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simon

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 8
  • ratings
  • The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,322
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,175
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,176

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal

  • By Kerri on 19-02-17

I can see why my friend left Ireland at 17!

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

A polemic against the theocracy and hypocracy that was Irish life in the 20th century. Would recommend to anyone, as it captures the awful and corrupt place that Ireland was and explainsthis why so many young people were desperate to leave. I'm writing this two years after I read it, and the injustice still burns in me. It's memorable for that reason but in truth I found the characters not as convincing as they could have been, hence 4 stars.

  • The Descent of Man

  • By: Grayson Perry
  • Narrated by: Jonny Philips
  • Length: 3 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 315

Grayson Perry has been thinking about masculinity - what it is, how it operates, why little boys are thought to be made of slugs and snails - since he was a boy. Now, in this funny and necessary book, he turns round to look at men with a clear eye and ask, what sort of men would make the world a better place for everyone? What would happen if we rethought the old, outdated macho version of manhood and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truely brilliant!!

  • By Amanda on 25-01-17

Love this man

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

Reviewed: 09-03-17

Grayson Perry not only writes about men's rage, dominance, competitiveness and violence but also how men could reject this whilst retaining manliness. There's lots of psychoanalysis in the book which seems to me to be very astute. It's read with conviction but I'd prefer the author's voice. Nevertheless an excellent book: intelligent, touching, warm and funny. I laughed out loud at the part on sexuality but maybe it was just embarrassment that I'd been rumbled.

  • His Bloody Project

  • By: Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Narrated by: Crawford Logan, Cameron Mowat
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,167
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,081
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,076

A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of 17-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Presented as a collection of documents, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers, which offer conflicting impressions, throwing Macrae's motive and his sanity into question.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much, Much Better than the Sample Suggests

  • By Alex on 18-11-16

Rage throughout, except in the killing

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

Reviewed: 06-03-17

It's beautifully read, ignore the sample. Some audio books I have to rewind because my mind has wandered, not this as it gripped throughout. There is an under current of wrath from the author, about the oppression and tyranny suffered by the poor, from the system and from themselves. The killing itself is the calmest part of the book. There's devastating shifts that makes you question all that you have heard. Loved it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Nutshell

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 735
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 667
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 663

Nutshell is a classic story of murder and deceit, told by a narrator with a perspective and voice unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master. To be bound in a nutshell, see the world in two inches of ivory, in a grain of sand. Why not, when all of literature, all of art, of human endeavour, is just a speck in the universe of possible things?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hamlet From The Womb

  • By Simon on 01-09-16

Splendid

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

Reviewed: 19-10-16

A brilliant novel, brilliantly read. Absorbing from the first sentence to the last, this book really is as clever as it thinks it is. Unique, hilarious, thrilling, complex, sexy, multi layered. I listened on a long drive, all in one sitting and when I finished, rewound and started again. Rory Kinnear was perfect, capturing the vulnerable but slightly pompous tone of the foetus narrator.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Passage

  • By: Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
  • Length: 36 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,407
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,405

Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old, and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is.... Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.... He's wrong. FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.... It is.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • long and absorbing

  • By Tom on 20-07-10

Uninvolving

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

Reviewed: 19-10-16

This book rambled at the edge of my consciousness without ever really drawing me in. The description of the characters was weak so I couldn't really distinguish between them, or perhaps I didn't care. There was uncertainty, peril and tension but the novel didn't add anything to my life...it merely passed the time. For me two big problems: the main narrator droned on in a sort of continuous ethereal and world-weary way, and the book was almost devoid of humour.

If you like long, fantasy trilogies read the 1st Law series by Joe Abercrombie, it's all this is not

  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman, Dennis Boutskiaris, Daniel Oreskes, and others
  • Length: 19 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,775
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,313
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,303

Shadow Moon has served his time. But hours before his release from prison, his beloved wife is killed in a freak accident. Dazed, he boards a plane home where he meets the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who professes both to know Shadow and to be king of America. Together they embark on a profoundly strange road trip across the USA, encountering a kaleidoscopic cast of characters along the way. Yet all around them a storm threatens to break.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This book has got character!

  • By Sebastian on 24-12-14

Pale Shadow

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

Reviewed: 05-05-16

I'm afraid this book never really captured me and I finished it but without any enthusiasm. The problem for me was that I didn't particularly care or believe in the characters. Shadow, the central character was narrated in a rather flat tone, which mirrored his personality. I have read the excellent First Law series, which has humour and a rich array of complex characters, that made me think I might like fantasy in general, but unfortunately not.

  • Stonemouth

  • By: Iain Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 202
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 131

Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth. After five years in exile, his presence is required at the funeral of patriarch Joe Murston, and even though the last time Stu saw the Murstons he was running for his life, staying away might be even more dangerous than turning up. An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with its five mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than sea fog, gangsters, cheap drugs and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Revenge and Regret on the Scottish Coast

  • By Steve on 28-04-12

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 16-11-14

A beautiful book that is one of the best audio books I've heard. It's a powerful mix of Ian McEwan, Irvine Welsh with some Pulp Fiction thrown in. It was entertaining (laugh out loud at times), with fully rounded characters and a strong sense of time and place. Peter Kenny is an excellent reader too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful