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Corsaire

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 17
  • ratings
  • The Spinoza Problem

  • A Novel
  • By: Irvin D. Yalom
  • Narrated by: Traber Burns
  • Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Internationally best-selling novelist Irvin D. Yalom explores the mindsets of two men separated by 300 years. Using his skills as a psychiatrist, he explores the inner lives of Baruch Spinoza, the Jewish 17th-century secular philosopher, and of Alfred Rosenberg, outspoken Nazi ideologue, faithful servant of Hitler, the main author of racial policy for the Third Reich, and a godless mass murderer....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More textbook than novel

  • By Corsaire on 06-02-19

More textbook than novel

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

Reviewed: 06-02-19

A deep and rich book, especially if you're interested in philosophy or psychoanalysis - but do approach it as part-textbook, rather than a well rounded novel.

The author is a psychiatrist and boy, does it show. Every single conversation is stilted and unrealistic. The two main characters are built up not through action, but by long verbatim accounts of therapy sessions - either literal, or under a very thin veneer of conversation about philosophy. There are long passages of material which is irrelevant (histories of Portuguese Judaism or early psychoanalysis) whilst important characterisation is left undone - 'Oh yes, I married again' says one central character in the only hint we ever get of his home life.

That said, the book has a quiet intensity which held my attention to the end, and I learned a great deal about Spinoza.

  • The Girls

  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Glaister, Amelie Jewell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 856
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 776
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 770

You live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbours for years, and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really? On a midsummer’s night, a 13-year-old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Weak in several parts

  • By Giftgiver on 14-11-16

Gave up after seven dull chapters

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

Reviewed: 23-12-18

I did try but after seven chapters of set-up, abandoned all hope. Too slow-paced for this reader, by far.

  • Dodge & Twist

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Tony Lee
  • Narrated by: Matt Lucas, Stephen Mangan, Michael Socha, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

It’s rumoured that Dickens wanted to return to his classic novel Oliver Twist, to bring him back into a later book as an older character, but he never managed this before he died. However, if Oliver had returned, what would he have been like? Would the scars of his childhood affect the man he would become? And what of ‘Dodger’, sent to a land halfway around the world, his friend, mentor and master dead because of Oliver? Dodge & Twist is that story. The tale of two boys, 12 years later, returning into each other’s lives - for both good and bad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great fun. Love the dramatics.

  • By Dicky on 10-01-19

And then I woke up and it was all a dream....

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

Reviewed: 23-12-18

Started well but quickly deteriorated into a labyrinthine, unnecessarily complex heist story. At the end, so much was explained by dream or fever, and so many instances of 'How did I get here?' or 'Aha, but what you didn't know was...' Poorly plotted, Byzantine and dull. The bright spot is Matt Lucas' incredible acting.

  • Essential Italian in 2 Hours with Paul Noble

  • By: Paul Noble
  • Narrated by: Paul Noble
  • Length: 2 hrs and 23 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

Learning the essentials of Italian couldn’t be easier!     

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simple and helpful travel language

  • By Dr on 01-07-13

Best learning experience ever

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

Reviewed: 18-11-18

I'm usually good with languages but this method of learning, by simple repetition of likely phrases in different sentences, is phenomenally useful and quick. I started playing it as I got on the plane and by the time I landed, had most of the vocabulary I needed for my four-day stay. A perfect method for learning essential phrases.

  • SPQR

  • A History of Ancient Rome
  • By: Mary Beard
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,671
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,513
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,496

Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and erudite

  • By Mr. D on 01-12-15

Admirable, but dry and hard to engage wth

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

Reviewed: 22-10-18

Beautifully read but the book is hamstrung by its vast scope: feels vague and dry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Very English Scandal

  • Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment
  • By: John Preston
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 667
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 624
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 620

It's the late 1960s, and homosexuality has only just been legalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he's desperate to hide. As long as Norman Scott, his beautiful, unstable lover is around, Thorpe's brilliant career is at risk. With the help of his fellow politicians, Thorpe schemes, deceives and embezzles - until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good. The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed our society forever: it was the moment the British public discovered the truth about its political class.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By C Hall on 13-08-16

Pedestrian telling of an exciting scandal

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

Reviewed: 14-06-18

Very journalistic telling - which is to say thst the facts are given without any thought to building the narrative or highlighting which of the many facts will be important. Didn't enjoy the lengthy diversions, for instance about Leo Abse's campaign around vasectomy which has no bearing on the story at all.

  • Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession

  • Six Tudor Queens, Book 2
  • By: Alison Weir
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 21 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

Fresh from the cultivated hothouse of Renaissance France, Anne draws attention at the English court. A nobleman, a poet and a king vie for her love. She has a spirit worthy of a crown - and a crown is what she seeks. It is a more powerful aphrodisiac than love. And so she embarks on her perilous course, which will plunge a kingdom into turmoil. Blood will flow on her account. Her only protection is the King's great love.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Well written, terribly read.

  • By mari gordon on 15-05-18

Bad sound quality with occasional bloopers

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

Reviewed: 21-05-18

Many many hiccups in the sound, sometimes obscuring vital names or words. bbbhhfddub bhgdd ggcfh gy ghfc

  • The Melody

  • By: Jim Crace
  • Narrated by: Tim Bentinck
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

Alfred Busi, famed and beloved in his town for his music and songs, is now in his 60s, mourning the recent death of his wife and quietly living out his days alone in the large villa he has always called home. The night before he is due to attend a ceremony at the town's avenue of fame, Busi is attacked by a creature he disturbs as it raids the contents of his larder.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Very very dull

  • By Corsaire on 17-04-18

Very very dull

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

Reviewed: 17-04-18

I love the work of Jim Crace and listened carefully to this book - beautifully read - for SEVEN HOURS before finally giving up on it. In that time, beyond two glimpses of a feral child, absolutely nothing of interest has happened. The same scenes of life in the main character's house are sketched again and again. I expected subtlety and wasnt looking for a thriller but after seven hours I abandoned any hope that the last seventy minutes would make it worthwhile. Sadly disappointing.