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Liz Scully

  • 45
  • reviews
  • 39
  • helpful votes
  • 534
  • ratings
  • The Culture Code

  • The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
  • By: Daniel Coyle
  • Narrated by: Alex McMorran
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle, New York Times best-selling author of The Talent Code, goes inside some of the most effective organisations in the world and reveals their secrets. He not only explains what makes such groups tick but also identifies the key factors that can generate team cohesion in any walk of life. He examines the verbal and physical cues that bring people together. He determines specific strategies that encourage collaboration and build trust. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Starts well... then goes downhill rapidly

  • By Liz Scully on 04-12-18

Starts well... then goes downhill rapidly

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

This book was very disappointing. The content starts strongly with new information and then quickly descends into a rehash of examples much used in other books. I took notes in the first chapter, but learned nothing new after that.

Also the narrator is not strong. To differentiate speakers, he uses various voices. Many of them simply give the impression that the person being quoted is a little slow, but the regional accents, particularly the British ones are cringeworthy.

I'll be returning this book. if you're interested in group culture there are many better books than this

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Milkman

  • By: Anna Burns
  • Narrated by: Bríd Brennan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 540
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 492
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant but terrifying!

  • By janien on 06-10-18

A worth winner but overly long

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

This book really is an impressive achievement. The voice is strong of the protagonist is very strong and improved by the narration which gives it extra depth.

The evocation of time and place is unrivalled and the meandering nature of the story builds on itself. It brought back many memories of the time, of hard scrabble places and a brutalised community where there's a very narrow range of emotion and expression allowed to anyone. I know it will stick with me for a long time.

That said, at over 14 hours it rambled on and I found myself often wishing it would just get on with things. I was so beaten down by the flow of words that I regularly missed important plot points as I'd simply zoned out as the narrator droned on about sod all. Beautifully, wonderfully strung together sentences... but tedious in their drone, their repetition and their lack of getting to the point.

I'm glad I read it, and I hope Anna Burns writes many more books. I'm sure they will be fascinating. I have an equally strong desire for her to get a stronger editor who will simply cross out some of the more rambling passages.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • In the Days of Rain

  • By: Rebecca Stott
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Stott
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

As Rebecca Stott's father lay dying, he begged her to help him write the memoir he had been struggling with for years. He wanted to tell the story of their family, who, for generations, had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect. Yet each time he reached a certain point, he became tangled in a thicket of painful memories and could not go on. The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan: nonsect books were banned, women were made to wear headscarves and those who disobeyed the rules were punished.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Breathtaking, haunting, tragic.

  • By Colliedog on 06-06-18

Interesting story flatly told

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

Reviewed: 28-09-18

I found this book very trying to get through. Her story telling isn't very compelling which is amazing as her story is astoundingly interesting. I had to work quite hard to see that through how it was delivered. It's not terrible, but it did grate a little on the long haul. It'd have benefitted a great deal from being at least an hour shorter and to concentrate more on her experiences than the long sad fade of her father.

If you're hesitating to get this - you can do better, choose another book!

  • Transcription

  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 662
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 614
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612

In 1940, 18-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathisers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past for ever. Ten years later, now a producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Full Marks Kate

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-09-18

Beautifully written

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

Reviewed: 14-09-18

I have high expectations of Kate Atkinson and this book didn't disappoint. It has all her trademarks - well rounded characters, complex plot and believable dialogue. It's evocative of London and it's time and has a whole world between it's covers.

It also has a lighter tone for the protagonist than many of her other books. The main character is good at puns and plays certain verbal games with herself which is both endearing and slightly annoying, as it would be in real life.

I found the end a little confusing and had to listen to it twice - but I'm off sick and may simply have not been listening carefully enough.

in short - this is another excellent Atkinson, perhaps not her very best, but definitely an author at the top of their game

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Archangel

  • By: William Gibson, Michael St. John Smith
  • Narrated by: Josh Hurley, Victor Bevine, Elizabeth Jasicki, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 43 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

The year is 2016. Not our 2016. Theirs. Earth is dying, the result of a worldwide nuclear holocaust caused by America’s dictatorial President-for-Life Lewis Henderson, a man who will use any means necessary to maintain power and survive. Enter: The Splitter. A machine capable of splitting off an exact replica of Henderson’s world. A world where the cataclysmic events causing its destruction have yet to occur. That world is ours. In August of 1945, our postwar Europe becomes the battleground for Henderson’s operatives - led by his sociopathic son - as they engineer a complete redo of their history. By changing ours.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Shock to the System!

  • By Simon on 14-08-18

Substandard radio play

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

Reviewed: 23-08-18

This cheesy radio play is so bad, I'm returning it. I've been a Gibson fan for a long time - but this was very disappointing. Hammy acting, tissue thin plot and little of interest. I couldn't finish it. (and it's under 3 hours long)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Vox

  • By: Christina Dalcher
  • Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 45

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just 100 words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins. Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman. Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and 70 million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • This ain't no Handmaid's Tale

  • By Liz Scully on 22-08-18

This ain't no Handmaid's Tale

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

Reviewed: 22-08-18

I really wanted to love this book - I'd read lots of reviews and eagerly waited for the audiobook release. Sadly, while not actually dreadful it is clear this is a first book.

The plotting is derivative and clearly flagged. If you can't see where it's going then you've not read anything in this genre before and might benefit from going straight to the Handmaid's Tale and the Power, both of which have deeper characterisation and more twists.

It's enjoyable enough, but a slight tale that doesn't really develop the main themes and has few surprises.

That said, the writing is workmanlike enough and this writer may be one to watch as more books develop her style

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

  • By: Patty McCord
  • Narrated by: Patty McCord, Alex Hyde White
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109

When it comes to recruiting, motivating, and creating great teams, Patty McCord says most companies have it all wrong. McCord helped create the unique and high-performing culture at Netflix, where she was chief talent officer. In her new book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, she shares what she learned there and elsewhere in Silicon Valley.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Amazon Customer on 18-02-18

Fascinating and easy to absorb information

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

Reviewed: 19-07-18

Great book - very enjoyable. Short and to the point - which I much appreciate in a business book!

If you're interested in culture building within a company, this will be surely be helpful.

  • Clock Dance

  • By: Anne Tyler
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life: when she was 11 and her mother disappeared, being proposed to at 21, the accident that would make her a widow at 41. At each of these moments, Willa ended up on a path laid out for her by others. So when she receives a phone call telling her that her son’s ex-girlfriend has been shot and needs her help, she drops everything and flies across the country. The spur-of-the moment decision to look after this woman - and her nine-year-old daughter, and her dog - will lead Willa into uncharted territory....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful - as you'd expect from such a fine write

  • By Liz Scully on 19-07-18

Beautiful - as you'd expect from such a fine write

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

Reviewed: 19-07-18

I've loved Anne Tylers books for years and this doesn't disappoint.

it's slow evocative style gently draws out the quiet loneliness and desperation so many people live with and suffuses it gently with humanity and eventually meaning. All her books are essentially about connection and how people founder without it.

This is gorgeous book. It feels almost slight, but I am sure it will linger and come back to me as so many of her other have. In particular the characters are so well drawn they feel completely real. There's a strong feeling that long after you've finished the book they'll be quietly carrying on about their lives inside the virtual cover

If you're a fan of listening at faster speeds, this narration is beautiful slow and I easily listened at 2.5 speed. I deliberately slowed down in places to savour the words.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Daunderlust

  • Dispatches from Unreported Scotland
  • By: Peter Ross
  • Narrated by: Robbie Coltrane
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

Peter Ross' articles from around Scotland provide a piece-by-piece portrait of a nation as it changes. They show Scotland as she really is, a hopeful country not without problems and pain but a nation made great by the people who live, love, laugh and graft there. From anatomists who find dissection beautiful to chip-shop owners who sing arias while serving fish suppers, the Scots in these pages come over as eccentric, humorous, moving and extraordinary.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magic! Peter Ross writer Robbie Coltrane reader

  • By Hamburgerpatty on 06-08-15

Made me feel homesick for Scotland

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

Reviewed: 15-06-18

Lovely book - not very high brow, but very enjoyable. Lovely bite size tales from all over Scotland. Robbie Coltrane's narration is excellent.

That said, the book need editing - there are quite a few places where he makes a mistake and repeats himself, obviously expecting to have it edited out, but it's been missed. As a result there's at least one expletive in there that wasn't intended (just in case that's an issue for where you're listening to the book)

  • Rotherweird

  • Rotherweird, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Caldecott
  • Narrated by: Kris Dyer
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 633
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 581
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 583

Rotherweird is a twisted, arcane murder-mystery with shades of Deborah Harkness, Hope Mirrlees and Ben Aaronovitch, Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey at their disturbing best. The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant-garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story bit hard to follow

  • By kate on 05-11-17

Ok

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

One or two of the reviews below say this reads like a good first draft and I'd go along with that. It's overly long, confusing in places and at the end there's so many loose ends the characters all meetup to work out what actually happened. That's never a good sign. here it ends in a feeling of exposition and reported events that was rather flat.

There's much to enjoy at the beginning as we're introduced to Rotherweir. the book is slow going and the character moments are good moments, but full development doesn't happen and the tone is rather uneven.

I had high hopes for this book and feel a little robbed by investing so much time in it (and i listened at double speed and still found it slow). I won't be reading the next book in the series, which is a shame as the basic ideas are fascinating.