LISTENER

Barbara

HOGNASTON, United Kingdom
  • 34
  • reviews
  • 46
  • helpful votes
  • 110
  • ratings
  • The Devil in the Marshalsea

  • By: Antonia Hodgson
  • Narrated by: Joseph Kloska
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264

London, 1727 - and Tom Hawkins is about to fall from his heaven of card games, brothels, and coffeehouses to the hell of a debtors' prison. The Marshalsea is a savage world of its own, with simple rules: those with family or friends who can lend them a little money may survive in relative comfort. Those with none will starve in squalor and disease. And those who try to escape will suffer a gruesome fate at the hands of the gaol's rutheless governor and his cronies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best audio books I've chosen recently

  • By D on 28-10-14

Well worth a listen

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

Reviewed: 16-04-17

I found the beginning and many of the graphic details hard to get through, but once I was settled in to listening to the whole story I was keen to hear it all.
If you know to start with that many of the characters were real people and the descriptions were close to the truth of how life was in those days it makes one feel relieved if not grateful for conditions everywhere in England in the 21st c.

  • The Silk Tree

  • By: Julian Stockwin
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

Forced to flee Rome, merchant Nicander meets an unlikely ally in the form of Marius, a fierce Roman legionary. Escaping to a new life in Constantinople, the two land upon its shores lonely and penniless. Needing to make money fast, they plot a wicked plan to steal precious silk seeds from the faraway land of Seres. Nicander and Marius must embark upon a terrifyingly treacherous journey across unknown lands never before completed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strong tale

  • By Q on 31-07-15

Exciting and well paced.

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

Reviewed: 09-11-16

The silk tree was a book I was very unsure of when I bought it but being written by Julian Stockwin and narrated by Peter Noble it had to be worth a try.

This book is a great well researched adventure story. I never wanted to switch it off. It is well narrated as I expected and a book I would listen to again and again.

The story and main characters moves across the globe to the far flung corners of China where they meet with a group of very unlikely people. They all come from such different backgrounds and have differing strengths that the two characters are able to dig themselves out of many exciting and seemingly impossible situations.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Cold Granite

  • Logan McRae, Book 1
  • By: Stuart MacBride
  • Narrated by: John Sessions
  • Length: 6 hrs and 1 min
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196

It's DS Logan McRae's first day back on the job after a year off on the sick, and it couldn't get much worse. Four-year-old David Reid's body is discovered in a ditch - strangled, mutilated and a long time dead. There's a killer stalking the Granite City and the local media are baying for blood. If that wasn't enough, Logan also has to contend with a new boss, DI Insch, who doesn't suffer fools gladly and thinks everyone's a fool.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not For The Aberdeen Tourist Authority

  • By Martin on 03-07-07

Gripping

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

Reviewed: 08-06-16

At the stat I thought it would be too gruesome for me as child or animal cruelty is a subject I avoid. But Stuart Mac Brides tale expertly narrated but the smooth voice of John Sessions gently took the listener from one vile, wicked find and quickly showed us where there was a crack in the plot where DC Logan could find hope and move the story forward.
I am looking forward to listening to his other books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Wild Swans

  • By: Jung Chang
  • Narrated by: Pik-sen Lim
  • Length: 27 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 761
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 693
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 692

Few books have had such an impact as Wild Swans: a popular best seller and a critically acclaimed history of China that opened up the country to the world. Through the story of three generations of women in her own family - the grandmother given to the warlord as a concubine, the Communist mother, and the daughter herself - Jung Chang reveals the epic history of China's 20th century. Breathtaking in its scope, unforgettable in its descriptions, this is a masterpiece that is extraordinary in every way.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mesmerising and haunting at the same time

  • By Busy of Devon on 29-04-16

Heart rendering but beautiful.

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

Reviewed: 15-04-16

I listened to this on audible because although I had got the book in the year 2000 I needed to have it read each day. There is so much to take in, reading a page before putting the light out doesn't do it justice.
As an English woman who had lived abroad as a child I found much of the book hard. The unjustness, cruelty, and hate that the human can sink to is scary. It is not just the Chinese but the human race as a whole. Only the very strong can stand against it.
Many times my emotions were rocked from sinking thought of the person being spoken about not being able to get out of their situation to blessed relief at their survival. Then on to anger at the treatment of someone else.
This book is an emotional roller coaster but well worth the listen. There are lessons to be learned.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Road to Little Dribbling

  • More Notes From a Small Island
  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Nathan Osgood
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,607
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,481
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,482

Twenty years ago Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the best-selling travel book ever and was voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain. Now, to mark the 20th anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey around Britain to see what has changed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • funny, perceptive and grumpy

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-10-15

Better than expected

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

Reviewed: 07-01-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have always loved Bill Bryson's sense of humour and observations. The way he see's the world is wonderfully fresh. When Little Dribbling came on line I was determined to be one of the first to purchase it. But...... he wasn't the narrator. What? I couldn't believe it. I listened to the sample and although the words were BB's the voice wasn't and I found it difficult to marry the two. After some weeks of listening to the short sample I couldn't resist any longer. I downloaded it expecting to give it 325. That wasn't to be. Nathan Osgood is amazing and I very soon got into his rhythm of the book and finished it in two days.I loved the way Bill travelled through the country and how he points out the differing characters. It helps us all see our small island in a fresh light. There are so many facts put forward that to take just this book, visit and research the area's he visited would give any one of us a very happy few years. Another wonderful book, thank you.

Have you listened to any of Nathan Osgood’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No not that I know of

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Another great listen.

  • Career of Evil

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 3
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,979
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,483
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,478

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past whom he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another gripping story.

  • By Bernadette on 22-10-15

Keeps you hooked

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

Reviewed: 25-12-15

If you could sum up Career of Evil in three words, what would they be?

I began thinking no one could beat the past two books she wrote, but this keeps you hooked from the first few minutes and are left on tenter hooks. The book has some great characters from all walks of life. Most you don't wish to meet.
He and Robyn have their ups and downs, which leaves Robyn a hurt and desperate girl who makes some dire descisions. I eagerly wait for the next book must put it all right and move on.

What did you like best about this story?

The building of the characters. `how they were described bit by bit, There complex characters and how they thought.

Have you listened to any of Robert Glenister’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Just as good as the others but darker and more sinister.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. I wanted to stop some from doing or saying things,for example when Robyn stayed out late and when she left her mobile on the table. Who could trust such a creep? I wanted to stop Strike from being a complete egotistical ass as well as stop him from being attacked but was glad to know his friend was close by.

Any additional comments?

The next book has got to come out soon. He can't just accept the book ending there. It is all wrong and they both know it. He must see her and sort out their differences. I WILL NOT is what she should be saying. She must go back as a partner in more ways than one. The business must do well and the next case must be equally as gripping.

  • Wild

  • By: Cheryl Strayed
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,071
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,867
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,867

A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an 1100-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe and built her back up again. At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. After her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than an idea: vague, outlandish, and full of promise.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Exceptional Story

  • By Colin on 30-01-15

Inspiring and thought provoking.

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

Reviewed: 10-05-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to everyone to read as it is a truthful account of a very grief driven adventure across the Pacific Crest Trail.Cheryl told her story from the beginning which helps the reader to understand what compelled her forward.I found the beginning a little too drawn out but the once through that the adventure is both touching and informative to anyone who in drawn to the outdoors or who is either going through or been though the torment of bereavement. The people she meets both on the trail and off, the stops she makes to collect her boxes and how she is able to get over her immediate dilemmas. Though the trail cost her dearly in injuries there are parts where the listener is urging her forward as we see her grow from an inexperienced grief stricken girl with very little to recommend her, to a hardened hiker with a wealth of friends and knowledge that sets her up for her life to come.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cheryl Strayed

Which character – as performed by Laurel Lefkow – was your favourite?

Cheryl

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

From despair to a future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Malala

  • By: Malala Yousafzai
  • Narrated by: Archie Panjabi, Malala Yousafzai
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 511
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 459
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453

In 2009 Malala Yousafzai began writing a blog on BBC Urdu about life in the Swat Valley as the Taliban gained control, at times banning girls from attending school. When her identity was discovered, Malala began to appear in both Pakistani and international media, advocating the freedom to pursue education for all. In October 2012, gunmen boarded Malala's school bus and shot her in the face, a bullet passing through her head and into her shoulder. Remarkably, Malala survived the shooting. At a very young age, Malala Yousafzai has become a worldwide symbol of courage and hope.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well worth the read

  • By Nigel on 22-10-13

An amazing true life wonder

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

Reviewed: 04-07-14

Where does I Am Malala rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Malala ranks amongst the highest in the books I have listened to. I had the book on my wish list for some time but was reluctant to listen to it. There had been so much media press about this very wonderfully brave, outspoken child, I thought there would be nothing else to learn. How wrong could I have been.

The book begins with her describing the life she had as a young child in a very loving and supportive family, the idyllic valley which became part of her being and why she so loved it.

She speaks openly about the struggles her parents faced in opening up a school for girls and boys. Her competitive spirit at school and her determination to get every child girl or boy educated, How her family fed the poor and introduces us to how wonderful the Koran. How it does not preach hatred and discourse but peace, love and kindness. She introduces us to some of their traditions and the close family bond the people of her valley have.

As a westerner who's so used to a lone, independent and broken society I thought very differently. As the book continued I began to question what we'd been taught though the media and about the lives we lead though out the world.

She shows us all her strength of character, hopes and dreams for the future.

This is a book everyone should read. May her dreams come true.

What other book might you compare I Am Malala to, and why?

Hotel Rwanda, Ann Frank,

Have you listened to any of Malala Yousafzai and Archie Panjabi ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not yet.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A must watch film. A girl with the strength to show us hope, love, as well as immense bravery and courage.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Greatest Knight

  • By: Elizabeth Chadwick
  • Narrated by: Christopher Scott
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 216

From humble beginnings and a narrow escape from death in childhood, William Marshall steadily rises through the ranks to become tutor in arms to the son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Based on fact, this is the story of William Marshal, the greatest knight of the Middle Ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By JW on 04-08-11

You feel you're there. Part of the tale unfolding

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

Reviewed: 06-01-14

What did you like most about The Greatest Knight?

How William was able to get through what seems to be unsurmountable problems in his life and just battles on.It made it all the better because William Marshal was the greatest knight and much is known about him. The story has been weaved cleverly through the history that is known to make the reader feel they are part of some of the most turbulent times in our history.

What did you like best about this story?

How the Greatest Knight develops as a person and how he balances work and personal life.

What does Christopher Scott bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The length of pauses in the right places. It gives the characters more depth. Helps the listener wait anxiously for more. Yet he paces the book so well.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

To give you some idea of my feelings for this first of the William Marshal books. I've downloaded the next one and the others are in my wish list.Elizabeth Chadwick is a great novelist who couldn't have done better than choose Christopher Scott to narrate them.Thank you all.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Skios

  • By: Michael Frayn
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24

On the sunlit Greek island of Skios, the Fred Toppler Foundation's annual lecture is to be given by Dr Norman Wilfred, the world-famous authority on the scientific organisation of science. He turns out to be young and charming - not at all the intimidating figure they had been expecting. The Foundation's guests are soon eating out of his hand. So is Nikki, the attractive organiser. Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie waits for the man she rashly agreed to go on holiday with.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable

  • By chris on 31-07-12

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 30-12-13

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I had read a few reviews with regards to this book. Martin Jarvis is an excellent narrator and one I like to follow. Alas this book does not do his talents any good. The story about a professor had arrived in Skios to make a speech. It was this man who's luggage went missing. The events that followed where to say the least bizarre. Anyone with half a wit would have it sorted in minutes.
The person who had his luggage got away with imitating him. This really does not look good on any P.A.
This book was very disappointing.

What will your next listen be?

The second book that Elizabeth Chadwick has written in the Greatest Knight series; The Red Lion?

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No