LISTENER

annie

orston, United Kingdom
  • 27
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 267
  • ratings
  • A Gentleman in Moscow

  • By: Amor Towles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,001
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 926
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 928

Soon to be a major TV series starring Kenneth Branagh. On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov - recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt - is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval. Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A classic

  • By Vicuña on 04-01-19

A Delight

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

Reviewed: 05-07-19

It's very rare that any book receives from me a five star rating, but this is one of those rare ones.

The author has written a masterpiece that combines a delightful and imaginative story with a rare gift of linguistic artistry.
The main protagonist restores faith in human nature, a veritable 'gentleman', and the other characters also manage to come alive. But it is the wonderful playfulness with words that transforms the book from an entertaining and well crafted story into a literary delight!

  • The Salt Path

  • By: Raynor Winn
  • Narrated by: Anne Reid
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,026
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 931
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 936

Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, the couple lose their home and their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 4.5

  • By Kim on 02-06-18

fascinating and thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 26-05-19

A thoroughly enjoyable read, a fascinating journey (both actual and 'life' journey), and made me pause to reassess how to engage with homelessness. Not by feeling guilty at my own blessings but rather by being curious about how we might find a better way of providing space and support for those who, for all sorts of reasons, may find themselves alone and vulnerable.

  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,800
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,647
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,637

From the Orange Prize-winning, internationally best-selling author of The Song of Achilles comes the powerful story of the mythological witch Circe, inspired by Homer's Odyssey. In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By madeleine davitt on 06-05-18

extraordinary

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

Reviewed: 19-05-19

beautifully written, masterfully crafted and original and excellently narrated. The author has brought to life stories and myths from ancient Greece and woven them into a story that is engaging and beautiful. The result is prose that is almost like poetry and a modern masterpiece. loved it

  • Divergent

  • (Divergent, Book 1)
  • By: Veronica Roth
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,570
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,435
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,433

For 16-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead…. A debut novel that will leave you breathless.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Easy reading

  • By Diane on 08-07-14

I lost the will

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

Reviewed: 13-04-19

For me this was a very weak story, with no real characters. it felt like the author had just read The Hunger Games and wanted to write a book in the same vein. if so, it failed!

  • Vindolanda

  • By: Adrian Goldsworthy
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

AD, 98. The bustling army base at Vindolanda lies on the northern frontier of Britannia and the entire Roman world. In just over 20 years' time, the Emperor Hadrian will build his famous wall. But for now, defences are weak as tribes rebel against Rome. It falls to Flavius Ferox, Briton and Roman centurion, to keep the peace. But it will take more than just a soldier's courage to survive life in Roman Britain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First class novel...

  • By Ray Carpenter on 31-01-18

Hmmm - a curate's egg

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

Reviewed: 07-03-19

While this is well written, well researched (obviously) and scholarly, it's also long, the story is pretty simple.I was relieved to get to the end. It's great if you want lots of fighting and lots of information about Romano British tactics. Far too much detail about fights and skirmishes for me and not fully convinced about some of the characters.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Christmas Hirelings

  • By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Saunders
  • Length: 3 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,931
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,915

A heartwarming festive tale of redemption and cheer, The Christmas Hirelings is the story of a lonely widower who reluctantly invites a group of children to his manor for Christmas. It showcases the benefits of opening your doors and hearts during the holiday season.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it! What a wonderful Christmas tale.

  • By Helen SJ on 17-12-18

a charming, gentle read

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

Reviewed: 30-12-18

If you want a gentle, easy and charming read then this is one for anytime of year.

  • The Persimmon Tree

  • By: Bryce Courtenay
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 27 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218

The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling read

  • By Philippa on 10-09-11

engaging and well crafted

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

Reviewed: 29-12-18

I read the Power of One years ago and found it an inventive tale , well written and with clear and memorable characters.

The Persimmon Tree follows that level of writing - a carefully written book in which the two main characters, with their divergent stories, each emerge as complete characters, fully 3 dimensional. Each of their stories could make a good book and together it works very well. It also, sometimes sadly or scarily, reminds one of the horrors of war in which even 'good' people do some pretty dreadful things. It doesn't overplay this side of the story without at the same time ignoring the realities.

A thoroughly well written and engaging read.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,455
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,984
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,964

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An unexpected gem

  • By Andrew on 29-01-17

clever and intelligent

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

Reviewed: 05-10-18

Well constructed story very well read. The idea was novel and Bob as a character was remarkably believable, even as a replicant!

  • Black Widow

  • By: Chris Brookmyre
  • Narrated by: Angus King, Scarlett Mack
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,283

There is no perfect marriage. There is no perfect murder. Diana Jager's life crumbles when her details are released on the Internet as revenge for her antisexism blog. Then she meets Peter. Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident - a nightmare end to their fairy-tale romance. But Peter's sister, Lucy, doesn't believe in fairy tales and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling 'Black Widow'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great listen

  • By N. Macdougall on 06-02-16

clever, intelligent thriller

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

Reviewed: 22-08-18

a clever thriller. Not predictable, kept me wondering who exactly had done what right to the end. Not formulaic but an intelligent story. I'll give another of his books a go as a result.

  • The Muse

  • By: Jessie Burton
  • Narrated by: Cathy Tyson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,399
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,274

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. Although Quick takes Odelle into her confidence and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Left me emotionally confused... But I loved it!

  • By Sarah-rose on 26-08-16

well crafted and engaging novel

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

Reviewed: 20-08-18

The story is original, the characters are well written and believable and it held my attention all the way through.

If you like Kate Morton, Sophie Kinsella, Victoria Hislop, Sarah Dunant, the Miniaturist... then you should enjoy this book!