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chimneyman

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • A Petrol Scented Spring

  • By: Ajay Close
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

The day after her wedding, Donella Ferguson Watson wakes up shackled to a man haunted by the past. The lonely days become weeks, months. Her husband, Hugh, a prison doctor, will offer no explanation for their sexless marriage. She comes to suspect the answer lies with a hunger-striking suffragette who was force fed and held in solitary confinement. But what really happened between Hugh and his prisoner patient?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A rather uninteresting story about sex and power

  • By chimneyman on 11-11-18

A rather uninteresting story about sex and power

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

This story doesn't really offer any insights into the women's suffragist movement - in my opinion, suffragism is used simply as a peg on which to hang a story of the conflicting attitudes which can develop between captor and captive.

The rest of the story is a bit of a potted social history of bohemianism in the affluent classes as well as a rambling investigation into sexual needs, desire and obsession.

The fact that the characters are based on real people is not particularly important - their stories are nowhere near unique and I would guess that lots and lots of people had, and continue to have, similar issues to deal with pretty well all the time.

The narrator is probably an actress and, for me, the narration was far too actressy. The style would have been more appropriate for a live performance in front of an audience.

  • Their Lost Daughters

  • Audible's breakthrough crime author of 2018
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,793
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,556
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,549

Deep in the muddy fields of the Lincolnshire Fens, a teenage girl is found wandering, delirious, claiming to have been drugged at a party. Metres away, the drowned body of another girl is found on an isolated beach. And all this on a small stretch of land where, nearly 10 years ago, the shocking disappearance of a young girl remains an open case.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Smokin' Start to a New Series!

  • By Simon on 14-06-18

Compulsive listening!

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

Reviewed: 16-10-18

The scenario which this story leads us to is highly original and I was hooked from the start even though I found the narrator's over-use of regional accents rather unnecessary. I also thought his rendition of dialogue was generally unconvincing at times.

In some respects, I thought the story came over as a bit like a 21st century version of the cautionary tales of people like Aesop and the Brothers Grimm - it painted a simple picture of good versus evil and sometimes I thought the 'good guys' were a bit too good to ring true. There were certainly plenty of victims!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau

  • By: Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Breton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 308
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 290
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 288

Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adèle Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air. When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl's disappearance, Manfred's repressed world is shaken to its core.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absorbing Tale

  • By Deirdre More on 04-08-18

An interesting story

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

Reviewed: 15-10-18

This was a bit of an impulse buy and it was very different from what I expected. The real interest lies in the author's own 'back' story and the story of the book's publication.

  • One Way

  • By: S. J. Morden
  • Narrated by: William Hope
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 51

Eight astronauts. One killer. No way home. Frank Kitteridge is serving life for murdering his son's drug dealer. So when he's offered a deal by Xenosystems Operations - the company that runs the prison - he takes it, even though it means swapping one life sentence for another. He's been selected to help build the first permanent base on Mars. Unfortunately, his crewmates are just as guilty of their crimes as he is - and he'll have to learn to trust them if they're to succeed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It Is Apparently Rocket Science!

  • By Simon on 15-04-18

Not 'proper' science fiction

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

Reviewed: 15-10-18

An excellent listen in all sorts of ways, but it isn't a serious exploration of what it might be like to set up a human settlement on Mars. It's more of a moral tale about the things which humans will sometimes be prepared to do in order to get what they think they want or need.

But there's also quite a lot of action and suspense - I highly recommend it.

  • Orfeo

  • By: Richard Powers
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

Seventy-year old avant-garde composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police outside. His DIY microbiology lab has come to the attention of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid on his house, Els flees and turns fugitive, waiting for the evidence to clear him and for the alarm surrounding his activities to blow over. But alarm turns to national hysteria.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A novel take on recent history

  • By chimneyman on 19-09-18

A novel take on recent history

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

Reviewed: 19-09-18

In some respects, this story is similar to the Forrest Gump story - it's about one man's journey through the post-WW2 world.

It helps if you have a basic understanding of musical scales and intervals, but it's easy just to ignore the bits you don't understand.

It was the narrator who kept me interested - there are lots of funny bits which the narrator exploited to the full.

Overall, I don't think the story gave me much to think about but it was hugely enjoyable nevertheless.

  • Ask an Astronaut

  • My Guide to Life in Space
  • By: Tim Peake
  • Narrated by: Robin Ince, Tim Peake
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253

How does it feel to orbit the Earth 10 times faster than a speeding bullet? What's it like to eat, sleep and go to the toilet in space? And where to next - the moon, Mars or beyond? Ask an Astronaut is Tim's personal guide to life in space, based on his historic Principia mission and the thousands of questions he has been asked since his return to Earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good informative listen.

  • By steeledarren1973 on 25-10-17

The life and times of astronauts laid bare

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

Reviewed: 19-09-18

There's not much to say really - the story was totally fascinating and the writer/narrator sounds like a really good bloke.

But I wouldn't want to follow in his footsteps!

  • The Dawn Watch

  • Joseph Conrad in a Global World
  • By: Maya Jasanoff
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Migration, terrorism, the tensions between global capitalism and nationalism, the promise and peril of a technological and communications revolution: these forces shaped the life and work of Joseph Conrad at the dawn of the 20th century. In this brilliant new interpretation of one of the great voices in modern literature, Maya Jasanoff reveals Conrad as a prophet of globalization as we recognize it today.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A bit 'specialised' but extremely interesting

  • By chimneyman on 29-06-18

A bit 'specialised' but extremely interesting

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

Reviewed: 29-06-18

I've long been 'aware' of Joseph Conrad, mostly because of my interest in our nautical past. I wasn't aware of the extent of his mission to try to issue some kind of warning about the way the world was shaping up.

This biography is written very much in the context of very recent events such as the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump.

  • The Fighter

  • By: Michael Farris Smith
  • Narrated by: Adam Sims
  • Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

The Fighter is a brilliant novel set against the dark and desolate backdrop of the Mississippi Delta, where Jack the Jaw, a washed-up bare-knuckle fighter, battles against decades of booze and drug abuse as he returns home to try to save all he has lost. The acres of fertile soil, the 200-year-old house, all gone. And so is the woman who gave it to him, the foster mother who now rests in hospice care, her mind eroded by dementia, the family legacy she entrusted to Jack now owned by banks and strangers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An underbelly of the 'civilised' world

  • By chimneyman on 03-06-18

An underbelly of the 'civilised' world

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

This is a story about people who dropped (or were thrown) back from the march of civilisation. The book's greatest strength is the way it manages to create the atmosphere of living on the skids of the Mississippi delta. This is partly the achievement of the narrator.

At first, I thought the final chapter (the epilogue) was superfluous but I now think it would have been better if I had waited until the drama of the preceding chapter had faded in my mind.

  • Rivers of London

  • Rivers of London, Book 1
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,209
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,911
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,901

My name is Peter Grant and until January, I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluble....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • brilliant original story great narrator

  • By valb on 05-08-11

A merry mix of mirth and magic

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

Reviewed: 25-05-18

This audiobook includes jokes, philosophical and historical trivia, metropolitan street (and river) life, sex, violence, vaginal vampirism and all sorts of other things including a narrator who is obviously thoroughly enjoying himself.

The story itself is not particularly important, but it definitely works some kind of magic...

  • Do Not Say We Have Nothing

  • By: Madeleine Thien
  • Narrated by: Angela Lin
  • Length: 20 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 116

Ai-Ming tells the story of her family in revolutionary China, from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao's ascent to the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989. It is a history of revolutionary idealism, music and silence, in which three musicians - the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow; the violin prodigy, Zhuli; and the enigmatic pianist, Kai - struggle during China's relentless Cultural Revolution to remain loyal to one another and to the music they have devoted their lives to.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Read the book, the audio ruins it

  • By Lucy Mac on 31-12-17

A long slog, but well worth it.

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

Reviewed: 16-05-18

If this book sometimes seems a bit relentless, then that is a very good reflection of the relentlessness of Chinese communism over several decades.

The book is like a large and tightly woven tapestry and the reader expertly guides us through it with an even tone which could easily become monotonous but, for me, never did.

The book is very 'serious' and also very informative about what was. for me, an unknown world.