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Ellen

  • 70
  • reviews
  • 89
  • helpful votes
  • 99
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  • Cranford

  • By: Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Narrated by: Prunella Scales
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

A vivid and affectionate portrait of the residents of an English country town in the mid-19th century, Cranford describes a community dominated by its independent and refined women, relating the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances. Through a series of satirical vignettes, Gaskell sympathetically portrays changing small town customs and values in mid-Victorian England....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Cranford Reading!

  • By Sharon on 26-05-09

A delight

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

Absolutely brilliant reading of Cranford. Pure escapism, charming, innocent and lovely characters. Highly enjoyed listening to the book.

  • The Wood

  • The Life & Times of Cockshutt Wood
  • By: John Lewis-Stempel
  • Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 30

For four years John Lewis-Stempel managed the wood. He coppiced the trees and raised cows and pigs who roamed free there. This is the diary of the last year, by which time he had come to know it from the bottom of its beech roots to the tip of its oaks and to know all the animals that lived there - the fox, the pheasants, the wood mice, the tawny owl - and where the best bluebells grew. For many fauna and flora, woods like Cockshutt are the last refuge. It proves a sanctuary for John, too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent book,

  • By Ellen on 02-11-18

Excellent book,

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

The wood is a modern classic, John Lewis -Stempel’s love letter to his wood. Woods need to be managed, nurtured and cared for if they are not to become choked with brambles and therefore all life. I have no issue at all with the authors accounts of shooting the pigeons and Pheasant for his cooking pot.
The wood is a month by month diary account of life within the wood, of the wildlife, trees, wildlife, flowers, the author and his livestock.
It was prude escapism and thoroughly enjoyable. I highly recommend.

  • Carpe Jugulum

  • Discworld, Book 23
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Nigel Planer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 826

Mightily Oats has not picked a good time to be a priest. He thought he'd come to the mountain kingdom of Lancre for a simple little religious ceremony. Now he's caught between vampires and witches, and he's not sure there is a right side.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A book with bite

  • By Clare on 17-01-11

Total Perfection

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

Reviewed: 27-10-18

Absolutely brilliant, one of my go to Terry Prachett listens. Cannot recommend highly enough, Nigel Planer does a great job

  • The Betrayal

  • By: Kate Furnivall
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

Could you kill someone? Someone you love? Paris, 1938. This is the story of twin sisters divided by fierce loyalties and by a terrible secret. The drums of war are beating, and France is poised, ready to fall. One sister is an aviatrix, the other is a socialite, and they both have something to prove and something to hide. Discover a brilliant story of love, danger, courage...and betrayal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic read

  • By Quickreader on 03-05-18

Wartime Chick lit

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

Reviewed: 26-10-18

This is a easy listening book, personally the narration grated, I have listed to other Imogen Church readings and enjoyed them however this time I found she was OTT. she tried too hard and her male voices did not enhance already weakly written characters. The betrayal focuses on twin sisters Romy and Florence and it is the interplay between these two strong characters which carry the story. There are twists and turns and of course a big betrayal along with a few small and bitter ones. There are a fair few historical inaccuracies which have been given artistic licence in order to make the plot work.

  • Nein!

  • Standing Up to Hitler 1935-1944
  • By: Paddy Ashdown
  • Narrated by: Paddy Ashdown
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

In his last days, Adolf Hitler raged in his bunker that he had been betrayed by his own people, defeated from the inside. In part, he was right. By 1945, his armies were being crushed on all fronts, his regime collapsing, with many fleeing retribution for their crimes. Yet even before the war started, there were Germans very high in Hitler’s command committed to bringing about his death and defeat. Paddy Ashdown tells, for the first time, the story of those at the very top of Hitler’s Germany who tried first to prevent the Second World War and then to deny Hitler victory.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning : a great and moving story

  • By John McCabe on 02-11-18

A well told story from another point of view

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

Reviewed: 24-10-18

Nein! details the story of life within the third reich, the facts that we were not taught in our history classes at school and for that reason it’s a riveting and interesting listen. The book is well researched, thought provoking and well worth a listen. Paddy Ashdown however is an awful narrator with a plodding, monotonous and boring voice. He may have written the book but it’s a vanity to allow him to narrate it. A different narrator would have improved the book no end, never the less Nein is a good book and one that should be listened to.

  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

  • By: Stuart Turton
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 714
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 664
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 661

'Somebody's going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won't appear to be a murder, and so the murderer won't be caught. Rectify that injustice and I'll show you the way out.' It is meant to be a celebration, but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden - one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party - can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself over and over again.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dense But Interesting

  • By Angela on 16-05-18

Mixed feelings

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

Reviewed: 24-10-18

This book is like none I have listened to or read before. It’s cleverly laid out and its plot is unique. The story caught my imagine but the only thing that kept me listening was my wish to find out what earth was going on. At times it felt like a war of attrition, at others I was absorbed and started to enjoy the text but for a lot of the book I felt bored and was searching for a point. It did on times seem unnecessarily long winded, not helped by the negative qualities of the early hosts. There is no clear idea of who Anna and Aiden are, why they arrived at the party and what they are like as characters until you get towards the end and I very almost stopped listening at chapter 3. Little bits of information are drip fed to you through the plot line but even then it is unclear if the main two character are likeable or not. The result is a dizzying array of characters, interacting, circling one another. None of them are what they seem even on the same occasion but through another’s eyes. The result was I felt tepid towards them, I didn’t care for their fates, I just wanted to be released form the monotony of it all and get to the point when all would be revealed. It is a good book, the narrator grows in to the story and I would recommend the book on but it’s not amazing and I would have happily missed it.

  • Lucie Aubrac

  • The French Resistance Heroine Who Defied the Gestapo
  • By: Sian Rees
  • Narrated by: Kim Hicks
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

In May 1943, a young, pregnant Frenchwoman called Lucie Aubrac engineered the escape of her husband Raymond from the clutches of Klaus Barbie, the feared Gestapo chief. She later ambushed the prison vans in which members of the Resistance were being driven to an almost certain death. Spirited out of France by the RAF at the end of 1943, nine months pregnant, she arrived in London a heroine. In 1983, when both Aubracs had retired, Klaus Barbie was put on trial in France.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Ellen on 14-10-18

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 14-10-18

Wonderful book, well researched, narration was perfect and I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Nazi Hunters

  • By: Andrew Nagorski
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

More than seven decades after the end of the Second World War, the era of the Nazi hunters is drawing to a close as they and the hunted die off. Their saga can now be told almost in its entirety. After the Nuremberg trials and the start of the Cold War, most of the victors in World War II lost interest in prosecuting Nazi war criminals. Many of the lower-ranking perpetrators quickly blended in with the millions who were seeking to rebuild their lives in a new Europe, while those who felt most at risk fled the continent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting historical fact

  • By Ellen on 11-10-18

Interesting historical fact

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

Obviously the book isn’t an easy listen due to the subject matter but it is interesting and something we all need to know about. The narrator was too dry and monotone for my liking with some strange inflections and there were some strange pronunciations which Jarred but that is my personal view.

  • A Treachery of Spies

  • By: Manda Scott
  • Narrated by: Emma Gregory, Philip Stevens, Sally Scott
  • Length: 18 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102

An elderly woman of striking beauty is found murdered in Orleans, France. Her identity has been cleverly erased, but the method of her death is very specific: she has been killed in the manner of traitors to the Resistance in World War Two. Tracking down her murderer leads police inspector Inès Picaut back to 1940s France, where the men and women of the Resistance were engaged in a desperate fight for survival against the Nazi invaders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh my goodness!

  • By anne on 26-08-18

Without doubt the best book I have ever listened to in this genre

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

Absolutely brilliant book. The author has managed to conjure two time lines making the characters realistic, the wartime experience is raw, historically accurate and absorbing. The narration is superb and I would highly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Silent Companions

  • By: Laura Purcell
  • Narrated by: Katie Scarfe
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 237
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 236

Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill and set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is an unsettling Victorian gothic ghost story that will send a shiver down the spine.... Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband's crumbling country estate, The Bridge. With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband's awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eerie and fabulous

  • By Caz on 24-03-18

Compelling

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

Reviewed: 01-10-18

The silent companions is not my usual purchase but I was happy to find it had me engrossed till the end and driven to find out what was in store for Elsie.
Having got to the end of the story I have to add that I did not like the ending, not that it is a bad ending just not what I wanted to happen. There are twists and turns aplenty and even having listened all the way through questions remain. It’s a very clever plot however I didn’t find the story very eerie with no real sense of foreboding. Without giving too much away there were only two characters I really cared for, the female leads in both time lines.
I would certainly recommend the book to others.
I found the narrators delivery a bit flat at the start however it picked up by the end as the plot line became clearer.