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Deborah

London, United Kingdom
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 106
  • helpful votes
  • 40
  • ratings
  • Bring Up the Bodies

  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,071
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,507

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb

  • By Maddy on 02-06-12

An incredible treat!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-10-12

Rarely have I enjoyed an audiobook as much as this one. It is narrated with perfection by Simon Vance (I'm going to check out more by him) and I think in this one, more than in Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel really hits her stride. The language is so rich it's like sitting down to a feast. I usually buy the hard copy as well, since I like reading in the evenings, without my earphones on, but this time I have to say Vance's narration beats my own inner voice and I find I am willing to listen again to passages I have already read just to hear his voice narrate them. He brings this extraordinary novel to life. I cannot wait for the next volume in the trilogy.

  • EMPEROR: The Gates of Rome, Book 1 (Unabridged)

  • By: Conn Iggulden
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 993
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 772

On a small estate just outside Rome in the first century BC, two boys become blood brothers, little imagining the extraordinary future that lies before them. As friends and rivals, Gaius and Marcus are destined to find lasting fame.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb but there is an issue

  • By Anonymous User on 02-01-19

Compelling read but flat, slightly nasal narrator

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-11-11

Got this for my son, who is reading the series, however he prefers the hard copy (i.e. reading it in book form) so I tried it for a "light listen" while walking the dog. It is a compelling story and I can see why it would appeal to young boys. It's written in quite a simple, yet forceful way and it makes for an altogether enjoyable read. However, I found the narrator rather disappointing. His female voices, in particular, are risible; there is very little difference between the 2 main characters (Gaius and Marcus) and his characterization of Renius (a mighty warrior) is uninspired (he comes across as a spiteful weakling). There is very little passion in his tone in general. Glenister's voice, I think, is not suitable for this book. He's a good reader, but he needs a much more sinister book to do himself justice. As it is, he sneers through this one, without ever reaching the necessary levels of pathos and excitement required by the text.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Middlemarch

  • By: George Eliot
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 35 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,416
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,157
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,151

Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All consuming

  • By Caro on 27-04-11

A triumph!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-11-11

I knew this book to be excellent but I was not prepared for such a feat of narration. Juliet Stevenson is outstanding! She creates a million different voices so that each character is instantly recognizable, and just seems to add to Eliot's depth of meaning. Every day I long to put my earphones in and just immerse myself in the story. Unmissable!!

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

  • By: Amy Chua
  • Narrated by: Amy Chua
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what Chinese parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it…."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, funny, self-deprecating

  • By Deborah on 06-07-11

Brilliant, funny, self-deprecating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-07-11

I really enjoyed this book. Amy Chua is a gifted comic writer, her humour is wry and her timing is perfect. She delivers one-liners and put-downs (many aimed at herself) which made me laugh out loud, especially being a mother myself and recognising many situations she describes with her daughters. I almost howled with laughter when she gets super-competitive about her dog as well. Chua is priceless, and her reading of her own memoir is flawless, her voice captivating and very ironic. How can this woman be also a professor of law? She is monstrously gifted - or just raised that way by her parents!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Freedom

  • By: Jonathan Franzen
  • Narrated by: David Ledoux
  • Length: 24 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 340
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of too much liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's intensely realized characters, as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The new 'Great American Novel'

  • By Deborah on 07-03-11

The new 'Great American Novel'

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-11

This book is an intense pleasure to listen to, almost physically satisfying and one can only gawp at the deft brilliance of Franzen's writing. An absolute masterpiece, rendered even more poignant by David Ledoux's tour-de-force reading. His deliberately aggressive, at times sneering tone is just perfect for this text and I find I cannot bring myself to stop listening to it, even when there are other things I should be doing. Addictive novel, which captures the spirit of 21st century angst and makes us all wonder about how we use our relative, perceived freedom.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Finkler Question

  • By: Howard Jacobson
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 47

Julian Treslove and Sam Finkler are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick. Now all three are recently widowed, in their own way, and spend sweetly painful evenings together reminiscing. Until an unexpected violent attack brings everything they thought they knew into question.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, dark, funny and a complete pleasure

  • By Deborah on 14-01-11

Brilliant, dark, funny and a complete pleasure

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-01-11

This book is such an unexpected treat, especially given most of the other reviews. The 3 main characters (Treslove, Finkler and Libor) are brilliant, very clever and funny but also very human and quite sad and by the end of the book you feel you know them inside out (the reader characterizes them beautifully, especially Libor, my favourite). What does it mean to be Jewish, is it a blessing or a curse? The quest to answer this conundrum, the main theme of the book, makes you often smile inside or laugh out loud but the humour is very dark, constellated with wry wisdom. If you 'get it', this is a most wonderful book. I'm going to read more Jacobson on the basis of this.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • David Copperfield

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 34 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 677
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 488

When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which leads him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak, and friendship and betrayal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Joy of Audible

  • By Mr David Newton on 15-09-09

Excellent reading

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-07-10

Martin Jarvis is a natural for Dickens. His voice dramatizes the characters superbly and I cannot imagine anyone doing David Copperfield's long list of glittering characters more justice than this particular reader.
My favourite is Aunt Betsey and her cry of 'Donkeys!' which brought tears of laughter to my eyes. Jarvis also makes the unctuous Uriah Heep seem even more sinister and fishy, while managing a different breathy voice for each of the female characters. Astonishingly good. I loved this reading and recommend it thoroughly.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

  • By: Stieg Larsson
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 18 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,230
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,383
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,388

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder - and that the killer is a member of his own family. He employs journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

  • By MrsFiddleback on 29-05-09

Excellent download

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-02-10

Wonderfully read, intriguingly written, a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

  • Anna Karenina

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: David Horovitch
  • Length: 38 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 708
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 521
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 521

Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gem

  • By Deborah on 12-06-09

A gem

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-06-09

By all admissions, this is a long book and can be daunting. However, Horovitch's gravelly voice and his obvious emotional involvement with the text makes it extremely enjoyable. I walk around with it on my ipod and find myself smiling at certain scenes and at the subtle understanding of human nature which Tolstoy masters so well and with such wry humour. I am really loving it.

57 of 58 people found this review helpful