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Sararara

  • 39
  • reviews
  • 121
  • helpful votes
  • 51
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  • Dark Light

  • Elizabeth Cage, Book 2
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169

Betrayed, terrified and alone, Elizabeth Cage has fled her home. With no plan and no friends, she arrives at the picturesque village of Greyston and finds herself involved in an ages-old ceremony that will end in death. And that might be the least of her problems - the Sorensen Institute would very much like to know her whereabouts. And Michael Jones is still out there, somewhere, she hopes. No matter how far and how fast she can run, trouble will always find Elizabeth Cage.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Continuity error

  • By drdapa on 09-11-18

Hyacinth Bucket

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

Reviewed: 31-10-18

Bad in so many different ways. The new narrator adds further confusion to how old the dowdy Mrs Cage is supposed to be but my guess is about 60, with a desire to seem younger.
She’s still residing in a weird world where you have a Colonel living next door, a ‘booze cruise’ is unfamiliar modern lingo and dressing down means wearing a pussy cat bow and tan tights. It seems to be an unintentional pastiche.
More irritating though is the incessant repetition of phrases which a good editor should’ve dealt with.
The ideas are there but the storytelling is very amateur. Too much dwelling on attractive hanging baskets and how big and strong the menfolk are, and too little coherent plot.
Not as dark as the first book (unfortunately) and more concerned with telling us how special Mrs Cage is rather than demonstrating it.
I think this story says a lot more about the author and how she sees herself than was intended.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Diary of a Bookseller

  • By: Shaun Bythell
  • Narrated by: Robin Laing
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 568
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gentle pleasure

  • By Flint on 11-12-17

Very rarely give 5 stars but

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

Reviewed: 19-10-18

It’s a great listen and I could’ve listened to a many more months. Plus anyone who loves Hogg’s Justified Sinner gets my vote.
Simple journal style, charting daily sales and shop activity, enlivened with gentle snippy-ness about the trade and customers.
Am sure I’m not alone in wanting go up north and browse the shelves. Hoping further instalments give a little more space to book reviews and personal material to flesh it out a bit.
Given the subject matter, I did feel a bit bad for listening rather than buying the real book but the narration was excellent.

  • Lethal White

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 4
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,984
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,728
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,704

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most epic Galbraith/Rowling novel yet

  • By Mikey on 19-09-18

22 hours well spent

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

Reviewed: 01-10-18

Perfect way to recuperate over the weekend- hours and hours of brilliant narration and an intriguing storyline.
Best instalment in the series by far.
Complex plot follows a cohesive logic and has a really good dénouement.
Yes, the pre-murder scene setting does go on and on for a long time, but it meant the death was a genuine surprise.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Expo 58

  • By: Jonathan Coe
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 145

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Jonathan Coe's brilliant new comic novel Expo 58, read by the actor Julian Rhind-Tutt. Expo 58 - Good-looking girls and sinister spies: a naive Englishman at loose in Europe in Jonathan Coe's brilliant comic novelLondon, 1958: unassuming civil servant Thomas Foley is plucked from his desk at the Central Office of Information and sent on a six-month trip to Brussels.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable comic novel that tries to be poignant

  • By David on 04-04-14

I think I love this book

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

But I feel I shouldn’t. It’s rather bitty- bit farcical, bit spy story, social commentary, period piece and then later a rather sober rumination on the choices we make.
It shouldn’t be a good read but overall it’s more than the sum of its parts and I think I really like it (although some bits more than others).
And the narration was fab throughout.
Just wish the author’s endnotes were included as now I need to buy a hard copy!

  • The Mystery of Three Quarters

  • A Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 312
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 293
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 290

Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him - a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy.... 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Really Hard Work

  • By Emma C on 16-09-18

Beautifully narrated but

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

Reviewed: 29-08-18

This latest instalment reminds me of some of the lesser ITV Poirot episodes where a short story was drawn out to fill 90 minutes. Or in this case, almost 10 hours.
There’s a fine line between picking up on an earlier topic - in this case Battenberg cake - and just repeating the same idea at various intervals.
Deductions are based on word-play rather than physical proof so Hannah’s new regulars (narrator Catchpool and feisty Fee) are given very little to do.
A mystery surrounding the death of Grandy Pandy has a lovely 1950s ring to it, but was it ever excusable for a dog to scratch and scar a child’s face?
Like a Battenberg, this nostalgic treat is rather insubstantial and cloying.

  • Bitter Orange

  • By: Claire Fuller
  • Narrated by: Rachel Bavidge
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 89

From the attic of a dilapidated English country house, she sees them - Cara first: dark and beautiful, clinging to a marble fountain of Cupid, and Peter, an Apollo. It is 1969, and they are spending the summer in the rooms below hers while Frances writes a report on the follies in the garden for the absent American owner. But she is distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she discovers a peephole which gives her access to her neighbours' private lives. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable story line with great characters.

  • By Amazon Customer on 26-07-18

Beware a long hot summer

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

Reviewed: 25-08-18

There are elements of this book which are great from the idea of a hedonistic hot summer being led astray to the period flavour and architectural detailing.
And although the dreamy structure of flashbacks was effective, I would have preferred a linear structure without the ‘shock’ reveal.
The narrator was pleasing on the ear until she voiced Cara, who sounded artificial. Maybe this was intentional.
Overall, an intriguing read but a bit plodding. Reminds me of Paul Torday.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Lullaby

  • By: Leïla Slimani
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 45

When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect caretaker for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family's chic apartment in Paris' upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint and is able to host enviable birthday parties. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • So many inaccuracies

  • By Amelia on 27-07-18

Grubby and ugly

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

Reviewed: 30-07-18

I’d been eagerly anticipating this audiobook, given French and US reviews, but I really really didn’t like it.
It’s not a plot spoiler to say that from the outset you know it’s going to be a dark tale, but it’s unrelentingly grim, depressing and dull.
The translation is perfectly fluent and the narration is well pitched but everything is described in cold, clinical prose. And not a single character is likeable or sympathetic.
I can’t work out what it’s trying to be: it’s not a thriller, as nothing happens and it’s quite repetitive. Maybe it’s a rather skewed social commentary but there was no profound insight.
It’s just an ugly book with no redeeming features that has left me feeling grubby.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Marked

  • Alex Verus, Book 9
  • By: Benedict Jacka
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

Alex Verus is tracking down dangerous magical items unleashed into the world by Dark Mages - however, when the Light Council decide they need his help in negotiating with the perpetrators, Alex must use all his cunning and magic to strike a deal. The ninth novel in the urban fantasy series which began with Fated - the Alex Verus novels are magic-filled fan favourites, perfect for fans of Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovitch.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great read - just need the next one now

  • By Elaine O. on 18-08-18

Another day another battle

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

Reviewed: 16-07-18

I really wish that these Verus books were better than they are. The magical setup is good, characters are diverse and story arc keeps you guessing but the books are always a bit disappointing.
There’s very little ‘real’ London in this book, many of the most interesting characters and devices are absent.
It’s all shouty political and military manoeuvres with some soppy love interest thrown in.
Set pieces conjure up gaming visuals and the narration is increasingly like a straight-to-video voiceover.
Central character Anne is dull by name, dull by nature. And this instalment is pretty dull too, which is a real shame. But the cover is nice.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Last Seen

  • By: Lucy Clarke
  • Narrated by: Harriet Carmichael, Clare Corbett, Huw Parmenter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 273

Seven years ago, two boys went missing at sea - and only one was brought to shore. The Sandbank, a remote stretch of coast dotted with beach huts, was scarred forever. Sarah's son survived, but on the anniversary of the accident, he disappears without trace. As new secrets begin to surface, The Sandbank hums with tension and unanswered questions. Sarah's search grows more desperate, and she starts to mistrust everyone she knows - and she's right to.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow wow wow! More twists and turns than a roller coaster!

  • By Beckhamgirl on 08-07-17

Sandy secrets

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

Reviewed: 29-06-18

The underlying story is good- missing teenager, missing child, secrets etc- but the reveals were pretty predictable.
Stories based around unreliable narrators always seem to be populated by self-centred unsympathetic characters.
However the beachy setting was great for a summertime read and the narrators were good.

  • Cat Out of Hell

  • By: Lynne Truss
  • Narrated by: Mike Grady
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 92

A cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat. The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting. The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant. 'Shall we begin?' says the cat….

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unusually gripping

  • By mollymoon1 on 21-03-14

Suspend your disbelief

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

Reviewed: 23-06-18

Darkly entertaining comedy thriller about satanic cats. Weird premise but unexpected chuckles, superb narration and great off-hand cultural references (Wallander. Say no more).