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D. Brown

West Yorkshire, UK
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 122
  • ratings
  • Before I Go To Sleep

  • By: S J Watson
  • Narrated by: Susannah Harker
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,455
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,451

As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ...'Memories define us.So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight.And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.Welcome to Christine's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This will keep you awake!

  • By MRS on 20-05-11

Clever and chilling

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

Reviewed: 26-06-13

Any additional comments?

A chilling read about an obviously intelligent woman who becomes reliant on the 'memories' other people offer her. When she begins to keep a journal, however, some dark discrepancies come to the fore. A clever book with some good - if, at times, slightly predictable - twists.

  • Wolf Hall

  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Simon Slater
  • Length: 24 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,383
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,455
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,459

Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lose yourself in 16th century England

  • By Phil on 22-01-10

Difficult to get into but ultimately well written

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

Reviewed: 26-06-13

Any additional comments?

I did find this quite difficult to get into in the beginning and there was another bit around two thirds of the way through where I began to flag. However, it was certainly an interesting read and a new twist on the Tudor story, making Thomas Cromwell the central figure. The history seemed consistent with my (albeit limited!) knowledge and the book was well written.

  • Gold

  • By: Chris Cleave
  • Narrated by: Emilia Fox
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 98

Usually, this is where we'd tell you what this book is about. But with Chris Cleave, it's a bit different. Because if you've read The Other Hand or Incendiary, you'll know that what his books are about is only part of the story - what really matters is how they make you feel. Gold is about the limits of human endurance, both physical and emotional. It will make you cry. Gold is about what drives us to succeed - and what we choose to sacrifice for success. It will make you feel glad to be alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Emotional Rollercoaster

  • By Destination Hulk on 11-01-13

Superb narration, superb writing

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

Reviewed: 26-06-13

Any additional comments?

Chris Cleave is a beautiful storyteller. He weaves wonderful relationships out of the most difficult scenarios. Thought-provoking and touching, his stories showcase the very best and worst of people at the same time. They make you despair for humanity at the same time as giving you hope for our race. We are capable of such terrible things, such selfishness. Yet at the same time, we’re capable of such sacrifice and love.

Gold is wonderfully written, with moments of humour and sadness throughout. I gasped reading one scene, which (as it involved vomit) should have been incredibly disgusting. Instead it was so moving I nearly cried. Having read The Other Hand, I couldn’t imagine Chris Cleave topping that masterpiece. It would be a lie to say that Gold does but it’s a very different book, with a very different story and it certainly holds its own. Absolutely stunning read/listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • All But My Life

  • By: Gerda Weissmann Klein
  • Narrated by: Grace Conlin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

A classic of Holocaust literature, Gerda Weissmann Klein's celebrated memoir tells the moving story of a young woman's 3 frightful years as a slave laborer of the Nazis and her miraculous liberation. All But My Life stands as the ultimate lesson in humanity, hope, and friendship.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An exellent listen

  • By Colin on 25-08-07

A beautifully related memoir

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

Reviewed: 26-06-13

Any additional comments?

Gerda Weissman Klein’s memoir of her life during World War II is harrowing to say the least. Separated from her loved ones, surrounded by fear and tragedy, Gerda’s life is turned upside down overnight and she faces years of anguish, pain and grief. Despite it all she retains an immense sense of what is right and fair, often putting the needs of others above her own and often putting her own life at risk in order to stand up for her principles.

Although the details given in Gerda’s account do not feel watered down by any means, you can’t help but think that even though her recollections are horrific, there’s much more that she has chosen not to share and can only be stunned by her bravery and determination. She loses everything – all but her life and her spirit.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the story is the advice Gerda is given by her father to wear her winter walking boots one day: advice that will prove to be lifesaving. If it had been a novel, it would have seemed like one of those quaint coincidences that ties a book together but knowing that this is an autobiographical tale actually makes this incredibly poignant. Even though I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, every time I think about it I remember those boots and how her father’s last piece of advice would be, literally, life-saving.

It is impossible for me to give All But My Life anything other than five stars. This is a beautifully related memoir: despite the overwhelming sense of tragedy and pain, Gerda’s will to survive and determination to keep not only herself going but others as well is utterly heart-wrenching. Although I have never been a huge fan of autobiographies, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this. It is a story that must be told and it is a time that we must never, ever forget.

  • Complications

  • A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
  • By: Atul Gawande
  • Narrated by: William David Griffith
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 142
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111

Sometimes in medicine the only way to know what is truly going on in a patient is to operate, to look inside with one's own eyes. This book is exploratory surgery on medicine itself, laying bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is - complicated, perplexing, and profoundly human.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprising and shocking insights

  • By D. Brown on 26-06-13

Surprising and shocking insights

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

Reviewed: 26-06-13

Any additional comments?

This was a very well written book with some interesting, surprising and shocking insights into the medical industry. One thing Gawande makes very clear throughout the book: doctors are human and thus as fatally flawed as the rest of us! His use of real cases is underpinned by something more striking: his knowledge of his patients as people beyond the hospital. He is not afraid to speak against his peers and admit that there are failings in the medical system itself and with individuals and that there are mistakes made that shouldn't be.

Far from leaving me reticent about ever seeing a doctor again, I applaud Gawande's plain speaking and honest admissions. Sadly, we all make mistakes and this is a profession in which mistakes can be both epic and tragic; however, perhaps the bigger tragedy is that fear of being sued for simply doing one's job to the best of one's ability but making a rare error is enough to prevent full open and frank discussion with colleagues and the patients' families to ensure that such mistakes are more easily avoided in the future.

In a world of 'Where there's blame, there's a claim' mentality, shouldn't we be assigning some blame to 'ambulance chasers' whose willingness to destroy someone's reputation and perhaps career for the sake of making money could deprive a hospital - and society - of another competent, well-skilled doctor. Not only that but they make it practically impossible for doctors to learn from the errors of others, so great is the fear of admitting 'I made a mistake'.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Everyone Worth Knowing

  • By: Lauren Weisberger
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10

The in-crowd wears Gucci, but one girl wears her heart on her sleeve. When a chance meeting propels Bette into a new role as a party planner, she can hardly believe her luck. A job that pays you to party! Running with the cool Manhattan pack, gaining VIP access to the city's hottest spots, and meeting "everyone worth knowing" is a million miles away from the number-crunching and paper-pushing of her old banking job. Overnight, the greatest city in the world has become her sexy, late-night playground.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not for me!

  • By Mrs. K. J. D. CURRIE on 09-12-12

Very entertaining

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-09-07

I really enjoyed this. Having previously purchased 'The Devil Wears Prada' I was both interested and nervous to see this new offering. Interested, as I really enjoyed the style of the previous novel and hoped for good things. Nervous, as so often a second novel doesn't live up to a great first one.

I wasn't dissappointed though and my nerves proved to be misplaced. It's quirky, funny, entertaining and involving. At times I found myself grinning, laughing out loud or cringing. It's well written and well read and I would not hesitate to recommend it.