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Philip

Tonbridge, United Kingdom
  • 52
  • reviews
  • 220
  • helpful votes
  • 53
  • ratings
  • Ma'am Darling

  • 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret
  • By: Craig Brown
  • Narrated by: Eleanor Bron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 131

From our funniest writer, a portrait of our most talked-about royal. She made John Lennon blush and Marlon Brando clam up. She cold-shouldered Princess Diana and humiliated Elizabeth Taylor. Andy Warhol photographed her. Jack Nicholson offered her cocaine. Gore Vidal revered her. John Fowles hoped to keep her as his sex slave. Dudley Moore propositioned her. Francis Bacon heckled her. Peter Sellers was in love with her. For Pablo Picasso, she was the object of sexual fantasy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • La-di-da

  • By Pamela on 06-11-17

superb- and very funny

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

Reviewed: 08-01-18

this would have six stars if I could.

It's a tremendously original and very funny exercise in Royal Biography.

Craig Brown looks at Princess Margaret but (even more) looks at people looking at Princess Margaret

She clearly fascinates him- a woman who's career- in his words- peaked when she was 6 (and 4th in line to the throne) and thereafter she was simply the daughter of a king and the sister of a queen. Brown paints an idiosyncratic portrait of a woman for whom life was always going to be something of an anticlimax.

To an extent we loose a bit on the biography side because it's such a funny book- things too sad (the marriage break-up) or too ordinary (motherhood) are largely passed over- But it is a hilarious listen!

  • A Glass of Blessings

  • By: Barbara Pym
  • Narrated by: Patience Tomlinson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Wilmet Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good looking, and fairly young - but very bored. Her husband Rodney, a handsome army major, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmet would like to think she has changed rather less. Her interest wanders to the nearby Anglo-Catholic church, where at last she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests and Piers Longridge, a man of a different character altogether.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Respectable and subersive

  • By Jackson on 04-04-13

Splendid

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

Reviewed: 20-11-17

At last a narrator worthy of Barbara Pym!


I can't give away the plot- but the genius of 'Glass of Blessings' is the way it quietly crumbles- it feels calm, chilly- almost a little dull and predictable- but then- wham!- the genius of Pym's narration just hits you-

The scene in the grocer's shop over the streaky bacon is achingly moving in a most extraordinary way.

It's a slow burner- you can't judge it til you've finished it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Empire of Things

  • How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First
  • By: Frank Trentmann
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 33 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 87

What we consume has become the defining feature of our lives: our economies live or die by spending, we are treated more as consumers than workers and even public services are presented to us as products in a supermarket. In this monumental study, acclaimed historian Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary history that has shaped our material world, from late Ming China, Renaissance Italy and the British Empire to the present.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reflections on what we own and how it owns us.

  • By Wras on 07-03-16

strangely dull

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

Reviewed: 22-06-17

it's a fascinating subject- but it doesn't work for audio-

I think it's a perfect storm of not very gripping writing and mediocre narration that leads to an uninteresting listen.

Probably best to skim through a print copy.

(I didn't finish)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The English and Their History

  • By: Robert Tombs
  • Narrated by: Stephen Thorne
  • Length: 45 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 479
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 440
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 437

In The English and their History, the first full-length account to appear in one volume for many decades, Robert Tombs gives us the history of the English people and of how the stories they have told about themselves have shaped them, from the prehistoric 'dreamtime' through to the present day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is a masterpiece.

  • By D. D. Paxton on 26-10-16

great- and easy- listening

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

Reviewed: 08-06-17

As someone with Millennial British schooling I knew nothing about the British Empire except that it was very big and ought to give me a feeling of guilt.

This book was absolutely great- informative and interesting.- apparently the Victorians governed India with less civil servants than are currently employed by Ofstead.



0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Macbeth (Unabridged)

  • By: William Shakespeare
  • Narrated by: Anthony Quayle, full cast
  • Length: 2 hrs and 11 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Macbeth is among the most powerful of Shakespeare's tragedies, a dark but fascinating glimpse into the soul of evil. Set in medieval Scotland in an atmosphere of civil unrest and mutual suspicion, Macbeth probes the intellectual, as well as the emotional consequences of unbridled ambition and the cold-blooded murder it engenders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love it

  • By Philip on 31-03-17

Love it

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

Reviewed: 31-03-17

I love this.

I had it on cassette, I bought it on Audible- I'm almost personally affronted that someone has reviewed it with one star.

One star forsooth!

Yes, it's dated- but gloriously so- the lines are 'sung', but sung so well that this could be opera.

The actors throw everything they've got at it- and draw out every last drop of drama,

My spine tingles every time I hear the Lady Macbeth line 'My hands are of your colour- but I shame to wear a heart so white.'

and I literally well up at Mucduff's reaction to news of his family's massacre.

It's rich and full-bodied, a fine example of its type.

  • The Decoration of Houses

  • By: Edith Wharton, Ogden Codman Jr.
  • Narrated by: Grace Conlin
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

One of the classic works on interior decoration, Edith Wharton’s The Decoration of Houses offers a comprehensive look at the history and character of turn-of-the-century interior design. Co-written with architect Ogden Codman, Jr., this invaluable reference provides us with numerous keen and practical axioms for house design, such as (1) The better the house, the less need for curtains, and (2) the height of a well-proportioned doorway should be twice its width.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • great!

  • By Philip on 31-03-17

great!

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

Reviewed: 31-03-17

Weirdly this works as an audio book. At least it worked for me.

It is read with energy and decision- which suits the rather didactic style of the text and its just, well, interesting...

  • The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BCE - 1492

  • By: Simon Schama
  • Narrated by: Andrew Sachs, Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 21 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds. It spans the millennia and the continents - from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined places: to a Jewish kingdom in the mountains of southern Arabia; a Syrian synagogue glowing with radiant wall paintings; the palm groves of the Jewish dead in the Roman catacombs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Part of the history of the Jews.

  • By Teresa Cooper on 15-01-16

The story gets lost in the words

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

Reviewed: 31-03-17

I confess I haven't finished this- though I promise you I've tried.

The style is too prolix and colloquial, it bogs down... it has no trouble 'finding the words' the trouble is it finds too many of them.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Doctor Thorne

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Timothy West
  • Length: 20 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177

Doctor Thorne is the third audiobook in Anthony Trollope's series known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire. Long regarded as one of Trollope's greatest works, it is a complex story of love, greed and illegitimacy. Set in fictional Barsetshire, it concerns the romantic challenges facing Doctor Thorne's penniless niece, Mary, and Frank Gresham, the only son of the impoverished squire of Greshambury. Mary falls in love with Frank but he is constrained by the need to marry well to restore the family fortunes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hooray! Real Trollope

  • By Philadelphus on 16-01-08

excellent

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

Reviewed: 31-03-17

Of course it was a dead cert that this was going to be good, Timothy West reading Trollope always is.

His Louis Scatcherd voice is particularly good- I think he's described as sounding like a cross between a yankee and a stable groom- Timothy West managed to catch this voice and imbue it with all the right arrogance and pathos.

The plot of the novel is perhaps a little over-stretched... one knows where it is going and it gets there in its own good time- but the leisurely journey is well worth taking.

  • The Wings of the Dove

  • By: Henry James
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Beautiful Kate Croy may have been left penniless by her relatives, but her bold, ambitious nature ensures she will not succumb meekly to a life of poverty. If the financial circumstances of Merton Densher, the man she is passionately in love with, are not sufficient to secure her future, perhaps her cunning will.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Good

  • By Philip on 24-03-17

Very Good

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

Reviewed: 24-03-17

I had loved the BBC radio version (see another review), watched the film but -to my shame- only ever toyed with the book itself.

So I thought it would try it on audio.

And I got through it- with ease.

It's great stuff- The narration is fine- not Timothy West reading Trollope- but certainly on the 'good' side of acceptable.

  • The Wings of the Dove (Dramatised)

  • By: Henry James, Linda Marshall Griff (dramatisation)
  • Narrated by: Lyndsey Marshal
  • Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Kate and Merton need money. Milly needs love. How far will they go to get what they want? Kate Croy is in love with Merton Densher; a poor writer. Her rich aunt Maud disapproves. Maud has offered Kate a wealthy existence but if Kate chooses to marry Merton she risks losing it all. When American Heiress Milly Theale steps into her London society, Kate sees a way out. Milly confides in Kate that she believes herself to be gravely ill and Kate begins to see a way for her and Merton to have a future. When Merton returns to London, Kate sets out to bring her lover and her friend together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent dramatisation

  • By vladimira on 16-01-16

Very good.

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

Reviewed: 21-04-14

The Wings of The Dove is a novel that I have never yet managed to read right through- so I'm possibly not qualified to say that this is a very good dramatisation.

I liked the fact that the writing and dialogue found an idiom of it's own that didn't strive after naturalism and seemed to capture the indirect density of the original. It did have its less happy passages- the dialogue between Milly and Lord Mark, her thoughts and the internal 'electric bell' of her caution did not come together particularly well.

The acting too is superb.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful