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  • 66
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  • The Unexpected Truth About Animals

  • By: Lucy Cooke
  • Narrated by: Lucy Cooke
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

History is full of strange animal stories, invented by the brightest and most influential, from Aristotle to Disney, and they reveal as much about us and the things we believe as they do about the animals they misrepresent. We once thought that eels were born from sand, that swallows migrated to the moon, and that bears gave birth to formless lumps that were licked into shape by their mothers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who are we to judge?

  • By Amazon Customer on 20-04-18

Couldn’t stand the narration

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

Reviewed: 08-04-19

This may have turned out to be a good book, I don’t know. I couldn’t get past chapter one; it’s seldom that authors make good narrators, and this is no exception. Over emphatic, over enthusiastic, virtually every word in every sentence is audibly italicised and finished with exclamation! marks!! I found it exhausting and irritating.

  • Help Me!

  • By: Marianne Power
  • Narrated by: Marianne Power
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253

Marianne Power was stuck in a rut. Then one day she wondered: could self-help books help her find the elusive perfect life? What begins as a clever experiment becomes an achingly poignant story. Because self-help can change your life - but not necessarily for the better...Help Me! is an irresistibly funny and incredibly moving book about a wild and ultimately redemptive journey that will resonate with anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding happiness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Totally loved It!

  • By A. Fahey on 20-09-18

Good, bad, and indifferent

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

I'm generally wary of these "year of" memoirs, which have flooded the book market in the last few years. I've yet to find one that didn't feel gimmicky and insincere, and most of the time, I don't bother with them. But this looked interesting, so I gave it a go. First off, I think it was a mistake to allow the author to narrate the book. It usually is. A professional actress would have brought it far more to life; the author's voice is too flat and sad, which perhaps is appropriate for the tone of the book, but just left me feeling blah. I also didn't like the interjections in her mother's voice. But that's mainly because, as the book progressed, I felt angrier and angrier with the author's parents, particularly the mother. I have no idea if the author is aware of how much of her issues in every field that she tried to address were clearly coming from her upbringing, but it was unpleasantly apparent throughout. Underlined by the actual mother's voice in the narration. It seemed to me that a year of psychotherapy was what was needed, not a twelve month self help project.

Nevertheless, the book was well written, and held my attention. It did share the usual issue of these "year of" memoirs: twisting the results in a very predictable story arc, disaster at the start, a few twists and turns midway through, and a positive outcome at the end. This was slightly exaggerated by the fact that the year was broken down into separate projects for each month; this well worn story arc became much more obvious when it was repeated each month, regardless of the topic. I'm sure a lot of readers expect this, the rags to riches idea, but personally, it makes me distrust the story, and the reality of it all, when it seems that I'm being spun a tale, rather than participating in a real life story.

This all sounds negative, but actually, overall, I enjoyed the book.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Murder in Mesopotamia

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Anna Massey
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94

Amy Leatheran had never felt the lure of the mysterious East, but when she travels to an ancient site deep in the Iraqi desert to nurse the wife of a celebrated archaeologist, events prove stranger than she could ever have imagined. Her patient's bizarre visions and nervous terror seem unfounded, but as the oppressive tension in the air thickens, events come to a terrible climax in murder.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • brilliant story - disappointing narration

  • By Dawn on 15-09-12

Wow, I never knew that Poirot came from Jamaica!!

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

It's almost (but not quite) worth purchasing this audio book, just for the laugh of hearing Anna Massey murder Poirot's voice. Actually, her character accents are all pretty appalling. Who chose her for this book????

  • Death on the Nile

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: David Suchet
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 473
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 383
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 382

The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything...until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: "I'd like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger." Yet in this exotic setting nothing was ever quite what it seemed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story, let down by narration

  • By Tab on 22-05-18

Excellent story, let down by narration

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

Reviewed: 22-05-18

I think I've been spoiled by Hugh Fraser (why hasn't he recorded all of the Christie books?) - David Suchet's narration skills are surprisingly inadequate in comparison - even his Poirot. While he gives a masterly performance of Poirot on film, the voice is somehow wrong on audio format, too mincing, too weak. And his other character voices are truly awful, especially the women.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Duplicate Death: Inspector Hemingway Series, Book 3

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Ulli Birvé
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

Inspector Hemingway has his work cut out for him when a seemingly civilised game of Duplicate Bridge leads to a double murder. The crimes seem identical, but were they carried out by the same hand? Things become even more complicated when the fiancée of the inspector's young friend, Timothy Kane, becomes Hemingway's prime suspect. Kane is determined to prove the lady's innocence – but when he begins digging into her past, he finds it's more than a little bit shady.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful plot ruined by an illiterate narrator.

  • By Hannah on 22-06-15

Agonising Narrator

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

Why, oh WHY, did the publishers choose this narrator for the wonderful Heyer's detective novels? I was so baffled by her strange pronunciation that I Googled her: she turns out to be Australian, which explains why her British accent is so strangled and weird. She pronounces words in the strangest way: known becomes kno-wan. She mispronounces many expressions: prophesied becomes prophesised, sal volatile as pronounced sal volla-tile.

And the accents!!!!! Where do you start..... The accent of the Scottish policeman in this story reminds me forcibly of Joey's attempt at a Southern accent in Friends ("de Sout will rise again, man!"). It is so atrocious, it varied between practically every possible accent in the world, EXCEPT for Scottish.

I can only assume that narrators like this have not actually been auditioned before being booked, because I don't believe that anyone with a brain could think this is an even adequate attempt at narration, let alone one good enough for customers to purchase.

  • The Hog's Back Mystery

  • By: Freeman Wills Crofts
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 96

Dr James Earle and his wife live in comfortable seclusion near the Hog's Back, a ridge in the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey countryside. When Dr Earle disappears from his cottage, Inspector French is called in to investigate. At first he suspects a simple domestic intrigue - and begins to uncover a web of romantic entanglements beneath the couple's peaceful rural life. The case soon takes a more complex turn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A really g-ripping yarn!

  • By Richard on 01-12-15

Plodding

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

Reviewed: 03-12-15

I am a huge fan of Golden Age detective fiction, but I must say, not a fan at all of Freeman Wills Crofts. This is the second of his books that I've listened to, and I found both incredibly slow and tedious. Not helped by the narrator, I think, who plods through the book with the same snail's pace as Inspector French.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Antidote to Venom

  • By: Freeman Wills Crofts
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

George Surridge, director of the Birmington Zoo, is a man with many worries: his marriage is collapsing; his finances are insecure; and an outbreak of disease threatens the animals in his care. As Surridge's debts mount and the pressure on him increases, he begins to dream of miracle solutions. But is he cunning enough to turn his dreams into reality - and could he commit the most devious murder in pursuit of his goals?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Snore........

  • By Tab on 07-07-15

Snore........

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

Reviewed: 07-07-15

This book was, at best, ponderous. It's an inverted mystery, ie, we know the villain, method, etc, right from the beginning. The book is in two parts: the committing of the crime, and the very dull police procedure that leads up to the solution. I desperately hoped right up until the end that there would be some redeeming twist in the tale, something to lift it out of the humdrum, but there wasn't. The ending was as flat as the rest of the book.

The narration was bearable but not inspired, with a very slight stop/start effect that did nothing to make the book more lively.

All in all, a real dud.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Dear Enemy

  • By: Jean Webster
  • Narrated by: Anne Hancock
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

This delightful sequel to Webster's Daddy Long-Legs centers on socialite Sallie McBride, who reluctantly agrees to become director of an orphan asylum. The asylum's benefactors, her friends Judy and Jervis Pendleton, insist she is just the person to institute the sweeping reforms the institution needs. The exuberant Sallie soon begins ruffling feathers of the staff, filling the children's lives with hope and love, and locking horns with the new Scotch doctor, the Dear Enemy of the title.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Only For Eugenics Fans.......

  • By Tab on 08-06-15

Only For Eugenics Fans.......

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

Reviewed: 08-06-15

What could have been a really charming sequel to Daddy Long Legs becomes something quite ugly, due to the frequent comments on how 'defective' children (deaf, epileptic, and mentally disabled) should be treated - ie. forced sterilisation, segregation from normal children, and even arsenic in the food!!! I know this was the period of time when eugenics were widely believed in, but to a 21st century listener, it is really disturbing and left a nasty taste in the mouth. Excellently narrated though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Wild Strawberries

  • By: Angela Thirkell
  • Narrated by: Hilary Neville
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

Pretty, impecunious Mary Preston, newly arrived as a guest of her aunt Agnes at the magnificent wooded estate of Rushwater, falls head over heels for handsome playboy David Leslie. Meanwhile Agnes and her mother, the eccentric matriarch Lady Emily, have hopes of a different, more suitable match for Mary. At the lavish Rushwater dance party, her future happiness hangs in the balance....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfection

  • By Tab on 15-04-15

Perfection

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

Reviewed: 15-04-15

I am thrilled that Angela Thirkell's books are finally being released on audio, and that they started with this one (my absolute favourite). Hilary Neville does a really perfect job of narrating, and I can't fault it. I hope she does the next one, and not Yonnie Fraser who was used for Pomfret Towers (dreadful).

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Pomfret Towers

  • By: Angela Thirkell
  • Narrated by: Yonnie Fraser
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Pomfret Towers, Barsetshire seat of the earls of Pomfret, was constructed, with great pomp and want of concern for creature comforts, in the once-fashionable style of Sir Gilbert Scott's St Pancras station. It makes a grand setting for a house party at which gamine Alice Barton and her brother, Guy, are honoured guests, mixing with the headstrong Rivers family, the tally-ho Wicklows, and, most charming of all, Giles Foster, nephew and heir of the present Lord Pomfret.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Book, Poor Narrator

  • By Tab on 15-04-15

Wonderful Book, Poor Narrator

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

Reviewed: 15-04-15

I was delighted to see that Angela Thirkell's books are being released on audio in the UK (they've been available in the USA for some time), but I wonder why a different narrator has been used for this one, than for Wild Strawberries. Yonnie Fraser does not do a good job of this (unlike the really wonderful Hilary Neville, who narrates Wild Strawberries). Her character voices are all slightly wrong, and she has a slightly jerky and monotonous way of reading that is very offputting. It spoiled what is one of my favourite Thirkell novels.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful