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Graham

  • 12
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 36
  • ratings
  • The Madonna of the Mountains

  • By: Elise Valmorbida
  • Narrated by: Cecilia Gragnani
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

The Madonna of the Mountains is a fierce, sharply observed and richly detailed account of a woman's fight to keep her family alive and thriving - at whatever cost. We meet Maria in 1923 as she awaits the arrival of her husband, chosen for her by her father and miraculously neither disfigured nor damaged by the previous war. Together they start a shop and build a business and a family - but the creep of fascism casts a dark shadow, and the horrors of war, political and practical, threaten their very survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant and moving insight into war torn Veneto

  • By Graham on 12-06-18

Brilliant and moving insight into war torn Veneto

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

Brings to life the 20th century village life and deaths of this part of Italy

  • If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

  • By: Jon McGregor
  • Narrated by: Matt Bates, Melody Grove
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

On a street in a town in the North of England, ordinary people are going through the motions of their everyday existence - street cricket, barbecues, painting windows.... A young man is in love with a neighbour who does not even know his name. An old couple make their way up to the nearby bus stop. But then a terrible event shatters the quiet of the early summer evening. That this remarkable and horrific event is only poignant to those who saw it means that those who witness it will be altered forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Marvellous book

  • By IRJ on 26-12-17

Great descriptive atmosphere

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

Reviewed: 15-01-18

The description of the community reminded me of the detail of Undermilkwood but this also has suspense and surprise.

  • In the Approaches

  • By: Nicola Barker
  • Narrated by: Stephen Perring, Antonia Beamish
  • Length: 15 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Open yourself up again to all that terrible light and savage bliss and deafening reverberation …’In the Summer of 1971, a charismatic family seeks refuge in the quiet, English coastal backwater of Pett Level. Bran Cleary is a controversial Irish muralist; his fractious and promiscuous wife (and muse) 'Lonely' Allaway is half Aboriginal; their strange, sickly daughter, Orla Nor, is almost a Saint.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strange but captivating

  • By Graham on 07-12-17

Strange but captivating

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

Reviewed: 07-12-17

Unusually constructed novel that is both compulsive and thought provoking. A refreshing style of storytelling

  • Winter

  • By: Ali Smith
  • Narrated by: Melody Grove
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

Winter? Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer's leaves? Dead litter. The world shrinks; the sap sinks. But winter makes things visible. And if there's ice, there'll be fire. It's the season that teaches us survival. Here comes Winter the second audiobook in Ali Smith's shape-shifting quartet of stories.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This is the Winter of my discontent!

  • By Rachel Redford on 05-12-17

Great weave of imagination and contemporary comment

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

Reviewed: 12-11-17

Ali Smith’s entertaining play on words are nuggets of fun in an otherwise thought provoking and imagination stimulating book. As in real life, I’m looking forward to Spring

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 625
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 578

Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any other, for no one but Saunders could conceive it. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved 11-year-old son, Willie, dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Mistake

  • By L on 13-07-17

Worthy prize winning novel

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

Reviewed: 30-10-17

Brilliantly read and innovative story that makes you think beyond normal boundaries of like and death. Not to be missed

  • A Horse Walks into a Bar

  • By: David Grossman, Jessica Cohen - translation
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 46

The setting is a comedy club in a small Israeli town. An audience that has come expecting an evening of amusement instead sees a comedian falling apart onstage - an act of disintegration, a man crumbling, as a matter of choice, before their eyes. They could get up and leave or boo and whistle and drive him from the stage, if they were not so drawn to glimpse his personal hell.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creative brilliance

  • By Graham on 04-09-17

Creative brilliance

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

Reviewed: 04-09-17

A great exploration of infectious emotion and story telling provided in a unique setting. Narration could be slightly improved with an accent or speech pitch change between the 2 narrators to reduce confusion. Everyone should read or listen to this

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Tidal Zone

  • By: Sarah Moss
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 138

A poignant, funny and engrossing exploration of family life centred around a cataclysmic event and its aftermath, from the author of Night Waking and Signs for Lost Children. Adam is a stay-at-home dad who is also working on a history of the bombing and rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. He is a good man, and he is happy. But one day he receives a call from his daughter's school to inform him that for no apparent reason, 15-year-old Miriam has collapsed and stopped breathing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • In a league of its own for excellence!

  • By Rachel Redford on 28-08-16

Sensitive insight into parental fears

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

Reviewed: 08-09-16

Engaging characters but somewhat sensational story line. A bit too many stereotypes in health care. Overall a good listening experience although the frequency of painful and tense episodes was too unremitting for this to be a relaxing read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief History of Seven Killings

  • By: Marlon James
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean, Cherise Boothe, Dwight Bacquie, and others
  • Length: 26 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 578
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 578

On 3 December 1976, just weeks before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert. Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, whispered and sung about in the streets of West Kingston.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hope it wins Booker.

  • By Musicista on 30-09-15

Spoiled by detailed violence

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

Reviewed: 30-11-15

I would have appreciated this more if half the length and the essential violence (that sustains the atmosphere and fuels the plot) left more to the imagination than described in the details here. It is a problem with audio books that it is difficult to skip passages that you can see on skimming that you don't want to read. By the end of the book I could see why this won the Man Booker prize

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Dust That Falls from Dreams

  • By: Louis de Bernières
  • Narrated by: Avita Jay, David Sibley
  • Length: 17 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 137

In the brief golden years of King Edward VII’s reign, Rosie McCosh and her three very different sisters are growing up in an eccentric household in Kent, with their neighbours the Pitt boys on one side and the Pendennis boys on the other. But their days of childhood adventure are shadowed by the approach of war that will engulf them on the cusp of adulthood. When the boys end up scattered along the Western Front, Rosie faces the challenges of life for those left behind.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Edwardian England painted in a romantic canvas

  • By Wras on 29-07-15

Matches Capt Corelli

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

Reviewed: 09-09-15

I found this addictive where every character convincing. Best of his books since Capt Corelli's Mandolin

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Buried Giant

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: David Horovitch
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 759
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 692
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 693

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at last the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards - some strange and otherworldly - but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Can heroes or love survive the truth?

  • By Wras on 05-03-15

Thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 06-04-15

Interesting use of history and myth in the exploration of forgiveness, forgetting and cycles of revenge. Well worth it and compulsive reading.