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James

Chester, United Kingdom
  • 39
  • reviews
  • 178
  • helpful votes
  • 268
  • ratings
  • Hangover Square

  • By: Patrick Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Piers Hampton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

London, 1939, and in the grimy publands of Earl's Court, George Harvey Bone is pursuing a helpless infatuation. Netta is cool, contemptuous and hopelessly desirable to George. George is adrift in a drunken hell except in his dead moments, when something goes click in his head and he realises, without a doubt, that he must kill her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fine novel

  • By James on 03-04-17

Fine novel

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

Reviewed: 03-04-17

This is a fine, sad novel, beautifully read - nuanced and attentive to Hamilton's prose: bitter, bleak and involving

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades and Hurrahs

  • By: James Wolcott
  • Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins
  • Length: 25 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

Critical Mass is a treasure trove of sparkling, spiky prose and a fascinating portrait of our lives and cultural times over the past decades. In an age where a great deal of back scratching and softball pitching pass for criticism, James Wolcott’s fearless essays and reviews offer a bracing taste of the real critical thing.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Good but...

  • By James on 03-04-16

Good but...

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

...repetitious as collections of reviews over the decades can often prove to be. This is more so here than most. The book proves a series of diminishing pleasures. Sample regularly rather than one after another, and this will be less the case.

  • Thank You, Jeeves

  • By: P. G. Wodehouse
  • Narrated by: Nicolas Coster
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

In high dudgeon, Bertie disappears to the country as a guest of his chum Lord "Chuffy" Chuffnell, who naturally employs the services of the recently resigned Jeeves. Along the way, we meet a memorable cast of characters including Bertie's ex-fiancee Pauline, her formidable father, and the eminet looney-doctor Sir Roderick Glossop. When Chuffy falls in love with Pauline, chaos ensues...until Jeeves step in to save the day.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It's Wodehouse

  • By James on 03-04-16

It's Wodehouse

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

...and so, if Coster is not the best or most effective reader - or the worst - Wodehouse is Wodehouse is Wodehouse: tap his glass with fingernail or cricket bat, it still rings sweetly out.

  • The Burning Room

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 518

In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and his new partner, rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boring

  • By MISS E. on 14-11-14

Not his best but

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

... Connelly is a very consistent writer - amazingly so considering his prodigious output. I do like Welliver as Bosch on TV, but his narration here can be one-note. Connelly's prose is lean, but a definitely more nuanced than Welliver allows. The former narrator did the books more proud.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Tolstoy

  • By: A N Wilson
  • Narrated by: John Telfer
  • Length: 21 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

In this biography of Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, A. N. Wilson narrates the complex drama of the writer's life: his childhood of aristocratic privilege but emotional deprivation, his discovery of his literary genius after aimless years of gambling and womanizing, and his increasingly disastrous marriage. Wilson sweeps away the long-held belief that Tolstoy's works were the exact mirror of his life and instead traces the roots of Tolstoy's art to his relationship with God, with women, and with Russia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fascinating biography

  • By Kirstine on 12-04-16

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

This is a great book. I read it when it first came out, and the revisions and updatings seem most apparent in its first chapter, but this is not a problem. Wilson is fair-handed and wise about Tolstoy's marriage and religion - stumbling blocks to sympathy. A massive and world-sized character, Tolstoy fascinates and Wilson is unabashed and makes him human-sized. while not minimising his work or impact. A definition of a good read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Adventures in Human Being

  • By: Gavin Francis
  • Narrated by: Thomas Judd
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52

We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. In Adventures in Human Being, Gavin Francis leads the listener on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Amz on 19-12-16

More adventure?

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

What is here is good, is fine, is clever and well-put, but it is a bitty book and not wholly satisfying or well-shaped. There are better books on similar themes - 'Gut' for example, and, not on Audible, the essays of Gonzalez-Crussi - but the reading is clear and expressive, and there is something in every chapter to consider and surprise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • High-Rise

  • By: J. G. Ballard
  • Narrated by: Tom Hiddleston
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 924
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 866

From the author of the Sunday Times best seller Cocaine Nights comes an unnerving tale of life in a modern tower block running out of control. Within the concealing walls of an elegant forty-storey tower block, the affluent tenants are hell-bent on an orgy of destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on "enemy" floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for riots and technological mayhem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing Fable

  • By G. K. Lowell on 14-05-15

Well-read

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

It is very well-read, but the novel itself is a little too pleased with its over easy slide into violence. Lord of the Flies is not a bad analogy, but Golding's may be the truer statement of man's innate tendency to evil. Here, certain beats seem to be missing in order fully to convince that, yes, this is how things turn out when the middle classes and privileged are willingly corralled. Don't they, as a rule, tend to turn on those outside their ivory walls, and not those who share the same space? As nightmares go, this one seems to hit a chord with others I don't quite identify. That said Hiddleston is very good, Ballard is a hypnotic and original eye, and there are some excellent set pieces.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Age of Innocence

  • By: Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by: David Horovitch
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

Countess Ellen Olenska, separated from her European husband, returns to old New York society. She bears with her an independence and an awareness of life which stirs the educated sensitivity of the charming Newland Archer, engaged to be married to her cousin, May Welland. Though he accepts the society's standards and rules he is acutely aware of their limitations. He knows May will assure him a conventional future but Ellen, scandalously separated from her husband, forces Archer to question his values and beliefs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Most enjoyable

  • By Maureen on 25-05-10

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

This was a novel I thought I knew - and the movie is so faithful to its detail and tone, it is possible to believe one has read it already. More than the film, it reveals that Archer is trapped and unhappy from the start. This seemed a flaw and there was an impatience that he seemed so passive and so ill-attuned to his own conscience, but this makes the climax all the more horrifying - there never was an escape - and its ending all the more wise. It is beautifully read.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • A User's Guide to the Millennium

  • By: J. G. Ballard
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

A collection of the author's articles and reviews, giving an insight into some of the most important literary, artistic, and scientific movements and events of the last 30 years.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • For completists but..

  • By James on 03-04-16

For completists but..

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

... that is not a criticism as such. Ballard's ideas are best expressed in his novels, and this collection of reviews over the years can be repetitious; however, they are read by Sean Barrett - which, generally, is all an audible book requires to satisfy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Turn of the Screw

  • By: Henry James
  • Narrated by: Emma Thompson, Richard Armitage - introduction
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 116

Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy winner Emma Thompson lends her immense talent and experienced voice to Henry James' Gothic ghost tale, The Turn of the Screw. When a governess is hired to care for two children at a British country estate, she begins to sense an otherworldly presence around the grounds. Are they really ghosts she's seeing? Or is something far more sinister at work?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Classic Ghost Story But I'm Still None The Wiser

  • By bookylady on 23-03-16

It builds...

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

At first I thought Thompson's voice was too casually modern, but it does prove very winning and convincing the more full-throated it becomes. In fact, it freshens the prose and moves us away from the more PR and actorly style that most period novels receive. While I don't get the sense of any of the complexity or ambiguity of the tale - this woman is barking from the get-go - on its own terms, it does work powerfully well.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful