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Clementi

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 357
  • helpful votes
  • 40
  • ratings
  • Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die

  • The Assassination of a British Prime Minister
  • By: Andro Linklater
  • Narrated by: Stephen Rashbrook
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

On the afternoon of May 11, 1812, Spencer Perceval, the all-powerful prime minister of Great Britain, was fatally shot at short range in the lobby of Parliament by John Bellingham, a Liverpool businessman. Perceval polarized public opinion: Revered by some and hated by others for his fight against the lucrative slave trade, he domineeringly kept Britain at war against Napoléon and was driving her into war with the United States despite the huge economic drain of each, raising taxes to new heights to finance his decisions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Important History - Well Told

  • By Jeanette on 15-05-12

Superb

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

Reviewed: 27-03-19

Superb and fascinating book beautifully narrated about a little-known event in British history.

Recommended ++

  • Tombland

  • The Shardlake Series, Book 7
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 37 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 777
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 711
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 702

The nominal king, Edward VI, is 11 years old. His uncle Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford, rules as Protector. The extirpation of the old religion by radical Protestants is stirring discontent among the populace while the Protector’s prolonged war with Scotland is proving a disastrous failure and threatens to involve France. Worst of all, the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb - Samson’s best yet

  • By Jim__Leeder on 26-10-18

Another Great Book

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

Reviewed: 20-10-18

I think the reviewer above has made a mistake. Steven Crossley has narrated ALL of the unabridged Shardlake books (I have all of them), perhaps whoever ‘Anton’ is narrates the abridged ones and the reviewer made a mistake and thought they’d bought that. Not sure! But Steven Crossley has narrated all of the series and the voices are exactly the same as normal. I write this so no one is put off by reading an erroneous review.

The book itself is great, just as all the others have been, perhaps a little more intricate than some of the previous ones which I personally love. Shardlake himself is the same as ever, a nice mixture of sympathetic and harsh! I’m so glad Barack is still in it as I was disappointed when I thought he may be written out, but he’s here!

It’s nice that we’ve moved forward a little historically too. This particular period isn’t much written about (when Edward was King and Elizabeth just ‘Lady Elizabeth’ and so that made it interesting too.

It’s long, which I also loved, having waited for months for this novel!

If you like the Shardlake series, you will LOVE this. Personally, I would not have bought it if anyone other than Steven Crossley had narrated as I love his characterisations and he is consistent (which doesn't always happen).

It’s also not quite as brutal as some of the other historical novels encompassing this period of history, it has its gruesome bits, but it’s not the main focus of the story.

Enjoy it!

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Death of a Scholar

  • The Twentieth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew
  • By: Susanna Gregory
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 16 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 74

In the summer of 1358 the physician Matthew Bartholomew returns to Cambridge to learn that his beloved sister is in mourning after the unexpected death of her husband, Oswald Stanmore. Aware that his son has no interest in the cloth trade that made his fortune and reputation, Oswald has left the business to his widow, but a spate of burglaries in the town distracts Matthew from supporting Edith in her grief and attempting to keep the peace between her and her wayward son.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Continuing Audio Problems with this Series

  • By Clementi on 31-12-17

Continuing Audio Problems with this Series

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

Reviewed: 31-12-17

I love David Thorpe's narration of these books and I love the way Susanna Gregory injects humor into them, they do literally a make me guffaw out loud but SO many of these books have audio problems - I have literally returned about six of them for this reason.

Either the audio skips mid sentence, or there are repeats, or the audio is very quiet and then suddenly very loud or muffled, it is a nonsense, and I have no idea why this isn't resolved as they are such popular books. They should sack the editor or production editor, whoever is responsible for checking them before the release them, it is so disappointing.

I struggle on because I love the books and also because Audible allows me to return the ones which you cannot listen to, but it really is a joke.

I also don't like the fact that, half way through the series, David Thorpe change all the characters voices. Cymric, the Welsh book bearer, who is Welsh in most of them, suddenly becomes English, Brother Michael (whose 'normal' voice I adore), becomes deep and throaty in some volumes which sounds odd when you're used to his more fey voice. I have discovered that the ones released in 2017 all seem to have the normal voices, and the earlier ones (not based on book publication but based on the audio release, the 2014 ones, tend to have different voices and accents, and this is not necessarily chronological in the series, so now I check in advance to see which year the audio was released as I got seriously muddled when he changed all the voices (Mind you, I AM easy to confuse).

But PLEASE sort out the audio problems and PLEASE also publish the rest of these books.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Dawn Over Steep House

  • Gower Street Detective, Book 5
  • By: M. R. C. Kasasian
  • Narrated by: Emma Gregory
  • Length: 14 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 409
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 385
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382

London, 1884. Sidney Grice is restless, having filed his latest case under S, for 'still to be solved', to await further inspiration. His ward, March Middleton, remains determined to uncover the truth. Geraldine Hockaday was outraged on the murky streets of Limehouse. Yet her attacker is still on the loose. But then a chance encounter brings a new victim to light, and it seems clear March and Grice are on the trail of a serial offender.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So much better than much of the genre

  • By Ms. Sian A. O'flynn on 14-09-17

Superb

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

Reviewed: 27-06-17

Another triumph for the author and also for the splendid narrator, Emma Gregory! Loved it!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Stone's Fall

  • By: Iain Pears
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong, Daniel Coonan, Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 25 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 48

This is the story of John Stone, financier and armaments manufacturer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War One he was able to manipulate markets, industries and indeed whole countries and continents. A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stone's Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent in every way.....

  • By Roger on 13-12-09

Tedious with unsympathetic characters...

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

Reviewed: 05-12-16

I LOVED Instance Of The Fingerpost and thought it one of the best thought out books I'd heard in years. This, by contrast, is just horrid. Unpleasant characters with no redeeming features, endless and unnecessary description and repetition with essentially no coherent story or plot just a load of selfish, self interested people who live awful, tedious lives.

The narrators do their best with
a weak, almost non existent, plot.

Seriously, don't bother.

Honour
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Matthew Lewis
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Adrian Sen
    
    


    
    Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
    5 ratings
    Overall 4.2
  • Honour

  • By: Matthew Lewis
  • Narrated by: Adrian Sen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

When Hans Holbein returns to London in search of royal patronage, a secret from his past will define his future in a new, terrifying way. The story that he knows did not end at Bosworth. In the aftermath, Henry Tudor must try to secure his dynasty against unending, unseen threats. From the ashes of all that they knew, those who cannot accept King Henry's rule must find a place in the new world being forced upon them. Francis, Lord Lovell, has survived the battle. Now he must survive the peace. He must protect King Richard III's greatest secret.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Totally ruined by laughable narration

  • By Clementi on 14-09-16

Totally ruined by laughable narration

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

Reviewed: 14-09-16

Maybe I was spoilt by the marvellous narration job done by Nigel Carrington for Book One of this series (Loyalty), his narration is utterly superb. Mr Sen, sadly, is laughable. His accents are downright idiotic (I found the Welsh accent offensive and Hans Holbein sounds like a German Nazi!) The accents are not only unsubtle, they really are painful to listen to.

He reads the story as though it were the phone book, in a kind of a sing-song - up and down, up and down, voice which is bizarre at the best of times and just wrong at others.

I wish Mr Carrington had done this book as I suspect it is equally good to the first book (which I loved) but this was just unbearable. I guess I will have to buy the actual book and read it to try to rid myself of the cartoon-like accents attempted by Mr Sen.

Seriously guys, he renders the book a kind of weird series of stereotyped (and wrong) accents! It is genuinely painful. The sample really doesn't pre-warn you of this but, trust me, the moment he speaks as Hans Holbein and you mistakenly think Herr Himmler is speaking, you will want to stop listening!

A great, great shame and I do so hope someone else narrates this, and quickly.

  • Loyalty

  • By: Matthew Lewis
  • Narrated by: Nigel Carrington
  • Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97

Artist Hans Holbein is summoned to the house of Sir Thomas More to receive the commission of a lifetime. He will leave with a secret that could cost him his life. He will learn the truth about the life of King Richard III, the man that the Tudor dynasty has been at great pains to villify. From his return from exile with his brother, King Edward IV, to his rise to become the king's most loyal, most trusted, and most powerful subject. From his flourishing personal life to his seizure of the throne from his nephew.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loyalty by Matthew a Lewis

  • By Mrs C J Wilson on 21-02-15

Gorgeously perfect!

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

Reviewed: 06-09-16

This is quite simply the most beautiful and most moving book I have ever purchased from Audible. I wept, and wept and then wept some more during the Bosworth scenes, they really are perfectly articulated.

Now I feel a sense of loss that the book is ended and simpy want to hear it again immediately.

A real triumph of a book, YOU MUST BUY IT! :-)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The History of the Ancient World

  • From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome
  • By: Susan Wise Bauer
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 26 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 232

This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history. This narrative history employs the methods of "history from beneath" - literature, epic traditions, private letters, and accounts - to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • interesting not riveting

  • By Amazon Customer on 15-02-18

More fairy tale than history...

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

Reviewed: 26-12-15

I don't know much about Susan Wise Bauer I must admit and this was my first 'experience' with her writing. And experience it was!

Before I begin to destroy the book (!), I suppose it is only fair to say that much of Ancient History, by whomsoever dares to write it, is conjecture. Until you get to about 1500 BCE, there are snippets here and there which can be substatiated reasonably well, after 1500 BCE it improves but not significantly so until we get to around 1200 BCE.

However, that being said, any author who wishes seriously to be taken as a historian, really CANNOT swing between history which uses as its source, archaeological finds and proven, documented transcriptions or transliterations of tablets, or pieces of tablets, and 'history' which uses as its source, The Bible (with no other sourcing whatsoever!). It is absurd! She attempts, for example, to 'prove' parts of her 'history' by citing what the Old Testament has to say in Genesis! I mean, truly, it is utterly absurd! Don't get me wrong, there ARE undoubtedly proven events which happened (and are well-sourced geographically, archeologically and historically) which are also mentioned in The Bible, but it is totally unacceptable to try to pass of vague Biblical references as hard-edged history.

She also notes that she is using BC and AD as she objects to the use of BCE and CE as they seem, to her, to be somewhat pointless (she makes a fair point that BOTH go from the date of Christ and so what is the point of using BCE or CE) but, on the other hand, as a historian myself (a real one!), I have always used BCE and CE as they are commonly internationally recognized and do not rely on 'dog latin' as AD, for example, does. She also claims her history is not just written from a Judeo-Christian standpoint - I take serious issue with this as someone NOT remotely schooled in the Judeo-Christian ethos of the West (which nearly all educative systems DO use to be fair, even in a completely non-religious sense). From my perspective, she writes ENTIRELY from a Judeo-Christian standpoint, as her bizarre willingness to accept Biblical stories as historical fact without question (she literally quotes them and then goes on to say things such as "of course, Abraham would have taken this route because of ... insert totally pointless and implausible reason here" (OK, I'm paraphrasing a bit!)

I do not know what her historical background is but the frustration of dealing with her determination to take The Bible as 'fact' sent me running to Google to find out. It seems she is not a historian at all really! But, hey, she does have some post-graduate qualifications from a theological college! So there you go, all is revealed!

On the other hand, I am not too sure how one goes about writing this tome of an epic in one book (or even three as she does!) as so much of this period really IS based on historians building up pictures of things based on tiny bits of broken tablets and so, to be fair, she isn't necessarily any more useless than some of the others.

But what REALLY annoys me, is that she does not make clear which bits are FACT and which bits are FAIRY TALE. If you are a historian with a reasonable knowledge of this era then you will spot them instantly, they stick out not so much as a sore thumb but more of a dislocated hand!!

I love John Lee's narration, he is one of my favorite readers. Even if he does have the slightly odd habit of sometimes pronouncing really common words wierdly (eg pronouncing primer (as in a Latin primer) as "primmer" (like a prim old lady!)! But he makes the best of this sometimes ridiculous book.

If you want a gentle romp through this period of Ancient History and can stomach The Bible standing in for history (I can't!), then you will love it. If, like me, you know something of this period and like proper sources, you will hate it.

As they say, you pays your money, you takes your choice.

292 of 335 people found this review helpful

Rubicon
    The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Tom Holland
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Steven Crossley
    
    


    
    Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
    357 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • Rubicon

  • The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
  • By: Tom Holland
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299

The Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. It is a story of incomparable drama.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bad Romans make great listening

  • By Dave on 29-04-12

Absolutely LOVED this book!

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

Reviewed: 18-10-15

I had been searching for a decent Roman history book for ages but never found exactly what I wanted.

Finally, I came across Tom Holland and the first book I bought of his was Rubicon.

It was so fantastic that I instantly bought Dynasty and In The Shadow of the Sword!

Holland has a natural gift of combining dates, names and facts with fascinating little tidbits, some humourous, others frankly disturbing (!), but ALL absolutely captivating. As someone who is not overly famliar with Latin names, this could have been a thoroughly confusing book had it not been for the clarity and coherence of the timeline as described by Holland and wonderfully narrated by Stephen Crossley who reads with both intelligence and great inflexion and characterizes people beautifully.

Honestly, if you've ever fancied getting into a bit of Ancient Roman history then this is the book for you! I have almost finished Dynasty and that is also a great book but, have to say, Rubicon was better!

Definitely a book I shall listen to again and I would heartily recommend this to others.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Strangest Family: The Private Lives of George III, Queen Charlotte and the Hanoverians

  • By: Janice Hadlow
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 27 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

An intensely moving account of George III's doomed attempt to create a happy, harmonious family, written with astonishing emotional force from a stunning new history writer. George III came to the throne in 1760 as a man with a mission. He wanted to be a new kind of king, one whose power was rooted in the affection and approval of his people. And he was determined to revolutionise his private life too - to show that a better man would, inevitably, make a better ruler.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Probably a great book but...

  • By Clementi on 04-09-15

Probably a great book but...

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

Reviewed: 04-09-15

What did you like most about The Strangest Family: The Private Lives of George III, Queen Charlotte and the Hanoverians?

I'm sure this is a fascinating story. It appears to be beautifully researched but perhaps a little heavy on the groundwork as half the book is about the preceding Georges! This DOES give context which is helpful, but I really don't think it needed to be so long. I got to two thirds through and still no mention of the 'madness of King George'!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Strangest Family: The Private Lives of George III, Queen Charlotte and the Hanoverians?

I gave up as I couldn't stand the silly little girl voices in the narration. I do hope it's re-narrated at some point as I DO believe the book itself would be excellent and I, for one, would be willing to buy another version as I think the author has done a great job.

What didn’t you like about Adjoa Andoh’s performance?

She ruined it. She reads intelligently and very clearly which is one of the reasons I bought it as the sample was great but she will insist on reading the female voices as though they are 4 year old children. This works when the characters ARE children but when she is conveying a strong, educated and feisty woman, it just sounds daft and is utterly offputting. It actually made me scream out loud at one point as she renders their words absurd.

(Imagine a 4 year old giving pronouncements on matters of state or liberal education and add a couple of octaves to your imagining, mix in a bit of a whiny 2 year old and you'll have her narration perfectly!

Any additional comments?

My review should IN NO WAY reflect on the quality of the book itself which I think is excellent and the author has done a fantastic job with her research and narrates an intelligent, coherent timeline. Just the ridiculous narration voices that spoil it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful