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Shedman

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  • Middle England

  • By: Jonathan Coe
  • Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259

Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly absorbing 'political Gogglebox'

  • By K. J. Noyes on 17-11-18

Satire at its best

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

Humane, moving and often laugh out loud funny or darkly comic, the novel explores the reactions of a cast of connected characters to events that take us from the Queen’s Jubilee to Brexit via the Olympics, elections and the appalling murder of Jo Cox. Jonathan Coe writes with great sensitivity and Dickensian panache to give a view of recent history that is illuminating, thought provoking and multi-dimensional. Various hot potatoes of political correctness, naivety or prejudice act as stepping stones that characters step on or avoid at their peril. Personal relationships provide the source of compelling drama, humour and poignancy, whilst generational differences enliven the social panorama.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 670
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 619
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 619

Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any other, for no one but Saunders could conceive it. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved 11-year-old son, Willie, dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Mistake

  • By L on 13-07-17

Brilliantly written and performed, superbly produced.

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

Reviewed: 07-01-18

Making the most of the novel as an aural experience, this production is hauntingly moving - a ‘matter-light-blooming-phenomenon’ in itself. The language is spell-binding, the characterisation humane and affecting. The two main characters Vollman and Bevins, lead us on a long night’s journey into day, amongst zombies clustered around the graveyard where President Lincoln visits his dead son, hoping he is now in a better place. The novel began life as a play and the audio book benefits from these dramatic origins. Told from multiple perspectives, with a scientific eye for sensory detail, this is a story that echoes in the mind. A truly memorable production.