LISTENER

jayjay

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • The Shadow of Death: The Holocaust in Lithuania

  • By: Harry Gordon
  • Narrated by: Adam Behr
  • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Holocaust survivor Harry Gordon recalls in brutal detail the anguished years of his youth, a youth spent struggling to survive in a Lithuanian concentration camp. A memoir about hope and resilience, The Shadow of Death describes the invasion of Kovno by the Red Army and the impact of Soviet occupation from the perspective of the ghetto's weakest and poorest class. It also serves as a reminder that the Germans were not alone responsible for the persecution and extermination of Jews.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Harrowing

  • By David on 25-08-16

Enlightening

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

Reviewed: 26-02-19

Account of experience of persecution of Jews in Lithuania by Nazis. Can't exactly say I enjoyed it, because the experiences of Harry Gordon and his family were so horrific, but it did add to further understanding of Jewish suffering during WW2.

  • Before We Were Yours

  • By: Lisa Wingate
  • Narrated by: Catherine Taber, Emily Rankin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 501
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 463
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge, until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents - but they quickly realize the dark truth….

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • thoroughly enjoyed it

  • By Amy Connolly on 22-01-18

More than expected

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

Reviewed: 17-08-18

I was expecting a novel about orphans but this is based on truth. The story is nevertheless a real page turner. The author gives some further reading at the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Vagrant King

  • By: E. V. Thompson
  • Narrated by: Glen McCready
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Cornish farmer Joseph Moyle's loyalty to the crown goes well rewarded - his stepson Ralf is appointed page to the future Charles II. And when Ralf takes up his post, Britain is in the midst of its most tumultuous period ever - the war between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians and the dawning of an entirely new era...Ralf's duties oblige him to follow the heir to the throne through the western counties, where he experiences not only court intrigue and the constant threat of Cromwell's armies, but also romance.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good story if you support the King

  • By jayjay on 12-06-18

A good story if you support the King

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

It made a good start, by placing the main character, Ralf, as a page to Prince Charles, son of Charles I. This enables the listener to view the English Civil War from the view of a fairly ordinary person. Sadly though, there was bias in favour of the royalists. The story reveals the military background of E.V Thompson as he went into great detail over the some of the battles. For anyone more interested in the social side of the period, the story came into its own when Ralf returned to work on his deceased stepfather's farm, as a labourer, to the new owner. I enjoyed the book after that, despite the lack of balance in the historical detail.

  • Safe at the Edge of the World

  • The Tour
  • By: Jean Grainger
  • Narrated by: Patrick Moy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 8

When a shadowy couple turn up on Conor O'Shea's grand tour of Ireland, the tranquility of Ireland's landscape acts as a shelter against the stormy reality of the life they left behind. On the run from a notorious mob boss, this mysterious couple flees the US in search of sanctuary on the shores of the Emerald Isle, hoping to blend in with the tourists. In their wake lies a mafia family's secrets and a scarred priest torn between his duty to the cloth and to the truth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpectedly brilliant story

  • By jayjay on 12-06-18

Unexpectedly brilliant story

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

Although I have enjoyed Jean Grainger's other books, the summary made me a bit cautious about ordering this one. I could not see how the author could make a bus tour into a novel, even an Irish one! I was so wrong because it was a brilliantly written story. In addition to a gripping plot, involving American gangsters, sidelining into various aspects of the Catholic Church, the story managed to incorporate the lives of other passengers. It also described the Irish towns the bus visited on tour. The narration was pretty good too. All in all, the book was great value. Thank you.

  • The Heather Blazing

  • By: Colm Toibin
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Colm Tóibín's The Heather Blazing details the life of Eamon Redmond, a judge in Ireland's high court, a man remote from his wife, his son and daughter and, at least outwardly, his own childhood. The life he has built for himself, between his work in Dublin and his family's retreat by the sea at Cush, is distinguished by order and by achievement. When, like his beloved coastline, it begins to slip away, he is pulled sharply into the present and finds himself revisiting his past.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful

  • By jayjay on 30-05-18

Insightful

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

Reviewed: 30-05-18

I mostly enjoyed this book. Colm Toibin is brilliant at bringing characters to life, and setting a believably accurate Irish scene. Stephen Hogan's narration was excellent and complimented or even enhanced Toibin's writing. What I could have done without, and so could his story, were the explicit sex descriptions. It made me cringeand didn't add much to the story. That was my only criticism and the reason for the four stars instead of five. Although this was written in the 1990's its topicality is as it's only just been written. The main character Eamon Redmond, a judge in a case that involves the expulsion of a girl from school because she has had a baby - relevant to the massive yes vote to abortion in Ireland, that has just taken place. It is just one example of past intolerance and cruelty to women/girls bearing children out of wedlock.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,557
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,393
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,394

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal

  • By Kerri on 19-02-17

So much more than just a good read.

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

Reviewed: 20-04-18

What made the experience of listening to The Heart's Invisible Furies the most enjoyable?

I bought this book because it was about an unwed Irish girl expecting a baby, who had to make it on her own in 1940's unsympathetic Ireland. The story is about the girl and the baby, as he grows in adulthood. But it was much more than that - it was about prejudices that existed everywhere in Ireland. John Boyle managed to write it in such a way that much of it was very funny - not all though, as it was often very sad. What I wasn't prepared for though, was some uncomfortable detail about homosexuality (according to one of Boyles'characters did not exist during the 1960s). I didn't really want to know about this - but because in other respects it made me laugh, I stayed with it. And - I am so glad I did - the story, despite some tragedy, had a good ending. I wasn't the same either - I think John Boyle has erased a few of my own prejudices too. Whilst the Hearts Invisible Furies was a good read/listen - it was an experience too.

  • So Much Owed

  • By: Jean Grainger
  • Narrated by: Michael Healy
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7

When Dr. Richard Buckley returns home to his wife and beloved hometown of Dunderrig, his mind is wearied by the ravages of The Great War. Disillusioned by the horror and pointlessness of battle, his civilian transition strains more than just his state of mind, as his marriage crumbles beneath the weight of duty. Out of the rubble of this doomed relationship, twins James and Juliet arrive - born into an uncertain and hostile new world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great audio book to sink into!

  • By Joseph Birchall on 07-10-17

I almost cried!

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

Reviewed: 17-04-18

Would you listen to So Much Owed again? Why?

A brilliant story and very well written, despite a fairly complex plot. It seemed to try to be unbiased throughout the telling of the tale. The story was about a west Cork family, caught up in the two World Wars. It explained the attitude of the Irish in officially remaining neutral, and why many people joined up. There were also some German characters thrown in for good measure. I almost cried during the last chapter.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Blacksmith's Wife

  • By: Anne Doughty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

County Armagh, 1845. Married to the local blacksmith, young Sarah Hamilton spends her days looking after John and his apprentices at the forge, and her happiness is strengthened by the steady love of her husband and the beautiful green landscape of her home on Drumilly Hill. But when tragedy strikes, her life is changed forever. As the crops across Ireland begin to fail and the textile industry struggles to adapt to new methods, Sarah isn't the only one enduring hardships.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • uplifting Story

  • By jayjay on 16-03-18

uplifting Story

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

Reviewed: 16-03-18

Any additional comments?

A good story - with a beginning, a middle and an end. It has plenty of historical interest and detail, focusing on the Irish potato famine. Sarah - the heroine, is more of an observer in the tragedy of the famine, than someone who experienced it first hand. She has much sympathy though and does what she can to help. I would have preferred a character with a few failings, so thats why it lost a star. Overall, a very good read and probably one of the best I have heard on audible. I won't spoil the ending though.

  • The Canal Bridge

  • A Novel of Ireland, Love, and the First World War
  • By: Tom Phelan
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

In 1913, before there is a rumor of war in Europe, Matthias Wrenn and Con Hatchel, lifelong friends from Ballyrannel in the Irish midlands, decide to see the world at the expense of the king of England and join the British army. A year later, while en route to India, their troop ship is recalled and they soon find themselves in the European slaughterhouse that was World War I.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A sad but compelling read.

  • By jayjay on 22-10-17

A sad but compelling read.

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

Reviewed: 22-10-17

Different style of writing, about two iris boys who join the British army and get involved in the First World War. The story is told from the personal perspective of several individuals in the story. The description of warfare in the trenches is realistic and compelling. The story describes life for the two boys before and after the war. It is sad and gave me a deeper perspective on WW1.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful