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Lorraine

Cape Town
  • 15
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  • 38
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  • 84
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  • The Return

  • Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between
  • By: Hisham Matar
  • Narrated by: Hisham Matar
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

Hisham Matar was 19 when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Gaddafi, Hisham was finally able to return to his homeland for the first time. In this heartbreaking, illuminating memoir, he describes his return to a country and a family he thought he would never see again. The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale of loss. It is an exquisite meditation on history, politics and art.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply moving, the horrors of separation

  • By Suswati on 18-04-17

I am in love with this author/narrator's voice!

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

Reviewed: 04-08-17

I could listen to Hisham Matar's gently accented voice all day and all night. He is a true wordsmith. This is a stunning story with pearls of wisdom and beauty hidden in the deep sadness of loss and despair.

(Is there a production error? Is chapter 14 repeated, or did I do something strange when I downloaded it?)

  • Americanah

  • By: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 17 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,667
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,525
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,524

As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Life-changing

  • By Diana John on 02-06-13

Why didn't they use a narrator from Zimbabwe?

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

Reviewed: 04-01-15

What disappointed you about Americanah?

Same ol' same ol'.
I am perhaps just tired of this type of romanticized portrayal of life in sub-Saharan Africa.

What will your next listen be?

Another major prize winner or nominee.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her accent was awful.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Nope. Sorry. I couldn't listen to more than a few chapters so perhaps there were redeeming plot turns later on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Perfectly Good Family

  • By: Lionel Shriver
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9

Following the death of her worthy liberal parents, Corlis McCrea moves back into her family's grand Reconstruction mansion in North Carolina, willed to all three siblings. Her timid younger brother has never left home. When her bullying black-sheep older brother moves into "his" house as well, it's war.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing from such a good writer

  • By Jennifer on 15-05-13

The first Lionel Shriver novel I have not loved

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

Reviewed: 20-05-14

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I love Lionel Shriver. I love her sharp wit, her satirical approach to topical themes, her language and rich vocabulary, her sarcasm, her lack of fear and well, just about everything about her. I feared Kevin, felt smug about health and weight with Big Brother. I laughed at journos in The New Republic and felt a whole mixture of emotions at So Much For That. So this, my fifth Shriver, was a huge ask: a book about a sister and her two brothers fighting over their inheritance. The two brothers, one an alcoholic who left home at an early age, appears to attract disaster and has a string of ex-wives, and the other hard-working, caring, studious with a gentle perfect wife - were so appealing to me (I can't think why) that I suppose I was setting myself up for disappointment. The novel was quite simply boring. If had known these people in my real life, I'd have walked the other way when I spotted them at the mall.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have cut out about half of it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was one of the worst I have listened to. She sounded as if she were straining her voice. Perhaps the sentences were too long for her lung capacity, but it sounded as if she were running out of air quite often, which was an uncomfortable sensation for the listener. And finally, sorry - we British do not say potaaaato (rhyming with tomato) - ever. And persevere is not pronounced purr-sever.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

There were some aspects of the book I liked. The characters were well drawn. I do like the anti-heros she writes so well.

Any additional comments?

I will try another Lionel Shriver.but I'll stick to the newer titles. Perhaps her earlier books are not as sharp as her later ones.

  • We Need New Names

  • By: NoViolet Bulawayo
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

'To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them. Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and not even this one we live in – who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?' Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn’t all bad, though. There’s mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A personal view of the story

  • By Samwel on 25-04-18

Poor Narration: Zimbabwean/Carribean accent?

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

Reviewed: 25-03-14

Would you try another book written by NoViolet Bulawayo or narrated by Robin Miles?

No Violet Bulawayo is a fair writer. I don't see anything particularly special about this book. I am a South African reader and stories in this style abound.

I think it's a real shame the producers didn't bother to find a Zimbabwean narrator. Robin Miles sounds half Carribean. The accent is 70% correct, but the pronunciation of the 'a' sound is poor (e.g. laugh is pronounced lorf instead of 'lef') and o is totally incorrect. (e.g. pronounces come as "com" whereas it is pronounced almost the same way as in southern UK English). There must be hundreds of thousands of well educated Zimbabweans looking for work... Why didn't the author read it herself? This aspect of the audiobook totally ruined it for me, as I kept waiting for the next error in pronunciation.

Would you be willing to try another one of Robin Miles’s performances?

Not one where she assumes an African accent!

Did We Need New Names inspire you to do anything?

Nope.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Where the Bodies are Buried

  • By: Chris Brookmyre
  • Narrated by: Sarah Barron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218

In Glasgow, aspiring actress Jasmine Sharp is reluctantly - and incompetently - earning a crust working for her Uncle Jim's private investigation business. When Jim goes missing, Jasmine has to take on the investigator mantle for real. Soon she stumbles into a web of corruption and decades-hidden secrets that could tear apart an entire police force - if she can stay alive long enough to tell the tale...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great characterisation and a hot plot

  • By Lorraine on 13-08-11

Great characterisation and a hot plot

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-08-11

I'm a BIG fan of Brookmyre and was excited to see that this title was on Audio just in time for the mid-year holidays.

Jasmine Sharp is the fragile herione of this novel and her character is brilliantly written. Insecure and more than a little bewildered with the world, Jasmine carries half of the plot with her through the fast paced action, piecing together a cold-case mystery as she escapes bullets and double-dealing thugs alike. The other half is carried by a top female cop in the Glasgow poe-liss who, with her family problems and hostile male counterparts, has her own set of problems. The depth of these two leading ladies' characters is enriched by contrast with a bunch of Glasgow underworld drug dealers and bent cops.

The plot moves along at a rattling pace and resolves neatly, if a little sweetly, and is excellently narrated by Sarah Barron. A wide range of accents, tones and pitches keeps the Glasgow voice alive, perfectly portraying youth & age, regret and joy, fear and peace. Though I am not Scottish and am therefore possibly not qualified to judge, all the characters accents sounded genuine and brought the location of the action alive.

Excellent stuff, Chris Brookmyre! Keep it up!

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Outcast

  • By: Sadie Jones
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

1957, and Lewis Aldridge is travelling back to his home in the South of England. He is straight out of jail and nineteen years old. His return will trigger the implosion not just of his family, but of a whole community. A decade earlier, his father's homecoming casts a different shape. The war is over and Gilbert has recently been demobbed. He reverts easily to suburban life - cocktails at six thirty, church on Sundays - but his wife and young son resist the stuffy routine. Lewis and his mother escape to the woods for picnics, just as they did in wartime days. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert's wife counters convention, but they are all shocked when, after one of their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent

  • By Elisabeth on 02-08-10

It's a love-hate thing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-12-08

I'm not sure whether I loved this book, or hated it.
The writing style was so irritating, I almost switched it off several times... but then there was the story that just had to be heard to the end.
Fabulous portrayal of a difficult time.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Midwives
    A Novel
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Chris Bohjalian
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Kate Burton
    
    


    
    Length: 4 hrs and 36 mins
    3 ratings
    Overall 4.7
  • Midwives

  • A Novel
  • By: Chris Bohjalian
  • Narrated by: Kate Burton
  • Length: 4 hrs and 36 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for 15 years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby's life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Short but definitely not sweet

  • By Lorraine on 06-12-08

Short but definitely not sweet

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-12-08

This title is an old one, but I had never seen the film or read anything by Mr Bohjalien before.
The characterisation was excellent; I fully empathised with the midwife and her daughter. The tension was immense! My only gripe about this audio book was the narrator, whose diction I found a little strained, as if she were trying too hard to speak clearly.

  • The Road

  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,376
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,099
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2007.
America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect for the road - or anywhere else

  • By SKA on 20-09-09

The Worst Book Ever

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-11-08

Well if ever I feel like committing suicide, this will be the book I'll chose to hold in my hand so that those finding my body will know how desperate I felt.
It's gruesome. It's horrible. It is so devoid of hope or grace or beauty that I can't think why anyone would want to subject themselves to reading it. I will not recommend it to anybody.
As far as the characters go, the boy is pathetic in the true sense of the word. However, I couldn't help the cynic in me asking how on earth he could be so ingelligent at times when all his knowledge must have come from the father, who is little more than monosyballic in his utterances. The father has lost his humanness and gained only cruelty in his quest for survival - how else could you justify his teaching the child to put a pistol in its mouth, aim upwards? These people have become hardly more than animals.
The language is sparse but I can't say I can see any beauty in it. I cringed everytime the father said 'Its alright\" or the son said 'Im okay'. Surely there's more to life than that? Surely McCormac could have offered us more vocabulary, even in this world devoid of hope?
List. Lists of objects. Lists of tiny actions. Sentences without verbs. Overuse of the words 'he' and 'and'. All contribute to the dull, repetitive language in this dull, repetitive tale.
Probably the worst book I have ever read. And I could have been saved from my misery if only the man had trusted the family he met right at the beginning ... ah! maybe that's the message.

10 of 21 people found this review helpful

The History of Love
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Nicole Krauss
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Kerry Shale,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Amber Sealey
    
    


    
    Length: 3 hrs and 52 mins
    12 ratings
    Overall 4.3
  • The History of Love

  • By: Nicole Krauss
  • Narrated by: Kerry Shale, Amber Sealey
  • Length: 3 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Leo Gursky is a man who fell in love at the age of 10 and has been in love ever since. These days he is just about surviving life in America, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbour know he's still alive, drawing attention to himself at the milk counter of Starbucks. But life wasn't always like this: 60 years ago in the Polish village where he was born, Leo fell in love with a young girl called Alma and wrote a book in honour of his love.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A pretty romance

  • By Lorraine on 14-11-08

A pretty romance

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-11-08

Although the Holocaust survivor theme has been explored from so many angles and is now - dare I say it - wearing a little thin for me, this book tells a sweet love story with likeable characters and a certain charm. The main characters are well portrayed (the narrator's accents are excellent) and the locations are described in such a way as to transport the listener far away. The plot is rather complex for such a short book, and I must admit to be a little confused about one or two of the devices. I believe Hollywood has options on this novel; I think it'll transfer well to the screen. I look forward to more from Ms Krauss.

  • On Chesil Beach

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Ian McEwan
  • Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 198

Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year and Book of the Year, 2008.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2007.
Shortlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.

It is June 1962. In a hotel on the Dorset coast, overlooking Chesil Beach, Edward and Florence, just married that morning, are sitting down to dinner in their room. Neither is entirely able to suppress anxieties about the wedding night to come. On Chesil Beach is another masterwork from Ian McEwan - a story about how the entire course of a life can be changed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfection!.

  • By Joan on 14-04-07

Won't appeal to everyone

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-11-08

While I personally thoroughly enjoyed this intimate vignette, I know that many readers of modern fiction will find it slow and boring. However, connoisseurs of fine literature will surely enjoy its attention to detail, the intricacies of the characters motives, the tragedy of a doomed love. Beautifully crafted. A fine portrait of a time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful