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Clare

RichmondUnited Kingdom
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 106
  • helpful votes
  • 31
  • ratings
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 26 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 992
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 718
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 714

Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very different listen

  • By Martin on 04-05-09

Is this his Masterpiece?

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-01-09

I?ve been so hooked on Murakami that this is the third book in a row I?ve downloaded. It?s full of classic Murakami ingredients and is an enchanting and surreal labyrinth of a tale. On a very broad basic level it?s about a search for a lost cat whilst in reality it?s about so much more. It?s Toro Okada?s search for answers, for people, for his true self and he encounters so many intriguing characters along the way largely made up of defilers and the defiled. I particularly loved May Kasahara a young girl living a few doors down, mainly because of her youthful honesty and humour. We encounter such a diverse selection of characters and situations that you couldn?t possibly believe they could all fit into one tale, from Japanese wartime espionage, days and nights spent at the bottom of a well, conducting surveys for the local Wig making firm and even Psychic sex... and yet it still works. Some say this is his masterpiece however by the time I got to this one I was slightly Murakami?d out! I still prefer his Kafka on the Shore by a long shot however I?ve come to realise that perhaps the first Murakami book you read or listen to whether it be Kafka or Wind-up you will consider not only to be his masterpiece but ?a? masterpiece.

  • Flight of the Conchords

  • By: Bret McKenzie, Jemaine Clement, Joel Morris
  • Narrated by: Bret McKenzie, Jemaine Clement, more
  • Length: 2 hrs and 58 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 317
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213

Flight of the Conchords are Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi, bongo, acapella, rap, funk, and comedy folk duo. They won a Perrier Nomination in 2003 and this year sold out one of the biggest venues at Edinburgh for twenty six nights. By mixing their special parody of folksy music and unique brand of chit chat between the songs, the result is intoxicating and un-missable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • When Folk meets Funny.

  • By Bobby Davro on 01-03-11

The songs are genius, the rest a little tiresome

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-08

I downloaded this as a holiday listen for us on a recent road trip round Ireland. As is often the way with me I'm way behind the times getting into these guys. I?ve heard the hype and did see a brief part of one of their TV episodes and remembered finding the songs hilarious but the bits in between slow and dare I say not that funny. We did laugh a lot to this but again only really when they were singing. The songs though seemed to get shorter and less frequent as the series went on so with each episode we unfortunately found ourselves losing more and more interest.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Norwegian Wood

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: John Chancer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 524
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 402
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 401

Toru Watanabe, approaching middle age, hears The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood" in an airplane and, with Proustian vividness, it transports him back to his student days in Japan with Naoko, Midori, and Storm Trooper.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An enjoyable journey, but not the best destination

  • By Clare on 12-11-08

An enjoyable journey, but not the best destination

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-08

Having got totally hooked by Kafka on the Shore I felt compelled to dive straight into another Murakami listen. I couldn?t say that I enjoyed Norwegian Wood as much as Kafka, however there is something incredibly appealing and enchanting about his style that still meant I enjoyed this. It's basically a coming of age book with the main character being likened to Holden Caulfield by some although I personally wouldn?t go that far. I didn?t feel there was so much depth to this story and whilst what I love about Murakami is the fact you really have no idea where his stories are going unfortunately when this one ended although I know I enjoyed the journey I was still not entirely sure where it had taken me. So much so that I actually started it all over again to see if there was something I missed at the beginning. Unfortunately not, but that hasn?t deterred me from moving straight on to The Wind-up Bird Chronicle which 4 hours in I?m already finding to be closer to the depth and quality of Kafka. I can?t remember the last time I was this addicted to an author. One word of warning though if you?re easily offended then Norwegian Wood in particular has quite a bit more sexual content than some of his other novels and whilst I personally don?t think he does it in a particularly vulgar way, it could be off putting to someone of a delicate persuasion.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Rest and Sleep

  • Adults
  • By: Lynda Hudson
  • Narrated by: Lynda Hudson
  • Length: 44 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Are you having PROBLEMS GOING TO SLEEP OR STAYING ASLEEP? Why not try this self-help, hypnotherapy Download for adults and older teenagers designed to ENCOURAGE NATURAL, COMFORTABLE REST AND SLEEP. The first short track gives practical advice on ways to encourage better sleep and need only be listened to once or as an occasional reminder. The second longer track, to be played nightly, is partially based on the original Rest and Sleep.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Does what it says on the tin

  • By Clare on 24-07-08

Does what it says on the tin

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-08

More often that not I just need to listen to an audiobook to get me to sleep. However sometimes when I?m finding it particularly hard to just switch off and get to sleep then something a little stronger is in order and this does the trick.

Even if you think Hypnotherapy is not your thing then rest assured this is quite literally just someone talking to you in a very soothing voice with the sole aim of helping you relax, forget all your troubles for a while and get you a decent night?s sleep.

Nothing more , nothing less. It?s permanently on my iPod for sleep emergencies!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Kafka on the Shore

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett, Oliver Le Sueur
  • Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,159

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at 15, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A new dimension of fiction and sleep

  • By Clare on 24-07-08

A new dimension of fiction and sleep

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-08

I always find it hard deciding which titles to make my next listen as I like the idea of listening to something relatively unknown to me. This time I decided to search by Narrator as I tend to get quite attached to them given that they are always the last voice I hear in my ear before drifting off to sleep each night.

I?d recently listened to Troubles by J.G Farrell, superbly narrated by Sean Barrett so it was him that led me to Kafka on the Shore and what a treat it is. I love this book, it?s like entering a whole new world of fiction. It?s like going on a wonderful mysterious journey and having absolutely no idea what?s around the next corner. There's no formula here, no expected outcomes. I was worried before I started that it may be a bit too off par for me, but maybe its the way its written or narrated I?m not sure, but somehow Haruki Murakami makes some very unusual events such as a man capable of talking to cats seem completely acceptable and not at all distracting.

The only problem (if you can call it a problem) with this book is that it does have quite a soothing effect and is somewhat dreamlike so it may take you longer than you?d hoped to finish it but you?ll have plenty of good sleep in the process!

48 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Troubles

  • By: J. G. Farrell
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

A listener follows Brendan Archer, a major in the British Army, to County Wicklow in Ireland, where he is supposed to meet the woman he thinks he will marry. When his plans do not turn out quite as he imagined, he decides to stay on at The Majestic - a crumbling coastal hotel - which holds a strange charm and many eccentric, often amusing, inhabitants.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent book wonderfully read

  • By Patrick on 08-07-08

Great Author, Great Narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-08

I came to this book after watching the Culture show on BBC2 recently where they had a ?Best of the Bookers? spot on the show. Their favourite book (The Siege of Krishnapur) was written in 1973 by J. G Farrell and it filled me with the desire to try him out as soon as possible as I liked the idea of trying an author completely unknown to me. Unfortunately this title was abridged but thankfully it didn?t dissuade me as I thought at could least I get an intro into his style.

I really enjoyed ?Troubles? and it has certainly left me wanting to listen to more of his work. It has a somewhat eccentric and humorous style to it and its set in the period on unrest in Ireland shortly after WW1, so gives you an interesting insight into that era at the same time.

I really liked the main character Brendon Archer and he and all the characters were wonderfully portrayed by the narrator Sean Barrett.

All I need now is some more of his titles on the site, unabridged though of course!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Tulip Fever cover art
  • Tulip Fever

  • By: Deborah Moggach
  • Narrated by: Rula Lenska
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

Amsterdam in the 1630s. The painters of the time are busy: the city's inhabitants intend to guarantee their immortality with gold. Sitting for such a portrait is Sophia Sandvoort, beside her elderly husband Cornelis. They are surrounded by objects showing her husband's piety, as well as a tulip. For Cornelis has made money from the speculation on this exotic flower and its bulbs. But as the painter, Jan Van Loos, starts to capture Sophia's likeness on his canvas, so a slow passion begins to burn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A romantic history lesson

  • By Clare on 30-06-08

A romantic history lesson

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-06-08

I came to this book purely on a recommendation and as I?d never previously heard of the author or the book I had the fortune of having no great expectations at all.

I found it well written, well narrated by Rula Lenska and very easy to listen to. The main story does lack a certain depth however for me this was compensated for by the insight I felt it gave me into 17th century Netherlands and what I found to be the very interesting (and surprising) history of the Tulip bulb. I hadn?t realised there had even been such a market for Tulip bulbs or that they had reached such a status in the 1630?s. It certainly made one think of the ridiculousness (at times) and fragility of today?s stock market which made quite a historical novel seem ever so slightly topical.

In summary I felt this was certainly easy listening (probably a good holiday read) with the added benefit of learning a little something along the way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Prisoner of Birth

  • By: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam
  • Length: 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,429
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 869
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864

Danny Cartwright and Spencer Craig were born on different sides of the track. Danny is an East End Cockney mechanic, Spencer is a West End barrister. When they meet, their lives will never be the same again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Prisoner of Birth (Unabridged

  • By Jean on 15-04-08

Revolutionised the housework!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-05-08

I am truly impressed! Jeffrey Archer really isn?t someone I would ever have considered listening to in the past but having seen such a high number of great reviews within days of its release and hearing such great feedback from my colleagues I got bitten by the bug and simply had to download! Ok so he?s no Tolstoy, but he had me hooked right from the off and it was wonderfully narrated.

I normally only ever listen to books when going to bed and am completely addicted so won?t even think of retiring without my iPod close at hand. That is until now.... Over the weekend facing a particularly untidy kitchen that I just couldn?t put off any longer and wanting to know what happened next in A Prisoner of Birth I decided I should try combining the 2. I never thought I?d hear myself say this but I have never enjoyed household chores so much in my life. When I?d got the kitchen looking somewhere close to respectable I actually found myself wanting to do more as I didn?t want to stop listening. I ended up cleaning parts of the kitchen I didn?t even know existed! I?ve spent a large part of today thinking about what other jobs I might tackle when I get home! My only concern now (other than the thought that I really should get out more!) is what I listen to next to keep up this momentum!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Restless

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,506
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,049
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,042

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read, 2007.
Winner of the Costa Book Awards, Novel of the Year, 2006.
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.
Longlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.

What happens when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? During the summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother, Sally, is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigrée and one-time spy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gripping and thoughtful book

  • By Tom on 03-11-07

Unput-downable!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-04-08

This really has to be my favourite audiobook so far. I was totally engrossed in Restless and found myself listening at every opportunity. Rosamund Pike (she played Frost in 007?s Die Another Day) does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life and I couldn?t imagine reading it without all the different accents she manages to do so well. I think she really makes this a fabulous listen and I was quite lost when it ended. Not my usual type of book but I really feel like I have been given a true insight into espionage in the second world war and this has left me wanting more of the same.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Restless

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read, 2007
Winner of the Costa Book Awards, Novel of the Year, 2006.
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

It is the summer of 1976 in Oxfordshire, England, and someone is trying to kill Sally Gilmartin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unmissable!

  • By Joan on 03-02-07

Un-put-downable!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-08-07

This really has to be my favourite audiobook so far. I was totally engrossed in Restless and found myself listening at every opportunity. Rosamund Pike (she played Frost in 007?s Die Another Day) does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life and I couldn?t imagine reading it without all the different accents she manages to do so well. I think she really makes this a fabulous listen and I was quite lost when it ended. Not my usual type of book but I really feel like I have been given a true insight into espionage in the second world war and this has left me wanting more of the same.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful