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  • 12
  • reviews
  • 51
  • helpful votes
  • 14
  • ratings
  • Longshot

  • By: Dick Francis
  • Narrated by: Tony Britton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147

John Kendall knows how to survive. He's written six handbooks on the subject. Now he wants to become a novelist, preferably without starving to death. But when cold and hunger set in, Kendall impulsively accepts an unlikely job. He is to research and write a biography of Tremayne Vickers, a famous racehorse trainer. Staying at Vickers' home in rural Berkshire, Kendall soon learns to like his host and friends, learns to ride racehorses, learns about murderers ...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Expect the unexpected

  • By Sue on 13-04-13

Gripping story: I couldn’t stop listening.

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

Reviewed: 29-09-18

I keep on giving Tony Britton’s readings of Dick Francis novels 5 stars across the board, even though I wrestle with it every time. I try to evaluate the experience fairly and critique it thoroughly but end up thinking:’Oh hell. I loved every minute of the journey.” Britton’s rendition of the story and characters is beyond reproach, so empathetic of the nuances of the story.
Yes, it was a hero typical of the Francis stable... they always are. Unassuming about his general brilliance at all he does, valued by all except the baddies who are hell bent on taking him down, but at least in this take we were spared the toe-curling romantic element which is the one part of a Francis story that I ever skip over: too pre-enlightenment strong silent type .

The characters are well drawn, fleshed out and likeable and the Climactic scene is utterly gripping. Given the theme of the book, it’s survival at its rawest. A very good listen.

  • In the Frame

  • By: Dick Francis
  • Narrated by: Tony Britton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

The house was stripped bare of all its treasures. Gone was the furniture, the family silver, the paintings and the antique china. And if that was a shock for Charles Todd, painter of horses, how much more harrowing was the trauma for his cousin Donald, whose house it was and whose young wife lay on the sitting room floor, bloody and dead... A coincidental meeting with a middle-aged widow sends Charles off to Australia, on the trail of a gang with a fruitful business in forging works of art.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dick Francis at his best

  • By Mrs on 15-01-19

Australian art world + death of cousin's wife

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

Reviewed: 25-09-18

A classic Francis yarn, an interesting framework that leads the hero around the world in search of organised art thieves.

Beautifully written and lovingly read by Tony Britton, the consumate narrator.

  • Defending Jacob

  • By: William Landay
  • Narrated by: Eric Meyers
  • Length: 14 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 95

Andy Barber's job is to put killers behind bars. So when a boy from his son Jacob's school is found stabbed to death, Andy is doubly determined to find and prosecute the perpetrator. Until a crucial piece of evidence turns up linking Jacob to the murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • We need to talk about Jacob

  • By sarahmoose2000 on 16-07-13

A gripping tale, well told

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

Reviewed: 13-08-18

I really couldn't put this book down, I just had to know how the story unfolded. Some aspects of how it was written was frustrating with odd queries / inaccuracies (eg how did police have the boy's fingerprints? ) but overall, the plot was carefully crafted abd well told by the narrator.

  • The Crossing Places

  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,495
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,337
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,332

When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Crime and archaeology - what's not to like?!

  • By Adrian on 05-06-11

Some interesting characters but fairly forgettable

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

Reviewed: 10-06-18

OK but lacked sparkle. I wouldnt go on to read more by this author as I felt the p,ot lacked depth

  • The Ship of Brides

  • By: Jojo Moyes
  • Narrated by: Nicolette McKenzie
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 572
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 505
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 500

Australia, 1946: 650 brides are departing for England to meet the men they married in wartime. But instead of the luxury liner they were expecting, they find themselves aboard an aircraft carrier, alongside a thousand men. On the sun-baked decks, old loves and past promises become distant memories, and tensions are stretched to the limit as brides and husbands change their minds. And for Frances Mackenzie, it soon becomes clear that the journey is more important than the destination....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but found it slow.

  • By Elizabeth B on 12-06-18

A faultlessly told, touching story.

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

Reviewed: 19-02-18

For days, Ive been putting off finishing this book because I just didnt want it to end. I didn't want to lose touch with an excellent array of characters. The story and the way it was developed and plotted, was compelling and the reader gave a distinct and fitting sense to every voice.

I felt the emotion underpinning each character. That's something that thus author achieves: subsiduary characters have the same depth and sense of a 'backstory ' as the principles, and you really care about the fate that befalls them all.

I'd heartily recommend this book in every respect. I dont think I've ever given a book 5 stars across the board, but this was a truly excellent l7sten.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • I'll Keep You Safe

  • By: Peter May
  • Narrated by: Anna Murray, Peter Forbes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,315
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,190
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,184

Husband and wife Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own Ranish Tweed: a Hebridean company that weaves its own special variety of Harris cloth, which has become a sought-after brand in the world of high fashion. But when Niamh learns of Ruairidh's affair with Russian designer Irina Vetrov, then witnesses the pair killed by a car bomb in Paris, her life is left in ruins. Along with her husband's remains, she returns home to the Isle of Lewis bereft.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very disappointing

  • By Michael D Hewitt on 28-01-18

Superb elements in story but ending let it down

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

Reviewed: 28-01-18

Early sections in the book were quite beautifully crafted, and the stories beautifully told. The plot was challenging and all the characters had depth and were compelling. I just felt a huge, huge let down by the ending which simply wasnt credible. Elements of the story were left very inadequately resolved. My 'willing susoebsion of dusbeluef' melted away.

  • The House of Silk

  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Sir Derek Jacobi
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,326
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,619
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,614

It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • a ripping yarn

  • By L on 25-02-12

abysmal

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

Reviewed: 20-11-17

I hated this book. I love Derek Jacobi and begire this book, I would have said I could happily listen to him reading anything, but even his gentle, mellow and warmvoice could not give life to this wooden and contrived novel
Contrived. Some would argue that all of the Holmes storues are contrived but their beauty lies in the impossibility of solution when first presented, which is balanced by tge inherent simplicity of the solution by the end.

I know every Holmes story and felt tgat the characterusation of Holmes and Watson deeply lacked authenticity abd did not remain true to character.

This plot was just jerky and opaque. I have worked with children who have bedn abused and expliited so maybe Im particularly sickened by novelists further exploiting them as a theme that is topucal and will bring in the readers ans tge money, which is what was hapoening here . An altogether hateful book.

  • Destination Unknown

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Emilia Fox
  • Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

When a number of leading scientists disappear without a trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community. Are they being kidnapped? Blackmailed? Brainwashed? One woman appears to have the key to the mystery. Unfortunately, Olive Betteron now lies in a hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in a Moroccan plane crash.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Red haired are the best

  • By Mme Jabini on 29-03-16

atypical Christie but very absorbing.

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

Reviewed: 20-11-17

This is a truly odd book. Set within the context of the cold war, it held some excellent characterisation, esoecually if the central femake character. It contains some of that toe-curlingly dated Christie racism, eg of the Africans and especially a man described dusparagingly as 'yellow' , but the plot development is very engaging and well thought out. I dusliked EmiliaFox's acxents for non-English /Amerucan charcters - very geating and stereotyped -and it did detract from my enjoyment to some degree.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Forfeit

  • By: Dick Francis
  • Narrated by: Tony Britton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

James Tyrone was the troubleshooting gracing correspondent of the Sunday Blaze, a newspaper dedicated to exposing scandals I the noisiest (and most profitable) way. Ty was accustomed to hot water, but from the day a Fleet Street colleague died after give him some serious advice, he found himself wading deep into more danger than he expected.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Vintage Francis

  • By Jean on 15-02-11

My favourite Dick Francis story

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

Reviewed: 23-11-15

This was a re readfor me but it'smany years since I ladt read this story. The image if the hero, in a state of intoxication, trying desperately to get his wife to safety, is a strong one and still had me anxious and desperate for him to succeed. Tony Brityon 7s, for ne, the voice that best narrates the Dick Francis stories. His accent is of the correct era and social niche and he is a consumate actor who gives every character dptheir distinctive voice.

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,513
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,053

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her 'our little genius'. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A stunning read

  • By Simon on 19-01-14

Lock your windows and doors

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

Reviewed: 19-09-14

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

I already have - to all the family and friends I met while listening to the book, and several since.

If I realise that a book is post-apocalyptic/ dystopian, I reject it. I downloaded this without much research as a friend had raved about it and when I realised its genre, I was initially annoyed but by then I had met Melanie and was so desperate to explore her character and find out why she was in the position she was in, that I was hooked and literally could not stop listening. I lied to family just to give myself time alone at key points in the story where I just had to know what happened next.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Melanie

What a beautifully drawn character. To have animated someone whose life was flat and one-dimensional for so much of her story, was quite remarkable. I felt real emotion for her plight, both when we realised it's true nature, and as her own awareness grew. Very well crafted.

Which character – as performed by Finty Williams – was your favourite?

Sergeant Parks - or was it Dr Caldwell? Or Miss Justineau Or Melanie? They were all voiced very effectively. I often find narrators gratingly weak when voicing the opposite gender but Finty Williams expressed the inner workings - and spoken words - of Sergeant Parks very credibly and I enjoyed the way she helped reveal the different layers of his characters by a softening of the tone she used for him as the story unfolded.

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

I live some of the time on a boat. One night, towards the end of the book when the menace of the story was at its highest and the tension was drawn like fine wire, I was on the boat alone except for my dog. He wanted to go out. To let him out I had to open the curtains... then open the door... I could hardly bear it. The terror that could be out there!!!
I felt as terrified as I had 45 years ago when I first read of the dark riders chasing the hobbits into the Prancing Pony!

Any additional comments?

This book reminded my of Margaret Attwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale' and it is a s well crafted and of comparable literary merit. There is a scientific element in the book, but wouldn't detract from the understanding of the non-scientific. The author has a beautiful expressive style but writes in a pacey and focused way that holds - no, grips - the attention. I want to read more of her work and would thoroughly commend this book to readers who enjoy a well-written and characterised story.