LISTENER

Venta

East
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 8
  • ratings
  • Perilous Question

  • The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832
  • By: Antonia Fraser
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

Internationally best-selling historian Antonia Fraser's new book brilliantly evokes one year of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. For our inconclusive times, there is an attractive resonance with 1832, with its "rotten boroughs" of Old Sarum and the disappearing village of Dunwich, and its lines of most resistance to reform.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty dull

  • By Venta on 24-04-19

Pretty dull

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

Reviewed: 24-04-19

I really wanted to find out about this great moment in England's history. I was disappointed. It was a dull plod through names and dates, rather like I was taught history many years ago

  • The Invention of Murder

  • How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime
  • By: Judith Flanders
  • Narrated by: Janice McKenzie
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

A deeply engaging and completely original book about nineteenth-century Britain’s fascination with good quality murder. Murder in nineteenth-century Britain was ubiquitous – not necessarily in quantity but in quality. This was the era of penny-bloods, early crime fiction and melodramas for the masses.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • How we once lived

  • By Ian1956 on 29-05-12

Well researched

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

Reviewed: 24-04-19

It is a thorough piece of research and it's probably not ideal to have it as an Audible book. It's a book to dip into, lots of murders and plenty of chronicles detailing how they were received. A very approachable work of reference.

  • Get Me the Urgent Biscuits

  • An Assistant's Adventures in Theatreland
  • By: Sweetpea Slight
  • Narrated by: Sweetpea Slight
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

At 18, after moving to London with dreams of becoming an actress, an impressionable girl who paints freckles on her face begins work experience in a West End theatre company. In between mail-outs and making cups of coffee she meets the formidable producer Thelma Holt. Within a fortnight Thelma has stolen her, cancelled her audition for RADA, sent her to evening classes to learn to type, organised a miniscule salary and renamed her. From that moment she becomes Sweetpea.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Can’t decide if I enjoyed

  • By Colin McIntosh on 25-04-18

Oddly compelling

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

Reviewed: 23-03-19

It is difficult to know what this will be like? Will it be a back stage, gossipy name dropper, or an account of how shows are put together? Well no, it's quite an engaging personal account of someone swept into the theatrical world of the eccentric and louder than life producer Thelma Holt.It's not particularly revealing, not even of the writer's personal life and she's not a great storyteller. It is quite compelling though, and would be if you've never heard of Thelma Holt. Likeable.

  • Sound Pictures

  • The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Later Years, 1966-2016
  • By: Kenneth Womack
  • Narrated by: Paul Woodson
  • Length: 23 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Sound Pictures traces the story of the Beatles' breathtaking artistic trajectory after reaching the creative heights of Rubber Soul. As the bandmates engage in brash experimentation both inside and outside the studio, Martin toils along with manager Brian Epstein to consolidate the Beatles' fame in the face of growing sociocultural pressures, including the crisis associated with the "Beatles are more popular than Jesus" scandal. Meanwhile, he also struggles to make his way as an independent producer in the highly competitive world of mid-1960s rock 'n' roll. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great on the making of Sgt Pepper

  • By Venta on 23-03-19

Great on the making of Sgt Pepper

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

Reviewed: 23-03-19

It's great on the making of Sgt Pepper. Full of detail, it chronicles the long sessions from a new song being brought in to the enormous amount of takes before it's finally signed off by the group (irritatingly referred to as 'the bandmates') and George Martin. Would they have been as good in 1967 without George Martin? It's hard to say probably not, they would have got there somehow, but the work at Abbey Road was undoubtedly groundbreaking. On 4 track recording machines which was all they had at the time.
Outside the making of Sgt Pepper it's a bit thin and feels a bit rushed and I don't feel as though I know much about the man.
The writing is rather uninviting, and, taken with the poor narration and execrable attempts at doing the accents, it sounds like an account by a solicitor or bookkeeper

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.

  • By: Viv Albertine
  • Narrated by: Jasmine Blackborow
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

In 1975, Viv Albertine was obsessed with music, but it never occurred to her she could be in a band, as she couldn't play an instrument, and she'd never seen a girl play electric guitar. A year later, she was the guitarist in the hugely influential all-girl band the Slits, who fearlessly took on the male-dominated music scene and became part of a movement that changed music. A raw, thrilling story of life on the frontiers and a candid account of Viv's life post-punk - taking in a career in film, the pain of IVF, illness and divorce and the triumph of making music again - Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. is a remarkable memoir. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Not unless he wants to xxxx his mother" Shocking

  • By the owl service. on 24-02-19

Sounds like a novel

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

Reviewed: 30-01-19

I didn't know much about this era and the sub-culture so it was an eye opener and I think I found it a bit shocking. I was engaged from start to finish and was entertained and amused. I didn't get the amoral attitudes, or was it a laissez faire way of life being depicted? Maybe the second book will explore the author's feelings and attitudes but I don't know if i'll get round to listening to more. It was a great listen though and a brilliant narration

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Life in the Day

  • By: Hunter Davies
  • Narrated by: Cameron Stewart
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

In this much-anticipated sequel, Hunter looks back across five decades of successful writing to reflect on his colourful memories of the living in London during the height of the Swinging '60s; becoming editor of Britain's first colour weekend supplement The Sunday Times magazine, where he befriended the Beatles; and reporting on (and partying with) some of the biggest names in television, film and theatre of the day.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful tribute to Margaret Forster

  • By nigeyb on 19-03-18

A bit one note

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

Reviewed: 30-01-19

I thought that it would be more colourful, possibly more revealing, and while it is an interesting life I could not warm to it. Maybe it is the matter of fact tone of the narrator, or the fact that his wife always seemed critical of the writer, I can't say. It was a great chronicle of the times and worth listening, but oddly dull.