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Robert

Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 25
  • helpful votes
  • 31
  • ratings
  • The Man Between

  • By: Charles Cumming
  • Narrated by: Charlie Anson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 95
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 84

Successful novelist Kit Carradine has grown restless. So when British Intelligence invites him to enter the secret world of espionage, he willingly takes a leap into the unknown. But the glamour of being a spy is soon tainted by fear and betrayal, as Carradine finds himself in Morocco on the trail of Lara Bartok - a mysterious fugitive with links to international terrorism.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • unfortunately dull

  • By Robert on 31-07-18

unfortunately dull

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

Reviewed: 31-07-18

I like Charles Cummings writing. He writes some great sentences. But the plot and characters in this book are dull. It was a slog, really. I wouldn't recommend. Which Is a shame as I am sure he could publish a great book. I've read most of his others. And they nearly all fall into 'nearly-good.' This isn't. The main character is not engaging, other characters are not interesting - or worse - clichéd. Plot simply boring. Sorry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Human Factor

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Tim Pigott-Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140

When a leak is traced back to a small sub-section of SIS, it sparks off security checks, tensions and suspicions - the sort of atmosphere where mistakes could be made. This novel opens up the lonely, isolated, neurotic world of the Secret Service.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superb Narration

  • By Peter on 02-05-13

A tender, entertaining book.

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

Reviewed: 23-11-16

Stunning performance of a tender book. TPS' performance is brilliant. I loved his voices as Danetre, 'C' and the doctor. The book is thoughtful and provoking. not Green's best. but diverting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Divided Spy

  • By: Charles Cumming
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167

From the winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012 for Best Thriller of the Year comes a gripping and suspenseful new spy novel. Perfect for fans of John le Carré, Charles Cumming is 'the master of the modern spy thriller' ( Mail on Sunday). Thomas Kell thought he was done with spying. A former MI6 officer, he devoted his life to the service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin. Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Never again

  • By Louize on 01-09-16

a fine part of this series.

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

Reviewed: 10-07-16

This is a fine book. Cummings is a wonderful writer. Jot Davies narrates it beautifully. This isn't as strong as the first two books in the series - or his Trinity Six book. The first third is a little slow. And if a book of this quality had been the first in the series, I wonder if it would have continued. But it is engaging. And the Kell series is as good as the best spy thrillers out there. This just wasn't as good as books 1 & 2 - in my opinion.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Devil in the Marshalsea

  • By: Antonia Hodgson
  • Narrated by: Joseph Kloska
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261

London, 1727 - and Tom Hawkins is about to fall from his heaven of card games, brothels, and coffeehouses to the hell of a debtors' prison. The Marshalsea is a savage world of its own, with simple rules: those with family or friends who can lend them a little money may survive in relative comfort. Those with none will starve in squalor and disease. And those who try to escape will suffer a gruesome fate at the hands of the gaol's rutheless governor and his cronies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best audio books I've chosen recently

  • By D on 28-10-14

Good story, well-narrated, dreadful editing

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

Reviewed: 20-01-16

An atmospheric book, beautifully-written and well-read. Good characters. But the narrator's mistakes have been left in the edit. This meant I frequently heard the same lines twice. Once he even apologises to the sound recordist. Despite that, it is very diverting and one of the best historic fictions stories I've read in some time.

  • Only Time Will Tell

  • Clifton Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,933
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,429
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,431

The Clifton Chronicles is Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious work in four decades as an international best-selling author. The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the chilling words, ‘I was told that my father was killed in the war’. But it will be another twenty years before Harry discovers how his father really died, which will only lead him to question: who was his father?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story-telling

  • By Kirstine on 16-06-11

Fine. For what it is.

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

Reviewed: 21-06-15

Archer's attempt at Dickens. Roger Allam's narration is good. There are some interesting characters. But the dialogue is appalling. Poor Mr Allam, having to read such bilge! I stuck out to the end of the book but shan't bother with the rest.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Trinity Six

  • By: Charles Cumming
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 201
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163

Europe is still littered with the darkest secrets of the Cold War. And the most deadly revelation of them all is about to be made…Hard-up Russia expert Dr Sam Gaddis finally has a lead for a book that could set his career back on track. He has staggering new information about an unknown sixth member of the infamous Cambridge spy ring – a man who has evaded detection for his entire life

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Trinity Six

  • By JOHN M. on 22-12-16

Great narration, good story

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

Reviewed: 07-10-14

What made the experience of listening to The Trinity Six the most enjoyable?

Jot Davies' narration is wonderful. But it is a very good book - taking the reader from everyday backdrops to Moscow, Berlin and further... Typical spy stuff!

What other book might you compare The Trinity Six to, and why?

To Mr Cummings' Thomas Kell books

What does Jot Davies bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He adds great life to the characters. Wonderful accents, beautifully perfomed

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not particularly. The book is a touch overlong. And some of the passages - for example when the action moves to Moscow - don't ring true. The main character zips about all over the place. Which is nice - but not that believable.

Any additional comments?

This isn't quite as good as the Thomas Kell books. But is a very diverting read - or listen. Lots of nice asides. Funny. Dramatic. A couple of strong characters nicely described. But a touch too long and a little convoluted.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Locked Room

  • Martin Beck Series, Book 8
  • By: Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

A young blonde in sunglasses robs a bank and kills a hapless citizen. Across town, a corpse with a bullet shot through its heart is found in a locked room - with no gun at the scene. The crimes seem disparate, but to Martin Beck, they are two pieces of the same puzzle, and solving it becomes the one way he can escape the pains of his failed marriage and the lingering effects of a near-fatal bullet wound.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Is this a computer-generated narration??

  • By Robert on 02-09-14

Is this a computer-generated narration??

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

Reviewed: 02-09-14

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

Not sure. The narration is so flat that - to me - it kills the book.

If you’ve listened to books by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö before, how does this one compare?

I haven't.

What didn’t you like about Tom Weiner’s performance?

His voice sounds computer generated. Flat. I found myself nearly nodding off driving my car listening to this - it is so bereft of intonation and life. His voice is strong. But it is just so dull. It sounds devoid of humanity and humour.

What character would you cut from The Locked Room?

None. I really wanted to enjoy this book. I just couldn't get past the narration.

Any additional comments?

I think I understood moments of great writing - and maybe even humour. But I found this book impossible to complete because of the narration. Have kept trying to pick it up again but after 20 minutes or so I just have to give up.

  • A Foreign Country

  • By: Charles Cumming
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 280

Six weeks before she is due to take up her position as the first female head of MI6, Amelia Levene vanishes without a trace. Her disappearance is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced for more than a decade. There has been no ransom demand, no word from foreign intelligence services, and no hint of a defection. Should news of Levene’s disappearance leak out, the consequences would be catastrophic. But for disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell, the crisis offers a chance for redemption.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cracking story incredibly well read

  • By A on 13-11-16

Great Modern Spy Thriller

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

Reviewed: 02-09-14

If you could sum up A Foreign Country in three words, what would they be?

Twisting, interesting, well-written, well-narrated.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a great modern-take on the old spy thriller. It is really well-written and Jot Davies' narration is wonderful. Thankfully it doesn't (SPOILER ALERT) end with colossal explosions and lengthy descriptions of pain and torture or further dreadful cliche's. It is thoughtful, compelling and wonderful entertainment for nine hours.

What about Jot Davies’s performance did you like?

The narration was superb. It did require quite a few foreign accents. Some were better than others! (I think his Italian character slipped a few times - apart from that well done!!) But it was narrated at a good pace with wonderful intonation and warmth.

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

It was really compelling. I really wanted to listen more. The characters were well thought-out and the plot zipped along nicely. Some moments were genuinely funny. And there was some emotion. But it was more about the plot and the quality of the writing - the descriptions, thoughts and the thrill of espionage - that made this book.

Any additional comments?

Really enjoyed it. Good characters. Great plot. The first Charles Cumming book I've downloaded. Will definitely download more.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,587
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,315
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,328

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!

  • By Tara Mcgrath on 02-12-13

Meandering magic

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

Reviewed: 25-03-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

To some friends - it is a long-winded but often beautiful and powerful book.

What did you like best about this story?

Donna Tartt's writing is frequently beautiful. The book is like a long journey. You wonder where you're headed. But often, like a good trip, when you find yourself in a sleepy backwater, you find yourself savouring the moment. That is where Tartt's writing, her language, her dialogue and descriptions are at their best. Funny, poignant, enlightening, sad.

What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

1. He has a wonderful voice. 2. His characterisations are beautiful.

Any additional comments?

Although incredibly long, The Goldfinch could have been twice as long - and just as good. Or half the duration and have the same impact. There is no plot to speak of - that's just a tool for the ramblings of Theo, Boris and Hobie. The writing is wonderful, the narration perfect. It will take a bit of patience, but is really worth it.

John Lennon
    The Life, Volume 2
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Phillip Norman
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Russell Boulter
    
    


    
    Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
    47 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • John Lennon

  • The Life, Volume 2
  • By: Phillip Norman
  • Narrated by: Russell Boulter
  • Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

This masterly biography takes a fresh and penetrating look at every aspect of Lennon's much-chronicled life, including the songs that turned him, posthumously, into almost a secular saint. In three years of research, Norman has turned up an extraordinary amount of new information about even the best-known episodes of Lennon folklore, including the evolution of his peerless creative partnership with Paul McCartney.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding

  • By John on 20-03-10

Wonderful biography beautifully read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-12

I have always loved The Beatles but was never that much of a Lennon fan - particularly his solo/Plastic Ono work. And I don't know why I downloaded this book. But I'm so delighted I did. It's more than a personal history, it's a social, political and cultural history too, beautifully written and fast-paced - despite its size.



Thankfully it's no fan-worship either. Lennon is portrayed as a cruel, nasty, spiteful, self-centred piece of work. But also a man who could be generous, charming, funny, talented and a forceful free-thinker. A compelling person who could enthral and appal in equal measure.



Phillip Norman has clearly made a herculean effort with his research. His writing is fresh, entertaining and crackles along. Although there are a couple of moments when he lunges into extremes "It was surely the most (whatever the circumstance).... in the history of the world ever.''



Russell Boulter's reading is sublime. He uses a variety of voices (I love his Aunt Mimi & Paul McCartney - and he even has a decent stab at Rolf Harris at one point!)



As Lennon might say: 'You know, I loved this book.'