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  • 8
  • reviews
  • 31
  • helpful votes
  • 82
  • ratings
  • Messy

  • By: Tim Harford
  • Narrated by: Roger Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139

The urge to be tidy seems to be rooted deep in the human psyche. Many of us feel threatened by anything that is vague, unplanned, scattered around or hard to describe. We find comfort in having a script to rely on, a system to follow, in being able to categorise and file away. We all benefit from tidy organisation - up to a point. A large library needs a reference system. Global trade needs the shipping container. Scientific collaboration needs measurement units. But the forces of tidiness have marched too far.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book.....lose the terrible accents

  • By Amazon Customer on 20-09-17

Ruined by narration <br />

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

Reviewed: 28-03-18

In many ways an enjoyable and interesting book, even inspirational at times but ruined for me by the narrator's habit of affecting silly faux American accents everytime he read a quotation. Unnecessary

Ark cover art
  • Ark

  • By: Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Chris Patton
  • Length: 16 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 110

With the discovery of another life-sustaining planet light years away, there is hope for a chosen few to leave the soon-to-be submerged Earth. Holle Groundwater is one of the candidates, having been trained for this purpose since childhood, when the ships Ark One and Ark Three were being built. But as Holle prepares to endure life aboard the Ark, she comes to realize that her attempt at escape may be more dangerous than trying to stay afloat on a drowning planet.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great bit piece of end-of-the-world sci-fi

  • By Paul on 14-03-11

Oh Dear!

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

Reviewed: 26-02-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If you like the apocalypse genre this is an engaging rather than a spectacular listen. It becomes rather convoluted in parts due to the number of characters and situations, but maybe that was me just getting tired of it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I usually enjoy Chris Patton's narrations, and, while this one was on the whole good, it had at the heart of it a catastrophe - the voice of Holly. In attempting to give her Scottish accent the narrator succeeded only in making her sound odd, detached and almost gormless. I laughed out loud at times and this really spoilt the experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 1Q84

  • By: Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
  • Narrated by: Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
  • Length: 46 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,448
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,007
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,004

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Murakami sparkles as ever

  • By Nick on 22-01-12

Magical

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-12-11

If you like Murakami you will love this long, engaging and magical book. The characters, even the minor ones, are all interesting and original and draw you to them. Some of the professional reviewers said that the plot sagged in places but I did not find this and it maintained my interest throughout. The narration, while not quite of the quality of that of Wind Up Bird, does do the book justice. I did find, however, that in parts Allison Hiroto used the same intonation repeatedly (you'll recognise it when you hear it) and it just jarred a little. If you want a long, leisurely read and a gripping story full of
imagination, drama and surprise then read it. Sex scenes sometimes hilarious!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Whitehall

  • The Street that Shaped a Nation
  • By: Colin Brown
  • Narrated by: John Telfer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

No other street in Britain contains more landmarks to our island’s history than Whitehall. Here, we visit what was the most notorious address in London when Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb conducted their very public and tempestuous love affair; the Admiralty, where Nelson received his orders to attack the French; and fragments of the tennis courts where Anne Boleyn watched Henry VIII playing tennis.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mediocre, disappointing

  • By Amazon Customer on 29-08-11

Mediocre, disappointing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-08-11

Great premise for a book, but poor execution. Sometimes it was hard to tell whether it was the author or the narrator what lets it down - was it the sneering tone of voice or the sneering words? For a history of Whitehall to spend so much time on John Prescott's affair with his diary secretary is cheap and lazy. And the author had obviously just read Chris Mullins' diaries as he pulls segments out of those (I'm sure Chris Mullins would admit that his contribution to goings on in Whitehall doesn't deserve mention in the historu books). But despite all that it wasn't all bad - there were some interesting sections and if you can avoid concentrating on how superior it sounds its probably worth a listen.... just about.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Owl Killers

  • By: Karen Maitland
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 17 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 361
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 184

England 1321: Deep in the countryside lies an isolate village governed by a sinister regime of Owl Masters. But their dark status quo is disturbed by the arrival of a house of religious women. Why do their crops succeed when village crops fail, their cattle survive despite the plague? Accusations of witchcraft and heresy run rife, while the Owl Masters rain down hellfire and torment on the women, who must look to their faith to save them from the lengthening shadow of evil... a shadow with predatory, terrifying talons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • utterly enthralling, loved every minute

  • By Cathryn on 17-04-12

Awful narration

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-08-11

This book is not as good as Company of Liars, and is spoilt by David Thorpe's truly awful narration. He attempts to use a range of voices form comedy Irish to what sounds like spoof Jewish, but in doing so only serves to confuse and irritate. I laughed out loud more than once at the narration which is not, I guess, what the author or publisher was hoping. Don't waste your money on this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Blood Meridian

  • Or the Evening Redness in the West
  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 530
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 416

Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Visionary, violent, yet redemptive. A masterpiece.

  • By Peter Kettle on 07-04-13

Stunning beautiful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-12-10

This book is not for the faint-hearted. It is full of strong and often disturbing images which some readers, frankly, won't want to hear. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful book, packed with dark yet stunning pictures and scenes. McCarthy paints a series of magical realist images which, like all great art, touch the imagination deep and point to truth. A word too about the narration. Richard Poe has a mature, rich voice and reads the book with a strength and beauty which I couldn't imaging being bettered.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

Labyrinth cover art
  • Labyrinth

  • By: Kate Mosse
  • Narrated by: Maggie Mash
  • Length: 24 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 984
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 384
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 386

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2007.
Winner of the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read of the Year, 2006.

July 1209: In Carcassonne, a sixteen-year-old girl is given a mysterious book by her father which he claims contains the secret of the true Grail. Although she cannot understand the strange words and symbols hidden within, she knows that her destiny lies in protecting it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Long and Laborious

  • By A Genealogist on 10-01-07

Badly written/Awfully read

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-04-10

This is a truly awful book. It is full of poor descriptive writing - "hair as black as a raven's wing" for heavan's sake and reads like a poor runner-up in some Sixth Form descriptive writing competition. As for the narration - dire! When the narrator tries to creat dramatic effect I kept expecting her to mention lashings of ginger ale. Do not waste your money on this tripe.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Ordinary Thunderstorms

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Martyn Ellis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 689
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 464

Adam Kindred, visiting London for a job interview, comes across a little Italian bistro as he walks along the Embankment, admiring the views. During his meal he strikes up a conversation with a diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterwards. With horrifying speed, Adam's encounter leads to a series of accidents through which he will lose everything.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful book, beautifully read.

  • By L. Fuchs on 24-09-09

Made for TV?

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-12-09

On the whole I enjoyed this book. It is pacey, has interesting characters and plenty of action. It is certainly easy to listen to on my bike and doesn't requiremuch concentration. Too much was left hanging at the end and characters/situations introduced and not revisited or developed. Like Tolstoy, when I see a pistol in a novel, I expect it to be fired, and too many weren't in this case! I wasn't too keen on the reading - voice was a little flat. At times I found myself thinking that no-one actually talks like this!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful