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Culwen

  • 68
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 78
  • ratings
  • Breakfast of Champions

  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: John Malkovich
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182

Breakfast of Champions (1973) provides frantic, scattershot satire and a collage of Vonnegut's obsessions. His recurring cast of characters and American landscape was perhaps the most controversial of his canon; it was felt by many at the time to be a disappointing successor to Slaughterhouse-Five, which had made Vonnegut's literary reputation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A unique and biting wit

  • By Kaggy on 28-06-18

Enter another wondrous world

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

Reviewed: 04-01-19

It seems that with these series of books with Kilgor Trout, the imagination and style of writing is quite abstract and lyrical. I did enjoy the tiny idiosyncrasies of even the mundane things that reinforce the plot a “inch” at a time. It is probably a story you would need to listen to again to fully grasp what the hell is going on. It’s unique and refreshing.

  • The Tudors

  • Kings and Queens of England's Golden Age
  • By: Jane Bingham
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Glaister
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

The Tudor dynasty presided over one of the most dynamic periods in English history, an era that witnessed courtly conspiracies and public executions, religious reformation and exploration. Its fearsome monarchs transformed England from a minor medieval kingdom into a major player on the world stage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing biographies of the Kings and Queens

  • By Culwen on 23-08-18

Intriguing biographies of the Kings and Queens

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

Reviewed: 23-08-18

The start was quite rapid and it was hard to follow. However as each King and Queen in chronological order in most parts were explained, the story of each other's interactions overlapped and it reconciled with information we were told before. It was interesting to learn about the rises and falls, the wars, the diplomatic strategies, the adventures of the Tudors.

  • In Calabria

  • By: Peter S. Beagle
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 3 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 8

Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy's scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Elegant, short and simple

  • By Culwen on 15-08-18

Elegant, short and simple

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

Reviewed: 15-08-18

There's not much to say about short story without giving it all away. It paints a vivid landscape of a farmer and his animals where this unexpected guest enters their lives and changes everything.

I enjoyed the story, it rounds off well and so in that sense is flawless.

There's a lot of Italian names and tribe names in this and at times I felt it was hard to follow who were thugs, who were the good guys but still this didn't take too much off the story.

The final chapter was probably my favourite. It really painted a wonderful imaginative ending and it was very enjoyable to listen to.

  • Knots and Crosses

  • By: Ian Rankin
  • Narrated by: James Macpherson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 946
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 838
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 828

'And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you...?' 'That sort of thing' is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An uncertain beginning

  • By Simon on 02-09-15

Steady thriller with a slow unraveling past

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

The narration is good, something I would expect with Scottish accents. The story unwinds quite slowly and perhaps with purpose. Things that seem irrelevant or that pass through your ears turn out to have some meaning which I liked. I found that the reveal was sudden and would have liked more of the past to have been subtly dropped in throughout.

  • Rogue Male

  • By: Geoffrey Household
  • Narrated by: Robin Browne
  • Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230

An Englishman plans to assassinate the dictator of a European country. But he is foiled at the last moment and falls into the hands of ruthless and inventive torturers. They devise for him an ingenious and diplomatic death but, for once, they bungle the job and he escapes. But England provides no safety from his pursuers - and the Rogue Male must strip away all the trappings of status and civilization as the hunter becomes a hunted animal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Classic that never gets old

  • By Wil on 08-12-10

An intricately woven escape in definitive detail

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

Reviewed: 03-08-18

I am astonished at how this story can feel like an epic journey by the credible and spot-on description of the surroundings. The thoughts of the protagonist are rational and believable. Things happen almost naturally and without sudden plot devices that either rush a story or make it less realistic.

I was compelled to listen on and on and by the end, I was sad that it had finished so soon.

  • Boy Trouble

  • By: Mark A. Roeder
  • Narrated by: Robert G. Davis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Percy DeForest Spock has a successful writing career, a new boyfriend, and is just settling into life in Bloomington, Indiana when a knock at the door turns his world upside down. Waiting on the other side is Caspian, his 15-year-old, Goth nephew. Caspian has just lost his parents, his home, and his been ripped away from the only life he has ever known. Can the mismatched pair make a new life together or are they doomed from the start?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A simple children's book narrated by a robot

  • By Culwen on 30-07-18

A simple children's book narrated by a robot

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

Reviewed: 30-07-18

I winced. I cried. I moaned. I cried.

Imagine a book that was a script for a children's play where the student's would walk onto a stage and just talk to each other in a flat monotonous tone. The description in this book is so minimal. I wonder if you can copy and paste it into anywhere in the world and it wouldn't matter. My first line refers to the way the book is mostly verbatim. It's mostly speech or flow of thoughts from one character to another. E.g "I said this, he said that." It's dull. The amount of times name dropping happens is mind-numbing. Thus, be prepared to be bored.

The chapter names are named after the character who will be speaking for the whole chapter. So if you ever wanted to go back to a certain chapter, good luck with that since the chapter names are repeated.

The characters are variable which is alright but some are very stereotypical. As if it was a Dungeons and Dragons game and each role needed to mentioned. A flamboyant slut, a crippled jock, a black stud, a handsome straight. This is alright but I feel the characters could have had a bit more background.

Tyler and Percy and most of the other characters, all blend into one rational person. And with the narration, they all sound the same boring dad/responsible and rational figure that 90% of this book becomes a lecture on how to deal with relationships and loss.

There was one glimpse of hope within the last 40 minutes of the audiobook. There was a description of a river. And I was actually surprised that some description was made to give context of surrounding. And actually the last 40 minutes seemed to be the better part of the book. All the previous seemed to be like a linear stacking of story where nothing exciting was happening and the past keeps getting repeated.

TLDR: You could probably skip this one.

Breath cover art
  • Breath

  • By: Tim Winton
  • Narrated by: Dan Wyllie
  • Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

Breath opens with Bruce Pike, now a paramedic, arriving too late to save a teenage boy's life. Pike's partner wonders why the boy killed himself. Pike knows he didn't. He doesn't know the boy, but he knows the story. He still lives with the legacy of his own adolescence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best audiobooks I have downloaded

  • By Ian on 27-11-09

Rough and realistic story of the surf

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

Reviewed: 24-07-18

A really believable story. The accents are perky and suited for the Australian setting. The description is astonishing and captivating. The plot winds and isn't predictable. And by the end, the meaning of the title really rings true. Great listen.

  • Sky Hunter

  • Skybound, Book 3
  • By: Fae Sutherland
  • Narrated by: Jack LeFleur
  • Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

Jeret hasn't looked back since running away from life as a crown prince and joining the Crux Ansata's crew. Letting Jeret escape was the biggest black mark on bounty hunter Dagan Nu'aim's otherwise distinguished years as a royal guard. When he catches Jeret back in-system, Dagan seizes the chance to regain his lost honor and bring the wayward prince home. Jeret's not so sure he wants to go, but the reignition of his old crush on Dagan complicates the issue. As the two unravel a tangled plot against the crown, their old friendship lights up with a fiery desire.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Right ingredients but wrong delivery

  • By Culwen on 12-07-18

Right ingredients but wrong delivery

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

This is a fairly easy listen to. It’s got espionage and strained relationships that grow together; it’s got good ingredients for a good story but by the end, it didn’t taste that great. There are a few saucy bits that can be quite enjoyable. Just, by the end, it seemed too easy. That slow cooking delicious broth become and shoddy microwave meal. There were characters who jumped in and out and I didn’t quite fully get who they were or what they were doing whilst the protagonists were doing their stuff. The ending climaxed to a meh (seen that done somewhere) and the action was pretty much a children’s play. It got boring and by the end, I was shouting “really!?”. This could have been better but it ended up flat. Sorry.

  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4

  • By: Sue Townsend
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Barnes
  • Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 296

Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life. Writing candidly about his parents' marital troubles, the dog, and his life as a tortured poet and 'misunderstood intellectual', Adrian's painfully honest diary is still hilarious and compelling reading thirty years after it first appeared.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4

  • By Susan Random on 19-04-17

A very simple listen with peculiar sniggers

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

Reviewed: 27-02-18

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

Not really. But to anyone who wants a easy-listen I would

Any additional comments?

It doesn't really have a goal. It's the daily babblings of a teenager and by the end, you could have easily listened to more but you would have neither gained much from it, other than a slight distraction on a walk home.

The Oedipus Plays cover art
  • The Oedipus Plays

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Sophocles, Ian Johnston - translator
  • Narrated by: Jamie Glover, Hayley Atwell, Michael Maloney, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 381
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 346

The three Theban plays by Sophocles - Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone - are one of the great landmarks of Western theatre. They tell the story of Oedipus, King of Thebes, who was destined to suffer a terrible fate - to kill his father, marry his mother, and beget children of the incestuous union. He does this unknowingly but still has to suffer terrible consequences, which also tragically affect the next generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great!

  • By Anna Maria Rusanova on 25-06-16

As if I was listening to a play at The Globe

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

Where does The Oedipus Plays rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It does a good job at what it is.

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

I am entertained.

Any additional comments?

This is easy to listen and it's told like a tale and with the voice acting, it feels like it is a play. Because it is. The stories themselves are quite interesting and of the age it was set.