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Sararara

  • 36
  • reviews
  • 93
  • helpful votes
  • 48
  • ratings
  • Expo 58

  • By: Jonathan Coe
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 142

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 170
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 163

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
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

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 2 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 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27

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 153
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

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.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More of the same

  • By Magbug on 08-07-18

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 1 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 285
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 260

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).

  • Island of the Mad

  • By: Laurie R. King
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

With Mrs. Hudson gone from their lives and domestic chaos building, the last thing Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, need is to help an old friend with her mad and missing aunt. Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, since the loss of her brother and father in the Great War. And although her mental state seemed to be improving, she’s now disappeared after an outing from Bethlem Royal Hospital...better known as Bedlam.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bedlam and the Bright Young Things

  • By Sararara on 19-06-18

Bedlam and the Bright Young Things

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

Reviewed: 19-06-18

Exuberant ending to this latest story, which is so much better than the previous one.
It flits from location to location - rather like a James Bond film - following a rather tenuous plot thread, but each part is distinctive and well-drawn.
More than in any others in the series, the story is firmly rooted in a specific era (interwar years). It’s nice to see both Mary and Sherlock espond to the age - and begin to age.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Summer of Impossible Things

  • By: Rowan Coleman
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 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 161

Thirty years ago something terrible happened to Luna's mother. Something she's prepared to reveal only after her death. In settling her mother's affairs, Luna finds more questions than answers until something impossible and magical happens.... Luna meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977. If she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in order to save her mother's life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Genius

  • By Debbie Flint on 19-07-17

A film in waiting

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

Reviewed: 09-06-18

Taken by surprise by how much I enjoyed this book. The NY accents grate, the main characters are really rather irritating and there’s a fair bit of repetition, but it’s an addictive read/listen.
The time travel element may be implausible but follows its own logic to a very satisfying conclusion.

  • Blind Defence

  • By: John Fairfax
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112

She was found hanging in a dingy London bedsit with a blood orange in her mouth. Diane Heybridge, a young woman without a past or much of a future, has captured in death the compassion denied her in life. For the prosecution, this seeming suicide is nothing more than a bungled killing, and a disgusted public looks to Court 2 of the Old Bailey for justice. Her callous, jilted partner, Brent Stainsby, stands accused of her murder, and he's turned to the maverick legal team William Benson and Tess de Vere to defend him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm One of Benson's Advocates!

  • By Simon on 05-04-18

More please

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

Reviewed: 08-04-18

Strong follow-up to last year’s Summary Justice, fleshing our the characters and dropping hints about new and as yet undisclosed secrets.
The prison scenes are a fascinating insight into confined living and the courtroom drama is gripping.
The main female characters are not as strongly drawn as the males (and their descriptions seem a little laboured and repetitious), but it’s a great story with excellent narration.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful