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waddings

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A bit of a struggle

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

Reviewed: 05-08-19

I wish I'd read the reviews more carefully - I didn't realise the extent of the supernatural elements in this story. I don't generally have a problem with that - I enjoy the Charlie Parker novels by John Connolly for example - but the thought that this is a poor man's Rosemary's Baby keeps creeping in while I'm listening. The writing isn't bad, and the narration is good, but at times the story seems just plain silly. Not sure if I'll see this one through to the end, as I also don't find any of the characters endearing or interesting - it's certainly won't be one that I revisit.

Possibly a good tale but writing style let it down

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

Reviewed: 03-07-19

Heaven preserve us from any notion that creative writing courses create good writers! This sounded a very promising book, and the narrator was fine, but I couldn't get more than half an hour in because of the clunky and stereotypical descriptions and analogies and tedious attention to non-relevant detail - no doubt in the interest of making the characters "come alive". Had to resort to some restorative good writing, in the form of Susan Hill. If I'm mistaken about the creative writing classes, forgive me - but it has all the hallmarks. One to be returned.

1 person found this helpful

Why oh why?

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

Reviewed: 22-10-18

Dear heaven! This might be a perfectly good account and the story certainly should be interesting, but at episode 5 I just can't take the tinkling background "music" any more. I find it unmusical, unatmospheric and extremely distracting. So much so that it's hard to evaluate this production in other respects - but I did find the narrator monotonous and development of the story seemed somewhat slow. So far I've enjoyed a couple of other free audio listenings but I'm currently struggling with another offering in the Secret Hollywood series, and perhaps this writer/presenter is just not for me.

Too too utterly dreary!

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

Reviewed: 22-05-18

I tried very hard to get into this book, restarting a couple of times in case my attention had wandered and I had missed something interesting. Unfortunately it was a case of gritting my teeth and sticking with it despite not enjoying it, and at almost 5 hours in I decided I couldn't stand another 7 hours of it. Maybe there was some drama just around the corner, but I couldn't really believe it. In any event, the characters seemed so vapid and lifeless I just didn't care.

The narrator was fine, I thought, except when she put on various characters' voices - which sounded contrived and unrealistic.

This was my second attempt at reading Hilary Mantel, the first being one of her historical novels. I've decided she's just not for me. Not a bad writer, and her themes sound as if they should be interesting, but I'm afraid I find the writing dull.

Very average & lacking in tension

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

Reviewed: 29-04-18

Having read the reviews I looked forward to this book by an author new to me, but unfortunately it disappointed. I found the main part of the story was tedious and slow, with a bit of excitement being generated right towards the end - a good editor was much needed, it would have been much improved by some vigorous pruning. I actually found it hard to distinguish just which was supposed to be the "good daughter", and I'm afraid none of the characters was engaging enough to make me really care what happened to them. The only reason I'm not returning the book is that it isn't actually badly written, and the narration is ok if a little flat. I shan't be on the search for more titles by this author.

1 person found this helpful

Unbelievable drivel!

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

Reviewed: 02-08-17

This one certainly splits the reviewers. I'm in the camp that finds the characters one-dimensional and not very authentic. I'm about half-way in but think I will have to return. I certainly hope the main character does not achieve her ambition to become a counsellor - could be traumatic for her clients. As for her wet nellie of a husband...

The narration (flat, monotone) doesn't help, but I think it's the plot, pace and characterisation that are the real culprits here. The old adage that everyone has at least one novel inside him/her may be true, but it doesn't mean that all should be published!

1 person found this helpful

Alien: Out of the Shadows cover art

Utter tosh!

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

Reviewed: 29-01-17

I like the Alien films and think the storylines fine, and the performances in this were fine, but I became increasingly irritated by the weakness of the script and the characterisations. Obviously, in an audio format there has to be dialogue that clarifies what is going on; but I found the descriptions clunky and artificial. Coupled with the idiocy of some of the characters' actions, this lead to me abandoning the audiobook about three-quarters of the way in. Just couldn't be bothered to waste more time on it. What a shame!

How has this got published?!

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

Reviewed: 16-06-16

This is a new author for me and I was encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive reviews and the potentially promising story line to give it a try. I'm now almost halfway into the story and I don't think I can take any more - life is too short!

The story developed in a ludicrously unbelievable way, and the characters were so stereotyped it was hard to feel any empathy with the cardboard cutouts. At the same time, minute irrelevant details were given, presumably in an attempt to make the characters feel real and human (best creative writing school practice), but I found this just tedious. Impending events were telegraphed, and although I gather there are unexpected twists later in the plot, I really don't care.

I thought Lisa Coleman's narration was okay and I wouldn't be put off listening to her again; but I shan't be revisiting this author.

5 people found this helpful

Slow story and dreadful narration!

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

Reviewed: 26-05-16

I've enjoyed Ann Cleeves' Shetland stories very much so thought I'd give the Vera stories a try. This is my first attempt. I've made it to Chapter 6 but just can't take any more and it will have to be returned.

My main problem is with the narration. The narration parts, which I assume are in the reader's normal accent, are delivered in the fashion of reading to toddlers. When it comes to the characters' accents, the narrator seems to me to over-emphasise words to such an extent that the timing is slowed down and very odd. I have Northumbrian roots myself so have no problem with that accent - but to me this reading made it sound like the characters were simple or had speech defects.

Unfortunately, whilst the story line seems promising, the pace is slow and so it was too tedious to overcome the narration problem. I think this series may be better read than listened to.

11 people found this helpful

Tedious!

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

Reviewed: 08-05-16

The storyline and good reviews had me really looking forward to this audio, but just found it a let down. I have to confess I didn't get beyond the early stages of the book, deciding life was too short to stick with something I wasn't enjoying. I can understand the author was painstakingly unfolding the layers of the plot but the minutiae and droning voice of the narrator turned me off.

The book was well written, and I'm usually a fan of detailed, often slow-moving novels but this one just missed the target for me. I gather the story picks up towards the end, but I disliked the early part so much I decided to forego it.