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L. Mcfarlane

Saltburn-by-the-sea
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  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 272
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The Secrets of Wishtide cover art
  • The Secrets of Wishtide

  • By: Kate Saunders
  • Narrated by: Charlotte Strevens
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

Mrs Laetitia Rodd is the impoverished widow of an Archdeacon: she is also a private detective of the utmost discretion. In winter 1850, she is asked by Sir James Calderstone to investigate the background of an 'unsuitable' woman his son intends to marry. In the guise of governess, she travels to the family seat, Wishtide, where she discovers that the Calderstones have more to hide than most. As their secrets unfold, the case takes an unpleasant turn when a man is found dead outside a tavern.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Delightful

  • By Linda on 24-03-17

No secrets, obvious plot

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

Reviewed: 02-05-17

Would you try another book written by Kate Saunders or narrated by Charlotte Strevens?

Well written but formulaic. This is the first in a series of six, according to Amazon, and the characters are all there but there just isnt any plot. Take out the two murders and make it a Victorian romance!

Has The Secrets of Wishtide put you off other books in this genre?

No

What about Charlotte Strevens’s performance did you like?

Narrator is splendid, her male voices are gruff and she nails the different voices of the many female characters in this book, so I was never confused about who was speaking

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A Dog Called Dez cover art
  • A Dog Called Dez

  • The True Story of How One Amazing Dog Changed His Owner's Life
  • By: John Tovey, Veronica Clark
  • Narrated by: Philip Ormond
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

When John Tovey lost his sight at the age of 42, he thought his life was over. He was wrong, it was just beginning. John had followed a bad path drifting in and out of trouble. He was sent to improvement schools, a young offenders institute and eventually a prison. John was on self-destruct and thought nothing or no one could help him. Then he became the victim of a vicious attack by a notorious train ‘steaming’ gang. John knew he had to take the witness stand.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • American narrator spoils story

  • By L. Mcfarlane on 20-04-17

American narrator spoils story

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

Reviewed: 20-04-17

Vibrant tale of John and Dez, spoiled by American accent. Pronunciation of "bloke", "nutty boy" and "lad" made me cringe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Easily Distracted cover art
  • Easily Distracted

  • By: Steve Coogan
  • Narrated by: Steve Coogan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 870
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 793
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 787

Steve Coogan was born and raised in Manchester in the 1960s, the fourth of six children. From an early age, he entertained his family with impressions and was often told he should "be on the telly". Failing to get into any of the London-based drama schools, he accepted a place at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre and before graduating had been given his first break as a voice artist on the satirical puppet show Spitting Image. The late '80s and early '90s saw Coogan developing characters.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Self conscious autobiography.

  • By Mr Duncan J Burden on 15-12-15

Awful book, awful reader, avoid

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

Reviewed: 25-01-17

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

No idea

Has Easily Distracted put you off other books in this genre?

I love biographies, Coogan should be ashamed of this collection of dross, read in a monotone

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Steve Coogan?

Alan Partridge perhaps (joking)

What character would you cut from Easily Distracted?

Everyone but Philomena

The Invention of Wings cover art
  • The Invention of Wings

  • By: Sue Monk Kidd
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye
  • Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 710
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 661
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 659

From the celebrated author of the international bes tseller The Secret Life of Bees comes an extraordinary novel about two exceptional women. Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimke is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful listen

  • By s w on 06-05-15

The power of a woman

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

Reviewed: 03-12-15

If you could sum up The Invention of Wings in three words, what would they be?

enlightening
engrossing
enchanting

What did you like best about this story?

This book is a history lesson told with heart and vibrancy. The book starts in 1811, just 200 years ago but a very different time.

Which character – as performed by Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye – was your favourite?

I adored Nina, she brought a lightness and happiness to the book, to counteract the terrible wicked events happening around her

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

When Charlotte returned home, to hear about the hardships she had been through and the kindness that enveloped her in her last days.

The Martian cover art
  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17,603
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,567
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16,536

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exhilarating adventure. Brilliantly executed.

  • By Kaggy on 30-08-14

Perfect example of a book that needs to be read

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

Reviewed: 05-01-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Martian to be better than the print version?

Yes, it is the perfect example of a book that is exactly why audio is a great idea

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Martian?

I enjoyed all of the book, it is all memorable

Any additional comments?

Apart from a couple of dodgy accents, this is a MUST HEAR read, works well as an audio book and very enjoyable

The Vintage Girl cover art
  • The Vintage Girl

  • By: Hester Browne
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 181

When Evie Nicholson is asked to visit Kettlesheer Castle in Scotland to archive the family heirlooms, she jumps at the chance. Evie's passion for antiques means that, for her, the castle is a treasure trove of mysteries just waiting to be uncovered. But in each heirloom lies a story, and in the course of her investigations Evie stumbles upon some long-buried family secrets. Add handsome, gloomy heir Robert McAndrew and a traditional candlelit gala to the mix, and Evie's heart is sent reeling with an enthusiasm that may just extend beyond the Kettlesheer silver....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Average chick lit

  • By Lindsey on 24-01-15

Not funny, not clever, awful narration

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

Reviewed: 28-12-14

Would you try another book written by Hester Browne or narrated by Cathleen McCarron?

My friend raves about Hester Browne but this is a stinker of a book. The plot is pathetic and the heroine is irritating

Has The Vintage Girl put you off other books in this genre?

Its put me off books read by Cathleen McCarron

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She emphasises the wrong words in a sentence, and she has no idea how to say "antimacassar"

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Scratch Deeper cover art
  • Scratch Deeper

  • By: Chris Simms
  • Narrated by: Becky Hindley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

In Mauritius, a retired Law Lord is brutally murdered, while in Manchester, the Labour Party conference is beginning. DC Iona Khan's first case in the Counter Terrorism Unit appears to be a trivial use of false identity, when a Sri Lankan student asks questions about Manchester's tunnel system. But when she learns the identity of the conference's guest speaker, Iona must enter the world beneath the city to prevent a catastrophe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Jo on 09-06-16

Gripping, brilliant thriller

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

Reviewed: 15-12-14

What made the experience of listening to Scratch Deeper the most enjoyable?

Great narrator of a great storyline

Who was your favorite character and why?

Iona Khan, what a woman!

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

Very easy to follow the plot, her change of voice or rhythm made it very easy to know who was speaking and how they were feeling, well done Becky

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

I found it very hard to stop listening to this book, was forever looking for an excuse to "read" a bit more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Fry Chronicles cover art
  • The Fry Chronicles

  • An Autobiography
  • By: Stephen Fry
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,051
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,024

This dazzling memoir promises to be a courageously frank, honest and poignant read. It will detail some of Fry's most turbulent and least-well-known years, with writing that will excite you, make you laugh uproariously, move you, inform you, and, above all, surprise you.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hours of delighted listening

  • By Mary on 21-09-10

Amusing but not much meat

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

Reviewed: 15-12-14

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would have liked to know more about Stephen Fry as a person, no warts in this book at all!

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen Fry again?

I love his voice, so might have a go listening to one of his novels, wont bother with any more of his bios

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Lots of amusing snippets, his conversation with Paul McCartney, his time in New York, and his behind the scenes glimpse of Me and My Girl

Was The Fry Chronicles worth the listening time?

Yes, I did enjoy it at the time, but I wont listen again

Take Me Home cover art
  • Take Me Home

  • By: Daniela Sacerdoti
  • Narrated by: Helen McAlpine
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

Inary Monteith’s life is at a crossroads. After a stolen night with her close friend Alex, she's just broken his heart by telling him it was all a terrible mistake. Then she has to rush home from London to the Scottish Highlands when her little sister's illness suddenly worsens – and in returning she must confront the painful memories she has been trying so hard to escape. Back home, things become more complicated than she could ever have imagined.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Gentle and undemanding

  • By Kaggy on 15-02-15

Somewhat uneventful story of a bitter woman

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

Reviewed: 15-12-14

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

Might be OK for teens, or for someone who likes romantic dross

What could Daniela Sacerdoti have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Made it half the length with twice the content

What didn’t you like about Helen McAlpine’s performance?

Truly awful range of accents, the only one that sounded genuine was the London flatmate

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointed by the lack of plot and the teenage love story, felt no connection to the characters at all

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Good Ideas cover art
  • Good Ideas

  • How to Be Your Child's (and Your Own) Best Teacher
  • By: Michael Rosen
  • Narrated by: Michael Rosen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 19

Learning can be much more fun - and former children's laureate, million-selling author, broadcaster, father of five, and all-round national treasure Michael Rosen wants to show you how. We live in a world surrounded by all the stuff that education is supposed to be about: machines, bodies, languages, cities, votes, mountains, energy, movement, plays, food, liquids, collisions, protests, stones, windows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This really does push you to be a better parent

  • By Jocelyn Beales on 18-12-14

Question after question after question

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

Reviewed: 19-11-14

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

Not at all sure who this book is aimed at, parents who want to get involved more in their kids education will already be doing all the stuff in here

What was most disappointing about Michael Rosen’s story?

He asks question after question, with only the occasional morsel of storytelling to make it a teeny bit interesting

Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Rosen’s performances?

No

1 of 5 people found this review helpful