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Alison Ward

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  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 51
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  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Book 1

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17,788
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,937
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15,932

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfectly Fryed Potter

  • By Simon on 20-11-15

Potter for adults

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

Reviewed: 01-12-15

Where does Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Book 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a fun relaxing listen - but Stephen Fry is always interesting to follow. It might be a book for children but an adult can get a lot of fun as well from the plot. Humour and intrigue wrapped in a cloak of magic.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Book 1?

The idea of a child in a room under the stage, of a snake sliding out of its cage, and the image of the gentle giant hairy gardener.

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

They are always great and this is up to his normal cultured standard.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

oh no - not a repeat - why make one when it has already been done

Any additional comments?

take the advantage of getting this on audio rather than CD - its much cheaper

  • David Jason: My Life

  • By: David Jason
  • Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 948
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 862
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 873

The long-awaited autobiography of one of Britain’s best-loved actors. Born the son of a Billingsgate market porter at the height of the Second World War, David Jason spent his early life dodging bombs and bullies, both with impish good timing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved this book so much

  • By Caroline on 26-10-13

good story but cheated in presentation

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

Reviewed: 07-05-15

What did you like most about David Jason: My Life?

I love his work, and his apparent straightforward attitude with a spice of cynical humour. However the book is spoilt by it not really being read by him - it cheats with the test implying he will be reading the book - he just does the intro.

Who was your favorite character and why?

its an autobiography - so clearly i took it to find out about him

Which scene did you most enjoy?

to many - just clips of life

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

No because i found it hard listening to the reader - excellent speaker BUT NOT DAVID. So i had to do it in bits and keep reminding myself that this was a real story not a fiction

Any additional comments?

Don't get tricked into thinking you are going to hear him but be ready for a colder presentation.

  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson, Book 1

  • By: Rick Riordan
  • Narrated by: Jesse Bernstein
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,169
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 877

Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God. I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. That's when things started really going wrong. Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends, and generally trying to stay alive. This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I've stolen his lightning bolt - and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Mrs on 25-06-15

Fantasy that an adult can be childlike to trust

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

Reviewed: 09-08-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson, Book 1 to be better than the print version?

never read the book - went straight to audio

What other book might you compare The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson, Book 1 to, and why?

Hercules, Thor, loads of films where man works for Gods

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

not listened to others but this was ok - bit too american for my taste

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Believe that man is as vital as any god

Any additional comments?

Fun listening - but get it as a bargain price to get real enjoyment

  • Life and Laughing

  • My Story
  • By: Michael McIntyre
  • Narrated by: Michael McIntyre
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,336
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,784
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,772

Michael McIntyre has become Britain’s biggest comedy star. His debut stand-up DVD, Live & Laughing, was the fastest selling of all time, only to be eclipsed by his second, Hello Wembley, which sold over 1.4 million copies and was the 2009 Christmas number one. He hosts his own BAFTA nominated BBC1 series, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, and won the British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-up in 2009 following his record breaking 54-date Arena tour.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A perfect performer of a life - I loved it!

  • By David on 30-10-10

Laugh at life

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

Reviewed: 05-01-14

Would you listen to Life and Laughing again? Why?

I have already listened several times - i found it was something i could dip and listen. It is a series of stories and make it a joy

What was one of the most memorable moments of Life and Laughing?

The death of his father, and talking about life with his step father. The presentation is like life with highs and lows - and makes the laughter so much better

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

no - i have caught snippets on TV but never been a particular fan - but his gentle banter, swear-less presentation and apparent love of life makes this a pleasure. Bought it based on other's recommendations

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

I could but did not have the time - it was not the books fault and for me was ideal - its like a special coffee table book - one you keep near just to listen when you have time.

Any additional comments?

Buy it if you are a busy person - its one for the car. Look out for sales and offers. It is also something you could give someone who does not like crude humour which sadly impacts on most performances on comedians at the moment - its just nice to have a balance.

  • I, Claudius (Dramatised)

  • By: Robert Graves
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi, Tom Goodman Hill
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 170

A full-cast dramatisation of Robert Graves' brilliant account of the madness and debauchery of ancient Rome, starring Tom Goodman Hill as Claudius and Derek Jacobi as Augustus. The wickedly entertaining inside story of the lives and deaths of the Imperial dynasty from Augustus to Caligula is told by their obscure relation, Claudius. In public, Claudius is a stammering, drooling weakling, whose reputation as an idiot keeps him safe from office and assassination.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • classic at its classical best

  • By Alison Ward on 15-12-13

classic at its classical best

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

Reviewed: 15-12-13

Where does I, Claudius (Dramatised) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top score - really enjoyed it

What did you like best about this story?

the style, clarity of speech, story line so excellent and the smooth transition between Jacobi and Tom Goodman Hill - remembering the TV drama series i wondered if i would appreciate the change of reader but it worked wonderfully

What does Derek Jacobi and Tom Goodman Hill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Their diction and emotional acting is excellent - they are classical actors who shine in their profession

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

See who helped trip Rome up before its fall

Any additional comments?

Excellent - worth full price but see if you can get it on sale - then your pocket will be as happy as you spirit will be for listening to such an excellent tale.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • 4.50 from Paddington (Dramatised)

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: June Whitfield, Ian Lavender, Joan Sims, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 29 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72

A Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation starring June Whitfield as the deceptively mild Miss Marple with Ian Lavender, Joan Sims and Susannah Harker. Elspeth McGillicuddy is down from Scotland for a holiday and boards the 4:50 train from Paddington station to visit her friend, Miss Marple. During the journey, another train pulls alongside, and through the window Mrs McGillicuddy witnesses a tall, dark man strangling a blonde woman. She reports what she has seen, yet no one takes any notice.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Reasonable

  • By Elizabeh on 06-12-11

Its Marple - whats not to love

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

Reviewed: 10-12-13

What made the experience of listening to 4.50 from Paddington (Dramatised) the most enjoyable?

The clarity of plot, the excellent performances

Who was your favorite character and why?

Miss Marple -

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

June Whitfield is a genius and should be made a dame!!

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

Absolutely - its drama not just a story

Any additional comments?

I got this in one of the sales which made it a greater gem to enjoy. Considering the number of times you can now hear these works being performed on Radio 7 paying full price is a bit over the top.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Noël Coward Collection

  • By: Noël Coward
  • Narrated by: Annette Bening, Joe Mantegna, Eric Stoltz, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

Six phenomenally sophisticated Noël Coward comedies: Fallen Angels, Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Blithe Spirit, Present Laughter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic and refreshing experience

  • By Alison Ward on 10-12-13

Classic and refreshing experience

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

Reviewed: 10-12-13

Would you listen to The Noël Coward Collection (Dramatized) again? Why?

The collection is built of classical stories that build layer upon layer of comic and classic statements. You need to listen again to pick up the gems hidden in the comments

Who was your favorite character and why?

I honestly don't have one - i love Blythe spirit as a plot but the characters are so diverse it i don't have a favourite.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

I could have done without the narrator - i wanted the purity of the play - but they have a role i guess - they certainly were not the best thing about the content.

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

No - this is not a book this is a collection of plays - you can't think of it as a book

Any additional comments?

Shame the american narrator was so heavy in accent for such stereo english material. But you can't restrict Coward to the UK - his genius deserves a world platform.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

A Mind to Murder: Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Series, Book 2 (Unabridged)
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        P. D. James
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Roy Marsden
    
    


    
    Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
    48 ratings
    Overall 3.6
  • A Mind to Murder: Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Series, Book 2 (Unabridged)

  • By: P. D. James
  • Narrated by: Roy Marsden
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

That a man who caught murderers should be a successful poet seemed inappropriate to some people. But Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh of the Criminal Investigation Department was attending his publisher's annual sherry party when a call from Scotland Yard whipped him away to investigate a particularly brutal murder. In the elegant Steen Psychiatric Clinic, which catered strictly for upper-class neuroses, sprawled the body of Enid Bolam, a chisel through her heart.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • sleep inducing

  • By Marion on 16-12-13
  • A Mind to Murder: Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Series, Book 2 (Unabridged)
  • By: P. D. James
  • Narrated by: Roy Marsden

exhausted just listening

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

Reviewed: 10-12-13

Would you consider the audio edition of A Mind to Murder: Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Series, Book 2 (Unabridged) to be better than the print version?

No because i could not keep up with the story

What did you like best about this story?

its brilliant twists and movement of plot

What didn’t you like about Roy Marsden’s performance?

He races through the plot as if he had to get the recording completed by a deadline - his not the readers

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

NO - unlike other productions of James work i found this too tiring and difficult to listen to - i had to replay parts to work out what was being said

Any additional comments?

A lesson learnt - i just assumed it would the same as the others - but sadly not. So next time i will check who is performing and will be avoiding Marsen's taping until i test it first