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Helen

Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 42
  • reviews
  • 128
  • helpful votes
  • 111
  • ratings
  • Second Life

  • By: S J Watson
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 215
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 213

The sensational new psychological thriller from the best-selling author of Before I Go To Sleep... She loves her husband. She's obsessed with a stranger. She's a devoted mother. She's prepared to lose everything. She knows what she's doing. She's out of control. She's innocent. She's guilty as sin.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boring

  • By trinity_all on 19-03-15

The difficult second novel...

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

Reviewed: 06-07-15

I'm not sure if my boredom with this sprang from an expectation of something as exciting as 'Before I Go to Sleep', or because it is actually boring, but I really did get fed up with it and stopped listening about 20% from the end. I found I simply didn't care. Middle class people with too much time on their hands spending a lot of time talking...and talking...and if they're not talking they're (gasp) using the internet to hook up with other people (and making decisions which are, quite frankly, not very credible and only there to push the so-called plot along). Very dreary. The narrator kept doing a really annoying "male voice", too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Skeletons

  • By: Jane Fallon
  • Narrated by: Penelope Rawlins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 88
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 80

Jen has discovered a secret. If she tells her husband Jason, will he forgive her for telling the truth? If she tells someone else in Jason's family, she'd not only tear them apart but could also find herself on the outside. But if she keeps this to herself, how long can she pretend nothing is wrong? Jen knows the truth - but is she ready for the consequences?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • All families are dysfunctional. But some more so.

  • By Susi on 14-07-14

Okay for a long journey

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

Reviewed: 25-08-14

This is just about okay and has a fairly interesting plot. However there is a contrived feel to the main characters' reactions, as if they just act that way to keep the book going. I quite liked Jane Fallon's "Getting Rid of Matthew" but this one wasn't for me. Also, the narrator had an irritating habit of "doing" the male voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Remember Me This Way

  • By: Sabine Durrant
  • Narrated by: Penelope Rawlins, Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 228
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 209

A year after her husband Zach's death, Lizzie goes to lay flowers where his fatal accident took place. As she makes her way along the motorway, she thinks about their life together. She wonders whether she has changed since Zach died. She wonders if she will ever feel whole again. At last she reaches the spot. And there, tied to a tree, is a bunch of lilies. The flowers are addressed to her husband. Someone has been there before her. Lizzie loved Zach. She really did. But she's starting to realise she didn't really know him. Or what he was capable of.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By Flower Girl on 15-08-14

Gothic and tense

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

Reviewed: 25-08-14

I discovered Sabine Durant via the interesting "Under Your Skin" (excellent writing, compelling page turner, deeply annoying ending). I wasn't sure about this one at first, worrying that it also might have an annoying ending...thank godness it didn't. It's equally compelling, a masterclass in the two-viewpoint/split timeframe narrative, and great fun in a dark, tense, gothic way. Daniel Weyman is excellent as the male lead, unfortunately not equally matched by Penelope Rawlins who insists on "doing" male voices which make the men sound like idiots. If she just read it straight, it would be a much better listen. However, she doesn't spoil the audiobook because the story, plot and characters are so strong. Highly recommended.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Silkworm

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 2
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,608
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,590

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 star rating based on quality not name

  • By Linda on 06-08-14

Wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 30-07-14

A fabulous follow-up to 'The Cuckoo's Calling'. Strike is such an engaging character, and we learn a little more of his background in this compelling audiobook. However it's his lovely sidekick Robin who is developed more in this second adventure. I loved the publishing world backdrop, and the minutiae of literary life (they do say 'write what you know' and it's fun to wonder how much is based in real-life experience for this particular author!!). Well-narrated too, although I keep visualising Hagrid as Cormoran - just can't help it.
A really good listen.

  • World War Z

  • By: Max Brooks
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland, Rupert Farley, Nigel Pilkington, and others
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,775
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,778

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched firsthand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living - or at least the undead - hell of that dreadful time.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good old fashioned gory fun

  • By monkey-puzzle on 21-11-12

I wasn't engaged

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

Reviewed: 07-04-14

I thought I'd love this book - all the right ingredients are there, but somehow it didn't engage me. I was hoping for something along the lines of Stephen King's 'The Stand', with a large ensemble cast and an apocalyptic theme, but this just became boring after a while. I think perhaps the use of a narrator created a distance between the main protagonists and the listener.

  • The Rosie Project

  • By: Graeme Simsion
  • Narrated by: Dan O'Grady
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,657
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,417
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,413

Meet Don. Don is a genetics professor who just might be somewhere on the autistic spectrum. He looks a little like Gregory Peck and is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. And it’s definitely not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not .Rosie, meanwhile, isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for her biological father. Sometimes, though, you don’t find love: love finds you...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By F on 26-05-13

A Fabulous Listen

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

Reviewed: 17-12-13

I'd give this audiobook ten stars if I could. It's funny, original, and keeps you guessing as to what's going to happen next (and in the end). The characters were superbly drawn and realistic, and the situations sometimes slapstick funny, sometimes wry, sometimes full of emotion. Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Cuckoo's Calling

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 1
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 15 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,475
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,453

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and likeable

  • By Dragon on 06-05-13

Loved it - and can't wait for more

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

Reviewed: 02-09-13

I'd already added this to my wish list when the big news broke - and I nearly took it off again, as I've never been a fan of the Harry Potter books. I find Rowling's writing too nervy. However I'm glad I didn't totally lose interest and persevered with the audiobook (this was partly because pundits were being so unfair on the author, and I wanted to give her a chance and see what the book was like for myself).

Robert Glenister's narration is excellent (atlhough he does make Cormoran Strike sound a bit like "Hagrid as Private Eye" - but in a good way). The story was compelling, the characters realistic, and the plot twisted and turned. A very enjoyable listen overall, and I certainly want to follow Strike and his assistant Robin in future books, so hope the fuss hasn't put Rowling/Galbraith off writing more in this series!

  • All the Dead Voices

  • By: Declan Hughes
  • Narrated by: Stanley Townsend
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Ed Loy has made some changes. He has moved into a flat in Dublin’s city centre, leaving the family home behind. Maybe now he can break free from the ghosts of his past – the drinking, the dirty deals, the sleazy underworld. But when a 15-year-old murder case is reopened, Loy is hired by the victim’s daughter to investigate the suspects ignored by the first investigation: a rich property developer, an ex-IRA man and Loy’s least favourite sociopath, George Halligan.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Quite heavy-going

  • By Helen on 27-07-13

Quite heavy-going

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

Reviewed: 27-07-13

I've thoroughly enjoyed previous Declan Huges books, but found this one hard-going. I'm not sure if it was the narrator or the story. There seemed too many characters and a bit too much violence and gore, and I found I didn't really care about many of the people. I love Ed Loy, and this is the second Ed Loy story I've listened to (The first was 'Bad Blood' which I recommend highly), but I simply couldn't get into this one. I listened through to the end, but it's probably going to be a while before I download another one by this author/narrator.

  • The Silent Land

  • By: Graham Joyce
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

A young couple are caught in an avalanche during a skiing holiday in the French Alps. They struggle back to the village and find it deserted. As the days go by they wait for rescue, and then try to leave. But each time they find themselves back in the village. And, increasingly, they are plagued by visions and dreams and the realization that perhaps no one could have survived the avalanche.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Only 6 hours? It went on...and on...and on...

  • By Helen on 03-07-13

Only 6 hours? It went on...and on...and on...

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

Reviewed: 03-07-13

I chose this audiobook on the strength of the other enthusiastic reviews. I can't quite believe we all listened to the same book. The narration was dire - toneless and irritating, especially when the narrator did the female 'voice'. The story was depressing, predictable and boring - and so slow! It just went on and on endlessly with nothing much happening except spending time with the most irritating and unattractive couple. We kept being told of their love, but frankly I didn't see much evidence. Jake was pretty obnoxious to Zoe, undermining her all the time. Ten years married? I'm surprised she stayed with him!

The writing was pretty poor too, over-descriptive, and packed with metaphors that I'm sure the author was pleased with himself for dreaming up but which should have been excised by a decent editor. There were unnecessary Americansims (for example, most people I know call the boot of a car the boot and not the trunk). And the language was fairly crude, presumably in an attempt to make the characters seem convincingly youthful, but they came across as ignorant and unrealistic.

Not recommended. I persevered to the end, but wish I could have those 6 hours back.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Duma Key

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: John Slattery
  • Length: 21 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 845
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 605
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 605

A man discovers an incredible talent for painting after a freak accident in which he loses an arm. He moves to a "new life" in Duma Key, off Florida's West Coast - a deserted strip, part beach, part weed-tangled reef, owned by a patroness of the arts whose twin sisters went missing in the 1920s. Here, Freemantle is inspired to paint the amazing sunsets. But soon the paintings become predictive, even dangerous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Duma

  • By Seamus on 15-10-08

A slow burner

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

Reviewed: 22-06-13

I bought this audiobook on the strength of the other reviewers who said it was a good book for fans of King's THE STAND. This gave me certain expectations that weren't born out by the first 6-7 hours. It is not an ensemble cast book like THE STAND, but more of a one-man show in a similar vein to the dreadful LISEY'S STORY (which is the only King I've actively disliked and been bored by, even though I stuck with it to the bitter end).

A good editor would have offered some guidance on the turgid and introspective opening to the book - which goes on and on and on...and on. Yes, we get it. Edgar Freemantle's had an accident. He's a changed man. Now get on with the story. And so passes 6 hours. I nearly gave up several times - but I'm glad I didn't!

6-7 hours in, and it stops being a one-man show with the arrival of other characters for Edgar to interact with in an interesting way. Elizabeth and Wireman are fascinating, with complex personal histories. Both have had accidents similar to Edgar's...have they been affected in a strange and supernatural way too? The book really gets into its stride at this point and I began to feel spellbound and was soon utterly hooked.

There are unsettling moments, tension, drama, and a compelling atmosphere that keeps you listening at every available moment. One to come back to for a repeat listen, I think! (Although I'll probably skip the opening.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful