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Constable Elbow

Europe
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • The Provincial Lady Goes Further

  • By: E. M. Delafield
  • Narrated by: Georgina Sutton
  • Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

The Provincial Lady Goes Further is the immediate sequel to Diary of a Provincial Lady - and life mirrors art. Our Provincial Lady has found herself, unexpectedly, with a literary success on her hands! She is suddenly 'somebody', both in her Devonshire environs and in London, where she establishes a bolthole - ostensibly so she could concentrate on the much-awaited sequel, but also so that she can enjoy the fruits of being a best-selling author!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hooray,more Provincial Lady!

  • By Catherine on 03-09-17

Can't get enough Provincial Lady.

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

Reviewed: 04-11-18

Loved these books and delighted to find the audio versions absolutely perfect. Georgina Sutton's narration couldn't be improved on. Amaze my husband by laughing out loud while embarked on unpleasant domestic tasks - with this as accompaniment, I'm happy to clean all day.

  • Wolf Hall

  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Simon Slater
  • Length: 24 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,571
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,631
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,634

Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lose yourself in 16th century England

  • By Phil on 22-01-10

Absolutely superb!

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

Reviewed: 19-04-17

Can't praise this audiobook highly enough - both it and the sequel are a wonderful listen, by turns gripping, sad and thought-provoking. I enjoyed the books and the TV series but can honestly say that the audiobook is for me the most successful version - you get all the detail of the book with the fantastic characterisation of the narrator. It's so well read that you feel Cromwell is in the room with you as you see the terrible upheavals of the period unfold before your eyes (ears?). A fantastic listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Abominable Man

  • Martin Beck
  • By: Maj Sjöwall
  • Narrated by: Neil Pearson
  • Length: 57 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 17

Steven Mackintosh stars as Martin Beck, with Neil Pearson as his friend and colleague Lennart Kollberg, in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of The Abominable Man. The Martin Beck books, written by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö between 1965-1975, set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandanavian crime fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Beck Genius.

  • By Constable Elbow on 28-05-16

More Beck Genius.

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

Reviewed: 28-05-16

This is another brilliant adaptation of a Beck story. It's quite horrible at times but completely compelling. The scene when Colbert recounts his experience of being disciplined while doing military service is one of the best pieces of radio drama I have ever heard. And the denouement is marvellous - you want to laugh and cry as the inevitable horror unfolds. Absolutely wonderful stuff.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Defenceless

  • By: Kati Hiekkapelto
  • Narrated by: Julie Masiey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24

When an old man is found dead on the road - seemingly run over by a Hungarian au pair - police investigator Anna Fekete is certain that there is more to the incident than meets the eye. As she begins to unravel an increasingly complex case, she’s led on a deadly trail where illegal immigration, drugs and ultimately murder threaten not only her beliefs but her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scintillating delivery of an outstanding story!

  • By MRS V L HALL on 02-12-15

Pretty good( especially for Finnophiles).

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

Reviewed: 28-05-16

I ought to declare an enthusiasm for things Finnish as I certainly wouldn't have chosen this book were it not for the setting. It is an enjoyable listen and some of the characters rise above the two-dimensions typical of police procedurals. The old cop Esko, a racist grump who doesn't quite know where his life has gone wrong, was my favourite - he makes you cringe but you can't help feeling sorry for him. I was so worried when he started to feel he was being followed by homicidal gang members so I guess the book engaged me emotionally. The reflections about Finland, its climate and culture were also interesting. As for the plot - it's intriguing enough to keep you listening altho' this is never a big issue for me; does anyone really care who did it? Would certainly listen to another book by this writer.

  • Charles Paris: Murder in the Title

  • A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation
  • By: Simon Brett, Jeremy Front
  • Narrated by: Bill Nighy, Suzanne Burden, full cast
  • Length: 1 hr and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

Charles Paris is his own worst enemy, a louche lush who can resist anything except temptation - especially in the form of women and alcohol. He’s been out of work so long now he feels he may never get a job and he’s driving Frances, his semi-ex-wife, mad. So when he’s offered a small role in a play, she nearly pushes him out of the door. But it seems that ‘The Message is Murder’ is such a terrible production that someone wants to kill off the cast.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lightweight but great fun

  • By Pippa on 06-02-16

My guilty secret...

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

Reviewed: 01-07-14

Terrible enough to admit listening to this series on Radio 4 or 4 Extra but imagine the ignominy of downloading them! I can't help it though - if I'm ever a bit gloomy (one does have these moments), a dose of Charles Paris with a strong cup of tea is the very thing to set me right. Bill Nighy is just so wonderful in this role and the supporting cast give their all so that the ludicrous plots slip by almost unnoticed.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Norwegian Wood

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: John Chancer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 523
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 402
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 401

Toru Watanabe, approaching middle age, hears The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood" in an airplane and, with Proustian vividness, it transports him back to his student days in Japan with Naoko, Midori, and Storm Trooper.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By C. on 13-03-13

Can it be possible? Unlistenable Murakami!

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

Reviewed: 10-06-14

It's ENTIRELY MY OWN FAULT for not listening to the excerpt(a mistake I haven't made since) before downloading - if I'd heard the voice of the narrator, I'd have saved myself the heartache of hearing such a beautiful, lyrical, moving book being mangled and stomped on by the awful reading. The total lack of genuine sensitivity and the entirely unsuccessful attempts to give life to the female characters marks this out for me as the worst listening experience I've so far had with audible. But you may like it - and it's a gorgeous book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Zoo Station

  • By: David Downing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 84

By 1939, Anglo-American journalist John Russell has spent 15 years in Berlin, where his German-born son lives. He writes human-interest pieces for British and American papers, avoiding the investigative journalism that could get him deported. But as war approaches, he faces the prospect of having to leave his son and his longtime girlfriend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well plotted and absorbing story

  • By Tom on 30-11-10

A better-than-average wartime thriller.

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

Reviewed: 10-06-14

I have to admit that when I downloaded this I didn't realise that it was part of a series. I did enjoy it and found some of the scenes chilling enough that they have stuck in my mind. The characters are interesting and it makes a change to see 1930's Germany through the eyes of an English person who has a profound love for the country. I haven't picked out any of the other books though which must mean I wasn't thoroughly gripped but I would still call it an above-average listen.

  • Martin Beck: The Terrorists

  • By: Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö
  • Narrated by: Steven Mackintosh, Neil Pearson, Katie Hims
  • Length: 1 hr and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 24

Steven Mackintosh stars as Martin Beck, with Neil Pearson as Lennart Kollberg, in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of The Terrorists. The Martin Beck books are widely acknowledged as some of the most influential detective novels ever written. Written by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö between 1965-1975, the 10-book series set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandanavian crime fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just loved it !

  • By alison Reece on 07-01-15

The best pictures are on radio(or audiobook...).

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

Reviewed: 10-06-14

I first heard these dramatisations on Radio 4 Extra and was thrilled to find them on Audible - only one small complaint:although each story is quite short(an hour or so), each one takes a credit. However, it is worth it as the production values are superb with even the minor parts being played with great aplomb. The use of music and the voice of the narrator all create a wonderful atmosphere - you can really see it all unfolding in front of you. If you like detective fiction and haven't tried this, treat yourself.(Don't confuse these dramatisations with the narration of the unabridged books - it's a personal thing, of course, but I found the reading of those horribly harsh and clunky by comparison.).

Catastrophe: Volume Two: Europe Goes to War 1914 cover art
  • Catastrophe: Volume Two: Europe Goes to War 1914

  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: Nigel Carrington, Max Hastings
  • Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

A magisterial chronicle of the calamity that crippled Europe in 1914. Unabridged and split into two parts. 1914: a year of unparalleled change. The year that diplomacy failed, Imperial Europe was thrown into its first modernised warfare and white-gloved soldiers rode in their masses across pastoral landscapes into the blaze of machine-guns. What followed were the costliest days of the entire War. But how had it happened? In Catastrophe: 1914 Max Hastings, best-selling author of the acclaimed All Hell Let Loose, answers at last how World War I could ever have begun.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Totally Authoritative Summary.

  • By Constable Elbow on 10-06-14

Totally Authoritative Summary.

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

Reviewed: 10-06-14

I had read and thoroughly enjoyed this excellent book but wanted to mull it over so got the narrated version as a way of re-reading but from a slightly different perspective; it struck me that some aspects of the text stand out more when it's read aloud - perhaps oddly in this case,I found the writing quite funny in places although never lacking in sensitivity to the subject matter. It's wonderful how the writer maintains a strong narrative drive while also providing lots of illuminating character sketches and excerpts from letters and memoirs. He also addresses common misconceptions, for example about the role of The B.E.F., with balance and clarity. After reading and now listening to this book, I feel I begin to grasp what was going on in 1914.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Blake's 7: Project Avalon cover art
  • Blake's 7: Project Avalon

  • By: Trevor Hoyle
  • Narrated by: Paul Darrow, Jacqueline Pearce
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

Jacqueline Rayner and Paul Darrow read this thrilling novelisation of a classic Blake's 7 adventure.

From the arid wastes of Amersat, Planet of the Dead, to the oceans of acid on the planet Aristos, Roj Blake and his crew on board the Liberator wage a deadly war against the forces of galactic oppression. But now the Federation's Supreme Commander, Servalan, and her lieutenant, Space Commander Travis, are launched upon a plan that cannot fail. Their aim - to capture the Liberator and destroy Blake's Seven!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Guilty pleasure...

  • By Constable Elbow on 24-06-13

Guilty pleasure...

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

Reviewed: 24-06-13

Probably preaching to the converted here as I don't suppose many people who consider buying this will be new to 'Blake's 7'. In fact,if you're reading this, you're probably a confirmed B7 enthusiast, well into your 40's, with happy memories of the TV series and a stash of DVD's on your shelf. In which case you won't be surprised to hear that Paul Darrow and Jacqueline Pearce are wonderful, re-creating the atmosphere of the original episodes and smoothing over the occasional clunky bits of text. It's all good fun and led me to the realisation that Orac was really the first computer(sorry, brain) with internet access...Happy days.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful