life, she has been summoned back.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Awful performance nearly spoils good book

  • By Annemarie on 28-07-16

Sayers needed a ruthless editor

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

Reviewed: 19-03-18

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The jerky, spitting style of the reader spoils the book

What did you like best about this story?

The Wimsey Vane romance resolution, The detective work is fun and original

Would you be willing to try another one of Jane McDowell’s performances?

No. Couldn't stand the jerky style. Totally overdoes the attempt to 'spit out' upper crust speak.

Was Gaudy Night worth the listening time?

Yes. But i wish it had been a different reader or in a dramatised form.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Thirty-Nine Steps

  • By: John Buchan
  • Narrated by: Robert Powell
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 782
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 590
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 594

An espionage thriller that has been called the first great spy novel, it has sustained its popularity, being embraced by each new generation. The first in a series of five novels it features the spy Richard Hannay, an action hero with a stiff upper lip who gets caught up in a dangerous race against a plot by German spies to destroy the British war effort. When Richard Hannay offers sanctuary to an American agent seeking his help in stopping a political assassination, he takes the first step on a trail of peril and espionage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Exiting thriller, with insights into a bygone era.

  • By Harold on 10-06-08

Excellent - a masterclass in writing.

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

Reviewed: 05-12-17

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

It is so much better than any of the distorted films made of the book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Thirty-Nine Steps?

I would look for more by author and certainly look out for the narrator.

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

Excellent narrator.Does not intrude actor type over emphasis or irritating over dramatic performance. Id listen to him again anytime, reading the phone book if you like.

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

Stay true to the book.

Any additional comments?

As thrilling as I remember when I read it at school. Timeless. Accept the few non PC comments as a sign of the time it was written and be thankful that we've moved on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Black Diamonds

  • The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty
  • By: Catherine Bailey
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 15 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 678
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 472
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 471

Wentworth is today a crumbling and forgotten palace in Yorkshire. Yet just 100 years ago it was the ancestral pile of the Fitzwilliams' - an aristocratic clan whose home and life were fuelled by coal mining. This is the story of their spectacular decline: of inheritance fights; rumours of a changeling and of lunacy; philandering earls; illicit love; war heroism: a tragic connection to the Kennedys'; violent deaths: mining poverty and squalor; and a class war that literally ripped apart the local landscape.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By Colin on 19-02-09

Excellent read

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

Reviewed: 28-04-17

What made the experience of listening to Black Diamonds the most enjoyable?

The huge slice of history covered in the writing of one family's rise and fall.

What did you like best about this story?

Everything

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

Yes, He always gives a very good performance without intruding his own personality. Very good intelligent reader.

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

The mindless adherence to dogma and utter heartlessness and hypocrasy of the Kennedy family towards their own daughter & sister.

Any additional comments?

I would read another Catherine Bailey book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Think of a Number

  • By: John Verdon
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196

It begins with a letter... The letter contains a request - think of a number, any number - and a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope is that number... When Dave Gurney, retired NYPD homicide detective, is contacted by an old college acquaintance about some startling letters he’s been receiving, it is at first little more than a diverting but sinister puzzle. Until the acquaintance is brutally killed.Suddenly Gurney finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation that makes no sense.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A gripping tale

  • By Paul on 11-01-12

Get rid of Geurney's whingeing wife

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

Reviewed: 28-04-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Think of a Number to be better than the print version?

Yes because it was very well read with understanding and respect for characters.

What did you like best about this story?

The plot was intriguing

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

Irritation at the boring wife character.

Any additional comments?

I've read two of Verdon's book and whilst I like the plot lines I am bored and irritated by the whingeing wife character. I probably won't read another unless he gets rid of the wife and Guerney man's up and tells her to shut it. It's a detective novel not Come into the Garden Maud and stake the roses or prune the apple trees. Yuk.

  • A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: Michael Tudor Barnes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 693
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 648
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 645

Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Retold with Gripping Narrative

  • By Avril Sawers on 14-10-14

Fascinating Read

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

Reviewed: 04-03-17

Would you listen to A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal again? Why?

Yes and I would strongly recommend it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal?

Too many really, but will single out the ease with which the Establishment threw George Blake to the wolves because he was not "One of Us".

What about Michael Tudor Barnes’s performance did you like?

Very well read. Pleasant voice to listen to and a good intelligent delivery.

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

Disgust at how the Establishment is prepared to protect its own. The Secret Service is just one long booze up with the 'right people' at the 'right clubs'.

Any additional comments?

An insight into how class ridden UK power base really is. For heaven sake do come from the "right school & class".

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Black Door: Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers

  • By: Richard Aldrich, Rory Cormac
  • Narrated by: Tom Clegg
  • Length: 25 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

The Black Door explores the evolving relationship between successive British Prime Ministers and the intelligence agencies, from Asquith's Secret Service Bureau to Cameron's National Security Council. At the beginning of the 20th Century the British intelligence system was underfunded and lacked influence in government. But as the new millennium dawned, intelligence had become so integral to policy that it was used to make the case for war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Utterly fabulous

  • By NickNoodles on 20-09-16

Real insight into Establishment working ofUK

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

Reviewed: 04-03-17

Would you consider the audio edition of The Black Door: Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers to be better than the print version?

The rather disjointed reading style almost spoiled it but the content was so interesting that I persisted and learned a lot.

What didn’t you like about Tom Clegg’s performance?

Send him to America to learn from George Guidall or ask Samuel West to give him some lessons on narration.

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

Enlightened me about the part of Old Boy Networks in British Politics.

Any additional comments?

Well researched and informative.

  • The Murder Bag

  • By: Tony Parsons
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,266

Twenty years ago seven students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter's Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Detective Max Wolfe follows the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the corridors of power. As the bodies pile up, Max finds he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Standard, but a high standard

  • By Philip on 05-04-15

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 11-06-14

What did you like most about The Murder Bag?

Hope this is just the first of Woolf books. Likeable characters, gripping, interesting plot,maintains suspense to the end.

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

Excellent,intelligent reader - respects the words and doesn't feel that he has to be Olivier, (One of them was more than enough.)Brings the character to life. Perfect voice for main character. Please use him more often

6 of 6 people found this review helpful