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janien

  • 130
  • reviews
  • 88
  • helpful votes
  • 144
  • ratings
  • Milkman

  • By: Anna Burns
  • Narrated by: Bríd Brennan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 68

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent narration and a good book

  • By Ruben on 24-08-18

Brilliant but terrifying!

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

The Troubles in N. Ireland back then seemed largely a world away from the Midlands of England growing up. This an account of a teenager’s life on the Catholic side of town is beautifully written yet terrifying how what happened almost felt normal.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker this year and has to be a worthy contender to win.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Mars Room

  • By: Rachel Kushner
  • Narrated by: Rachel Kushner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 55

Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences, plus six years, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. The Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living. And her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of Romy’s estranged mother. Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing...

  • By Alexandra.F on 28-08-18

A worthy man booker shortlist contender

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

Reviewed: 24-09-18

Gutsy, sharp, real.

The author researched US prison life and it shows. Flawlessly presented by the author, my only gripe was it felt a bit long at times. Glad I didn’t abandon it as the ending was cracking. Overall a great read and worth hearing read by the author too.

  • 14

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,936
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,831
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,827

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good one!

  • By Robyn on 23-11-16

Not as great as I had hoped....

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

Picked this up as LOVE the cover and creepy house stories are my favourite genre.

Characters are great and well developed except the Scooby Do references became a tad tired. The novel starts out brilliantly as a 5 star read but got crazy and so weird I switched off and lost interest. A real shame. Perhaps the biggest disappointment in my reads so far this year.

Can’t fault the presentation.

  • In Our Mad and Furious City

  • By: Guy Gunaratne
  • Narrated by: Ben Bailey Smith, Lou Marie Kerr
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 41

Guy Gunaratne's blistering debut, In Our Mad and Furious City, is an unforgettable portrait of 48 hours on a London council estate. For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music, freedom. But now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe. While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls and grime.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Subject Matter

  • By Raggzy on 06-07-18

London; a melting pot of racial tensions

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

Reviewed: 22-08-18

A cleverly plotted and structured read. I can only guess there is much truth in what is written here about London which made me sit up, take notice and keep on listening.

The presentation is excellent with new narrators to audible. I got a bit confused whilst listening to who the voices were but this did not detract from the overall message.

My favourite so far of the three man booker 2018 longlisted books read.

  • Warlight

  • By: Michael Ondaatje
  • Narrated by: George Blagden
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 74

London, 1945. The capital is still reeling from the war. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister Rachel are abandoned by their parents who leave the country on business, and are left in the dubious care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. Nathaniel is introduced to The Moth’s band of criminal misfits and is caught up in a series of teenage misadventures, from smuggling greyhounds for illegal dog racing to lovers’ trysts in abandoned buildings at night. But is this eccentric crew really what and who they claim to be? And most importantly, what happened to Nathaniel’s mother? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Assembling stories from a grain of sand

  • By Earnest on 27-07-18

Oh dear, a tad on the dull side.......

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

Reviewed: 14-08-18

I had great expectations with this being a man booker nominated read. Certain aspects I loved; the historical period, the sublime language. Simply a shame the story is somewhat dull, I only wish the author had written the story from a more interesting characters perspective such as the sister, Rachel.

The audible presentation is faultless and the narrator wonderful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Snap

  • By: Belinda Bauer
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 201
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 184

On a stifling summer's day, 11-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. 'Jack's in charge,' she said. 'I won't be long.' But she never comes back. Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: 'I could have killed you'. Meanwhile Jack is still in charge - of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they're alone in the house, and - quite suddenly - of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother. But the truth can be a dangerous thing....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Belinda's words sound as well as they read

  • By Richard Latham on 09-06-18

Included on Man Booker 2018 Longlist

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

A surprising inclusion on this years longlist but nevertheless an addictive and engaging thriller read. No great twists and surprises yet character development sound and this was one I really looked forward to picking up again. My first by this author and I will be looking out for more by her.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Witches

  • By: Tracy Borman
  • Narrated by: Maggie Mash
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 28

September 1613. In Belvoir Castle, the heir of one of England's great noble families falls suddenly and dangerously ill. Within a few short weeks he will suffer an excruciating death. Soon the whole family will be stricken with the same terrifying symptoms. The second son, the last male of the line, will not survive. It is said witches are to blame. And so the Earl of Rutland's sons will not be the last to die.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting story, distracting narration

  • By E. Ward on 03-10-13

A fair to middling read....

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

Reviewed: 22-07-18

Nothing particularly special about this read; little information available on key facts so a lot left to conjecture. It feels pretty lengthy too and although it’s a subject area I should find fascinating, I lost interest a tad.

Other reviewers don’t like the narrator; I thought she was the books strength and I like her style.

  • Pride and Prejudice [Blackstone Audio]

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Carolyn Seymour
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98

The provincial Bennet family, home to five unmarried daughters, is turned upside down when a wealthy bachelor takes up a house nearby. Mr. Bingley enhances his instant popularity by hosting a ball and taking an interest in the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane. Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy, Bingley’s even wealthier friend, makes himself equally unpopular by his aloof disdain of country manners.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surpassed all expectations!

  • By Amazon Customer on 28-02-15

This is of course excellent literature, just not for me!

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

Reviewed: 22-06-18

I have had this audiobook for a while and thought I would listen during my 3 hour round trip commute into London today, to give myself sufficient time to truly get into it.

I have to admit I am not a Janeite. I live in the same area of Hampshire she did; we would’ve practically been neighbours......

I simply don’t love the stories. Not gritty enough for my tastes. I appreciate she was a brilliant writer and well ahead of her time. Too fluffy for me; Classic intelligent chic lit. Doesn’t float my boat unfortunately.

I tried!

  • The Gun

  • By: Fuminori Nakamura
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

On a nighttime walk along a Tokyo riverbank, a young man named Nishikawa stumbles on a dead body, beside which is lying a gun. From the moment Nishikawa makes the decision to take the gun, the world around him blurs. But Nishikawa's life becomes unexpectedly complicated: he finds himself romantically involved with two women while his estranged biological father lies dying in a hospital. Through it all he can't stop thinking about the gun - and the four bullets preloaded in its chamber.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By janien on 22-06-18

Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 22-06-18

I picked this up in an audible sale purely by chance. Nevertheless heard of the author previously and will definately explore more by him.

I was transfixed throughout; a short 4 hour read about a dysfunctional young student who finds a gun purely by chance one day and how it overwhelms his life.

Described as “Noir” but great literature too. Loved it.

  • Eaters of the Dead

  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 78

The year is A.D. 922. A refined Arab courtier, representative of the powerful Caliph of Baghdad, encounters a party of Viking warriors who are journeying to the barbaric North. He is appalled by their Viking customs - the wanton sexuality of their pale, angular women, their disregard for cleanliness...their cold-blooded human sacrifices. But it is not until they reach the depths of the Northland that the courtier learns the horrifying and inescapable truth.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Does Historical Documentation Make a Thriller?

  • By Simon on 22-06-18

If the Viking era is your thing, read this!

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

Reviewed: 17-06-18

Eaters of the Dead, I devoured this 😂 in a couple of days on audible.

Initially I thought it was non fiction and was transfixed. The author explains at the end it’s a mixture of both and looking back at it years after it was written he couldn’t fathom the fact from the fiction.

If the Viking era is your thing then do read this. Includes a sit up and take notice section on Viking ship burials.