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Miko

Guildford, United Kingdom
  • 58
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  • 222
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  • 155
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Hard on the ears...

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

Reviewed: 30-08-19

I didn’t finish this. I’ve listened to other books narrated by David Thorpe that have been ok, but parts of this were way over done and at times shrill and shouty. I couldn’t tolerate the narration enough to keep on with the book past the first third. The part I did listen to was passable, but not so intriguing as to make me want to buy it in paper form and finish it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

I’m an adult and I enjoyed it!

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

Reviewed: 12-08-19

Like Swallows and Amazons, The Explorer has a charm about it. Takes us back to an age which children today might’ve found stuffy, but in its adventure and wit isn’t a smidge boring.

Two very solid signs I enjoyed the book:
1) After finishing it, I was compelled to research the history; I’d known loosely about Amazon expeditions, but this story stoked my imagination and made me want to learn more.
2) I found myself telling my husband about the story, knowing that the adventure and history would appeal to him as well. (This doesn’t often apply to a children’s book!)

Recommended for children young and old.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sigh...

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

Reviewed: 08-08-19

Wouldn’t recommend. Unidimensional characters, recycled plot, mediocre writing at best. Thank goodness for audible’s lovely return policy.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-08-19

I’ve quite liked the combo of Greene and Tim Pigott-Smith in the past, enjoyed Travels with My Aunt and The Honorary Consul, but unfortunately this book was a terrible disappointment. The accents and intonations used irritated me and I found myself trying to rephrase dialogue in my head. The story wasn’t strong enough to convince me to continue; eventually I gave up and returned the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Returned it

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

Reviewed: 13-03-19

I thought I was going to like this and it started out ok, but the story relied too heavily on exposition (getting rather preachy at times rather than letting the reader draw their own conclusions from actions and inferences) and, more detrimentally, I found the narrator and production to be grating.

The accents were OTT (I wouldn’t be surprised if some people found them offensive) and it was read more like a dramatisation than a narration. I don’t like it when dialogue is yelled in my ears and when prose is over dramatised; it makes for a tense listening experience.

There was also one very strange interlude where a section was read using a compilation of voices with electronic modulation—it was actually disturbing. Again, more what you expect of a dramatisation than a narration and it perhaps won’t bother people who are looking for this type of thing, but it wasn’t at all for me.

A shame, but I really can’t recommend it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Outstanding

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

Reviewed: 06-03-19

I read Chigozie Obioma’s debut, The Fishermen and was impressed. Now this, his sophomore novel, An Orchestra of Minorities, secures his place in my mind as one of those rare authors, the kind that can conceive a complex narrative, write it with precision and eloquence, and make it seem like magic. So many people can write, but not very many can write like this.

An Orchestra of Minorities is cleverly told from the point of view of the protagonist’s chi, a spirit that lives within him, is a part of him, but still maintains a separate consciousness. Like a thoroughly modern version of a chorus, the chi takes us through the tale of its “host”, fluidly giving us insights that could be told no other way. It’s a masterpiece in story telling.

From the beginning of this book there is an underlying feeling of foreboding, a sense there may be tragedy, but with many moments of gentleness and warmth, it is an incredibly well-balanced and compelling listen. It is primarily set in Nigeria, but it is universal; it is, among other things, a story about love, expectations both personal and cultural, and consequences.

The audiobook was beautifully read by Chukwudi Iwuji. I’d never come across him as a narrator before, but I will certainly look for him again. It was a flawless performance.

I’d recommend An Orchestra of Minorities wholeheartedly if you are interested in literary fiction or in Nigerian culture or fiction. I know I will listen to this again in the future and I plan to buy a hardcopy so I can read it in print as well.

Good listen, but lacking subtlety

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

Reviewed: 20-01-19

Set in the not too distant future, The Wall takes place in a dystopian version of the UK where the populace is conscripted into service on the The National Coastal Defence Structure, colloquially known as ‘The Wall’. It takes current-day issues—climate change, immigration/asylum, nationalism—and presents them to us through a protagonist whose world is just different enough from ours that you can understand how he grew up to accept the defects of his world without question. In this, Lanchester works the magic of speculative fiction, giving us the cautionary tale, allowing us to glimpse a slightly skewed reflection of our world, showing us that this could well be the bottom of the slippery slope we are descending. It’s an entirely readable and enjoyable addition to the dystopian genre, but it lacks the subtlety and complexity that comes with the best of speculative fiction and the characters could have been more fully realised. The protagonist was developed enough to create a sense of empathy, but while the supporting characters were identifiable as individuals, for the most part, I had no sense of what propelled them and that made them seem somewhat lightly sketched.

I was impressed by Will Poulter’s narration. It’s the first book I’ve heard him read and I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to another.

All in all not a bad addition to my audible library and I'd recommend it if you're looking for an entertaining dystopian listen, just best not to go into it expecting ground-breaking new ideas or predictions for our future.

47 of 48 people found this review helpful

Ridiculous

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

Reviewed: 28-08-18

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with all the rave reviews that encourage even those who are unsure to try this book. From an over apparent fixation on sex to onomatopoeic sound effects, to me this book seemed juvenile, like it was written by a teenage boy for teenage boys. I gave it a couple of chapters before becoming so annoyed that I had to stop and utilise Audible’s wonderful return policy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Disappointed

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

Reviewed: 26-06-18

I adored The Other Hand and quite liked Everyone Brave is Forgiven, but Gold disappointed. The writing was good, the narration solid, but the story itself was missing the magic of the other books, the ability to draw you in and not let go. Or maybe it just wasn’t for me. I found the characters a bit stereotypical, slotting into their niches tightly even though Cleave was obviously striving for depth, and, perhaps because of this, I found them hard to identify with even in the places that were designed for empathy. Very much hoping his next book will be back on form.

Pretty silly

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

Reviewed: 14-06-18

I chose this on the strength of the reviews, but I guess it’s just not really my type of book. I was hoping for something like ‘My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises’, but where as that was quirky, fun, and almost believable, this fell entirely into the unbelievable category for me, enough so that my suspension of disbelief couldn’t cope.

I also had trouble with the narration at times; I’ve enjoyed David Thorpe in the past, but in this there were moments where he was actually yelling and that grated on my ears so much I skipped forward. I got this book during a two-for-one sale so probably won’t return it, but had I used an entire credit on it alone, I would have.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful