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Jessica

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 103
  • ratings
  • Wicked!

  • Rutshire Chronicles, Book 8
  • By: Jilly Cooper
  • Narrated by: Sherry Baines
  • Length: 36 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

At Bagley Hall, a notoriously wild, but increasingly academic, independent, crammed with the children of the famous, trouble is afoot. The ambitious and fatally attractive headmaster, Hengist Brett-Taylor, hatches a plan to share the facilities of his school with Larkminster Comprehensive - known locally, as 'Larks'. His reasons for doing so are purely financial, but he is encouraged by the opportunities the scheme gives him for frequent meetings with Janna Curtis, the dynamic new head of Larks, who has been drafted in to save what is a fast-sinking school from closure. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • best book ever

  • By jackie on 02-02-19

Thanks for sorting the chapters out Audible!

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

In my previous review I had a technical issue with the audiobook starting at Chapter 36. Audible have sorted this out - many thanks Audible!

Jolly Jilly at her best.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Katherine

  • The classic historical romance
  • By: Anya Seton
  • Narrated by: Diana Bishop
  • Length: 24 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194

Katherine comes to the court of Edward III at the age of 15. The naïve convent-educated orphan of a penniless knight is dazzled by the jousts and the entertainments of court. Nevertheless, Katherine is beautiful, and she turns the head of the King's favourite son John of Gaunt. But he is married, and she is soon to be betrothed. A few years later their paths cross again and this time their passion for each other cannot be denied or suppressed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please give us more Anya Seton!

  • By C on 07-09-12

A classic

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

Reviewed: 08-07-17

An absolute masterclass in historical fiction wonderfully narrated. It's a long book but worth it.

  • The Story of Medieval England: From King Arthur to the Tudor Conquest

  • By: Jennifer Paxton, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Paxton
  • Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114

These 36 lectures tell the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period in the history of England. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of the governed, it was a period that put into place the foundation of much of the world we know today. As you journey through this largely chronological narrative-occasionally interrupted for lecture-long explorations of specific topics-you'll see key themes emerge, including the assimilation of successive waves of invaders, the tense relationship between kings and the nobility, and the constant battles over money and taxation. And because so much of history is driven by specific individuals and not just historical circumstance, each lecture is rich in intimate portraits that reveal those individuals at the key moments of their historical destiny, including Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and John Wycliffe.The result is a lecture series that winds up being not only informative but deeply entertaining, with each lecture drawing you in with its own particular fascinations, including a probing look at the scope of the Black Death, a realistic examination of the legends of both King Arthur and Robin Hood, a riveting description of the Battle of Bosworth Field, and a discussion of the surprisingly nuanced penalties of the early Germanic law codes.These lectures consistently deliver a fresh level of understanding about medieval England, its rulers and subjects, and their significance for the world we live in today. The chain of theme and event that links our world to theirs will never be clearer, rewarding every moment you spend with this series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A whistle stop tour through the annals of history

  • By Ama on 01-02-14

Light on detail...

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

Reviewed: 14-08-16

...but it is a massive subject.
The Professor makes it accessible and interesting without becoming boring but think of it as an introduction rather than the definitive course on the topic(s).

  • Justine

  • By: Lawrence Durrell
  • Narrated by: Nigel Anthony
  • Length: 3 hrs and 57 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Justine is the first volume in The Alexandria Quartet, four interlinked novels set in the sensuous, hot environment of Alexandria just before the Second World War. Within this polyglot setting of richly idiosyncratic characters is Justine, wild and intense, wife to the wealthy business man Nessim, a mari complaisant.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant book, brilliantly read

  • By Jessica on 09-08-16

Brilliant book, brilliantly read

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

Reviewed: 09-08-16

Heavily abridged, but still brilliant. I am always puzzled why it is not on any 100 best works of literature lists.
Anatomy of a doomed love affair against the (beautifully described) backdrop of 1930s Alexandria.

Beautifully read by the wonderful Nigel Anthony.

  • Oil and Marble

  • A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo
  • By: Stephanie Storey
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3

From 1501 to 1505, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti both lived and worked in Florence. Leonardo was a charming, handsome 50-year-old at the peak of his career. Michelangelo was a temperamental sculptor in his mid-20s, desperate to make a name for himself. Michelangelo is a virtual unknown when he returns to Florence and wins the commission to carve what will become one of the most famous sculptures of all time: David.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Horrible monotone plastic narrator

  • By Jessica on 08-07-16

Horrible monotone plastic narrator

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

Reviewed: 08-07-16

I am perhaps being a little unfair in only giving this one star, since I only got about four minutes in. I was fascinated by the blurb and synopsis, and the cover looks lovely (literally enacted a cliché right there - never judge a book by it's cover). I should have listened to the sample first.
This could be the best and most fascinating book in the world.
I will never know, because listening to the narrator was like chewing foil.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dead of Jericho

  • By: Colin Dexter
  • Narrated by: Kevin Whately
  • Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

Anne Scott's address was scribbled on a crumpled note in the pocket of Morse's smartest suit....He turned the corner of Canal Street, Jericho, on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 3rd. He hadn't planned a second visit. But he was back later the same day - as the officer in charge of a suicide investigation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The dead of Jericho won't leave you dead

  • By Anna Sirén on 14-02-18

Abridged

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

Reviewed: 08-07-16

Some of the Morse plots work in the abridged versions but this one somehow doesn't - masterly narration by Kevin Whately but the plot feels disjointed and fractured somehow.

  • The Lie Tree

  • Costa Book of the Year 2015
  • By: Frances Hardinge
  • Narrated by: Emilia Fox
  • Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 669
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 626

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2015. The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric story by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of Cuckoo Song and Fly by Night. Faith's father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree grows healthy and bears fruit only if you whisper a lie to it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting concept, let down by patchy execution

  • By fletchek on 06-02-17

Absolutely brilliant, gripped from start to finish

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

Reviewed: 09-05-16

I think it is published as a children's book/YA fiction, but don't let that put you off, it stands up well. Good plot (the oldest stories always are), and a good but surprising whodunnit.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ruby in the Smoke

  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Anton Lesser
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,732
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,530
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,521

An unabridged reading of Philip Pullman's nerve-shattering thriller, set in the murky streets and opium dens of Old London. When 16-year old Sally's father drowns in suspicious circumstances, she is left to fend for herself in Victorian London. Although she doesn't know it, she is already in terrible danger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A layered and satisfying listen

  • By Barry on 08-09-16

Fantastic storywriting and storytelling

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

Reviewed: 11-01-16

What made the experience of listening to The Ruby in the Smoke the most enjoyable?

The fantastic and character-filled voice of Anton Lesser. He can voice anyone and everyone and make them sound fantastic.

What did you like best about this story?

Great plot. Meant to be a YA fiction novel, but it translates well and is suitable for adults too - it does not come across facile or boring or awkward as some YA novels have (when listened to as an adult - there are no moments of feeling too old to listen to this) .
Nice, slightly fantastic plot that allows for some good escapism.

What about Anton Lesser’s performance did you like?

Everything. He is a great voice actor.

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

Yes, and I did, even sitting in the car on the drive for to hear the last five minutes before I went into the house to get on with the rest of my life!

The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter cover art
  • The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter

  • By: Rod Duncan
  • Narrated by: Gemma Whelan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 350

Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life - as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus. But when she comes up against an agent of the all-powerful Patent Office, her life and the course of history will begin to change. And not necessarily for the better.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • enticing world

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-08-15

Good, believable alternate-universe steampunk.

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

Reviewed: 01-12-15

What did you like most about The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter?

An original universe - well-worked and researched. The last chapter (make sure you don't listen to the end first) is a glossary of the Gas-Lit Empire which is useful if you need footnotes.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter?

The plausible tricks pulled (not saying more without spoiling things!). No one flies or has super-powers. No clumsy deus ex-machina.

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

Bessie! Don't let anything happen to Bessie!

Unseemly Science cover art
  • Unseemly Science

  • Bullet Catcher Series
  • By: Rod Duncan
  • Narrated by: Gemma Whelan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 118

In the divided land of England, Elizabeth Barnabus has been living a double life - as both herself and as her brother, the private detective. Witnessing the hanging of Alice Carter, the false duchess, Elizabeth resolves to throw the Bullet Catcher's Handbook into the fire and forget her past. If only it were that easy! There is a new charitable organisation in town, run by some highly respectable women. But something doesn't feel right to Elizabeth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, clever and gripping.

  • By John on 24-09-15

Good, believable alternate-universe steampunk.

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

Reviewed: 01-12-15

What made the experience of listening to Unseemly Science the most enjoyable?

The alternate reality "The Gas-Lit Empire" - a really good, well-worked and researched alternate world. Not a monocle nor a clockwork world-eating spider in sight.

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

Good narration and voice-acting.

Any additional comments?

Please Mr Duncan, may I have some more?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful