LISTENER

Alathia

  • 24
  • reviews
  • 54
  • helpful votes
  • 29
  • ratings
  • John the Pupil

  • By: David Flusfeder
  • Narrated by: Lee Maxwell Simpson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

John the Pupil is a medieval road movie, Umberto Eco seen through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino, recounting the journey taken from Oxford to Viterbo in 1267 by John and his two companions, at the behest of the friar and magus Roger Bacon, carrying a secret burden to His Holiness Clement IV. As well as having to fight off ambushes from thieves hungry for the thing of power they are carrying, the holy trio are tried and tempted by all sorts of sins: Ambition, pride, lust - and by the sheer hell and heaven of medieval life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book

  • By Alathia on 22-09-16

Good book

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

Reviewed: 22-09-16

This was a good book. It's sort of a road trip book, but on foot and in medieval times. The glimpse of everyday life then was interesting, the physical movement of the characters from place to place means that we get views of different places but are never too bogged down in history and detail. We see the world through the eyes of our medieval monk protagonists rather than through the eyes of 21st century observers, something I think that works well to put the listener in the world of the book.

I particularly enjoyed the regular recitations of biographical information of the life of the Saint who had their feast day that day.

The narrator grew on me, at first I was disappointed that the tone seemed to lack energy but actually I feel that his choice of tone really shaped my view of the main character as this calm and quietly intelligent young monk who seems to take everything in his stride. In fact, it ended up one of my favourite aspects of the book.

  • Finding Audrey

  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Gemma Whelan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 170

A laugh-out-loud romance from the best-selling author of the Shopaholic series. Meet Audrey: an ordinary teenage girl with not-so-ordinary problems. Aside from her completely crazy and chaotic family, she suffers from an anxiety disorder which makes talking to her brother's hot new best friend a bit of a challenge. But Audrey has a plan to help her face her fears and take on the world again. First stop: Starbucks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fab for any Kinsella fans

  • By Fabulous Book Fiend on 09-08-15

What it's like to have anxiety

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

Reviewed: 22-09-16

This books let's you sit in the head of someone with an anxiety disorder. Kinsella makes her characters so relatable that you almost forget you aren't them, you mesh with the main character as the story progresses. The story is excellently and sympathetically told, I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a better understanding of anxiety as an illness and everyone who wants a good, positive story.

  • The Wind in the Willows

  • By: Kenneth Grahame
  • Narrated by: Michael Hordern
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336

Here is a timeless tale of waterside Britain that has been loved by generations of children and acclaimed as a classic. The story of Mole, Ratty, Badger, and Toad, and their escapades, whether messing about on the river or poop-pooping in Toad's shiny new car, cannot fail to enchant.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Childrens Classic

  • By G. Hagley on 19-04-13

Along the riverbank

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

Reviewed: 19-03-16

This was really enjoyable. The characters are as warm and loveable as I remember from when I was a child. Felt a bit longer than it needed to be in some parts but in a way that just added to the lovely languid atmosphere of the story.

Wonderfully narrated by Mr Hordem who got the characters spot on.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Full Cupboard of Life

  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 5
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Hilary Neville
  • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

Mma Ramotswe is still engaged to Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni and wonders when a day for the wedding will be named. But she is anxious to avoid putting too much pressure on her fiancé, for indeed he has other things on his mind - notably a frightening request from the pushy matron of the Orphan Farm. Mma Ramotswe herself has weighty matters to address. She has been approached by a wealthy lady and asked to check up on several suitors. Are these men just interested in her money?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoy the sunshine!

  • By Alathia on 19-03-16

Enjoy the sunshine!

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

Reviewed: 19-03-16

When I listen to Ladies Detective Agency books what I'm looking for is to bask in the hot African sun while casually watching my old friends Mma Ramotswe and Mme Makutsi solve life's little problems. This book completely lived up to my hopes.

I felt that this book particularly excels in 'people problems'. How to deal with unreasonable requests, how to broach difficult subjects, how to judge someone's true character. This is one of the things that the series does so well, present relatable issues and deal with them one by one with Smith's wonderful easy charm.

If you want a book as reassuring as a nice cup of tea and your favourite blanket, this is the one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Jingo

  • Discworld, Book 21
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Nigel Planer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,636
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,343
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,341

A weathercock has risen from the sea of Discworld, and suddenly you can tell which way the wind is blowing. As two armies march, Commander Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch has got just a few hours to deal with a crime so big that there's no law against it. It's called "war"....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terry never fails to deliver a fantastic story

  • By Mrs on 25-11-13

Funny and insightful

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

Reviewed: 12-02-16

Wonderful yet again. This book as the warm characters and laugh out lines and the impossibly crazy situations that Pratchett always seems to deliver. I realise that that may make it sound like 'just another like all the others...' But trust me, in the case of Pratchett this is a very, very good thing.

One particular highlight is when Vimes, with the clear sightless unique to him, sees plainly that this whole 'war' thing should be a crime, in any other situation it would be. He therefore tries to arrest everyone involved. It's a brilliant moment.

Mr Planer brings all the characters to life and is joy to listen to. Go improve your life by listening to this.

The Happiness Hypothesis cover art
  • The Happiness Hypothesis

  • Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
  • By: Jonathan Haidt
  • Narrated by: George K. Wilson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203

This is a book about 10 "Great Ideas". Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations - to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Different, leads you to new understandings

  • By Phillistein on 22-02-08

Years on this is still helpful

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

Reviewed: 23-01-16

I listened to this 5 years ago and am reviewing now because this book is still useful.

The book goes through small practical things to boost you happiness. Importantly for me this is all backed by scientific studies. This is all put in the context of the history of these ideas in religion.

Thought provoking, useful, wonderful. You should read this book.

  • Rivers of London

  • Rivers of London, Book 1
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,353
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,052
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,042

My name is Peter Grant and until January, I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluble....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • brilliant original story great narrator

  • By valb on 05-08-11

*shrugs*

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

Reviewed: 23-01-16

This is a bit controversial but honestly this just didn't entertain me. It wasn't that there was anything in it specifically bad, it's just neither the plot nor the characters really grabbed me. This even though I live and work in London. I mostly made myself listen all the way to the end because the book is SO loved by SO many. I just kept thinking I would hit the good, well the apparently great bit. Unfortunaly I just didn't. The hype just makes my disappointment greater.

Maybe I just don't like urban fantasy.

The narrator however was really really great. Well done him.

  • The Year of Living Danishly

  • Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
  • By: Helen Russell
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,498
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,353
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,350

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long, dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born or made?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Completely fascinating and bonkers

  • By melisa on 04-11-15

BRILLIANT

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

Reviewed: 23-01-16

I am shocked by how much I loved this book. It's the sort of cultural exploration I love. The author presented the facts about Denmark - how amazingly happy it is as a coubtry, made some hypothesis about why this was and then went to test those ideas, usually ending in a very entertaining and insightful anecdote. Really, really good.

The narrator did just want narrators should in this sort of book, just made me feel I was listening directly to the author tell her stories.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Road to Little Dribbling

  • More Notes From a Small Island
  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Nathan Osgood
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,512
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,398
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,399

Twenty years ago Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the best-selling travel book ever and was voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain. Now, to mark the 20th anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey around Britain to see what has changed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Narration not great

  • By Deliabattie on 14-10-15

Notes from a small island 2

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

Reviewed: 23-01-16

I was a bit disappointed by this book. I think maybe if I hadn't loved Notes from a Small Island I may have given it a higher rating. It has many of the great Bryson observations about the minutiae and practicalities of life. It's funny, insightful and made me realise how little of my own country I have explored.

However it I just wasn't nearly as good as Notes and I couldn't help constantly comparing it to that book as I listened. He went to some of the same places, made some similar points and annoyingly in my opinion missed out Scotland almost completely. From what I could tell he wrote this in the year of their independence referendum so this seems a huge omission.

The narrator was good, his voice had just the right tone for this in my opinion.

  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 984
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 931
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 928

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging - not what I expected

  • By Robyn on 14-12-17

Exciting

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

Reviewed: 23-01-16

I loved this book. It has all the fast, edge-of-your-seat pacing of a thriller and with the addition of a Scalzi's fascinating idea - what would it be like to be in someone else's head? It is a testament to the book how frequently my mind has wandered back to this odd question since reading it.
The book uses this theme and the problems and opportunities it raises to great affect. I found myself constantly trying to guess the end, constantly trying to get in just a few more minutes of listening time hoping to hear the answer to the latest puzzle in the case.

Wil Wheaton's narration was perfect for the book. He adds realism to the emotions, in the book we are often being asked to sympathise with characters in positions it's not possible for any of us imagine but the Mr Wheaton's narration makes the feelings and thoughts feel normal and relatable.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful