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Allan Robb-McLeod

Glasgow, Scotland
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 29
  • ratings
  • The Folding Star

  • By: Alan Hollinghurst
  • Narrated by: Samuel West
  • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Edward Manners - 33 and disaffected - escapes to a Flemish city in search of a new life. Almost at once he falls in love with 17-year-old Luc and is introduced to the twilight world of the 1890s Belgian painter Edgard Orst.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Hollinghurst triumph

  • By Allan Robb-McLeod on 11-07-18

Another Hollinghurst triumph

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

While not my favourite of Alan Hollinghurst's novels, The Folding Star contains some of his best writing. I found myself not particularly interested the sub-plot regarding the Flemish artist but a flashback of the protagonist's first love was so sublime that it left me gasping for more. I will definitely revisit The Folding Star.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stalin's Englishman

  • The Lives of Guy Burgess
  • By: Andrew Lownie
  • Narrated by: Simon Shepherd
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

Guy Burgess is the most important, complex and fascinating of 'The Cambridge Spies' - the group of British men recruited to pass intelligence to the Soviets during World War Two and the Cold War. Burgess' story takes us from his student days in 1930s Cambridge, where he was first approached by Soviet scouts, through his daring infiltration of the BBC and the British government to his final escape to Russia and lonely, tragic-comic exile there.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beilliant

  • By Allan Robb-McLeod on 21-12-15

Beilliant

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

Reviewed: 21-12-15

Having just finished Ben MacIntyre's brilliant book on Kim Philby "A Spy among Friends" I found myself interested in that other Cambridge Spy, Guy Burgess, and was pleased to see this recommended by Audible. Like MacIntyre's book, this book does a brilliant job of showing more of the infamous man. Burgess, of all the spies, has had the worst reputation but Lownie describes a compellingly flawed and ideologically naive man. A particular strength of this book is that it does not, as so many do, treat Burgess's life after his defection as an epilogue but rather show the impact that his decision to defect had on Burgess and those close to him. A really great book for all spy aficionados and cold warriors!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: Michael Tudor Barnes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 699
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 653
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 650

Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Retold with Gripping Narrative

  • By Avril Sawers on 14-10-14

MacIntyre's best

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

Reviewed: 16-12-15

Having listened to several of Ben MacIntyre's spy books, I think this is his best yet.

  • Heartstone

  • Shardlake, Book 5
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 22 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 669
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 605
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601

Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel . . .Meanwhile, Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of ‘monstrous wrongs' committed against his young ward, Hugh Curteys, by Sir Nicholas Hobbey, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Dark and Enthralling blend of fact and fiction

  • By Mrs on 01-12-15

Not the best Shardlake

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

Reviewed: 27-04-15

Have really enjoyed the other Shardlake novels but this one felt over long. The two parallel mysteries seemed to be very tenuously linked and I would have preferred to focus on the one about the character we had previously met.