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  • Alexander Hamilton

  • By: Ron Chernow
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 35 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 90

Alexander Hamilton was an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who overcame all the odds to become George Washington's aide-de-camp and the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Few figures in American history are more controversial. In this masterful work, Chernow shows how the political and economic power of America today is the result of Hamilton's willingness to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • BrilliNT

  • By jacqueline bain on 03-01-18

An amazing life

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

The fact that Hamilton's life can fill 36 hours of engaging and interesting description testifies to what an important figure he was in the birth and establishment of the United States of America. He was an inspiring and talented soldier and in peacetime instrumental in shaping the financial system of the fledgling country. So it all the more surprising that, while Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin are household names, Hamilton's is not. Maybe his early death and the fact that both Adams and Jefferson hated him and went out of their way to denigrate and slander him, often with false accusations to undermine his reputation, when he was alive and that continued after his death enabled them to airbrush Hamilton's contributions out of the historical record. I must say I was surprised by the waste of time and energy expended by the politicians by their internecine conflicts.
The book is not only a biography of this important figure but also an insight into how the USA shed the dominance of the Britain, developed their own political system and started to unpick dependence on slaves as cheap labour.

  • The Other Wife

  • By: Michael Robotham
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 544
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 497
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496

 

Childhood sweethearts William and Mary have been married for 60 years. William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife. Both have a strong sense of right and wrong. This is what their son, Joe O'Loughlin, has always believed. But when Joe is summoned to the hospital with news that his father has been brutally attacked, his world is turned upside down. Who is the strange woman crying at William's bedside, covered in his blood - a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really excellent

  • By mollyeyre on 16-06-18

Excellent listen

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

I've listened to many of the author's books featuring forensic psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin working with former cop Vincent Ruiz. This book is a bit different, for although some detective work is involved, it mainly delves into O'Loughlin's relationships with his parents and the discoveries about his father's hidden life. I found the narrative gripping and romped through the recording in a day and half of intermittent listening. There are no gruesome murders or torture the story being largely about peoples' behaviour and character. O'Loughlin is an engaging character who is disabled by Parkinson's Disease. As with previous books, though disabled, O'Loughlin is depicted in some scenes more like Superman bounding up flights of stairs or hurling himself through a plate glass window: not plausible but it seems a tenent of this genre that it is necessary to have a swashbuckling crescendo to round off the story.
Sean Barrett dramatizes the text with his usual skill.

  • Nemesis

  • The Battle for Japan, 1944-45
  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: Stewart Cameron
  • Length: 29 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

With an introduction read by Max Hastings. A companion volume to his best-selling ‘Armageddon’, Max Hastings’ account of the battle for Japan is a masterful military history. Featuring the most remarkable cast of commanders the world has ever seen, the dramatic battle for Japan of 1944-45 was acted out across the vast stage of Asia: Imphal and Kohima, Leyte Gulf and Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Soviet assault on Manchuria.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant as usual

  • By Jim on 02-11-14

Definitive account of the war in the Far East

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

Reviewed: 26-07-18

Exhaustive research has created what must be the book of record for the Battle for Japan. There is a lot of detail about numbers of tanks, guns, statistics about how many men were involved, killed or injured, etc., which, though often harrowing, is less interesting to the non-military historian, but creates a vivid picture of the enormous efforts made by the protagonists to prevail. It's a story that leaves one saddened by the sheer waste of human life and resources leaving countries devastated for years thereafter. Many more died than would have been the case had the Japanese military not encouraged a perverted code of honour that it is better to die than surrender. I had to take breaks from this long narrative as I found the catalogue of atrocities, largely perpetrated by the Japanese, made for a depressing listen.

The battle for Japan has had less publicity than the European and North African struggles, so this book is an important record of a major event in history. I knew something about the British and American allies against the Japenese, but knew little about the involvement of the Russians and their penetration into Japanese held Manchuria.

The narrator is excellent.

  • The Nuremberg Trial

  • By: John Tusa, Ann Tusa
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 25 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 268
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222

Here is a gripping account of the major postwar trial of the Nazi hierarchy in World War II. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the trial proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound examination of the processes that created international law. From the whimpering of Kaltenbrunner and Ribbentrop on the stand to the icy coolness of Goering, each participant is vividly drawn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brings horrible history alive

  • By Tim Conway on 18-04-14

Impressive account of a ground-breaking trial

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

Reviewed: 15-07-18

This is highly detailed account of how the Nuremberg trial was set-up through the co-operation of the four main allies at the end of the second world war. The crimes by the main defendants are alluded to but the main thrust of the book is how, despite the misgivings of some of the participants, international co-operation was achieved and to overcome the difficulties that the lawyers and judges had in creating a legal framework that meshed together the continental and the Anglo-Amercian legal systems of justice.

It is impressive what was achieved in a relatively short time to collate the mass of evidence and to present the cases with simultaneous translation using new technology. The generosity of the Americans in underwriting most of the costs made things run more smoothly than could have been thought possible in a country devastated by war.

The overall impression is of dignified proceedings in which the defendants were given a fair trial, but one is left with the distasteful evidence of how so many people could engage in barbaric behaviour.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Ship of Brides

  • By: Jojo Moyes
  • Narrated by: Nicolette McKenzie
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 328
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285

Australia, 1946: 650 brides are departing for England to meet the men they married in wartime. But instead of the luxury liner they were expecting, they find themselves aboard an aircraft carrier, alongside a thousand men. On the sun-baked decks, old loves and past promises become distant memories, and tensions are stretched to the limit as brides and husbands change their minds. And for Frances Mackenzie, it soon becomes clear that the journey is more important than the destination....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but found it slow.

  • By Elizabeth B on 12-06-18

History made personal

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

It's a slowly evolving story that kept me listening. I agree with others that the story it is slow, but this gives one time to get to know the fictitious characters. The story is a mix of actual events in the immediate post WW2 period when young Australian brides of British servicemen were transported by sea to the UK in an epic 6 week journey on an aircraft carrier. The story is full of the kind of emotions that these young women must have experienced: would they still love the man they'd married in haste; how would they cope with a new country and would they miss their family back home?

I enjoyed this long book and thought the narrator excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Complete Short Stories

  • By: Muriel Spark
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson, Emilia Fox, Richard E. Grant
  • Length: 17 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

The Complete Short Stories is a collection to be loved and cherished, from one of the finest short-story writers of the twentieth century. From the cruel irony of A member of the Family to the fateful echoes of The Go-Away Bird and the unexpectedly sinister The Girl I Left Behind Me, in settings that range from South Africa to the Portobello Road, Muriel Spark coolly probes the idiosyncrasies that lurk beneath the veneer of human respectability, displaying the acerbic wit and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her unique talent.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptional reading of substantial short stories

  • By T on 07-05-15

Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 06-07-18

I enjoyed this collection of stories. Well-written, as one might expect, and often full of humour pocking fun at human vanity and snobbery. The stories are varied and encompass such themes as crime, the supernatural and the cares of the human heart.
The narrators are all accomplished performers of audio books and add to the pleasure

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Big Little Lies

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,851
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,846

Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that ‘sharing is caring.’ So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified. And one parent is dead. Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad? As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Should be 4.5 Stars - Fantastic Surprise

  • By Gavingks on 06-11-14

I gave up

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

Reviewed: 03-07-18

I realize I'm in the tiny minority here but I was bored by this book. I gave up after about 5 hours of endless domestic trivia. If the book does improve later it takes too long to get there. I found the accent of the narrator too harsh and unpleasant at time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Stranger in the House

  • By: Shari Lapena
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 380
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 353
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 353

You're waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You're making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day. That's the last thing you remember. You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident; you lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous part of town. The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend isn't so sure. And even you don't know what to believe....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bloody brill

  • By Johanna Laughton on 13-01-18

OK but not that good

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

Reviewed: 30-06-18

An unmemorable book that plodded along for the first few hours of the recording. A bit too much over-wrought screeching by the main female character and then more from her female friend. It all seemed very predictable and formulaic. It gathers a bit of pace in the latter part and the unexpected final twist appears from nowhere with no clues laid down so seems an afterthought. It's a time-filler rather than anything special.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ep. 10: The Wimbledon Common Killer (Real Crime)

  • By: Thomas Glasser
  • Narrated by: Sharon Thomas
  • Length: 29 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

The murder and sexual assault of the young model Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in 1992 was particularly horrific. Her two-year-old son sat next to her dead body, telling his mum to wake up. After a series of police errors, her real killer was finally brought to justice 16 years later, allowing him in the process to take away two more lives. Real Crime retells the story, bringing to life the controversial police tactics to find Rachel's killer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting and chilling series

  • By Kirstine on 30-06-18

An interesting and chilling series

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

Reviewed: 30-06-18

I've listened to all ten real life crime stories. I remember them all. While having actual recordings of interviews and calls to the emergency services adds veracity to the episodes many are poor quality and difficult to hear. I found the added mood music annoying, especially if at the same time as speech. I often think that programme-makers should listen to what they produce through headphones like most of us use and experience how painful their often too loud sound effects/music are compared to the sound-level of the speech.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Barrister

  • By: The Secret Barrister
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 722
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 666
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 661

Welcome to the world of the Secret Barrister. These are the stories of life inside the courtroom. They are sometimes funny, often moving and ultimately life-changing. How can you defend a child abuser you suspect to be guilty? What do you say to someone sentenced to ten years whom you believe to be innocent? What is the law, and why do we need it? And why do they wear those stupid wigs?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A funny, interesting narrative about life as a barrister

  • By Halfgirlhalfwotsit on 26-03-18

A superb dissection of the English legal system

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

I found this a riveting account of the strengths and weaknesses of the English legal system in criminal cases. The author writes with verve and passion that kept me gripped throughout. He charts the history of how English law has evolved over the centuries and how it differs from that in other countries before dissecting the failures in how it operates in the 21st century.

While many things are to be lauded about English Law in practice it is abundantly clear from this book that excessive financial cuts are undermining justice. It is a telling statistic, that the cost of giving the over 75s free TV licences costs more than the funds allocated to run the Crown Prosecution Service. The latter creaking under the weight of too much work and too few people to do it so that justice is compromised. Cuts to the police and legal aid budgets mean that trials are not adequately prepared. Cynical politicians, who respond to populist opinion fuelled by the gutter press calculate that they can cut the justice budget to the bone without losing votes. The popular view of fat-cat lawyers obviously does not apply to those toiling in criminal cases.

The author gives chilling examples of people wrongly accused of a crime who don’t qualify for legal aid (a facility greatly curtailed by recent governments) who even when found innocent are left massively out of pocket with no redress. Even worse are those wrongly convicted, often spending many years in prison, who eventually are shown to be innocent but don’t qualify for any compensation as penny-pinching governments made the criteria to be eligible for compensation so stringent that few receive any redress.

I greatly enjoyed this book but was left depressed by the spectre of even more miscarriages of justice occurring owing to sub-standard trial preparation.

The narrator is excellent and injects the text with the justifiable outrage felt by the author.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful