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Debra K

  • 34
  • reviews
  • 13
  • helpful votes
  • 103
  • ratings
  • Travels with My Aunt

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Tim Pigott-Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 308
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 265

Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in over 50 years at his mother’s funeral. Soon after, she persuades Henry to abandon South wood, his dahlias and the Major next door to travel through Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, Paraguay...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hugely entertaining

  • By DartmoorDiva on 17-11-15

I didn't realise this was suppose to be funny

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

I found the characters in this book pretty awful. I hope the big reveal at the end was suppose to be ironic because it was blindingly obvious throughout. The protagonist marriage confirmed my theory that the whole bunch are irredeemable, yuk. The buzz about this novel was positive, so I may have missed something essential. I will not be recommending this novel to anyone. However, Tim Piggot-Smith's had a voice full of character and is soothing to listen to.

  • Northanger Abbey

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250

When Catherine Morland, a country clergyman's daughter, is invited to spend a season in Bath with the fashionable high society, little does she imagine the delights and perils that await her. Captivated and disconcerted by what she finds, and introduced to the joys of "Gothic novels" by her new friend, Isabella, Catherine longs for mystery and romance. When she is invited to stay with the beguiling Henry Tilney and his family at Northanger Abbey, she expects mystery and intrigue at every turn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Miss on 27-09-14

Recommend Mansfield Park instead.

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

Northanger Abbey has a similar theme to Mansfield Park relating to so called friends and their double dealings. The protagonist in Northanger Abbey is a tad too daft for me to sympathise with her endless dilemmas and she will only accept the reality of deceit when it is repeatedly explained to her. If you prefer your Georgian heroines with a bit more brains about them, I suggest Mansfield Park instead.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mansfield Park

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 379
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301

At the tender age of 10, Fanny Price is 'adopted' by her rich relations and is removed from the poverty of her home in Portsmouth to the opulence of Mansfield Park. The transplantation is not a happy one. Dependent, helpless, neglected and forgotten, Fanny struggles to come to terms with her new life until, tested almost to the limits of endurance, she assumes her righful role...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A reluctant Janeite not reluctant any more.

  • By Colin Davey on 20-11-16

Long live Fanny Price

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

The main character's moral compass and especially her power of conviction blew me away as she never wavered despite enormous pressure to comply to social expectations and demands. Long live Fanny Price.

  • Jane Austen at Home

  • By: Lucy Worsley
  • Narrated by: Ruth Redman, Lucy Worsley
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, historian Lucy Worsley leads us into the world in which our best-loved novelist lived. This new telling of the story of Jane's life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her and the way in which home is used in her novels to mean both a place of pleasure and a prison. It wasn't all country houses and ballrooms; in fact her life was often a painful struggle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding!

  • By Gabrielle Harvey-Jones on 27-05-17

"Every word is written with love".

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

This book does a nice cross reference with other Jane Austin biographies and recorded memoirs to give a broad view of her life and times. The descriptions make it easy to visualise Jane Austin's homes and family members, sometimes feeling insufferably stifling and at other times completely joyful and hopeful. Lucy Worsley makes regular comparisons to characters in Austin's novels that show a real love for the stories and a deep understanding Austin's motivations. Lucy narrates the introduction, where she says the quote in this headline and the epilogue,which were both funny and enlightening. Ruth Redman is also a very good narrator and her voice and steady style suited the subject perfectly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

  • By: Rachel Joyce
  • Narrated by: Jim Broadbent
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,395
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,854
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,849

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof, or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking - to save someone else's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gentle but engaging

  • By Ms on 17-06-12

Pilgrimage to sanity

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

Reviewed: 14-06-18

To follow such a gentle, kind and unassuming character as Harold Fry throughout was a lesson on an effective and human approach to achieving goals. Harold is lost but his innate selfish-less and determination to do the right thing forms his moral compass. Harold's pilgrimage is an inspiration. There are funny moments and wry observations as Harold deals with the good and bad of human nature. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys through provoking, quirky and charming novels.

  • Never Let Me Go

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: Kerry Fox
  • Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 856
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 790
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 791

In one of the most acclaimed novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatizes her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Haunting and thought provoking

  • By Stephibobz on 08-09-15

Definitely not romantic mush.

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

Feel kinda flooded with dystopia books, films and TV just now. However, this book is one of the creepiest due to how normal the lives and destinies appear to the characters. There is little to no questioning of the system, which I found chilling and unreal. I equally found the premise doubtful and gratuitous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Memento Mori

  • Roman Empire Series, Book 8
  • By: Ruth Downie
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

A scandal is threatening to engulf the popular spa town of Aquae Sulis (modern-day Bath). The wife of Ruso's best friend, Valens, has been found dead in the sacred hot spring, stabbed through the heart. Fearing the wrath of the goddess and the ruin of the tourist trade, the temple officials are keen to cover up what's happened. But the dead woman's father is demanding justice, and he's accusing Valens of murder. If Valens turns up to face trial, he will risk execution. If he doesn't, he'll lose his children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The odd couple in Bath

  • By Mary Carnegie on 14-04-18

Yay, Ruso's back

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

I really enjoy what I call the Ruso series of books and snapped this up as soon as I saw it. It didn't disappoint, it was as nail biting and funny as always. A new location for Ruso and company that inspired me to look up the Roman history of this city. This was a very good listen and well narrated. If you enjoy historic drama type books with a capable but fallible characters, you may well become a Ruso fan too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Gatsby

  • By: F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 2 hrs and 25 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

When The Great Gatsby was published, commercially it was a failure but critically it was a success. It is still the most admired and well-read of all Scott Fitzgerald’s novels and it is considered a handbook of the 'Jazz Age'. Scott Fitzgerald put much of himself and his life into the book. He created the character of Jay Gatsby to illustrate his own experiences of the illusory and morally bankrupt aspects of 1920s' America, and the character of Nick Carraway to show his disapproval of its destructive effects.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfection

  • By Debra K on 06-06-18

Perfection

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

I used to have this on disc years ago and adored it, so I was super excited to listen to it via Audible. I don't have the words to properly justify the great characters and dynamics of the story, I'll just quote Nick "You're worth the whole damned bunch put together".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence

  • By: Michael Marshall Smith
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 45

It's not every day that the devil knocks on your door. From the critically acclaimed author of Only Forward comes a delightful new tale about Hannah, a young girl living a mundane existence in California, who discovers that her grandfather has been friends with the devil for the past 150 years...and now they need her help.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, not so sure about the narrator

  • By MegaMegan on 27-11-18

I agree, Hannah is unlikable.

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

The story had an interesting premise about the existence of good and evil but I couldn't get on board with the main thread of what Hannah was striving for. Perhaps this subject is cathartic to the author. I agree with other reviewers that Hannah's sense of entitlement, continual whining and demands are a needles distraction. The story centers around Hannah, making it feel at times like it is a book for children and I that spoiled it for me too.
However, there are some very funny and wistful moments in this book and worth listening to for some of the adult characters banter.

  • How to Stop Time

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,830
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,697
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,694

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to jazz age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them firsthand.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb as I expected from Matt Haig

  • By Kaggy on 17-07-17

Well worth listening to.

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

Reviewed: 03-10-17

The book is easy to follow and the main character's has just the right amount of depth for the story. On the other hand the number of very famous people he came into contact with made the story artificial at times but I did enjoy the conversation with the Fitzgerald's.
I would have like more social and political observations throughout the main character's life span but I'm glad it didn't linger over gruesome tortures and other horrors like so many other books. Overall a good book, well worth listening to.