LISTENER

fletchek

  • 30
  • reviews
  • 53
  • helpful votes
  • 176
  • ratings
  • Three Things About Elsie

  • By: Joanna Cannon
  • Narrated by: Paula Wilcox
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,270

There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first is that she's my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third...might take a little bit more explaining. Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died 60 years ago?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Extraordinary Life

  • By Amazon Customer on 30-01-18

An offbeat delight

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

Reviewed: 31-08-18

A charming, offbeat story set in an elderly community. At least one of the main 'reveals' is pretty obvious from the start, but the writing is fresh enough for this not to spoil the ride. This tale had some crime and some elements of detection in it but no significant police involvement and certainly none of the usual dull police procedural aspects. There is neither foul language nor gruesome details to deter the squeamish, so enjoy the unusual setting and the delicate language. Even if you don't like it, there's plenty to discuss, so I'm going to recommend it to my book club. Enjoy.

  • The Nightingale

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 803
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 744
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 739

Bravery, courage, fear, and love in a time of war. Despite their differences sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband, Antoine, and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight, and Viann finds herself isolated, so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength are tested.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • hreatbreaking and horrifying story

  • By Lynda on 17-10-17

Could have been a good book

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

Reviewed: 25-08-18

Not a bad story, with some believable and some over-simplistic characters. An easy read, which held my interest to the end. But, for a story set in France, there were too many grating uses of US idiom and vocabulary, which rang horribly false (eg 'out the door', 'stretched thin as jerky' and the use of 'daiper' for nappy, 'sidewalk' for pavement and 'dove' for dived). The (US?) reader didn't distinguish the different characters well and, sadly, couldn't pronounce many of the very few french words in the book properly (eg 'Citroen' was pronounced with 3 syllables, 'armoire' and 'aubergine' were pronounced as if by a Speak Your Weight machine). Such a shame as, with a little more nuance in the characters, some careful editing and a decent French speaker, this could have been a great little book. As it was, it just scrapes a 3. I think you would be better off reading this than listening to it.

  • Stone: The Complete Series 1-4

  • By: Danny Brocklehurst
  • Narrated by: Craig Cheetham, Deborah McAndrew, full cast, and others
  • Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

Seventeen stories from the gritty crime series created by Danny Brocklehurst, starring Hugo Speer as Manchester detective John Stone. This collection brings together Series 1 to 4 of this intelligent detective drama, tackling morally ambiguous, complex and challenging subjects. DCI Stone and his team investigate a series of brutal murders and missing person cases, among other grisly crimes. Starring Hugo Speer as DCI John Stone, Craig Cheetham as DI Mike Tanner and Deborah McAndrew as DS Sue Kelly.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Will definitely listen to again.

  • By Mark Renny on 14-06-18

Ho hum

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

Reviewed: 25-08-18

A passable series about a simple and egotistical policeman dealing with a range of crimes. The protagonist was unlikable, and the police work not very realistic. It should have got 2.5 stars, but I am feeling generous. For heaven's sake, don't try listening to it all in one go - it is bearable as a set of single stories but is not good enough to warrant binge listening, when the paucity of character would quickly become evident.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Horse Dancer

  • By: Jojo Moyes
  • Narrated by: Julia Franklin
  • Length: 17 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 574
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 485
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 477

Sarah's grandfather was a horseman of rare talent - only the exceptional are allowed into France's elite riding academy, Le Cadre Noir. But life took an unexpected turn, and now from a council estate in east London, the Captain hopes to train his granddaughter towards a better life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best yet!

  • By lynn on 03-11-09

Hmm...

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

Reviewed: 23-04-18

I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I were not(1) a solicitor and (2) a riding instructor. It just wasn't credible that an advanced dressage horse could be kept stabled 24/7 and only ridden a couple of snatched hours a week without spontaneously combusting. And even at 14, I would have had a better grasp of the practical needs of my horse - Sarah seemed very selfish and thoughtless as a rider, which meant I couldn't buy into her as a heroine. So the stupidity of much of the horsey stuff spoiled a lot of the story and then I couldn't recognise anything from the solicitor side of the story either. Added to this, I didn't find either of the two main female characters sympathetic . So this book was the worst of this author's books for me so far.

  • Monarchy

  • By: David Starkey
  • Narrated by: David Starkey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274

The crown of England is the oldest surviving political institution in Europe. Throughout this audiobook Dr David Starkey emphasises the Crown's endless capacity to adapt to circumstances and reshape national policy, whilst he unmasks the personalities and achievements, the defeats and victories, which lie behind the kings and queens of British history. Each of these monarchs has contributed to the religion, geography, laws, language, and government which we live with today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding content and narration

  • By Tarek on 14-06-17

Great story, annoying narration

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

Reviewed: 08-04-18

Interesting history, spoiled by Mr Starkey frequently putting the emPHAsis on the wrong syllABle, which became a really irritating distraction. Often sounds like a translation. Next time, he should let a professional reader read the history, so we can focus on that.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Behind Closed Doors

  • By: B A Paris
  • Narrated by: Georgia Maguire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,662
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,438
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,432

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? Jack has looks and wealth; Grace has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows. Sometimes the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW !!!!

  • By M F Herbert on 23-04-16

Overblown

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

Reviewed: 12-03-18

I was disappointed by this book, which I bought after reading all the rave reviews. I found the neurotic protagonist wimpy, unimaginative and annoying but, even more seriously, the story lacked credibility. For example, the idea that a few OTC tranquilizers could knock out a large alert adult male was laughable - even prescription tranquilizers take while to be metabolised/effective but none of the medications available in the UK without a prescription would be capable of having this sort of effect. The whole thing was rather silly and unconvincing.

  • Broken Faith

  • By: Toby Clements
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 681
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 620
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 620

Set during England's bloody and brutal War of the Roses, this is the second novel in an epic historical fiction series. If you liked Conn Iggulden's Stormbird, you will love Toby Clements' Kingmaker novels. October 1463. England is a divided nation. In the north the Lancastrian king struggles to hold power while in the south the princes of the house of York prepare for war.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good, if a little harrowing

  • By swheelie on 05-08-16

Another entertaining history lesson

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

Reviewed: 03-06-17

The story of Thomas & Catherine continues to form an engaging focus for the wider history of the war of the roses. The descriptions of life, conflict and political intrigue are vividly brought to life. Yes, of course some of the plot seems a bit contrived but it is, after all, fiction and the descriptions of medical treatments and surgery during the period more than make up for any plot failings. This is by far the easiest way I have found to begin to understand the history of the period. Good narration. Recommended.

  • The Chessmen

  • By: Peter May
  • Narrated by: Peter Forbes
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,238
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,927
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,916

Fin Macleod, now head of security on a privately owned Lewis estate, is charged with investigating a spate of illegal-game hunting taking place on the island. This mission reunites him with Whistler Macaskill - a local poacher, Fin's teenage intimate and possessor of a long-buried secret. But when this reunion takes a violent, sinister turn and Fin puts together the fractured pieces of the past, he realises that revealing the truth could destroy the future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Masterclass in Storytelling

  • By MISS E J BIRD on 19-02-13

Intriguing story

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

The story unfolded in an interesting way and more or less hung together - at least long enough to finish the book. Reasonably well written,and well read.

  • The Killer Next Door

  • By: Alex Marwood
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 854
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 784
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 788

No. 23 has a secret. In this bedsit-riddled south London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, something waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide. Collette and Cher are on the run; Thomas is a reluctant loner; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a 'quiet man' nobody sees try to stay hidden. And watching over them all is Vesta - or so she thinks. In the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the neighbours into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who Do You Trust?!

  • By garry on 07-07-14

Entertaining & well-read

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

The basic story was OK (despite becoming increasingly unbelievable) and the characters engaging, but what ultimately spoiled it was the unlikely ending. Once the mother was dead, the leak of info about Lisa's whereabouts was shut off, so why the need for dismemberment? There would have been other ways to fake Lisa's death using her DNA, without resorting to that. So I went with 90% of the book (which was well read by Imogen Church) but lost patience with it after that.

  • The Lie Tree

  • Costa Book of the Year 2015
  • By: Frances Hardinge
  • Narrated by: Emilia Fox
  • Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 682
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 643
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 638

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2015. The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric story by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of Cuckoo Song and Fly by Night. Faith's father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree grows healthy and bears fruit only if you whisper a lie to it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting concept, let down by patchy execution

  • By fletchek on 06-02-17

Interesting concept, let down by patchy execution

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

The basic concept of a Lie Tree was OK, but the writing was lazy and repetitive (people kept doing things 'reflexively' and, if they were holding on, you can bet it would be 'for grim death') and the sexism of the time was conveyed with all the subtlety of a rhino trying to tap dance. Shame the editor didn't do a better job of pruning back the overkill and sharpening up the writing.

36 of 38 people found this review helpful