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  • 64
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  • The Chalk Man

  • By: C J Tudor
  • Narrated by: Andrew Scott, Asa Butterfield
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,147
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,077
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,076

None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning. Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own? Was it the terrible accident? Or when they found the first body?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, narration not so good

  • By C rimmer on 08-11-18

Mixed bag

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

Reviewed: 19-03-19

The chapters alternative between the first person narrative in the present day (voiced by Andrew Scott with his Irish accent) and his younger self in the 1980s (Asa Butterfield with his English accent). After a dramatic prologue and opening chapter, there's chapter after chapter of the 1980s narrative about the small gang of pre-teens and their families and a mysterious albino teacher-friend before the Chalk Men are introduced. There's lots of foreshadowing - what happened to the children in the 1980s to make them the adults in the present day.

There's suspense in both the 1980s and 2010s narratives. However, what spoilt this book for me was that the author introduces far too many plot strands and the narrative became muddied - I listened to the audiobook while driving long distances over two days and I'm not sure whether there are holes in the plot or whether my concentration lapsed. It's telling that I have no enthusiasm to return to the audiobook to find he answers. Certainly, Andrew Scott's narration was partly to blame because he often ended sentences speaking softly that what he said was inaudible.

By the way, the description of the novel is misleading insofar as it isn't really supernatural.

  • The Silent Companions

  • By: Laura Purcell
  • Narrated by: Katie Scarfe
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 528
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 489
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 490

Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill and set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is an unsettling Victorian gothic ghost story that will send a shiver down the spine.... Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband's crumbling country estate, The Bridge. With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband's awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eerie and fabulous

  • By Caz on 24-03-18

Enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 16-11-18

It’s worth sticking with this book.

It starts really well with the traumatised mute heroine in a 1860s prison/asylum accused of arson and double murder. This is interspersed with a second timeline where the same woman, pregnant and widowed goes to live at her husband’s family seat. The atmosphere is claustrophobic and she is isolated and facing hostile locals. Slowly she confronts strange occurrences (in a very rational way).

By the time the third storyline is introduced, set in the 17th century, the reader and heroine can’t rationalise what is going on. We discover the origins of a curse:haunting.

It is a bit slow in the early part of the novel but it picks-up with the 17th century storyline. The final chapters are very exciting

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ann Morgan

  • Listening Club Q&A: FREE Exclusive
  • By: Holly Newson
  • Narrated by: Ann Morgan
  • Length: 45 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

As part of Audible Listening Club, writer, editor and TED speaker Ann Morgan was joined in discussion by Audible members to chat about her audiobook Beside Myself. Members put their thoughts and questions to Ann about the book in this live event at Audible Studios. Addressing mental health, the danger posed by mistaken identities and the impact that society can have on an individual's behavioural development, Ann shares her insight in this exclusive interview.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worthwhile companion to the novel

  • By Drew on 27-01-18

Worthwhile companion to the novel

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

Reviewed: 27-01-18

There was a long gap between listening to the audiobook of Beside Myself and listing to this interview with the author and Q&A session with the audience. Points were raised that had not occurred to me and I now plan to listen to the audiobook again - which shows how much I appreciated this free download.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl Before

  • By: JP Delaney
  • Narrated by: Emilia Fox, Finty Williams, Lise Aagaard Knudsen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,841
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,831

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultraminimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a rerun of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the listener off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense portrayal of psychological obsession.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping thriller

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-05-17

Don’t bother

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

Reviewed: 29-10-17

What a grubby nasty tale.

This seems to be an attempt to cash-in on the ‘Girl on a Train’ (which I enjoyed). If you liked that book, don’t waste your time on this one.

It started well but I knew i was in trouble when the sexual exploitation started.

The cod psychology made me cringe. I had no patience with the ‘girl before’ or the ‘girl’ in the present. The psychological explanations for each of their actions seemed like victim-blaming. The villian(s) were two-dimentional. I didn’t care about the fate of either ‘girl’. I was also annoyed by the assumption that readers would sympathise with maternal instincts.

In its favour, there is a bit of tension late in the book. However, by then, Nothing the author could do could redeem the book for me.

The selection of readers is odd. I couldn’t distinguish between the two main readers. I was glad that each chapter started with ‘Now’ and ‘Before’.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: Series 6

  • BBC Radio 4 comedy sketch show
  • By: John Finnemore
  • Narrated by: Carrie Quinlan, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, John Finnemore, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 47 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 190
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 166

John Finnemore, writer and star of Cabin Pressure and John Finnemore's Double Acts, returns for a sixth series of his hugely acclaimed Souvenir Programme, which won him Radio Broadcaster of the Year at the 2016 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Expect sketches! Expect songs! They're what made up the previous five series, so it seems a pretty safe bet that that's what will be in this series as well. And, well, since you ask him for some tall tales...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A light in the gloom

  • By Kindle Customer on 02-03-17

Last episode stopped this from being 5*

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

Reviewed: 18-08-17

I love John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme. I listened to this series when it was broadcast on Radio 4. Still brilliant to hear again but that last episode is dominated by an extended musical sketch that isn't funny. It seemed self-indulgent by those members of the cast who like to sing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Empathy Problem

  • By: Gavin Extence
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82

Driven by money, power and success, Gabriel has worked ruthlessly to get to the very top of the banking game. He's not going to let the inconvenience of a terminal brain tumour get in his way. But the tumour has other ideas. As it grows, it appears to be doing strange things to Gabriel's personality. Whether he likes it or not, he seems to be becoming less selfish, less mercenary, less unlikeable. Once he could dismiss the rest of humanity as irrelevant. Now he's not so sure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful beyond words

  • By Kaggy on 28-02-17

Life affirming without being sentimental

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

Reviewed: 13-03-17

I devowered this book over a couple of days. The narrative and the excellent narration make this a superb experience.

Young hedge fund manager tries to ignore his brain tumour and carry-on making money. The fact that he is lonely and leads a loveless life becomes apparent and he doesn't know whether his increasing interest in the occupy camp, just outside his place of work, is natural or due to his tumour.

The novel is more than the sum of the plot. It has it all - subterfuge, revenge, possible redemption and an increasing love for the protagonist as he learns feel empathy (and more) for others. All is achieved without sentimentality or hectoring - quite an achievement!

I'm eager for more by Gavin Extence. He's a wonderful author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Thin Air

  • By: Michelle Paver
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 488
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461

The Himalayas, 1935. Kangchenjunga. Third-highest peak on earth. Greatest killer of them all. Five Englishmen set off from Darjeeling, determined to conquer the sacred summit. But courage can only take them so far - and the mountain is not their only foe. As the wind dies, the dread grows. Mountain sickness. The horrors of extreme altitude. A past that will not stay buried. And sometimes, the truth does not set you free.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A tragedy that can never be righted

  • By Kaggy on 26-02-17

Excellent ghost story

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

Reviewed: 13-01-17

I loved the audiobook of Michelle Paver's Dark Matter and I'd been hoping she would return to adult ghost stories. This is a superb audiobook.

Some reviewers have remarked on the similarity between Thin Air and Dark Matter - there are certainly similarities between the two books but that didn't matter to me - this is a genre work and if the main elements are not broken, why fix them! If you liked Dark Matter, you should love Thin Air.

There's a good narrative strand of sibling rivalry between the narrator, the mountain expedition's doctor, and his elder brother, who is the expedition's leader. But it is the slow build-up of tension from the supernatural elements that makes this book so good. The climax is gripping and horrifying without being gory and then there is a very moving aftermath.

I won't claim that this actually scared me, however, after I'd finished the audiobook, I happened to have been woken-up by the wind and rain in the middle of the night and I was transported to the Himalayas and the climax and ending of the novel.

I highly recommend this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Kill Someone

  • By: Luke Smitherd
  • Narrated by: Matt Addis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,227
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,187
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,183

Here are the rules. Method: you can't use a gun. You can't use explosives. You can't use poison. It has to be up close and personal. You don't have to worry about leaving evidence; that will be taken care of. Victim: no one suicidal. No one over the age of 65. No one with a terminal illness. Choose your method. Choose your victim.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dark and gripping

  • By M. Williams on 17-03-17

Thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 09-01-17

I'm a fan of Luke Smitherd and I've given his other works 5 star reviews. The scenario with five people's lives being at risk if the protagonist, Chris, doesn't kill someone didn't disturb me - it is fiction, after all, and sets-up a good thought experiment. However, the fact that it was the fate of 5 young women did disturb me and it got in the way of my enjoyment of the book. Is that perverse of me? By explanation, imagine the kind of exploitative film that would be made if this novel was adapted into a film. Then imagine a film where the sisters were replaced by other people, including men.

That aside, I related to poor Chris' disgust at his plight and how he tried to find a victim who truly deserved to be killed (in order to save others). I liked the black humour in the early part of the book. The novel also made me think how I would react in Chris's place (hopefully differently) and it did get me thinking how I might select a victim.

Some reviewers have been disappointed by the final section. However, I liked this part of the book and the (open) ending was perfect.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • How to Be a Vigilante: A Diary

  • By: Luke Smitherd
  • Narrated by: Luke Smitherd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 850
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 798
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 798

It's 1998. The Internet age is still in its infancy. Google has just been founded. Eighteen-year-old supermarket shelf-stacker Nigel Carmelite has decided that he's going to become a vigilante. There are a few problems: how is he going to even find crime to fight on the streets of Derbyshire? How will he create a superhero costume - and an arsenal of crime-fighting weaponry - on a shoestring budget?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • We're Only Making Fans For Nigel

  • By Simon on 15-09-16

Superb

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

Reviewed: 02-10-16

I hadn't planned to spend 7+ hours listening to this audiobook in a single day but I couldn't stop myself.

I've listened to Luke Smitherd's other audiobooks and this one is up there with the best of the rest. It is different, with the brilliant use of black comedy for a number of chapters, followed by 'comic book' violence before... No, I wouldn't want to spoil your enjoyment or surprise.

I loved the self-delusion of the diarist/narrator. I was fearful for Nigel. I was lulled into a sense of thinking I vaguely knew where the story was leading - before the rug was pulled from under my feet...

Not for the first time, I found myself comparing Luke Smitherd to the late great Iain Banks. Surely Luke is Iain's sucessor.

I very much liked Mr Smithered's narration.

This is a superb audiobook. If you have listened to the Audible sample, don't stop there - buy this. You will be rewarded.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Crackanory cover art
  • Crackanory

  • Series 1 and 2
  • By: Nico Tatarowicz, Toby Davies, Kevin Eldon, and others
  • Narrated by: Jack Dee, Sally Phillips, Rebecca Front, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 931
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 821
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 816

Imagine if Jackanory was set free from its childish shackles. What twisted, funny tales would it unleash upon the world? Each episode of Crackanory contains two 15-minute tales and is a master class in storytelling, combining some of the UK’s best comedy writers and performers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tales with a twist

  • By HMPS64 on 05-02-16

A lovely treat

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

Reviewed: 03-09-16

A good audiobook to dip into and listen to one tale at a time. There's lovey twists in these stories and a good dash of the macabre.