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Miss S D Williams

  • 3
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • Birds Without Wings

  • By: Louis De Bernieres
  • Narrated by: Christopher Kay
  • Length: 27 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

Birds Without Wings tells of the inhabitants of a small coastal town in South West Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman empire: the local Potter and fount of proverbial wisdom; a Christian girl of legendary beauty; childhood friends who play in the hills above the town, and the two holy men of different faiths, who greet each other with the words 'infidel efendi'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Birds Without Wings

  • By Michael Corry on 09-07-15

Just a beautiful and hugely evocative story

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

Reviewed: 25-07-18

Unashamedly I adore Louis De Bernieres. He has an ability to paint pictures in words and create fullsome worlds that make the listener ache for times gone by. Much like Captain Corelli this a gentle, evocative account of broadly unremarkable people going about their daily lives, but wrought in such a way and woven into historical context that you absolutely fall head over heels for them. I can picture almost every character and somehow De Bernieres succeeds in combining complex, multiple characters and plots into an easy to absorb narrative. The detail is superb and despite plenty of traumatic and violent events, the story feels warm and heartening. It’s a huge soft couch of a narrative. I love this story!

Equally there are very significant real events in play, demonstrating the very worst of human ignorance, stupidity and our ability to scapegoat through prejudice. There are lessons from history, not dissimilar to the Third Reich or more recent Balkans War and these are vividly portrayed, not through violent detail but by the individual and collective journeys of key characters.

One criticism I would level is that much like ‘The Dust That Falls From Dreams’ the story is possibly a little drawn out in the final few chapters. But this is a small price to pay for the immersive story provided in both instances.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Wreckers

  • A Story of Killing Seas, False Lights and Plundered Ships
  • By: Bella Bathurst
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Crankshaw
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

From the best-selling author of The Lightouse Stevensons, a gripping history of the drama and danger of wrecking since the 18th century - and the often grisly ingenuity of British wreckers, scavengers of the sea. A fine wreck has always represented sport, pleasure, treasure and, in many cases, the difference between living well and just getting by. The Cornish were supposed to be so ferocious that notices of shipwrecks were given out during morning service by the minister....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narration

  • By S on 15-09-18

Disappointed - a social history

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

Reviewed: 25-07-18

I’m three hours in and do not anticipate listening further. My interest is primarily in the history of shipwrecks, diving and associated stories and the blurb on this attracted me. So far I’ve listened to an overwrought social history on remote fishing villages, but a frustrating lack of ‘storytelling’. Far too much time is devoted to the context and it ends up like a social history, barren of any gripping narrative or seeming purpose. I’ve learnt more about legislation, rotting crofts and what activities can take place on sand bars at low tide than I have about shipwrecks, storms and dastardly deeds.
Whilst the narration is good I would agree with the previous review - the constant faux accents very quickly begin to annoy and distract. I get it, you can do accents, but it’s not adding anything in this instance.
Overall it’s just a bit tedious and lacking substance. Clearly a lot of time has been devoted in to research but it’s just dull in my opinion.

  • The Haunting of Ashburn House

  • By: Darcy Coates
  • Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 76

There's something wrong with Ashburn House. The ancient building has been the subject of rumours for close to a century. Its owner, Edith, refused to let guests inside and rarely visited the nearby town. Following Edith's death, her sole surviving relative, Adrienne, inherits the property. Adrienne's only possessions are a suitcase of luggage, 20 dollars, and her pet cat. Ashburn House is a lifeline she can't afford to refuse. Adrienne doesn't believe in ghosts, but it's hard to ignore the unease that grows as she explores her new home.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Lacking depth

  • By Miss S D Williams on 23-11-17

Lacking depth

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

Reviewed: 23-11-17

The performance is great and overall this a nice, entertaining little story but even putting aside the comical zombie rising from the grave it just lacks so much depth. Other reviews have highlighted there are lots of small discrepancies but for me there were three particular points;
1) a huge absence of descriptive writing, I have no real sense of any character, personality or even the house itself.
2) the way that a brief visit by three local girls suddenly advances to the stage of best friends forever, with no logic, time or context.
3) most disappointingly is that the main character has no tangible journey between normal outlook and complete acceptance of zombie relative digging herself out her grave in the garden and attempting to eat her great niece.

Clearly I’m in the minority but whilst I found this a thoroughly pleasant diversion it lacks any depth, character or intensity.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful