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joanna green

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  • 13
  • helpful votes
  • 49
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  • The Constant Gardener

  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 17 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 274

The beautiful Tessa Quayle is murdered near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, the birthplace of mankind. And her putative African lover and travelling companion has vanished from the scene of the crime. Tessa’s husband, a career diplomat and amateur gardener at the British High Commission in Nairobi, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive. On his way he meets terror, violence, and conspiracy, but his greatest discovery is the woman he barely had time to love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Emotional, addictive and typical Le Carre

  • By joanna green on 30-11-14

Emotional, addictive and typical Le Carre

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

Reviewed: 30-11-14

What made the experience of listening to The Constant Gardener the most enjoyable?

The story is so leading. Having listened to a number of Le Carre's more traditional spy thrillers, this is a bit of a side step into international relations and politics, but it is just as tense, and more emotional because of the crime being investigated. You stay with the protagonist all the way through to the inevitable ending.

What other book might you compare The Constant Gardener to, and why?

If you imagine the storyline of a John Grisham set in the tense world of Le Carre's spys, this marries the two together. I really love it, although I found it very emotional to listen to. The protagonist is almost a younger less disillusioned Smiley

What about Michael Jayston’s performance did you like?

I love Michael Jayston's performance on this- there is a hint of a cautious observer, combined with passion that moves with the flow. I have listened to a number of his narration a of Le Carre's books and it always convinces me to get it.

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

It is a very emotional story, and a side step for Le Carre in this sense. Your heart does bleed for the protagonist, and having watched the film before listening to this, I knew the ending and was dreading it. Don't let this put you off- it's not overdrawn, but a necessary, inevitable resolution.

Any additional comments?

I really love this story! The narration is beautiful and the story moves in the way you expect a Le Carre to move.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Cuckoo's Calling

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 1
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 15 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,710
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,886
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,863

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and likeable

  • By Dragon on 06-05-13

Definitely a great forage into crime!

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

Reviewed: 30-11-14

Where does The Cuckoo's Calling rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Cuckoo's Calling is a very solid delve into the genre. I did listen to this after the author's true identity was revealed, but the authors previous works are mile apart- don't let this knowledge put you off. It's really great!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cuckoo's Calling?

I love the interaction between the stereotypical male detective and the savvy female assistant. He is almost straight out of a film noir and she is much more 21st century career woman. It works really well. The author really captures the intricacies of each role.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Their first meeting is classic!

Any additional comments?

If you like crime, this is definitely one to listen to.

  • Bridget Jones

  • Mad About the Boy
  • By: Helen Fielding
  • Narrated by: Samantha Bond
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,036
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 920
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 923

With her hotly anticipated third instalment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget's life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous email CC, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on. An uproariously funny novel of modern life, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is a triumphant return of our favourite Everywoman.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A mixed reading/listening experience!

  • By Ann D on 07-11-13

Definitely for Bridget fans

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

Reviewed: 30-11-14

Would you listen to Bridget Jones again? Why?

This finishes off the series. Bridget is still Bridget, trying desperately to fit in with her peers and the stereotype she finds herself in, this time being a single parent of a certain age. The story is all about how she moves haphazardly through social situations towards her new happily ever after.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bridget Jones?

One of the funniest story threads is how Bridget has to adapt to internet technologies . In the first book, she has altercations with a PA system, this time she gets a twitter account- very funny!

What does Samantha Bond bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Samantha Bond brings the story to life. There may not be a film from this, but this engages you with Bridget.

Death Comes to Pemberley cover art
  • Death Comes to Pemberley

  • By: P. D. James
  • Narrated by: Sheila Mitchell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 182

P.D. James masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice, and combines it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly-crafted crime story. The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, Elizabeth’s beloved sister, Jane, and her husband, Bingley, live nearby, and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better than expected

  • By Rachel on 09-12-11

Great follow on to Pride and Prejudice

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

Reviewed: 30-11-14

Would you listen to Death Comes to Pemberley again? Why?

This is definitely one I would listen to again. The story us as timeless as Pride and Prejudice, and just as engaging. It's great to be able to dip back into the characters at Pemberly and see how they develop. As a standalone, it works just as well. The story is engaging, thrilling and keeps you hooked until the end.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It is brilliant to have more into the life of Mr and Mrs Darcy. We met them individually in Pride and Prejudice and it's great to see more of them. If you haven't read Pride and Prejudice, these characters are a lynch pin to the story, taking you through the intricacies of the story and era. You empathise fully with their view points.

What does Sheila Mitchell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Sheila Mitchell adds to the emotion of the story, the tension and empathy.

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

Suitably tense, emotional, but good ending.

  • The King's Speech

  • By: Mark Logue, Peter Conradi
  • Narrated by: Jamie Glover
  • Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184

Winner of the Best Picture Oscar 2011 Award. One man saved the British Royal Family in the first decades of the 20th century – amazingly he was an almost unknown, and certainly unqualified, speech therapist called Lionel Logue, whom one newspaper in the 1930s famously dubbed ‘The Quack who saved a King’. Logue wasn’t a British aristocrat or even an Englishman – he was a commoner and an Australian to boot.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Loved It

  • By Jamie on 01-03-11

Great audio book even if you have seen the film!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

This book tells the story told in the Kings Speech film from the perspective of the speech therapist. It adds various details that are not included in the film and I found it enriched my film watching experience. Sometimes with film "spin offs" you can feel cheated but certainly not with this - it was conceived as a result of the film, but easily stands on its own two feet without it. It is a very engaging story, well narrated and very worthy of a listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

  • By: Stieg Larsson
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 18 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,899
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,089
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,093

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder - and that the killer is a member of his own family. He employs journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

  • By MrsFiddleback on 29-05-09

Great Book!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

Excellent narration combined with a superb story - engaging from the start and well worth a listen!

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy cover art
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

  • The Karla Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: John le Carre
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 871
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319

Mr George Smiley is small, podgy, and at best, middle-aged. He is disillusioned, wrestles with idleness, and has been deserted by his beautiful wife. He is also compassionate, ruthless and a senior British intelligence officer in short-lived retirement from the Circus the British Secret Service organisation situated in London. But Moscow centre has infiltrated a mole into the Circus and it’s more than likely that the perpetrator is Karla Smiley’s old adversary and his opposite number in Moscow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Hottest Cold War Novel Ever Written

  • By KDT on 27-04-10

Great spy novel!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

One of the best spy stories! Very engaging, well narrated, have listened to this a number of times already and I suspect I will listen to it again!

  • Strip Jack

  • Inspector Rebus, Book 4
  • By: Ian Rankin
  • Narrated by: James Macpherson, Ian Rankin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Gregor Jack, MP, well-liked, young, married to the fiery Elizabeth - to the outside world a very public success story. But Jack's carefully nurtured career plans take a tumble after a "mistake" during a police raid on a notorious Edinburgh brothel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great rebus story

  • By D. Clarke on 17-12-18

Another great Rebus book!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

Having listened to the others in the series, I plowed through this one. Well narrated and engaging - well worth a listen.

  • Les Miserables

  • By: Victor Hugo
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Misérables follows the adventures of Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Classic

  • By joanna green on 24-12-12

Wonderful Classic

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-12-12

Absolutely wonderfully engaging telling of this classic. I had been put off originally from trying to read this because of the length of the original book, but this abridge version tells the story without leaving you feeling cheated. I am very glad I did listen to this - one of the best stories written, and told well by the narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful