LISTENER

Neil

Hemel Hempstead
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 266
  • ratings
  • The Christmas Hirelings

  • By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Saunders
  • Length: 3 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,018
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,838
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,823

A heartwarming festive tale of redemption and cheer, The Christmas Hirelings is the story of a lonely widower who reluctantly invites a group of children to his manor for Christmas. It showcases the benefits of opening your doors and hearts during the holiday season.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it! What a wonderful Christmas tale.

  • By Helen SJ on 17-12-18

Not What I Expected

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

Reviewed: 24-12-18

I wasn't too sure about this at first - I am no fan of period pieces. That said, the story is charming enough, if a tad over sentimental, and does go over the top with it in places. It doesn't take the average listener too long to work out what is going on, but it is nevertheless heartwarming. Jennifer Saunders does a great job narrating and for something that costs nothing, I am not going to complain (too much)

  • Lies Sleeping

  • Rivers of London, Book 7
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,492
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,321
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,311

Martin Chorley, aka the Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run. Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring Chorley to justice. But even as the unwieldly might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that Chorley, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long-term plan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love these characters and these books.

  • By Pegs on 23-11-18

Another Good Story in the Canon

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

I do enjoy the whole "Rivers" series, although the multuple platforms for these stories such as graphic novels sometimes make it difficult to follow them all.
This story ticks along nicely at a steady pace, but seems to be more narrative and doesn't do much to add to the background of some of the characters. It does bring things to a neat conclusion and has a few surprises in there. The author has always managed to drive the stories forward and Kobna Holbrook-Smith IS Peter Grant.
Only reason for 4 stars on the story is the wonderful bit of brand snobbery shown at the end of the book - cheap shot Mr Aaronovitch. I doubt you've even driven one!

  • Mixerman and the Billionheir Apparent

  • By: Mixerman
  • Narrated by: Mixerman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

After years of diminishing income due to cratering sales in the music business, Mixerman accepts a timely and lucrative offer from an Indian billionaire to mentor his son, Kanish Kanish. Mixerman's mission? To teach the young "billionheir" everything he knows about producing records. But it isn't long before they're teaching each other about life in general. After an initial carefree romp through California inspires a catchy ditty, the two partner up to produce the song and then break it on the Internet in an effort to get radio spins.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Starts Well But...

  • By Neil on 31-07-18

Starts Well But...

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

Reviewed: 31-07-18

I really enjoyed the previous Mixerman audiobook "The Daily Adventures of Mixerman" and was looking forward to more tales from studio life.

The story starts out well enough, and in similar vein, however, it then seems to veer between story and opinion piece and by the end, just becomes downright silly. There are some genuinely funny moments though and you won't get "The Douchebag Song" out of your head

  • Lies, Damned Lies and History

  • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 7
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,153
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,066
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,063

I've done some stupid things in my time. I've been reckless. I've broken a few rules. But never before have I ruined so many lives or left such a trail of destruction behind me. As Max would be the first to admit, she's never been one for rules. They tend to happen to other people. But this time she's gone too far, and everyone is paying the price. Grounded until the end of time, how can she ever put things right?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another winner

  • By Alan R on 18-12-16

Another Frustrating Tale

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

Reviewed: 23-08-17

What other book might you compare Lies, Damned Lies and History to, and why?

Any of the previous books in the canon

What about Zara Ramm’s performance did you like?

Zara, like many audiobook readers, is the person I have become most associated with the series. I would miss having her narrate.

Any additional comments?

Another frustrating book from the St Mary's series. The whole series is, quite frankly, annoying at times. The team manage to get themselves in many scrapes that get more ludicrous as the series progresses. You would think that they would learn by now, but no. I do however, want to keep listening, just to find out what happens!

  • The Massacre of Mankind

  • By: Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Nathalie Buscombe
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 318
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 295

It has been 14 years since the Martians invaded England. The world has moved on, always watching the skies but content that we know how to defeat the Martian menace. Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war machines has led to technological leaps forward. The Martians are vulnerable to earth germs. The army is prepared. So when the signs of launches on Mars are seen, there seems little reason to worry. Unless you listen to one man, Walter Jenkins, the narrator of Wells' book.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No one would have believed . . .

  • By Simon on 20-01-17

Not a Bad Story but Poor Narration

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

Reviewed: 10-05-17

Would you try another book written by Stephen Baxter or narrated by Nathalie Buscombe?

Certainly by the author but not by the narrator. The reading was appalling - the upper class/public school accent adopted at every turn grated and generally spoilt the storyline

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

It felt unresolved and contradictory in places - a whole segment about the war in other areas felt shoehorned in to pad the story out.

Would you be willing to try another one of Nathalie Buscombe’s performances?

No - truly awful and cringeworthy narration.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Possibly, if it were given a good enough script!

  • The Stone Man

  • A Science Fiction Horror Novel
  • By: Luke Smitherd
  • Narrated by: Matt Addis
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,962
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,848
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,840

Nobody knew where it came from. Nobody knew why it came. When an eight-foot-tall man made of stone appears in the middle of a busy city center one July afternoon, two-bit (and antisocial) reporter Andy Pointer assumes it's just a publicity stunt. Indeed, so does everyone else...until the Stone Man begins to walk, heading silently through the wall of the nearest building, flattening it, and killing several people inside as a result.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Original British SF...absolutely loved it!!

  • By Jude on 12-07-15

As Good As The Hype

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

Reviewed: 24-04-17

What made the experience of listening to The Stone Man the most enjoyable?

The input that Matt Addis gives to the performance. You can believe the characters and their struggles and tribulations.

What did you like best about this story?

The fact that the author built the tension. I've always felt a good book gets me screaming "get on with it" and this does this in spades.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

If I mentioned that, it would be too much of a spoiler. Listen and find out for yourself.

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

I did - though it was frustration most of the time. It was, I realize, the plot devices being used by the author, to ramp up the tension.

Any additional comments?

I've read far too many reviews that said this felt like a short story spun out, and it did a little for me, but that is just part of the author ramping up the tension. I didn't feel the horror aspect of it though, but certainly plenty of sci-fi. More, Luke, More!

  • The Physics of the Dead

  • A Supernatural Mystery Novel
  • By: Luke Smitherd
  • Narrated by: Luke Smitherd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,065
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,011
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,005

The afterlife doesn't come with a manual. In fact, Hart and Bowler (two ordinary but dead men) have had to work out the rules of their new existence for themselves. It's that fact (along with being unable to leave the boundaries of their city center, unable to communicate with the other lost souls, unable to rest in case The Beast catches up with them) that makes getting out of their situation a priority. But Hart and Bowler don't know why they're there in the first place; if they ever want to leave, they will have to find all the answers to be able to understand the physics of the dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • There is Simply no Formula for Luke Smitherd!

  • By Simon on 04-03-16

Stunning

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

Reviewed: 26-02-17

A book you can really get your teeth into and not want to hit the pause button. Well crafted plot lines and character development lets everything develop slowly, almost imperceptibly, until the final chapters and you see what is going on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Passenger 23

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Sebastian Fitzek
  • Narrated by: Max Beesley, Rebecca Hall, Anthony Head, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,499
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,390
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,394

With no police to investigate and no escape, could it be the perfect setting for a crime? Martin Schwartz (Beesley) is an undercover detective who is recovering from his wife and sons' bizarre disappearance from a cruise ship 5 years ago. He is a desperate man willing to take big risks. Martin never wanted to step onto a cruise ship again until he receives a call which can't be ignored. On average, 23 people per year disappear without a trace from cruise ships. Never before has someone come back... until now.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Really Interesting stuff!!!

  • By lynsey Patina on 22-12-15

Not Bad but Frustrating In Places

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

Reviewed: 09-02-17

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

Yes, though not for someone who is a fan of cruising. There's enough tension to keep you guessing.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really - breaking it down into chunks was the best way I could find to listen to it.

Any additional comments?

It isn't a bad story, and there are a few twists in there to keep you interested, but I found some of the plot devices used to build the tension very frustrating. I'm never too sure if this is a good or bad thing, as you find yourself screaming mentally at the characters.

  • The Hairy Bikers Blood, Sweat and Tyres

  • The Autobiography
  • By: Si King, Dave Myers
  • Narrated by: Si King, Dave Myers
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 421
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 383
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 383

Si King and Dave Myers, aka The Hairy Bikers, have lived life to the fullest. They had fantastically rich northern childhoods laced with food and fun, but of course with some tragedy too. But we also get to know the early Bikers - we find out how their friendship developed and all of the mad capers and round-the-world trips they went on. Perfect for their fans, heavily seasoned with warmth, food, love, bikes and bro-mance, the Hairies never fail to entertain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!!

  • By Glynne on 01-12-15

As Tasty As Their Cooking!

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

Reviewed: 30-09-16

Where does The Hairy Bikers Blood, Sweat and Tyres rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As an autobiogrqaphy, it rates pretty highly. It gives a great insight into their past and the genuine warmth and bonhomie of Dave and SI shines through.

What did you like best about this story?

Their lives before hitting the big time. I simply had no idea of what they did before bursting on to the small screen.

Have you listened to any of Si King and Dave Myers ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Unfortunately not, but having them read their own story makes the whole thing all the more interesting.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Both Dave and Si's descriptions of their health issues in relation to brain conditions - Dave with his cyst and Si with his aneurysm.

Any additional comments?

I was lucky enough to meet these two lads, when they visited our offices during filming for the first "Meals On Wheels" series. They were really happy to char and have pictures taken. The warmth and friendliness shown then comes across in the book from start to finish.

  • Clockwork Lives

  • By: Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart
  • Narrated by: Morgan Hallet, George Guidall, Richard Poe, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

It was a world of airships and alchemy, clockwork carnivals, pirates, lost cities, a rigid Watchmaker who controlled every aspect of life, and his nemesis, the ruthless and violent Anarchist who wanted to destroy it all. Anderson and Peart have returned to their colourful creation to explore the places and the characters that still have a hold on their imaginations.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Filling In The Blanks

  • By Neil on 19-09-16

Filling In The Blanks

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

Reviewed: 19-09-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The premise of the book is great, however, it does get a little samey after a while

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The subtle in-jokes or references to Rush songs or albums do bring a smile.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

The Steamliner Captain, as this was probably the best tale of the book and had some direct relevance to the main character.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Probably not - or at least without seeing a film of Clockwork Angels first!

Any additional comments?

It's not the worst book I've listened to. These are the tales of some of the incidental characters from Clockwork Angels (a far better book). The format can grate a little, but all in all,, it's a reasonbable accompanyment