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Dinah

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An Insight in to The Mind of Boris Johnson

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

Reviewed: 25-10-14

Would you listen to The Churchill Factor again? Why?

Yes, I would listen to The Churchill Factor again and plan to do so.

What other book might you compare The Churchill Factor to, and why?

I cannot compare this book with any other, as it is rather unique.
It is not an in depth academic biography of Churchill, in the style of Roy Jenkins or Martin Gilbert.
Instead, it is a mixture of social history, an insight in to the mind of its author, Boris Johnson and an attempt, by references to modern popular culture, to remind us of the importance of Winston Churchill and his continuing relevance to society today.

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

Simon Shepherd is an excellent narrator and does a good job in bringing in some Boris-style tone.

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

I did listen to this at one sitting and intend to do so again.

Any additional comments?

It would have been wonderful to hear Boris Johnson narrate his own book. Perhaps, next time.
For people who want more insight in to the intelligence and intellect of Boris Johnson, this is a good route.
I think this biography will be very popular and much appreciated, not just for its insight in to Winston Churchill, but also for its insight in to the author.

12 people found this helpful

Rebecca: Never Be a 'First Wife'

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

Reviewed: 25-10-14

What made the experience of listening to Rebecca the most enjoyable?

Most of us will have seen the Hitchcock film and many will have read the book in childhood. It is not until I listened to this narration that I realised what a truly wonderful and classic book this is.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The character of Mrs Danvers is truly brilliant; so mysterious and threatening.

What about Anna Massey’s performance did you like?

It is a fact that actors can make the best narrators. Anna Massey is one of the best narrators and was well-chosen to read this classic.

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

The listener will emotionally connect with the 'new' Mrs deWinter and feel her distress and bewilderment.

Any additional comments?

This is such an excellent audio book; so good that it's worth many repeat listens.

Clive James on Top Form. What More Could We Ask?

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

Reviewed: 25-10-14

What made the experience of listening to North Face of Soho the most enjoyable?

Clive James is such a brilliant and funny writer and an iconic and distinctive narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of North Face of Soho?

I loved the stories of Clive James growing up with his mother and his memories of his childhood in Australia.

Which character – as performed by Clive James – was your favourite?

His observations on the 'famous,' particularly celebrities and movie stars are brilliant. His story about meeting and interviewing Burt Lancaster on set with Michael Winner was wonderful.

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

Those of us who grew up with TV from the 1970's, 80's & 90's just love to listen to Clive James. This book will cause laughter and some sorrow, and then laughter again.

Any additional comments?

Thank you so much for giving us this as an audio book.

4 people found this helpful

Gone, or Not Gone, Girl

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

Reviewed: 25-10-14

If you could sum up Gone Girl in three words, what would they be?

Thriller, Drama, Mystery

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favourite character is undoubtedly, Nick, the lead male, 'non-hero.' He is such a complex, real and multifaceted character. You begin by disliking him and finish by feeling rather sorry for him and actually, hoping he gets his revenge.

Have you listened to any of Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to these narrators before, but I though that they did an excellent job.

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

I listened to 'Gone Girl' all in one sitting, and then, again.

Any additional comments?

Thank you, Audible for giving us this excellent book, and in advance of the movie. Once I've seen the film, I'll go back and listen to this audio book again.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North: a Life

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

Reviewed: 25-10-14

What did you like most about The Narrow Road to the Deep North?

This is not an easy story, but it is very absorbing and moving. The listener experiences a life's journey through the sufferings of WWII as a Japanese POW and the dissatisfactions of the return to 'normal life.'

What did you like best about this story?

The emotional involvement and the engaging story was the best part of the story.

Did Richard Flanagan do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Some effort needs to be given to differentiate between each of the characters, particularly at the beginning. One criticism I have is that the names of the characters are rather unrealistic and become a little annoying.

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

I did listen to this all in one sitting and this was how I would advise you to listen to it.

Any additional comments?

The author is an excellent writer, but a poor narrator. The monotone of the reading, in a thick Tasmanian accent, is soporific and does not help the listener. For such a, now, prize-winning novel, I would advise Audible to re-record this with a more engaging narrator.

6 people found this helpful

Dorian Gray's Story Beautifully Narrated

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

Reviewed: 27-03-14

Where does The Picture of Dorian Gray rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Picture of Dorian Gray has always been one of my favourite novels; this is a favourite audiobook because of the wonderful narration.

What did you like best about this story?

In this audio version of the story, I enjoyed the emotion of the reading, by a very good actor. The dramatic ending really benefits from this.

Which character – as performed by Greg Wise – was your favourite?

Greg Wise really becomes Dorian Gray.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The drama of the ending really moved me as did its sadness.

Any additional comments?

This is an example of what Audible does best; that is to take a classic and bring it to life with an excellent narrator.

3 people found this helpful

This Book Will Get 'Under Your Skin'

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

Reviewed: 27-03-14

Where does Under the Skin rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

'Under the Skin' is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. All the way through, it held my attention. I wanted to know what would happen next and so had to listen to it at one sitting.

What did you like best about this story?

Although this is a combination of a science fiction and horror story, it is a very personally involving story which unravels as a mystery/thriller.

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

The narrative by Gerri Halligan is very sympathetic; the use of accent and intonation of the character makes the story even more engaging.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved by the 'humanising' of the main character as she begins to identify with people and with her environment.

Any additional comments?

I am so pleased to have listened to this excellent audiobook with its engrossing story. I am very much looking forward to the film of this story. Having listened to the audiobook will make me appreciate the film even more.

2 people found this helpful

Cruelty in Washington Square, as Taught by Masters

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

Reviewed: 21-02-14

Where does Washington Square rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would rank this highly among the audiobooks I have listened to. My only criticism is that I think the narration was a little slow and would have been better done by a female actress.

What did you like best about this story?

I read Washington Square in my ‘teens and have been a fan of Henry James ever since. It is hard to believe that this is a 19th century novel (1881) as it is so intense. It translates very well as an audiobook.

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

I have not listened to any of William Hope's other narrations.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The reading of Dr Sloper's will is very moving. After his death, he leaves the bulk of his fortune to medical charities, leaving his daughter with the house in Washington Square and a small annuity from her mother.

Any additional comments?

One of the first films I can remember watching on television was the 1949 film ‘The Heiress’ directed by William Wyler, with an Oscar-winning performance by Olivia deHavilland as Catherine Sloper and with Montgomery Clift as Townsend. I found it very moving, particularly the last line of the film, when her aunt asks her how she can be so cruel, Catherine responds, "I have been taught by masters." This was a script addition to the book.

Jordan Belfort and his 'Plausible Deniability'

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

Reviewed: 21-02-14

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

I would highly recommend this audiobook, particularly as the film, 'The Wolf of Wall Street' glamourises Jordan Belfort's story. The autobiography is worth listening to for the following reasons: it is brutally honest and yet funny; it is an education in greed, yes, but also in just how financial manipulation and greed was practised; it is a compelling true story, wonderfully told.

What other book might you compare The Wolf of Wall Street to, and why?

The story reminds me of the story in the film 'Goodfellas' which was based on the book by Henry Hill called ‘Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family’. This was also a story about financial ascent, descent and financial (and other forms of) corruption.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I enjoyed the scene in which Jordan Belfort comes to London to meet his British elderly aunt, who calls him 'love' and who agrees to become involved in one of his financial scams. This part of the story is wonderfully told.

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

You cannot top the title of the film as 'The Wolf of Wall Street' but I would tag it with Jordan Belfort's favourite phrase, 'Plausible Deniability'.

Any additional comments?

Eric Meyers is to be congratulated for his wonderful narration. I really hope that Audible record Belfort's second book, 'Chasing The Wolf of Wallstreet' and that Eric Meyers is chosen to narrate this.

9 people found this helpful

The Rise and Fall of Jay (Gatz) Gatsby

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

Reviewed: 21-02-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Great Gatsby to be better than the print version?

I would say that the reading of this great classic is as good as it gets.

What other book might you compare The Great Gatsby to, and why?

As a morality tale of its time and culture, I would compare The Great Gatsby to a Thomas Hardy novel, perhaps to Tess of the D'Urbervilles (with Gatsby as Tess). Both characters, despite their sins, are the most honourable of a dishonourable cast of characters.

Which character – as performed by Jake Gyllenhaal – was your favourite?

Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby.

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

I did listen to this all in one sitting, during Sunday. I listened to it again the following week.

Any additional comments?

The actor's ability to narrate this classic so movingly reminded me of how tragic the story is. One of the most poignant moments, read wonderfully, is when at the end as no-one but Nick shows up to Gatsby’s funeral, a man arrives who who turns out to be Gatsby's father. Henry C. Gatz tells Nick proudly about Jay’s childhood of ‘self improvement’ by showing him his son's copy of the novel, 'Hopalong Cassidy'.