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susan

wolverhampton, United Kingdom
  • 8
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  • 28
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  • 16
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  • The Monogram Murders

  • The New Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Sophie Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 645
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 603
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 606

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one's mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The Boring Monogram Murders

  • By Ulla on 18-09-14

Overlong with ridiculously far-fetched plot.

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

Reviewed: 23-09-14

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not unless they were obsessed with Poirot.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Mildly interesting that Poirot would enjoy English coffee, the least interesting aspect being the character of Catchpole.

What about Julian Rhind-Tutt’s performance did you like?

I like him as an actor but had reservations after struggling with his narration of The Master & Margarita. I needn't have worried as he was the best thing about this book. A very good Poirot.

Do you think The Monogram Murders needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No.

  • My Life in Pieces

  • An Alternative Autobiography
  • By: Simon Callow
  • Narrated by: Simon Callow
  • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

Drawing on a lifetime of writing about theatre and film, Callow takes us behind the curtain and behind the camera to introduce us to the performers and performances that have shaped him as an actor and as a public persona. They include giants like Orson Welles, Charles Dickens, Tommy Cooper, Charles Laughton and Laurence Olivier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An ideal book to be heard

  • By Kirstine on 12-04-14

Engaging gems from a master of his subject.

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

Reviewed: 15-07-14

Would you listen to My Life in Pieces again? Why?

Yes, but it has inspired me to obtain the printed copy for browsing.

What did you like best about this story?

Callow is a fluent enthusiast of his subject, and his 'pieces' range from the amusing anecdote to the seriously intellectual review.

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

Callow is Callow is Callow, long may he be so.

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

Some of the pieces are naughtily funny but mercifully stop short of the over-prurient.

Any additional comments?

One would love to have friends like Callow ...if only one could keep up!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fishing Fleet

  • Husband-Hunting in the Raj
  • By: Anne de Courcy
  • Narrated by: Greta Scacchi
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 61

From the late 19th century, when the Raj was at its height, many of Britain's best and brightest young men went out to India to work as administrators, soldiers, and businessmen. With the advent of steam travel and the opening of the Suez Canal, countless young women, suffering at the lack of eligible men in Britain, followed in their wake. This amorphous band was composed of daughters returning after their English education, girls invited to stay with married sisters or friends, and yet others whose declared or undeclared goal was simply to find a husband.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Glimpse of an Unknown World

  • By Alison on 31-07-14

Go east, young woman...and they did!

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

Reviewed: 15-07-14

Where does The Fishing Fleet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?


I enjoyed this book but, unusually, might have preferred a print version (see below).

Some of the stories, diary extracts etc were fascinating glimpses into the lives of women in the Raj, and pointed up the striking contrasts between the physical privations and the unimaginable grandeur the yendured and witnessed.

If you’ve listened to books by Anne de Courcy before, how does this one compare?

This was my first Anne de Courcy book

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

I only know Greta Scacchi as an actress, but thought she was perfect for this book

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

See title above

Any additional comments?

As I was listening I longed to see photos etc., so am now buying the illustrated print version of this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 27 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 924
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 721
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 718

Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An amazing and memorable book

  • By Kirstine on 17-05-14

What a creation...I gobbled it up with glee

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

Reviewed: 15-07-14

Where does A Prayer for Owen Meany rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is near the top of my list.

What did you like best about this story?

The character of Owen, however seemingly far-fetched never felt false, and I was fascinated by the relationships in the book, particularly the central one between Owen and John.

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

I didn't know Joe Barrett before, but his narration was superb, particularly characterisation.

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

Emotions were heightened by the author's unforced and controlled way of dealing with pathos tragedy and comedy. Masterfully done.

Any additional comments?

I shall not forget this book in a hurry.

  • The Silkworm

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 2
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,487
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,939
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,919

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 star rating based on quality not name

  • By Linda on 06-08-14

Formulaic & too much like a 'Midsummer Murders '

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

Reviewed: 15-07-14

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, too many similar suspects in a messy plot

Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Galbraith? Why or why not?

Yes, I liked the first one

Which character – as performed by Robert Glenister – was your favourite?

Since Cormoran Strike is the only half- believable character, it has to be him.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

Had this not been the Audible version I doubt I would have finished it, but Robert Glenister makes an ideal companion whilst weeding the garden!

  • Relics

  • By: Shaun Hutson
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 30

During an archaeological dig, a hidden chamber filled with the skulls of children is discovered. At first glance they seem to have been there for thousands of years but closer examination reveals a more shocking secret. The opening of the chamber triggers a series of horrific murders, each victim mutilated and their entrails used to form a different letter of the alphabet. Who is behind this outrage? And how is it linked to a subterranean chamber thousands of years old? Inspector Stephen Wallace must unmask this crazed killer.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Badly edited

  • By El on 29-05-14

A nasty piece of work.

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

Reviewed: 23-01-14

What disappointed you about Relics?

Stock characters, cliched phrases & school-yard intent to shock.

What was most disappointing about Shaun Hutson’s story?

I didn't care enough to finish it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s performances?

No. even he didn't sound as though he liked it much.

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

Yes, thanks to Audible I can get my money back

Any additional comments?

No.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Life After Life

  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,917
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,727
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,707

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing story, beautifully told.

  • By susan on 02-05-13

Intriguing story, beautifully told.

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

Reviewed: 02-05-13

This was my first Kate Atkinson book, and I shall certainly seek out others. The narrative, though fractured is gripping, and the fluent style is reminiscent of Elisabeth Jane Howard
at her best.
I agree that it seemed to lose its way a little toward the end, and would the pedantic Ursula really misuse the term 'beg the question' ?

Despite these niggles, I have become a fan of this author, and of Fenella Woolgar's superb narration.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Skios

  • By: Michael Frayn
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24

On the sunlit Greek island of Skios, the Fred Toppler Foundation's annual lecture is to be given by Dr Norman Wilfred, the world-famous authority on the scientific organisation of science. He turns out to be young and charming - not at all the intimidating figure they had been expecting. The Foundation's guests are soon eating out of his hand. So is Nikki, the attractive organiser. Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie waits for the man she rashly agreed to go on holiday with.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable

  • By chris on 31-07-12

Sunny funny warm waspish treat.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-13

In less skilled hands this might be dismissed as chicklit escapism, but Michael Frayn's superbly clever plotting and Martin Jarvis's pitch-perfect delivery offer delights throughout.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful