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Claudia

Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 34
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • The Amber Keeper

  • By: Freda Lightfoot
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 103

After her mother's suicide, Abbie Myers returns home to the Lake District with her young child - and no wedding ring. Estranged from her turbulent family for many years, Abbie is heartbroken when she hears that they blame her for this tragedy. Determined to uncover her mother's past, Abbie approaches her beloved grandmother, Millie, in search of answers. The old woman reveals the story of how she travelled to Russia in 1911 as a young governess and became caught up in the revolution.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ok story, shame about the narration!!!

  • By Miss D Srao on 18-06-15

Not recommended

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

Reviewed: 19-10-15

The idea for the story is promising. With proper research and the creation of engaging, convincing characters this book could have become an interesting and informative story about "Upstairs, Downstairs" in Russia at the onset of the October Revolution. Pity the execution is so poor, this book is not even entertaining.

Worse still, Susan Duerden's reading is terrible. Every sentence has the same intonation and contributes to a merciless singsong which ruins even those parts of the story that arouse a little interest. Miss Duerden's attempts at creating different voices are confined to her lowering her voice and sounding breathy. It is all so bad, in the end I just laughed and turned off. I would recommend that Miss Duerden listen to a performance by Rupert Degas who should give masterclasses teaching how to read a story and create a stunning variety of voices.

I shall return this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hounded

  • The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Kevin Hearne
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 540
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 504

Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he's twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but not great

  • By Sam on 09-07-14

A witty delight

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

Reviewed: 12-09-13

This book was a serendipitous. It is not really a story but a sequence of incidents all described with wit by somebody who does not take himself of his writing too seriously, yet plays with language and preconceived ideas so that the listener/reader laughs out loud. Hearne amusingly lampoons the New Age, and I am straight on to "Hexed".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Clan of the Cave Bear

  • Earth's Children 1
  • By: Jean M. Auel
  • Narrated by: Rowena Cooper
  • Length: 20 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350

Clan of the Cave Bear is the first novel in Jean M. Auel's magnificent best-selling epic of life 35,000 years ago. Leave the 21st century and go back to Ice Age Europe. Follow Ayla, a Cro-Magnon child who loses her parents in an earthquake and is adopted by a tribe of Neanderthal, the Clan. See how the Clan's wary suspicion is gradually transformed into acceptance of this girl, so different from them, under the guidance of its medicine woman, Iza, and its wise holy man, Creb. Immerse yourself in a world dictated by the demands of survival in a hostile environment, and be swept away in an epic tale of love, identity and struggle.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting story

  • By Catherine Howard on 14-10-17

Interesting Research

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

Reviewed: 03-05-13

Jean Auel has obviously spent a great deal of time and effort not only researching Neanderthal Man, but also present-day hunter gatherer societies, and then superimposed a story to present her findings in a captivating, easily accessible form. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the result, although I found the narrator's voice strangely lifeless, indeed more suited to reading an academic paper than a narrative. Auel is, however, no real story teller. The narrative remains driven by by her wish to acquaint the reader with her research, the imaginery additions are not convincing (clan memories accessed through the generations?), and the characters, though quite engaging, are never more than functional. All the same, I recommend this book. It allows an interesting insight into man's early history.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  • By: Deborah Moggach
  • Narrated by: Nina Wadia
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 596
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 358
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 360

When Ravi Kapoor, an overworked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his disgusting and difficult father-in-law, he asks his wife: "Can't we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away." His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dunroamin!

  • By Susan on 10-04-12

Disappointed

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-03-13

After reading the reviews on Audible, I expected a really enjoyable book, but I was bitterly disappointed. The narration is pleasing enough, although I cannot understand why so many narrators fail to inform themselves about the pronunciation of proper names before recording a book. Surely, James Naughtie is well enough known for a reasonably educated and informed narrator to pronounce his name correctly. However, these are minor gripes compared to the book itself. What an assembly of stereotypes, and rather outdated stereotypes at that: They are all there: the dirty old man, the married couple from different cultures facing difficulties, the elderly woman discovering herself after years of living in the shadow of a husband, the Indian entrepreneur, the woman past her prime who finds a bed companion and some jolliness. How very tiresome. Give me the film any time. It may be lightweight, but the script (fortunately only loosely based on the book) in conjunction with the outstanding performances of the cast make the characters believable, which is more than be said for the book. Spend your credits on worthier fare.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Name of the Wind

  • The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 28 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,720
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,595
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,587

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the university at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By Robyn on 31-01-13

All readers should be like this

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-01-13

This is a well written and engaging tale. What really makes the audiobook, however, is Rupert Degas. Up to now, I thought Steven Thorne's reading of "The Merlin Trilogy" could not be surpassed. I was wrong. Rupert Degas not only succeeds in giving all the characters a distinct voice in a wide range of accents, he also seems to be that rarest of readers: one who must have read the book before recording it.

I followed a previous reviewer's advice and bought the complete "Name of the Wind" from iTunes, because Audible really should not have split the book into two parts, no matter how superb the reading.

  • Smiley's People

  • The Karla Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 922
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 676
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 675

George Smiley was summoned from his dubious retirement by two seemingly unconnected events - an old woman in Paris is promised the return of a daughter she will never see, and a handover is to take place on a steamer in Hamburg.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An underrated writer

  • By Claudia on 24-09-12

An underrated writer

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-09-12

Another engaging and thought provoking novel by John le Carre. It is a pity he is known primarily as the writer of excellent spy novels, i.e. thrilling plots, rather than simply as an excellent writer. His powers of observation, the description of settings and characters, the analysis of their motives and his skills as a writer should have been awarded a prize long ago.

Michael Jayston does the author justice with his reading. He is one of the great narrators of audiobooks. Amongst his merits is the ability to pronounce most foreign names without mangling them - quite an achievement in an era where the majority narrators no longer trouble to research the pronunciation of foreign words, often rendering them utterly incomprehensible.

Buy this book. It is worth every penny.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Leopard: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 8

  • By: Jo Nesbo
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 19 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 631
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 627

In the depths of winter, a killer stalks the city streets. His victims are two young women, both found with twenty-four inexplicable puncture wounds, both drowned in their own blood. The crime scenes offer no clues, the media is reaching fever pitch, and the police are running out of options. There is only one man who can help them, and he doesn’t want to be found.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Leopard

  • By Chanel on 26-03-11

Not for lovers of good writing

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-07-11

.Excellent reading - pity the writing is not up to scratch. I suggest Jo Nesbo attend a good writing course. He needs it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Beloved

  • By: Toni Morrison
  • Narrated by: Toni Morrison
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 156
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Important subject but ...

  • By Mrs on 23-05-11

Authors, stick to writing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-07-11

A wonderful book, anything but wonderfully read. Toni Morrison is a great writer, and I couldn't wait to start listening to this reading. Sadly, I had to stop after about three hours. Once again, it became painfully obvious that good writers don't necessarily make good readers. Morrison's habit of taking a breath in the middle of a phrase is worse than irritating, it regularly obscures the meaning of sections of the book. I hoped I would get used to her truncated phrasing (a grass, blade), but could not manage it. What a shame. A convincing reading of the characters' Black English speech would have added greatly to an intriguing book that lingers in the mind.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Snowman: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 7

  • By: Jo Nesbo
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,675
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,040
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,042

A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Their house is empty but outside in the garden he sees his mother's favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman. As Harry Hole and his team begin their investigation they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years. When a second woman disappears it seems that Harry's worst suspicions are confirmed: for the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his home turf.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nailbiting from start to finish

  • By Wilma on 06-12-10

Reading 1, Writing 0

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-07-11

Positive first: Sean Barrett's reading of this tale is superb, which is all the more remarkable as he must have baulked at much of the writing, and the plot will probably carry even a reluctant reader (like me) to the end.
The most wondrous thing, however, is why this author allegedly received accolades for his writing. The surfeit of similes and metaphors which nearly all just miss (the minute-hand of a clock "goose-stepping"), the pretentious language (nothing has a smell, everything has an aroma, people don't chew, they masticate) all reminded me of teenagers writing to impress. The book does not have a structure so much as an event pile-up, and the characters are two-dimensional, tired, predictable cardboard cut-outs. I started wincing with embarrassment and finished laughing out loud - it's all you can do if you don't want to cry.
If you read solely for plot, enjoy a gruesome tale, and don't mind excruciatingly poor writing, buy this book. If, however, you expect professional writing, stay clear of all books of this author.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Empire of Silver

  • By: Conn Iggulden
  • Narrated by: Stephen Thorne
  • Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140

The eagerly awaited 4th novel in the bestselling Conqueror series, continuing the life and adventures of the mighty Khan dynasty. Genghis Khan is dead, but his legend and his legacy live on. His son Ogedai has built a white city on a great plain and made a capital for the new nation. Now the armies have gathered to see which of Genghis' sons has the strength to be khan.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Informative

  • By Claudia on 17-04-11

Informative

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-04-11

This book is neither 'boring', nor does it have 'too many names', as another reviewer would have you believe. It is an informative and interesting follow-up to the first three books in the series and provides a satisfying end to the story, as well as a view of the future of 'the Nation'. Of course, it lacks the central figure of Genghis Khan and thus a focal point. Like the Mongol Empire itself, the various strands of the story diverge. The book is therefore probably not suited to listeners who like a one-layered, plot-driven story. My own criticism is that it is not as well written as the first book in the series in particular. It is, however, superbly read by the inimitable Stephen Thorne whose work I have admired since his rendering of Mary Stewart's 'Merlin Trilogy'. In my view the whole series allows the reader a view of the Mongols which is refreshingly different from that normally found in Western history books, and 'The Empire of Silver' is both worth hearing in its own right, and as a conclusion to the earlier three.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful