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Barbara

  • 23
  • reviews
  • 84
  • helpful votes
  • 38
  • ratings
  • Two Steps Forward

  • By: Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist
  • Narrated by: Simon Slater, Penelope Rawlins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72

A romantic comedy from Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project, and his wife, Anne Buist. Two misfits walk 2000 km along the pilgrims' way in Spain to find themselves and, perhaps, each other. Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past - for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • enjoyable listen

  • By Anonymous User on 25-10-18

A good listen

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

Reviewed: 24-07-18

An optimistic but not clichéd narrative. It did seem overlong. Zoe and Martin had an excess of extreme misunderstandings. The last few chapters were the best so don't give up! It's no match for "Rosie" but worth listening to.
The male narration was better than the female, probably because it didn't include embarrassing accents.

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,101
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,340
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,316

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Viva Eleanor!

  • By Kaggy on 30-06-17

Moving & engrossing

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

Reviewed: 06-07-18

Great to follow Eleanor as her life changes. A sad situation which is not a sad read. The narration was excellent.

  • The Distant Echo

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Tom Cotcher
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,669
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,538
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,536

On a freezing morning four drunken students stumble upon the body of a woman in the snow. Rosie has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in a cemetery. The only suspects are the four young men now stained with her blood. Twenty-five years later the police mount a cold-case review of Rosie’s unsolved murder, and the four are still suspects. But when two of them die in suspicious circumstances, it seems that someone is pursuing their own brand of justice....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful novel which is so well narrated

  • By S. Christie on 28-07-16

my first Val McDermid

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

Reviewed: 23-06-18

This was my first book by Val McDermid. I'm now hooked. It took a while to get into it. The narration was slow so I speeded it up just a bit. Then I appreciated it. Plus it marginally reduced a very long listen - nearly 500 pages in print.
Part one was rather drawn out. The second part made up for it. So much was completely unpredictable. Excellent.

  • Never Greener

  • By: Ruth Jones
  • Narrated by: Sharon Small
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 912
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 845
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 841

When Kate was 22, she had an intense and passionate affair with a married man, Callum, which ended in heartbreak. Kate thought she'd never get over it. Seventeen years later, life has moved on - Kate, now a successful actress, is living in London, married to Matt and mother to little Tallulah. Meanwhile Callum and his wife, Belinda, are happy together, living in Edinburgh and watching their kids grow up. The past, it would seem, is well and truly behind them all....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 10/10

  • By Amazon Customer on 18-04-18

compelling

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

Reviewed: 03-05-18

An engrossing read. It should have been a depressing story but was not. All the main characters were likeable, including the totally self centred Kate. How could they get through the mess they were making?
The narration was excellent. It helped to hear the various accents. I can see it would make great TV, with Ruth Jones as Belinda.

  • Pandora's Boy

  • Flavia Albia, Book 6 (Falco: The New Generation)
  • By: Lindsey Davis
  • Narrated by: Jane Collingwood
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

Flavia Albia is a private investigator, always drawn to an intriguing puzzle - even if it is put to her by her new husband's hostile ex-wife. On the Quirinal Hill, Clodia Volumnia, a very young girl with stars in her eyes, has died, amid suggestions that she was poisoned by a love potion. It will have been supplied by a local witch, who goes by the name of Pandora, though Albia learns that Pandora carries on a trade in herbal beauty products while hiding much more dangerous connections.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well read and touching mystery

  • By L Weale on 09-06-18

another good story from Rome

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

Reviewed: 09-04-18

The Flavia Albia tales of detection are good choices for audio books. The narration was excellent, with enough variation without over dramatising. The lightness of approach fits well with Lindsay Davis's writing style.
The story is less dramatic than some, with a good Poirot type denouement which revealed what readers will probably have deduced some time earlier. The interest lies in the society and culture of Rome in the time of Domitian. We are introduced to a smarter area of the city, the Quirinal.

  • I'll Keep You Safe

  • By: Peter May
  • Narrated by: Anna Murray, Peter Forbes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 969
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 871

Husband and wife Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own Ranish Tweed: a Hebridean company that weaves its own special variety of Harris cloth, which has become a sought-after brand in the world of high fashion. But when Niamh learns of Ruairidh's affair with Russian designer Irina Vetrov, then witnesses the pair killed by a car bomb in Paris, her life is left in ruins. Along with her husband's remains, she returns home to the Isle of Lewis bereft.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very disappointing

  • By Michael D Hewitt on 28-01-18

Too much padding

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

Reviewed: 20-01-18

I enjoy Peter May's book, particularly for the settings - Paris and Lewis. But this one rambled on. What was the point of the French detective? What a ridiculous ending. I wouldn't recommend it, except to established fans. Don't expect Lewis trilogy standard.
As an audiobook it worked well. The two narrators helped, one for the present and one for the history.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Time They Met

  • By: Anita Shreve
  • Narrated by: Liza Ross
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6

The Last Time They Met focuses on the relationship between childhood sweethearts Linda Fallon and poet Thomas Janes. We begin in the year 2000 at a writers' festival in Toronto and are propelled backwards in time, via the politically repressive Naiobi, to the small town in Massachusetts for their school days in the 1960s. Along the way the novel delves deeply into the destructive nature of life and the need for forgiveness.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better not as audio?

  • By Barbara on 11-12-17

Better not as audio?

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

Reviewed: 11-12-17

I've read all Anita Shreve's books. This is my first audio version. I think it would have been better to have read it myself. There were too many "he said", "she said". The narration felt rather clunky to start with. Every comma was over stressed and the differentiated voices sounded false. But she settled in and it was no longer a problem.
The book itself was excellent. It was the author's usual strained love story, but told in an interesting backwards way with a real surprise finale.

  • La Belle Sauvage

  • The Book of Dust, Volume 1
  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Michael Sheen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,777
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,422
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,415

Philip Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials with this magnificent first volume of The Book of Dust series. Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them - a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping Story, Great Narrator

  • By Lorenzo on 21-10-17

Extraordinary

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

Reviewed: 22-10-17

This goes straight to the top of my all-time favourite audio books.

I looked forward to the start of Philip Pullman's second trilogy, chosing to listen instead of reading La Belle Sauvage. What an excellent decision. Michael Sheen elevated this captivating story of baby Lyra to a great drama. His delivery is exceptional. Each character has a voice. The performance is enthralling: so much energy and commitment. He brings to life the passions and fears of Malcolm and Alice as they struggle to protect baby Lyra. His horrific howling hyena stirs far more than the written word could. Please ensure he narrates the rest of the trilogy.

It's a very grown up children's book. Some reviewers have expressed concern that the sexual content and occasional strong language are inappropriate. Each incidence is relevant and valid for developing children as well as for us adult readers.

I'm looking forward to the story continuing with the adult Lyra. Meanwhile I'll reread His Dark Materials.

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • The Third Nero

  • Flavia Albia, Book 5 (Falco: The New Generation)
  • By: Lindsey Davis
  • Narrated by: Lucy Brown
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76

Flavia Albia's day-old marriage is in trouble - her new husband may be permanently disabled, and they have no funds. So when Palace officials ask her to help expose a plotter in their midst, she is obliged to accept their commission. The plot could not be bigger. Ever since he died in AD 68, apparently by his own hand, Rome has been haunted by reports that Emperor Nero is in fact very much alive and about to return to claim his throne.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I miss the falcon humour

  • By Miss A. on 04-06-17

excellent narration

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

Reviewed: 05-05-17

Great series. This one seemed rather drawn out. Roman names more confusing in audio version. In writing it's clearer to distinguish the characters. Often a helpful map too. The narration was really good.

  • How the Light Gets In

  • Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 9
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Adam Sims
  • Length: 14 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92

The number one New York Times bestseller. A detective. As a fierce, unrelenting winter grips Quebec, shadows are closing in on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department and hostile forces are lining up against him. A disappearance. When Gamache receives a message about a mysterious case in Three Pines, he is compelled to investigate -- a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world has vanished.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story, gripping, human and involving.

  • By Cliente Amazon on 11-04-18

my first Audible Louise Penny

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

Reviewed: 14-03-17

I'm hooked on the series. Listening instead of reading was excellent, knowing the characters already.