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helen claire smith

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 23
  • helpful votes
  • 26
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Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 04-02-20

I was irritated beyond belief by this book, and cannot understand how the title has such a high rating.
The narrator is fine, but there is an odd clicking noise in the background which I couldn't stand - particularly when listening on headphones or in the car.
However, my primary issues was that I had zero sympathy with the protagonist. I felt the wealth obsessed nature of the main character must be one of those story lines with a Damascene conversion 'ooh, we had more than enough, how greedy we were' but no. There was so much name dropping and monied references I found it hard not to think they were going to get what they deserved.
The 'twist' - such as it was - was really easy to see coming.
Irritating and vacuous.

Disappointing - hackneyed and irritating

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

Reviewed: 17-12-19

I found this a tough listen from the beginning. I was irritated by the 'obviousness' of the descriptions and characterisations. I felt that the story held some promise at the start, but in fact was weak throughout. The supposed 'twist' was easily foreseeable, and I didnt need to have the protagonist 'explain' everything to me at the end.
I didn't believe that the characters would have behaved as they did, and that their back stories (event the more well developed) were flimsy.
As someone who has worked in mental health services, and had some mental health issues, I found the management of mental health insulting. It was the kind of characterisation Id expect from a tabloid newspaper, not an author who, I assume, did some research. The excessive focus on vulnerability and threat was lazy, and the discussions surrounding more serious diagnoses were, frankly, unacceptable for a modern author.
Such as shame, more critical handling of the storyline could have made it something worth listening to.

Disappointing.

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

Reviewed: 08-08-19

I found this a difficult listen, I tried multiple times to get into it, and found both of the narrator and the written 'voice' of the lead character so annoying I kept switching it off. The narrative was heavy handed and I was irritated throughout by the obviousness of the 'hints' about key plot twists.
It was overlong, obvious and irritating.

3 people found this helpful

Cracking!

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

Reviewed: 08-08-19

Very engaging story and excellent narrator - what more could you want? Highly recommend this to all.

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 18-07-19

I'm not sure if this is partly due to my experience as a therapist, but this is too focused on psychological theories and fails to create characters I believe in.
The female characters, though varied, are 2 dimensional, even the female lead who is presented as complex and multilayered, but doesn't really hold. There is too much of a focus on creating a supposedly diverse cast of people, which in reality is lacking actual real feel people.
The narrator is too fond of accents, and I find that detracts too.
The story is well constructed, but I guess constructed is what it feels. The twist is interesting but I did see it coming.

Fantastic-edge of my seat.

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

Reviewed: 16-03-19

This is a cracking listen, lots of threads and interesting twists. A good contemporary insight into a variety of toxic relationships.
Looking forward to more from the author.
Narrator very good, I’ve listened to other work of hers and is nicely done. I felt her voice is a little old for the main character but it’s a minor issue.

Second listening as good as the first

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

Reviewed: 21-12-18

I enjoyed this immensely. It’s outside of my usual genre choices but I was able to go with the more supernatural elements because the rest was so heartfelt. The people feel real and believable. Finty Williams is one of my favourite narrators, very natural and easy to listen to. Smashing 😁

1 person found this helpful

A frustrating listen

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

Reviewed: 25-09-18

This is a book with a beautiful turn of phrase, and very valuable subject matter. I struggled with Robbins' delivery and found it too 'acted' which spoiled my overall feel. Had to force myself to listen to the end, which is a shame.

Decent story made irritating by narrator

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

OK, we get it, the narrator does accents. I got so sick of the cod voices I wanted to scream. The story is fine, nothing astounding but a decent listen, but I couldn't wait to get rid of the women's voice!

1 person found this helpful

A curates egg

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

This was a favourite book in my youth and I enjoyed the female reader, but found the male (SK himself I believe!) really hard to listen to. The 'music' that was used between sections was grating.
I hadn't realised that the book went on (and on, and on a bit more) to the point I could hardly stand it by the time it finally signed off.
The core story has some lovely bits but it was spoiled by a protracted ending and some dated delivery.