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  • reviews
  • 29
  • helpful votes
  • 26
  • ratings
  • Wuthering Heights

  • By: Emily Brontë
  • Narrated by: Patricia Routledge
  • Length: 14 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 380
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377

The passionate and tragic story of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff is one of the high points of 19th-century Romantic literature. In the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, and in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors of its setting, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with a disregard for convention and an instinct for poetry and the darkest depths of the human soul in torment.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best performance

  • By chloe67 on 11-11-15

A Boring Story Saved by a Spectacular Narration

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

Reviewed: 24-09-18

Patricia Routledge is a magnificent narrator, truly one of the best. You were able to distinguish each individual character by their voice without any of them being distracting or over the top.

It's just a shame about the story.

I have recently been reading many 'classics' and Wuthering Heights has been on my 'to be read' list for many years. I hadn't known much of the story other than it involved Cathy and Heathcliff who were in love but were horrible people.
Well... I didn't really need to know more! I felt there was no point to the story and ultimately found it very boring and a waste of time.

I do love a good detestable character, someone you love to hate for example: Umbridge - Harry Potter, Christopher Carrion - Abarat, Elenor's Mother - Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. However, Cathy and Heathcliff are just selfish, mean, vindictive characters with no redeeming qualities at all. They're one note characters without any convincing reason for them being so other than being just being vile brats.

I never felt they loved one another or anyone else other than themselves. This created a very one dimensional pointless plot, I only kept listening because I thought 'It's a classic for a reason, It'll get better!' I was wrong!

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,100
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,339
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,315

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Viva Eleanor!

  • By Kaggy on 30-06-17

Wonderful! An exploration of humanity after trauma

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

Reviewed: 24-06-18

What a truly sensational story. It had everything I could want in a contemporary novel without, at any point, being predictable or boring.
I fell in love with Eleanor right from the off! She's odd, quirky and there is something darkly different about her life that she doesn't share.
I love an unreliable narrator and Eleanor is the perfect kind because she doesn't know she's doing it!

Cathleen McCarron's narration is divine! She brings Eleanor and the other characters to life so wonderfully. Making your feelings soar in many directions as you feel heartened and heartbroken, elated and afraid.

There are no predictable tropes and there are many twists and turns that make you cringe, laugh and cry.
This story is so truly fantastic, it is certainly one of the best books I have ever read.
I just can't gush about my love for this book enough!

  • Red Rising

  • By: Pierce Brown
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,465
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,361

Earth is dying. Thousands of workers, who live in the vast caves beneath Mars, mine the precious elements that will make the planet habitable. They are Earth’s only hope. Until the day Darrow learns that it’s a lie. Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations. Darrow disguises himself and infiltrates their society, intent on taking them down. But the surface is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only one with an agenda.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not for everyone

  • By ellie illing on 30-08-16

Utterly Unoriginal and Poorly Written

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

Reviewed: 24-06-18

Oh I do hate giving bad reviews, especially books that have so much potential!

I chose this book after hearing so many glowing recommendations from a number of sources. I've wanted to get stuck into a good Sci-Fi novel for a while. I thought this would be perfect.
Unfortunately it was such a disappointment I couldn't bare to finish the book. I read to half way and couldn't carry on.

My main two main issues with the book were the way it was written and the continuing feeling of unoriginality.
It felt very transparent, nothing was a mystery or if they tried to veil something in mystery is was flat and made no sense. Worse still was it would tell you the answer in the next sentence! While listening it felt very "and then we did this, and then we did that... and then...and then" it just plodded telling you everything and showing you nothing.

The story, when reading, felt wildly unoriginal! When listening I continually was able to guess what character would say or do next because it was very similar to plot points in The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent, and Harry Potter. It was just a mishmash of boring reruns of stories that were told in much better ways.

This book I would not class as contemporary Sci-Fi. I would certainly consider it to be a YA Sci-Fi as there are so many angsty, stroppy, brooding, and hollow characters.

I can see why many may have enjoyed this book, especially if you loved other YA novels involving war/battles/dystopian futures like the ones mentioned previously (Harry Potter not included) but I certainly didn't.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • While My Eyes Were Closed

  • By: Linda Green
  • Narrated by: Emma Gregory, Maggie Mash, Gareth Bennett-Ryan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,640
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,502

Dare you close your eyes for even a few seconds? One, two, three... Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to 100 during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter, Ella, is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa's family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn't a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa's little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Page turner

  • By Ms on 26-03-16

I did not see this coming!!!

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

Reviewed: 08-11-17

What a brilliantly different book!
I liked the idea of this book from the start. A kidnapped child with part of the tale told by the kidnapper sounded incredibly intriguing.
What I didn't see coming was how all the complex web structures of the plots slam so brilliantly together at the end.
Oh how heart wrenching it is for all the character to have and be experiencing all that they are. You move with every single one of their heartbeats.
You feel for the mother, the child and even the kidnapper!
So brilliantly written... I can't recommend it enough.

  • The Handmaid's Tale

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Joanna David
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,333
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,333

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed . If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A favourite

  • By Raison on 10-11-13

A very interesting book that makes you think

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

Reviewed: 08-11-17

I felt this book was very interesting as it placed you into a time and place that doesn't exist but you know could.
The premise of the world was very believable and you could feel the pain in so many people because of their position and circumstances... and I don't just mean the Handmaids.
I found there to be many unanswered questions that felt like plot holes rather than simply elements where your own conclusions should be drawn.
I wanted there to be more. More complexity, more explanation, more exploration of the other characters.
I very much enjoyed the book and this story lending itself to another medium (like the new television series) will give it the fantastic opportunity to flesh out and provide a greater context to all areas of the book.

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,346
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,093
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,107

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!

  • By Tara Mcgrath on 02-12-13

Utterly Sublime!

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

Reviewed: 08-11-17

This story is utterly sublime.
I didn't know what to expect with this tale as the blurb didn't give much away. I was pulled into a world where you instantly felt you were there with Theo (main protagonist). The way Donna Tartt and David Pittu have written and narrated the book is truly compulsive... you always want more. It moves you in many ways leaving you breathless, but the story is always somehow believable.
I can't describe what this book is about, it's not a story... It's more an experience.
The richness of the writing and the excellence of the narration provides you with an exception experience. One which will stay with me for some time.
I HIGHLY recommend this wonder of a book.

  • The Remains of the Day

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: Dominic West
  • Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,364
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,254

A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro's beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House. In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the countryside – and into his past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • heartbreaking

  • By Emily Essex on 14-05-16

Masterfully complex and realistic characters.

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

Reviewed: 19-04-17

Would you listen to The Remains of the Day again? Why?

Certainly! Though it has a slow start by the end you feel you know Stephens intimately. Listening again would give me the opportunity to truly understand Stephen and why he says and acts the way he does straight from the off.

What other book might you compare The Remains of the Day to, and why?

The tone, pace and feeling the book gives you is similar to Ishiguro's other novel Never let me go. It's achingly realistic and incredibly human.

What about Dominic West’s performance did you like?

Dominic West perfectly performed every detail. From West Country accents to the restrained, perplexed, dutiful Stephens.

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

I don't think so. That is not to say I didn't enjoy it!
It is a very intense and brooding book, therefore being able to fully process and understand the reasoning why Stephens does what he does, for me, needed time.

Any additional comments?

This book is a haunting and an acutely heartbreaking portrayal of what "duty" "Britishness" and "stiff upper lip" means to some people.

At times I was audibly shouting a Stephens, wanting to shake him with my exasperation.
Stephens is nothing less than what he aims to be, a Great Butler, but at what cost? In the name of duty, loyalty and professionalism how much of himself will he sacrifice?

This book will make you think.

  • Labyrinth

  • By: Kate Mosse
  • Narrated by: Maggie Mash
  • Length: 24 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 976
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 377
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 379

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2007.
Winner of the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read of the Year, 2006.

July 1209: In Carcassonne, a sixteen-year-old girl is given a mysterious book by her father which he claims contains the secret of the true Grail. Although she cannot understand the strange words and symbols hidden within, she knows that her destiny lies in protecting it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Long and Laborious

  • By A Genealogist on 10-01-07

Dreadful narration made it impossible to finish!

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

Reviewed: 14-02-17

What would have made Labyrinth better?

A different style of narration!
I have listened to this voice artist before (girl on the train) and they did a really good job but here? It was terrible! Rendering it an impossible listenen

Has Labyrinth put you off other books in this genre?

Not at all. I plan to read the book as the story, though written in over long descriptions, was actually quite interesting. As stated before it was the narration that put me off.

Would you be willing to try another one of Maggie Mash’s performances?

Considering she gave a good performance in another audio book I've listened to I may. BUT I cannot tell if the decision to give the French characters a lazy French/northern England accent was her choice or her directors but it was awful!
Only once before have I ever stopped listening to a book because I couldn't stand the narration. Everything was so jumbled and inconsistent I had no clue who was who.

What character would you cut from Labyrinth?

I have no idea. I can honestly say the only names of characters I know for certain were the two alices. Everything else was a confusing mush of bad, inconsistent accents which just aggravated and distracted me from actually listening to the story.

Any additional comments?

I listened to exactly the half way mark of this book. At this point I had to give up.
The chapters are not in line with the chapters of the book which makes listening across devices difficult.
The way the narration has been directed is tooth grindingly irritating. It distracts you from the story.
Over emphasis and over dramatisation of every syllable makes it incredibly dull and the pace just seems to slow down to a dead stop.

I just recommend reading the book... don't bother with the audio version.

  • Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

  • By: James Thurber
  • Narrated by: Ben Stiller
  • Length: 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 703
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 600
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 599

Mild-mannered Walter Mitty is a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. This well-known and beloved tale has launched its famous protagonist into the cultural lexicon, warranting his inclusion in English-language dictionaries and countless anthologies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Short but sweet

  • By Boggy of Bucks on 03-06-15

A fun 15 minutes

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

Reviewed: 21-10-16

Would you listen to Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty again? Why?

Probably. It was lighthearted and entertaining.

What other book might you compare Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to, and why?

I don't really like comparing stories like for like. I liked the adventure and fantasy this little story had.

What about Ben Stiller’s performance did you like?

Very enjoyable and a very relaxing voice to listen to.

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

Your imagination is your only limit.

Any additional comments?

Not earth shatteringly amazing but thoroughly entertaining.

  • Gone Girl

  • By: Gillian Flynn
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 19 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,482
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,851
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,863

Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you ever know the person you love? These are the questions that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Keep going with this

  • By E on 23-02-13

Dark, intensely disturbing, unsettling and evil.

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

Reviewed: 21-10-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would, but pre-warn them they aren't in for a joyful, happy read. It is intense, relentless and very dark.

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

The most interesting part was the demonstration of the level of evil to which a person can go.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I can't say I "enjoyed" a particular scene as this book was so very dark. However the final part, for me, was just so jaw dropping in its evil nature. It made me squirm with the level of uncomfortable feeling it gave me.

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

Moved me to revulsion? Yes. Every time another level of a particular character was revealed I was just amazingly appalled.

Any additional comments?

I found this book incredibly dark and disturbing and it was an uncomfortable read. I understand the hype but I felt a very low and uncomfortable mood the whole way through.
I prefer books that provide escapism and make you feel many emotions but this was an unrelenting, heavy and depressing story.