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  • 57
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  • 38
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  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Joan Walker
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,747
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,614

Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He isn't as young as he used to be. He drives a Saab. He points at people he doesn't like the look of. He is described by those around his as 'the neighbour from hell'.Every morning he makes his inspection rounds of the local streets. He moves bicycles and checks the contents of recycling bins, even though it's been years since he was fired as Chairman of the Residents' Association in a vicious 'coup d'état'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All you need is Ove

  • By Kaggy on 22-09-14

Grumpy Old Man

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

Reviewed: 18-05-17

I read My Grandmother Sends her Regards etc before I read this book and therefore had enormous expectations of enjoyment from Fredrik Backman. I was not disappointed as I thoroughly enjoy his style of writing but the gloomy nature of the book was a little depressing. Characters around him were beautifully drawn and the story was gently teased out over the period covered by the book. The comedic aspects were well handled and provided leavening for the cold gloom. The ending was not a surprise, almost a relief in some ways, there was no where else to go with the story. Familiarity with Asperger's and old people is not a requirement for understanding the book as Backman gives such a clear picture! Definitely recommended for discerning readers for whom the writing style is as important as the story line.

  • Enemies of the Heart

  • By: Rebecca Dean
  • Narrated by: Helen Longworth
  • Length: 20 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

A sweeping international epic, perfect for all fans of Penny Vincenzi and Barbara Taylor Bradford June 1909, in a large Berlin mansion, cousins Zelda and Vicky are about to meet brothers Berthold and Josef for the first time – an evening that will alter the course of their lives forever…

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Very disappointing end

  • By Margaret on 11-03-11

ENGROSSING

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

Reviewed: 25-03-17

I found this story more engrossing than I expected. I had read a Rebecca Dean before and found it light and enjoyable and romantic and this was much the same but characterisations were deeper and well sustained throughout the long time-span of the story. Some characters dropped by the wayside but hey, there were enough others to fully sustain the storyline. Descriptions of eras and places were evocative and probably fairly authentic, though I did find some aspects just too facile (how did they manage to feed themselves in Berlin in the immediate aftermath of WW2? It didn't seem to be much of an issue.) The juxtaposition of calm, plentiful Yorkshire with bombed out Berlin was well expressed and the tying up of loose ends of the many characters was satisfying. Some characters grew with the story, others remained pretty much the same over time, though perhaps that is the case with real life too. Generally a good read and I was never inclined to fast forward as I am with some books!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Essex Serpent

  • By: Sarah Perry
  • Narrated by: Juanita McMahon
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 949
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 880
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 882

London 1893: When Cora Seaborne and her son Francis reach Essex, rumours spread from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, convinced that it may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail she meets William Ransome, Aldwinter's vicar.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Authentic Voice

  • By Christina on 20-09-16

Victorian Goth

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

Reviewed: 28-02-17

A clear and vivid account of late Victorian mores in town and country. Many characters well drawn and many intricate story lines interwoven masterfully. My only complaint was that it was over long, not the second half, it was the first half that dragged - too many deep theosophical discussions that took the story nowhere except to highlight over and over again the differences in the main protagonists' characters. Lovely descriptions of places, particularly of the Essex countryside - they were vivid and entrancing. A good read on the whole, if you can hang in there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Julian Fellowes's Belgravia

  • By: Julian Fellowes
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,611
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,484
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,483

Julian Fellowes's Belgravia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London's grandest postcode. Set in the 1840s, when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond's now legendary ball, one family's life will change forever.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Reminiscent of Georgette Heyer

  • By Lorna on 17-07-16

Downton Abbey Meets Belgravia

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

A tiny bit disappointing. The style of writing is more suited to a tv series like Downton Abbey (by the same author), very visual and consequently a bit superficial. The storyline was a predictable as ever but satisfying in the end. I did get a bit bored, I admit.

  • My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Joan Walker
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 863
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 796
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 797

The hilarious, heartbreaking novel by the author of the international best seller A Man Called Ove. Granny has been telling fairy tales for as long as Elsa can remember. In the beginning they were only to make Elsa go to sleep, to get her to practise Granny's secret language, and a little because Granny is just about as nutty as a granny should be. But lately the stories have another dimension as well. Something Elsa can't quite put her finger on....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wonderfully engaging, great story well read.

  • By Catherine Smith on 27-08-15

Didn't want it to end

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

A truly superb piece of writing, totally engaging story, mixture of humour, pathos, sadness and joy as seen from the perspective of a "nearly 8 year old" girl. The reader, Joan Walker, is a true asset to the production. Highly recommend if you like fairy stories with a bite!

  • The Saffron Trail

  • By: Rosanna Ley
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal
  • Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 206
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 185
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 184

Once there was a girl who loved saffron. She loved its secrets and its mystery, and best of all she loved its hint of magic. After the death of her beloved mother, Nell travels from rural Cornwall to the colour and chaos of Marrakech. Her marriage may be on the rocks, but exploring the heady delights of Moroccan cuisine could help her fulfil her dream of opening her own restaurant. It's there she meets Amy - a young photographer trying to unravel the story behind her family's involvement in the Vietnam War.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Locations

  • By Kathy on 07-11-16

Tedious

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

Reviewed: 10-01-17

I'm half way through and not sure if I'm going to be able to finish this book. Far too much tub-thumping by the author on subjects such as feminism, marriage,friendship between women and cooking. In fact, too many themes generally. Too many adjectives and adverbs and quite a lot of it reads like a tourist guide. I understand that the author is trying to create context and place but it is all much too trite and self-indulgent. Disappointing.

  • The Hanging Tree

  • Rivers of London, Book 6
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,061
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,869
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,858

Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty's daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour. Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we're talking about.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As usual, a great read.

  • By Justine on 12-12-16

Read the others in the series before this one

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

Reviewed: 21-12-16

I've read all the books in this series and waited impatiently for The Hanging Tree to come out. I was not disappointed. I don't think this is a book that can stand alone so read the others before this one. Also, be aware that there are some differences in the story line - Peter is less naive but no less impetuous and the magic is more open and widespread than in previous books in the series. But this is a natural progression in terms of character growth and story line so it's all good.

Occasionally there is rather too much emphasis on architectural style and geographic location in London - a city that I have visited but am not familiar with, so sometimes I really don't care which street our hero is currently chasing crims down. I enjoy the author's familiarity with the police processes which I assume are all authentic, they certainly sound so!

The narrator is brilliant with all the different accents and creates a very clear picture of who is talking, though his American accent is not very good - luckily there isn't much need for it. I await the next book in the series with impatience. I've had a lot of enjoyment out of this series - thank you, Ben Aaronovitch!

  • The Midnight Rose

  • By: Lucinda Riley
  • Narrated by: Anjana Srinivasan
  • Length: 16 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302

In the heyday of the British Raj, Anahita becomes Princess Indira’s official companion, and accompanies her to England just before the outbreak of the Great War. There, she meets the young Donald Astbury – reluctant heir to a magnificent, estate – and his scheming mother. Eighty years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. Her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, takes her to the now-crumbling Astbury Hall…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Beautiful Love Story with a Difference

  • By G on 05-04-14

Absorbing

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

Reviewed: 21-12-16

A most absorbing story beautifully narrated except for some rather odd mispronunciations which jarred somewhat but didn't detract from the story overall. It's the first Lucinda Riley that I have read and once I got into it I was hooked. Aside from some rather glaring holes in the story line where you just have to suspend disbelief in a big way, the book is a most enjoyable light read.

  • Precious and Grace

  • No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 17
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 281
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 282

The delightful 17th installment of the ever-popular, perennially best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. For years Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi - codirectors of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - have been helping people with the problems in their lives, but their partnership is tested by a curious case: a client who wants to rediscover the life she lost when she left Botswana 30 years ago.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another delightful trip to Botswana

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-05-17

Always a Pleasure

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

Reviewed: 21-12-16

I always enjoy stories about Precious Ramotswa - the gentle philosophising, the innate dignity and the satisfactory conclusions. This is another of those stories. The narrator Adjoa Andoh really makes the characters more credible than ever. Loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Road Home

  • By: Rose Tremain
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to Britain, seeking work. But Lev has an outsider's vision of the place we call home. Lev begins with no job, little money, and few words of English. He has only his memories, his hopes, and a certain skill preparing food.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Narration, Good Story

  • By Yogita on 13-10-08

Not for me

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

Reviewed: 19-10-16

I've actually given up on this book. Thought it was going to be interesting but I found it gloomy (why can't Russians have any sense of humour?), and the story line became trite and predictable, with so many "helpful" coincidences that I got bored. Maybe the story picks up later but, honestly, I don't have the inclination to go on. Not my scene.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful