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  • 221
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  • 131
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  • Dark Matter

  • By: Michelle Paver
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Northam
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,809
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,382
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,377

January 1937. Jack Miller has just about run out of options. His shoes have worn through, he can't afford to heat his rented room in Tooting, and he longs to use his training as an specialist wireless operator instead of working in his dead-end job. When he is given the chance to join an arctic expedition, as communications expert, by a group of elite Oxbridge graduates, he brushes off his apprehensions and convinces himself to join them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top 5 Horror

  • By Joseph on 04-04-11

Breathtakingly imaginative

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

Reviewed: 24-07-15

I would be surprised if Michelle Paver was not influenced by M.R.James, for me the greatest writer of disturbing stories, but there is no question as to her own originality shown by this book. Her description of place and its supernatural element both underscore and illuminate a masterly atmosphere and character study. It is slow moving, understated and ultimately unexpected - do not expect thrills. Its writing as an act of imagination is quite breathtaking, and as often is the case, a female writer portrays a man better than many male writers. It is written in first person, and Jeremy Northam's narration is almost an actor's soliloquy; again a testament to the fine writing. Thoroughly recommended, especially for Autumn and Winter nights.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mercy

  • Department Q, Book 1
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,845
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,667
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,663

The unabridged, digital audiobook edition of Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Mercy, Scandinavia’s new bestselling crime phenomenon. Read by the actor Steven Pacey. At first the prisoner scratches at the walls until her fingers bleed. But there is no escaping the room. With no way of measuring time, her days, weeks, months go unrecorded. She vows not to go mad. She will not give her captors the satisfaction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Danish Noire superbly read by Steven Pacey

  • By Nick on 08-02-13

A cut above

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

Reviewed: 23-01-14

Towards the end of this reading I almost had to stop my player because the tension was becoming unbearable. Indeed, I was gripped from start to finish. As others have commented, the burnt-out cop is nothing new, but the satirically comic irony of how he gets his second chance in the novel's plot, as well as this character's sense of humour play well. And yes, his assistant Assad is quite an original, really brought to life by Stephen Pacey who reads the whole book incredibly well. What I also found interesting is the book's examination of Denmark and its politics. As with much Scandinavian crime we are learning the all too familiar problems of these countries, which have in the past seemed to have got so much right in their democracies.
The book is very violent, but for me I did not find it gratuitous or to have the misogyny common to many thrillers. It is extremely well written, by an author who has a fascinating CV. And interestingly he has worked as a publishing editor. Unlike so many books nowadays, this novel really does not need any more editing. Superb.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Rosie Project

  • By: Graeme Simsion
  • Narrated by: Dan O'Grady
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,881
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,625
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,620

Meet Don. Don is a genetics professor who just might be somewhere on the autistic spectrum. He looks a little like Gregory Peck and is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. And it’s definitely not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not .Rosie, meanwhile, isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for her biological father. Sometimes, though, you don’t find love: love finds you...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By F on 26-05-13

Superb character

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

Reviewed: 25-05-13

This book made me laugh out loud countless times, and then in one short sentence pulled the rug from under my feet and had me on the verge of tears. It is both brilliantly written, and beautifully read as an audiobook. Don, the centre of the book, could so easily be a caricature, but Graeme Simsion brings him alive. In order to do so Simsion sucessfully pulls off a couple of hard tricks. Don has a major problem understanding regular human interaction, so the reader has to view all the other characters in the book through Don's eyes. Instead of this being a limitation, the author uses it to great comic effect (as a reader, one has to stand back and imagine scenes through the eyes of the people Don comes across, notably in The Jacket Incident). It is also a way of holding back information that is gradually revealed, thus moving on the plot. Equally Simsion could have fallen into the trap of making Don a boring person through his lack of insight into himself and those around him, but as the novel progresses we realise just how complex Don is as a human being. He is the creation of an author with real empathy, compassion and insight. The plot is knowingly written as a romantic comedy, but there is pain just beneath its surface, and the fact that the reader just gets glimpses of this pain, gives the book real depth. Dan O' Grady, who reads it, gives a perfect balance between the slightly monotonous tone of Don's voice and more depth in the voices of the other characters; again this is not easy to pull off. Without question I will read or listen to this book again. It was a pure joy, and I envy anyone coming to it afresh.

65 of 67 people found this review helpful

  • Gone Girl

  • By: Gillian Flynn
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 19 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,641
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,996
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,008

Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you ever know the person you love? These are the questions that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Keep going with this

  • By E on 23-02-13

Recommended by a 40-something male.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-04-13

I trend to avoid anything hyped as it rarely lives up to expectations, but the sound of this book intrigued me and I have to say it really is a corker. Beautifully read by two readers who seem to inhabit the skin of their respective writers, it is hard to say much about this book without giving too much away. There are enjoyable and believable plot twists, swipes at the manulpulation by, and of, the media, and musings on how we play out reality at second hand, like characters in the (too many) films we've seen. But it is the psychological detail of the writing which gripped me. Rarely have I believed in main characters so much. Gillian Flynn has really got inside this man and woman. She is not judgemental of them (whatever your opinion, as a reader, is of them), and I really admired the way she built them up as humans who are the result of both nature and nurture. And it is so beautifully constructed, especially in the second half, that I laughed with pleasure at the audaciousness of it; and it is never too smart for its own good. For me it's a rare thing - it's absolutely as good as they are all telling you.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Innocence of Father Brown

  • By: G. K. Chesterton
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 30

Detective fans of all races and creeds, of all tastes and fancies will delight in the exploits of this wise and whimsical padre. You will be enchanted by the scandalously innocent man of the cloth, with his handy umbrella, who exhibits such uncanny insight into ingeniously tricky human problems. This collection includes 12 mysteries solved by Father Brown.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing

  • By Stephen on 13-04-13

Intriguing

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

I have to say I came to these stories imagining a conservative, mildly entertaining listen. My expectations were immediately undermined by the structure of the first story, which is quite odd and unexpected. Each story has a crime and solution, and they are all held together by the self-depricating Father Brown, whose ability to understand the darker sides of human nature is formed more through is own friendship with criminals than insight from God. Themes and another main character, whom again unexpectedly evolves through the stories, give the whole book a satisfyingly complete feeling. Father Brown, the character, can be quite irritating (though I have a feeling this may be intentional on Chesterton's part), but there is a strand of humour and a lightness to the stories, despite their surprisingly brutal crimes. There is an odd clash of conservatism and liberalism in the stories which I found intriguing. It took me a while to get used to Frederick Davidson's voice (which some may find an acquired taste) but I soon came to really enjoy his reading, and especially enjoyed his use of voices for different characters. If you are new to Father Brown, like me, I really hope you enjoy this book. I am certainly going to listen to or read more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Naming the Bones cover art
  • Naming the Bones

  • By: Louise Welsh
  • Narrated by: Cameron Stewart
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 17

Knee-deep in the mud of an ancient burial ground, a storm raging around him, and at least one person intent on his death: how did Murray Watson end up here? His quiet life in university libraries researching the lives of writers seems a world away.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Depressing and slow

  • By Mrs on 06-03-13

Another gripping read from Louise Welsh

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

I am a big fan of Louise Welsh, who excels at writing about men in books often set in rather seedy edges of society. Naming the Bones takes the conceit of a (male academic) writer researching a biography, and consequently how the lives of those dead and those alive become intertwined. As with her other novels (I hesitate to call them thrillers) she builds up a tension that creeps under your skin through storytelling and descriptive atmosphere. This book, in particular, suddenly grabbed me somewhere about half way through and became compulsive listening. Her characterisations are strong, and her knitting of episodes and events in the plotline is intricate without feeling contrived. The second part of the book is set outdoors on a bleak island, which I find interesting because her other books have had indoor claustrophobic atmospheres. Here she uses the wildness of the weather-enslaved, isolated island to great effect. It is good to hear the Scottish accent of the excellent reader Cameron Stewart, as I have missed this having read her other books on the page. There's no question Louise Welsh deserves a wider audience.

  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

  • By: Jonas Jonasson
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,920
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,364

Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn't want to begin: his one-hundredth birthday party. Escaping through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several deaths, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent but very human police.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastically Odd

  • By Oliver Dayman on 29-05-13

Quirky overload

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-01-13

I seem to be one of the few listeners who did not really enjoy this book. I see the word "quirky" is used a lot by people in their reviews. I don't mind " quirky" but it's relentless in this book, both in the plot and the writing style. I found my attention wandering for periods and when it came back I found I hadn't missed much. I think Forest Gump comparisons do it an injustice. This is political satire without question, and not the sentimentalist view of life in F.Gump. There's most 20th century historical horrors covered here (Spain, Russia, China, Iran etc, much of it linked by the creation and pursuit of the Bomb) as Alan, who is politically both uninterested and disinterested, stumbles from country to country in his 100 year lifetime. But it lacked bite as satire. The black comedy isn't dark enough. I found the present day farcical adventures of Alan and his friends tiresome. They lacked satire, unless there is comment on present day Sweden about which I am generally ignorant. I got to the end (just), but feel like I have eaten far too much cake.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Slap

  • A Novel
  • By: Christos Tsiolkas
  • Narrated by: Alex Dimitriades
  • Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 76

At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the incident. In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the 21st century.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Fine Piece Of Storytelling.

  • By Louise Hartgen on 12-04-11

Humane, compassionate, moving.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-03-12

I was bowled over by the TV adaptation, and after a break decided to try the book. As with the TV episodes I was slowly drawn further and further into the book as the chapters developed. I don't really understand the comments below about not liking the book because the characters aren't likeable. What marvels me about this book is its humanity. My initial judgements and prejudices against the characters were constantly undermined. The author helps the reader understand the characters, why they are the way they are, how they are trapped in, or fighting against deeply entrenched beliefs and attitudes of gender and ethnicity. I admire the way the author writes so convincingly from the perspective of three generations and makes the reader see how they are bound together whilst they struggle against each other. It is a fascinationg insight into multicultural Australian city life, surprisingly not as different from the UK as I would have expected. I have to say it's not a depressing read. It is humane, compassionate and very moving. I never found the descriptions of sex gratuitious and although I dislike bad language, I felt this is how the characters would speak. A rewarding listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Fear Index

  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 308

His name is carefully guarded from the general public but within the secretive inner circles of the ultra-rich Dr Alex Hoffmann is a legend – a visionary scientist whose computer software turns everything it touches into gold. Together with his partner, an investment banker, Hoffmann has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that tracks human emotions, enabling it to predict movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unpleasantly close to the present

  • By Nils on 08-10-11

Superb, intelligent thriller

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-11-11

The beginning is unsettling and gripping, the ending is disturbing. Harris has again written a thoroughly intelligent thriller, this time grounded in the world of finance, hedge funds and computers. He succeeds because the novel has a lot of truth in it from his thorough research (and the research never overshadows the plot), he has cleverly given it a tight time-frame, and he has layered it with philosphical and scientific ideas which bring a further richness to it. And the icing on the cake; it is read by the wonderful Christian Rodska.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Skippy Dies

  • By: Paul Murray
  • Narrated by: Patrick Moy
  • Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 101

Skippy and Ruprecht are having a doughnut-eating race one evening when Skippy turns purple and falls off his chair . . .And so begins this epic, tragic, comic, brilliant novel set in and around Dublin’s Seabrook College for Boys.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspired, funny, heartrending & addicitive!

  • By Linda A. Davies on 24-06-11

Brilliant book briliantly read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-11

I am two-thirds through this book and am enjoying it so much I need to write a review now. I read and loved Paul Murray's first novel An Evening Of Long Goodbyes, which was severely underrated and overlooked, and I have had to wait 7 years for this, his second book. But oh boy was the wait worth it. This is a rare creature: an epic comic novel. Its setting is intimate, its ideas are expansive and its structure is subtley complex and tightly-knit. This is all woven from a painfully truthful portrait of adolescence. (I must add here I normally run a mile from books about adolescence, having no desire to be reminded of it.) As many great comic novels have, there is also a dark heart beating in it producing some unexpected, profoundly moving moments. If that is not enough to recommend it, I have to say this book is seemingly written to be read by Patrick Moy, whose interpretation is so pitch perfect, it turns the whole listening experience into an absolute joy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful