LISTENER

Erika

Redhill, United Kingdom
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 36
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • London

  • By: Edward Rutherfurd
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 48 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

A wonderful, epic story that tells the history of the greatest city in the world, from Roman times to the present day. From the author of Paris, Sarum and New York. London has perhaps the most remarkable history of any city in the world. Now its story has a unique voice. In this epic novel, Edward Rutherfurd takes the listener on a magnificent journey across 16 centuries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By ms on 13-03-18

A compulsive listen

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

What a great find, one of the most enjoyable audio books I have listened to.

Edward Rutherfurd takes us on a journey through time, from before the Roman conquest of Britain up to the modern day. This is not a history book (text book), although many interesting snippets of history find their way into the stories. We meet many interesting families and characters on the journey through time and the listener is often left wishing to know more, but time must move forward and each family and character must make place for the next generation, who is equally engaging and worthy of interest. The stories are skilfully written with characters each worthy of a fuller story in their own right.

Andrew Wincott narrates perfectly. His pleasant English accent works well with this biography of London and he succeeds in giving voice to each character which makes the individual seem to come alive. Each story leads gently into the next as time rolls along and in spite of the length of the book I never found it tedious for a single moment. All my regular duties were neglected as I melted into this most enjoyable read. I will certainly look for more books by the author Edward Rutherfurd and by the narrator Andrew Wincott. Thank you to both for giving me many hours of pleasure.

  • Devil

  • The Leopards of Normandy, Book 1
  • By: David Churchill
  • Narrated by: Russell Bentley
  • Length: 14 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

William the Conqueror as you've never seen him before--the Leopards of Normandy trilogy will tell his story in all its wild, intoxicating, unfailingly dramatic glory. David Churchill does for William what blockbuster TV series The Tudors did for Henry VIII. The devil and his bastard son.... Robert of Normandy is handsome, brave and impetuous--and has just seized Normandy's mightiest castle. But his older brother, Richard, the duke of Normandy, wants it back...and will take it by force if need be.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not recommended

  • By Anonymous User on 11-09-16

A compulsive read

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

Reviewed: 16-08-18

David Churchill recreates history (no doubt mixed with fiction) skilfully so that the reader feels drawn into the story and lives the experience of the time. This wonderful historical novel sets the background to a William the B*** (or conqueror) in a way that many readers might be unaware of. Not being a historian I can’t say how accurate the story is, but there are many aspects which I do believe to be historically accurate, including Williams parentage and in general terms the struggles of the various protagonists for power both in England, and Normandy. This is a ripping good yarn, buy it now!

Russell Bentley narrates at a good pace, not slow and not fast. I found his voice pleasant and easy to listen to and liked the voice he gave to each character.

I’m downloading David Churchill’s next book “Duke” right away.

  • Templar Silks

  • By: Elizabeth Chadwick
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 15 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

To save his soul, William Marshal takes the perilous road to Jerusalem, but the greatest danger he faces there is losing his heart. England, 1219. Lying on his deathbed, William Marshal, England's greatest knight, sends a trusted servant to bring to him the silk Templar burial shrouds that returned with him from the Holy Land 30 years ago. It is time to fulfil his vow to the Templars and become a monk of their order for eternity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully written and very well narrated.

  • By Manchester Mama on 14-03-18

A journey back to the times of the crusades.

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

This book takes the reader/listener on a wonderful engaging journey to the time of the crusades. You feel you are living the experience with the richness of description and realistic dialogue. William Marshal on his deathbed is remembering events and so the story occasionally returns to William's present time and his deathbed, then moving back again to the events he is remembering. This is all done with great skill and expertise and I found it to work well.

I have listened to the Elizabeth Chadwick’s other books and particularly enjoyed the William Marshal themes, which are all extremely well written with good use of vocabulary and description. Elizabeth Chadwick deals with different aspects of life as only a brilliant writer can. Her romantic and sex scenes are not over embellished but give enough detail to communicate to the reader the feel of the moment, as relevant to understand the story and the characters. Fighting scenes give sufficient detail to be exciting but without allowing the reader to lose interest. Elizabeth Chadwick deals particularly well with William Marshal’s passing and how he makes his end. The writer is very skilled and her ability to communicate final events of this kind is seen in her other books, for example in “The Winter Mantle” and her depiction of Waltheof of Huntingdon, I won’t say more but recommend that book/audio book as indeed I reccomend all her books.

The book is more than just fiction, although technically it is fiction. The main events in the book are all historically recorded and the book is therefore not complete invention. The characters are very real and the narrator, Jonathan Keeble, brings them to life masterfully giving personality to each in the way that only a truly brilliant voice actor can. I would recommend this audio book especially to those who have already listened to Elizabeth Chadwick’s book “The Greatest Knight”. If you haven’t listened to “The Greatest Knight” then my recommendation is to listen to that first, although perhaps “Templar Silks” can stand on its own, in my opinion it is best taken after “The Greatest Knight”. The Greatest Knight is in any event a truly great book and wonderful audio book so what’s not to like! Have them both, have them all, because all this author’s books are great reads and great listens.

I will be back for more and hope Elizabeth Chadwick keeps writing and writing, and that Jonathan Keeble will keep narrating. It’s great to find historical fiction which has a literary feel to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Apprentice - Scarlet City - Part I

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Rebecca Gablé
  • Narrated by: Douglas Booth, Miriam Margolyes, Alison Steadman, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,602
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,456
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,455

A rags-to-riches tale, Jonah's journey spans the breadth of human experience, from the intricacies of Edward III's political intrigues to the cutthroat world of international trade, from the triumphs of war to the agonies of personal loss - love, friendship, joy, heartbreak and glory. Set largely in London, the Scarlet City, the centre of medieval England, the Scarlet City trilogy is a thrilling portrait of the age and the people who made it so rich, colourful and extraordinary.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfectly Formed Tale Hits the Sweet Spot

  • By Simon on 06-12-17

Predictable and monotonous

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

Reviewed: 03-01-18

The characters are not plausible. The narrator reminded me of watch with mother (for those of you old enough to remember the early 1970's small children's tv entertainment). I regret that her well bred, clipped English accent didn't work for me. The combination of narrator and the other character voice actors significantly detracted from any enjoyment I might have had from this audio book. I have listened to many audio books and love audible as such. I also enjoy traditional books, mainly now on my kindle, as this allows me to adjust text size to suit my eyes. This particular audio book was a disappointment, although I managed to persist to the bitter end of this vol 1. I will not be back for vol 2. Having said this, if you are an audible subscriber then by all means try it, perhaps it's just not my glass of tea. After all, if you don't like it you can return it and get your credit back.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • One Second After

  • By: William R. Forstchen
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278

Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing and Very Irritating

  • By Andrew on 08-01-15

Great post apocalyptic style survival story

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

Reviewed: 23-10-17

The story is set in the USA, but nevertheless captures the interest and imagination of the UK or European reader. I love natural disaster and post apocalyptic style stories, but only if they are well written with good and varied vocabulary as well as plausible characters. The author hit the mark for me and managed to communicate a sense of American pride and confidence, without that off putting “ra, ra, ra” cheerleader style which some writers sadly slip into. The reader will find themselves drawn into an exciting and moving narrative. The characters became very real for me and it was easy to believe that the events portrayed could be true. The narrator masterfully portrays the voice of a child, of a teenage girl and boy, the voice of an older lady, of a thirty something woman, of an African American, of an old man, of a man in his prime. I normally find American accents to grate on my ear when listening to an audio book (sorry Americans, nothing personal). However, the combination of this narrators particular talent and the fact that this story is set in the USA meant that pretty soon I was not noticing the narrators accent, but was just engrossed in this very moving and strangely beautiful story. Beautiful because it jolts the reader into a realisation that for all the power and riches that could ever be, there is another power and another wealth which is beyond what is material. This story made me think of the original European settlers in America, as well as all those peoples around the world who suffer in similar ways to those in this story. This book is a story of suffering and loss and of survival for some, beyond what people would expect to survive. Although this story is set in the USA, I felt that for some it is here and now. I recommend this book as a great read and a page turner, particularly if you enjoy these disaster survival style books. If you’re at all soft hearted you will cry. Don’t worry it’s just a story. But for some it’s real and it’s now.

  • Gray

  • The Complete Collection
  • By: Lou Cadle
  • Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
  • Length: 24 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 505
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 482
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 483

Pre-med student Coral is on vacation in Idaho when something terrible happens. The black cloud is followed by a wildfire and searing heat that lasts for days. She survives deep in a cave but emerges days later to find the world transformed, with blackened trees, an ash-filled sky, and no living creatures stirring - except for her. So begins her desperate journey to find water and food and other survivors...and the answer to the mystery of what happened.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating disaster survival story

  • By Erika on 13-09-17

Captivating disaster survival story

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

Reviewed: 13-09-17

Would you listen to Gray again? Why?

Yes, definitely. This writer creates a compelling narrative that keeps the reader's attention. The characters have personality that I could relate to, although as a work of fiction the writer does take some liberties with caricature. I loved the excitement and mystery concerning what had caused the event that now appeared to disrupt perhaps most of the world. We still don't know how much of the world was affected. I will look for more books by this writer.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gray?

The book had many memorable and exciting moments and to state them might spoil the story for the next reader. The characters' struggle for survival following the event, was it nuclear or was it some natural disaster event, the characters didn't know to begin with, and it's only hinted at. The reader draws a conclusion on what may have caused the event.

What does Lauren Fortgang bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The best thing about an audio book is that you can get on with chores whilst listening. The narrator had a pleasant voice and an accent that I found comfortable to my English ear. An American accent, but not an overly strong accent. An American accent was appropriate for this book, as events are based in the USA.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Oh I wish some producer would. The earth burned.

Any additional comments?

I really recommend this book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Lucifer's Hammer

  • By: Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 24 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 635
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 455

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best-of genre

  • By Tara on 24-12-12

Exciting page turner

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

Reviewed: 22-03-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Lucifer's Hammer to be better than the print version?

I have not read the printed version of this book so can't compare that with the audible version, but obviously the audible version has the advantage of being able to listen whilst I do housework and gardening etc.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the excitement of survival following the natural disaster that changed the world. There was a feeling that this could be real.

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

My experience of this book was not that of a book that moves you, its more for the excitement of the journey.

Any additional comments?

I liked the writing style of the author, with a good use of vocabulary and a fast enough pace to keep the reader or listener anxious to know more and reluctant to put the book down. Fortunately as this is the audible version household chores don't all get neglected! I recommend this book to anyone who likes post apocalyptic survival films and disaster films. You finish the book with a sense of satisfaction that the struggles of the survivors... well I won't give it away, try it and see, really great stuff.

  • World Without End

  • The Kingsbridge Novels, Book 2
  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 45 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,190
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,530
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,527

On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius, and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed. As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bereaved when it ended

  • By bex4ad on 15-03-11

Disappointing and predictable

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

Reviewed: 23-05-13

Although on the whole I enjoyed this audio book, I found the story rather predictable and in some respect a recast of Ken Follett's earlier book. The story was quite enjoyable in spite of being very predictable at times, however, it was greatly spoilt by some of the ridiculous and gratuitous sexual scenarios the author contrived and which at time's seemed to have no real place in the story.
It’s a pity that an author, who seems from some of his earlier work to be an erudite and capable writer, spoils his work by failing to recognise that sometimes less is more. I don't refer to the length of the work because a long book can be a pleasure to read or hear read. War and Peace is a case in point and the unabridged version on Audible was the best book I have ever read (listened to). The point is that the author of this book stretches the readers imagination too far at times so that the reader begins to find, what was up to that point an enjoyable story has become a silly crass and bawdy tail.
To be fair, this book probably does not seek to be recognised as great literature, it is merely popular fiction and many people will probably enjoy it. However, I chose this book because I had enjoyed one of Ken Follett's earlier works, particularly for its historical references and detail on cathedral building. The saving grace of this book was its little historical details thrown in about rural life in those times and it awakened in me an interest to read further on the subjects, particularly about building methods and architectural design.
This epic tale is epic only in length, not in quality and although it just about kept my interest until the end I will not be reading any more of this authors work. If you want a long story which is easy to read or listen too, with simple language and sentence structures and not at all difficult to understand, some light entertainment with a little bit of historical information thrown in, you may enjoy this. However, you have to be ready and able to suspend disbelief at times and to close your eyes (or ears) to some of the uncalled for vulgarity and silliness that is out of keeping with the rest of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Plex

  • How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
  • By: Steven Levy
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 19 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 266

Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes listeners inside Google headquarters - the Googleplex - to explain how Google works.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen

  • By Mrs on 05-03-12

Information giant that changed the world

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-01-13

I can't praise this book enough. I am not knowledgable with technology but use a mobile and laptop nd regularly use google. I found this book very informative and easy to understand. The language used makes it accessible to the non techy reader or listener, but is not so simplistic as to be ptronising. This book takes the listener through the history of google from ist formation to the present and gives some background to the founders which I felt helped me to understand the concept behind the company. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about the digital age we have come into, whether you are an older person with little understanding of technology but an interest in it, or whether you are a younger person who may use technology without realising that you are doing so. I particularly recommend this book to young people thinking of some sort of technology based university course or career. For me this book has unlocked some of the mysteries of how and why some of the technologys are packaged as they are, although perhaps thats because I was particularly ignorant before listening to this audio book? If so I am sure I am not the only one who suffers from that chronic condition that is ignorance. Thanks to google I am making a steady recovery. I enjoyed this book as an audio book and the narator read at a comfortable pace with a pleasant clear accent that is easy on the ear, even if the ear in question is UK rather than US. This is the sort of book that makes "Audible" worth while, because lthough the book is fairly long, and long winded at times, it is very easy to listen to and take in whilst doing chores or driving. Get this book, you can't go wrong, its really good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Our Mutual Friend

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: David Timson
  • Length: 36 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196

A mysterious boatman on the Thames, a drowned heir, a dustman and his wife, and a host of other Dickens characters populate this novel of relationships between the classes, money, greed, and love. The 58 characters are presented with remarkable clarity by David Timson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent reading

  • By Lisa on 13-06-08

Dickens at his very best

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-10-12

This book was such a pleasure to hear read. The story is captivating and you just can't stop listening. David Timson reads this so well that the characters come alive. He gives just exactly the right intonation to each so that you melt into the book and feel you are there experiencing it first hand. Dickens fans will already be familiar with his masterful use of language and depiction of characters. Those not familiar with Dickens will find this an exciting, romantic and thoroughly entertaining listen. This is a very long book but is well worth having in this unabridged version because in my view, with Dickens, as with some other authors, every word and paragraph adds to the asmospher and feel of the story. I wouldn't want to lose a single word by having an abridged version. The length of the listen is absolutly no problem and David Timson, has a very pleasant voice and an English accent that is easy on the ear and works well with this book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful