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Val Pope

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  • Bleak House

  • The Dickens Collection: An Audible Exclusive Series
  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Miriam Margolyes
  • Length: 43 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 257
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240

This Audible Exclusive performance features a unique introduction written and narrated by Miriam Margolyes. Recognised as one of Dickens' most accomplished titles, Bleak House has impressed critics and audiences alike since it was first published in 1852. The novel boasts one of the most intelligent and engaging plots in all of English literature and is sure to engage the listener's imagination as it transports us back in time to the seedy, grimy and hazardous streets of Victorian London.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • genius

  • By uk person on 13-05-18

Miriam Margolyes is a genius!

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

Reviewed: 21-09-18

Oh, my word, what a brilliant reading of this Dickens classic by a consummately skilled performer. Every single voice sounds totally convincing and someone who can make the odiously twee Esther appealing deserves a medal as big as a frying pan. Even that basket of keys jingling away every time Esther sets foot in Bleak House (possibly the most irritating part of the novel) is rendered tolerable by a very slight tongue-in-cheek hint that the narrator finds Esther as irritating as I do. Top marks for that!
Lady Deadlock is superb, Guppy is idiotic , Tulkinghorn is terrifying, little Flite is tragically pathetic - every single character is credible and every character is given a voice that matches what's in the reader's imagination when reading the book in cold print. This is a serious tour de force by a brilliantly talented actor, The audio is worth every penny of the purchase price and I'll listen to it again and again. Thank you Ms Margolyes and thank you Audible for a brilliant Dickensian treat.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Blind Defence

  • By: John Fairfax
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 156

She was found hanging in a dingy London bedsit with a blood orange in her mouth. Diane Heybridge, a young woman without a past or much of a future, has captured in death the compassion denied her in life. For the prosecution, this seeming suicide is nothing more than a bungled killing, and a disgusted public looks to Court 2 of the Old Bailey for justice. Her callous, jilted partner, Brent Stainsby, stands accused of her murder, and he's turned to the maverick legal team William Benson and Tess de Vere to defend him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm One of Benson's Advocates!

  • By Simon on 05-04-18

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 24-04-18

Second time out for Benson the ex-con turned barrister and what an excellent sequel to John Fairfax’s debut novel.
Tightly plotted; elegantly written and a cast of characters who are totally credible. Daniel Weyman’s narration is wonderful and my only regret is that we have to wait for Benson’s next case.
A superb new series. Read both of them, then read them again. And again. This author is up there with the crime-writing greats.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Summary Justice

  • By: John Fairfax
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 361
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 362

The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson, she was a law student on work experience. He was a 21-year-old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He'd said he was innocent. She'd believed him. Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger's in Spitalfields.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book for a very long time. And I'm 67.

  • By Grumpy Scot on 12-03-17

Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 29-08-17

An absorbing story, obviously written by an insider and all the better for that. I loved the characters, was intrigued by the plot, genuinely cared about the outcome and relished the writing style.
The narrator was excellent, too.
Please write the next instalment soon!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • David Copperfield [Audible]

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 36 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 593
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 563
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 556

Between his work on the 2014 Audible Audiobook of the Year, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel, and his performance of Classic Love Poems, narrator Richard Armitage ( The Hobbit, Hannibal) has quickly become a listener favorite. Now, in this defining performance of Charles Dickens' classic David Copperfield, Armitage lends his unique voice and interpretation, truly inhabiting each character and bringing real energy to the life of one of Dickens' most famous characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brought me back to Dickens

  • By JD on 21-02-16

Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 31-03-16

This is probably the best known of Dickens' novels and this unabridged reading is absolutely first class. T he narrator manages to bring very well-known characters to new life. The accents are varied: the basic narration ( David's voice) is convincing both as a young boy and mature man. It's just a wonderful listen. The most difficult thing with Dickens is bringing out the humour, the Micawbers and the redoubtable Miss Mowcher made me laugh out loud. Imagine Lily Savage and Lenny Henry! The sad parts are sad, the funny parts are funny and the dramatic bits are totally convincing. Buy it! You'll listen to it again and again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Busman's Honeymoon

  • Lord Peter Wimsey, Book 13
  • By: Dorothy L Sayers
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

They plan to have a quiet country honeymoon. Then Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride, Harriet Vane, find the previous owner's body in the cellar. Set in a country village seething with secrets and snobbery, this is Dorothy L. Sayers' last full-length detective novel. Variously described as a love story with detective interruptions and a detective story with romantic interruptions, it lives up to both descriptions with style.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story spoiled by narrator

  • By bookworm on 07-12-15

What a disappointment

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

Reviewed: 25-11-15

Would you try another book written by Dorothy L Sayers or narrated by Jane McDowell?

I've read all of D L Sayers' novels. They are superb. This narrator has managed to make them mediocre.

Who was your favorite character and why?

In this particular novel, the characters of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane are as usual outstanding

How did the narrator detract from the book?

A lacklustre narration; monotonous and strangely paced; totally unconvincing 'voices' and utterly lacking any sense of the period. So dull, in fact, that it sent me to sleep within minutes of pressing 'start', every time I tried to listen to it. And what on earth was the narrator thinking when she pronounced Lord Peter's name as Peter 'DETH BREDDON' Wimsey?

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Only if this narrator's voice featured in no way whatsoever.

Any additional comments?

I did hesitate about downloading this version, because I have Ian Carmichael's recordings of Strong Poison and Gaudy Night, the first of the Vane/Wimsey trilogy and the BBC dramatized versions of Busman's Honeymoon and The Nine Tailors and enjoy listening to all of them very much indeed. I saw that reviews of this new narrator on the Audible site were less than enthusiastic,but I decided to take a chance on listening to Busman's Honeymoon in the unabridged non-dramatized format . I really wish I hadn't bothered. The fact that almost all the Sayers Wimsey novels are now narrated by Jane McDowell sadly means I can't look forward to adding these novels to my Audible collection. I'm so disappointed.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Moon over Soho

  • Rivers of London, Book 2
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,187
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,313
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,296

I was my dad's vinyl-wallah: I changed his records while he lounged around, and that's how I know my Argo from my Tempo. And it's why, when Dr Walid called me to the morgue to listen to a corpse, I recognised the tune it was playing. Something violently supernatural had happened to the victim, strong enough to leave its imprint like a wax cylinder recording.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good sequel

  • By P. J. Williams on 05-08-11

Well worth a read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-02-12

Don't worry about the magic stuff. This is a very entertaining listen and a really well crafted story. It's Harry Potter with teeth. And policemen. And jazz. What more could you ask for? A vampire? OK - there's even a vampire, who cooks a mean Eggs Benedict. If you liked Rivers of London, you'll like this one just as much, if not more.

  • Under the Dome

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Raul Esparza
  • Length: 34 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,169
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,170

In Stephen King's mesmerizing new masterpiece - his biggest, most riveting novel since The Stand - a Maine town and its inhabitants are isolated from the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome. Celebrated storyteller Stephen King returns to his roots in this tour de force featuring more than 100 characters - some heroic, some diabolical - and a supernatural element as baffling and chilling as any he's ever conjured.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Typical Stephen King

  • By Robert on 01-01-10

A good listen

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-01-12

I enjoyed this reading very much indeed, although I don't think this is one of King's best novels. The narrator's ability to 'do the voices' made it a very enjoyable experience - better than reading it in print form. Raul Esparza really is good! I know I shouldn't have ended up admiring Andy and 'The Chef' so much (not very nice people at all) but their voices were great!
Anyway - check it out, but if it's apocalyptic stuff you're after, then 'The Stand' wins the theme stakes by a mile. Pity Audible hasn't got that available. If they ever do, then it has to be Esparza to do the narrative. Can't wait!

  • Duma Key

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: John Slattery
  • Length: 21 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 892
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646

A man discovers an incredible talent for painting after a freak accident in which he loses an arm. He moves to a "new life" in Duma Key, off Florida's West Coast - a deserted strip, part beach, part weed-tangled reef, owned by a patroness of the arts whose twin sisters went missing in the 1920s. Here, Freemantle is inspired to paint the amazing sunsets. But soon the paintings become predictive, even dangerous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Duma

  • By Seamus on 15-10-08

Worth a listen

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-11

I enjoyed the print version of this book very much, but the audio version isn't as sinister, I'm afraid. I think it's because King wrote this one in short (VERY short, sometimes) chapters, which work in print but not in audio. That said, it's a good story and has kept me entertained over two very long car journeys.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dune

  • By: Frank Herbert
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
  • Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,615
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,391
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,392

Shortlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.
Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A superb production of a sci fi classic!

  • By Peter on 21-07-07

A Good Try

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-11

This multi-voiced mix of narration and drama doesn't always work, I'm afraid. The story is a classic sci-fi and if you know it then you won't be disappointed by the unabridged version as far as content is concerned. However, it was quite irritating to have the characters' voices interpreted in differnet ways, in a 'cut 'n' paste' audio. On the plus side, the SFX were great.

  • 11.22.63

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Craig Wasson
  • Length: 30 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,296
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,104
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,095

What if you could go back in time and change the course of history?11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless.... King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill who becomes the love of Jake's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Return to top form

  • By John on 14-12-11

Back on Form

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-11

Stephen King's books are almost always 'good reads', but this is the master back on top form. A superbly crafted story that evokes the world of 'ago' (1958 - 1963) quite brilliantly. I remember the Kennedy assassination and wondered how King would manage to deal with the event. He deals with it very neatly indeed! NO spoilers here - you'll have to download it to see exactly how he does it. The narration is brilliant - why doesn't Crag Wasson do all King's stories for Audible?
If you don't download this, you're missing something very special indeed.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful