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SEA, Charente

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 22
  • helpful votes
  • 27
  • ratings
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock

  • TV Tie-In Edition
  • By: Joan Lindsay
  • Narrated by: Yael Stone
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

A haunting and enigmatic tale that will keep you awake and wondering long after you've finished this classic mystery. Everyone agreed that the day was just right for the picnic to Hanging Rock - a shimmering summer morning warm and still, with cicadas shrilling.... St Valentine’s Day, in the midst of the hot summer of 1900, a party of schoolgirls went on a picnic to Hanging Rock. Some were never to return....   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally available on audio

  • By Aristophaness on 12-07-18

Wonderful story effectively ruined by narrator

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

Reviewed: 30-01-19

A gripping and ultimately unexplained mystery which never fails to engage the reader.
Sadly, the excellence of this book with which I am very familiar was not matched by the reading of it. Accents are clearly not a strong point. The ‘normal’ speed of the narrative was so slow that I was obliged to change it on my device. Characters’ accents were muddled as the narrator clearly misunderstood who was speaking. Her numerous mispronunciations cannot be excused. A total ignorance of French pronunciation made some passages quite excruciating.
A talent for making the most momentous passages sound like the reading of a shopping list adds nothing to the narrative.
I would not recommend this recording and am most disappointed in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Monster in the Box

  • A Chief Inspector Wexford Mystery, Book 22
  • By: Ruth Rendell
  • Narrated by: Nigel Anthony
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

Wexford had almost made up his mind that he would never again set eyes on Eric Targo. And yet there he was, back in Kingsmarkham, still with that cocky, strutting walk. Years earlier, when Wexford was a young police officer, a woman called Elsie Carroll had been found strangled in her bedroom. Although many still had their suspicions that her husband was guilty, no one was convicted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting listening

  • By Annie on 04-09-10

Remarkable and somewhat different

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

Reviewed: 29-04-18

Another classic from Ruth Rendell, beautifully narrated.
This book tells us more than we have learnt before about Wexford’s early adult life. The main narrative is historical, combined with a modern theme, the two being cleverly combined in the denouement.
Slow in development, this book is still well worth reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Water's Lovely

  • By: Ruth Rendell
  • Narrated by: Siân Thomas
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

The man who had died was Ismay's stepfather, Guy. Nine years on, she and her sister, Heather, still live in the same house in Clapham. But it has been divided into two self-contained flats. Their mother lives upstairs with her sister, Pamela. And the bathroom, where Guy drowned, has disappeared. Ismay works in public relations, and Heather in catering. They get on well. They always have. They never discuss the changes to the house, still less what happened that August day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Water’s Lovely

  • By Presto on 10-03-19

Gripping and full of suspense right up until the last page

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

Another Rendell classic, perfectly narrated by Sian Thomas.
This masterful story of unproved murder and family tensions cannot be bettered.

  • All Change

  • By: Elizabeth Jane Howard
  • Narrated by: Penelope Wilton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160

The final book in the landmark Cazalet Chronicles, recently broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It is the 1950s and as the Cazalets' beloved matriarch, the Duchy, passes away, she takes with her the last remnants of a world - of great houses and servants, of class and tradition - in which the Cazalets have thrived. Louise, now divorced, becomes entangled in a painful affair; while Polly and Clary must balance marriage and motherhood with their own ideas and ambitions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Sort of an Ending

  • By Alison on 05-05-15

Essential reading for Cazalet addicts.....

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

Reviewed: 12-11-17

Elizabeth Jane Howard closes the final page on the Cazalet family with all the interest and attention to detail which her readers have come to expect. Sadly we say goodbye to those characters whose lives we have followed with fascination from their introduction in 1937, and are not disappointed in the somewhat unexpected dénouement.
Penelope Wilton reads beautifully apart from the occasional and unexplained confusion between Simon and Wills which does not occur in the written text.

  • The Woman in White

  • By: Wilkie Collins
  • Narrated by: Ian Holm
  • Length: 24 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 898
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 769

Late one moonlit night, Walter Hartright encounters a solitary and terrified woman dressed all in white. He saves her from capture by her pursuers and determines to solve the mystery of her distress and terror. Inspired by an actual criminal case, this gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness and mistaken identity has never been out of print since its publication and brought Collins great fame and success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 100% recommended

  • By Marianna on 23-02-12

First class rendition

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

Reviewed: 23-08-17

Truly excellent narration of this classic mystery.
À story which retains its secrets and dramatic tension to the last, perfectly complemented by Ian Holm. A real pleasure to listen to.

  • To See a Fine Lady

  • By: Norah Lofts
  • Narrated by: Charlotte Strevens
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

When, at the Pollards Harvest Supper of 1817, Araminta Glover was seduced by Jan Honeywood, the outcome seemed inevitable. Araminta, like so many servant girls, would marry her poor suitor and prepare to raise a large family on nine shillings a week. But 17-year-old Araminta was determined enough to rebel against the pattern of impoverished rural life, and, putting marriage and Jan firmly behind her, she accepted the post of dairymaid in the house of the strange Mrs Stancy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An old favourite revisited in audio form

  • By SEA, Charente on 01-08-17

An old favourite revisited in audio form

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

Excellent story with plenty of drama as well as the expected historical accuracy and interest.
Araminta is an unusual early nineteenth century heroine in that she has sense as well as intelligence and personal attractiveness, but sadly the intelligence is well-hidden by the narrator's insipid rendition.
A listener could be forgiven for believing that Araminta is a brainless rustic doll which considerably spoils the story. The narrator's delivery is that of a nursery teacher reading to a group of under fives, there are a number of mistakes in reading which changes meaning in some places, and overall is not conducive to drama.
If you know and love the book it may be better to stick to print.

  • No Man's Nightingale

  • A Chief Inspector Wexford Mystery, Book 24 (Unabridged)
  • By: Ruth Rendell
  • Narrated by: Nigel Anthony
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 149
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 122

Sarah Hussain was not popular in the community of Kingsmarkham. She was born of mixed parents - a white Irishwoman and an immigrant Indian Hindu. She was also the Reverend of St Peter's church. But it came as a profound shock to everyone when she was found strangled in the vicarage. A garrulous cleaner, Maxine, also shared by the Wexfords, discovers the body. In his retirement, the former Detective Chief Inspector is devoting much time to reading, and has little patience with Maxine's prattle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Back on form!

  • By barjil on 04-08-13

Better on second reading/listening

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

Reviewed: 15-04-17

Not one of Ruth Rendell's finest but worth a listen. Excellent narration.
Story not compelling & motive seems less than adequate but characterization as good as ever.

  • Middlemarch

  • By: George Eliot
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 35 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,336
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,085
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080

Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All consuming

  • By Caro on 27-04-11

Not to be missed

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

Reviewed: 07-03-17

What a pleasure to find so perfect a match between author and narrator. Surely Eliot herself could not have hoped for a better rendition at any time.
A monumental tale of early nineteenth century provincial life, hopes and dreams, whose every character is beautifully and convincingly portrayed by Juliet Stevenson. A classic whose appeal will only be increased by this audio version.

  • Busman's Honeymoon

  • Lord Peter Wimsey, Book 13
  • By: Dorothy L Sayers
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

They plan to have a quiet country honeymoon. Then Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride, Harriet Vane, find the previous owner's body in the cellar. Set in a country village seething with secrets and snobbery, this is Dorothy L. Sayers' last full-length detective novel. Variously described as a love story with detective interruptions and a detective story with romantic interruptions, it lives up to both descriptions with style.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story spoiled by narrator

  • By bookworm on 07-12-15

Classic wrecked by narration

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

Reviewed: 18-02-17

This love-story with detective interest is an old favourite.
Sadly, in my view, this most peculiar and inappropriate style of narration seriously detracts from the book. The narrator pauses wherever she feels like it, often after one of a series of adjectives for example, completely changing the sense of what is occurring, makes several mistakes which should certainly have been corrected, and generally ruins it. I found myself wondering for the next major irritation, rather than actually listening to the content. Anyone I believe would be distracted by the idea of sixteen men chained together, marching across a prickly dessert.....
A great pity. A proof-listener would be a good idea.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bleak House

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett, Teresa Gallagher
  • Length: 35 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 477
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 363
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 360

A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-19th century. As the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, it becomes an obsession to everyone involved. And the issue on an inheritance ultimately becomes a question of murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the finest versions of any Dickens novels

  • By Crocker on 27-01-12

An excellent narration of an old favourite

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

Reviewed: 20-01-17

This jointly narrated classic is a triumph. The various interwoven threads of Bleak House only gain from the different but equally inspired renditions of the two narrators.
From the fog of chapter one to the sunlit conclusion, this version is a pleasure to listen to.