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Kaggy

United Kingdom
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  • reviews
  • 1,883
  • helpful votes
  • 270
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  • How to Be Right

  • ...in a world gone wrong
  • By: James O'Brien
  • Narrated by: James O'Brien
  • Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 230

In How to Be Right, James provides a hilarious and invigorating guide to talking to people with faulty opinions. With chapters on every lightning-rod issue, James shows how people have been fooled into thinking the way they do and in each case outlines the key questions to ask to reveal fallacies, inconsistencies and double standards. If you ever get cornered by ardent Brexiteers, Daily Mail disciples or little England patriots, this book is your conversation survival guide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The second most important book I read this year

  • By Raz on 01-11-18

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Consent

  • Read Me
  • By: Leo Benedictus
  • Narrated by: Mathew Baynton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

The Secret History meets American Psycho in this superbly crafted novel. This magnetic book pulls you in its wake even as you resist its force. Sometimes you don't want to know what's next.... This book is an experiment. We're experimenting together. You are part of the experiment, if you'll agree to it. Normally I don't let my subjects choose to be subjects. If you know you're being watched, you cease to be you. But I want you to listen to this. I wrote it for you.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Consent: Read Me

  • By Susan Random on 27-04-18

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tideline

  • By: Penny Hancock
  • Narrated by: Juanita McMahon, Charlotte Strevens
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24

One winter's afternoon, Sonia, 43, married and respectable, answers the door to 15-year-old Jez. He’s come to borrow some music. Sonia invites him in and soon decides that she isn't going to let him leave. As Sonia's desire to keep Jez hidden and protected from the outside world becomes all the more overpowering, she is haunted by memories of an intense teenage relationship, which gradually reveal a terrifying truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • messin' about on the river

  • By Neil on 29-02-12

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Cows

  • By: Dawn O'Porter
  • Narrated by: Dawn O'Porter, Karen Cass, Laura Kirman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,936
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,939

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women. In all the noise of modern life, each needs to find her own voice. It's about friendship and being female. It's bold and brilliant. It's searingly perceptive. It's about never following the herd. And everyone is going to be talking about it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome

  • By Hippynat on 24-05-17

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Calling Major Tom

  • By: David M. Barnett
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

Calling Major Tom is a funny, uplifting tale of friendship and community about a man who has given up on the world...but discovers in the most unlikely way that it might not have given up on him. We all know someone like Thomas. The grumpy next-door neighbour who complains to the residents' committee about the state of your front lawn. The man who tuts when you don't have the correct change at the checkout. The colleague who sends an all-company email when you accidentally use the last drop of milk.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Feeling Blue?

  • By Jumpin' Bean on 19-07-17

A pleasant little diversion

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

This was purchased as part of a two for one offer and to be honest I took a bit of a flyer with this choice, but I’m glad I made it. This is like a Richard Curtis film, with his characteristic gentle humour shot through with some moments of genuine poignancy. Tom is a man who has made mistakes in his life but is fundamentally a good person who deserves our sympathy. His decision to go to Mars may not be entirely believable given the current state of the British space programme, but there are enough clever little details to make his adventure almost credible. The author makes use of genuine events (for example a misdialled phone call from space) to make this an enjoyable yarn that is very relatable. The only issue I have is the balance of the storyline. Once the Wigan side of the story is dealt with, the Major Tom side ends abruptly and this is rather a shame. On the upside David Thorpe is a terrific narrator and he carries this off extremely well. This is a light entertaining read/listen and let’s face it, we all need one of those every so often.




1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Cat Out of Hell

  • By: Lynne Truss
  • Narrated by: Mike Grady
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 92

A cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat. The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting. The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant. 'Shall we begin?' says the cat….

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unusually gripping

  • By mollymoon1 on 21-03-14

It’s the tabbies you need to watch.......

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

Reviewed: 14-07-18

As an avid cat lover I was mesmerised by this dark and humourous tale of demonic cats and sinister librarians. Lynne Truss perfectly captures the absolute hold these pesky creatures have over us hapless souls and the fact that no matter what devilment they get up to, they always manage to enchant us with their un-worldly beauty and absolute self-assurance. Of course another great feature of cats is that they are very funny, and so too is this book. I particularly adored the main character who when confronted with a terrifying denouement wishes for nothing more than a sausage sandwich. It is rare that I would rate the narrator as being of equal importance as the author of the tale but in this case Mike Grady is the absolute embodiment of all the fantastic characters in this book. This is 100% recommended for all cat and non-cat lovers who enjoy a bit of eccentric British humour spiced up with some genuine chills.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Tin Man

  • By: Sarah Winman
  • Narrated by: Sarah Winman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235

It begins with a painting won in a raffle: 15 sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things. And then there are two boys, Ellis and Michael, who couldn't be closer. And the boys become men, and then they meet Annie, and it changes nothing and everything. Tin Man sees Sarah Winman follow the acclaimed success of When God Was a Rabbit and A Year of Marvellous Ways with a love letter to human kindness and friendship, loss and living.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful!

  • By C. Long on 02-08-17

Too twee and dull for me

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

This was very highly rated on Twitter so I bought it without knowing anything about its subject matter. To be honest, had I known, I probably would have thought twice. There seems to be a lot of books around at the moment where the author appears to be concentrating on churning out quality writing but without any interesting storyline and I’m afraid this falls within that category. I found the characters too stereotypical to really gain my sympathy and some of the scenes were unbearably twee. One particular toe curling example is where one character starts quoting Walt Whitman while being rescued from a near drowning. O Captain, My Captain May have worked in The Dead Poets Society but frankly one outing is adequate for most people’s needs. The author seems to be a reasonable narrator but not really well showcased by this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Breakfast of Champions

  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: John Malkovich
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162

Breakfast of Champions (1973) provides frantic, scattershot satire and a collage of Vonnegut's obsessions. His recurring cast of characters and American landscape was perhaps the most controversial of his canon; it was felt by many at the time to be a disappointing successor to Slaughterhouse-Five, which had made Vonnegut's literary reputation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A unique and biting wit

  • By Kaggy on 28-06-18

A unique and biting wit

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

Reviewed: 28-06-18

What can I say? This is after all by one of the most fascinating and daring novelists ever to have produced a book. Although written in the 70s, his faux innocent descriptions of America remain relevant today and his humour is as fresh and startling as any contemporary comedian. John Malkovitch’s dry and steady voice makes him the perfect narrator for Vonnegut and I loved to picture his face while he read some of the more outrageous passages. This was a real treat and I will be ploughing through the Vonnegut catalogue on Audible with real relish.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • House of Spines

  • By: Michael J. Malone
  • Narrated by: David Elliot
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

Ran McGhie's world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow's oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who appears to have been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Fine Cocktail of Contemporary & Gothic Twists

  • By Simon on 10-12-17

Promising story but a muddled plot.

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

Reviewed: 29-05-18

Overall this starts out as a promising story with a very sympathetic main character. Ran suffers from mental health issues that distort his sense of reality and that coupled with his very strange and hitherto unknown family would have made a very fine tale. My mouth almost watered at the description of the fine old gothic house which Ran unexpectedly inherits and I couldn't wait to find out what the inevitable downside would be. Sadly this was let down by the ghost theme which was rather corny and insipid and a very unwelcome silly element. Additionally the re-telling of his uncle's backstory became tedious and to be honest as a reader I couldn't work out who I was supposed to believe. I admit I did care about what happened to Ran, and the ending was quite tense and nail-biting, but my conclusion at the end was duh?

Praise however must be given to Michael J Malone who has a truly beautiful voice and I hope to hear more from him in future productions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • He Said/She Said

  • By: Erin Kelly
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Broadbent, Helen Johns
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,028
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 941
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 942

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend, Kit, call the police, and in that moment it is not only the victim's life that is changed forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear. And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something - and someone - is always in the dark....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping & different

  • By Lulu M on 04-05-17

Stumbling upon a nightmare

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I enjoyed two previous books by Erin Kelly (The Poison Tree and The Sick Rose) and had pretty high expectations of her latest offering. Overall this is a slick suspenseful tale that dares to take us off the beaten track and into something more intense and interesting than the usual ‘did he or didn’t he’ rape story. Once again the author writes about intelligent, middle class people who do stupendously stupid things and as a result wreak catastrophic havoc on their lives. (This is very satisfying for a lesser mortal like myself). From the beginning you realise there is something a little off kilter with the relationship of the main characters and the ensuing story is a very interesting explanation of why that is the case. My only criticism is with the final denouement which I thought was too cluttered and unbelievable. I was also disappointed that eclipse theme didn’t yield any deeper meaning or indeed serve as the backdrop of a really spectacular payoff - what a waste! The narration was adequate but the female narration was a bit flat and monotone. In summary I would recommend this if you are looking for something that will entertain and surprise you, but don’t expect to be fully convinced by the proceedings.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful