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Jill

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 52
  • ratings
  • An Elegant Defense

  • The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives
  • By: Matt Richtel
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

A magnificently reported and soulfully crafted exploration of the human immune system - the key to health and wellness, life and death. An epic, first-of-its-kind audiobook, entwining leading-edge scientific discovery with the intimate stories of four individual lives, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I expected

  • By Jill on 16-03-19

Not what I expected

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

Reviewed: 16-03-19

This is a clear and well-written book exploring the immune system through the stories of several people, including a dear friend of the author. Unfortunately I am not a big fan of the human interest backstory to this extent, and worse, didn’t warm to the friend at all. I was expecting something a little more in-depth so it’s not the book for me and I will return it. However, I think it is a good book of its kind.

The reader is very good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tweet of the Day

  • A Year of Britain's Birds from the Acclaimed Radio 4 Series
  • By: Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss
  • Narrated by: Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

Wherever we are, there are birds. And wherever there are birds, there is birdsong. It's always a pleasure (and a relief) to hear sounds that prove the world's still spinning: whether it's the sighing of migrating redwings on a damp October night, the twitter of swallows fresh in from South Africa in April, or the call of the cuckoo in May. Based on the scripts of BBC Radio 4's beloved year-long series, and distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, insight, and enthusiasm into this recording, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you month by month through the year, and the changing lives of our favourite birds.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Buy the hardback, download the original podcasts

  • By Rex Schneider on 07-07-14

Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 08-09-16

I love this audiobook: it takes me out of the inner city and back to the garden and woods of my childhood.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • SPQR

  • A History of Ancient Rome
  • By: Mary Beard
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,769
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,605
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,586

Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The tale of Rome on a grand scale. Fascinating.

  • By G. Graham on 29-02-16

One of my favourites

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

Reviewed: 02-07-16

This is absolutely one of my favourite audiobooks. I have listened to it several times through, and every time I've learnt something new. It is so full of information so lightly conveyed that I think I could listen to it many times more. It has inspired me to retread Cicero's letters - & that is quite something, as although they are a fascinating view on a vanished world, he himself is such an annoying man! I hope this time to give him my proper attention instead of exclaiming "Oh Cicero!" & shutting the book suddenly.

In fact all the things Prof Beard has chosen to cover, to illustrate her themes over such a long period, have left me wanting to explore further.

Phyllida Nash reads it beautifully and has a very pleasant voice.

  • A Place of Greater Safety

  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 33 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 413
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 368

A tour-de-force of historical imagination, this is the story of three young men at the dawn of the French Revolution. Georges-Jacques Danton: zealous, energetic, debt-ridden. Maximilien Robespierre: small, diligent, and terrified of violence. And Camille Desmoulins: a genius of rhetoric, charming, handsome, but erratic and untrustworthy. As these key figures of the French Revolution taste the addictive delights of power, they must also come to face the horror that follows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly recommended

  • By Maddy on 04-06-14

I love this book

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

Reviewed: 02-02-16

The audiobook version is very good: it gets over the ambiguous awkwardness which is so annoying in the written version, as Jonathan Keeble has had to make the decisions about that for you already!

  • Dawn Chorus

  • A Sound Portrait of a British Woodland at Sunrise
  • By: Ron Kettle, Richard Ranft
  • Narrated by: uncredited
  • Length: 1 hr and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

This hour-long ambient recording captures the magical awakening of bird-life at daybreak in the British countryside. No announcements interrupt the sequence, selected and compiled from the collections of the Sound Archive at the British Library. This is the perfect chance to immerse yourself in the uplifting sounds of a perfect country morning from the comfort of your own home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lovely

  • By Jill on 02-02-16

Lovely

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

Reviewed: 02-02-16

A very nice noise to have on in the background, especially if you grew up hearing birds but now live in the middle of London and miss them.

I had to give a star for "story" to be able to complete the review. There isn't a story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Silkworm

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 2
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,799
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,221
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,198

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 star rating based on quality not name

  • By Linda on 06-08-14

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 02-02-16

I didn't find this anywhere near as engaging as The Cuckoo's Calling. It felt rather repetititive somehow, especially in the constant references to Cormoran Strike's leg, weight, etc.

  • Neverwhere

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,831
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,833

Under the streets of London there's a world most people could never even dream of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully Neil Gaiman!

  • By Bookworm. on 23-12-12

The medium seems to matter

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

Reviewed: 02-02-16

I loved this as a physical book, but not so much as an audiobook. Strange but true. I don't think this is down to the performance, but somehow there was more room to spread out in my head when I read it from the page.

  • The Saint

  • Solves the Case
  • By: Leslie Charteris
  • Narrated by: Vincent Price, Tom Conway, Denis Green
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

The Saint - the hero of 100 thrilling yarns of breathless adventure and mystery. The Robin Hood of modern crime, the 20th century's gayest buccaneer. Vincent Price, Tom Conway and Denis Green, in a rare never-before-available audition recording, star as the suave Simon Templar - poised in the presence of ladies, cool when confronted with danger. Well-known to both the criminals and the common man, his services are frequently sought, his involvement quickly detected, and his cases promptly solved.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I had expected

  • By Jill on 04-10-14

Not what I had expected

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

Reviewed: 04-10-14

What would have made The Saint better?

I think if the information available before purchase had made it clear that it was a collection of short (very short) radio shows, with quite a lot of signature tune at the beginning and end of each, this would have helped. I was expecting something that ran on throughout.

If you’ve listened to books by Leslie Charteris before, how does this one compare?

I haven't listened to books by Leslie Charteris before.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I'm not sure really how to answer this question, as I only listened to about 15% of it.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It does have a lovely period quality, and I think if someone had edited down the play-out and play-in music it would be fine.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Monogram Murders

  • The New Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Sophie Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 683
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 637
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 640

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one's mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The Boring Monogram Murders

  • By Ulla on 18-09-14

Heroic performance, but...

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

Reviewed: 02-10-14

What disappointed you about The Monogram Murders?

I was particularly disappointed by two aspects: the main Scotland Yard detective is not a sympathetic character (emotionally, intellectually, or in any other way): and the story becomes increasingly complicated - by the end, the whole scenario is being recited over and over in slightly different configurations. Many characters have unnecessarily odd names, which I found hard to catch hold of when I hadn't seen them written down. This is only a disadvantage in the audiobook format perhaps.

What was most disappointing about Sophie Hannah’s story?

By the time we got to the last couple of hours, I did want to know what happened, but would have been happiest if someone had just told me rather than having to sit through the pointless over-elaboration. The fact that Ms Hannah had to give one of her main characters the same point of view perhaps shows that she was aware of this weakness.

What does Julian Rhind-Tutt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He brings out the small flourishes of humour which are scattered throughout the story, even in some of the grimmest passages. He really made the best out of what must have been quite a difficult book to bring to life.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes - I found it helpful on a number of nights when I had insomnia, as it did help to send me to sleep. Not sure if that is really the sort of redeeming quality you are looking for though.

Any additional comments?

I will definitely look out for other books read by Julian Rhind-Tutt.

  • Quiet

  • The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
  • By: Susan Cain
  • Narrated by: Kathe Mazur
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,126

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Susan Cain’s groundbreaking book Quiet, brilliantly read by Kathe Mazur. In Quiet, the international best seller, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts - and how you see yourself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thought provoking A+

  • By Theodore on 10-01-13

Interesting, heartening, well written and read

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

Reviewed: 31-01-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Quiet to be better than the print version?

Not better: just as good. The two media are not directly comparable, for me.

What did you like best about this story?

It felt like a really good conversation - without having to say anything. There are so many people I'd like to read this book. Being an introvert is not a disability: it is just a different way of being, and this book brings that out clearly. The later chapters on how to deal with being or living with an introvert are helpful in practical ways, but I found the earlier chapters most interesting.

What does Kathe Mazur bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She has a beautiful voice, and there are never any of those "she doesn't understand what she just read" moments which so often mar a non-fiction audiobook. Quite the reverse.