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Lauenna

Somerset
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 48
  • helpful votes
  • 39
  • ratings
  • All That Man Is

  • By: David Szalay
  • Narrated by: Huw Parmenter, Mark Meadows, Sean Barrett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 89

Nine men: each of them at a different stage of life, away from home, and striving - in the suburbs of Prague, in a cheap Cypriot hotel - to understand just what it means to be alive here and now. Tracing an arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, All That Man Is brings these separate lives together to show us men as they are - ludicrous and inarticulate, shocking and despicable; vital, pitiable, hilarious, and full of heartfelt longing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Full of empathy

  • By A Person on 29-03-17

Good in a different way

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

Reviewed: 13-08-17

I struggle with short stories and always feel disappointed when they end as I want depth! But somehow these stories about different men aren't really separate. It's more like looking at a series of paintings. It's very good. I find the change of narrators a little distracting.

  • The Days of Abandonment

  • By: Elena Ferrante
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 45

An IndiBound best seller, The Days of Abandonment shocked and captivated its Italian public when first published. It is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband, with two young children to care for. When she finds herself literally trapped within the four walls of their high-rise apartment, she is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dark, troubling and thought provoking

  • By Robin300378 on 14-09-16

Brutal but beautiful.

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

Reviewed: 04-12-16

I found this such a tough read but only because it so reflected the depth and sometimes horror of a life falling apart and coming back together. It was refreshingly female a and beautifully crafted.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,629
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,354
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,367

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!

  • By Tara Mcgrath on 02-12-13

Amazing

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

Reviewed: 17-08-16

Compelling, thought provoking, wonderful characters and left me contemplating my relationship to art, objects and life.

  • The Spire

  • By: William Golding
  • Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 199

Dean Jocelin has a vision: that God has chosen him to erect a great spire on his cathedral. His mason anxiously advises against it, for the old cathedral was built without foundations. Nevertheless, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims. Its shadow falls ever darker on the world below, and on Dean Jocelin in particular.From the author of Lord of the Flies, The Spire is a dark and powerful portrait of one man's will, and the folly that he creates.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scintillating, metaphysical scream.

  • By Earnest on 27-01-15

Not easy but worth it.

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

Reviewed: 03-06-16

It wasn't easy to access in a way but it was worth sticking with it. The performance was wonderful and the story, however tragic, was deeply symbolic and stimulated lots of reflection for me.

  • The Long Weekend

  • By: Veronica Henry
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 683
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 626
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 625

In a gorgeous quay-side hotel in Cornwall, the long weekend is just beginning...Claire Marlowe owns 'The Townhouse by the Sea' with Luca, the hotel's charismatic chef. She ensures everything runs smoothly - until an unexpected arrival checks in and turns her whole world upside down.And the rest of the guests arrive with their own baggage. There's a couple looking for distraction from a family tragedy; a man trying to make amends for an affair he bitterly regrets...and the young woman who thinks the Cornish village might hold the key to her past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect escapism

  • By Saffy on 24-05-14

A good escape

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

Reviewed: 19-10-15

Light and fluffy, I felt it was a bit trashy at first but actually I really got into it, I liked the characters and looked forward to settling down with it.

Any Human Heart
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        William Boyd
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Mike Grady
    
    


    
    Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
    827 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • Any Human Heart

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Mike Grady
  • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 827
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 655
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 651

Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the 20th century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A poignant journey through a man's life

  • By Kirstine on 19-03-12

Awful

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

Reviewed: 06-10-15

Any additional comments?

I really struggled through this book. I continued for 3/4 because a friend loved it but I hated it. The main character was shallow and bland but not in any sort of well-rounded or intelligent way. I felt like I was stuck in a pathetic male fantasy where first this woman, throws herself at him and then the next, (for no perceptible reason other than it would be pleasant for some to imagine it) the differences between the women being breast shape and skin colour. Then the plot was just a roaming fantasy about bumping into Earnest Heminway and any other famous figure William Boyd has probably ever wondered about. Awful, awful, awful.

38 of 45 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 128
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 46

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

Enjoyed the second half

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

Reviewed: 18-04-15

I really struggled with the first half of this book mainly because of how the main characters perceived women. It improved with the introduction of a female character or two and getting into the nitty gritty of the diversity of the London Jewish experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Night and Day

  • By: Virginia Woolf
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 18 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

Night and Day, is a story about a group of young people trying to discover what it means to fall in love. It asks all the big questions: What does it mean to fall in love? Does marriage grant happiness? What is happiness? Night and Day is a conventional novel; however, it maps out for us the world of Virginia Woolf in its wondrous prose: for her it was the beginning, leading on to a prolonged engagement with her search for the means to express the 'inner life'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous

  • By Elizabeth on 03-06-16

Slow to start but worth the wait.

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

What made the experience of listening to Night and Day the most enjoyable?

Juliet Stevenson is just lovely as always striking the perfect tone. I loved the setting in turn of the century London. I found the story difficult to engage with at first but then got into a juicy exploration of love and relationships that is really quite unique. The characters were real and full and sort of anti-romantic in a way which I found fascinating.

5 of 6 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 1,365
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,104

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

Really, very good.

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

Reviewed: 28-04-14

Any additional comments?

I expected this to be a bit of a drag and felt it was something I "should" read. So I was surprised to find myself chuckling at the witty, sparkling, beautiful writing. It soon became clear why it was such a classic. The performance was fantastic. Juliet Stevenson just got every nuance and made it so accessible, I am sure that it was thanks to her performance that I found it so amusing and enjoyable.