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Emma

Uplyme, Lyme Regis, Dorset, United Kingdom
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 51
  • helpful votes
  • 38
  • ratings
  • A Tale for the Time Being

  • By: Ruth Ozeki
  • Narrated by: Ruth Ozeki
  • Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 704
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 632
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639

Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery. In a small cafe in Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao Yasutani is navigating the challenges thrown up by modern life. In the face of cyber-bullying, the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun and great-grandmother, and the joy and heartbreak of family, Nao is trying to find her own place - and voice - through a diary.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cerebral

  • By Miss daisy on 28-10-15

Lovely

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

Reviewed: 09-01-17

What made the experience of listening to A Tale for the Time Being the most enjoyable?

Just getting lost in the story, and it's wonderful characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tale for the Time Being?

I loved the sections with Nao in particular.

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

I didn't realise until the end that the book was being narrated by the author. As she says in her afterword, she was able to place her own emphasis on her words by reading them alound, something she couldn't do in print.

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

It's about time.

Any additional comments?

One of the best audiobooks I've consumed in a long time. Sensitive, vivid, and thought-provoking.

  • The Stone Man

  • A Science Fiction Horror Novel
  • By: Luke Smitherd
  • Narrated by: Matt Addis
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,977
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,862
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,855

Nobody knew where it came from. Nobody knew why it came. When an eight-foot-tall man made of stone appears in the middle of a busy city center one July afternoon, two-bit (and antisocial) reporter Andy Pointer assumes it's just a publicity stunt. Indeed, so does everyone else...until the Stone Man begins to walk, heading silently through the wall of the nearest building, flattening it, and killing several people inside as a result.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Original British SF...absolutely loved it!!

  • By Jude on 12-07-15

A great story well told

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

Reviewed: 04-07-16

If you could sum up The Stone Man in three words, what would they be?

Clever. Gripping. Well judged.

What other book might you compare The Stone Man to, and why?

Hugh Howey's Silo, in terms of both being very well written, self-published novels.

What about Matt Addis’s performance did you like?

Great pace. Good a female voices and accents.

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

The ending. An intriguing kind of purgatory. And the bit with the old soldier was touching.

Any additional comments?

This had been sitting in my Audible queue for a while, and I'd completely forgotten what prompted me to buy it. Anyway, I needed something distracting during the post Brexit meltdown, and a vision of dystopian Britain menaced by an inexplicable and destructive dark force seemed to fit the bill.

I loved this book. A clever and compelling story, very well told. Great characterisation, perfect ending. So perhaps I should be ashamed to admit that I was surprised to hear, in Luke's charming and cheeky afterword, that it was self-published. I thought I'd learned that lesson from listening to Hugh Howey's brilliant Silo trilogy - self-published can be just as good as traditionally published. Still, it is well written by any standard, and easily better than a great many novels churned out with all the editorial might of a publishing house behind them. Hats off to you, Luke. I'll be reading more of your stuff.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Then We Came to the End

  • By: Joshua Ferris
  • Narrated by: Ian Porter
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Then We Came to the End is about how we spend our days and too many of our nights. It is about being away from friends and family, about sharing a stretch of stained carpet with a group of strangers we call colleagues.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bizarre and very clever

  • By Mirium on 22-08-09

Brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-09

I nearly didn't buy this book as, in the UK at least, it had attracted so many bad reviews. And then I thought, what the hell, why not? If nothing else, I'll learn something by it.

It quickly became clear, within a chapter or so, that this was a book of pure, unadulterated genius. It is clever, innovative, funny, touching and profound. But it is also a deeply literary novel. It is not meant to be an easy read. It is not 'office lit'. It deals with the big issues of life - death, loss, grieving and those large, thorny questions of identity. And it filters these through the context of work. What emerges is a masterpiece of understatement, a tour-de-force of oblique characterisation.

  • Engleby

  • By: Sebastian Faulks
  • Narrated by: Michael Maloney
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 787
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 551

Mike Engleby says things that others dare not even think. When the novel opens in the 1970s, he is a university student, having survived a "traditional" school. A man devoid of scruple or self-pity, Engleby provides a disarmingly frank account of English education. Yet beneath the disturbing surface of his observations lies an unfolding mystery of gripping power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible - In the very best way!

  • By Robert on 08-02-08

Flawless

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-09

OK, if you're after a whodunnit, don't bother with "Engleby". Yes, it is fairly obvious he did do it, even from the beginning. But if you want to read a searingly intelligent book, crammed with ideas and opinions of breathtaking virtuosity, download and devour it now.

Utterly unlike "Birdsong" which, if I am honest, I cannot recall in any detail at all, this is a literary tour-de-force, darkly humorous, psychologically astute, and deeply compelling. I loved how Faulks played with the novelistic form and the first person narrator, and I laughed buckets at his caricatures of well known politicians. But I also found it deeply poignant in parts, and really rather liked poor Mike, for all his facetiousness and flawed sense of superiority. He is clever and witty and, more often than not, absolutely right.

A rare and masterful novel that reminds you just why you so love reading.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Black Swan Green
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        David Mitchell
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Chris Nelson
    
    


    
    Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
    375 ratings
    Overall 4.0
  • Black Swan Green

  • By: David Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Chris Nelson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 375
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 227
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 225

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2006.
Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, 2006
Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best Book, 2007.

Jason Taylor is 13, doomed to be growing up in the most boring family in the deadest village on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Welcome nostalgia

  • By Kelly on 23-03-07

Unmissable

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

Reviewed: 10-08-09

I listened to this and loved it. So did my eleven and fourteen-year-old boys, who still talk about it now. One of the most convincing evocations of childhood before parental paranoia and Playstations took all the fear, fun and freedom out of it. Jason's insights are accurate and often hilarious, his observations absurdly poetic and yet right on the mark, and his desciptions of various events - notably his passage through the neighbouring back gardens - some of the most intense and vivid you'll ever encounter. Mitchell reveals himself as a master of character as well as language.

Moreover, it's wonderfully narrated by Chris Nelson, who has just the perfect voice and tone for 'Jace'. 'Black Swan Green' could challenge 'A Little Stranger' as my favourite audiobook of all time, but is definitely top of my list for the sheer brilliance of its narration.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Little Stranger

  • By: Sarah Waters
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 16 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 650
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 360
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 362

In a dusty postwar summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not overly ghostly

  • By Tracey on 07-07-09

Just perfect

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-09

You won't find any of the twists and riddles that inhabit Waters' earlier works. Nor, for that matter, the lesbian overtones. But I think "The Little Stranger", like "The Night Watch", is a much greater achievement as a result.

Waters is a consummate writer, in this novel displaying such mastery and maturity that she must surely be counted amongst very highest ranking British novelists. Indeed, I can think of no one I would rather read. Whatever her subject, she describes character, scenes and events with such economy and precision that must leave other writers almost wretched with envy. Indeed, I have never known her put a foot wrong; never a moment of pretentiousness, or boredom, or redundancy.

"The Little Stranger" boasts a pace and atmosphere so chilling that I actually got the shivers while weeding the garden. Not many works of fiction can achieve that on a warm, sunny day.

It is also beautifully read. The narrator has the perfect voice, accent and inflection for the novel's period, and was a joy to listen to. Indeed, if I had to choose one work to illustrate the sheer pleasure of listening to an unabridged novel, it would be this one.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Blenheim Orchard

  • By: Tim Pears
  • Narrated by: Paul Herzberg
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

Ezra and Sheena Pepin live in Blenheim Orchard in North Oxford with their three children: 14-year-old Blaise, entering the stormy world of adolescence; Hector, 11 and precociously clever; and sweet Louie, three years old and the family tyrant. Ezra, a benignly disaffected employee at Isis Water, has abandoned his calling as an anthropologist; Sheena has inadvertently found hers running a travel company. And then change comes knocking at their door, and the Pepin family are never quite the same again.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Truely AWFUL recording

  • By Tracey Clare on 05-11-07

What a shame

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-08

I'm about an hour into this audiobook and for the first time in a longish history of listening to novels I am considering giving up. Nothing wrong with the writing or the plot. But why this narrator was chosen is completely beyond me. I think one of my kids could have read the story better. His reading is painfully, infuriatingly stilted. He seems to manufacture extra syllables in words. His emphasis and pauses within sentences often totally obscure the meaning. You spend the whole time focussed on how badly he is narrating, rather than getting lost in the story.

It really is unforgiveably bad. If I were Tim Pears, I'd sue.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Falling
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Elizabeth Jane Howard
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Alan Bates,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Diana Quick
    
    


    
    Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
    19 ratings
    Overall 4.2
  • Falling

  • By: Elizabeth Jane Howard
  • Narrated by: Alan Bates, Diana Quick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Henry Kent is in late middle age, is almost without means, and lives on a dank houseboat. When Daisy Langrish buys a cottage not far from where he moors the boat, Henry becomes interested in her. She seems alone...and vulnerable. But when Henry starts work tending to Daisy's garden, her daughter is suspicious: there's something not quite right.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Emma on 10-06-08

Wonderful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-08

One of those books you just fall into and never want to end. The story was beautifully written and absorbing, alternating between the viewpoints of the two main characters, with a masterly portrayal of the mind of a sociopath.

Based, apparently, on something that actually happened to Howard herself.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Tomorrow

  • By: Graham Swift
  • Narrated by: Lindsay Duncan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4

Distilling half a century into one suspenseful night, as tender in its tone as it is deep in its soundings, Tomorrow is a magical exploration of coupledom, parenthood, and selfhood, as well as a meditation on the mystery of happiness.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Like eavesdropping a confession....

  • By Catherine on 13-11-09

A breath of fresh air

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-08

After a couple of indifferent books, in print and audio, this was like a long cool drink on a hot day. Such a relief to be in the hands of someone who can actually write.

Certainly nothing much happens but there's such thought and intelligence here that it's a joy to listen to. Got me through many dull hours of decorating, anyway.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Savage Garden
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Mark Mills
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Daniel Philpott
    
    


    
    Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
    99 ratings
    Overall 3.8
  • The Savage Garden

  • By: Mark Mills
  • Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

A Richard and Judy Summer Read Selection.
Shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Dagger Award, 2007.

In 1958, Adam Strickland, a Cambridge student, gains access to the garden of Villa Docci in Tuscany, designed and laid out in the mid-16th century by a grieving husband to the memory of his dead wife. Adam becomes fascinated by the Doccis, both by their recent tragedies and by the dangerous secrets hidden within the family domain. The garden itself seems to have a powerful influence over his imagination...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story

  • By Elizabeth on 12-08-07

Indifferent

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-08

I usually like intelligent and erudite reads. But this just struck me as mildly annoying and show-offy, and I just didn't feel engaged with any of the characters. This was particularly aggravated by the very male oriented narrating style, with sex scenes written like some corny story from Forum magazine. All male fantasy stuff. I'm not a prude, but I do think male novelists should bear in mind that women read their books too and don't necessarily think or react in the same way men do. It felt like a very elementary error of judgement that an astute editor should have picked up.

And I agree the narrating left a lot to be desired, with some sentences rendered virtually incomprehensible by unwarranted pauses and emphases.

All things considered, the book just didn't pass the 'so what' test for me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful