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A20man

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 13
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  • Espedair Street

  • By: Iain Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

Daniel Weir used to be a famous - not to say infamous - rock star. Maybe still is. At thirty-one he has been both a brilliant failure and a dull success. He's made a lot of mistakes that have paid off and a lot of smart moves he'll regret forever (however long that turns out to be). Daniel Weir has gone from rags to riches and back, and managed to hold onto them both, though not much else. His friends all seem to be dead, fed up with him or just disgusted - and who can blame them? And now Daniel Weir is all alone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Breathtaking

  • By Zara on 14-05-17

Dull

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

Reviewed: 21-10-18

Only made it to the end of this because it was a book group selection.... will be interesting to see if anyone in the book group liked it! Unfortunately to me it was just extremely boring. Part of the problem may be that none of the songs mentioned actually exist - a title and a few lyrics cannot command the emotional connection of actually listening to song. This is book where music is important but it doesn’t have any music in it - maybe this would have seemed a less jarring issue if I had been reading the novel rather than listening to it. As I was in listening mode, I wanted to hear the songs!

I found the characters poorly drawn, more caricature than flesh and blood. The ending was both unimaginative and unbelievable. There were a few rather “slapstick” moments (one of which involved a drunk dog) which I could imagine translating well into a low budget darkly comic film but other than that struggling to find anything positive to say.

  • The Sealwoman's Gift

  • By: Sally Magnusson
  • Narrated by: Katherine Manners
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160

In 1627 Barbary pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted some 400 of its people, including 250 from a tiny island off the mainland. Among the captives sold into slavery in Algiers were the island pastor, his wife and their three children. Although the raid itself is well documented, little is known about what happened to the women and children afterwards. It was a time when women everywhere were largely silent.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Iceland versus north Africa!

  • By Bookaholic on 14-03-18

Thought provoking read

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

Reviewed: 07-07-18

Unusual and interesting story line. Conjured up what it might be like to be wrenched from one culture to another... and how, in order to survive, we inevitably start to put down roots where ever we find ourselves. Narrator was excellent, loved her prounciation of all the Icelandic words I would have skipped over had I read the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Immortalists

  • By: Chloe Benjamin
  • Narrated by: Maggie Hoffman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 225
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 208

It's 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York's Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. Four siblings, too young for what they are about to hear, sneak out to hear their fortunes. We then follow the intertwined paths the siblings take over the course of five decades and, in particular, how they choose to live with the supposed knowledge the fortune-teller gave them that day. This is a story about life, mortality and the choices we make.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such an usual story full of love, life and sadness

  • By Kathst on 21-01-18

Interesting idea, didn't quite deliver...

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

Liked the starting idea for the story, but felt it didn't quite live up to my expectations. The four siblings' stories are told sequencially and it almost felt like four completely different books with one common thread only tenuously pulling them together.

  • La Belle Sauvage

  • The Book of Dust, Volume 1
  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Michael Sheen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,210
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,821
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,812

Philip Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials with this magnificent first volume of The Book of Dust series. Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them - a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping Story, Great Narrator

  • By Lorenzo on 21-10-17

Great to be back in Lyra's world!

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

Enjoyed the Audible experience of this, Michael Sheen did a great job of building tension and excitement with his narration. I finished the book over two long journeys and enjoyed it, but think it could become a little repetitive if listened to over a longer period - would have benefited from some more serious editing. Looking forward to the next installment.

  • A Tale for the Time Being

  • By: Ruth Ozeki
  • Narrated by: Ruth Ozeki
  • Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 664
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 594
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601

Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery. In a small cafe in Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao Yasutani is navigating the challenges thrown up by modern life. In the face of cyber-bullying, the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun and great-grandmother, and the joy and heartbreak of family, Nao is trying to find her own place - and voice - through a diary.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A bit of a struggle

  • By Andy Parsons on 24-11-13

A bit depressing...

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

Reviewed: 14-08-17

Some interesting insights into the Japanese mindset, but overall it was a bit of a downbeat story and overly long.

  • The Invention of Wings

  • By: Sue Monk Kidd
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye
  • Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 675
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 630
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 628

From the celebrated author of the international bes tseller The Secret Life of Bees comes an extraordinary novel about two exceptional women. Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimke is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful listen

  • By s w on 06-05-15

Informative, with characters you care about

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

I felt the novel increased my knowledge of this era in an engaging and compassionate way without lecturing. The characters were believable and the two voices reading for Sarah and Handful enhanced my involvement and concern for both characters. The accounts of slave life, whilst not shying away from the injustices and brutalities, did not dwell on them in gory or graphic detail. Finishing the book today I was sad to say goodbye to Sarah and Handful.