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SEA, Charente

  • 21
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 26
  • ratings
  • The Monster in the Box

  • A Chief Inspector Wexford Mystery, Book 22
  • By: Ruth Rendell
  • Narrated by: Nigel Anthony
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Provides background to Wexford's earlier career

  • By Kirstine on 02-05-10

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.

  • 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 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 34

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.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Unsatisfactory

  • By Amazon Customer on 18-07-18

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 155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146

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 716
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 599
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 596

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
  • Fantastic

  • By Anthony on 13-01-11

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 4
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

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 146
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 120

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 1,121
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 885
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 881

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 92
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

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 447
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331

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
  • The Ultimate Dickens Audiobook

  • By nero5 on 17-01-12

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.

  • Spotlight

  • By: Patricia Wentworth
  • Narrated by: Diana Bishop
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

Gregory Porlock’s party was a very successful one - from Gregory’s point of view. He was in the highest of spirits, and the fact that his guests were obviously not in a party mood only added to his enjoyment. He knew they all had good reason to fear and dislike him, and it amused him to play the part of the genial host, and to watch each of his visitors trying to act the part of a gay and carefree guest for the benefit of all the others. Gregory never knew that one of his visitors played two roles that evening, that someone doubled the part of guest and murderer, for in that drama Gregory Porlock was cast for a different role.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wentworth in her stride....

  • By SEA, Charente on 13-11-16

Wentworth in her stride....

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

Reviewed: 13-11-16

Serenely narrated by Diana Bishop this vintage classic has all the hall marks of a traditional country house murder - a closed environment, a wide range of suspects and a charmingly modest heroine.
Enjoy this period drama for what it is, without ever forgetting the unforgettable and redoubtable Miss Maud Silver.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful