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The Fool

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 32
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • Fire and Blood

  • 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) (A Song of Ice and Fire)
  • By: George R.R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 26 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 104

Set 300 years before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the definitive history of the Targaryens in Westeros as told by Archmaester Gyldayn, and chronicles the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through to the Dance of the Dragons: the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent excellent excellent

  • By Amazon Customer on 22-11-18

Only Simon Vance makes this worth listening to

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

Reviewed: 27-11-18

Well, it is what it says, a history. You'd be better off listening to Heroditus or Simon Schama.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • London Rules

  • Slough House, Book 5
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 429
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 407
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405

London rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one. Cover your arse. Regent's Park's First Desk, Claude Whelan, is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions himself: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote and now has his sights set on Number 10; from the showboat's wife, a tabloid columnist who's crucifying Whelan in print; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who's alert for Claude's every stumble.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping. Brilliantly entertaining.

  • By Belinda on 09-02-18

Narrator and writer on top form

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

Reviewed: 31-05-18

Wonderful Jackson Lamb as spritely and sharp as ever and Barrett, always one of the best readers out there, can shift his tone from sardonic to bewildered from one end of a sentence to another. Over too soon so I went back and played it through again. First time I've done that. Please don't change readers, Herron's really fine writing even more of a blast with Sean Barrett reading it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Restoration

  • By: Rose Tremain
  • Narrated by: Paul Daneman
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 219
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205

When a twist of fate delivers an ambitious young medical student to the court of King Charles II, he is suddenly thrust into a vibrant world of luxury and opulence. Blessed with a quick wit and sparkling charm, Robert Merivel rises quickly, soon finding favour with the King, and privileged with a position as 'paper groom' to the youngest of the King's mistresses. But by falling in love with her, Merivel transgresses the one rule that will cast him out from his new-found paradise.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly convincing

  • By AReader on 14-02-15

The PERFECT match of reader to material

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

Reviewed: 13-02-18

There are some pairings of reader and author which just make the work sing. Greater than the sum of its parts. Simon Peeble reading the Baroque Trilogy, and also Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, The American Boy read by Alex Jennings. This is right up there. Daneman is perfect, Rose Tremain is a great writer. I've read lots of her work but this a perfect example of an audio book adding a completely different dimension.

  • A Legacy of Spies

  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,095
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 998
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 989

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, is living out his old age on the family farmstead in Brittany when a letter summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself are to be scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New life into a favourite series

  • By nicole on 10-09-17

Unmissable, Le Carre is, as ever, memorable&moving

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-17

One of our very greatest story tellers read by a fine actor. Spend the credit or the dosh, this is one to buy.

  • The Oversight

  • By: Charlie Fletcher
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 429
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 402
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 402

Only five still guard the borders between the worlds. Only five hold back what waits on the other side. Once the Oversight, the secret society that polices the lines between the mundane and the magic, counted hundreds of brave souls among its members. Now their number can be tallied on a single hand. When a drunkard brings a screaming girl to the Oversight's London headquarters, it seems their hopes for a new recruit will be fulfilled - but the girl is a trap, her appearance a puzzle the five remaining guardians must solve or lose each other, and their society, for good.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great start!

  • By Martin on 02-12-14

Wonderful Prebble as ever, very good writing

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

Reviewed: 10-07-16

This is Jonathan Strange-ish, in other words wonderful. And Simon Prebble is a truly fantastic reader - try The Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson if you want more of that dry irony and great array of characters. And, of course, Jonathan Strange.

I would love confirmation that Prebble will be doing the next in the series, The Paradox. It's a great pairing of excellent reader to strong story telling.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Gai-Jin cover art
  • Gai-Jin

  • Asian Saga, Book 3
  • By: James Clavell
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 50 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

A sequel to Tai-pan, this is the sixth novel in Clavell's Asian saga and takes place in 1862. The gai-jin (foreigners) have arrived, intent on doing business with the Japanese. With laws against the use of the wheel in carriages or carts, the Japanese, their tradition-bound Emperor, and competing warlords detest the foreigners, who have ruined the Chinese with the Opium Wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just brilliant

  • By The Fool on 21-04-09

Just brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-04-09

This and Tai Pan were fabulous- in part because of the excellent job made of the narration by John Lee. Complex plots, plausible characters - real 'ripping yarns'. I'm very disappointed I won't be able to get Shogun, but the narrators voice really is a problem. I listened to the clip after checking out the reviews and seeing, unfortunately, that the reader is not Lee. The warnings were right - I don't mean to be rude to anyone, but for a rough and tumble yarn with a rich variety of characters it is hard to listen to a book in this series that isn't read by Lee who was exceptional. I really regret this as I was so looking forward to Shogun. I can only hope they commission him to read the series.

But for this and for Tai Pan - great romps, decent research that does bring the period to life, slightly one dimensional but compelling and fun. the voices ring in your head afterwards - the length contributes to that! Will be listening to these again, and adding Lee to Jennings, Rosenblat (who can swallow noisily which is briefly infuriating) and Rodska as all time faves.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Stray Dog Winter

  • By: David Francis
  • Narrated by: David Kirwan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars 1

Darcy, a restless young artist, travels to the Soviet Union to visit his elusive half-sister, Fin. Upon his arrival in the depths of a bleak Moscow winter, Darcy is immediately embroiled in Fin's mysterious life there and also drawn to Moscow's forbidden underground, finding himself swept up in political and sexual intrigues of a nature he could never have imagined.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Please do listen to the clip first

  • By The Fool on 24-02-09

Please do listen to the clip first

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-02-09

A truly horrendous narrator - I lasted 15 mins and I'm a very forgiving listener - takes a lot to make me switch off.

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

  • By: Susanna Clarke
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 32 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,468
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,129
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,129

Winner of the British Book Awards, Newcomer of the Year, 2005.

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Harry Potter for Grown Ups

  • By Cosima on 18-11-10

One of the best

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-11-08

This is a fabulous experience, I'd recommend it totally. This, The American Boy and His Dark Materials are the most brilliant audio books. Buy it and enter a different world - the review is correct, however long it is, it isn't long enough.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The American Boy

  • By: Andrew Taylor
  • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
  • Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 169
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 107

England, 1819. Two enigmatic Americans arrive in London and soon after, a bank collapses. A man is found dead on a building site; another goes missing in the teeming stews of Seven Dials. A deathbed vigil ends in an act of theft and a beautiful heiress flirts with her inferiors. A strange destiny links each of these events to the American boy Edgar Allen Poe, brought to England by his foster father and sent to the leafy village of Stoke Newington to be educated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An absolute must

  • By The Fool on 23-04-06

An absolute must

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-04-06

An exceptional book and recording. The reader is the best I have heard - and I'm a keen Audible fan! - and the plot very well constructed. What's the audio equivilent of 'un-put-downable'? This would be a great gift to someone not too sure if they wanted to go the audible route. It displays, so well, what a blast a well read audio book can be. So, I guess you can see I liked it!!

23 of 24 people found this review helpful