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Some Kind of Fairy Tale cover art
  • Some Kind of Fairy Tale

  • By: Graham Joyce
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 497
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 301

Some Kind of Fairy Tale is a very English story. A story of woods and clearings, a story of folk tales and family histories. It is as if Neil Gaiman and Joanne Harris had written a fairy tale together.... It is Christmas afternoon and Peter Martin gets an unexpected phone call from his parents, asking him to come round. It pulls him away from his wife and children and into a bewildering mystery. His sister, Tara. Not so unusual you might think, this is Christmas after all, a time when families get together. But 20 years ago, Tara took a walk into the woods and never came back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A real page turner

  • By Kate on 02-08-12

A Walk in the Woods

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

Reviewed: 23-04-15

Sixteen year-old Tara Martin goes for a walk in the woods at bluebell time and returns home on Christmas Day twenty years later. She has scarcely changed and claims to have been away for only six months. Was she abducted by fairies or is there a more rational explanation for her disappearance?

An interesting tale concerning the effect of Tara's disappearance on her close family and her boyfriend, and their reaction to her unexpected return. We hear Tara's explanations and a psychiatrist's conclusions. I liked Graham Joyce's style of writing, apart from one or two annoying Americanisms (e.g. parking-lot), and enjoyed the inclusion of quotes from various sources at the beginning of each chapter. John Lee is a good narrator, but I didn't really enjoy his choice of accents for this book.

  • The Buried Giant

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: David Horovitch
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 819
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 750
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 750

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at last the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards - some strange and otherworldly - but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hmmmm

  • By Jenny on 12-03-15

The Mist

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

Reviewed: 13-04-15

Post Roman Britain, post King Arthur, Britons and Saxons are living in relative harmony under a mist which is causing memory loss. Axl and Beatrice are an elderly couple who leave their home village on a quest to find their son. They travel across a land populated with ogres, demons and pixies. They meet a warrior, and a knight in shining armour (rusty). There's a dragon to contend with.

More myth than fantasy, quite slow, and written in the same matter of fact tone used in The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. Everyone is polite and chivalric, even the baddies. Ostensibly a tale along the lines of "When a Knight won his spurs", but plenty of relevance to modern day life, most of which I've probably missed.

Not a book that will appeal to everyone, but I thought that it was BRILLIANT. Excellent narration by David Horovitch too.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17,307
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,294
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16,263

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exhilarating adventure. Brilliantly executed.

  • By Kaggy on 30-08-14

Lost in Space

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

Reviewed: 13-04-15

A mission to Mars goes badly wrong when a dust storm causes the crew to make an emergency departure from the planet. One member of the crew is left behind, presumed dead. Mark Watney has no means of communicating with earth and has very limited supplies of food, water and oxygen. The book is a log of his struggle to survive.

There's a lot of technical detail, most of which went way over my head, but the story is told in an engaging way. Watney is a likeable character and relentlessly cheerful. A good listen, I liked the narration.

  • The Stranger House

  • By: Reginald Hill
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 16 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 306
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 160
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 160

For years, the Stranger House has stood in the village of Illthwaite, offering refuge to travellers. People like Sam, a brilliant young mathematician, who believes that anything that can't be explained by maths isn't worth explaining. And Miguel, a historian running from a priests' seminary, who sees ghosts. Sam is an experienced young woman, Miguel a 26-year-old virgin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good detective novel with a touch of romance

  • By Thomas on 02-11-07

The Stranger House

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

Reviewed: 03-04-15

A feisty red-haired Australian mathematician (female), and a Spanish former trainee Catholic priest (male), both arrive in the sinister & remote village of Illthwaite, Cumbria; she in connection with family history investigation, and he to carry out research for his thesis on the subject of recusancy. The close knit village community, families whose roots in the village go back centuries, are not eager to divulge secrets. Plenty of twists and turns follow involving the topics of the forced migration of children to Australia in the 60s, and the persecution of Catholics five hundred years ago in Elizabethan England.

I chose this book because I read and enjoyed The Woodcutter last year. I thought that this story got off to a slow start and at first I found the character of Sam Flood to be quite abrasive.The pace picked up as the story progressed, there were a few clunky bits here and there relating to maths and to spooky apparitions, but on the whole a good listen with plenty going on. Not quite as good as The Woodcutter.

I enjoyed Gordon Griffin's narration despite the Australian accent. To my ears it seemed rather grating but reinforced Sam Flood's personality.

  • History of the Rain

  • By: Niall Williams
  • Narrated by: Jennifer McGrath
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 48

We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story...Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her father.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Huge achievement, perfect prose for audio

  • By Nettlewine on 13-10-14

Endless River

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

Reviewed: 13-03-15

Ruth Swain tells her family's story from her sickbed. The story is set in the recent past, Ruth's age is not clear, somewhere around late teens; she lives beside the River Shannon in Faha, County Clare and she is probably going to die.

Her account meanders through the generations of Swains, village life, her father's book collection, salmon fishing, and the endless rain. The writing is poetic and Ruth remains upbeat, but events are mostly depressing and the narrative goes on.........and on............and on. If I had been reading this in book form I may well have given up half way through, unlike Ruth's faithful prospective boyfriend, but in the audio version Jennifer McGrath has a nice Irish accent and so the book flowed over me.

A very beautiful book but not an action thriller, bodice ripper, nor beach read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Six Degrees of Assassination: An Audible Drama cover art
  • Six Degrees of Assassination: An Audible Drama

  • By: M J Arlidge
  • Narrated by: Andrew Scott, Freema Agyeman, Hermione Norris, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,737
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,607
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,603

On a sullen, cloudy July day ten years since 7/7, the happy, confident and optimistic British Prime Minister is visiting a charity in East London. It’s just two months after the general election which saw John Campbell's government returned to power with a clear majority, the economy is on the mend and the coalition is fast becoming a bad memory. Suddenly, a man appears out of the crowd and shoots him three times in the chest.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Shame - could have been so much better

  • By Chris on 24-12-15

Fast paced political thriller.

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

Reviewed: 10-12-14

A large cast of well-known tv actors, sound effects and a frenetic pace make this production stand apart from normal audiobooks.

The British Prime Minister has been shot and fatally wounded, it's down to MI5 to track down the killer and prevent any further attacks. There are plenty of twists, turns and red herrings along the way before the culprit is eventually unmasked. An enjoyable listen that moves along at a gallop and is reminiscent of an episode of the tv programme Spooks. The performances from the various cast members were very good.

Too much gratuitous use of the f word spoilt the performance for me slightly, it was unnecessary, repetitive and jarring.

  • The Society of Others

  • By: William Nicholson
  • Narrated by: Glen McCready
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

He has nowhere to go. So he goes there. The narrator of The Society of Others is an alienated young man who sees no meaning in life. He doesn't even see the point of getting out of bed in the morning. To get his family off his back, he embarks on an aimless hitchhiking adventure around Europe. But his journey soon turns into an orgy of violence...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Disaffected Youth

  • By Susan on 16-08-14

Disaffected Youth

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

Reviewed: 16-08-14

I thought that the first couple of chapters describing the narrator of the story were excellent. He is 22 years old and describes himself as having an average degree from an average university. He doesn't have a job and spends most of his time in his room. On a whim he decides to go travelling with no particular destination in mind. From thence forward the story becomes more and more surreal and philosophical. I didn't really understand the ending I'm afraid.

William Nicholson writes beautifully and this was an enjoyable listen with lots of interesting musical and poetical references.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Apple Tree Yard

  • By: Louise Doughty
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,403
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,215
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,208

Yvonne Carmichael has a high-flying career, a beautiful home and a good marriage. But when she meets a stranger she is drawn into a passionate affair. Keeping the two halves of her life separate seems easy at first. But she can’t control what happens next.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Multi-layered and absorbing

  • By Jill on 08-02-14

The Fruits of Temptation

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

Reviewed: 18-06-14

An intriguing start to the novel led in to a rather unsavoury and fairly predictable tale. I didn't much care for the storyline and had little sympathy for either of the accused. However, I thought that the book was well written and came from an unusual angle. Plenty of detail about London and the life of a successful scientist gave atmosphere and there was an interesting insight into the workings of The Old Bailey and the justice system. The way that the plot gradually unfurled maintained my interest throughout.

The book reminded me of a recent tv series - Accused? Excellent narration by Juliet Stevenson.

  • The Tooth Tattoo

  • Peter Diamond, Book 13
  • By: Peter Lovesey
  • Narrated by: Michael Tudor Barnes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88

Peter Diamond, head of Bath CID, takes a city break in Vienna, but everything goes wrong and his companion, Paloma, calls a halt to their relationship. Meanwhile, strange things are happening to jobbing musician Mel Farran, who finds himself scouted by methods closer to the spy world than the concert platform. The chance of joining a once-famous string quartet in a residency at Bath Spa University is too tempting for Mel to refuse. Then a body is found in the city canal, and the only clue to the dead woman's identity is the tattoo of a music note on one of her teeth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Classical Diamond

  • By Susan on 08-01-14

Classical Diamond

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

Reviewed: 08-01-14

Peter Diamond is my favourite fictional detective and I think that this latest book is one of the best of the series.

A badly decomposed body is recovered from a canal in Bath. The death could be the result of an accident or suicide, but Diamond suspects murder and a major incident investigation gets underway. Soon Bath CID are investigating three murders.

At around the same time viola player Mel Farran receives a mysterious approach to join a renowned string quartet.

This is an excellent whodunnit with believable characters and there's a good Agatha Christie style reveal at the end. I enjoyed the look into the world of classical musicians, Peter Lovesey has obviously done a lot of research. I have been inspired to listen to Beethoven's Grosse Fugue.

Michael Tudor Barnes' narration was very good as usual.

Could we have the first books of the series on audio please Audible?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Broken Homes

  • Rivers of London, Book 4
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,056
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,766
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,743

Ben Aaronovitch has stormed the best-seller list with his superb London crime series - a unique blend of police procedural; loving detail about the greatest character of all, London; and a dash of the supernatural. A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil: an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer? Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case, a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his caseload.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magic and Mayhem...

  • By Sharon on 28-07-13

Peter Grant 4.

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

Reviewed: 29-11-13

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does a really good job with this series and his range of accents helps bring all the various characters to life.

I thought that Ben Aaronovitch might be running out of ideas now that we've reached book 4 of the Peter Grant series, but this was as fresh as ever and had a very surprising ending. My only criticism would be that the swearing in this book was very noticeable and to my mind was not really necessary.