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Different, in a very good way.

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

Reviewed: 13-11-19

The trilogy is brilliant. A bit different to what I would normally listen too. I choose books on narrator rather than author these days, as a good narrator can make good and bad books worth listening too, whereas a good author can still be ruined by a bad narrator.

in this series of three books however, the author and narrator are well matched in the detective murder mystery with a twist.

I highly recommend this.

Absolutely brilliant

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

Reviewed: 16-10-19

Perfectly narrated, this audiobook just keeps on giving. I had no idea what it was about (I didn't read the overview, so went in blind). Not knowing anything about it made it a whole lot better, as there was no preconception of who characters were, or any idea of a plot. The story telling held me from start to finish, and with more than a few surprises along the way.

I came for the narration and stayed for the story.

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

Reviewed: 07-10-19

Bad narration can ruin an audiobook, whereas good narration can rescue a wreck of a story.

For the past few months I have opened my mind to the types of audiobooks I listen to. Rather than pick an author, I have started to pick a narrator who has kept stories going with feeling, emotion, and an ability to make the story really come to life. On some occasions the book itself has been dreadful (anything by Ken Follett), but the narrators made it worth the listen.

I picked this audio book as it was read by a narrator I had heard before & loved. Sally Scott was fantastic in a previous audiobook, and her narration of this novel was brilliant - as was Heidi Perks story itself. I shall definitely get more Heidi Perks audiobooks, as this one was thoroughly absorbing.

Kirsty Dillon and Julie Maisey also did such a top job with their narration that I shall definitely look out for other narration that they have carried out.

Choosing audiobooks based on narrators really opens up the genres I listen too, and several times they introduce me to new authors, whose full library I then listen to, whilst at the same time discovering new narrators to follow. It's a wonderful circle!

1 person found this helpful

Competent writing, excellent narration.

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

Reviewed: 25-09-19

A competent story with some good historical parts, a hefty slice of suspense. The narration saved it from the dire generic and cliched characters and god awful sex scenes.

In fact Emilia Fox did such a great job that I'd happily chance listening to anything else she narrates regardless of storyline or author. A good narrator can pull the best out of a bad story.

Worst book ever, by a huge margin.

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

Reviewed: 25-09-19

A car crash of the worst writing/audio I have ever encountered.
This is such a heinous car crash of a book that I only listened to see if it could actually get any worse... and by god did it take that challenge and run with it.

Never has a book, audio or otherwise, literally (not figuratively!) made me exclaim out loud as yet another outrageously written mess is spouted out in the most heavy handed, amateurish fashion.

The writing style is as clumsy as a drunken three legged blind bull on roller skates trying to get around a china shop that has a greased floor... and the shop is on an ocean liner in rough seas.

Ken Follett knows a bit about wartime history, or at least enough to not make the less knowledgeable listener turn off in exasperation of any inaccuracies, but for every bit he gets right, the rest is rubbish that he clearly hopes no one will notice.

I can't cook a Michelin star winning meal, but that doesn't mean I don't know a bad meal when I eat one, and this is a bad meal. See that analogy? That used a comparison to something people would know about, whereas Follett uses something hardly anyone understands, to explain something else that hardly anyone else would understand... Poor writing.

His amorous scenes are embarrassingly written, as if by a schoolboy who only knows about sex from the imagined and inexperienced playground stories from other boys, and a GCSE biology book. Has Follett ever met a real woman? His writing suggests not. The sex scenes alone are hilarious due to his abominable handling of the subject.

Luckily a good narrator can save a story, hence why I purchased this one. I had listened to Jackdaws, and although the non-historic parts were sub-par, the wartime feel was compelling. Sadly, again, the sex scenes would have been better off with the lovers looking into each others eyes... and then ending the chapter, letting the listener fill in the blanks (a monk or nun would probably fill in the blanks more convincingly than Follett!). Either way, the narrator was good enough to make me try Follett again.

The narrator this time though is awful.

With a rollercoaster inflecture and random grammatical pauses, stops and run ons, Russell Bentley's narration soon starts to overshadow the tedious long winded start to the story. With emphasis WHERE there should BE none, and, ran, dom sentence structures that. Are so fragmented that you get whiplashed Bentley's vocal style quickly. Becomes irritating.

Just like that.

Add that vocal style to one of the clumsily written scenes of passion and you'd swear that this whole thing was just a bet to see how bad a story could be, yet still sell.

A good narrator can save a story, and a good writer can make up for poor narration. In this case the two got together and beat the life out of this audiobook, leaving the listener with no desire to purchase anything with either the writer or narrator in again.

You have been warned.

A must for anyone.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

To sit and read such a book is only for those with the will & want to do so... But this is an important piece of history, and in audio format it makes it much easier to take in... almost taking you in as if it was a war/spy novel.



Yeah, here's a spoiler alert. Hitler dies & the Nazis lose... BUT this book shows exactly how the most hated figure in modern history came to power.



Even though you may know the outcome of some of the events and battles, you are on the edge of your seat as you realise how damned close each side came to victory/loss at each decision.



In his early political life you can see that he was driven, had a great mind & huge potential. In post WW1 Germany you could see that the way the country was treated by the victors of WW1, that something had to break. The real start of the troubles that lead to WW1 started way before Hitler turned up... but the pot was on the boil, and the Germany was in such a mess that one man with a bright future vision (which it really was... initially) could go from a street tramp to the most powerful leader in a matter of years. Hitler it seems, was the sum of all that was around him.



Truly fascinating, and a real eye opener to why the war kicked off. Understanding the lead up to our darkest days really casts a light on why it all happened. If it hadn't been Hitler, then someone else would have filled the void. The world was a powder keg waiting to blow.

1 person found this helpful

So much more than the films.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

Wonderful! Exciting! Thrilling!



Impossible to read without getting confused, terrible to watch because it lacks so much depth... Yet turned into an unabridged audiobook it is far easier to keep up with the flow & still retain everything the book contains.



The story is beautifully woven, with fully fleshed out characters and locations. This is the reason that I prefer a book to a film, and an audiobook to a book.



It is so regrettable that this collection on 'Millenium' stories came to such a tragic stop. Across the series start (The Girl with...) the stories just get stronger & more interwoven. You can only start to imagine how great any future books would have been. I fear if the collection is carried on by another author, that the magic will be lost.

Don't judge a book by its cover. Or its film.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

Wonderful! Exciting! Thrilling!



Impossible to read without getting confused, terrible to watch because it lacks so much depth... Yet turned into an unabridged audiobook it is far easier to keep up with the flow & still retain everything the book contains.



The story is beautifully woven, with fully fleshed out characters and locations. This is the reason that I prefer a book to a film, and an audiobook to a book.



It is so regrettable that this collection on 'Millenium' stories came to such a tragic stop. Across the series start (The Girl with...) the stories just get stronger & more interwoven. You can only start to imagine how great any future books would have been. I fear if the collection is carried on by another author, that the magic will be lost.

1 person found this helpful

Ignore the films, skip the book...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

Wonderful! Exciting! Thrilling!



Impossible to read without getting confused, terrible to watch because it lacks so much depth... Yet turned into an unabridged audiobook it is far easier to keep up with the flow & still retain everything the book contains.



The story is beautifully woven, with fully fleshed out characters and locations. This is the reason that I prefer a book to a film, and an audiobook to a book.



It is so regrettable that this collection on 'Millenium' stories came to such a tragic stop. Across the series start (The Girl with...) the stories just get stronger & more interwoven. You can only start to imagine how great any future books would have been. I fear if the collection is carried on by another author, that the magic will be lost.

Stunningly well written & read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

Not my usual cup of tea, but 'A Prayer for Owen Meany' builds up over the length of the book into a great mix of characters and plots.



Throughout the entire storyline there are beautiful little references to seemingly innocuous past events, with the smallest details weaving such a wonderful picture, leaving the reader (listener) with a clarity of what this world looks like and what the people are like, but still allowing the imagination to form the shapes.



I wished my drive to work was longer so I could have listened to more in one go, and in fact there were occasions that I took a 'long-cut' just to hear a particular story line thread play out!



It is to a budding novelist as a Mozart concerto is to a wannabe musician who has just picked up a tambourine... You think you'd like to try your hand at writing, then you see this and realise what a really good author can produce.



I'm a great fan of the Jason Bourne series, and John Le Carre is by far my favourite author of a book series or genre, but Owen Meany is that exception to the rule. Truly mesmerising.

21 people found this helpful