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KarenD

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  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 13
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  • The Miniaturist

  • By: Jessie Burton
  • Narrated by: Jessie Burton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,881
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,702
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,700

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Tricky to get in to

  • By DebNwood on 20-05-15

Shadows and secrets

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

What did you like most about The Miniaturist?

The author draws you into Old Amsterdam in 1686. Beautiful prose and descriptions immaculately researched told through the eyes of the main character 18 year old Nella Ootman.

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

Burial Rites, it has the same feel of time and place and bleak circumstances

What about Jessie Burton’s performance did you like?

She read her own work stunningly.

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

The death of Johann

Any additional comments?

A really enjoyable and different read- don’t expect to be given all the answers though!

  • The Forgotten Garden

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 576
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 428
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 433

Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth a Listen

  • By Penny on 06-08-08

The past uncovered

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

Reviewed: 05-06-15

What made the experience of listening to The Forgotten Garden the most enjoyable?

A great story, perhaps a little predictable but beautifully written and narrated.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Forgotten Garden?

Entering the abandoned cottage for the first time and the heroines emotional reaction.

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

Feeling and empathy.

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

Yes, I felt very emotionally involved.

Any additional comments?

Loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Bryant & May - The Burning Man

  • By: Christopher Fowler
  • Narrated by: Tim Goodman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 270
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251

A banking scandal has filled the city with violent protests, and a young homeless man burns to death after being caught between rioters and the police. But all is not as it seems; an opportunistic killer is using the chaos to exact revenge. Arthur Bryant and John May soon find their investigation taking an apocalyptic turn as the case comes to involve the history of mob rule, corruption, punishment, and the legend of Guy Fawkes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good as ever

  • By Viatrix on 21-07-15

Vintage Bryant and May

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

Reviewed: 05-06-15

What made the experience of listening to Bryant & May - The Burning Man the most enjoyable?

The unexpected twists and turns of the plot and as always the characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bryant & May - The Burning Man?

Bryant walking into the fog over Blackfriars bridge at the end

Which character – as performed by Tim Goodman – was your favourite?

Arthur Bryant

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

Smoke gets in your eyes

Any additional comments?

Knew from fairly early on that this would be the last in this wonderful series-Bryant couldn't go on for ever but still very sad that I can't anticipate another one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Doomsday Book

  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 26 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 175
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 129

For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Smashing Book

  • By artemis99 on 21-01-11

Fascinating story

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

Reviewed: 05-06-15

What made the experience of listening to Doomsday Book the most enjoyable?

This was a gripping story on several levels with parallels between the past and the story's present. Unexpectedly moving and not easily forgotten.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doomsday Book?

The transformation on the naive student of the present day into a tough and resilient charactor.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Pretty much, a little slow in places, particularly the unnecessary dragging out of the Latin quotations at the start of some chapters.

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

A plague on you all?

Any additional comments?

Despite some minor irritations with the narration this was a cracking read which kept me up many a long hour

  • Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart

  • Bryant & May, Book 11
  • By: Christopher Fowler
  • Narrated by: Tim Goodman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197

Two teenagers see a dead man rising from his grave. And if that's not alarming enough, one of them is killed in a hit and run accident. Soon it seems death is all around and Bryant and May must confront a group of latter-day bodysnatchers. More graves are desecrated, further deaths occur, and when Bryant is blindfolded and taken to a secret society, he realises that this case is more complex than even he had imagined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • another triumph

  • By Julie on 22-11-14

Fabulous vintage Bryant and May

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

Reviewed: 05-05-15

What made the experience of listening to Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart the most enjoyable?

Great story and quirky characters.

What other book might you compare Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart to, and why?

Only to the others in the series they are unique.

Have you listened to any of Tim Goodman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

yes, as ever excellent and captures the characters beautifully.

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

Gently amusing

Any additional comments?

Great information on unseen London

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Game of Kings cover art
  • The Game of Kings

  • By: Dorothy Dunnett
  • Narrated by: Samuel Gillies
  • Length: 24 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

The Game of Kings: First in The Lymond Saga. It's August 1547, and unrest in Europe is rife. Scotland, nominally ruled by 4 year old Queen Mary, is heaving with intrigue - and hot gossip. The notorious rebel, Crawford of Lymond, is rumoured to be back in Edinburgh. The city is sealed, but such things never worry 'Lymond'. As usual, he leaves a characteristic trail of hue and cry, vanished contraband, and a drunken sow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A kaleidoscope of the 16th Century

  • By MJP on 29-01-14

Couldn't get to grips with this

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

Reviewed: 05-05-15

Would you try another book written by Dorothy Dunnett or narrated by Samuel Gillies?

I have read most of the Dorothy Dunnett books in the past and loved them, but had to give up on the audiobook as I found it tedious and long-windeded.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marietta, almonds mother who was spiky, wise and intelligent.

Would you be willing to try another one of Samuel Gillies’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The book is wonderful, complex and many layered but the audio version just didn't capture this for me at all.

Any additional comments?

A real disappointment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • All Clear

  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis (introduction)
  • Length: 23 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 58

Three time-traveling historians are visiting World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler's bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent story and brilliant performance

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-05-18

Good follow up to Blackout

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

Reviewed: 05-05-15

Would you try another book written by Connie Willis or narrated by Katherine Kellgren and Connie Willis (introduction) ?

Definitely the Oxford series written by Connie Willis but would avoid anything narrated by Katherine Kellgren in future. The frequent mispronouncing got in the way of a good story e.g passengers and particularly of ARP and FANYS showed ignorance of the subject matter and was irritating. The American accent lacked conviction as did the 'over the top' aristocratic accent. If Aileen (Eileen?) is supposed to be Irish an Irish accent should have been used for her part.

What did you like best about this story?

The fire at St Paul's and the surrounding events. I had read Blackout some time ago and then tried it and all clear as audio books, they work very well, particularly Connie Willis' introduction

Would you be willing to try another one of Katherine Kellgren and Connie Willis (introduction) ’s performances?

See previous comments

Could you see All Clear being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Yes. An English cast. Sam West as Mike, Claire Skinner as Polly

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,566
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,441
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,446

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman. It's about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us. It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Cunning Darkness

  • By Simon on 08-10-15

Neil Gaiman at his best

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

Reviewed: 13-01-14

What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

Unexpected, mesmerising and scary

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I wouldn't change a thing

What didn’t you like about Neil Gaiman’s performance?

I liked his performance-the author reading his own work lends a lot to the listening experience

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

Stand aside Tolkein

Any additional comments?

Loved it!

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 828
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 767
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 773

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

A stunning story beautifully read

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

Reviewed: 13-01-14

If you could sum up Burial Rites in three words, what would they be?

Moving, atmospheric, haunting and beautifully read

What other book might you compare Burial Rites to, and why?

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This had the same feel of impending doom and inevitability seen through the eyes of the subject.

Have you listened to any of Morven Christie’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but I will look for her narrations in future, her voice perfectly captured the dark bleak Icelandic existance 200 years ago.

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

Definitely.

Any additional comments?

The way the story and the ambiguous character of Agnes unfurled was gripping despite knowing the ultimate outcome. As the listener I was shocked and moved by the harrowing conditions both the Icelandic farmers and servants existed under.The epilogue and authors notes were useful and informative, perhaps raising more questions than answers.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful