LISTENER

Jane

  • 23
  • reviews
  • 42
  • helpful votes
  • 63
  • ratings
  • The Signature of All Things

  • By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 21 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262

Elizabeth Gilbert’s first novel in twelve years is an extraordinary story of botany, exploration and desire, spanning across much of the 19th century. This audiobook follows the fortunes of the brilliant Alma Whittaker (daughter of a bold and charismatic botanical explorer) as she comes into her own within the world of plants and science. As Alma’s careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she loves draws her in the opposite direction into the realm of the spiritual, the divine and the magical.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating

  • By Suzanna on 12-02-15

Long, detailed enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 10-03-18

This is an intricate tale of one woman at a time and place in history. An unfolding love story, not just of the heart but also with the detailed aspects of plants and biology.
I enjoyed but it is long but Juliet Stevenson’s narration kept my interest throughout. Would recommend.

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,571
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10,684
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,658

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Puts Bridget Jones in the shade

  • By Caroline Mitchell on 10-07-17

Fabulous - the face of adversity

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

Reviewed: 28-01-18

Couldn’t stop listening.
Great story, great performance thoroughly enjoyable and vocabulary expanded too. Intelligently written unsentimental. Make time to listen, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

  • By: Helen Simonson
  • Narrated by: Bill Wallis
  • Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 851
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 854

Major Ernest Pettigrew (Ret’d) is not interested in the frivolity of the modern world. Since his wife Nancy’s death, he has tried to avoid the constant bother of nosy village women; his grasping, ambitious son; and the ever-spreading suburbanisation of the English countryside, preferring to lead a quiet life upholding the values that people have lived by for generations. But when his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs Ali, the widowed village shopkeeper of Pakistani descent, the Major is drawn out of his regimented world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Old age is not for softies

  • By Morag on 24-05-11

Easy listening

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

Reviewed: 20-06-16

If you could sum up Major Pettigrew's Last Stand in three words, what would they be?

effortless, enjoyable, light

Would you be willing to try another book from Helen Simonson? Why or why not?

possibly

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

He is the epitomy of a retired Major, Bill makes the character believable and likeable.

  • The Year of Living Danishly

  • Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
  • By: Helen Russell
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,581
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,426
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,422

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long, dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born or made?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Completely fascinating and bonkers

  • By melisa on 04-11-15

An insight into the Happiest Nation

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

Reviewed: 25-02-16

Any additional comments?

Interesting and insightful read which is packed full of facts and Danish info. Well narrated and has intrigued me enough to now book a flight to the Happy land to see what all the fuss is about.

  • Holy Cow

  • By: David Duchovny
  • Narrated by: David Duchovny
  • Length: 2 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 66

A rollicking, globe-trotting adventure with a twist from the star of The X-Files and Californication, featuring Elsie, an unforgettable four-legged heroine. Holy Cow by David Duchovny is a comic delight that will thrill fans of Jasper Fforde and Ben Aaronovitch. And anyone who enjoys a witty wisecrack in a novel. Elsie Bovary is a cow and a pretty happy one at that. Until one night Elsie sneaks out of the pasture and finds herself drawn to the farmhouse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's a laugh with a moral

  • By Pamela Kiewitt on 01-02-16

Laugh out load funny but with serious message

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

Reviewed: 25-02-16

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

YES YES YES - This book is not only engaging and witty it makes the listener/reader think. An absolute pleasure.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There are so many - mental pictures of so many elements have stayed with me - the wolf scene, Tom flying the plane and Jo, Elsie Q, Tom & Shalom being stoned on the Israeli/Palestinian border and so many others

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Just make the film - let the author come up with the tag line after all he's done the screenplay!

Any additional comments?

Miss this book at your peril - I will definitely listen again as I am sure that some of the jokes musical references were missed amid my laughter. A fab audio book.

  • The Girl on the Train

  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Louise Brealey, India Fisher, Clare Corbett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,511
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,258

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Hated it

  • By Miss N. Bleakley-wadlow on 05-02-17

Couldn't stop listening!

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

Reviewed: 15-11-15

Any additional comments?

This is a gripping tale - addiction, circumstance, pain and intrigue. Well written, well narrated, I was hooked. Who will ever look at anyone on the train in the same way - not me. Thoroughly recommend.

  • Us

  • By: David Nicholls
  • Narrated by: Justin Salinger
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,214
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,101

Douglas Petersen’s family is on the brink of dissolution. His marriage of twenty-one years to Connie is almost over. When autumn comes around, their son Albie will leave for college. Connie has decided to leave soon after. But before everything falls apart, there's still the summer holidays to get through - a Grand Tour of Europe's major cities - and over the course of the journey, Douglas devises a plan to win back the love of his wife and repair his troubled relationship with his son.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story but….

  • By lou58 on 13-10-14

Gave up on this

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

Reviewed: 31-10-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It started off Ok and then I just had to give up - didn't warm to the primary character and in the end couldn't blame his wife.

  • Eleanor & Park

  • By: Rainbow Rowell
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 297
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried. Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by. Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bittersweet first love romance

  • By Kaggy on 31-12-16

Intriguing and Enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 17-12-14

If you could sum up Eleanor & Park in three words, what would they be?

different, intriguing, enjoyable

What did you like best about this story?

I love the way that this is presented from each of the main teenage characters perspective. The music references are great as it is of my generation. It was tense in places and intriguing a modern day Romeo & Juliet. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will listen again.

What does Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Characterisation. It is so well read it was like listening to a mini drama, although it isn't mini

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

20th Century Romeo & Juliet

Any additional comments?

I was a tad disappointed by the abrupt ending - I just didn't see it coming! - hence 4 stars for the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Apple Tree Yard

  • By: Louise Doughty
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,212
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,031
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,024

Yvonne Carmichael has a high-flying career, a beautiful home and a good marriage. But when she meets a stranger she is drawn into a passionate affair. Keeping the two halves of her life separate seems easy at first. But she can’t control what happens next.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant Recommendation!

  • By Mrs. Helen M. Herbert on 09-02-14

Intrigue, Lust and the Everyday

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

Reviewed: 11-05-14

Any additional comments?

Apple Tree Yard takes you into the life of geneticist Yvonne, her passionate secret affair and the ultimate consequences of her actions those of others and her lover, I don't want to give anything away, so will stop there.

Juliet Stevenson's narration drew me into Yvonne's character straight away, I liked her, and it has a plot that retained my attention throughout. There are high's, lows, anticipation, complete open & raw emotion, all of which hinge around Apple Tree Yard.I thoroughly recommend this audiobook, if I had had the paperback - I doubt I would have been able to put it down.

Listen and let the velvet tones enfold you while the life of Yvonne unravels.

  • Me Before You

  • By: Jojo Moyes
  • Narrated by: Jo Hall, Anna Bentinck, Steve Crossley, and others
  • Length: 16 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,513
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,665
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,660

Lou Clark knows a lot of things. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop, and she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live, and now everything feels small and joyless. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic, be inspired & provoked to think...

  • By Rachel on 24-01-12

NOT sentimental trash but a thought provoking book

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

Reviewed: 03-02-14

Would you listen to Me Before You again? Why?

Yes I probably would, given enough time between listenings. It is a thought provoking story that has references you would want to refer to. It has life lessons throughout and makes you realise just how luck you are and how quickly and simply everyday activity can change your life at the drop of a hat - the phrase 'There, but for the grace of God go I' rings so true. The book provides a perspective that we probably never consider in everyday life unless we either know someone in this situation or are unfortunate enough to be in the wheelchair.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I had no favourite, the book is written so well that you have a warmth for each of them and an understanding of the dilemma they are presented with.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The wedding, the haircut, the birthday and so many more

Any additional comments?

As soon as I started to listen I was hooked with believable characters, all of which well narrated. I had problems pausing the book so was really pleased when I had train journeys and a day of gardening to hear this through.
It is long, but you don't realise as you just have to see how it unfolds.
A satisfactory ending made the whole thing even more believable.
Read it/Listen to it, but make time for it.