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Mick'sMoll

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  • 8
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...not my preferred genre?

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

Reviewed: 19-10-19

I bought this book in 2015 and thought I had made a mistake - not my preferred genre and I left it gathering dust for over four years. Inexplicably, I pulled it out of the library the other day and had another a go. A revelation! I enjoyed the book thoroughly. Every character extremely engaging - and of course, Inquisitor Glokta, a marvel of imagination has become my favourite fictional character of all time. The fast paced narrative expertly delivered by Steven Pacey was a triumph. He became every character flawlessly.
Great story, great narration and an ending which leaves you begging for more.
Hope it's as good. Just about to find out...

Disappointed.

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

Reviewed: 20-09-18

After listening to the wonderful Company of Liars and the Vanishing Witch I looked forward to the Gallows Curse so much.
I enjoyed the storyline, set in the 1200s, when nobility had it all and serfs were downtrodden peasants whose very lives belonged to their lords. Accusations, horrible dreams, superstitions, witchcraft, mandrakes, murder most foul, evil villains and weird yet good hearted folk abound. The story held much promise.
The story, for me, was ok but David Thorpe, one of my favourite narrators, let me down with his voice of Rafael. I ignored other reviews on his performance thinking I would get used to his castrato type voice but I didn't and his voice for Ma was strange too. She sounded like the Australian matriarchs Henry Bower uses in his narration for the Bryce Courtenay books - all very muddling. The plot seemed less important because I was deep in thought over the voices. Not the best narration but I'll revisit Company of Liars for David Thorpe's wonderful melifluous Northumbrian accent and all will be forgiven but it will be a couple of years before I listen to Gallows again.
Come on Karen, give me another character from Northumberland so D.T. can wow me again.

A brilliant, entertaining read.

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

Reviewed: 16-03-18

Would you consider the audio edition of A Case of Exploding Mangoes to be better than the print version?

Haven't read the print version but if I did I don't think I'd be able to put it down.

What other book might you compare A Case of Exploding Mangoes to, and why?

Maybe for the humorous content "The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken" a Vish Puri novel.

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

An excellent narrator. His pace and delivery made listening a complete pleasure although it started off a little fast but settled down very quickly.

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

Most definitely. It's great entertainment.

Good story. Held my interest throughout.

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

Reviewed: 14-03-18

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

I always recommend audiobooks with the subject matter of the British in India to friends and family. I found this book especially entertaining with murder, mystery, false leads and credible characters highly entertaining.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Rising Man?

The attitudes of the British towards the Indians and those of mixed birth.

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

I liked his style, pace and delivery. For me the narrator is everything and if they don't pass the "sample" test then I won't buy a book no matter how good the reviews. I even forgave Simon Bubb his little muddle of " Banajees burrowed frows". I had to wind back 30 seconds to check what I had heard.

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

It was a bit long for one sitting but sure, I didn't want to put it down.

Any additional comments?

Dear Author, please stop writing "he was sat ", or any form of that strange combination of To Be and To Sit. It is creeping in at all levels in every form of media. It is so wrong. Please, it is either "he was sitting" or "he sat". Not your fault, it's a bad common practice but one that annoys me, otherwise it would have been a 5* read.

1 person found this helpful

A perfectly exciting read. Fact outshines fiction

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

Reviewed: 28-10-17

One of my favourites. I return to Endurance for the ultimate read combining history, nature, excitement, men's fight for survival against the most enormous odds, psychology and the struggles of leadership. Amazingly well written and wonderfully narrated. An unmissable read and totally absorbing.

3 people found this helpful

A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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

Reviewed: 11-02-17

Would you consider the audio edition of The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken to be better than the print version?

The audio version is perfect as Sam Dastor with his accents and characterizations makes the book "come alive". For me, reading it in printed form, would not have done it justice.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken?

So many wonderful moments-I actually laughed out loud many times which is something a book rarely achieves, but the revelation of the atrocities to Hindu and Moslem women at partition in 1947 was a horrible eye-opener. I had never before heard of the tragedies that befell 1000's of women and families at that time. The description elevated this book from hugely entertaining and comedic to one of serious historical content. Very cleverly written by Tarquin Hall.

Which character – as performed by Sam Dastor – was your favourite?

All the characters are so well betrayed and although Mummy-ji is gorgeous my favourite has to be the hero Vish Puri.

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

Cry?-no. Laugh? A lot of the time. It was highly humorous.

Any additional comments?

I will hunt out anything else written by Tarquin Hall and hopefully narrated by Sam Dastor, who is already in my favourite narrators list. Excellent, so pleased I came across this gem.

I reread this book and now remember how good it is

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

Reviewed: 21-01-17

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

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend but advise them to skip the first 5 chapters which are so tedious it makes you want to give up. The early history is repeated several times over and you get the gist. Girl of European parents orphaned, sent to grandpa in England, age 5. Family dislike her, grandpa a dies, family send her back to India. Pick it up at chapter 6 when she's collected from family country pile, age 17, by dashing, sensible Captain Alex Randall.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Loue Carter. The woman had sense. From a life of indolent privilege she whips off her crinoline hoops, cares for a new born infant which is totally out of her comfort zone and totally against her character looks after the child as she would her own. No this isn't Mills and Boon- it's quite bloodthirsty with graphic descriptions of decapitated heads and brutal goings on.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Tara Ochs?

Anyone but Tara Ochs. Oh she is dreadful reading this book. Her pronunciations were so bad, perhaps a little research on her behalf would have been helpful to the listener. As one whose ancestors spent that period and more in India, I flinched a good deal of time at her pronunciations. She should read renditions by Sam Dastor for guidance. I thought for a long while she was pronouncing Lucknow (my birth place) as Lunio but it turns out she meant Lahore - according to another review. See "additional comments" for my preferred narrator.

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

It's too long for that and besides Tara Ochs grates on your ears and brain after a while.

Any additional comments?

My comments all sound negative, I am sorry for that impression. I love the book. It's a great follow on from the Far Pavilions but a different narrator would have made it so much better - perhaps Sneha Mathan. She would have been perfect-beautiful melifluous tones. A total pleasure to listen to. Sorry Tara!

1 person found this helpful

An exciting, nail nibbling adventure.

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

Reviewed: 09-12-16

Would you listen to Whirlwind again? Why?

I will listen again to clarify the characters and their roles. It is a lengthy listen with numerous characters and relatively complex plot. A second listen will sort out a bit of confusion.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Whirlwind?

A nail biting escape from Iran, but it was not a moment it was frustratingly slow. I wanted to tell them they had to get a move on or they would be discovered. The suspense was brilliant.

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

This was my first encounter with Derek Perkins. His performance was unquestionable. In fact I would not have continued with another less able reader. It took about 20 chapters before I became totally hooked and couldn't put the book down. I would have found it a hard book to read but Derek Perkins performance was compelling.

Yvonne. Flattered, bored or just plain stupid?

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

Reviewed: 09-12-16

Would you listen to Apple Tree Yard again? Why?

Definitely on the "must read again" list. There must be nuances and subtleties in the story I missed on first listening to clarify why Yvonne did what she did and trusted a total stranger. I have a feeling I missed a facet of Yvonne' s personality and I need to discover what I may have missed.

What did you like best about this story?

The reader/listener becomes Yvonne. It's written so well you sit inside Yvonne's head and experience her thoughts and actions.

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

Juliet Stevenson is my all-time favourite female vocal performer. She never fails to deliver a superb, believable narrative. I first listened to her performing "The Signature of All Things" and "Apple Tree Yard" is equally impressive. Her delivery is pitched perfectly in speed and tone. Her accents and characterisation are excellent. A total listening pleasure.

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

Oh yes. If a book in one sitting is possible then Apple Tree Yard would rate in that list. It was totally absorbing and yes "addictive", as it said on the cover.

A disappointing sequel.

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

Reviewed: 28-02-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different storyline with characters resembling their Persimmon Tree personae.

Would you ever listen to anything by Bryce Courtenay again?

I am heading towards owning ALL of Bryce Courtenay books provided they are read by Humphrey Bower. For all round entertainment, including a bit of education, they are excellent.

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

I first heard Humphrey Bower narrating Shantaram and from that moment I have hunted out his performances. He could read 'small print' and make it riveting

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

Not for me, but everyone has their own opinion.

2 people found this helpful