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A. Hunt

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  • 17
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  • 20
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Satisfying, well paced, a story with depth

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

Reviewed: 04-06-16

This is a serial killer thriller with a difference. You'll be rooting for the killer, for all the right reasons. Makes Robin Hood look like child's play.
Good atmosphere & characters. Highly recommended- and now to download the next one...

1 person found this helpful

Powerfully conveys the heady youth of the 70s

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

Reviewed: 16-08-14

Adele spent her university years watching and learning, reading and discussing, partying and experimenting, discovering herself, attempting to escape the traumatic experiences of her teens, wanting to change the world and having plenty of fun doing it. She's liberated, strong-minded and part of a new social order, brimming with confidence and verve. But she becomes haunted by an event that took place upstairs at a party, and the jarring shock of that night never quite leaves her as she moves through the decades of career, motherhood and on into late middle age. Her reflections are as compelling as the account of her student days. Great story, with a wistfulness that avoids becoming maudlin, and well narrated.

2 people found this helpful

A Capital Union cover art

Refreshing female voice on love & war

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

Reviewed: 16-08-14

On one level, this is a love story in which marriage doesn't turn out to be what a naive young bride had anticipated. On another, it's a tale of World War II's home front experience - privations, rations, fear, bomb shelters, neighbours and community, making do and mending, and daily balancing acts with conflicting loyalties and strong emotions. It's also the story of a girl becoming a woman, digging deep to find her inner resources when she has big decisions and harsh realities to face, when events threaten to divide her from her husband and family, and when she finds compassion and humanity where others see only a faceless, demonised enemy. National identity and politics form part of the setting and are thought-provoking. But there's humour, too, and the story is personal rather than political.
Agnes is a voice that is fresh and original, speaking across the generations of loneliness and longing, tradition and change, heart and head.

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 23-07-14

After enjoying Marina Lewycka's previous novels, and anticipating that an audio experience would be even more enjoyable than reading, I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. It's not the narrator's fault - just that the story is dull and the characters trite and 2-dimensional. What a shame when Tractors, Caravans etc were all so enjoyable and well observed - light reads that were more substantial than your average aeroplane novel.

Superb

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

Reviewed: 23-07-14

Another really great listen, and well narrated. This story carried me along from the very first, and I was sad and missed it when I got to the end.
There are hundreds of excellent reviews of this superb novel, so I won't embark on a longer description of the book, but it's worth noting how well it works in audio.
This must have been a hell of a task for the narrator, never mind the author!

Beside myself!

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

Reviewed: 23-07-14

This novel is funny and an easy read (listen), yet also profound and a little disturbing. I really related to the protagonist - no mean feat considering her early childhood was odd, to say the least whilst avoiding spoilers.
I also liked the narrator.
A top choice, highly recommended! So glad to hear that it's on the Booker longlist!

5 people found this helpful

An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful cover art

Exquisite, beautiful story

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

Reviewed: 22-07-14

This is a beautifully written story, poignant, engrossing and with compelling characters. Some of those characters, including the main one, are hard to like, but others are people I'd like to have met myself. The relationships are complex and thought-provoking. The setting of postwar Japan is fascinating, and the descriptions of 50s London and New York are satisfying and interesting. Most of all, though, fantastic storytelling. The narration is also very well done.

1 person found this helpful

A superb achievement

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

Reviewed: 11-05-13

I loved this book. The story is convincing, I cared about the main characters, I was kept guessing, and I was drawn completely into their world.

Ifemelu's journey – from an outsider to whom everything is new and unexpectedly strange, to confident resident alien in the USA – was one I could relate to from personal experience. Like her, I was eventually pulled back home, never entirely feeling a sense of belonging, yet recognising the positive aspects of American life and values that are often overlooked by the country's critics (many of them from a point of ignorance).

The descriptions of American society and the minefield of cultural groupings and sensitivities that take so long to navigate are right on the mark here. Yet the narrative flows naturally, the characters have depth (even when they're apparently there to represent stereotypes!), and the social observation blends seamlessly with the story itself: Ifemelu's account of how her life unfolds, and to a lesser extent Obinze's story in England, too. Most of all, the love story is powerful and completely credible. It's a masterpiece of storytelling.

The narration is virtually flawless and I enjoyed having this story read to me. I'll probably go back to the beginning and listen to it all again!

8 people found this helpful