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  • 5
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 60
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  • The Crossing Places

  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,324
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,319

When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Crime and archaeology - what's not to like?!

  • By Adrian on 05-06-11

Wonderful protagonist, sublime location

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

Reviewed: 22-02-15

What did you like best about this story?

Ruth was such a great character, relatable without being ordinary and the descriptions of the salt marshes were so atmospheric. I also very much liked the details about ancient history and archaeology which are subjects I know very little about so feel I learned from the book.

What didn’t you like about Jane McDowell’s performance?

The dreadful Norwegian accent. It's a shame because much of the narration was excellent it's just when she had to give Erik's dialogue it sounded more like a racist version of Indian than Norwegian. The other accents weren't that great either but less offensive.

I would listen to books narrated by her again because descriptions and so forth were good but only if no accents were involved.

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

Very much so. The pace was brilliantly balanced between the meticulousness of archaological investigation and the urgency of crime so it would have worked in one go too.

  • Film Noir

  • The Arts
  • By: iMinds
  • Narrated by: Luca James Lee
  • Length: 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

If you're watching a movie where a world-weary detective is having trouble with a "dame" or a "broad", and cigarette smoke is wafting through the scene - you're probably appreciating a bit of "film noir". Film noir literally means black film referring to both the look and the attitude of these movies.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Lacking something - films

  • By RK on 22-02-15

Lacking something - films

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

Reviewed: 22-02-15

What would have made Film Noir better?

The blurb stated that it had recommendations of films but it barely mentioned any except as general lists. What would've been better is if when talking about lighting a few good film examples were mentioned, when talking about femme fatales it recommended more than just Gilda. I know it's only eight minutes long but it was so basic that the listener had little to take away from it, what films to watch, further reading etc., and there was a bit of repetition that really has no place in such a short piece.

Black Roses cover art
  • Black Roses

  • By: Jane Thynne
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal
  • Length: 15 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

Berlin, 1933. Aspiring actress Clara Vine arrives in Berlin to find work at the famous Ufa studios. Through a chance meeting, she is unwillingly drawn into a circle of Nazi wives, led by Magda Goebbels. British Intelligence officer Leo Quinn sees Clara as the perfect recruit to spy on her new elite friends. But then Magda reveals to Clara a dramatic secret and entrusts her with an extraordinary mission.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not a bad listen but lacking atmosphere

  • By Ellen on 17-07-17

Mixed Bouquet

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

Reviewed: 05-02-15

Would you listen to Black Roses again? Why?

No. I really enjoyed the story but several careless mispronunciations and breaks at the wrong points of sentences made it frustrating. Although I want to read more Clara Vine adventures I'll be getting text copies rather than audio for this reason.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes the pace was fine it was just the errors mentioned earlier that were irksome. One good thing was that the narrator didn't attempt comedy German accents but just gave people different voices (not always different enough for me though).

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

One of the pleasures of this book was that it took several topics and themes with the potential for melodrama and presented them in an interesting but not emotionally manipulative way. Reflecting how Magda Goebbels is presented perhaps - a very odd, eventful life but a veneer of cold glamour.

Any additional comments?

I loved the passages about cinema; details of the studios, mentions of German stars and directors of the time and would have liked more of these kinds of things.
Basically cinema, spies and inter-war Europe are my favourite themes so in that way this book was a delight though the character of Clara needed a bit more oomph.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Bridget Jones

  • Mad About the Boy
  • By: Helen Fielding
  • Narrated by: Samantha Bond
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,032
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 916
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 919

With her hotly anticipated third instalment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget's life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous email CC, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on. An uproariously funny novel of modern life, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is a triumphant return of our favourite Everywoman.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A mixed reading/listening experience!

  • By Ann D on 07-11-13

Like we never knew her

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

Reviewed: 13-03-14

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Part of the problem with the book is that it tried to check too many boxes - single mother humour, grief, romance, smut, and comment on contemporary society. It did one of these well (the humour) but was distractingly awful at the rest

Would you ever listen to anything by Helen Fielding again?

Yes. I've liked other stuff of hers (especially the previous Bridget Jones novels) which is partly why it was such a surprise that this was a mess and I felt myself actively disliking Bridget which is a shame.

What about Samantha Bond’s performance did you like?

She was just the perfect choice for this. Upper crust and sexy with a humour that's intelligent and not too obvious. And to painstakingly mispronounce Hedda Gabler for 2/3 of the book is impressive professionalism. It's odd though that the text had her criticising someone for choosing to be Miss Moneypenny; I so longed for her to break from the text to say "not that there's anything wrong with that of course"

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bridget Jones?

Sex scenes and Twitter scenes. Both were awkward and clunky.

Any additional comments?

Starting at a certain point and then flashing back to fill out the story didn't work AT ALL. It made things repetitive and raised certain plot issues as things happened in illogical order. The casual racism made me uncomfortable as well.

  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2

  • Hunger Games, Book 2
  • By: Suzanne Collins
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,329
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,161

Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic series

  • By Renee on 09-04-12

Great story let down by stunted reading

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

Reviewed: 13-06-13

I've read this book before and loved it so was extremely disappointed that I couldn't get through the awful reading. There are pauses mid sentence and she often sounds like she's making announcements rather than narrating a girl's thoughts. The voice has no cadence and the story just doesn't flow.

The heroine is 17 years old but the voice used is matriarchal and it really doesn't work. Very disappointing as I was looking forward to downloading the set of a series I've thoroughly enjoyed reading.

I'd recommend reading it yourself.