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Penny

  • 14
  • reviews
  • 64
  • helpful votes
  • 18
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Honest but difficult listening

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

Reviewed: 18-06-16

I was always engaged in the unfolding story of C.H. and his family - a very honest and revealing memoir of an interesting life. His was no ordinary life, living in a world where elitism is the norm, the world of private schools and Oxford, rubbing shoulders with influential people. However, you get the feeling that despite inhabiting the 'dreaming spires' he was a decent bloke at heart. I feel bad complaining about the narration of this audiobook as it is done by the author, and who could better that? But his voice rises and falls away over the course of phrases and sentences and I completely lost a lot of it - I found at times I was just about yelling at him to 'speak up'!! Sorry - I'm a fan and have great respect for his writings but C.H. is not a good narrator.

21 people found this helpful

Charlotte Bronte revealed

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

Reviewed: 18-06-16

I really feel as if I know Charlotte Bronte after listening to this audiobook, I found it an absolutely engaging and revealing story of her life and relationships, such as they are known. Her intellectual snobbery is a little off-putting and, and no doubt she would have been a discomforting companion - though not as difficult as Emily! However her determined and unswerving search for truth and honesty shines through - I loved this book.

1 person found this helpful

Fascinating story, narration almost unbearable!

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

Reviewed: 23-10-15

I almost gave up listening several times, despite being gripped by the real life story of Beryl Markham, who lived an extraordinary life in Africa, contemperary of the more famous Karen Blixen (Out of Africa). Unfortunately I found the narrator extremely off-putting, over-enunciating and way too 'put on posh' for my taste, and what I believe would suit the story. Yes, Beryl was undoubtedly English upper class but she could never be this prissy!

2 people found this helpful

Labours a bit on details of the 'crime'

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

Reviewed: 14-09-15

This is a fascinating true story of Victorian morality. Florence Maybrick was convicted of killing her husband by arsenic poison in 1889, but there was always doubt surrounding the conviction. This is a long book and is more detailed than I would need, seeming to go over some aspects of the case multiple times. This was most evident in the hypocrisy towards female adultery, which was explored quite a number of times. I found the story fascinating and the narrator excellent.

I was yelling at narrator

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

Reviewed: 14-09-15

I hadn't realised this was an abridged story as I would never normally listen to those. Keith Barron's narration is excellent in bringing characters to life, but he doesn't seem to realise that narrators need to keep a constant volume, more or less. Unfortunately the modulations in his voice take it from loud to a whisper in one sentence and I've been constantly fiddling with the volume on my phone trying to hear it but not get an ear blast. Several times I found myself shouting at him in frustration. Story is good crime fiction but, as abridged, it is sometimes hard to follow.

Murder in 1950's Malaya

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

Reviewed: 13-01-15

The depiction of ex-pat life in Malaya in 1950's was more interesting and memorable than the murder mystery plot at the heart of this novel - I really enjoyed being immersed in the rubber planter's lifestyle, the Communist Terrorist activity and the British Army occupation of the time, and the relationships with the locals. It is a glimpse into another world of the past. My enjoyment was marred by the narrator who seemed not to have pre-read the book and frequently misconstrued the sentences, wrongly accenting words and phrases in a very annoying way - rather surprising as he is otherwise a very talented narrator and does the various regional accents of the characters really well, bringing the story to life. Unfortunately he seemed to struggle to make sense of complex sentences!

Please, please - more from author and narrator!!

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

Reviewed: 09-12-13

I've listened to three in a row now (Mercy, Disgrace and Redemption) and found them all utterly compelling - I feel totally bereft now I don't have one to listen to. I love all the flawed characters - makes it so interesting to listen to, and Steven Pacey is brilliant as a narrator, switching voices and accents to different character's speech - marvellous. The only other narrator to compare with him is Derek Jacoby (Pereira Maintains - another brilliant listen). I simply can't rave enough about this, and I'm not usually a raver.

6 people found this helpful

A great book - hard to follow in Audible format

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

Reviewed: 29-11-13

I love the way Edward Rutherford follows families through the ages, and gives such marvellous glimpses of what it might have been like to be involved in, or witness to, historical events - both terrible and inspiring. It alternates between events in the middle ages and more recent, with a lot more focus on the 19th and 20th centuries, but is quite hard to follow. I kept thinking that I needed the book to refer back, to remind myself of the family connections, and I also believe it is likely that a book might contain maps and drawings to illustrate the places it was referring to.
That said, I loved the book, it has given me a good overall perspective on French history. Narration is excellent too.

11 people found this helpful

Depressing and poorly read

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

Reviewed: 17-08-13

I agree wholeheartedly with the reviewer who took these two narrators to task - I also wondered if I would enjoy the book if I'd read it rather than listened to it. Craig Prekopp was especially bad - missing the 't' off words, and his accent sounded contrived and deliberately dumbed down to me - both narrators totally unconvincing so I don't know where these reviews full of praise are coming from - their friends I suspect.

2 people found this helpful

A dark and compelling murder mystery.

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

Reviewed: 17-08-13

This story is full of historical information about 17th century Scotland - social, cultural and religious - I loved it and will definitely be looking for more from this author.

7 people found this helpful