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seagull

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Horrendous Narration!

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

Reviewed: 05-03-16

I don't normally review books but I had to say a few words about the narrator as he was awful! if it wasn't for the fact I had already read one of the books later on in this series and had enjoyed it I would have given up and returned it to Audible! The dialogue in the book is predominately upper class female and the narrator does a dreadful job - it's like listening to fingernails being dragged across a blackboard! However, the pace of the book does pick up in the second half and ends up being a good read but never again for me with this narrator!

1 person found this helpful

Okay Collection But 2 Stories Missing!

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

Reviewed: 26-02-15

The original book has 10 stories but here we only get 8. It should really be classed as an abridged book. The two that are missing are "There are no Snakes in Ireland" and "Duty". The former is often cited as the highlight of the book as it won a Edgar Allan Poe Award for best short story and it's really disappointing that it's missing. Why would you omit two of the stories, one of which is supposedly the highlight?

The 8 stories you do get are generally either set in Ireland or are based around a middle/upper class stiff upper lip British businessman/gentry. The latter gets a little bit wearing. The stories themselves are fine with a twist at the end although in a number you could see the twist coming.

Narration is okay although once or twice you could hear the ruffle of pages and it wasn't always obvious when one story ended and the next started.

Not essential Forsyth but any means, more for the completest (although you'll have to track down a paper copy to read the two missing stories!).

2 people found this helpful

Another Fantastic Addition To The Series

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

Reviewed: 28-09-14

This is the fifth (and possibly final?) instalment in Stephen Leather's Jack Nightingale series. Nightingale is a private detective who investigates a series of murders of goths and the story unravels the supernatural elements begin to come into play. If you enjoyed any of the previous instalments I'm sure you'll enjoy this too. Narration is top notch and the story comes to a great conclusion. If you haven't read the previous books in the series I would recommend starting with them in order first. It can be read as a stand alone book but you'll get more out of it if you follow the series.

1 person found this helpful

Criminally Out Of Date

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

Reviewed: 03-08-14

I chose this book thinking it would have been an interesting read in the run up to the referendum. However, I didn't read the description close enough and was disappointed to find that it was written 22 years ago in 1992! There is a more recent introduction but that nowhere near makes up for such an outdated book on a very timely subject. A bit of a cynical cash in - add a new introduction rather than redrafting the book and adding extra chapters for 1993-2014.

If you are interested in the history of "home rule" (independence wasn't seriously considered in 1992, years before we even had our own parliament) pre-1992 in Scotland then it's not too bad. However, an infinitely better book to read is "Road To Referendum" by Iain Macwhirter - a fantastic book on the subject.

Another problem with "The Battle For Scotland" is the fact that the author's been away from Scotland for 30 years (this is painstakingly obvious when you read the new introduction with errors and ill informed observations).

No doubt an important book in 1992 but there are many other better books in 2014 on the subject.

16 people found this helpful

Really dragged On

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

Reviewed: 21-07-14

I normally love this genre of Middle Eastern political thriller (Iranian officer caught in honey trap by British agents, extraction team into Iran to get his wife) but I'm afraid this really dragged on for me and I found it difficult at times to keep my focus. The narrator didn't help matters either - his voice and narration were good enough but he never left any gaps between a change of scene in the book like other narrators do - really annoying! It meant that you were transported from one scene to another without him barely taking a breath and the scenes running into each other which gets confusing.

A good enough storyline spoiled by a waffling author and frustrating narration.

"Quote"..."End Quote" "Quote"..."End Quote"

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

Reviewed: 12-07-13

Great book but the constant "Quote"..."End Quote" does my head in! There surely must be a better way to narrate speech than to constantly say it within the phrases "Quote"..."End Quote". Also the constant referral to the album as "TKATVGPS" rather than just saying "Village Green" is also annoying.

Would highly recommend the book but the narrator needs to learn how to handle better such books.

2 people found this helpful

The Blackhouse cover art

Great Character Driven Crime Story

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

Reviewed: 19-05-13

Set mainly on Lewis this story oozes quality in terms of the location and the characters. A Edinburgh based detective returns to his childhood home of Lewis where he relives events in his childhood and meets again those who he grew up with whilst investigating a murder of one of them.

As a crime/detective novel it is good but it has so much depth to it. You get a real feel for Lewis and what it was like to grow up there 30-40 years ago. Peter May really develops characters in a way that's done better than many similar crime writers.

I never really thought about the narration throughout which is a sign of a quality narrator! Overall a very good read and I am looking forward to reading the second in the trilogy.

4 people found this helpful

The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year cover art

Up And Down Story Of A Horrible Family!

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

Reviewed: 10-05-13

I have read all the Adrian Mole books and decided it was time to try something else by Sue Townsend. This is the story of a housewife who takes to her bed after her twin children leave home for university and she has had enough of being taken for granted by her unloving husband. The story has it's ups and downs. At times I smiled and even laughed along, other times I started to drift a bit with the story (especially towards the end). The biggest problem is that I pretty soon lost sympathy for the main character and her aim of staying in bed for a year. In fact most of the characters in the book are pretty unlikeable people. There were times when it had an almost Adrian Mole like feel to the story and humour, and this is when I laughed and enjoyed the book but these times were too few. The narration by Caroline Quentin is good but when she puts on a male voice shouting or getting excited it tends to sounds like nails being dragged across a blackboard. Otherwise she does a good job! Overall I wouldn't especially recommend this book - it ultimately left me unsatisfied.

1 person found this helpful

Great Story...Shame Frankie Didn't Narrate It

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

Reviewed: 06-05-13

Frankie's life from when he was born up until the book was published a few years ago. As his life story unfolds we are constantly bombarded by Frankie's biting opinions/anecdotes. If you love Frankie's work then it's an essential read. My only real complaint is that he does not narrate it and it would have been so much better if he had. Instead we get a perfectly competent Scots narrator but it's not quite the same - it's a bit like listing to his stand up routing delivered by someone else.

3 people found this helpful

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle cover art

Great Narration - Average Story

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

Reviewed: 04-05-13

Pleasant enough short story Sherlock Holmes short story clocking in at under an hour. The narration by Alan Cumming is fantastic though!