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janien

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  • Love as Always, Mum xxx

  • By: Mae West, Neil McKay
  • Narrated by: Julia Barrie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277

The true story of an abused childhood, of shocking brutality and life as the daughter of notorious serial killer and master manipulator Rose West. You're 21 years old. Police arrive on the doorstep of your house, 25 Cromwell Street, with a warrant to search the garden for the remains of your older sister you didn't know was dead. Bones are found, and they are from more than one body. And so the nightmare begins. You are the daughter of Fred and Rose West.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Heartbreaking but beautifully read

  • By Vicki on 08-09-18

Heart wrenching but brilliant

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

Reviewed: 09-03-19

Beautifully written and narrated, yet brutal and shockingly detailed about the abuse inflicted on the West children by their infamous parents.

One of those reads you won’t forget in a hurry; I think when I hear the names Rosemarie and Fred West I will now automatically think of their daughter, Mae who gets a huge virtual hug from me for her bravery in writing this.

  • The Salt Path

  • By: Raynor Winn
  • Narrated by: Anne Reid
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 643
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 580
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 584

Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, the couple lose their home and their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 4.5

  • By Kim on 02-06-18

magnificent read about surviving homelessness

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

Reviewed: 26-02-19

A must read about surviving homelessness amongst nature. Beautifully written and heartfelt; such a shame the presenter sounds much older than the likely authors voice. A small downside though to a brilliant read.

  • The Hunting Party

  • By: Lucy Foley
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron, Laura Kirman, Clare Corbett, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 462
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 422

Everyone's invited. Everyone's a suspect. In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year. The beautiful one. The golden couple. The volatile one. The new parents. The quiet one. The city boy. The outsider. The victim. Not an accident - a murder among friends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly recommended... a brilliant book

  • By edd on 23-12-18

A solidly enjoyable thriller

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

Reviewed: 18-02-19

The perfect winter listening thriller. A group of friends get together in a remote Highland Lodge for New Years celebrations...and a murder.

Great fun! A solid four stars all around. Well presented.

  • The Couple Next Door

  • By: Shari Lapena
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,494
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,363
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,364

People are capable of almost anything. Fast-paced and addictive, The Couple Next Door announces a major new talent in thriller writing. You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you live only next door. You'll have the baby monitor, and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An enjoyable listen

  • By Joanne on 25-05-17

Well worth a listen....

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

Reviewed: 29-01-19

Falls well into the general suburban thriller who done it genre and pretty good all around. A bit implausible but entertaining nevertheless. A page turner and great for long journeys.

  • Song of Kali

  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

Blood will curdle in Calcutta. In the most crime-ridden city, nightmares become real and evil is defined by frightening occurrences. When an American family finds themselves encircled by the terrors of this land, lurid events befall them and life takes on a new meaning - death. Winner of the World Fantasy Award, Song of Kali will chill the blood and frighten even the most jaded of horror fans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Song of Kali

  • By jennifer on 17-01-15

Simmons first and not his best

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

Reviewed: 22-01-19

A brave journey into a scary Calcutta by the author as his first novel; culturally a stranger and Simmons makes that part of the underlying horror. Fear of the unknown is prominent here; my only reservation is it got somewhat unbelievably crazy and hence only three stars. Worth a listen but his Drood for me currently remains his best although unfortunately not yet available on audible in English.

  • The Year of Less

  • How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
  • By: Cait Flanders
  • Narrated by: Cait Flanders
  • Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 240
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 214
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 213

In her late 20s, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy - only keeping her from meeting her goals - she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year. The Year of Less documents Cait's life for 12 months during which she bought only consumables.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Quite a lot of moaning

  • By Catherine Oliver on 20-02-18

Or a coming of age into maturity account.....

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

Reviewed: 22-01-19

This was a special read; a millennial’s account of learning to fight out of consumerism habits and learn to have the self confidence and belief to enjoy living with less. Side benefits of course are saving hard cash. Less living hand to mouth and increased security.

I loved it! Great writing style and engagingly presented by the author. Would love to have shared one of her home made flasks of coffee and joined her on a hiking trail. A lovely young lady and a great read.

  • H Is For Hawk

  • By: Helen MacDonald
  • Narrated by: Helen MacDonald
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 529
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 483
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 479

"Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson PrizeShortlisted for the 2014 Costa Biography Award‘. In real life, goshawks resemble sparrowhawks the way leopards resemble housecats. Bigger, yes. But bulkier, bloodier, deadlier, scarier, and much, much harder to see. Birds of deep woodland, not gardens, they’re the birdwatchers’ dark grail.’ As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T. H.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb Autobiography, superb audiobook.

  • By Chris Lilly on 30-01-15

A reworking?

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

Reviewed: 22-01-19

read White’s phenomenal 1930’s account of attempting to train a Goshawk prior to starting H is for Hawk. Knowing that Macdonald’s Costa winning book refers to this inspired me to read the original first.....

Sorry, did I say original? Slip of the tongue but then maybe not! You see I can’t help feel Macdonald’s recent memoir is a reworking of the original. Perhaps there is a thin line between being inspired by works and reworking somewhat....

White in his original was concerned by the impending threat of Ww2. He was troubled and hiding away from the world, similar to Macdonald.

I was blown away by White’s literary style and Macdonald does write brilliantly and in a similarly lyrical way.

Stories get reworked all the time however this isnt marketed as such.....I feel a tad conned.

So this is going back to audible and the original White book Goshawk is an audible I know I will return to again.

  • The Goshawk

  • By: T. H. White
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

This modern classic of nature writing by the author of The Once and Future King was an inspiration for and featured in Helen Macdonald's prize-winning H Is for Hawk. "No hawk can be a pet. There is no sentimentality. In a way, it is the psychiatrist's art. One is matching one's mind against another mind with deadly reason and interest. One desires no transference of affection, demands no ignoble homage or gratitude. It is a tonic for the less forthright savagery of the human heart."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Simply stunning listen

  • By janien on 10-01-19

A Simply stunning listen

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

Reviewed: 10-01-19

A beautiful autobiographical account of the authors relationship with a bird he attempts to train to kill game in late 1930s England. War is on the horizon and the narrator is content to seclude himself in his countryside cottage amongst nature, his hawk and his dog. A simply stunning read and account of time past. Great presentation.

  • Burmese Days

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Allan Corduner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 394
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390

An unabridged recording of Orwell's brilliant first novel read by Allan Corduner. The story is largely based on Orwell's own experiences as a police officer in Burma. Set in the dying days of the Raj, it depicts the harshness and darker side of colonial rule. And at its centre is John Flory, a lone individual hopelessly trapped in a vast political system; themes which set the agenda for much of his writing. Burmese Days was Orwell's first novel, and was issued in 1934 in America, then a year later in the UK where there had been fears and controversy initially that the material could be libellous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful listen

  • By Chelin on 05-12-12

Nothing quite compares to Animal Farm....

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

Reviewed: 08-01-19

The Orwell books I have read feel repetitive at times, this is no exception. A great social commentator of his time, themes are consistent through his works and perhaps if I had read this first I would have been blown away.

Nothing compares to his Animal Farm.

  • Desperation

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King
  • Length: 21 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 531
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 480
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 479

Welcome to Desperation. Once a thriving copper-mining town in the middle of the Nevada desert, Desperation is now eerily abandoned. It's the last place that travellers like the Carver family, bound for vacation, and writer Johnny Marinville, astride his Harley, would expect to be stopped and charged. But Desperation still has a local cop - a unique regulator who patrols the wilderness highway. The secrets buried in Desperation are as terrifying as the forces summoned to encounter them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • AMAZING

  • By Glen on 21-07-17

Phenomenal start wasn’t sustained

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

Reviewed: 02-01-19

I have loved Stephen King since I read Carrie back in the 1980s. I adored this tale of rogue serial killing cop initially which read as a thriller. Things then became supernatural in true King style at which point I got confused and a tad lost. A real shame as it all started so well. King himself is a great narrator.