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K. Bridges

  • 60
  • reviews
  • 54
  • helpful votes
  • 70
  • ratings
  • Broken Homes

  • Rivers of London, Book 4
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,983
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,698
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,676

Ben Aaronovitch has stormed the best-seller list with his superb London crime series - a unique blend of police procedural; loving detail about the greatest character of all, London; and a dash of the supernatural. A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil: an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer? Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case, a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his caseload.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magic and Mayhem...

  • By Sharon on 28-07-13

Magic in the sky(garden)

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

Reviewed: 18-03-19

I really enjoy these "Rivers of London" novels but this is the first one I have listened to - it definitely won't be the last. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is an excellent choice as narrator, he sounds exactly as I imagine Peter Grant and has a wonderful way of conveying exactly how frustrated the main character is in this story. The usual suspects are involved - Molly, Nightinagale and Toby are the stalwarts of the Folly, whilst Lesley and Peter rush around trying to outwit the Faceless Man and generally getting tied up with characters you most definitely wouldn't want to mess with. Into the mix is thrown a tower block in the Elephant and Castle with all sorts of worrying things going on at its centre. I love the cleverness of these novels as well as the genuine love that Ben Aaronovitch seems to have for people in general and London in particular. I'll definitely be listening to the next one in the series.

  • The Year of the Flood

  • MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 541
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404

Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, the preservation of all species and the tending of the Earth - has long predicted the Waterless Flood. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have avoided it: the young trapeze-dancer, Ren, locked into the high-end sex club; and former SecretBurgers meat-slinger turned Gardener, Toby, barricaded into a luxurious spa. Have others survived?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Sharp Divide

  • By Isolde on 31-01-13

The Waterless Flood has arrived...

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

Reviewed: 09-03-19

The second book in the MAddAddam trilogy does take a little getting in to and I was a bit cross that we didn't pick up where "Snowman" left off. However, the characters of Ren, Tobi and Amanda soon became just as interesting as Jimmy as we now find out what has happened to the people and families of "God's Gardeners" who live outside the compounds when Crake's plague hits. Jimmy and Crake make cameo appearances but the gardeners take centre stage and Margaret Atwood introduces us to characters who want to save the human race rather than destroy it. Some reviewers have said they didn't like the Adam One speeches and the hymns being sung but I actually quite enjoyed them and they are, of course, supremely cleverly written. As the second novel in a trilogy, this one could have been a "Two Towers" let down but actually stands on its own remarkably well.

  • Born Lippy

  • How to Do Female
  • By: Jo Brand
  • Narrated by: Jo Brand
  • Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222

When Jo Brand hosted Have I Got News For You late last year, her calm explanation of the effects of sexism on women to a bemused all-male cast turned into a viral phenomenon. There has been a whole tradition of books over hundreds of years where a father shares his wisdom with his son - started by Lord Chesterfield in the 18th century - while women have been silent (aka bullied into thinking their advice wasn't worth writing down). This book puts a stop to all that.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A surprisingly emotional experience

  • By Thi Ha Linh Nguyen on 20-10-18

Jo Brand gives advice about being female

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

Reviewed: 22-02-19

I like Jo Brand's humour and I was well aware that she does pepper her act with swearing so none of that came as a surprise when I listened to this book. As someone who works with teenagers, a lot of the advice rings true but it isn't anything I didn't already know and I'm not sure Jo herself was the best narrator. Nevertheless, this is an interesting listen and I did enjoy it.

  • Little Donkey

  • A Short Story
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 1 hr and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 422
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426

It’s Christmas, and Jenny Checkland is beset with problems. The vicar, who really should know better, has asked to borrow Marilyn the donkey for the nativity play, thereby unleashing chaos on the already chaos-laden Frogmorton Farm. Will Marilyn survive her bath? Will anyone survive Marilyn’s bath? Robbed of her role as the Virgin Mary, what revenge is the angel Gabriel plotting? Why is that sheep so fat? Will Charlie ever get to say his one line? Can Marilyn be prevented from eating the baby Jesus?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Read the nothing girl first!

  • By Hevpais on 25-10-15

A Frogmorton Christmas

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

Reviewed: 09-02-19

This is a lovely little short story from Frogmorton Farm - Fiona Braithwaite has been passed over for the part of Mary in th e Church nativity and the vicar has asked if he can borrow Marilyn the donkey. The usual cast are all there, including a special visitor who comes back just when he’s really needed. I enjoyed Lucy Price-Lewis’ totally fitting narration once again and the story is, as usual poignant and laugh out loud funny. I only wish I had read it in between the Nothing Girl and the Something Girl as it would have made much more logical sense.

  • Oryx and Crake

  • MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: John Chancer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 910
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 765
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 770

Margaret Atwood's classic novel, The Handmaid's Tale, is about the future. Now, in Oryx and Crake, the future has changed: it's much worse. The narrator of this riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he's sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engrossing, disturbing, amusing, entertaining

  • By Martin on 03-02-10

A must listen

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

Reviewed: 06-02-19

Margaret Atwood’s novels are utterly terrifying, they’re so close to home that I’m not sure they aren’t actually already happening and the matter of fact writing is frankly downright scary. Oryx and Crake is yet another enormously credible short step into the future where mankind has run itself into the ground and there’s only one homo sapien sapien left. Jimmy (or snowman as he calls himself). Is that last man standing and we hear his story as it is now and in flashback to his former life.

I didn’t like John Chancer’s narration to start with, I don’t think I liked his accent to be fair, but it did grow on me and in the end I did decide it worked well for the novel. It looks like the second part of the trilogy has a different voice which I am not overwhelmed about, hopefully they do as good a job on it as Mr Chancer has done on this one!

  • The Something Girl

  • The Frogmorton Farm Series, Book 2
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 520
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 480
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 483

It's life as usual at Frogmorton Farm - which is to say that events have passed the merely eccentric and are now galloping headlong towards the completely bizarre. Once again Jenny struggles to stay afloat in the stormy seas of matrimony with her husband, Russell Checkland, together with an unlikely mix of Patagonian Attack Chickens, Jack the Sad Donkey and Mrs Crisp's mysterious boyfriend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • From beginning to end, a brilliant audio book.

  • By Lesley on 05-11-17

A lovely end to the Frogmorton story

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

Reviewed: 19-01-19

Jodi Taylor writes beautiful books. They're full of gentle humour but deal with such strong subjects and fantastic ideas in a sensitive and appealing way. The Something Girl is no exception. Jenny and Russell Checkland are back with a new baby daughter and some Patagonian Attack Chickens. Along the way, they manage to upset their new neighbour and Thomas is back but he's not the only returning character and at least he's welcome.

I love the books and I think the choice of Lucy Price-Lewis as the narrator is perfect. Listen to "The Nothing Girl" first and then come back for this one.

  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

  • By: Stuart Turton
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,498
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,398
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,394

'Somebody's going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won't appear to be a murder, and so the murderer won't be caught. Rectify that injustice and I'll show you the way out.' It is meant to be a celebration, but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden - one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party - can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself over and over again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Complex but Brilliant. A Classic in the making!

  • By Martin on 03-08-18

A great idea, poorly executed

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

Reviewed: 12-01-19

I really wanted to like this book. It's got a really great premise and I love the idea of learning different parts of the same story from the different characters. Unfortunately, it's just far too long winded. The first "host", Bell, does not know the background and so the story advances very little and yet this part of the story took up about 20% of the novel. Once we get the second host, things do start to speed up very slightly but the scene setting is just too laborious and it could have been half the length.

Sadly, the narrator does not help at all in this case either - reading the novel as a B list Gothic movie and apparently trying to be the next Christopher Lee. The novel has it's chilling settings and trying to read it in a voice of doom and gloom just actually makes it difficult to listen to.

This wasn't a favourite of mine and I wouldn't recommend it.

  • The Nothing Girl

  • The Frogmorton Farm Series, Book 1
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 837
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 769
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 765

Getting a life isn't always easy. And hanging on to it is even harder.... Jodi Taylor brings all her comic writing skills to this heartwarming tale of self-discovery. Known as The Nothing Girl because of her severe stutter and chronically low self-confidence, Jenny Dove is only just prevented from ending it all by the sudden appearance of Thomas, a mystical golden horse only she can see. Under his guidance Jenny unexpectedly acquires a husband - the charming and chaotic Russell Checkland.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful book

  • By ellen on 08-05-15

Jodi Taylor does it again

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

Reviewed: 16-12-18

I love the Chronicles of St Mary's - I've listened to them all and I love Zara Ramm's narration. With that in mind I approached "The Nothing Girl" and Lucy Price - Lewis with slight trepidation and almost limited expectations as I didn't want to be disappointed. I needn't have worried! The narration is spot on - even to the extent that Jenny's voice changes as her personality does, and the other characters don't disappoint. The sign of a great audio narration is when you don't need to be told who is speaking and Lucy pulls it off brilliantly.

As for the story, Jodi Taylor is the master of the personality alongside the tale and this is another wonderful example. I loved all the characters (except the baddies - boo!) and their escapades are second to none. Frankly, I almost went to look for a donkey and I don't even have stables.

Wonderful novel - I can't wait to listen to the next one!

  • The Luminaries

  • By: Eleanor Catton
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 29 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,402
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,275
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,271

It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully written, but slower than a snail

  • By Avril Sawers on 02-11-13

A wonderful saga, read beautifully

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

Reviewed: 02-12-18

I loved this book. It's a slow burner and at first, one isn't quite sure where it's going. Mark Meadows' wonderful reading adds so much to the development of the characters and, although it is definitely one of the longest books I've listened to, I really didn't want it to end. The setting of a novel in the New Zealand Gold Rush is not one I have encountered before, but Eleanor Catton brought it to life in a way that made me really want to know more. Listen to it - you won't be disappointed.

  • The Long and the Short of It

  • The Chronicles of St. Mary's
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279

Follow the disaster magnets of St Mary's as they hurtle around history! The ninth book in The Chronicles of St Mary's Series collects the best-selling short stories in audio for the first time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very unfair for people to complain

  • By Hevpais on 13-06-17

Snippets of St Mary's history!

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

Reviewed: 03-11-18

This is a lovely book of short stories - sometimes I do think "short story" means you just don't get anything to get your teeth into - Jodi Taylor was never the sort of author who was going to treat her readers in that way.

This is a collection of bits of background, other stories, bits to fill in and generally other stuff you might want to know about the St Mary's crew. I don't really have a favourite but "The Very First Damned Thing" came close, especially the bit about the lovely Professor Rapson and Doctor Dowson. Equally, there are laugh out loud, crying tears of sadness and the general emotional roller coaster moments that St Mary's does best.

I have sadly now listened to all the St Mary's audiobooks that are not actually short stories - if you haven't, you're in for an amazing treat!