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Reluctant Mermaid

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 59
  • helpful votes
  • 25
  • ratings
  • If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late

  • A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together
  • By: James J. Sexton
  • Narrated by: James J. Sexton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

If You're In My Office, It's Already Too Late. James Sexton knows this. After dealing with over 1000 clients whose marriages have dissolved over everything from an ill-advised threesome with the nanny to the uneven division of carpool duties, he also knows all of the what- not-to-dos for couples who want to build - and consistently work to preserve - a lasting, fulfilling relationship. Described by former clients as a "courtroom gunslinger" and "the sociopath you want on your side", Sexton tells the unvarnished truth about relationships. These usually derive from dishonest communication.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FANTASTIC

  • By Reluctant Mermaid on 29-05-18

FANTASTIC

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

Reviewed: 29-05-18

Forget therapy - listen to this book!
Great advice for ANY couple from a man who’s heard it all.




  • Too Far From Home

  • A Story of Life and Death in Space
  • By: Chris Jones
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

In November 2002, U.S. astronauts Donald Pettit and Kenneth Bowersox, and Russian flight engineer Nikolai Budarin, left on what was to be a routine 14-week mission to maintain the International Space Station. But then, on February 1, 2003, the Columbia space shuttle exploded beneath them. With the launch program suspended indefinitely, these astronauts had suddenly lost their ride home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good but not what I expected

  • By Paul C on 20-07-17

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 01-05-16

A wonderfully written account - extremely well read by the narrator.

So many interesting facts and lots of information about life on the ISS, astronauts, cosmonauts and the interactions between them, their families and their land-bound colleagues.

It 'reads' like a page-turner, but has moments of 'poetry' in its narrative as it seeks to illustrate the experience of being thrust into the vacuum of Space.

Loved it!

  • The Road to Happiness Is Always Under Construction

  • By: Linda Gray
  • Narrated by: Linda Gray
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

When Linda Gray, iconic star of Dallas, was 20 years old, a magazine editor coldly rejected her as a model, writing that perhaps one day "you might shape into something". At 38 Linda got her big break, as Larry Hagman's wife on Dallas. To celebrate her 75th birthday, Linda is opening up about her life for the first time.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • LABOURED NARRATION ...

  • By Reluctant Mermaid on 17-10-15

LABOURED NARRATION ...

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

Reviewed: 17-10-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

By having someone else narrate it.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Nothing wrong with the story - but the narration was plodding and dull.

What didn’t you like about Linda Gray’s performance?

Her performance was wooden - there was no natural ebb and flow to her narration because she was trying so hard to EN-UN-CI-ATE every word, resulting in a very laboured 'listen'. It's a shame, because her story is interesting enough and she comes across as a pleasant and fun person in interviews - but she needs to leave the voice work to someone whose acting skills are broader than hers.

Any additional comments?

I would suggest that this is a book that should be "read", not "listened" to. Her story is interesting, but her narration is not engaging enough to keep one on board.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Year of Living Danishly

  • Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
  • By: Helen Russell
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,503
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,358
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,355

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long, dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born or made?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Completely fascinating and bonkers

  • By melisa on 04-11-15

Chapter 2 and already irritated by it ...

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

Reviewed: 25-07-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Meh ...

What was most disappointing about Helen Russell’s story?

The narrator's pronunciation of the most basic Danish words ... dire.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I am a non-Dane living in Denmark and I am cringing at the reader's attempts at pronunciation. She makes the classic mistake of calling Copenhagen, "CopenHAAgen" and Jutland, "YUtland" (a mash-up of both languages and incorrect either way). When speaking English, one pronounces them the 'English' way, when speaking Danish (which I do), one pronounces them the 'Danish' way? In English, one doesn't say, "I had the most wonderful time in Pareeeee" when discussing the French capital ... so, why "CopenHAAgen" and "YUtland"?

She also has not the faintest clue how to pronounce basic Danish names like Helle and Pernille - and, when discussing Danish "Hygge" (integral to Danish life - and the whole point of the book) she is so far off the mark ("hoooogERR"?) that I am overwhelmed by the desire to drown myself in a vat of pickled herring.

Seriously, how difficult can it be to check the vocabulary with a natural-speaking Dane (there are at least 60,000 of them living in London alone!)?

I know it's not a huge issue but, when it's an AUDIO book and the subject matter is about 'understanding and integrating' into the Danish way of life, the very LEAST that the publishing company could have done is found someone who was able to pronounce the most basic words correctly - or to have ensured the narrator had someone to keep her on the right track.

Any additional comments?

I'm off to eat some wienerbrød and calm down ... (( leaves white-walled room, slamming well-insulated door on way out ))

28 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Wild

  • By: Cheryl Strayed
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,841
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,661
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,660

A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an 1100-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe and built her back up again. At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. After her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than an idea: vague, outlandish, and full of promise.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Exceptional Story

  • By Colin on 30-01-15

Didn't want it to end ...

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

Reviewed: 11-05-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. An interesting story, beautifully read (by Laurel Lefkow).

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

No ... but I am going to search her out now because she is a really pleasant voice to listen to.

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

There were a few emotional moments - the horse - oh my god, the horse! But they were very well described (and read), so didn't become maudlin or overtly sentimental. But very moving all the same ...

Any additional comments?

I am not normally a "travel" book kind of person, but this was a fantastic listen. It was greatly enhanced by the voice talent of Laurel Lefkow who had exactly the kind of voice that you want to listen to, but it doesn't intrude on you either. I didn't want this book to end - very good, highly recommend.

  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

  • By: Karen Joy Fowler
  • Narrated by: Katharine Mangold
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 533
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 480
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 484

Rosemary's started college, and she's decided not to tell anyone about her family. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There was something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. You'll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fab story beautifully told

  • By Mags on 30-01-15

Brilliant story - terrible narrator

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

Reviewed: 17-03-15

A truly original story - informative, observant and heartbreaking.
However, the narrator is terrible. She has a horribly robotic voice with a 'smug' undertone. I would advise READING it. The only reason I persevered with the audio version is because I needed something for the dog walk!
That said, the book itself is wonderful and I would highly recommend it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • On Writing

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 976
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 835
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 828

In June of 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van while walking along the shoulder of a country road in Maine. Six operations were required to save his life and mend his broken body. When he was finally able to sit up, he immediately started writing. This book - part biography, part a collection of tips for the aspiring writer - is the extraordinary result.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great personal insight

  • By Blinkinmarvellous on 13-04-13

FANTASTIC

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-15

Essential listening / reading for any would-be writer. He's a revelation. I was expecting dark and morose, but he's a wonderful narrator and a generous author. Get it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Hopeful

  • An Autobiography
  • By: Omid Djalili
  • Narrated by: Omid Djalili
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 107

Omid Djalili's fascinating story begins with an unconventional childhood spent at his family's London guesthouse for visiting Iranians. At school he is kept busy with the beginnings of a passionate love affair with football but he hopes one day to live a more intellectually fulfilled life. For one wonderful summer in California it seems that maybe he will find his spiritual home at UCLA.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By tracy on 06-08-18

What did I just listen to ...?

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

Reviewed: 28-09-14

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

Um ... nope, sorry, can't think of anyone.

What was most disappointing about Omid Djalili’s story?

That there was, in fact, very little "story". It was a surprisingly dull narrative which surprised me because his public image suggest someone full of banter. He's basically a blagger (who cheats his way into university) and probably blagged his way into a publisher's office and convinced them he could write. I would really like to get my "credit" back for this one but I kept going with it (hoping it would improve)- and didn't think it was fair to ask for a refund.

How could the performance have been better?

If the substance of the book had been more interesting.

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

Not really.

Any additional comments?

As a performer, I like him. As a writer, not so much.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 327
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 326

In his newest collection of essays, David Sedaris lifts the corner of ordinary life, revealing the absurdity teeming below its surface. His world is alive with obscure desires and hidden motives, a world where forgiveness is automatic and an argument can be the highest form of love. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is another unforgettable collection from one of the wittiest and most original writers at work today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstandingly sad, funny and bitchy family life

  • By Kaggy on 06-08-16

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL

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

Reviewed: 21-09-14

Any additional comments?

His ability to focus on his own (self-perceived) failings, his bitterness, his humour, his sarcasm and his wit make David Sedaris one of the best "listens" available. Love him.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 552
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 552

A guy walks into a bar.From here, the story could take many turns. A guy walks into a bar and meets the love of his life. A guy walks into a bar and finds no one else is there. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humour and intelligence and leave you deeply moved. In Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, Sedaris remembers his father's dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy. The common thread? Sedaris masterfully turns each episode into a love story: how it feels to be in a relationship where one loves and is loved over many years, what it means to be part of a family, and how it's possible, through all of life's absurdities, to accept oneself. With Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris shows once again why he has been called 'A humorist par excellence, he can make Woody Allen appear ham-tongued, Oscar Wilde a drag' (Observer).

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • funny and often disturbing

  • By Marcus on 17-07-13

WONDERFUL

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

Reviewed: 21-09-14

Any additional comments?

A strange little man with a great big talent to observe human nature - and he is not afraid to turn the most critical eye on himself. Love him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful