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The Name of the Wind cover art
  • The Name of the Wind

  • The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 28 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10,810
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,565
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,549

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the university at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By Robyn on 31-01-13

Outstanding

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

Reviewed: 19-08-19

I took a risk with this one as frankly fantasy can be dull, derivative and adolescent.
I don't know whether it is the narration or the story, but the result is absolutely excellent. I have listened to about 15 hours and am still impressed, plus have just bought the second book. This is one of the best narrations I have ever heard and I have listened to hundreds. The voices are all different and all convincing. I swear I heard Alan Rickman in one character!
As a side note, although the author is American, there is almost no trace of American English in the writing, and none of the voices are American. It's intriguing to wonder why.

Joe Country cover art
  • Joe Country

  • Jackson Lamb Thriller, Book 6
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 272
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273

In Slough House memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process. And with winter taking its grip Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can't ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A little disappointed...

  • By ThePuss on 30-06-19

Blackest of humour - but we live in dark days

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

Reviewed: 08-07-19

A fabulous listen as always. Perfect reading from Sean Barrett.

Unlike other reviewers I do not want this to be televised, visual as it is, because those dramatisations are frequently rubbish. See the Merrily Watkins series for instance. Or Jack Reacher. The carefully designed stories are mashed up and lose all their force.

Also unlike some others, I felt the ending left open another contemporary instalment, possibly centred more on the Park.

One slight criticism - Emma Flyte is said to be eminently employable. I've started to wonder if it is really plausible that youngish spooks would be kept on indefinitely? The lifetime costs would be gigantic. Surely River and Louisa at least could be shuffled off to some commercial enterprise or part of the Civil Service, thus improving Diana Taverner's budget.

The Fog cover art
  • The Fog

  • By: James Herbert
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 613
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 577
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 575

The peaceful life of a village in Wiltshire is suddenly shattered by a disaster which strikes without reason or explanation, leaving behind it a trail of misery and horror. A yawning, bottomless crack spreads through the earth, out of which creeps a fog that resembles no other. Whatever it is, it must be controlled; for wherever it goes it leaves behind a trail of disaster as hideous as the tragedy that marked its entry into the world. The fog, quite simple, drives people insane.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great stuff

  • By M Henderson on 28-12-16

Really distasteful

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

Reviewed: 03-07-19

I'm about 3 hours in and so far it's all been violence described in a rather gloating way without ever getting to whatever the story is. I bought it because it was narrated by the excellent Sean Barrett and I do like Stephen King and intelligent scifi, but this is just horrid. I shall return it.

A Wizard of Earthsea cover art
  • A Wizard of Earthsea

  • The First Book of Earthsea
  • By: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth. Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My first experience of Earthsea, truly excellent.

  • By Dr Ward on 08-01-19

Not for me

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

Reviewed: 02-07-19

I adore other readings by KH-S and I know this is meant to be a classic, but I just can't get on with it. This doesn't mean others won't.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Examined Life cover art
  • The Examined Life

  • By: Stephen Grosz
  • Narrated by: Peter Marinker
  • Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,928
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,628
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,608

We are all storytellers - through stories, we make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen. In his work as a psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last 25 years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour. The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon. This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening, and understanding.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Saffy on 13-02-13

Problems of affluence?

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

Reviewed: 02-07-19

I'm sure these stories are worthy, but as I went along I started to get impatient and think that the patients here just had too much time to think about themselves and too much money to spend on it. One of them apparently had a session every day! Nobody is perfect, our time is limited, eventually we have to stop thinking about ourselves and get on with actually doing things. If you think this is too simplistic, maybe you will enjoy this book.

Almost Human cover art
  • Almost Human

  • The Astonishing Tale of Homo Naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story
  • By: Lee Berger, John Hawks
  • Narrated by: Donald Corren
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7

A story of defiance and determination by a controversial scientist, this is Lee Berger's own take on finding Homo naledi, an all-new species on the human family tree and one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century. In 2013, Lee Berger, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, heard of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave in South Africa. He put out a call around the world for petite collaborators - men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through eight-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave forty feet underground. It worked.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very interesting

  • By AReader on 11-05-19

Very interesting

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

Reviewed: 11-05-19

Lee Berger describes in great detail the methods by which he discovered and explored a cave in South Africa full of bones of a previously unknown hominid. If anthropology interests you, it is a good story and raises important questions about scientific method before we even get on to the questions about the bones themselves. For instance, in 2019 does it not seem appropriate to publish computer generated images of/information about the bones among scientists worldwide? Previously it seems scientists would sometimes jealously guard bones to themselves for decades without letting anybody else even look at them.This surely cannot be the most effective way of developing ideas. Berger remarks that many of the new generation of anthropologists are female. I wonder if this might change typical methods of research.
As for the question of human evolution, no doubt there is much debate about the place of this creature and I am not in a position to comment. However, what with finding the Neanderthal DNA, discovering the Denisovans and now the Naledi, it seems we may be learning a lot more about the family tree of homo sapiens.

Dark Sacred Night cover art
  • Dark Sacred Night

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver, Christine Lakin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 666
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 598
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 596

At the end of a long, dark night Detectives Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch cross paths for the very first time. Detective Renée Ballard is working the graveyard shift again and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find that an older man has snuck in and is rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is none other than legendary LAPD detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but eventually Bosch persuades her to help, and she relents.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Gaaaargh the narrator ruins it

  • By Max on 28-11-18

A good listen ...

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

Reviewed: 22-04-19


However I am increasingly uneasy about a number of questions. Bosch listens to his obsessions, not to reason- will this ultimately end in disaster? Is he getting just a bit too weird? Are there too many dramatic last minute rescues in this book?

As a dog owner I thought it was unfair of Ballard to keep her dog in care so much and it must also have been very expensive! Could she afford it?

CAn LA really be as dreadful as it is pictured? Is it really full of gangs and murderers? If so what does this say about the US? How can its gun culture ever be addressed? Likewise its reliance on the car - a massive part of everyone’s life in LA which is almost a character of its own in the story, hiding in plain sight.

The voices are good, but I noticed a number of places where the narrators gave a false emphasis which altered the meaning.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Invisible Women cover art
  • Invisible Women

  • Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
  • By: Caroline Criado Perez
  • Narrated by: Caroline Criado Perez
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 372

In her new audiobook, Invisible Women, award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. She exposes the gender data gap - a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging and Memorable

  • By Catherine on 30-03-19

Unbelievably depressing!

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

Reviewed: 12-04-19

I'm not even sure I can finish this book. We all know the obvious discrimination in levels of pay, etc, and I was prepared to discover lots more of the sort. But I was shocked to discover that design based on the male body is actually killing women in large numbers- stab vests, car seat belts, etc, not to mention medical norms, all of which fail to take account of female bodies. This is the twenty first century! Even more that design by men for men has led to a failure to improve the appalling air quality in India and neighbouring countries (which is visible from space, and a large contributor to climate change as well as causing massive health problems) simply because better cooking stoves were designed by men to burn the kind of wood which these women did not have access to - and without even consulting them! Accordingly nearly a billion women continue crouching over fires made of leaves, dung etc, to the detriment of their health, their children's health, and the global ecosystem.

Now I understand why I got short shrift from my MP and the local bus chief when I asked why there was no bus route between my district and our local hospital. It's because men have cars, silly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Lucifer's Hammer cover art
  • Lucifer's Hammer

  • By: Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 24 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 745
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 556

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best-of genre

  • By Tara on 24-12-12

Rather too long?

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

Reviewed: 18-03-19

I listened all the way through and there was nothing I particularly disliked, but I found it rather turgid and didn't really empathise with any of the characters. I didn't find it too badly dated, in its way. There was a lot of description of rival groups fighting each other, and a lot about cars, which I found boring.

The most chilling sentence of all though was to the effect that "a nano second after the comet hit, women's lib was history". For "women's lib" read "recognition as human beings", and it is all too plausible that with social restraints removed, women would lose all autonomy and become chattels, or would have consciously to trade sex for physical security, as the character Marie did here.

The narration was fine, and if the voice got a little tedious, perhaps that was only because the book lasts over 24 hours!

The Death of Grass cover art
  • The Death of Grass

  • By: John Christopher
  • Narrated by: William Gaminara
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 222
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 181

A viral strain has attacked rice crops in East Asia causing massive famine; soon a mutation appears which infects the staple crops of West Asia and Europe such as wheat and barley, threatening a worldwide famine. Christopher's classic post-apocalyptic novel follows the struggles of architect John Custance and his family as they make their way across an England that is rapidly descending into anarchy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The end of the world as seen from the 1950's

  • By Charles on 18-08-11

Disturbing, well read and not too dated

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

Reviewed: 13-03-19

The issues still raised by this book are still worrying today - many plants in the real world have suffered badly from diseases that have mutated and spread rapidly round the world. So a virus that attacks grasses is by no means impossible to imagine. Moreover, the difficulties of feeding so many billions of human beings are in the news every day, and we see internally displaced person wandering over their countries searching for shelter. So while some details are a little dated, it is easy to ignore that.

You may comment that the females in this story are all secondary, that this is dated, things are different now, and that modern tales of this sort often provide a strong female leading character. However, as a female myself I feel uneasily that in real life, absent modern social restraints and conventions, females would be extremely vulnerable - see the incidence of rape in civil wars, for instance. So in fact the story is even scarier for female readers or listeners as they visualise their hard won individuality being torn away overnight.

The narration is very good with the voices being differentiated sufficiently but not turning into parodies.