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Maggie Kelly

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The White Princess cover art
  • The White Princess

  • By: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Bianca Amato
  • Length: 19 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99

The newest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author and "queen of royal fiction" ( USA Today) Philippa Gregory tells the passionate story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen, who gets caught in the middle of a battle for the crown of England. A princess from birth, Elizabeth fell in love with Richard III, though her mother made an arranged betrothal for her with the pretender to the throne: Henry Tudor. When Henry defeats Richard against all odds, Elizabeth has to marry the man who murdered her lover in battle.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Eye wateringly terrible

  • By Ama on 30-07-13

Great telling of one of the possibilities

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

Reviewed: 11-12-13

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry's character was interesting - in this version of what might have happened he grows into kingship and then seems to lose it again.

What three words best describe Bianca Amato’s voice?

I wish she'd not pronounce "off" as "orf" - it really grated on me, but her characterisation was good.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"I don't know" - it's all Elizabeth seems to say :)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Burial Rites

  • By: Hannah Kent
  • Narrated by: Morven Christie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 777
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 783

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Agnes is sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district office Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’ story begins to emerge and with it the family’s terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Agnes - understanding the human being

  • By Kaggy on 27-06-14

Totally enthralling

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

Reviewed: 22-10-13

What made the experience of listening to Burial Rites the most enjoyable?

The author has taken what facts still exist from a haunting story and woven some assumptions around them to make you believe in the characters she creates.

What about Morven Christie’s performance did you like?

The reader made what could have been difficult Icelandic pronounciation easy to understand. Her characterisation was good, although sometimes it's not easy to tell when Agnes "retreats" into speaking to herself.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but it's not practical!

Any additional comments?

I've recommended this book to several friends.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Ancestral Vices

  • By: Tom Sharpe
  • Narrated by: Griff Rhys Jones
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128

When Lord Petrefact hires Walden Yapp, Professor of Demotic Historiography at Kloone University, to write a scurrilous family history Yapp finds plenty of material in Buscott village, where Frederick Petrefact is running the Mill and adding new vices to the family collection. If Yapp can lay his hands on the Petrefact Papers in the Buscott Museum he may be able to expose the multi-national capitalism of the Petrefacts to the whole world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rollicking good yarn

  • By Clive on 01-12-13

Brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-13

Fabulously funny and dark tale and Griff Rhys Jones is marvellous as the various characters. Excellent all round.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Leave it to Psmith

  • By: P. G. Wodehouse
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Cecil
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88

The idyll of Blandings Castle is about to be disturbed, for the Hon. Freddie Threepwood is poised to make his debut as a jewel thief. Freddie, however, is not alone: Blandings is simply brimming with criminals and impostors all intent on stealing Aunt Constance's 20,000 pound diamond necklace. It is left to the debonair Psmith, with his usual aplomb, to unscramble the passion, problems, and identities, of one and all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A classic Wodehouse

  • By Ruth on 03-02-08

Ripping yarn, poor sound quality

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-13

I love the Wodehouse stories - and Jonathan Cecil is an excellent reader. I've got several others, so bought this one without a second thought.



The sound quality is really inconsistent. There are long pauses in the narrative and some of the "cues" have been left in (I think mistakenly). Sometimes it sounds great, other times (often in the middle of a chapter) it'll suddenly switch to sounding like the reader is at the opposite end of a very long tube.



All in all - worth it if you like the story, but the sound quality affected my enjoyment of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Confessions of a Conjuror

  • By: Derren Brown
  • Narrated by: Derren Brown
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 586
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374

In Confessions of a Conjuror, Derren Brown invites you on a whimsical journey through his unusual mind. Structured around the various stages of a conjuring trick, performed by his younger self in a crowded restaurant, Derren's endlessly engaging narrative takes you from the history of magic, to speculations on the manufacturing of Monster Munch and the correct way to poach an egg, via discussions about psychology, what he hums while cleaning his teeth, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • He's really a nice guy

  • By Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits) on 25-11-10

Loved it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-12

I know other people have said this isn't a traditional autobiography and I agree - but this is a fascinating look into Derren's mind (as far he allows us in). I tend to listen to my books on my daily bus commutes and this one got me some strange looks on a couple of occasions when I burst out laughing...:)

  • The Queen's Promise

  • By: Lyn Andrews
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

From best-selling author Lyn Andrews comes a compelling historical epic set at the endlessly fascinating Tudor court about the most infamous woman of the age - Anne Boleyn - and the man who loved her before she became queen. From the moment Henry Percy, future Earl of Northumberland, glimpses the beautiful Anne Boleyn he is captivated and quickly proposes marriage. Anne has been taught to use her charms to her advantage and to secure her family's position of power at court. She sees that Henry Percy's affection is sincere and agrees to marry him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Queens Promise

  • By Jacqueline Caldwell on 02-11-18

Over-long, poorly written, typo-howlers

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-12

I've read other of Lyn Andrew's books and been quite happy with them, so thought this would be a safe buy. I wasn't impressed. The story seems to drag, and the whole "servant to Lord Henry Percy" angle just didn't grab me at all.



I won't even be finishing this book - about halfway through I've given up.

Memoirs of a Geisha cover art
  • Memoirs of a Geisha

  • By: Arthur Golden
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 621
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405

In a voice both haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri describes her life as a geisha. Taken from her home at the age of nine, she is sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Witness her transformation as you enter a world where appearances are paramount, virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder, women beguile powerful men, and love is scorned as illusion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't want it to end..................

  • By Coleen on 09-01-06

Lovely audible imagery

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-12

I read the text version of this novel many years ago, and remembered enjoying it, but finding it hard going. This is the way it was meant to be consumed in my opinion - you have a narrator who is simply talking to her scribe. That's the way Arthur Golden collected the many hours of memories, by sitting and listening to someone who was just talking to him. Bernadette Dunne has a great voice, good characterisation and never interferes with the flow of the book.

There are good guys and bad guys (not always who you'd expect), there is love, loss and tea ceremony.

In the end though, there are just so many things that are made real by the poetic descriptions. My journeys to work have never been so good!