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Trialia

England
  • 23
  • reviews
  • 22
  • helpful votes
  • 140
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  • The Corinthian

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Georgina Sutton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208

The accomplished Corinthian Sir Richard Wyndham is wealthy, sophisticated, handsome ,and supremely bored. Tired of his aristocratic family constantly pressuring him to get married, he determines to run away after meeting the delightful, unconventional heroine Penelope Creed. Penelope - literally - falls into his life late one night as she hangs from the window of her aunt's house - she too attempting to escape the pressures of forced marriage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wildly entertaining

  • By Sigrid K. on 08-06-18

Entertaining story, some mishaps in narration...

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

Reviewed: 13-02-19

I usually enjoy Georgette Heyer's Regency works, or at least those that are not carbon copies of others of her oeuvre, and "The Corinthian" entertained me accordingly - beautifully-described characters & personalities, ludicrous but believable situations & an affecting romance.

Unfortunately, Georgina Sutton, as narrator, makes the Audible edition less than 100% engaging; among her errors she misreads a number of words in ways that make a few sentences so confusing as to throw one entirely out of the story: for example, one would never find a waiter carrying your average chandelier unaided into a private parlour to set upon the table, let alone two of them! "Chandelier" and "candelabra" are surely not so easy to mix up, are they?

If that were not enough, in the earlier chapters she also narrates a large section of dialogue that's (unambiguously, in the written text) spoken by a *male* character in the same voice previously allotted to one of her *female* characters! If the character were somehow other than cisgender that might be less of an issue, but Ms Sutton had also previously spoken the character's lines in a deeper tone, so it's clearly a mistake on her part.

I like her voice, so she has potential, but clearly needs an editor to keep a better eye on what's going on when she reads. 3/5 for performance, 4.5/5 for story, 4/5 overall.

  • The Skeleton in the Closet

  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
  • Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59

Ignorance is bliss... especially when it comes to murder! Ever since the death of his father, Fellworth Dolphin has slaved away as a waiter to support his miserly, cold-hearted mother. So when she suddenly dies Fellworth is shocked to discover she has left him a fortune. Somewhat confused, Fell teams up with a girl from work, Maggie, to investigate the source of the riches. But what they find instead is a closet full of skeletons... Is it really possible Fell's father was involved in a decades-old train robbery? And who is the mysterious woman in the portrait?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • M.C. BEATON DOES IT AGAIN

  • By K. McBride on 14-12-13

It's not often a story bores me stiff...

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

Reviewed: 15-06-18

...Unfortunately, this one is an exception. The narration was OK - adequate, I suppose, but not sparkling - but nowhere near sufficient to redeem a very unoriginal tale told poorly, mostly from the third-person-limited perspective of a main character whom I could never grow to like, in spite of enduring two-thirds of the book before I gave up on it.

The most frustrating part about this book isn't so much the unoriginality of the plot. I know (from having read many of her Regency romance novels) that Beaton has the capacity to tell a story well, in a way that has the potential of redeeming a thin, boring or trope-ridden plot.

The frustration, for me, lies mainly in the fact that in this case not only is the story told in a dull, often irritating way, with very little originality of plot, when I <i>know</i> Beaton can do better than this, but it's <i>also</i> told by a character (yet another one of this author's creations who has been endowed with a very daft name with an origin story of unnecessary complexity) with whom the author has clearly sympathised themselves, or at least tried to make sympathetic to the eye of the reader, who comes over as not only extremely <b>un</b>sympathetic, but with a central trait of being <i>profoundly</i> self-centred.

I'm sure we were supposed to be rooting for him to solve the "mystery" and "get the girl", but I just wanted said young woman to tell him to stop, sit down, shut up and think about something other than himself for five minutes.

He wasn't even the only character who annoyed me - Beaton's leading lady did plenty of that herself, in her total lack of consistency of character. Not to mention that totally unnecessary love triangle with ulterior motives that was such a blatant & poor-quality plot device to create tension in the relationship for which we were supposed to be cheering (I wasn't. I kept wanting to sit the lass down & tell her she could do better, & she shouldn't need to cake herself with make-up to do it).

Just. No. If you want a mystery laced into a romance, try Georgette Heyer, but don't even bother with this book. It's not remotely up to snuff, & the narration can't redeem a turkey this bad.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Furthest Station

  • A PC Peter Grant Novella
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,774
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,650
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,640

There's something going bump on the Metropolitan line, and Sergeant Jaget Kumar knows exactly whom to call. It's PC Peter Grant's specialty.... Only it's more than going 'bump'. Traumatised travellers have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter - making the follow-up interviews rather difficult. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ok but

  • By Jeffrey Slater on 06-10-17

Couple of mistakes, otherwise excellent.

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

Reviewed: 29-09-17

As per the title! The novella is excellent, with a story well-filled out for its length; Kobna does make a few slips in the narration on this one, but it doesn't make the story any less interesting or entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Regina's Song

  • By: David Eddings, Leigh Eddings
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Eerily attuned to one another, twins Regina and Renata are so identical that even their mother can’t tell them apart. Then tragedy strikes: A vicious attack leaves one twin dead and the other so traumatized that she turns totally inward, incapable of telling anyone what happened or even who she is. She remains lost to the world, until the day Mark, a family friend, comes to visit - and the young woman utters her first intelligible word. As she recovers, still with no memory of the past, her nightmares grow steadily more frightful, followed by wild fits of hysteria and dark mood swings....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing, tepid writing.

  • By Ms CT Clarke on 23-05-14

Excellent story, if one can set aside any ...

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

Reviewed: 20-04-17

...irritation caused by the narrator's numerous mistakes in setting the text to audiobook, as well as the initial text's casual use of what comes across to at least certain readers as painfully ableist language regarding people with mental illness (I have bipolar disorder & that "nuthouse" theme makes me cringe). I've always managed to enjoy this story in spite of those aspects that make me flinch on occasion, because ultimately it is a good psychological/relationship drama interwoven with a mystery, some very slight paranormal content & a strong theme on the nature of identity. 4/5 stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Brave Little Finn

  • By: Jennifer Churchman, John Churchman
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Newborn lamb Finn, raised inside the farmhouse, isn't as big and strong as the other animals on the farm. He can't help but be frightened as he ventures outside and encounters unfamiliar sights, sounds, and creatures. With the help of Farmer John and his animal friends, Little Finn learns to be brave and mighty.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Cute for what it is.

  • By Trialia on 13-04-17

Cute for what it is.

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

Reviewed: 13-04-17

Definitely for very little kids, probably better read to most by their parent(s) or guardian(s) as some of the vocabulary might be slightly beyond the age group at which the story itself (such as it is) appears to be aimed. But it's cute, and basing it on a real farm with an existing lamb helps its cuteness... however, not notably so for anyone who might be visually-impaired, as the PDF of photographic illustrations included with the audiobook is a large part of the appeal here. 3.5 stars overall.

  • The Grand Sophy

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Sarah Woodward
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 311

Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humorless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving.With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Utterly splendid - classic GH

  • By Beccameriel on 16-05-17

Poor narration of a great story.

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

Reviewed: 09-11-16

Who on earth decided to assign this piece of narration to someone who clearly speaks no Spanish whatsoever? It was a strikingly poor choice. In addition to this, Ms Woodward seems not to have bothered to check pronunciations of which she appears uncertain, and on numerous occasions fails to adequately distinguish character voices from each other, as well as failing to attribute pieces of dialogue to the correct characters. In an audiobook both the latter faults are unpardonable. I'm considering returning this purchase because of her poor reading. It really is a crying shame, as the book itself is an excellent one.

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

  • By: Washington Irving
  • Narrated by: Tom Mison
  • Length: 1 hr and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 847
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 768
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 770

Tim Mison, star of the hit Fox series Sleepy Hollow, narrates the classic Washington Irving short story. In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First time hearing it...

  • By Denise S on 06-03-15

Fair story for its time, good narration.

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

Reviewed: 11-03-16

For those more familiar with the film or television versions of "Sleepy Hollow", as it's become most commonly known, this story might be an eye-opener, as the original tale is very different from the adaptations made by later generations. The focus of the original story is quite different, and the ending has often been altered in adaptation. It's worth a listen, though, even if mainly to compare the various retellings there have been. Ichabod Crane, however, is not nearly as interesting a character in his earliest incarnation as Johnny Depp later made him- fair warning.

The short story is well narrated in this version, however, and given that it's only about 90 minutes long and was free when I got it it's still worth a listen. I don't think I will revisit the audio version, but it's not bad. I'm just not the ghost-story type, I guess.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England

  • A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century
  • By: Ian Mortimer
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,565
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,110
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,099

Imagine you could travel back to the 14th century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? And what are you going to eat? Ian Mortimer shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. He sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you to the Middle Ages. The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: evolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very, very interesting - highly recommended

  • By anthonyunionjackson on 06-05-09

Well-narrated, but painfully limited in scope.

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

Reviewed: 01-03-16

If you're a white male wanting to know what life might have been like for you if you travelled back in time to the 14th century, this book is probably great and you're likely to enjoy it as it immerses you in a life you *might* have lived. Even if you're a male of another skin colour, you still might.

If you're a woman? Not so much. Mortimer has a very formal focus in his book, which means he looks at the world from the point of view of the biggest and best-known historical sources of the time. As is typical with the "best-known" historical sources - at least in terms of diarists and the like - prior to the late Victorian/early Edwardian era of the late 19th and early 20th century, most are from the viewpoint of a man, or at least published under the name of one. Admittedly, women's works were not published widely under female names before the late 17th century, with rare exceptions mostly being limited to religieuses.

This does not, however, excuse Mortimer's lack of resource and/or content in finding or including detail about life as a woman in the 14th century to accompany the overwhelming mass of data, anecdata and detail that he includes about life as a man in that era. The book is far too heavily weighted in gender terms, and that makes it substantially less interesting to me. I have heard this is a flaw with his historical time-travel series in general, and witnessed it personally in his Elizabethan-era instalment. Where women's lives *are* mentioned, it is almost always in terms of their relationships to men or how they were treated or named by men of the time (and ways men of today should behave or are expected to behave when interacting with 14th century women!)

The narration is the best thing about this book; though it's a little more formal than I should have expected for the approach taken by the author, it's still done very well indeed, and is quite appropriate to the material herein. I would rate the narration four stars, but the book itself only two. I am so disappointed in the book (and the author especially) that I plan to return it if I am permitted to do so.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Very First Damned Thing

  • An Author-Read Audio Exclusive
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Jodi Taylor
  • Length: 2 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,360
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,261
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,257

Jodi Taylor reads the long-awaited prequel in her Chronicles of St Mary’s series, as Dr Bairstow struggles to set up St Mary’s as we know it in a world still scarred by the ravages of civil war. Ever wondered how it all began? It’s two years since the final victory at the Battersea Barricades. The fighting might be finished, but for Dr Bairstow, just now setting up St Mary's, the struggle is only beginning. How will he assemble his team? From where will his funding come?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An intro....not much more

  • By Robyn on 29-11-16

Decent reading, great short story.

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

Reviewed: 26-10-15

The story itself is an interesting prequel and beginning to the St Mary's series. I've developed, over time, the opinion that Jodi Taylor actually has a greater talent for writing these shorter stories, more so than her longer novels, and I rather wish she'd try more of the former. Pacing is a particular highlight of the novellas. This one is put together as well as always, with some very intriguing sidelights on the origin of the institution and characters.

Ms Taylor evidently doesn't have much experience in reading her own work aloud for a recording, as some of her pronunciations are distinctly peculiar, but she's quite good at it all the same, for the most part. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece - particularly the encounter between teams at Waterloo. 4 stars - definitely worth a listen and likely enjoyable too.

  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes

  • The Heirloom Collection
  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 58 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,824
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,687
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,684

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales are rightly ranked among the seminal works of mystery and detective fiction. Included in this collection are all four full-length Holmes novels and more than forty short masterpieces - from the inaugural adventure A Study in Scarlet to timeless favorites like “The Speckled Band” and more. At the center of each stands the iconic figure of Holmes - brilliant, eccentric, and capable of amazing feats of deductive reasoning.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A long and rewarding listen....

  • By Lee on 29-04-15

Well voiced, but neither unabridged nor flawless.

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

Reviewed: 27-07-15

Would you listen to The Complete Sherlock Holmes again? Why?

Yes: the stories have always been of interest to me, and I like to revisit books from my childhood in the background while I'm doing other things; this would certainly be one of those.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

A great deal, I'm afraid. This version is better than the American-voiced alternative listed on Audible, but it's still full of minor errors (missed words, altered pronouns) and unexpected mispronunciations (I am assuming the narrator had never heard some of the affected words spoken before), and it's not unabridged, though I can imagine someone who had never read the paper version(s) might think it so. However, Vance does very well voicing Watson, Holmes and his clients, and is - as I've already said - far better than the previous Audible reader, in spite of his own problems.

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

"The Dying Detective" always has some effect on me, while "The Yellow Face" always leaves me annoyed with Holmes' generally-cloaked misogyny - he may be a misanthrope, but he does often seem to direct it far more toward women than men, and when that comes out more noticeably it does irritate me. I suppose that counts as being moved in some way...!

Any additional comments?

This should not be being sold as an "unabridged" version, whatever Brilliance Audio claim of it; it's quite far from being unabridged, as it has phrases left out of sentences in at least every other short story, and some entire sentences in the longer tales.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful