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Sparkly Sal

Bedfordshire, UK
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 43
  • ratings
  • Wuthering Heights

  • By: Emily Bronte
  • Narrated by: Janet McTeer, David Timson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207

When Mr. Earnshaw brings a black-haired foundling child into his home on the Yorkshire moors, he little imagines the dramatic events which will follow. The passionate relationship between Cathy Earnshaw and the foundling, Heathcliff, is a story of love, hate, pity, and retribution, the effects of which reverberate throughout the succeeding generations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A near perfect Reading.

  • By Colin on 28-04-09

Dark and violent tale

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

I found this novel quite disturbing, having assumed it to be a romantic story, and was shocked by its violence. I recommend it to anyone who seeks acquaintance with the finest English authors and I’m glad that I finally made its acquaintance, some 40 years after my schoolmates!

  • Our Mutual Friend

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: David Timson
  • Length: 36 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 201
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203

A mysterious boatman on the Thames, a drowned heir, a dustman and his wife, and a host of other Dickens characters populate this novel of relationships between the classes, money, greed, and love. The 58 characters are presented with remarkable clarity by David Timson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent reading

  • By Lisa on 13-06-08

Dickens’ last, and very enjoyable, novel

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

Reviewed: 28-01-18

David Timson does a wonderful job of interpreting a vast array of quirky and interesting characters in this long novel with its many themes and sub-plots.

I particularly enjoy Dickens novels which feature London and the quarters and streets that still exist today.

This novel does as much as his previous works to highlight the social inequality between the rich and poor, with the nouveau riche class coming under the microscope, and to depict the range of human qualities on the spectrum of honour, morality, greed, corruption and villainy.

Yet it did not tug at the reader’s heartstrings as much as some of Dickens’ other novels, which I found a refreshing change, providing instead, almost as if he knew it would be his last novel, a number of happy endings.

  • The Old Curiosity Shop

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Anton Lesser
  • Length: 22 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198

Provoking an unprecedented outpouring of public grief when it was first published, it follows the story of Little Nell and her feckless grandfather. Forced to leave their magical shop of curiosities in London, they are pursued across the English countryside by the grotesquely evil dwarf Quilp. They escape - but at what cost?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good old Charlie!

  • By Moominmamma on 17-08-13

Anton Lesser steals the show

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

Reviewed: 19-07-17

Ok, it's a solo performance but Anton Lesser delivered a narrative tour de force in this audiobook. If they have Oscars for this genre, he truly deserves one.

  • The Advantage

  • Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business
  • By: Patrick Lencioni
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lencioni
  • Length: 5 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

This is the promise of The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni’s bold manifesto about the most unexploited opportunity in modern business. In his immensely readable and accessible style, Lencioni makes the case that there is no better way to achieve profound improvement in an organization than by attacking the root causes of dysfunction, politics, and confusion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book

  • By Christopher on 26-04-15

A playbook for executives

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

Reviewed: 11-05-17

This is a simple and straightforward book on how to lead a company to its most effectively functioning state.

In a similar way to Stephen Covey's 7 Habits guide to being successful as a person, The Advantage points out in a direct but unpatronising way exactly what the most important things are when it comes to shaping up an organisation and improving its 'health'.

Signs of unhealthy organisations can be seen everywhere - on the TV and in newspapers as well as in committees and meeting rooms and by the water cooler. Too much email, bureaucracy and poor meetings that sap engagement and inconsistent, unprincipled leadership that sets a poor example and fails to inspire anyone to give their best performance.

If you run an organisation - large or small - I recommend this book to you.

  • Private Berlin

  • By: James Patterson, Mark Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos, January Lavoy
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

Mattie Engel is one of the rising stars at Private Berlin, and believes she’s seen the worst of people in her previous life with the Berlin police force. That is until Chris, her colleague - and until recently, her fiancé - is found dead, brutally murdered in an old slaughterhouse outside the city. The slaughterhouse is filled with bodies. But just as Private begin their investigations, the building explodes, wiping out all evidence of the crimes, and nearly killing Mattie and her team.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good series

  • By Mrs. Victoria James on 04-03-15

More Berlin than Private

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

Reviewed: 18-03-17

I enjoyed this fairly gory tale, which focused very much on Berlin, City of Scars, and didn't really add anything to the ongoing story of Private. (Unlike Private Vegas, which hardly mentions the City of Sin at all.)

However, despite the authors' dedication to extensive research into life in pre- and post-reunification Berlin, this audiobook's attention to detail stopped short of teaching the narrators how to pronounce German names correctly. This omission, given that the narrators portrayed two native Berliners, did not detract from the drama but did spoil the illusion on occasions.

  • Private: No.1 Suspect

  • By: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
  • Narrated by: Scott Shepherd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

Since former US Marine Jack Morgan started Private, it has become the world's most effective investigation firm - sought out by the famous and the powerful to discreetly handle their most intimate problems. Private's investigators are the smartest, the fastest, and the most technologically advanced in the world - and they always uncover the truth. When his former lover is found murdered in Jack's bed, he is instantly the number one suspect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • NO.1

  • By Dorota on 09-10-16

No 1 Suspect is book No 4?

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

Reviewed: 19-02-17

I enjoyed this book, as I have enjoyed all the Private series, but I think the resolution to the main crime in this novel was rushed and could have been developed more thoroughly earlier in the narrative. Whilst the Private crime investigation series books all stand alone and each one is a good story, I prefer to listen to them in series order so that there is a logic to the background drama of relationships between the characters. The series order as it appears on Audible does not match the date of publication and this may cause the listener to question some elements of the background stories if the books are heard in the Audible sequence.

My understanding is that this book is number four in the series, coming straight after Private Games, which in turn follows Private London.

  • Private Games

  • By: James Patterson, Mark Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Paul Panting
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

July 2012: The Games have arrived in London. Preparations have gone flawlessly and the stage is set for one of the greatest ever showcases of sporting excellence. But one man has a devastating plan. Having waited years for this chance, he is now ready for vengeance. When Sir Denton Marshall, a key member of the London Olympic organising committee, is found decapitated in his garden, Peter Knight, head of Private London, is called to the scene.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent book. Great to listen to.

  • By Andrew on 11-12-17

Not the 2012 I remember but a good yarn

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

Reviewed: 15-02-17

A good follow-up to Private London. I enjoyed the twin narration of hero and villain and thought the authors captured the Olympic setting very well.

My only (small) criticism is that the authors were not always true to real life in Britain when describing actions taking place in the UK and whilst such occurrences do not spoil the story, they did momentarily distract this British reader's attention away from the tale.

  • Northanger Abbey

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Mary Sarah Agliotta
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37

In Northanger Abbey, a young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart. Austen's first, this is considered by many to be among her most charming novels.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Northanger Abbey

  • By Christine on 13-04-13

Rapid run through

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

Reviewed: 31-01-17

Northanger Abbey is an important work for scholars of English literature and is one of the shortest of Jane Austen's novels. This version rendered the book shorter still as it is narrated at a rapid pace. There are mistakes in pronunciation too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Persuasion

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Mary Sarah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 201
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179

A moving love story displaying all of Austen's signature wit and ironic narrative style. Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel. She began it soon after she had finished Emma, completing it in August 1816.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Why not use an English voice artist?

  • By SecretShopper on 31-03-16

Lesser-read Jane Austen novel well worth a listen

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

Reviewed: 12-01-17

It took me a while to get used to the narrator's Irish accent - perhaps incongruous to the telling of a quintessentially English novel - but she really brought the story to life.

The style of 19th century literature can make even the most wonderful stories difficult to read in their original version, requiring persistence and determination. I strongly recommend audiobooks for making the literary classics of old accessible to impatient readers.

I had had the book by my bedside for several months but found it hard to penetrate before purchasing the audio book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Private Vegas

  • By: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 63

Showgirls. Millionaires. Murder. Jack Morgan, head of Private Investigations, the global PI agency of the rich and famous, is being pushed to the limit. His car has been firebombed, his ex is dating someone else, and his twin brother is still out to destroy him. But Private doesn’t rest, and nor do its clients: not the LAPD who need Private’s help catching two scumbags with diplomatic immunity, and not the client who has just confessed to murdering his wife.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Private open for business

  • By Perranmaid on 07-01-15

Light on the Vegas

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

Reviewed: 21-11-16

This is my second Private audiobook. One thing I really enjoyed about Private Paris was that the story and action took place almost exclusively in Paris, which helped to build the perfect atmosphere to support the story.

I liked Private Vegas but I would have liked more references to the City of Sin and the Beverley Hills storyline could easily have been situated there.

Patterson and Private fans will enjoy this book and I am going to listen to the other books in their serial order. I think the narrator does a great job.