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Philadelphus

New Quay, Wales
  • 39
  • reviews
  • 333
  • helpful votes
  • 103
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  • Shadows in Bronze

  • Falco, Book 2
  • By: Lindsey Davis
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 122
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 122

I was the new boy, so they saddled me with the worst jobs.' Rome, AD 71. Against his better judgement, Falco secretly disposes of a decayed corpse for the Emperor Vespasian, then heads for the beautiful Bay of Naples with his best friend Petronius. He conveniently forgets to mention to his companion that this will be no holiday. They have been sent to investigate the murderous members of a failed coup, now sunning themselves in luxurious villas and on fancy yachts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • good story, performed by pensioner!

  • By ms.A on 30-03-16

Not Falco with this narrator.

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

Reviewed: 22-11-15

Couldn't cope with the change of narrator from the impeccable Christian Rodska. Dull and lacking character after his cheeky verve in Silver Pigs. Returned to Audible.

Will have to continue my binge reread on paper till I get to where Rodska takes over again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Winds of War

  • By: Herman Wouk
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 45 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151

Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible!!!!

  • By Julie on 11-11-12

Reader only so-so but story surmounts it

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

Reviewed: 23-12-13

This is a bargain listen, worth every minute. It's a fascinating story. For me the reader is only so-so. His voices are not very individual so if your attention wanders you can lost track of who is speaking. And his accents are not very good - Englishmen saying "Toodur" and so forth. But the tale overcomes these irritations.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Astaires

  • Fred & Adele 
  • By: Kathleen Riley
  • Narrated by: Barbara Edelman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Before "Fred and Ginger" there was "Fred and Adele", a show-business partnership and cultural sensation like no other. In our celebrity-saturated era, it's hard to comprehend what a genuine phenomenon these two siblings from Omaha were. At the height of their success in the mid-1920s, the Astaires seemed to define the Jazz Age. They were Gershwin's music in motion, a fascinating pair who wove spellbinding rhythms in song and dance. In this book, the first comprehensive study of their theatrical career together, Kathleen Riley traces the Astaires' rise to fame from humble midwestern origins.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting boook, irritating reader

  • By Philadelphus on 06-06-13

Interesting boook, irritating reader

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

Reviewed: 06-06-13

You may know the saying that Ginger Rodgers did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in high heels. Well she didn 't. Watch the films. She knocks spots off him as an actor and is an equal contributor to the films overall, but as a dancer she moves from one position to another in a learned sequence where he is as expressive and fluid as a great ballet dancer ( many of whom would agree about his greatness).

The woman who did probably do everything he did, and possibly more, backwards and in high heels was his sister Adele. Untill she left the stage to marry she was the greater star of the two. Unfortunately she was never filmed, and her quavery singing voice can sound strange to modern ears. But reviews leave no doubt about her talents as dancer and comic.

This book is an interesting history of the Astaire partnership. But I find the reader too foursquare and dull. Her idea of quoting either Astaire is always to be bright, brash and loud and in other ways I find her too lacking in variety.

Finally, if like me you are British her determination to mispronounce all British names if possible could be very wearing. BerNARD Shaw: Ok. He was Irish, that's the American pronounciation and would have been used to his face. Nor-WITCH: I daresay there is a Norwich somewhere in New England pronounced like that. Adelph-eye and SAH-voy Theatres: plausible so never mind. But when she reversed the usual American tendency to turn an "ah" sound into an "ay" sound (Aydolf Hitler turns up) and pronounced the name "Latham" as Lahtham I began to wonder if it was a deliberate wind-up. "Glasgow" emphatically rhymed with "cow" finished me off and I ordered the paper version instead.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Earth Hums in B Flat

  • By: Mari Strachan
  • Narrated by: Jenni Lea-Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 8

Young Gwenni Morgan is fond of strawberry whip, detective stories, and asking difficult questions. When a neighbour mysteriously vanishes, she resolves to uncover the secret of his disappearance. She truthfully records what she sees and hears: but are her deductions correct? What is the real truth? And what will be the consequences - for Gwenni, her family, and her community - of finding it out?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wrong reader

  • By Philadelphus on 08-05-12

Wrong reader

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-12

I think I'd have given four stars for the right reader. The pace is slow and gentle and for a modern 13 year old the protagonist would be too naive. But this is 1950s Harlech. The poverty and inwardness are very well captured and I like the pace. But why do we have a South Welsh reader? It's like hearing someone with a Somerset accent voicing folk from Yorkshire. I was putting up with it until Aneurin turned up. Even in South Wales nobody pronounces it "An-your-in". It drove me almost to screaming. BBC Wales or S4C could easily find someone more plausible. (In English-speaking South East Wales it's "An- eye-rin", hence Nye Bevan. In Welsh-speaking Wales it tends towards "An-aye-rin".) It's not that difficult to get it right.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Prime Minister

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Timothy West
  • Length: 27 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124

Plantaganet Palliser, Prime Minister of England - a man of power and prestige, with all the breeding and inherited wealth that goes with it - is appalled at the inexorable rise of Ferdinand Lopez. An exotic impostor, seemingly from nowhere, Lopez has society at his feet, while well-connected ladies vie with each other to exert influence on his behalf - even Palliser’s own wife, Lady Glencora.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is now the full book. Bang up to date too.

  • By Philadelphus on 17-10-11

This is now the full book. Bang up to date too.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-10-11

Until last week if you bought this you only got the first third of the book. It is now all present and correct.

To me it is one of the most interesting of the Palliser series, contrasting an upright man trying to lead the nation with the bounders taking over the world at, as Trollope saw it, a time of moral decay. There is an arch-cad, involved in double dealings and who gets into Parliament. Lady Glencora is drawn into shady dealings, scandal is whipped up by the gutter press and falls on the Prime Minister's head. It was written shortly after a massive financial crash which led to a Great Depression which lasted over 20 years.

Sound familiar? So it should. And because Trolllope is a great psychologist it is gripping stuff, which really makes me feel there is nothing new in the world, though I will admit that the ingenue (Emily) is dull.

Superbly read by Timothy West, as ever.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Duke's Children

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Timothy West
  • Length: 21 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115

The Duke's Children is the sixth and final audiobook in the Palliser series. Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium and former Prime Minister of England, is widowed and wracked by grief. Struggling to adapt to life without his beloved Lady Glencora, he works hard to guide and support his three adult children. Palliser soon discovers, however, that his own plans for them are very different from their desires. Sent down from university in disgrace, his two sons quickly begin to run up gambling debts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Trollope and Timothy West perfectly matched ...

  • By Philadelphus on 10-08-11

Trollope and Timothy West perfectly matched ...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-11

... as usual.

But why has this book appeared in Audible's list before "The Prime Minister"? Glencora is mysteriously gone (it wouldn't be a mystery if we had "The Prime Minister" and Plantagenet is a single parent not making a very good job of it. But he learns. I do enjoy his reaction to the slang of the time and Trollope is very good at the interplay between generations, and between British and American characters.

If you know the Palliser series you might not mind hearing this next after "Phineas Redux". Or it would work as a standalone novel. But if you are following the series for the first time in order then badger Audible for "The Prime Minister" before listening to this.

I wish there were more to come.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Attenbury Emeralds

  • By: Jill Paton Walsh
  • Narrated by: Edward Petherbridge
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

It was 1921 when Lord Peter Wimsey first encountered the Attenbury emeralds. The recovery of the magnificent gem - Lord Attenbury’s most dazzling heirloom - made headlines and launched a shell-shocked young aristocrat on his career as a detective. Now it is 1951: a happily married Lord Peter has just shared the secrets of that mystery with his wife, the detective novelist Harriet Vane.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Attenbury Emeralds

  • By Gill on 16-10-10

Had to keep listening

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-11

There are things you can carp at: Bunter's son at Eton, clunky plotting at times, the Wimseys failing to do the obvious when they are both so clever, their son not understanding he would one day be the Duke now that Lord St George is dead and more. But Jill Paton Walsh captures so convincingly the tone that Dorothy L. Sayers set up for Lord Peter and his Harriet, the plot is interesting and the contextual detail so convincing that it doesn't really matter. Edward Petherbridge's relatively downbeat style fits the now 60 year old Lord Peter very well and I found his quiet tones made me listen with full attention. I got through it in two evenings and had difficulty stopping the first evening in order to go to bed. I wasn't expecting it to be so good. Thoroughly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Phineas Finn

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Timothy West
  • Length: 23 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 225
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172

In Phineas Finn, the second of the Palliser series, Trollope balances the rival demands of public and private life. Phineas Finn, an irresistible but penniless young Irish barrister enters Parliament and comes to London leaving behind him an Irish sweetheart, Mary Flood-Jones. In London, Phineas wins friends on all sides and is admitted into high society. However, he also falls more-or-less in love, first with politically-minded Lady Laura Standish, then with Violet Effingham, and finally with wealthy widow Madame Max Goesler.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As good as it gets.

  • By James on 01-07-10

Perfection

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-10

This is one of Trollope's best novels. Phineas himself is a variation on one of his stock protagonists - the callow young man who finds himself simultaneously attached to more than one woman at a time. But he is a real character with a personality of his own, not a cardboard cutout. The Irish dimension adds to the interest and the picture of politics and the media is fascinating and never, ever dull. Lady Laura is one of Trollope's strongest and most interesting women, though as a man of his time he doesn't find her a way of exercising her talents. But that's how it was, and the waste of it is his point, even though he can't see a way out. And finally, as ever, Timothy West's reading couldn't be bettered. Roll on 'Phineas Redux' and the rest of the Palliser series.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

  • By: Alexandre Dumas
  • Narrated by: Andrew Timothy
  • Length: 50 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173

The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas.

Published in 1844, it is often considered one of the great thrillers of all time and, along with The Three Musketeers, Dumas' most popular work.

Falsely accused of treason, the young sailor Edmund Dantes is arrested on his wedding day and imprisoned in the island fortress of the Chateau d'If. After staging a dramatic escape, he sets out to discover the treasure of Monte Cristo and catch up with his enemies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing fast paced action

  • By John H. Foster on 17-12-09

Good book, irritating reading

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-06-10

I got this because of the bargain price even though I knew from the sample that the reader insisted on pronouncing the protagonist's name as Dante out of a mistaken view that 'Dantes' is French so the 's' must be silent. Wrong. It's Occitan or some other language prevalent in the south of France and the 's' is definitely pronounced, as it is in so many local place names. Every time he said the name it was like the clang of a cracked bell and I couldn't tune it out no matter how I tried. Splendid story if this doesn't bother you. It is a noisy recording as well, but at this price what do you expect?

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • War and Peace, Volume 1

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Neville Jason
  • Length: 30 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 539
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 378

War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An epic reading

  • By Francis on 01-05-07

Not the voice of Tolstoy

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-04-10

I do wish I could like this better. I've read and reread the novel, and will read it again. I agree that Neville Jason has a wealth of voices for the characters. But his detached, ironic, even effete narrator is just not the right voice for the robust, passionate, opinionated Tolstoy. I won't be getting the second half.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful