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Ian1956

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Painfully slow

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

Even allowing for an author's need to establish a scenario and characters, this dragged. After four hours I checked to confirm that I had indeed chosen something from 'crime and thrillers' (there having been neither crime nor thrills).

Dreadful tosh

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

Reviewed: 23-11-18

I greatly enjoy detective yarns from the so-called Golden Age of crime writing, but this was decidedly bronze medal stuff. The premise was fine, and when the author was describing the Indian countryside (clearly taken from personal experience) that too also held up. However, the pace was even uneven and character stereotypes were embarrassing shallow. We had to suffer cringing natives, who often gave in after little more than a bluff or sharp stare from an pukka Englishman, plus a hero-worshipping No2, and then Wallace's batman, who came across like like Long John Silver's idiot brother. "Swab me decks!" has never been used so often and with so little justification. Even allowing for the fact that what is acceptable in conversation has changed in the last couple of generation, too much of the dialogue here was simply excruciating. I'd recommend fast-forwarding through any passage involving Wallace's family. I had had great hopes for the series, but no. It was awful.

2 people found this helpful

Old fashioned whodunnit

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

Reviewed: 17-08-18

If you like your murder mysteries in the Agatha Christie mould, then this is for you. No particular depth to the characters, who seem two-dimensional stereotypes, but there are enough twists to keep your attention. A few non-PC turns of phrase, but that was the style of the day. I thought I'd guessed the ending from quite a way back, but I was mistaken. So, well done E C R Lorac.

3 people found this helpful

Take a chance

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

Reviewed: 04-07-15

Sometimes you have to take a chance on a book. I remember doing this with this book in printed form years ago, and never regretted it. The audiobook is clearly and intelligently read and loses nothing in the 'translation'. I have no real interest in fantasy literature, but this book (and the whole series) stands apart. There is a wit and intelligence in the writing, which sets Mr Fforde apart from most other novellists. He has the ability to exploit and develop ideas without ever slipping into smug cliche or lazy plot devices. The Eyre Affair works as a stand-alone item, but it also the start of a series. Yes, take a chance...

More of the same, sadly

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

Reviewed: 02-07-15

I tried the second volume in the hope that I might warm to the characters, but they proved to be even more irritating in volume 2. Excellent narration with clearly defined characters and accents, but Mike Grady is wasted on this pretentious material. It's the author showing off and then blaming it on the main character. Won't be buying any more in this series.

1 person found this helpful

So irritating

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

Reviewed: 02-07-15

An excellent audio-narration but the characters are so irritating. Yes, Morley is expected to get on our nerves, which might be a smart literary device, but gets very wearing. WIll try the second volume, but more in hope than expectation. Don't expect a standard whodunnit.

2 people found this helpful

A range of intriguing ideas

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

Reviewed: 25-06-14

I must admit that I bought this for the section on Epicurus, given that "pleasure", "leisure" and Epicurus appeared in an Open University module I had come across. In that respect, it fleshed out the OU material and demolished the slur about epicureanism. The audiobook is even-paced, occasionally interspersed with some awful accents from readers quoting from various international authors. It would have been better had Lynn Redgrave's calm voice narrated everything. All things considered, this is a book that can be listened to repeatedly and in small sections, if you wish to engage in the diverse ideas on offer.

Fascinatingly thorough

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

Reviewed: 25-06-14

The idea of an actor running through such a large body of work almost on an episode by episode basis is one that ought to dissuade all but the hardened devotee from doing more than just dipping into the work from time to time. However, there is something more here, and the varying viewpoints that Suchet adopts, plus the compelling biographical thread make this compulsive listening. I must admit that at the start bits of it seemed a little pretentious or 'luvvy', but by the end I was won over - not least by Suchet's sincerity and compassion.

Sound without voices

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

Reviewed: 18-05-14

This is a fascinating story, well told. Elmes has a light touch and an eye for well-chosen examples. The problem with this reading, however, is that it lacks the original recordings. Elmes is not a talented impersonator, so there is only so much that he can convey via a description of the vocal delivery and the way in which different lengths of pause are indicated by the number of dots left in the printed quote. Clearly, this is an audiobook, so it is constrained by being a vocal version of the book, but you will end up feeling that something is lacking and wondering how it might have been conveyed differently.

2 people found this helpful

Excellent early-ish stuff

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

Reviewed: 10-11-13

A fascinating survey of France, the Mediterranean and Asia Minor in the late 1860s. It's the little snap-shots that provide most pleasure. The pen-portraits of Napoleon III and Tsar Alexander II are worth setting again more standard historical summaries. There are, as might be expected, playful digs at aristocratic pretension and the dirt, laziness and corruption of many ordinary people, but Twain is similarly unforgiven about some of his own countrymen. The Crimean War is referred to on occasion, but it is interesting to note the lack of real reference to the more recent American Civil War in a work that relies on building parallels for readers back in the USA – readers who understood the copious Biblical and classical allusions more than their more counterparts.. There is throughout a balance between naive expectation and ultimate disappointment, which will speak to many a tourist who finds that guidebooks and popular imagery often distort a more prosaic reality. I personally preferred his subsequent "A Tramp Abroad" on Germany and Switzerland, though the range of discussion is broader here. The reading in this version is faultless.