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England
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 17
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  • Middle England

  • By: Jonathan Coe
  • Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 306
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284

Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly absorbing 'political Gogglebox'

  • By K. J. Noyes on 17-11-18

Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 07-12-18

Brexit Britain: comedy, pathos, drama. I just loved this take on the current situation and how it affects the players in this tale. Used to live in Earlsdon and recognised so many places mentioned in the book which made it even more fun! I'm off to complete my Coe collection now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The House of Special Purpose

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Richard Teverson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

Russia, 1915: At the age of 16, Georgy Jachmenev steps in front of an assassin's bullet intended for a senior member of the Russian Imperial Family and is instantly proclaimed a hero. Before the week is out, his life as the son of a peasant farmer is changed for ever when he is escorted to St Petersburg to take up his new position - as bodyguard to Alexei Romanov, the only son of Tsar Nicholas II.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Russian history spliced with romantic fantasy

  • By Kirstine on 13-07-15

Evocative novel of love and loss

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

Reviewed: 22-11-18

I don't think John Boyne is capable of writing a novel that doesn't stay with you for ever. This is no exception. It's a slow burner but I just loved the way it gently weaves an epic story of a very special couple around historical events. The narrator has a beautiful voice but I was slightly destabilized by the use of different voices for the same central character but took this to signify the different stages of his life. The use of regional accents from the UK in Russian characters was an interesting dramatic tool too. Another Boyne that I was sad to finish.

  • The Absolutist

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Michael Maloney
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177

September 1919: 21-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver some letters to Marian Bancroft. Tristan fought alongside Marian’s brother Will during the Great War, but in 1917 Will laid down his guns on the battlefield, declared himself a conscientious objector and was shot as a traitor, an act which has brought shame and dishonour on the Bancroft family. But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan’s visit. He holds a secret deep in his soul. One that he is desperate to unburden himself of to Marian, if he can only find the courage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant and deeply touching

  • By Edward Phillips on 13-01-15

Boyne surpasses again - just superb.

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

Reviewed: 16-10-18

Love Boyne and I am never disappointed. That last killer line is a wonderful habit of his!

  • The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,548
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,384
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,385

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal

  • By Kerri on 19-02-17

Needs a driving warning

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

I absolutely adored this book from start to finish. The story is completely engaging and the performance was second to none - I was spellbound. However, the end was so utterly moving that I found myself on the M5 in floods of tears sobbing my heart out. Had to pull over! Just the most beautiful book. John Boyne is fast becoming my favourite author.

  • A Ladder to the Sky

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Richard E. Grant, Laurence Kennedy, Richard Cordery, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198

If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career. A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely. Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people’s stories. He doesn’t care where he finds them - or to whom they belong - as long as they help him rise to the top.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning start which descends onto silliness

  • By the typist on 25-08-18

Slow burner into brilliance

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

So glad I stayed with this after a slow start as the different threads all made for fabulous stories on their own, but the way the stories meld together by the end was pure joy. Thoroughly recommended.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Hidden Bodies

  • By: Caroline Kepnes
  • Narrated by: Santino Fontana
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 223
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204

Joe came to Los Angeles to start over, to forget about what happened in New York. But in a darkened room in Soho House, everything suddenly changed. She is like no one he's ever met before. She doesn't know about his past and never can. The problem is, hidden bodies don't always stay that way.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping till the end

  • By naveed mir on 13-04-18

An absolute treat.

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

Reviewed: 29-06-18

More please! Please!! Superb book, narrated to perfection. Absolutely loved it. The feeling I got when I finished this was akin to the feeling I got when I finished Breaking Bad. Life will be incomplete with Joe. Loved it as much as the first book. Both highly recommended.

  • The Child

  • By: Fiona Barton
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Adjoa Andoh, Finty Williams, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,260
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,931
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,913

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers, it's impossible to ignore. For one woman it's a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her. For another it's the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered. And for a third, a journalist, it's the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth. The Child's story will be told.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story!

  • By joanna Prendergast on 30-06-17

Loved it

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

Reviewed: 08-03-18

Listened to this on long car journeys and positively looked forward to them. Absorbing story with credible characters both of which made for a heart warming and heart stopping book. Highly recommended.