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barjil

  • 32
  • reviews
  • 82
  • helpful votes
  • 39
  • ratings
  • A Gentleman in Moscow

  • By: Amor Towles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 644
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 607
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 608

Soon to be a major TV series starring Kenneth Branagh. On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov - recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt - is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval. Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this and now I feel bereft

  • By suze on 07-12-18

Spoiled by reader

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

Reviewed: 21-02-19

This is a superb book but I wish I had chosen to read it rather than listen as the reader's all too frequent mispronunciations set my teeth on edge.

  • Timeless Tales of Beatrix Potter

  • Peter Rabbit and Friends
  • By: Beatrix Potter
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 3 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Beatrix Potter's amazing universe of animals dressed in human clothing has taught and entertained children for over a century. This volume brings together 21 of Potter's tales and verses in one audiobook. Hear Peter Rabbit outwit old Mr. McGregor, and Squirrel Nutkin come within a tail's length of being an owl's dinner. Listen as a family of mice save the kind tailor of Gloucester, and as Peter and Benjamin Bunny battle a barn cat. Learn how one fierce rabbit is set on the road to honesty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best yet

  • By barjil on 29-10-18

The best yet

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

Reviewed: 29-10-18

The stories were beautifully read and without tiresome musical interruptions. This was by far the best version I have heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Mitford Murders

  • The Mitford Murders, Book 1
  • By: Jessica Fellowes
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 371
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 332

Lose yourself in the gripping first novel in a new series of Golden Age murder mysteries set amid the lives of the glamorous Mitford sisters. It's 1919, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London, and most of all her oppressive and dangerous uncle. Louisa's salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lovely, lovely, lovely!!!!

  • By cdw on 09-10-17

Pointless

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

Reviewed: 22-08-18

I ploughed my way to the end of this book but the note at the end made it even more of a waste of time. Listeners who know anything about the Mitfords will find the inclusion of them totally pointless and irritating and, furthermore, the reader was quite unable to produce the 'Mtiford voice' (who could?). Why the author didn't just set out to write a good stand-alone detective story is in itself a mystery. I see that this is the first of a series and it will certainly be the last I attempt.

  • Fools and Mortals

  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Thomas Judd
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 256
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 239

A dramatic new departure for international best-selling author Bernard Cornwell, Fools and Mortals takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era. Fools and Mortals follows the young Richard Shakespeare, an actor struggling to make his way in a company dominated by his estranged older brother, William. As the growth of theatre blooms, their rivalry - and that of the playhouses, playwrights and actors vying for acclaim and glory - propels a high-stakes story of conflict and betrayal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not quite in love with this Shakespeare

  • By Simon on 24-10-17

Falls between two stools

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

As my headline says, this book falls between two stools: if you are interested in the plays, as opposed to Shakespeare's life, the book will give you nothing new and, indeed, becomes irritating with its description of plots and snatches of quotation. If you are not interested in Shakespeare I don't think the book will encourage you to plunge in and become an ardent fan. The bits about life in London are good, though.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tell Tale

  • By: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116

Nearly a decade after his last volume of short stories was published, Archer returns with his eagerly awaited, brand-new collection, Tell Tale, giving us a fascinating, exciting and sometimes poignant insight into the people he has met, the stories he has come across and the countries he has visited during the past 10 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • clever...

  • By JACQUI on 15-11-17

Pot Boiler!

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

Jeffrey Archer has written short stories before and they have usually had a good twist at the end. Only about three of these stories qualify in that way and they are exceptionally good. Of the rest several seem written just to show us how knowledgeable and well educated the author is! So, all in all, disappointing and I would be chary of buying any subsequent short story collections by this writer.

  • A Certain Age, Vol. 1: Female Monologues

  • By: Lynne Truss
  • Narrated by: Siobhan Redmond, Janine Duvitski, Rebecca Front, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 46 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

At a certain age, women gain a huge confidence about themselves because they realise that life’s too short to waste. These six women are in their 40s and each has a very different – and sometimes surprising – story to tell, from the husband who unexpectedly disappears, to the dreaded ‘other woman’, and the sisters who take an adventurous trip on the Nile together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amusing tales 5*

  • By Red Nell on 12-05-16

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 10-12-17

I suppose it's because Alan Bennett's "Talking Heads" set the bar so high that these monologues were disappointing and the linking music went on too long and destroyed the continuity. All the performers are usually excellent but here seemed to have been encouraged to overplay the type of character they represent. But I shall listen again because, knowing the faults, I shall be able to concentrate better on the actual content!

  • Disgrace

  • By: J M Coetzee
  • Narrated by: Jack Klaff
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 105

After years teaching Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, David Lurie, middle-aged and twice divorced, has an impulsive affair with a student. The affair sours, he is denounced and summoned before a committee of inquiry. Willing to admit his guilt, but refusing to yield to pressure to repent publicly, he resigns and retreats to his daughter Lucy's isolated smallholding.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A sombre tale of choices

  • By Suswati on 07-07-17

Deserves the praise it's received

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

Reviewed: 06-08-17

Everyone knows that taste in books is subjective, so I shouldn't be surprised that someone has found this book a waste of time while I found everything about it good. It's certainly not a happy story but the author carries it at a good pace and I found the picture of the various people at the South African farm fascinating and convincing. I thought the reader was possibly South African and that his various characters were OK.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Cleaner

  • John Milton, Book 1
  • By: Mark Dawson
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,288
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,105
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,106

Meet John Milton. He considers himself an artisan. A craftsman. His trade is murder. Milton is the man the government sends after you when everything else has failed. Ruthless. Brilliant. Anonymous. Lethal. You wouldn't pick him out of a crowd but you wouldn't want to be on his list. But now, after ten years, he's had enough - there's blood on his hands and he wants out. Trouble is, this job is not one you can just walk away from. He goes on the run, seeking atonement for his sins by helping the people he meets along the way.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good but oddly unsatisfying

  • By Lucy on 05-11-16

OUCH!

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

Reviewed: 28-04-17

I only managed to get through part of the prologue before I gave up. I am sure this will be a good story but the author's style is horrible; 'gentle quiet embroidered by the gurgling of a mountain rill', 'trilling of the birds in a canopy of trees', 'nudged against the shoulder of the mountain' in the first few sentences. I couldn't endure a whole book of this because I was already looking for the florid prose.


  • The Wonder

  • By: Emma Donoghue
  • Narrated by: Kate Lock
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 165
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 164

An 11-year-old girl stops eating but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse sent to investigate whether she is a fraud meets a journalist hungry for a story. Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue's The Wonder - inspired by numerous European and North American cases of 'fasting girls' between the 16th century and the 20th - is a psychological thriller about a child's murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Offence of narration

  • By Isolde on 08-12-16

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 20-10-16

Excited to listen to this book after the brilliance of 'Room', but was disappointed. The 'Irish' accents were often inaudible or too thick to understand at all and often in places where it was important to the story line. But the basic premise was interesting so I plodded on to the too-tidy end.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Stone Man

  • A Science Fiction Horror Novel
  • By: Luke Smitherd
  • Narrated by: Matt Addis
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,962
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,848
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,840

Nobody knew where it came from. Nobody knew why it came. When an eight-foot-tall man made of stone appears in the middle of a busy city center one July afternoon, two-bit (and antisocial) reporter Andy Pointer assumes it's just a publicity stunt. Indeed, so does everyone else...until the Stone Man begins to walk, heading silently through the wall of the nearest building, flattening it, and killing several people inside as a result.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Original British SF...absolutely loved it!!

  • By Jude on 12-07-15

Obeying author's request!

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

Reviewed: 27-10-15

At the end of the book the author makes an impassioned plea for a review. I would not usually write one for a book like this but am obeying his instructions.

One reviewer - the one I followed - likened 'The Stone Man' to John Wyndham's books. I didn't think it had anything like the tensions of JW and this may because it's too long. I kept looking to see how much more I had to read and I expect this was partly because I didn't care much about any of the characters until the very end.

The last couple of chapters are excellent but it takes so long to get to them.