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Camilla Morgan

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  • This Is Going to Hurt

  • Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
  • By: Adam Kay
  • Narrated by: Adam Kay
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,867
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,088
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8,060

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well written, Well told

  • By The_Animagus on 23-09-17

Deeply personal, profoundly moving, laugh out loud

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

Reviewed: 02-06-18

Bravo Adam Kay!

I would never usually read a book like this. But I picked it up witht the intention of going along to a local book club (also new for me) and I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone.

This account of life as a Junior Doctor is so real. Some of the things Kay's had to deal with seem so ridiculous that, not only did they make me lol while driving into work, it's hard to believe they actually happened. Unless you actually are on Kay's list of idiots with different items thrust up one's bottom, then he lives in world where fact is much much stranger and funnier than fiction.

And yet these things did happen and these idiots are out there. And this is the story of just one Junior Doctor, persevering to remain in one of the toughest jobs I can imagine. I found myself sympathising hard, while not quite being able to image the extent of his physical and emotional exhaustion. This book champions the thousands of health professionals in this country who work so hard for an employer that asks for so much for so little in return under a government determined to erode this invaluable service in favour of privatisation. I felt moved to know that these people, and Kay does well to convey the fact that our doctors are still fallible, emotional human beings who like a drink on their days off, come back to work day in, day out because they care so deeply about their patients. Work life balance goes out the window, gets in an uber to the airport, and jets off on permanent sabbatical.

This book deserves to be read. If you've ever used the NHS or you think you might one day - so that's everyone, right? - then it's worth the 6 hours of your life to know what it takes to keep this service afloat.

  • 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 22,562
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,306
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,306

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

Galloping plot, fab characters, well written

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

Reviewed: 07-04-16

Would you listen to The Girl on the Train again? Why?

I don't think so. That's not because it's not a fantastic book in every way, it's because this book is intense. The characters are dealing with some very tough issues, namely depression and addiction, and I think it speaks of how well the writer has conveyed these difficult emotional topics that perhaps I couldn't stand a second round.

The best thing about this book isn't the plot, which is heart-poundingly manic in pace, it's the characterisation of these three women. Each is different and struggling with such difficult emotional situations. Rachel and Megan in particular are rich and complicated in detail. These women have suffered terrible things, which have led them to make some awful life decisions. Every new detail is compelling. Loved it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked both Rachel and Megan. I felt that despite how terribly they behave, there are things in both of them that we can all identify with, like the way we justify our addictive behaviours and then feel bad afterwards even though we know we'll do it again.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I enjoyed the scenes with Rachel the most, I just really enjoyed the inner dialogues conveying her struggle with her alcoholism.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was very moved by the scene in which Megan describes a particularly traumatic event in her past. I felt that both the writing and the performance conveyed the pain of a real person suffering with severe depression.

Any additional comments?

I'm not usually a fan of this genre, I prefer epic fantasy. But this is well worth the change.

  • The Lie Tree

  • Costa Book of the Year 2015
  • By: Frances Hardinge
  • Narrated by: Emilia Fox
  • Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 680
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 641
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 636

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2015. The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric story by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of Cuckoo Song and Fly by Night. Faith's father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree grows healthy and bears fruit only if you whisper a lie to it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting concept, let down by patchy execution

  • By fletchek on 06-02-17

Good story, mediocre writing, annoying reader

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

Reviewed: 29-03-16

What did you like best about The Lie Tree? What did you like least?

Most: The idea of a tree that feeds on lies and reveals truth is quite interesting but I had to listen through something like 10 hours of boring dross before our protagonist has anything to do with the lie tree at all.

Least: Since the name of the wind, I've felt starved for a scintillating story and beautiful writing. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the lie tree is neither of these things. There were some similes I found so irritating that I almost sent it back, E.G. something something 'unfolded like flowers... or knives'..... neither of these things unfold. Also, I feel that 'apocalyptic thoroughness' when applied to a tough conversation with one's dad is ham-fisted to say the least.

I really don't get why it won an award, but then I guess the award was from Costa Coffee. Perhaps this is the lie and there's a tree somewhere growing a nice juicy grape.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The writing just leaves me with questions. Beyond one fond childhood memory of fossil hunting on the beach, why does this girl love her father so much? The two things she's quite certain of are that she's clever and she likes fossils, so why doesn't she hate her father who believes she's just a burdensome uneducated plonker because she's a girl?

How could the performance have been better?

Perhaps I'd have felt quite differently about this book had the narrator not sounded like she was performing the novel to a group of frightened children around a campfire in the middle of the night on Halloween.

Do you think The Lie Tree needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Please no.

28 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • The Little Paris Bookshop

  • By: Nina George
  • Narrated by: Ray Sawyer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 94

On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop - or, rather, a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful

  • By Shoeless on 15-05-15

Self indulgent and boring

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

Reviewed: 08-07-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. Firstly, this story is about a man in his 50s but there are several aspects to this story that make it very, very clear that this book is written by a woman for female readers. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, I'm simply saying that there were certain elements, for instance the ways Perdu identifys women's desires, pains, relationships with other men, that seemed far-fetched and rendered his character unrealistic. It felt to me like the kind of things women can see clearly in other women, but the kind of things that men rarely notice or understand.

Secondly, I would agree with others who have accused this book of being highly self-indulgent. I stopped listening very near the end in the final parts of Manan's travel journals, a deeply emotional scene is portrayed in such a contrived way that I simply couldn't stomach so I stopped listening.

I did enjoy the description of Perdu's journey South to Provence and I would praise the writer for some lovely words decribing french food, landscapes and the local community.

What will your next listen be?

No idea. Desperate for something with a good plot.

What three words best describe Ray Sawyer’s performance?

Well suited to the main character.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Nope.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Goddess and the Thief

  • By: Essie Fox
  • Narrated by: Rosie Jones
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

Uprooted from her home in India, Alice is raised by her aunt, a spiritualist medium in Windsor. When the mysterious Mr Tilsbury enters their lives, Alice is drawn into a plot to steal the priceless Koh-i-Noor diamond, claimed by the British Empire at the end of the Anglo-Sikh wars.Said to be both blessed and cursed, the sacred Indian stone exerts its power over all who encounter it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A plot that meanders off in no direction

  • By Camilla Morgan on 08-07-15

A plot that meanders off in no direction

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

Reviewed: 08-07-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. The character of Alice Willoughby was weak and poorly defined. She made decisions that made no sense to me, namely she's at once repulsed but then sexually aroused by certain other characters. She's so upset by her own circumstances, yet seems to do absolutely nothing about them even after she finds evidence of clear wrong-doing. She's just a passive by-stander throughout the whole book, which is quite boring. Stuff happens to her, but she creates barely any action at all. The story of the Koh i noor diamond is interesting, but the reasons for it's theft aren't very well explained and then that whole plot line just trails off into nothing, demolished by an easy plot device towards the end that sorts everything out rather neatly, though of course Alice has no direct hand in these actions either.I felt that Alice's connections with India and Indian culture was well described. I felt transported at times. I wish more had happened in India really.

What will your next listen be?

No idea. Something with a decent plot.

Have you listened to any of Rosie Jones’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is my first and I thought the performace was great. Easy to listen to and good emotive expression.

Could you see The Goddess and the Thief being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Reasons to Stay Alive

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Matt Haig
  • Length: 4 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,207
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,069

What Does it mean to feel truly alive? Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A brave work for which I am so grateful

  • By Camilla Morgan on 26-05-15

A brave work for which I am so grateful

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

Reviewed: 26-05-15

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

Firstly, I would recommend this to people who don't suffer with mental illness but who want a better understanding of those who do. Partners, employers, politicians.

Primarily, I would recommend this book to friends suffering with their own mental health battles because Matt Haig's words give us permission to feel like normal, natural human beings again, despite and because of the struggle that is depression. This book is brave and terribly personal and it reassured me to know that I am not the only person to struggle as I do.

And, above all, I would recommend this book because Matt reassures us, in a calm and resounding voice, that depression does lift and that we will feel joy again.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Andrea was my favourite character, just as my partner is my favourite person in the world. To someone living with depression, the strength, patience, understanding and LOVE shown by our nearest and dearest is astounding, especially in those times when depression wears its ugliest face.

What about Matt Haig’s performance did you like?

I loved Matt Haig's performance and it meant more to me that this personal account was read by the person who lived through it to tell the tale.

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

I listened to it pretty much all in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

Thank you to Matt Haig, you've helped me more than you know and I hope I'll meet you one day and thank you in person.

26 of 27 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 785
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 717
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 718

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

Seriously, what am I missing?

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

Reviewed: 10-04-15

Would you try another book written by Kazuo Ishiguro or narrated by David Horovitch?

Nope.

What was most disappointing about Kazuo Ishiguro’s story?

The story itself. I was disappointed by how bored I was. After all the critical acclaim, I was frustrated by this meandering yammer that never gets to anything of substance.

What three words best describe David Horovitch’s voice?

Gasping, droning, wet mouth noises.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

All of the above. Is there someone out there who was blown away by this pulp? Can you please explain it to me?

Any additional comments?

This book made me look forward to getting to work in the morning and switching off the app.

17 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • The Miniaturist

  • By: Jessie Burton
  • Narrated by: Jessie Burton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,938
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,754
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,752

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Tricky to get in to

  • By DebNwood on 20-05-15

An unusual world and story, beautifully crafted

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

Reviewed: 10-04-15

Where does The Miniaturist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would rank this as a very good read and I would recommend it. I've actually been looking for a very good book to distract me from the sense of loss I felt after finishing a book that I loved so much it changed my life. It's not that book, but it is remarkable.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved Burton's style of writing. I felt she conjured images, textures, and emotions that made me feel I could live in Nella's world while I read, which is just what I want from a good writer. I enjoyed this genre and the details of life in Amsterdam, from the workmanship in the miniatures to the food prepared in the working kitchen.

Which character – as performed by Jessie Burton – was your favourite?

My favourite character was Nella and Burton has written her protagonist with such sensitivity towards a teenage girl's expectations of love, marriage and motherhood. Nella is at times petulant and spoilt but I was always on her side and I very much want to discover the magic in the miniatures.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A house full of secrets and miniatures

1 of 2 people found this review helpful