LISTENER

Seagull

Midlands, UK
  • 36
  • reviews
  • 38
  • helpful votes
  • 36
  • ratings
  • Overlord

  • D-Day and the Battle for Normandy 1944
  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 288
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284

The famous D-Day landings of 6 June, 1944, marked the beginning of Operation Overlord, the battle for the liberation of Europe. Republished as part of the Pan Military Classics series, Max Hastings’ acclaimed account overturns many traditional legends in this memorable study. Drawing together the eyewitness accounts of survivors from both sides, plus a wealth of previously untapped sources and documents, Overlord provides a brilliant, controversial perspective on the devastating battle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent unbiased account of Overlord

  • By Ronan on 06-06-15

Absorbing - mostly!

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

This was bought for my partner, who is always interested in war books. However, I took the chance to listen myself and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's certainly a gripping (and true) story of wartime subterfuge, and even though the outcome is well known, it still absorbed my attention. My only criticism is that it is sometimes a little too thorough. The sheer amount of background detail (although impressive) can sometimes feel overwhelming and occasionally confusing. But overall, a very interesting book which is well read by Barnaby Edwards.

  • The Enchanted Castle

  • By: E. Nesbit
  • Narrated by: Virginia Leishman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7

Jerry, Jimmy, and Kathleen can’t go home for their school holiday because their cousin is sick with measles there. Instead, they stay at Kathleen’s school with the French teacher. One morning, they set out to find adventure. Instead, they find an enchanted place - and magic, too! Walking through a nearby forest, they discover an enormous mansion, where a girl lies asleep in the garden. Although she pretends to be an enchanted princess, she is Mabel, the housekeeper’s niece. But she has a ring that really is magical. It can make the wearer invisible and grant wishes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable

  • By Seagull on 05-09-18

Enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

I ordered this as an undemanding bedtime listen, and gentle trip down memory lane. Although it's a children's book, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. What was a bit of a revelation was to realise just how good a writer E Nesbit was. Listening now as an adult, it really brought home to me just how inventive and playful her prose is, and how good her understanding of the way children speak and behave. An excellent listen, which I would recommend whatever your age group!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Water Babies

  • By: Charles Kingsley
  • Narrated by: Nicola McAuliffe
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

There are very few children's stories that have raised as much outrage in grown-up politics as The Water Babies did when it first appeared in 1863. It was written by Charles Kingsley for his own little boy and shortly after he had been made tutor to the Prince of Wales.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mostly good

  • By Seagull on 22-07-18

Mostly good

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

Reviewed: 22-07-18

Having loved this book in childhood, as an adult I was mildly surprised to discover that most versions appear to be abridged. Having chosen to download this unabridged version I now know why. Although I still enjoyed the main story, I hadn't realised just how often the narrative wanders in all sorts of irrelevant (and alas, frequently boring) ways. The strength of this audio version is in the reading by Nichola McAuliffe, who makes a terrific job of a sometimes challenging task.

  • Persuasion

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 789
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 638
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 634

Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Persuaded.

  • By M on 18-10-13

Superb

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

Reviewed: 22-07-18

This is possibly my favourite of all Jane Austen books, and is beautifully read. I shall certainly be listening more than once.

  • The Portable Door

  • By: Tom Holt
  • Narrated by: Ray Sawyer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234

Starting a new job is always stressful (especially when you don't particularly want one), but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of J. W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discover that the apparently respectable establishment now paying his salary is in fact a front for a deeply sinister organisation that has a mighty peculiar agenda. It seems that half the time his bosses are away with the fairies. But they're not, of course. They're away with the goblins.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Alternative!

  • By Amazon Customer on 14-02-12

Funny and original

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

So how does it feel to find out that the only job you've been able to obtain is Seriously Weird? In this hugely enjoyable book, we follow Paul's adventures in a firm whose business is unlike any others. A wonderfully funny, complicated, original, engrossing story delivered by an excellent narrator.

  • A Leap of Faith

  • By: Trisha Ashley
  • Narrated by: Julia Franklin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Sappho Jones stopped counting birthdays when she reached 30, but even with her hazy grip on mathematics she realises that she's on the slippery slope to the big four-oh! With the thought suddenly lodged in her mind that she's a mere cat's whisker away from becoming a single eccentric female living in a country cottage in Wales, she has the urge to do something dramatic before it's too late. The trouble is, as an adventurous woman of a certain age, Sappho's pretty much been there, done that, got the T-shirt. In fact the only thing she hasn't tried is motherhood.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • What a disappointment!

  • By mary C. Irving on 27-01-17

A little disappointing

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

Having read or listened to most of Trisha Ashley's other books, I must admit I found this a bit of a let down. It's good to have a strong successful confident woman as the heroine, but I just didn't find her very likable, or even intelligent. (SPOILER ALERT) Sappho is a writer who by her own admission can lose all track of the world around her when she writes - so why on earth does she toy with the idea of becoming a single mother merely because she's approaching her 40th birthday? She enjoys sex with Ny, but is otherwise pretty unpleasant to him because he's 'not her type'. (Which I suspect if the sexes were reversed would be regarded as completely unacceptable behaviour on the part of the hero.) I was also put off by the narrator (who I've heard before and liked) who gives this Amazon goddess of a woman a rather shrill high-pitched voice. The story itself is a bit oddball - sometimes in a good way, but sometimes veering a little too far towards the simply unbelievable. I did listen to this book to the end, and I didn't regret buying it, but all in all I didn't feel it was really up to Trisha Ashley's usual high standard.

  • So, Anyway...

  • The Autobiography
  • By: John Cleese
  • Narrated by: John Cleese
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,288
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,205

John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic homelife, with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work, as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pythonic

  • By g on 14-12-16

Great!

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I listened to this book during a series of long car journeys, and it passed the time very agreeably. Unsurprisingly, John Cleese is an excellent narrator of his own story, and very interesting it is too, being mainly about his early life and career. It's also funny! Cleese comes across as a likable person with an endearing habit of making even himself laugh in some parts. Would recommend.

  • The Morville Year

  • By: Katherine Swift
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

In 1988 Katherine Swift arrived at the Dower House at Morville to create a garden of her own. This beautifully written, utterly absorbing book is the history of the many people who have lived in the same Shropshire house, tending the same soil, passing down stories over the generations. Spanning thousands of years, The Morville Year takes the form of a medieval Book of Hours. It is a meditative journey through the seasons, but also a journey of self-exploration. It is a book about finding one's place and putting down roots.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I learnt so much in such an enjoyable way

  • By Tina on 09-08-18

Enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I was in a dilemma as to whether or not to buy this book. I'd loved the previous book, The Morville Hours, but this one has a different narrator - who I'd heard reading the Lord Peter Wimsey detective stories, and absolutely hated her performance. However, I took a chance, and was glad I had. The content of the book is more completely focused on the garden than the previous book is, but still just as interesting. And fortunately Jane McDowell's voice is very much better suited to this book than it is to the Wimsey stories. If you like gardening and enjoy a gently undemanding book, then I'd certainly recommend this one.

  • Time for the Stars

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Travel to other planets is now a reality, and with overpopulation stretching the resources of Earth, the necessity of finding habitable worlds is growing ever more urgent. There’s a problem though—because the spaceships are slower than light, any communication between the exploring ships and Earth would take years.

Tom and Pat are identical twin teenagers. As twins they’ve always been close, so close that it seemed like they could read each other’s minds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Still great!

  • By Seagull on 12-05-18

Still great!

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I loved this when I first read it as an adolescent, and was really pleased to find how well it has stood the test of time. Yes, there are a few jarring moments - it would be depressing if, so far in the future, women had still needed their husband's permission to do things - however, it didn't seriously mar my enjoyment. The characters and situations are still interesting and the premise of the story (telepathic communication) remains fresh and original. The narrator also does a good job. Very pleased I bought this one!

  • 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 607
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 565
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 561

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

Food for thought

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

Reviewed: 16-02-18

This is undoubtedly an interesting story, and had the feeling of being very well researched. But I do have mixed feelings about some aspects. The author gives accounts of many obviously confidential conversations as if he too was in the room taking notes. As this plainly couldn't have been the case, it concerns me that that such private interviews have been set down in the book as if they are indisputable facts. It also had the unfortunate knock-on effect of making me wonder about the accuracy of the rest of the story. Although it is certainly an engrossing narrative, this concern cast a shadow over much of my enjoyment of the book.