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Annie

Todmorden, United Kingdom
  • 17
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The Lewis Man cover art

First class writing, first class storytelling.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-12

I have just finished listening to 'The Lewis Man'. After listening to 'The Black House' a few months ago I knew that I was in for another absorbing listen and I was not disappointed; in fact the author surpassed even my high expectations. Peter May can not only tell a cracking good story, he also has the gift of a truly beautiful literary style, combined with an insight into human nature that renders each character completely believable. His vivid descriptive passages of the islands and their ever-changing weather patterns were able to transport me instantly and effortlessly from wherever I happened to be listening at the time: a warm and sunny garden, crowded tube train or my comfy bed. This is a wonderfully crafted story - intelligent, thrilling, poignant and life-affirming. Peter Forbes' narration is exemplary, doing great justice to all May's well-drawn characters. This is worth far more than the maximum 5 stars allowed for a review. Thank you, Mr May and thank you to Audible for bringing such quality writing to our ears.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

Cabin Pressure, The Complete Series 1 cover art

LOL - as they say nowadays.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-11

This is absolutely Laugh Out Loud fare. Benedict Cumberbatch - always excellent at everything he does - is a wonderful foil for Roger Allam's biting wit. The hapless Martin is a gem. Stephanie Cole holds this motley crew together with a vicious tongue. Loved it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 2 cover art

2nd series - second best.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-11

Not quite as slick as the first series, some of the humour was slightly laboured, but still worth a listen.

Good As Dead cover art

Astounding accomplishment

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-11

The mood of this book grips the listener from the very beginning. The twists and turns of the plot as the story unfolds will have you believing that you have traced the developments to a satisfying conclusion only to execute some nifty side-stepping and prove you wrong. As for the narration, Mark Billingham is exceptional - even better than some of the radio actors that narrate Audible's books. He gave distinct and believable voice to every character. An astounding achievement.

Before the Poison cover art

Peter Robinson at his very best.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-09-11

As a long-standing fan of DI Alan Banks, I was not sure I'd take easily to his absence from a Peter Robinson novel, but ‘Before the Poison’ has convinced me that Mr. Robinson does not need the established figure of DI Banks to prove his worth as a writer of gripping fiction. I was intrigued from the outset; Robinson uses the familiar setting of a brooding, wintry Yorkshire - a landscape which he has always painted extremely vividly - and has peopled it with believable, often likeable, characters. Earlier on in the book we are treated to some wonderfully spine-tingling moments, brought about by Chris Lowe's ‘visions’ when he is alone in the house, but we are never thrust into the realms of pure fantasy. Chris is sensitive, but we are never led to believe he is ‘flaky’ or impressionable.
Grace Fox's narrative is, for me, the most engrossing element of the book, developing her character whilst making no direct reference to the crime for which she was hanged. I also found it surprising as I had never before heard Robinson speak so convincingly with a woman’s voice.
Simon Slater does an admirable job of portraying a range of characters: male, female, transatlantic and Yorkshire born-and-bred but his young, mellifluous voice made it difficult for me to visualise a 60-year-old man. For some reason I kept imagining a character resembling Rupert Penry-Jones. An older voice would have made it easier to put a face to Chris Lowe’s character.
This aside, I was completely absorbed in the story. I loved the many layers of the developing plot, the red herrings – oh yes, I was totally convinced I’d ‘got it’ on at least two occasions! – the drawing together of all the threads and now, 24 hours after listening to the closing sentences, I can still feel the reverberations of Grace’s traumatic war-time experiences and the late-night stirrings in the rooms of Kilnsgate House. Peter Robinson has excelled himself with this one. Absolutely brilliant.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

Death at the President's Lodging cover art

A good old-fashioned, intelligent Whodunnit.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-11

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. A murder in academia is always intriguing and it doesn't get better than this. The story has all the right ingredients: a murder committed in a room from which no-one has left or entered; a bizarre set of objects scattered around the body; a list of suspects all with opportunity and motive...all good stuff. And couched in the most beautiful language, narrated excellently by Stephen Hogan. The erudition of the author and his wonderful gift for prose writing make this an even richer experience for the listener. Eleven out of ten.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Dark Matter cover art

Dark. And very cold. Brilliant.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-11

Oh boy, I listened to this while London was experiencing the Big Chill and it totally spooked me. There were times when I found it so menacing I had to switch off . The atmosphere is very convincing thanks to Jeremy Northam's superb narration. Each scene was very clear to me visually and this made the 'menace' of the story even more threatening. But there's compassion here too, the main character is genuinely likeable and you feel - and fear - for him in his solitude. I absolutely loved it.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

The Complaints cover art

No complaints about this one.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-11

Ian Rankin is master of his craft and I have never been disappointed with any of his novels. I love his humour, his observation of character and his love of Edinburgh which never fails to trickle through his books. He doesn't just describe the streets or a route through them, he imparts them with character that can only come from a genuine affection for his city. The Complaints has all the Rankin ingredients, except this time the maverick gets himself a buddy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

The Unexpected Guest (Dramatised) cover art

Typical Christie!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-11

I heard this in black and white, it had that sort of sound. The only fly in the ointment was the whiny voice of the child, but I suppose that's how they were portrayed when this was dramatised. As I did, you will no doubt have the culprit pinpointed way before the end but that does not detract from the neatness of this pure Christie plot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Anatomy of Ghosts cover art

Atmospheric and fascinating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-11

I became lost in another world whilst I was listening to this. I thoroughly enjoyed the landscape of the story with its Rembrandt-esque colours and richly drawn characters. It is dark, but not without humour, and John Telfer's excellent narration does justice to this gripping story. It is slow-paced, leisurely almost, in keeping with the period; you can almost hear the clop of hooves on wet cobblestones. More than a ghost story it is a peek at the lives of those cloistered in a place of learning in the late 18th century, their superstitions, ambitions and machinations. Absorbing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful