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Jane

LondonUnited Kingdom
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 66
  • helpful votes
  • 23
  • ratings
  • The Old Wives' Tale

  • By: Arnold Bennett
  • Narrated by: David Haig
  • Length: 24 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

The Old Wives' Tale is broken up into four parts, and the lives of two sisters are laid bare: one timid and unassuming, the other romantic and adventurous. From working as children in their family's drapery shop to their later years, Constance and Sophia's journey through life could not be more different. While one travels the world and defies male expectations, the other becomes a dutiful wife and mother.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slow down and let yourself go

  • By Jane on 24-04-10

Slow down and let yourself go

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-04-10

For the first hour or so I wasn't at all sure I liked this audiobook. Arnold Bennett seemed to witter on a lot and while the reader was good at accents, he was a bit over-dramatic for my taste I thought. Gradually I got drawn in further and further however. I got completely absorbed in the tale of Constance and then the tale of Sophia. Not only was this a riveting story; sometimes Bennett's observations on the way human beings think and react were so accurate and timeless it was breathtaking. I now agree it's a masterpiece.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Fortune

  • By: Olivia Manning
  • Narrated by: Harriet Walter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

It was a strange, uncertain world that Harriet entered when she married Guy Pringle. Guy taught English at the university at Bucharest, a city of vivid contrasts, where professional beggars exist alongside the excesses of mid-European royalty and expatriate journalists with a taste for truffles and quails in aspic. Underlying this is a fitful awareness of the proximity of the Nazi threat to a Romania which is enjoying an uneasy peace.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Reading of a Fascinating Book

  • By Trevor on 02-02-13

Will always love this book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-09

Harriet Walter does a brilliant job of making a favourite book (and TV series) even better. Guy Pringle is one of the most memorable and maddening characters in English literature - love him and hate him. I see the next book in the series has just been released. Hope you plan to publish all of them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Restoration

  • By: Rose Tremain
  • Narrated by: Paul Daneman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

To young Robert Merivel, the court of Charles II seems like paradise. Summoned to the court as doctor to the royal dogs, Merivel soon finds himself married to the king's beautiful mistress and the recipient of a lavish estate. Laced with acutely observed historical detail, humour, and poignancy, Restoration is a dazzling and entertaining romp through 17th-century England.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spellbinding

  • By Jane on 01-10-09

Spellbinding

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-10-09

Every once in a while I listen to a book which temporarily takes over my life and this has been one. It made me laugh and it made me cry and I think its main characters will live on in my brain for a long time. Not only did they all seem original and individual. They are also so imperfect and therefore so completely human and loveable. Except perhaps for the awesome presence of King Charles II, who lurks in the novel like - well I was going to say a spider, but spiders are not attractive and he surely is - so maybe like a panther. I was totally swept up in Robert Merivel's physical and spiritual journey and I'm bereft at losing his company. Paul Daneman's narration and inspired characterisation was also essential to my enjoyment - someone I've admired for years and what a wonderful surprise to find him reading this book. A gem. You must listen to it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Friday's Child

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Eve Matheson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110

This story of mistaken love is a romantic fiction set in the English Regency period. It centers on Lord Sheringham who has been rejected by the woman he loves but the woman who has secretly loved him since childhood is waiting.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of Heyer's best

  • By Stephanie on 28-02-09

I seem to be swimming against the tide?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-05-09

I had great hopes of Friday's Child; maybe that was the problem. I'd heard it was probably the author's own favourite and I'd read the existing reviews. So I settled down for a real treat but emerged feeling slightly let down. Unusually, I didn't warm to many of the characters. Gil was actually the most engaging and if Hero had had any sense (which she absolutely hadn't)she'd have gone off with him. His grandmother was also much more interesting than Lady Sheringham Senior; pity she appeared so near the end. Scrapes which seemed funny and entertaining towards the beginning began to seem tedious and unbelievable towards the end. And I found myself nitpicking about the logic of people's actions, rather than being able to get swept up in them. Finally, I couldn't really get on with Eve Matheson's various 'voices'. That's entirely a matter of personal taste I know. But I'm going back to Sian Phillips!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Road Home

  • By: Rose Tremain
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2008, The Road Home is the best-selling story of Lev, a middle-aged migrant from Eastern Europe, who moves to London in search of work after losing his wife and job. Lev's London is awash with money, celebrity and complacency. The world Tremain creates is both convincing and poignant.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A terrific experience

  • By Jane on 03-05-09

A terrific experience

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-05-09

I recommend this as one of the best audible books I've listened to in the last year (and I've listened to a lot of good ones). I rapidly became lost in the world of Lev and his progress to the extent that I almost felt I might bump into him in London next week. The mood of the whole book is exquisite and perfectly paced and Juliet Stevenson's reading makes a terrific contribution to this. I'm always wary of 'accents', which can get in the way. But the combination of her own great voice and her effortless characterisation of everyone really enhanced the experience. Fantastic and memorable.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • My Family and Other Animals

  • By: Gerald Durrell
  • Narrated by: Nigel Davenport
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 584
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450

This memoir is soaked in the sunshine of Corfu, where Gerald Durrell lived as a boy, surrounded by his eccentric family - as well as puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Animal Anecdotes

  • By Kindle Customer on 21-08-07

Good but maybe I shouldn't have

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-03-09

I downloaded this because I remembered how much I loved it and laughed out loud when I read it as a teenager (several centuries ago). I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by the second visit but I think this was to do with my SOH moving on. Years ago Larry seemed hilarious and enviably sardonic; now he seemed boringly selfish and even began to get on my nerves. That said there was still loads to enjoy and I listened with pleasure to the end. I loved revisiting Corfu in my mind and the best things are Gerry himself and his adventures with his animals. Nigel Davenport does a great job of narration. I specially admired his ability to characterise the Greeks without making them sound over-comic.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Sprig Muslin

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Sian Phillips
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124

Finding so young and pretty a girl as Amanda wandering unattended, Sir Gareth Ludlow knows it is his duty as a man of honour to restore her to her family.

But it is to prove no easy task for the Corinthian. His captive in sprig muslin has more than her rapturous good looks and bandboxes to aid her - she is also possessed of a runaway imagination...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A rattling good listen!

  • By Jane on 15-11-08

A rattling good listen!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-11-08

I'm a quiet fan of Georgette Heyer but I'd never come across Sprig Muslin before. I think it must be one of her very best books. The plot was absolutely masterly and it keeps your interest from start to finish. The characters are really interesting and not conventional. Plus Sian Philips does an excellent job in enhancing the whole mood of the book. I loved it and I listened to it at every available moment until it was finished.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful