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Sigrin

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  • 228
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  • The Secret Barrister

  • By: The Secret Barrister
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,247
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,052
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,035

Welcome to the world of the Secret Barrister. These are the stories of life inside the courtroom. They are sometimes funny, often moving and ultimately life-changing. How can you defend a child abuser you suspect to be guilty? What do you say to someone sentenced to ten years whom you believe to be innocent? What is the law, and why do we need it? And why do they wear those stupid wigs?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A superb dissection of the English legal system

  • By Kirstine on 06-06-18

Behind the scenes

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

Reviewed: 13-04-19


Whilst I did enjoy this book, I just felt it was an excuse to moan about the hard done by persons working within the realms of the law.

I think most people don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for their hard work. So it was good to hear the nuts and bolts of their profession.

The miscarriages of justice and the down right outrageous verdicts, prosecutions and defence cases are here and laid bare.

The secret barrister covered the history of the profession from previous century’s with various interesting cases.

Frightening telling the tales of those person who are in the wrong place at the wrong time and are innocents, but get mistakenly identified as the perpetrator then spend so much time, money, as well as mental and physical energy trying to clear themselves. Which is something that has always worried me , and there is no redress on this which is outrageous.

The narrator was ok, but jumped about from normal speech to plummy with long drawn out vowels, which was a little annoying.

I would recommend this book, but not as highly as other reviewers.

  • Transcription

  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,033
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 949
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 948

In 1940, 18-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathisers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past for ever. Ten years later, now a producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Full Marks Kate

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-09-18

Splendid

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

Reviewed: 07-04-19

I love the way Kate Atkinson writes, her prose, composition and construction of language is effortless delivered. The story envelopes me and is so vivid in my minds eye. I feel like the bird frolicking in a birdbath of words.

The story is set in the 40s is exquisitely narrated by Fenella Woolger, whose voice is perfect for Juliette. Ms Woolgers accents and
fluid change from male to female voices is faultless.

Highly recommend this, as well as Life after life and A god in ruins.

  • Strangeways

  • A Prison Officer's Story
  • By: Neil Samworth
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,008
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 920
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 919

A jaw-dropping account of life as a prison officer in one of the country's most notorious jails. Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth spent 11 years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, aka Strangeways. A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, Sam had to deal with it all - gangsters and gangbangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out. Strangeways is a shocking and at times darkly funny account of life in a high-security prison. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Honest and Brutal Truth. Loved It...

  • By M J North on 01-11-18

No holds barred prison officers job

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

Reviewed: 28-03-19


This was a great insight to a job I know I could not do.

It takes a certain type of person to this job. It seems as though you need to combine both ends of the spectrum from being hard as nails to full empathetic It seems PO Samworth has a good amount of these qualities.

I like his as other reviewers said brutally honest account of what’s it like to work at Strangeways, watts and all.

What he adds to this book is some solutions to the problems he has seen first hand.
unfortunately there are too many do gooders and to many chiefs and not enough Indians to make the changes that is staring at them right between the eyes.

The other problem is that people are so scared of being racist, sexist, etc etc.... that nothing can change and in the meantime the issues surrounding prisons gets worse.

Lastly, loved Johnathon Keebler’s narration perfect Yorkshire lilt for PO Samworth and other accents equally as good.

  • Breakfast Is a Dangerous Meal

  • By: Terence Kealey
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but only if we skip it. Fasting is a wonderfully healthy state. When we fast our insulin levels fall, as do our blood sugar, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Most usefully, when we fast we lose weight. But what do too many of us do on waking? We break that lovely gift of fasting - we literally breakfast - and we eat, so courting type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, strokes, hypertension, dementia and cancers of the liver, breast, pancreas and uterus.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Invaluable

  • By A. McArthur on 10-11-17

An essential read.

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

Reviewed: 26-03-19


I have wanted to listen to this book for some time and was not disappointed.

I have read as listened to a lot a nutrition books in the last year and have changed my diet significantly in the last year, by adopting the 16/8 irestricted eating which was advocated in this book. It involves eating for eight hours a day and fasting for sixteen. I start eating at midday and stop at 8pm, during this time I eat a normal diet for me or basically what I ate before.

IThe fasting has made me feel better, and as a bonus I lost weight around my middle and thighs, I had not expected this ( I was not overweight before) but I know losing fat around these areas is good for my health.

What I have noticed in recent years is that eating my breakfast at 7am, I would get the munchies by 9am and would then snack till lunch which I was not happy about, but found it hard to stop. This book gave me the explaination of why this was happening.

I used to be the biggest advocator of breakfast being the most important meal of the day, but after reading/ listening to this and other books I realised it is not and I have not missed it

The breakfast cereal market globally is worth 48 billion, and most of the research on breakfast is sponsored by the big cereal giants.

This book explains really well all the biochemistry of the body, and what glucose and insulin does when it is left to be rampant in the body. Whether your pre diabetiic, diabetic or like me just interested in your health, its summary of the research is fascinating.

There were a few times I had to rewind to fully understand the biochemistry but as I say it states it’s findings clearly and concisely.

In this era of obesity and rising diabetes type 2 as well as diabetes type 3 (Alzheimer’s) we have to make changes for our future.
Our health service and our bodies will be crippled by this global problem, that we have the power to change.

I do predict that in the next ten years we will look at sugar like tobacco, and governments will have to act to ban or substantially reduce it in our foods. Unfortunately many people now do not have ten years to waste.

Make the changes now, if you have X amount of years left surely you will want to live them in the best of health.

Apologies if I have ranted here from my soap box but I feel very passionately about this......

Enjoy the book and learn.something to change your life.

  • Himself

  • By: Jess Kidd
  • Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 297
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland's west coast, he brings only his handsome face, a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the village's lies. Mahony also somehow wakes the dead from their graves, with their foggy memories and hidden stories floating greyly amongst the unseeing living. No one, though - living or dead - will be able to guess what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant narration of a great story.

  • By Anonymous User on 17-01-17

Just could not get into this

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

Reviewed: 24-03-19


I am sure this is a great book and it has good reviews, however I just could not see it myself.

The narrator Aidan Kelly was amazing and toook me so much further into the book, but even his lovely voice did not open this book up to me.

  • The Ice Cream Girls

  • By: Dorothy Koomson
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh, Julie Maisey, Sean Barrett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 215
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 216

As teenagers, Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the only witnesses to a tragic event. Amid heated public debate, the two seemingly glamorous teens were dubbed 'The Ice Cream Girls' by the press and were dealt with by the courts.Years later, having led very different lives, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while Serena wants no one in her present to find out about her past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Cracking Dorothy Koomson Listen

  • By Liz on 18-06-13

Do not judge a book by its cover or title

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

Reviewed: 20-03-19


This book was an excellent listen, it dealt empathetically and realistically with the storyline of abuse and why women stay in an abusives realationship and feel powerless to change their destiny.
Also a wake up call to make sure you always keep the lines of communication open with your children.

Unfortunately the cover and title made it look like light chic lit, which is a shame as it is so much more.

It had a good gentle twist at the end that made me a wee bit cross, but also put a smile on my face as it was the correct ending.

Think I might look out for another Koomson book, lets just hope she has found a better illustrator and editor, for the cover.

Finally great narration by one of my favourite narrators Adjoa Andoh.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Chapter 7 (The Last Days of August)

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 39 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93

"A certain level of concern." Mysteries are solved.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful

  • By P. Stewart on 21-01-19

Gossip, bitchyness etc

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

Reviewed: 07-03-19

Like a palette cleanser after some heavy books, but this went on and on and the story could have been told in half the time.

A bunch particularly pleasant people who really are nobodies, all so wrapped up in their own self importance.

However still a fragile life lost undoubtedly.

  • Mythos

  • By: Stephen Fry
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,711
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,805
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,758

The Greek myths are amongst the greatest stories ever told, passed down through millennia and inspiring writers and artists as varied as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, James Joyce and Walt Disney. They are embedded deeply in the traditions, tales and cultural DNA of the West. You'll fall in love with Zeus, marvel at the birth of Athena, wince at Cronus and Gaia's revenge on Ouranos, weep with King Midas and hunt with the beautiful and ferocious Artemis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen Fry does it again

  • By L. Turner on 14-11-17

Greek mythology made simple

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

Reviewed: 07-03-19

I barely remember doing Greek Mythology at school, there again it was a while ago.

Then last year I had to help my son with his Greek Mythology homework and it all came back in its odd confusing way with gods, deities,titans, nymph, mortal, immortals etc, with their strange stories which did not seem to be pertinent to the world today.

Now had this book been on the school curriculum when I was a child, it would have had me rushing off to study the classics at Oxford in a flurry

It is told in an easy to grasp way, explaining simply the many things that have transcended over time and that are still so relevant to our everyday lives. It has now left me wanting for more, but there is another book in the series.

This is a literary treasure for young and old alike, written and narrated by our very own national treasure Stephen Fry.
When is he getting his knighthood? He is so richly deserving of it.

  • Courtney's War

  • By: Wilbur Smith, David Churchill
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 389
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 351

Paris, 1939. Torn apart by war, Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are thousands of miles apart, both struggling for their lives. Gerhard - despite his objections to the Nazi regime - is fighting for the Fatherland, hoping to one day have the opportunity to rid Germany of Hitler and his cronies. But as his unit is thrown into the hellish attrition of the Battle of Stalingrad, he knows his chances of survival are dwindling by the day....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • My First Wilbur Smith . . . Not my last!

  • By Simon on 09-09-18

WW2 drama

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

Reviewed: 03-03-19


My first Wilbur Smith, apologies to his fans but I thought his target audience was older men.
That said I read the summary and thought I would give it ago and was greatly surprised, I will return to this author.

I understand that this is part of a series involving the Courtney family over many years. However this book could be read/listened to as a stand alone.

Set in WW2 Europe, it covered the latter years of the war and the female heroine Saffron Courtney and her beau Gerhard von Meerbach The characters were rounded and believable and it seemed well researched. So it delivered an accurate take of love, espionage, courage and hope.

As always well narrated by Sean Barrett.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Alone

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love. Cora Allbright and her husband, Ernt, a recently returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their 13-year-old daughter, Leni, to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding

  • By Anonymous User on 21-08-18

A palpable book

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

Reviewed: 28-02-19


Having read The nightingale by Kristin Hannah’s I knew how this author writes and was looking forward to listening to this.

She has again delivered a marvellous book, that reaches out so you can feel all the emotions of the characters and know them personally.

The setting in Alaska with it’s fabulous descriptions of the terrain flora and fauna and people make you want to get up and discover it yourself. The Alaskan tourist board will be happy.

Lastly Julia Whelan, what an amazing narrator male female and child accents delivered perfectly.

I personally do not like American narrators and I have returned books which I know I would have enjoyed due to that American twang and nasal inflections. However Julia just purred into my ear and told this story faultlessly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful