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  • 11
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • The Mistresses of Cliveden

  • By: Natalie Livingstone
  • Narrated by: Carole Boyd
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

From its dawn in the 1660s to its twilight in the 1960s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue. Conceived by the Duke of Buckingham as a retreat for his scandalous affair with Anna-Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury, the house later served as the backdrop for the Profumo affair. In the 300 years between, the house was occupied by a dynasty of remarkable women each of whom left their mark on this great house.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much More Than A Book About A House

  • By Alison on 28-02-17

Interesting history full of fascinating women

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

Really enjoyed learning about the history of Cliveden and the women who lived there. The narration is very good but there are some issues with the sound levels at some points - she sometimes goes so quiet you can't hear her. Overall though, enjoyable and interesting.

  • The War that Ended Peace

  • By: Margaret MacMillan
  • Narrated by: Richard Burnip
  • Length: 31 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162

The First World War followed a period of sustained peace in Europe during which people talked with confidence of prosperity, progress and hope. But in 1914, Europe walked into a catastrophic conflict which killed millions of its men, bled its economies dry, shook empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermined Europe's dominance of the world. It was a war which could have been avoided up to the last moment - so why did it happen?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Real Marathon!

  • By Tom on 06-02-14

Excellent, very detailed analysis

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

Reviewed: 22-02-18

Margaret MacMillan is an excellent historian with a very in depth knowledge of this period of history. In her work she often asks whether it is the individual who makes history, or the unavoidable circumstances surrounding them. Here she gives a detailed account of the build up to WWI and gives the reader/listener the opportunity to really consider the situation and question where/if anyone should be blamed for starting it.

Narrator was good, found him pleasant to listen to.

  • Why We Sleep

  • The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
  • By: Matthew Walker
  • Narrated by: John Sackville
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,818
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,453
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,403

Why can some birds sleep with only half of their brain? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, health and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep or what good it serves or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when it is absent. In this book, neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker charts 20 years of cutting-edge research.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Discouraging for insomniacs

  • By Aviation buff on 11-08-18

Super interesting, lots of sleep science

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

Reviewed: 05-01-18

I found this book really interesting. There's a load of information about how lack of sleep affects your health and performance in all sorts of ways. It made me think about my own sleep habits and some changes I could make to get better sleep.

It's well read and I think the chap's voice suits the content and tone of the book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Housekeeper's Tale

  • The Women Who Really Ran the English Country House
  • By: Tessa Boase
  • Narrated by: Tessa Boase
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 66

The Housekeeper's Tale reveals the personal sacrifices, bitter disputes and driving ambition that shaped these women's careers. Using secret diaries, unpublished letters, and the neglected service archives of our stately homes, Tessa Boase tells the extraordinary stories of five working women who ran some of Britain's most prominent households.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping stories, compulsive listening

  • By Sandy on 22-02-17

Very interesting, well written & narrated

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

Reviewed: 03-11-17

I liked the way the author selected several lives of housekeepers and went through them chronologically. It helped to show the evolution in the treatment of the women and how their roles evolved between c. 1800 and c. 1960. The author narrates very well and the insight into the lives of the housekeepers was very interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Inheritor's Powder

  • By: Sandra Hempel
  • Narrated by: Patience Tomlinson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

All was quiet in the Bodle home in Plumstead village on the morning of 2 November 1833. In the large ten bedroom farmhouse, the maid Sophia Taylor began preparing breakfast while, at the cottage down the track, Mary Higgins came down to set the fire. But all was not as it seemed that morning... When the local doctor was summoned several hours later he found four women suffering from severe vomiting and stomach pains whilst the master of the house was delirious with pain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating

  • By R. woods on 23-01-17

Informative and interesting

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

I liked the book. It describes the case well and has lots of extra information about the development of scientific tests for poison. the narrator does a good job but this reading has a pet peeve or mine - what's with the voices!? When she puts on a voice for the servants for instance, she does a country bumpkin accent, not remotely London. They all sound like they're from Somerset! I find that really irritating and wish she could have just read the lot in her normal voice.

  • The Wicked Boy

  • By: Kate Summerscale
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 326
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 302

Early in the morning of Monday, 8 July 1895, 13-year-old Robert Coombes and his 12-year-old brother, Nattie, set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord's. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next 10 days, Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents' valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I expected from the title

  • By Kirstine on 10-07-16

Interesting account of R Coombes' Life

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

Reviewed: 08-08-17

Overall - Enjoyed it.

Could have done without the narrator's accented voices though. Made it seem like he was reading it to a child.

  • The Nuremberg Trial

  • By: John Tusa, Ann Tusa
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 25 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278

Here is a gripping account of the major postwar trial of the Nazi hierarchy in World War II. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the trial proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound examination of the processes that created international law. From the whimpering of Kaltenbrunner and Ribbentrop on the stand to the icy coolness of Goering, each participant is vividly drawn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brings horrible history alive

  • By Tim Conway on 18-04-14

it's the trial. In an audiobook.

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

Reviewed: 06-08-17

I don't know how what else would you be looking for if you got this?

  • The Last Manchu

  • The Autobiography of Henry Pu Yi, Last Emperor of China
  • By: Paul Kramer, Henry Pu Yi
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

In 1908, at the age of two, Henry Pu Yi ascended to become the last emperor of the centuries-old Manchu dynasty. After revolutionaries forced Pu Yi to abdicate in 1911, the young emperor lived for 13 years in Peking’s Forbidden City, but with none of the power his birth afforded him. The remainder of Pu Yi’s life was lived out in a topsy-turvy fashion: fleeing from a Chinese warlord, becoming head of a Japanese puppet state, being confined to a Russian prison in Siberia, and enduring taxing labor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really Good

  • By Adriano on 08-06-15

Interesting perspective on Chinese 20th C history.

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

Reviewed: 13-06-17

I enjoyed listening to this. The narration is good and pleasant to hear. It's an interesting biography, particularly his experiences of being outside the people's revolution, so I would recommend.

  • The Idiot Brain

  • A Neuroscientist Explains What Your Head Is Really up To
  • By: Dean Burnett
  • Narrated by: Matt Addis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 740
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 672
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663

Why do you lose arguments with people who know MUCH LESS than you? Why can you recognise that woman, from that thing...but can't remember her name? And why, after your last break-up, did you find yourself in the foetal position on the sofa for days, moving only to wipe the snot and tears haphazardly from your face? Here's why: the idiot brain. For something supposedly so brilliant and evolutionarily advanced, the human brain is pretty messy, fallible and disorganised.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW! A much needed explanation. Thank you 😊

  • By Nobby Senior on 25-02-17

Easy Listening

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

Reviewed: 02-06-17

Easy to listen to, not full of jargon, so very accessible. Reader is well suited.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In Order to Live

  • A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom
  • By: Yeonmi Park
  • Narrated by: Eji Kim
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 237

Yeonmi Park was not dreaming of freedom when she escaped from North Korea. She didn't even know what it meant to be free. All she knew was that she was running for her life, that if she and her family stayed behind they would die - from starvation or disease or even execution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Eleanor on 29-10-15

Recommended - Amazong story of survival

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

Reviewed: 19-04-17

Great book though English of reader is only okay. Mispronunciations and incorrect inflection are distracting.