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Mr William Dewar

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  • reviews
  • 46
  • helpful votes
  • 353
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  • The Owl Always Hunts At Night

  • Holger Munch & Mia Kruger, Book 2
  • By: Samuel Bjork
  • Narrated by: Laura Paton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 128

When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found. Detective Mia Krüger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • You don't has to read the first book to follow

  • By Ingrid on 26-04-17

Bunch of winkers

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

Reviewed: 16-10-17

I generally enjoyed this audiobook apart from two annoying things. Firstly, I could not get over the number of times one or other of the characters winked at the other, I don't know if winking is a national pastime in Norway but this book certainly made it seem so.

Secondly, several of the characters developed an irritating habit of dismissing or ignoring a colleague who clearly has information vital to solving the case or seemed unable to explain themselves in a clear and succinct way so what should have been a simple exchange of words was drawn out in to a lengthy and frustrating discussion.

  • Glass Houses

  • Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 13
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

One cold November day, a mysterious figure appears on the village green in Three Pines, causing unease, alarm and confusion among everyone who sees it. Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache knows something is seriously wrong, but all he can do is watch and wait, hoping his worst fears are not realised. But when the figure disappears and a dead body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to investigate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mixed feelings

  • By molly68 on 03-09-17

Shouldn't throw stones

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

Reviewed: 06-09-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would not recommend this as the best example of a Louise Penny book and could not recommend based on Robert Bathurst's narration.Given the choice I would recommend any of the earlier novels read by Adam Sims.

Would you be willing to try another book from Louise Penny? Why or why not?

Yes I love her books but the experience has changed very much for me with the introduction of Robert Bathurst as narrator.

What didn’t you like about Robert Bathurst’s performance?

Robert Bathurst's performance is competent but there is no passion in his delivery, it is almost deadpan. Adam Sims the previous narrator added so much to the atmosphere you felt like you were there in Three Pines. In fact this is the first time I have been in possession of a new Louise Penny audiobook and have listened to other books before this one. This is because I did not enjoy the narration of the last book and was fearing more of the same for this new one.

Strangely Louise and Robert discuss the narration of this book in the interview at the end and mention that Robert has narrated the last three and someone called Ralph Cosham narrated the earlier ones with no mention of Adam Sims. I am wondering whether different narrators are used for the UK And US?

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Probably - they could give Robert Bathurst a part, he is a fine actor!

Any additional comments?

If we are to proceed with this narrator please could someone ask him to pronounce Clara's name correctly, that is 'Clarra' not 'Claira'

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • No Middle Name

  • The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Kerry Shale
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 744
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 660
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 667

Jack 'No Middle Name' Reacher, lone wolf, knight errant, ex-military cop, lover of women, scourge of the wicked and righter of wrongs, is the most iconic hero for our age. This is the first time all Lee Child's shorter fiction featuring Jack Reacher has been collected into one volume. A brand-new novella, Too Much Time, is included, as are those previously published only in ebook form: Second Son, James Penney's New Identity, Guy Walks into a Bar, and Deep Down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent but I miss Jeff Harding

  • By Jane Shepherd on 13-06-17

Surprisingly good

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

Reviewed: 26-06-17

What did you like most about No Middle Name?

I was unsure about buying this book as I am not usually a big fan of short stories. But as I have all the other Reacher books I thought I would take a chance and I am glad I did. The stories themselves are good (apart from one strange one towards the end) but what made it for me was the narration from Kerry Shale who I have missed.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Reacher himself of course! For me this was a return to the older books in the series where Reacher has more of a sense of humour and his 'Reacherisms' are more entertaining.

I am also fond of Frances Neagley.

Which character – as performed by Kerry Shale – was your favourite?

Definitely Reacher himself. I read a review somewhere that seemed to be criticising Shale for sounding a bit like Clint Eastwood but for me this is a positive as he sounds like a tough menacing dude rather than a slightly boring sounding 'engineer' when Jeff Harding is narrating.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Can't say I was moved at all, not really that kind of subject matter. The day I get emotional over a Jack Reacher story will be a worrying one for me!

  • A Dark So Deadly

  • By: Stuart MacBride
  • Narrated by: Steve Worsley
  • Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 865
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 800
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 793

Welcome to the Misfit Mob... It's where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can't get rid of but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it's his job to find out which museum it's been stolen from. But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely amazing

  • By Andromeda's Twin on 24-04-17

Overlong and annoying

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

Reviewed: 31-05-17

Would you try another book written by Stuart MacBride or narrated by Steve Worsley?

Probably not. I don't have an issue with the narration, it was pretty good. My main problems were the book was way too long, the plot needed some large pinches of salt, most of the characters were seriously irritating and the strange swearing was just ridiculous(none of my Scottish friends or family swear like this!)

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

By this stage the plot had gone through so many implausible twists I wasn't very surprised, more of a groan moment really.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator was generally good, however I did not like the rapping and singing required, but that was not his fault.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

It may make a better film as the story could be abridged down from 21 hours to 90 minutes, so maybe I would!

Any additional comments?

I hope no Scottish policeman listen to this book, it portrays them as a bunch of eccentric, childish, losers who can't swear properly which I am sure must be a requirement for the modern day officer!!

  • Murder on the Pilgrims Way

  • By: Julie Wassmer
  • Narrated by: Willow Nash
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Pearl receives a surprise present from her mother, Dolly: an early summer break at a riverside manor house that has been recently transformed into an exclusive hotel - the newly named Villa Pellegrini. Pellegrini - the Italian word for pilgrims - reflects the fact that the building lies on the old Pilgrims Way into Canterbury, and Pearl is looking forward to the break, not least because DCI Mike McGuire has been neglecting her due to his work.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing narration

  • By A.C.B. on 17-10-17

Overcooked

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

Reviewed: 16-04-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator's interpretation of Pearl's mother, she is meant to be a free thinking hippy from an Oyster fishing community but comes across like Hyacinth Bucket. I also didn't enjoy the setting and the Agatha Christie/Columbo style of the plot. Finally, several of the characters were beyond annoying.

Would you be willing to try another book from Julie Wassmer? Why or why not?

I really enjoyed all the previous books, however this one seemed to move away from the usual style in more ways than one.

How could the performance have been better?

It was like the narrator had not understood the personality of the three main characters that have developed throughout the first three books, it was almost like we had started again.

Have to say the narrator was good at accents which is usually not the case, she did Italian, Irish and Welsh very well.

Do you think Murder on the Pilgrims Way needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Definitely not. The plot needs to return to Whitstable and the central cast of characters. The new set of characters introduced in this book are an irritating bunch.

Any additional comments?

If it ain't broke don't fix it, seems to apply well here, Julie Wassmer has hit on a good recipe for the first books but overcooked this one!

  • A Great Reckoning

  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94

Former chief inspector Gamache has been hunting killers his entire career, and as the new commander of the Sûreté Academy, he is given the chance to combat the corruption and brutality that have been rife throughout the force. But when a former colleague and professor of the Sûreté Academy is found murdered, with a mysterious map of Three Pines in his possession, Gamache has an even tougher task ahead of him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 3 Pines

  • By Perranmaid on 05-09-16

Disappointment

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

Reviewed: 21-09-16

What did you like best about A Great Reckoning? What did you like least?

I am a big fan of Louise Penny and have listened to all the previous books. For me this was not the best (I like them when set full time in 3 Pines), but the plot was interesting. I have to say I really struggled with the new narrator, especially when he kept referring to 'Claira' and not 'Clarra' which really grated on me!

What other book might you compare A Great Reckoning to, and why?

The obvious answer is an Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot novel where the detective investigates and then has the great reveal in front of an audience, but it was part of the Gamache 'political' trilogy so was clearly similar to these earlier books in the series.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Robert Bathurst?

If this had been my first experience of a 3 Pines story I would say that Robert Bathhurst did an ok job. But coming after Adam Sims he fell well short for me and I struggled to listen as a result. All the atmosphere brought by Adam Sims voice and style was lost, the Frenchness all gone. This was a disaster for me as the place and characters all changed, even the bistro lost it;s allure! I feel future books will need to be read by someone who has a French Canadian accent. I have heard a rumour that Adam Sims is deceased (but have not been able to confirm this), hence the requirement to replace him with Robert Bathhurst.

Was A Great Reckoning worth the listening time?

Compared to most books yes, but for a Louise Penny less so for me.

  • The Shepherd's Life

  • By: James Rebanks
  • Narrated by: Bryan Dick
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 505
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 497

These modern dispatches from an ancient landscape tell the story of a deep-rooted attachment to place, describing a way of life that is little noticed and yet has profoundly shaped this landscape. In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes us through a shepherd's year, offering a unique account of rural life and a fundamental connection with the land that most of us have lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Ms J Randalls on 01-12-15

Sheep sheep and more sheep

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

Reviewed: 07-02-16

Would you try another book written by James Rebanks or narrated by Bryan Dick?

The narration was fine but I would not try another book by the author unless it was a novel. From the start I didn't take to him and this didn't improve throughout the book. He comes across as a cold and hard personality with a good bit of arrogance thrown in and I struggled to form any form of emotional connection. I am not overly fond of farming types (apart from Adam Henson of course!) or sheep and I was hoping this book would change this but it didn't.

Would you recommend The Shepherd's Life to your friends? Why or why not?

Not unless they had an obsessive desire to learn some interesting facts about sheep.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Bryan Dick?

Yes I would. The only problem I had with the narration was that the narrator strongly reminded me of the English rugby international and BBC commentator Brian Moore!

Was The Shepherd's Life worth the listening time?

Just about, but I was disappointed after reading the mostly rave reviews.

  • The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

  • By: Joanna Cannon
  • Narrated by: Paula Wilcox
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,642
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,535
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,535

England,1976. Mrs Creasy is missing, and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, 10-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 70s relived with goats and sheep

  • By Sigrin on 19-01-17

Impressive stuff

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

Reviewed: 07-02-16

Would you listen to The Trouble with Goats and Sheep again? Why?

Yes probably, I loved the style of writing and the descriptions used that made even the most mundane things seem almost magical. I also loved the nostalgia about 1976, it reminded me of so much like the pips while making a call from a phone box. The detail was incredible.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep?

The part when Tilly was sick and how it impacted on Grace was very moving

What about Paula Wilcox’s performance did you like?

I though she was ace! Her narration was so spot on it helped me create the characters in my head.

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

It did both on many occasions.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Sty's the Limit

  • When Middle Age Gets Mucky
  • By: Simon Dawson
  • Narrated by: Ben Allen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

Following a drunken misunderstanding, Simon Dawson gave up his job in the city, moved to the wilds of Exmoor and became an accidental self-sufficient smallholder with an array of animals. But that was years ago now. Following up on his first book, Pigs in Clover, this is the story of what happens when he suddenly realises that his life is changing all over again. He's not quite the spring chicken that he used to be: he is, horror of horrors, getting older.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent 2nd book

  • By TJ on 15-05-17

Epilogue confession

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

Reviewed: 01-02-16

Would you try another book written by Simon Dawson or narrated by Ben Allen?

Initially I really enjoyed this book and the previous one, however the confession in the epilogue of this book spoiled everything for me. I would not try another 'real life' story but may consider pure fiction.

Ben Allen's narration was very good.

What was most disappointing about Simon Dawson’s story?

The confession about certain characters in the epilogue.

Which character – as performed by Ben Allen – was your favourite?

Ben Allen played the 'teenager' very well.

What character would you cut from The Sty's the Limit?

The ones affected by the confession in the epilogue

  • Pigs in Clover

  • Or How I Accidentally Fell in Love with the Good Life
  • By: Simon Dawson
  • Narrated by: Ben Allen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

This is the true story of a Londoner who gives up his job as an estate agent in the city, moves to the wilds of Exmoor, starts a smallholding and becomes self-sufficient, with a few bumps along the way. Simon's journey from urbanite to self-sufficient smallholder is brimming with incidents - some funny and some tragic - leading him to question Mother Nature, himself, the food he eats and his role in it all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Good Life?

  • By Mr William Dewar on 15-01-16

The Good Life?

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

Reviewed: 15-01-16

What did you like most about Pigs in Clover?

I enjoyed being part of their world without having to take the plunge myself. The warts and all approach of the author gives all of us practically challenged potential off gridders some hope!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Pigs in Clover?

I loved the bit with the lamb in the hallway. I had to stop the car for safety reasons as I was laughing so much.

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

I enjoyed his bright style of delivery and his timing.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Any of the moments where the animals were struggling especially the moment with his horse Bobby

Any additional comments?

Just downloaded the next instalment so looking forward to getting back on the land.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful