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j c hare

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • Kingdom Come

  • Kingmaker, Book 4
  • By: Toby Clements
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 500
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 463
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 460

Toby Clements's fourth and final instalment in the Kingmaker historical series, set during England's bloody and brutal War of the Roses. 1470. The recent tensions between King Edward and his great ally the Earl of Warwick lie forgotten these past months, but even as winter tightens her grip on the land, the peace is shattered by a vicious attack on one of the King's allies. Long buried secrets are brought to the surface, and Thomas and Katherine must finally decide where their loyalties lie and to choose between fight or flight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb series of books

  • By j c hare on 25-09-17

Superb series of books

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

Reviewed: 25-09-17

What made the experience of listening to Kingdom Come the most enjoyable?

Jack Hawkins has a fantastic tone, understated, almost deadpan, it really adds to the suspense and the characters. Toby Clements brings a different dimension to historical fiction by telling a compelling tale through the eyes of the supporting cast to the game of thrones.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Katherine - intelligent, flawed, kind, a perfect foil for the time

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

A wonderful voice, deadpan and humorous, takes plenty of time and pauses so well, would be difficult to read the books with the same tantalising patience.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely a series of books to savour and not rush, so no. The way the story is so beautifully crafted although you can't wait for the next chapter, so much better not to rush.

Any additional comments?

Book 4 I found, unlike all the others, to be a little rushed in places, almost as if Toby Clements ran out of side stories to fill the time it takes the royalty to get around to all their major battles and intrigue. Having said that, the side stories are what makes this series so special and the vivid descriptions of the ordinary folk and their lives unparalleled in my experience. No punches are pulled, life was tough and fully reflected in the story lines throughout. Earlier in the series there is much focus on primitive medical procedures and sometimes feels like a medical journal but this adds to the atmosphere and historical context when life was hard to hold on to - but not for the fainthearted. Book 4 less so, because you have heard it all before I suppose.
Overall I can't recommend the series enough, not just for historical fiction addicts either, there is something for everyone in a series written and narrated so well.
I am sorry there is not another one to look forward to now but many thanks to both author and narrator for a fantastic journey and a really great tale.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Divided Souls

  • Kingmaker, Book 3
  • By: Toby Clements
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 558
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 519
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 516

Lent, 1469. The recent wars between the House of York and the House of Lancaster seem over. The Yorkist King Edward sits on his throne in Westminster while the Lancastrian claimants are in exile or under lock and key in the Tower. But within the family of York, there is discord. The Earl of Warwick conspires against his king, and while to one another's faces they are all smiles, their household men speak in lies and whispers. No man comes to court unarmed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FANTASTIC STORY LINE HOPE TO READ MORE IN THE NEAR

  • By thanks on 04-11-16

Very enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 02-08-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Thoroughly recommend the series so far, can't wait for book 4

What about Jack Hawkins’s performance did you like?

Jack has a slow deliberate voice that teases the listener and adds to the natural suspense of the plot. He makes the characters natural without too many accents and thankfully no comical voices.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If only I could !

Any additional comments?

Toby is a natural story teller. The high level historical stuff is a backdrop to a very enjoyable tale about people but where Toby really goes the extra mile is making you feel what life must have been like for ordinary people, so many books concentrate on nobility. Granted some of the scenes are a little unrealistic and the surgical descriptions are not for the fainthearted but they fit the plot superbly and enhance the rich portrait of the time. Many thanks Toby, lets have the next one ASAP

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Bloody Ground

  • The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 4
  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Andrew Cullum
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77

The fourth volume of Bernard Cornwell's best-selling series on the American Civil War and featuring rebel Nathaniel Starbuck - a yankee fighting for the Southern cause. It is late summer 1862 and the Confederacy is invading the United States of America.Nate Starbuck, a northern preacher's son fighting for the rebel South, is given command of a punishment battalion - a despised unit of shirkers and cowards.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • please finish the Starbuck Chronicles

  • By John on 16-08-16

Shame it is the last book, excellent series

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

Reviewed: 31-07-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Bloody Ground to be better than the print version?

Not read the printed version

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bloody Ground?

The final battle described so well as usual by Mr Cornwell, just wish I had a map to hand

What about Andrew Cullum’s performance did you like?

Listening to the first book in the series I worried about Andrew and the accents, he was a little inconsistent, but as the series has progressed he got into it and brought the characters alive. I would now seek him out as a narrator, it was a pleasure to listen to him.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I prefer to enjoy a good book such as this over a period of time although you want to listen to a whole chapter at one sitting

Any additional comments?

Being a long standing fan of Bernard Cornwell and his English historical fiction I was not sure how he would "travel" to America. However the evident extent of his research and his own "take" on historical fact shines through in this series to make it hugely entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Buried Giant

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: David Horovitch
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 831
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 762
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 762

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

charming and intriguing gem

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

Reviewed: 22-04-15

Thought provoking and enjoyable story impeccably crafted by Ishiguro as you would expect. A no rush read with a great atmosphere.

  • The Girl on the Train

  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Louise Brealey, India Fisher, Clare Corbett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,792
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,514
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,513

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Hated it

  • By Miss N. Bleakley-wadlow on 05-02-17

Provocative and full of suspense

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

Reviewed: 09-03-15

If you could sum up The Girl on the Train in three words, what would they be?

Disturbing provocative exciting

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Girl on the Train?

When you put it together but the narrator hasn't figured it out yet

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The psychiatrist beginning to unravel the principle victim's past

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

My first ever audio book and the perfect start because of the way it is written in the first person, very well performed. The characters are truly believable, the description and analysis of human and relationship failure is real, and in particular the way the author deals with alcoholism and despair. This is very much written from a women's perspective not surprisingly, but no less enjoyable for that, although it would benefit from a little more balance. The writing style is brilliant and the structure of the story and how it is told very entertaining and refreshingly different. I like the careful use of "flash back" rather than just for the sake of it. I felt the ending was a bit drawn out and it seems to slow down towards the end but you still can't put it down. Thoroughly recommend this but if you, like my wife, don't appreciate a sprinkling of bad language however appropriate, take care.