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S Jones

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Great Stories, not always well read

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

Reviewed: 07-01-20

Katherine Mansfield is (arguably) the greatest short story writer in English, and this collection is some of her finest compositions, so you can be sure the content of this audiobook is very good

Bonnie Wright however, although she generally does a reasonable job, is not great in a couple of the stories. In her reading of the opener "At the Bay" it seems that she was recording without having previously read the story - in quite a few places the pace, tone or emphasis just seem wrong. And in "The Daughters of the Late Colonel" she has a very weird pronunciation of the name 'Constantia' which jars throughout and ruins what is one of Mansfield's masterpieces. There are a few other odd pronunciations of words across the whole recording.

One other point is that for some reason there is no chapter break in the recording between the first story "At the Bay" and the second "The Garden Party" -which is annoying if you want to listen to each of the stories individually.

1 person found this helpful

More Simenon magic

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

Reviewed: 29-04-17

Intriguing and exciting detective story, narrated (as always) excellently in a gripping translation. Simenon's ability to produce a well thought through whodunnit while making social comment and producing well observed characters still sets the standard that many modern detective writers try and fail to match

A brilliant debut

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

Phil Rickman's most famous for his Merrily Watkins series of mystery/occult novels (recently televised) but this was his first book - a chilling tale set in mid-Wales. Giles Freeman and his wife Clare inherit a cottage in the picturesque and remote village of Y Groes, and imagine it will be their perfect escape from London. But is there something sinister going on in Y Groes? Or is it just part of a reaction to English "incomers" pricing local people out of the housing market? The tale twists and turns as it combines mythology with politics - and does so in Rickman's characteristically atmospheric way. Set in the early winter, it's perfect for those who like Christmas ghost stories, and is brilliantly read by Siriol Jenkins who manages to capture and create the atmosphere and characters

2 people found this helpful

Utterly Brilliant - should be a children's classic

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

Reviewed: 01-12-14

This is a great book (not just a Children's book) superbly read by Claire Skinner. The first two Clarice Bean stories are very good, but this one tackles childhood concerns - Bullying, Loss of a close friend, feeling outside the group, and fear of a parental divorce - in a way that is totally appropriate to the age group it's ostensibly written for (7-10), while also drawing in parents and older children. Clarice in particular is a very real character, and her worries will become your worries. Lauren Child's trademark humour is still there, but it's device that provides relief when it seems the narrative is getting too grim. Possibly the best book I've downloaded from Audible in terms of both story and narration.

The Secrets of Pain cover art

Great story, not a great reading

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

Reviewed: 25-08-13

Phil Rickman has maintained the energy well throughout his Merrily Watkins series, and this latest installment has plenty of twists and turns and a variety of plot lines that all coalesce into a dramatic finale.

However, I have to say that I found Emma Powell's reading of the story embarrassingly awful at times. She simply cannot do accents - a significant problem when one of the main characters is from Liverpool. Her scouse accent is almost a parody, and when that character is talking to one from Birmingham, I found it impossible to tell the difference. I can't comment on the accuracy of her Herefordshire accent, but it sounded to me a bit Mummerzet to me. When she's simply narrating in her own voice, she's very good, but there are so many bits of dialogue that made me cringe.