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JulieGibbons

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 50
  • helpful votes
  • 79
  • ratings
  • Love Is Blind

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Roy McMillan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 343
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 344

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Love Is Blind by William Boyd. Love Is Blind is William Boyd's sweeping, heart-stopping new novel. Set at the end of the 19th century, it follows the fortunes of Brodie Moncur, a young Scottish musician, about to embark on the story of his life. When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future - and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Boyd on Top Form

  • By Mark on 27-09-18

Superb tale told exceedingly well

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

Reviewed: 13-12-18

Another great unfolding of human life by William Boyd and Roy McMillan does a great job, especially with his Scottish accents. Ultimately a tale of life, love, loss - across a Europe straddling the 19th and 20th centuries. Unusual and interesting settings. Fragile and vulnerable characters. A great choice if you enjoy something aside from the usual and, for me, was engaging to the end.

  • Spinning Silver

  • By: Naomi Novik
  • Narrated by: Katy Sobey
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s too kindhearted to collect his debts. They face poverty until Miryem hardens her own heart and takes up his work in their village. Her success creates rumours she can turn silver into gold, which attract the fairy king of winter himself. He sets her an impossible challenge - and if she fails, she’ll die. Yet if she triumphs, it may mean a fate worse than death. And in her desperate efforts to succeed, Miryem unwittingly spins a web which draws in the unhappy daughter of a lord. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spinning gold more like

  • By Jenny on 24-07-18

Refreshing story - poor narration

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

Loved this fairytale as a whole, but was frustrated by poor narration, specifically the inability of Katy Sobey to properly differentiate characters and what was, at first, a quite odd delivery, akin to an artificial voice at times. However, the storyline was compelling enough to keep going, if a little muddled in places. Good attempt at the genre, although lacking somewhat - I’d say it was a wee bit banal and over-worked in places, even though the essential ingredients had the potential to fully sparkle. The plot certainly resolved itself with almost full redemption, perhaps a wee bit overly cliché in the end. I did enjoy the alternate worldscape and characters and particularly the magic cottage device.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Die Wise

  • A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul
  • By: Stephen Jenkinson
  • Narrated by: Stephen Jenkinson
  • Length: 18 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11

Die Wise does not offer seven steps for coping with death. It does not suggest ways to make dying easier. It pours no honey to make the medicine go down. Instead, with lyrical prose, deep wisdom, and stories from his two decades of working with dying people and their families, Stephen Jenkinson places death at the center of the discussion and asks us to behold it in all its painful beauty. Die Wise teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Subtle and superb

  • By Eala on 05-01-18

Essential wisdom for being human

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

Reviewed: 26-08-18

Jenkinson is a master story-teller. Draw close to the hearth and allow his gut-wrenching, heart-breaking wisdom to bring you home to the truth of love, grief, death and living in these times. Don’t wait until a terminal diagnosis arrives to absorb these teachings. I am immeasurably impacted, forever altered, eternally grateful for this gift.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Wild Places

  • By: Robert Macfarlane
  • Narrated by: Nathan Turner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? Or have we tarmacked, farmed and built ourselves out of wildness? In his vital, bewitching, inspiring classic, Robert Macfarlane sets out in search of the wildness that remains.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Worst Narration ever!

  • By JulieGibbons on 16-08-18

Worst Narration ever!

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

Reviewed: 16-08-18

I love Macfarlane’s words. Completely ruined by this narration by Nathan Turner. There’s no flow. The telling is stilted, the emphasis in weird places. Please re-record with a more sympathetic storyteller. Too frustrating for me to continue.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Three Things About Elsie

  • By: Joanna Cannon
  • Narrated by: Paula Wilcox
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,375
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,276
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,272

There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first is that she's my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third...might take a little bit more explaining. Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died 60 years ago?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Extraordinary Life

  • By Amazon Customer on 30-01-18

Everyday, ordinary language masterfully put to the art of storytelling.

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

Just finished listening to the Audible version (outstanding narration by Paula Wilcox!)and have been deeply touched.

Such an impressive use of language. Everyday, ordinary language masterfully put to the art of storytelling.

These characters were brought to life beautifully - the complexity of their strengths and frailties demonstrated with a light touch.

Enjoyed Goats + Sheep very much. As with Flo + Elsie. Eagerly looking forward to what’s next from this author.

  • If Women Rose Rooted

  • The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging
  • By: Sharon Blackie
  • Narrated by: Heather Wilds
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

This is the second edition of a uniquely empowering, international word-of-mouth best seller about wild landscapes, female mythology, and the challenges facing modern women. It is a book for any woman who has ever lost her way and who sees a wasteland at the heart of modern existence and longs to live a more authentic, rooted life once again.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible narrator

  • By Elena Harris on 16-12-17

Bad narration makes this impossible to complete

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

I’ve had this on my bookshelf for ages without yet finding time to read, so I was excited to see it here in Audible. Finally, I’ll get to ‘read’ it, I thought!

Alas, after an hour or so of trying hard to listen, I admit defeat.

This is nothing to do with content and everything to do with narration.

It’s simply impossible to follow or make sense of due to the narrator’s weirdly stilted style.

Not recommended unless it’s rereleased with a competent narrator.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Swimming Lessons

  • By: Claire Fuller
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 566
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 523

Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides each in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter, she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan. Twelve years after her disappearance, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting!

  • By dumphimlove on 23-03-17

Horrible narration

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

Reviewed: 29-04-17

I couldn't continue with this book due to the very poor narration. Completely ruined the quite interesting story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Buried Giant

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: David Horovitch
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 789
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 721
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 722

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at last the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards - some strange and otherworldly - but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hmmmm

  • By Jenny on 12-03-15

Couldn't bear to finish

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

Reviewed: 05-08-15

All the right ingredients, but nothing enjoyable in how it came together. Can't recommend. Uncomfortable!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • A Year of Marvellous Ways

  • By: Sarah Winman
  • Narrated by: Sarah Winman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 434
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 402

A Year of Marvellous Ways is the much anticipated and utterly beguiling new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international best seller When God Was a Rabbit. Cornwall, 1947. Marvellous Ways is a 90-year-old woman who's lived alone on a remote creek for nearly all her life. Recently she's taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She's waiting for something - she's not sure what, but she'll know it when she sees it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh what a book, what a story.

  • By Mrs S. on 11-09-15

Favourite audiobook ever!

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

Reviewed: 04-07-15

Compelling storytelling. Exquisite performance. A tale of love, magic and the sea. Beautiful! Must listen.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Life After Life

  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,917
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,727
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,707

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing story, beautifully told.

  • By susan on 02-05-13

Expertly narrated

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

Reviewed: 11-06-15

Not the easiest to follow as an audiobook if you're prone to falling asleep!

Otherwise a good listen. Enjoyed the characterisation and the muddled narrative. Impressed by the narration.