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Kaggy

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In case you were wondering what is going on....

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

Reviewed: 01-02-20

Politically I’m not in Murray’s camp, I did however find this a compelling and honest account of the madness of our current political landscape and the world of social media/identity politics. Speaking as a Twitter user I have been puzzled as to why young white men and women are increasingly abusive to their older counterparts and this book gives a very convincing and accurate explanation of what is going on. He argues from the position that there is nothing wrong with the world, so why change it? Whilst I don’t go along with that, I do agree that the current changes are alarming and potentially extremely dangerous. This is well worth a listen, and a good opportunity to draw your own conclusions.

A reflection of horror

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

Reviewed: 20-07-19

This is one of those moral dilemma stories that cleverly puts the main character in a position that means whatever he does will have dire consequences. It is a recollection of terrible events and as such it is quietly retrospective than action packed. The main character is sufficiently vulnerable and likeable to keep me listening, and the evil he confronts chilled me to the bone. There are elements of the story that I have seen used in films and other works and so it didn’t feel quite as fresh and original as I hoped. Overall a solid listen, well delivered by the narrator but not particularly memorable.

The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson cover art

Another winner from Jon

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

Reviewed: 16-02-19

I approached this with some trepidation because I really didn’t want to listen to a lurid documentary about porn. This however was free on Audible and that coupled with the fact it is written and narrated by Jon meant it was worth some time. The beginning did seem to meet my low expectations but as it progressed I really warmed to this story about people who have been affected by the advent of free pornography. There are many sympathetic characters and some genuinely moving tales and throughout Jon listens with warmth and humour. Some of the science is truly shocking and it really is worth listening to hear how free porn is radically changing our society in very unexpectated ways.

1 person found this helpful

Horror springs up when you least expect it

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

This is like a cross between The Archers, Royston Vasey and The Wicker Man told through the eyes of a young farmer yearning to return to his life in The Endlands. The author provides is a lyrical description of the harsh realities of farming the bleak Northern moorlands. On one hand you could almost yearn for a life driven by hard but satisfying work, comforted by a warm kitchen fire and coddled by home cooked wholesome food. On the other, this exposes you to the gruesome realities of life in an isolated and fiercely superstitious community and to people who are despised by their neighbours and may or may not be seriously unhinged. The main character, who is also the narrator, is a disturbing man and his manipulation of his young pregnant wife is chillingly played out. My one criticism is the fact that his wife Kat is undoubtably appalled by what is going on around her, but is also inexplicably compliant to her husband’s demands and this leaves a bit of a gap in the story’s logic. Although some may say the pace is slow, this is a book that delivers its horror in short sharp bursts, and this is the thing that kept me listening to the end. I preferred The Loney but this is still a great read/listen and Richard Burnip narrated it beautifully.

3 people found this helpful

Innovative thriller with a wry sense of humour

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

Reviewed: 21-12-18

I must admit I thought I had my fill of Scandi Noir after ploughing my way through the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. This however tempted me in with a very promising storyline. A thriller based around the Finnish Mushroom industry is definitely unusual and when you add a charming and self-deprecating hero who handles the news of his imminent demise with bemusement, you really are in for a refreshing treat. This is a story that keeps you in the dark until the very end and delivers an almost equal quantity of laughs and thrills along the way. People say this reminds them of Fargo and I think they are spot on.
Kris Dyer presents this very well. His voice reminds me of David Mitchell (of Mitchell and Webb) and his natural sparkle is perfect for this material. This I my first book by Antti Toumainen and after this I will be in the market for more. Overall this is a 10/10 from me and a great pleasure to find a new and original author to enjoy.

4 people found this helpful

A good story with some genuine chills

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

This is a good eerie psychological mystery which intertwines the lives of two very interesting and engaging women, one from the 16th century and one from the 18th. The narrative goes backwards and forwards in time but the time shifts are well signposted so I was able to listen to this without getting too confused. The story did get a bit over-melodramatic for my taste but I was very satisfied with the genuinely chilling and nail biting ending. Katie Scarfe is an excellent narrator and carried this off extremely well. This is the sort of tale that would make an excellent television drama and one I would most certainly watch.

8 people found this helpful

Smart, thought provoking and thoroughly entertaining

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

Reviewed: 15-11-18

I first came across James O’Brien when he presented Newsnight and after seeing his blistering and frequently hilarious interviews with the ‘great and good’ I quickly became a fan. I was therefore disappointed when he departed to pursue his career on LBC but was quickly consoled after listening to his shows. I agree he can be abrasive and some of his takedowns can sound cruel but this book gives an excellent explanation as to why he reacts so strongly to people who base their views on conjecture rather than objective facts.
This audiobook reproduces some of his most startling conversations and although they are acted, much of the passion of the original discussions is well reproduced. James has famously strong views on Brexit and this is something he is currently admired and reviled for. He does however demonstrate a willingness to consider the views of others and has the humility to say he simply doesn’t know the answer on occasion.
This is a fascinating insight into the mind of a man who wants to be right not to satisfy his ego, but because it is the right thing to be. I hope he gets the opportunity to present on television again but in the meantime this book does a great job of filling the gap.

15 people found this helpful

Well written but I had to stop listening

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

Reviewed: 06-11-18

My fault I suppose but I was hoping for something a bit more subtle when I chose this. Leo Benedictus is clearly a gifted writer but with this one he strays too much into gore and sadism for my taste.

2 people found this helpful

Unpleasantly dark, dank and depressing

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

This is my second Penny Hancock book (the first was the rather brilliant The Darkening Hour). This is set in the same area of London circa Greenwich and like the other book Tideline is full of beautiful and evocative descriptions of suburban life beside the Thames. The storyline here however was not something I could easily stomach. It was depressing enough to read about the desperate and futile attempts of a child trying to escape the clutches of a predatory madwoman but when it began exploring a sexual and sadistic relationship between two minors I decided enough was enough. I know this is going to make me sound an insufferable, prude, and perhaps I am, but I think it is really a question of what I want to spend my precious time listening to, and this isn't it. I urge people to give The Darkening Hour a chance though. It really is extremely good.

6 people found this helpful

Interesting but flawed

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

Reviewed: 17-09-18

This book is really a long musing about women's issues and I can't criticise it for that. Some of the points are interesting and well made, but as a story I found it flawed. Overall I thought it struggled with trying to deliver some important and serious points but utilising Brigit Jones style characters in farcical situations. For example one of the main sub-plots involves preventing a male character seeing something on the internet. The whole idea was that his PA had complete control over his life. This was frankly unbelievable and silly. Another character is supposed to be shocked and surprised at seeing an embarrassing event on the internet even though the event happened the night before and she knew it had been filmed. Stella was a particularly good and intriguing character but her plot turns into an absurd comedy caused by her stupid and unnecessary lies. In short I think this story should either have been a drama or a comedy and it didn't really work as both.

9 people found this helpful