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A. McKechnie

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 25
  • helpful votes
  • 32
  • ratings
  • Radical Candor

  • How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean
  • By: Kim Scott
  • Narrated by: Kim Scott
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 232
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231

Radical Candor is the sweet spot between managers who are obnoxiously aggressive on the one side and ruinously empathetic on the other. It is about providing guidance, which involves a mix of praise as well as criticism - delivered to produce better results and help employees develop their skills and boundaries of success. Great bosses have strong relationships with their employees, and Scott has identified three simple principles for building better relationships with your employees.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Valuable practical advice for managers on feedback

  • By LC on 25-04-19

Awful screechy narration - nails on a blackboard

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

Reviewed: 05-05-19

I had to stop this after a minute or two as the author narrator’s voice is so grating that it is impossible to listen to. Similar to nails on a blackboard.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • #taken

  • DC Max Wolfe, Book 6
  • By: Tony Parsons
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 328
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310

#taken in the night: They thought they were kidnapping the mistress of one of London’s most powerful gangsters. But they’ve taken the wrong woman. And crossed the wrong detective. #taken underground: Detective Max Wolfe's hunt for the missing woman takes him from New Scotland Yard’s legendary Black Museum to the glittering mansions of career criminals, from sleazy strip joints to secret sex dungeons - and to unspeakably dark deeds committed decades ago. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Series Going from Strength to Strength!

  • By Simon on 25-05-19

Yawn! Very similar to previous books

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

Reviewed: 04-05-19

I had enjoyed this series and looked forward to this latest one. The story is almost formulaic. The evil gangland boss, the fight in the disused tube station and by the way it sounds like the author has not been on the tube in the last 15 years. The relationship with ex wife, daughter, boss etc all the same. Boring, boring even identical wording. Seems more to make money than telling a story.

There are a couple of very obvious mistakes which irritate those who know the tube or area he writes about.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Cruel Acts

  • By: Jane Casey
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

Leo Stone is a ruthless killer or the victim of a miscarriage of justice. A year ago, he was convicted of the murder of two women and sentenced to life in prison. But now he's free, and according to him, he's innocent. DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve finds out, the less convinced she is of his guilt. Then another woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great as always

  • By Leigh Souter-Smith on 19-04-19

Unbelievable and even the narrator sounds bored

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

Reviewed: 04-05-19

This series started off as a fairly authentic police procedural. Now it has drifted into fantastically coincidental story lines and lost any sense of reality. The characters have tuned into caricatures. Even the narrator sounds like she is having teeth pulled.

  • The Reckoning

  • By: Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Victoria Cribb - translation
  • Narrated by: Lucy Paterson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

A chilling note predicting the deaths of six people is found in a school's time capsule, 10 years after it was buried. But surely, if a 13-year-old wrote it, it can't be a real threat.... Detective Huldar suspects he's been given the investigation simply to keep him away from real police work. He turns to psychologist Freyja to help understand the child who hid the message. Soon, however, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good read

  • By lassiefromlancs on 05-05-18

Awful - boring, weak story and unoriginal

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

Reviewed: 26-10-18

I very much enjoyed previous books from this author. This one is a huge disappointment. A silly and weak storyline. Superficial characters and a ultimately boring and predictable story with supernatural elements. Don’t bother.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dutch

  • Learn Dutch with These 500 Phrases
  • By: Vincent Noot
  • Narrated by: Vincent Noot
  • Length: 1 hr and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Five hundred phrases that will help you learn the language! Even though languages contain thousands of words and phrases, at least you can get started by memorizing some of these common sentences and expressions. It's a fun, easy travel guide with simple things people say in everyday situations. As a native speaker, I know exactly what a Dutch person would say, so you can consider yourself safe to be taught correctly.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Amateurish waste of money

  • By A. McKechnie on 17-05-18

Amateurish waste of money

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

Reviewed: 17-05-18

This sounds like it was recorded on someone’s phone. Amateurish, through and through, most phrases are quite useless and some are downright creepy.

I notice all the other reviews -all positive -were left on the same day - a bit odd to say the least.

  • The Craftsman

  • By: Sharon Bolton
  • Narrated by: Nathalie Buscombe
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143

Florence Lovelady's career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried...alive. Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he's dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Did she get it wrong all those years ago? Or is there something much darker at play?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best of the best

  • By P. Coleman on 07-05-18

Disappointed - not up to usual standard

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

I felt the book should have ended a few chapters from the actual end. The story got sillier and sillier with massive plot holes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

  • By: Joanna Cannon
  • Narrated by: Paula Wilcox
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,659
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,550
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,550

England, 1976. Mrs Creasy is missing, and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, 10-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 70s relived with goats and sheep

  • By Sigrin on 19-01-17

An absolute delight to listen to - fantastic narration

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

Reviewed: 12-03-17

I was about the same age as the narrator in 1976 and that is what attracted me to the book. Beautifully written story from the perspective of a 10 year old girl. The story is not perfect and a little thin at times, but the narrator absolutely made the book for me and brought the characters to life.

  • Distress Signals

  • By: Catherine Ryan Howard
  • Narrated by: Stephen Armstrong
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

The day Adam Dunne's girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a business trip to Barcelona, his life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads, 'I'm sorry - S' sets off real alarm bells. Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called The Celebrate and to a woman who disappeared in eerily similar circumstances. Adam must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting story that kept me focussed

  • By Sophie S on 01-08-16

Very silly and completely implausible

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

Reviewed: 05-09-16

The story descended into complete farce in the second half of the book especially. There was also a sub-story which was unnecessary to the plot and went nowhere. I regret the hours of my life spent on this poorly written tale. No redeeming features whatsoever.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Ten Days

  • By: Gillian Slovo
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 82

This new novel by Gillian Slovo was inspired by her extensive research for a 2011 play loosely based on the London riots. It's 4:00 a.m., and dawn is about to break over the Lovelace estate. Cathy Mason drags herself out of bed as she swelters in her overheated bedroom - the council still haven't turned the radiators off despite temperatures reaching the 30s.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling political intrigue

  • By Anthony on 20-03-16

Awful stereotypes - silly story

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

Reviewed: 12-03-16

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

No Londoner, that's for sure

Would you ever listen to anything by Gillian Slovo again?

I can't believe all her books are this bad - but I doubt I would try her again.

Did Joe Jameson do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

The narration was ok but the female characters were either posh or nasal sarth London.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

The book was a very slow starting story about nothing much. It might have been better as the play it originally was. As a Londoner I thought the description of the different characters was stereotypical and insulting, surprising given the author's background. Plot lines were obvious from a mile off. Nothing original or worth reading in this book. Hyped up book which I am returning for a refund.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,862
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,561
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,576

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like watching a runaway train....

  • By Robyn on 18-10-14

Overall very good but too long!

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

Reviewed: 27-04-14

Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

No, I may read the printed book so I can skip certain passages and re-read others. Some of the descriptive passages go on and on and on and the characters seem to do the same things over and over.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Goldfinch?

I think the most memorable moments are the descriptions of the characters that Theo encounters on his journeys.

Have you listened to any of David Pittu’s other performances? How does this one compare?

It was very good overall especially the Russian character, but it would have been a lot better if he had bothered to get the Dutch accents right. They sounded like they were from some imaginary country. Really annoying as that part of the book felt very artificial.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It did make me want to go to The Hague to see the painting for myself.

Any additional comments?

The book is overlong and it is annoying how Donna Tartt portrays female characters as incidental, almost as caricatures. As a woman writing through a male narrator sometimes the perception of the world doesn't quite ring true. There are a few major holes in the plot which are not cleared up.

Nothing happens for large parts of the book then suddenly a dramatic climax and the find seemed really rushed as if she was not quite sure how to finish it. Her description of Amsterdam and in particular the speech and personsality of the minor Dutch characters did not seem authentic, like she had never been there.

One of the characters from The Secret appears in the book - but doesn't speak and there is no description - I would have liked to have heard a little bit about him.

Overall though it was a very good book. The comparison to Dickens is justified.