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Stephen W

Hamburg
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 53
  • helpful votes
  • 61
  • ratings
  • The Distant Echo

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Tom Cotcher
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,633
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,505
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,503

On a freezing morning four drunken students stumble upon the body of a woman in the snow. Rosie has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in a cemetery. The only suspects are the four young men now stained with her blood. Twenty-five years later the police mount a cold-case review of Rosie’s unsolved murder, and the four are still suspects. But when two of them die in suspicious circumstances, it seems that someone is pursuing their own brand of justice....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful novel which is so well narrated

  • By S. Christie on 28-07-16

Somewhat disappointimng

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

Reviewed: 04-04-18

The book in itself was typical Val McDermid stuff, which was great. The key to a good whodunnit is of course, Whodunnit? So that was where this book fell down dramatically. I am not nearly clever enough to work out the plot normally, however, on this occasion the clues laid by Val McDermid were so clumsy and obvious that I knew with a third of the book to go who the killer was. My only hope was that, as happened frequently in the past, I would be proved wrong. Unfortunately I wasn't. Oh well.

  • 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 2,546
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,335
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,328

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

Unpleasant but hypnotising

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

Reviewed: 25-10-17

I must confess that I felt extremely uncomfortable throughout this book. The whole story is repulsive and yet compelling listening. Chapter by chapter one is more revolted by Jack's behaviour and the speculation as to whether or not Grace will survive makes one anxious.

I read a previous reviewer who said simply WOW! And I must concur, no clues as to how the book finishes but it makes one think even after hearing the ending.

Not a pleasant hearing experience but absolutely worthwhile.

  • Out Of Bounds

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,167
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,054
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,053

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to a twisted unsolved murder from 22 years before. Meanwhile, Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn into another mystery that she has no business investigating; a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book - brought to life by the narrator

  • By Sam Jones on 31-08-16

Not Val's best effort

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

Reviewed: 21-09-16

What did you like best about Out Of Bounds? What did you like least?

The story was well structured, all very interesting, I wouldn't say gripping but certainly had my attention. I kept wanting to know how the story would develop, which I suppose is the object of such a book.

What will your next listen be?

I haven't decided yet

What three words best describe Cathleen McCarron’s performance?

I find it extraordinary that a narrator does not know how to pronounce the word risible

Did Out Of Bounds inspire you to do anything?

Nope nothing at all

Any additional comments?

The ending seemed to suggest running out of steam.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ghosts of Altona

  • By: Craig Russell
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 69

Jan Fabel is a haunted man. Head of the Polizei Hamburg's Murder Commission, Fabel has dealt with the dead for nearly two decades, but when a routine enquiry becomes a life-threatening - and life-changing - experience, he finds himself on much closer terms with death than ever before. Two years later Fabel's first case at the Murder Commission comes back to haunt him: Monika Krone's body is found at last, 15 years after she went missing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • missed Sean Barrett

  • By lorried on 13-04-17

Not one his next

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

Reviewed: 02-09-15

The narrator got a fair amount of abuse from listeners, which I cannot understand at all. Of course, one becomes used to a particular voice for certain authors but Peter Noble was very good I felt.

I have to say that the story was a little predictable and somewhat disappointing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Harold Larwood

  • By: Duncan Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

Harold Larwood is an England cricketing legend. During the MCC’s notorious 1932–3 Ashes tour of Australia, his ‘Bodyline’ bowling left Australia’s batsmen bruised and battered, halved the batting average of the great Don Bradman – and gave England a 4–1 series victory. But the diplomatic row that followed brought Anglo-Australian relations to the brink of collapse. Larwood was used as a scapegoat by the MCC, which demanded he apologise for bowling Bodyline.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful book, superbly read.

  • By Anonymous User on 02-06-11

A wonderful man of principle

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

Reviewed: 29-05-15

If you could sum up Harold Larwood in three words, what would they be?

Principled, Stubborn, Right

What other book might you compare Harold Larwood to, and why?

How can one compare a biography?

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

No I haven't but I shall now

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

No, I wanted it to last longer than it did.

Any additional comments?

So much that one could say, but if you are remotely interested in the history of cricket, you simply must read or listen to this book.

  • The Girl on the Train

  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Louise Brealey, India Fisher, Clare Corbett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,058
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,059

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Amazon Customer on 24-10-16

All rather predictable

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

Reviewed: 07-05-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Having read other recommendations, I thought this would be a different take on a murder whodunnit. Actually, there was very little originality and the ending was both obvious and revealed 90 minutes before the end, which lead me to believe that there was going to be a further twist which never arrived

Would you recommend The Girl on the Train to your friends? Why or why not?

No I wouldn't. The reason is clear if you read the previous paragraph

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

There were three or four narrators for the various female characters, frankly I found it more of a distraction than adding anything

Did The Girl on the Train inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me not to read anything else from this author, I am afraid...sorry.

Any additional comments?

None thanks

  • More Fool Me

  • By: Stephen Fry
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,817
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,660
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,650

Following on from his hugely successful books, Moab is My Washpot and The Fry Chronicles, comes the third chapter in Stephen Fry's life. This unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of More Fool Me is performed by Stephen Fry himself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A defense of More Fool Me

  • By Ben on 10-10-14

Oh Dear....what went wrong?

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

Reviewed: 01-10-14

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I was so disappointed with this third part of the autobiography. The first third of the book is simply a repeat of what we already knew. Stephen does repeatedly make light of this and apologise for those that read the previous books but that is no excuse.

If you’ve listened to books by Stephen Fry before, how does this one compare?

The Fry Chronicles was simply wonderful and I enjoyed it immensely, even recommended it to one and all. And then this, chapter after chapter about the drug taking. How, where, what and when he consumed is really of little interest to most, I would think.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Not much unfortunately. I seemed to me that he gave ammunition to all of those who so dislike his attitude and style. I never did....until now.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not that I can think of

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your money and time.

29 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Stirred but Not Shaken: The Autobiography

  • By: Keith Floyd
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

Keith Floyd started out in a hotel kitchen in Bristol. He made and lost fortunes, was married four times, and dealt with a level of fame that bemused him. Now, in this revealing memoir, he reflects upon his colourful career. As irrepressible, funny and charming as the man himself, this is a must-read for anyone who loves life, food, women... and a quick slurp.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The original TV chef

  • By Jonathan on 24-04-10

Exactly what you would expect of Floyd

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

Reviewed: 02-09-14

Where does Stirred but Not Shaken: The Autobiography rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not the greatest book but a wonderful story of a fine bon viveur

What other book might you compare Stirred but Not Shaken: The Autobiography to, and why?

How can one compare an Autobiography? Daft question.

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

His voice is excellent, not a copy of Floyd but certainly similar and complimentary

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

Of course, Floyd's weaknesses were well known but you can laugh at his rudeness and joy in food and life

Any additional comments?

I miss him, he gave my generation great entertainment, laughter and a desire to explore food oneself.

  • Harbour Street

  • By: Ann Cleeves
  • Narrated by: Janine Birkett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 376
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334

As the snow falls thickly, Detective Joe Ashworth and his daughter, Jessie, are swept along in the crowd onto the Metro. But when the train is stopped, Jessie notices that an old lady hasn’t left the train: Margaret Krukowski has been fatally stabbed as she sat on the crowded train. Arriving at the scene, DI Vera Stanhope is relieved to have an excuse to escape the festivities. Soon Vera and Joe are on their way to the south Northumberland town of Mardle, where Margaret lived. Then a second woman is murdered....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My first Vera Book

  • By sally on 08-05-14

Saw it coming and the forgot

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

Reviewed: 20-08-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The story is original, one could sense who might be responsible but then we are steared away and return with a surprise as to whodunnit

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Less mention of the eventual culprit would have made sense

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

Driving in the car would have been hazardous whilst reading this book, or any other. Her narration was excellent.

Was Harbour Street worth the listening time?

Definitely

Any additional comments?

No thanks

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Carnival Master

  • By: Craig Russell
  • Narrated by: Seán Barrett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87

A Cologne detective asks Jan Fabel for his help in tracking down the Carnival Cannibal, a terrifying serial killer who kills at the start of the world-famous annual Carnival. Unknown to anyone, Fabel's deputy, Maria Klee, also heads for Cologne to hunt down a different, even more dangerous killer - one with whom she has a score to settle. Taras Buslenko, a Ukrainian special-forces commander, prepares his undercover unit for a "black" operation into Cologne.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FABULOUS

  • By Tanya on 02-01-11

Original

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

Reviewed: 20-08-14

Would you listen to The Carnival Master again? Why?

No, why would you listen to a book again when you know Whodunnit?

Who was your favorite character and why?

Fabel is a great character, one can totally empathize with him

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The Carnival Kidnapping

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

No

Any additional comments?

Well worth a listen