LISTENER

Blake's Tyger

UK
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 41
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • The Bronte Cabinet

  • Three Lives in Nine Objects
  • By: Deborah Lutz
  • Narrated by: Esther Wane
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

An intimate portrait of the lives and writings of the Brontë sisters, drawn from the objects they possessed. In this unique and lovingly detailed biography of a literary family that has enthralled readers for nearly two centuries, Victorian literature scholar Deborah Lutz illuminates the complex and fascinating lives of the Brontës through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on, and inscribed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating concept - shame about the inaccurate pronunciations !

  • By Melanie on 14-03-16

Brilliant Book - Abominable Narrator

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

Reviewed: 20-08-17

What a strange experience listening to this audiobook is.

Fantastic book - material objects and the light they shed on culture. I have read so many books about the Brontes, over four decades maybe every major thing published. This book is right up my street - brilliantly researched, well written and actually full of material I haven't encountered elsewhere.

But where on earth did you find that narrator? I actually checked I hadn't accidentally got the 'robot' narration, she is so poor! How could anyone with such an 'educated' sounding voice, be so ignorant they can't pronounce simple names and placenames like "Keighley", "Haworth", and "Nussey"? (As well as some other spectacular malapropisms - I wish I'd taken notes!)

I was listening to this whilst my husband was still half asleep, this morning, and "Noosey" actually made him laugh so hard he nearly choked.

Unbelievable. I have checked again. Nope, not a robot.

Words like Haworth and Keighley are, you'd have thought, slightly central to the Brontes' story.

And what a shame such an appalling narration distracts from a fantastic book. Sadly it does as I made the unusual decision of buying the Audible book first when I normally buy on Kindle or a print version.

Please please publisher, re-record this with.. you know, someone who can actually... read.

I can't review what seems like a fabulous book, with such atrocious narration standing in the way. This is too embarrassing to listen to, in front of other people.

Awful, awful, awful narrator. To paraphrase Jane Eyre's teacher... "Abominable!"



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Stand

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 47 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,698
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,985
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,980

First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams. Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil. His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms. For hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King's gift.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a key Stephen King title

  • By karen on 13-08-12

Excellent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

For many years, this was my favourite Stephen King novel. Now it's been relegated to second place, by a more recent one, but.... still excellent. If Dickens was alive today; this is how he would write. King adeptly handles a large cast of characters; some likeable, some not - all very well written. This was the audiobook I was waiting for.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • 11.22.63

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Craig Wasson
  • Length: 30 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,059
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,049

What if you could go back in time and change the course of history?11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless.... King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill who becomes the love of Jake's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Return to top form

  • By John on 14-12-11

Favourite Stephen King Novel

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

I have been reading Stephen King books since 'Carrie' came out. This has to be my favourite book, even overtaking 'The Stand' in top spot, in my heart! I love the opening chapters - the most compelling of any time travel books I have ever read. The only thing that detracts from the plot, for me, is the emphasis shifting onto the rather unconvincing romantic interest, in the latter part of the book. Although it turns out there are plot reasons for that, I did find the main female character slowed the story down and was a bit of a flat, 2 dimensional 'wish fulfilment' character, than a convincingly written female. That might just be me, though. The book got a bit flabby with all the love interest, about 2/3rds of the way in - but picked up again towards the end. If I'd been sub-editing this, that character would have gone, and it could happily lose maybe a good 100 pages at the point the plot slows. I'm guessing Stephen King's publishers wouldn't dare! The narrator was brilliant, one of the best I have heard on Audible.

  • Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die

  • The Assassination of a British Prime Minister
  • By: Andro Linklater
  • Narrated by: Stephen Rashbrook
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

On the afternoon of May 11, 1812, Spencer Perceval, the all-powerful prime minister of Great Britain, was fatally shot at short range in the lobby of Parliament by John Bellingham, a Liverpool businessman. Perceval polarized public opinion: Revered by some and hated by others for his fight against the lucrative slave trade, he domineeringly kept Britain at war against Napoléon and was driving her into war with the United States despite the huge economic drain of each, raising taxes to new heights to finance his decisions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Important History - Well Told

  • By Jeanette on 15-05-12

Bang On. If You Pardon the Pun.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Impossible to fault Andro Linklater's excellent book. I re-enact this period, and this gave us so much valuable background to the era. (We listened to it as we were hand-sewing our 1800 period costume!) So many people probably don't even know a British Prime Minister was assassinated - although we all know about the assassinations of US Presidents, which is a shame. 1811 has to be one of the most pivotal and fascinating points in European history. Hope I am not making this sound like a dry history tome - it is far from that. A compelling story, well told. My teenage son, who has never read or been interested in an history book in his life, loved this so much he downloaded it and listened to it himself, after overhearing a bit of it.

The Return of the King, Volume 2
    The Lord of the Rings, Book 3
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        J.R.R. Tolkien
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Rob Inglis
    
    


    
    Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
    612 ratings
    Overall 4.8
  • The Return of the King, Volume 2

  • The Lord of the Rings, Book 3
  • By: J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 612
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 392
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 395

The Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures as the quest continues. Aragon, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and took part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by orcs, escaped into Fangorn Forest and there encountered the Ents. And all the time the armies of the Dark Lord are massing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very good

  • By Mr on 29-11-12

Spectacular

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Grand, sweeping, and deeply beautiful. 'The Return of the King' is Tolkien at the top of his game. Clever, profound and moving - it has become the blueprint for every subsequent fantasy writer. I re-read it most years but now will probably listen to it instead. Big fan of Rob Inglis, too. He was the perfect choice for this book.

  • Wives and Daughters

  • By: Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Narrated by: Josephine Bailey
  • Length: 26 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6

Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell's last novel, is regarded by many as her masterpiece. Molly Gibson is the daughter of the doctor in the small provincial town of Hollingford. Her widowed father marries a second time to give Molly the woman's presence he feels she lacks, but until the arrival of Cynthia, her dazzling stepsister, Molly finds her situation hard to accept. Intertwined with the story of the Gibsons is that of Squire Hamley and his two sons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ripping yarn!

  • By Nellig on 16-03-11

Warning! Well, There Should Be One...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

I didn't realise when I bought this - despite having a degree in Eng Lit and having read most of Gaskell's other novels - that this book is incomplete. Rather selfishly, Elizabeth G died in the middle of writing it. Well, almost at the end of writing it. Which means even if you're enjoying it, it is a blow. Maybe we were warned somewhere on Audible that it is an incomplete book - but if we were, I missed it. I prefer every other EG novel, to this one. It is a very mature work, and quite subtle. Stick with 'Cranford'. 'Cousin Phillis' or 'The Life of Charlotte Bronte' if you want a more readable and engrossing intro to Mrs G.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Under the Dome

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Raul Esparza
  • Length: 34 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,138

In Stephen King's mesmerizing new masterpiece - his biggest, most riveting novel since The Stand - a Maine town and its inhabitants are isolated from the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome. Celebrated storyteller Stephen King returns to his roots in this tour de force featuring more than 100 characters - some heroic, some diabolical - and a supernatural element as baffling and chilling as any he's ever conjured.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Typical Stephen King

  • By Robert on 01-01-10

Back On Form

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

With 'Under The Dome', Stephen King is back on form. A compelling, well written story with the usual brilliant underlying concept, and adept handling of a large cast of characters. This was my teenage son's first introduction to Stephen King - and he's now a big fan.

The Two Towers, Volume 2
    The Lord of the Rings, Book 2
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        J.R.R. Tolkien
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Rob Inglis
    
    


    
    Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
    625 ratings
    Overall 4.8
  • The Two Towers, Volume 2

  • The Lord of the Rings, Book 2
  • By: J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 625
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 387
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 397

Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin, alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One 'Book' To Rule Them All!

  • By DJ Morpheus on 23-01-10

Haunting and Beautiful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Haunting, beautiful, magical -a grand book that is unafraid of grand themes. This is the point in the trilogy where things get even darker, and the Fellowship diverges. It seems an impertinence to "review" this at all, and it is hard to find words that will say to someone "You must pick this book up!" and yet, that is the bottom line, here - this is one of those few books that you want everyone to read - a truly seminal piece of writing.

  • The Hobbit

  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,901
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,172
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,180

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of 13 dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!!!

  • By Stuart on 12-06-11

There And Back Again

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

Again, Rob Inglis is pitch perfect. Love the singing too! It could be cringeworthy. It isn't.



'The Hobbit' on Audible for me is a more satisfying experience than reading the book - immersive, and vivid. At the end of it, you feel like you too have been on the Adventure - there and back again. It was written as a children's story in the 1930s, so there is a sense in which it begs to be read out loud, and sometimes we forget this, as it has become such a 'classic' - text people pore over, and parse down, and study rather than... enjoy.



Listening to it reminded me of being back in Junior school in the 1960s, my then elderly, beloved teacher Mr H reading to us was always the highlight of my day, and something that drove me in adult life to first teach, to bring a love of books to others and later - to write, myself. Sadly Mr H favoured C.S.Lewis over Tolkien, so I never got to hear 'The Hobbit', only read it, til I got this audiobook. Now, I can be taken right back to a very happy time in my childhood, just by listening to this! This is also why sometimes, audiobooks are preferable to text. Some stories were written to be read out, and this may be the mother of them all.



I hope many people who go to see Peter Jackson's films are encouraged to buy the audiobook, and get the full experience and go the whole way there - and back again - with Tolkien's words.



  • The Pillars of the Earth

  • The Kingsbridge Novels, Book 1
  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 40 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,405
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,536
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,537

The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known... of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul... of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame... and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous book

  • By Mrs on 23-12-12

Absorbing and Well-Researched

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

This is the first and so far only Ken Follett I have read. Absolutely loved it. It is a rip-roaring and absorbing story - yet another one of those books from a couple of decades ago, about the obsessive compulsion to build cathedrals; for humankind to make its mark.



On the surface of things, many of the characters are unoriginal, but Follett somehow brings them to life. The relentlessness of the villain is rather compelling, and Follett manages to pull off that most difficult trick of all - to make a solid, 'good' person (Tom Builder) an interesting character.



Follett is also adept at showing us life for different social classes, and the characters have very convincing motivations, making for a complex interplay of a group of disparate characters, handled with confidence.



There are no glaring anachronisms to distract us from the story, and you feel you have been immersed in a whole new place and time, every time you listen to the book.



I loved it so much, I listened to it at a breakneck pace and went flat out til the end.