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Mrs

United Kingdom
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 30
  • helpful votes
  • 20
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  • The Ghost

  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187

The moment I heard how McAra died I should have walked away. I can see that now...'The narrator of Robert Harris's gripping new novel is a professional ghostwriter - cynical, mercenary, and with a nice line in deadpan humour.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Makes me think again about the British PM

  • By Donn Edwards on 05-07-15

Not Robert Harris at his best

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

Reviewed: 15-03-18

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The fact that this revolved around characters who seemed dead ringers for Tony and Cherie Blair I found disconcerting. It seemed like a vehicle for Robert Harris to view his political views.

Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Harris? Why or why not?

I've read many books by Robert Harris, most of which I think were wonderful.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Unfortunately the narrator's voice is just too recognisable. Also because of the strength of his own natural inflexion I found it hard to distinguish between new characters when they were introduced.

Was The Ghost worth the listening time?

Just

  • Water for Elephants

  • By: Sara Gruen
  • Narrated by: David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. In the Depression era, Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers' "Most Spectacular Show on Earth". There he meets the freaks, grifters, and misfits that populate this world: Marlena, beautiful star of the equestrian act; August, her charismatic but twisted husband (and the circus' animal trainer); and Rosie, the seemingly untrainable elephant Jacob cares for.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent story, well told.

  • By ptuff on 02-03-16

Great book. A definite must.

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

Reviewed: 13-03-17

What did you like most about Water for Elephants?

I can't choose one aspect of this book. I thought both narrators were brilliant, the way the story switched between the young and old man were exceptionally good. I couldn't put it down.

What other book might you compare Water for Elephants to, and why?

I can't think of another book which so brilliantly juxtaposes two periods in a life. The handling of the old Jacob was particularly sensitive.

Have you listened to any of David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't heard either of them before. I think they were both first class. John Randolph Jones made me cry more than once.

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

From the beginning there were many and the ending was very good as well.

Any additional comments?

Read it and love it - although I know nothing about circus life it seemed very authentic and dreadful.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Nightmare

  • By: Lars Kepler
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 182
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 156
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153

The chilling phenomenon begins again. On a summer night the dead body of a woman is found on board an abandoned pleasure boat drifting around in the Stockholm archipelago. Her lungs are filled with brackish water, but there are no traces of this water on her clothes or other parts of her body. Detective Inspector Joona Linna takes up the case. Forensics state that it was a simple drowning, that she must have been pulled aboard the boat which explains the lack of brackish water.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Non-stop Thrills- Written with a Film in Mind?

  • By c on 01-10-12

Oh dear oh dear

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

Reviewed: 12-12-16

What would have made The Nightmare better?

It just isn't my sort of book.

Has The Nightmare put you off other books in this genre?

No. The Nightmare is one of those books with drawn out chases, shootouts, and totally over the top co-incidences. I enjoy a good and serious murder mystery but this seems to have been written with a view to having an all guns blazing film. And I don't enjoy those.

Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favourite?

The detectives were OK I suppose but it is a shame that the tough female cop was described as looking like a fairy princess with braided blonde hair. The hard bitten male cop of course had a tragedy in his past. The replacement CEO of the arms exporting company was a superb violinist (with a tragedy which had warped his life) He hadn't played for decades but could still pick up a violin and from memory play an impossibly hard solo. The big villain collected Paganini violins. The gunman who pursued a fleeing couple for days and days and days, murdering many at the same time. An impossible shoot out, A sadistic ex TV presenter Oh many more. Oh yawn.

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

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

If you like the things I have been describing then the book is for you.

  • The Conductor

  • By: Sarah Quigley
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

June 1941: Nazi troops surround the city of Leningrad, planning to shell and starve the people into submission. Most of the cultural elite is evacuated, but the famous composer Shostakovich stays behind to defend his city. That winter, the bleakest in Russian history, the Party orders Karl Eliasberg, the shy, difficult conductor of a second-rate orchestra, to prepare for the task of a lifetime. He is to conduct a performance of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony, a haunting, defiant new piece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Powerful Study In Characterisation

  • By Brian Keaney on 16-03-13

One of my best ever books

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

Reviewed: 12-12-16

Would you listen to The Conductor again? Why?

Yes. I don't normally but because this is so well written and contains a great deal of historical fact I will probably go back to it. Not only for the brilliance of the writing but to remind myself of aspects of this history. Sarah Quigley's portrayal of all her characters was brilliant. Her prose is exquisite. Descriptive, realistic, sparing nothing of the horrors of war but depicting the strength of human spirit. Flashes of humour made me laugh out loud from time to time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The characters were so well portrayed that I had sympathy and empathy for them all. Despite their faults.

What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

Sean Barrett always manages to narrate exceptionally well and I thought he managed these Russian characters well.

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

The book was appalling and brilliant at the same time. I cannot pick out one individual item from the horror or the siege to moments of tenderness - I couldn't put it down.

Any additional comments?

I am sorry to say that I never knew that there was a siege of Leningrad. I have researched it now and can't believe I never knew of such a monumental event of human hardship, tragedy and survival. Ironic that I read this as the siege in Aleppo reached a climax.

  • The Name of the Rose

  • By: Umberto Eco
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 21 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 652
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 615
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 614

This hugely engaging story of murder, superstition, religious politics and drama in a medieval monastery was one of the most striking novels to appear in the 1980s. The Name of the Rose is a thrilling story enriched with period detail and laced with tongue-in-cheek allusions to fictional characters, the most striking of which is the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville, who displays many characteristics of Sherlock Holmes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sean Barrett does justice to this wonderful text.

  • By Booklover on 12-01-15

Fascinating book

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

Reviewed: 15-11-16

Would you listen to The Name of the Rose again? Why?

Probably not. There was so much theological discussion that I did have to skip some of it. and I do know now who dunit. .... if I had bookmarked some of the historical facts I might go back to re-examine them but unfortunately I didn't.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the interaction between the main characters and I was fascinated and appalled by much of the historical fact (I hope not faction) contained in the book.

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

Sean Barrett is a great narrator, I am always drawn to anything he is narrating.

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

Lust, murder and blind faith in a medieval monastery.

Any additional comments?

I think I enjoyed this book more in its audible version than I would have if I had been reading it. Sean Barrett's narration drew me along and if there was a particularly long theological section I could easily move forward without losing the feel of the book.

  • Only Time Will Tell

  • Clifton Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,892
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,394
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,397

The Clifton Chronicles is Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious work in four decades as an international best-selling author. The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the chilling words, ‘I was told that my father was killed in the war’. But it will be another twenty years before Harry discovers how his father really died, which will only lead him to question: who was his father?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story-telling

  • By Kirstine on 16-06-11

O M G what a dreadful book

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

Reviewed: 15-11-16

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I hated this so much. The writing was stale and so formulaic. The dialogues were dreadful. A 10 year old sounded like an adult. There was nothing to make the characters come alive The plot was fantastically ridiculous so I guess people who like fantastically ridiculous plots would enjoy it.

What could Jeffrey Archer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I have read Jeffrey Archer books in the past and remember them as predictable but OK for passing the time. Perhaps he should look back or go to writing classes..

How could the performance have been better?

One of the reasons I read this book was because Roger Allam was narrating. I enjoy his acting and his lovely voice. However his heart didn't seem in this. His narration was leaden and he hardly distinguished between the characters.

What character would you cut from Only Time Will Tell?

All of them. They just weren't believable.

Any additional comments?

Nuff said.

  • River Deep: Martha Gunn, Book 1

  • By: Priscilla Masters
  • Narrated by: Patricia Gallimore
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14

Coroner Martha Gunn is among the first to be called to the scene when a man's body is found in a small cottage fronting the river. Floating face-down in the rising water, it appears to have been raised from the cellar by the flood.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Such a disappointing book

  • By Mrs on 06-09-16

Such a disappointing book

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

Reviewed: 06-09-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Nothing. This book gives the impression of being two story ideas tacked together. But even tacking two story concepts together did not give the author enough material and so there are many instances of meandering space filling sections stuffed into this book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Priscilla Masters again?

No

What three words best describe Patricia Gallimore’s voice?

Dreadful male voices

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

Mounting frustration.

Any additional comments?

Unbelievable main plot, a sub plot that might never have existed as it just sort of disappeared. So many aspects of the story that were just ridiculous in the end I was waiting for the next ridiculous situation to arrive

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 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 22,503
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,250
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,250

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

It surpassed my expectations

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

Reviewed: 08-12-15

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

No. It was a whodunit and I now know whodunit.

What did you like best about this story?

The interweaving of the stories.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The three narrators all brought a personality to the characters they read.

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

Not relevant.

Any additional comments?

Normally I expect there is a good chance to be disappointed when I read a book which has had rave reviews. Gone Girl didn't do it for me at all. However I thought this was a clever book. I liked the way it was constructed. I liked the fact that none of the narrator stories were of likeable characters. I was irritated by Rachel's weaknesses, thought Megan a deeply flawed character and Anna was unpleasant. However, I found myself listening and unable to put the book aside until well after 1.00 am on a night when I had to get up early to go to work. The author managed to keep me guessing until quite close to the end as to who the villain was. Definitely 5 stars.

  • Sweet Caress

  • The Many Lives of Amory Clay
  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 469
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 472

It is Amory's photographer uncle, Greville, who gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography and unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future. Her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demimonde of Berlin of the late 20s, to New York of the 30s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War, where she becomes one of the first women war photographers.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I think it is the narrator....

  • By Louise on 22-10-15

A cobbled , predictable pastiche

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

Reviewed: 03-11-15

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

William Boyd always writes well but this story disappointed on several levels. Without the attraction of old photographs to add a veneer of truth to the fiction, the story had to stand on its own merits. Unfortunately I felt that the author had used historical events to cobble together this book. But a big problem for me was that the story lacks feminine insight and the hard drinking, chain smoking heroine never gave me the sense that it was a story narrated by a woman. I felt that the author sensed this, as his homage to femininity came with the ludicrous episode of the padded nappy. The pivotal points were both predictable and implausible but I did like the ending. Another major problem was the fact that the narrator used a giggly little voice which seemed completely at odds with the character and her background. So, would I recommend this book? Definitely not as an audio book. If someone wanted to read a book by a good wordsmith and look at the old pictures, well that's their call.

If you’ve listened to books by William Boyd before, how does this one compare?

Not nearly as good as Any Human Heart which is one of my favourite books but better than some others

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reading is clear - I could hear the words. The male voices were crude with over emphasis on strong accents. The intonation for Amory was light, giggly and flirtatious and it seemed completely wrong for the character.

Do you think Sweet Caress needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Unless William Boyd is moving into zombie fiction that isn't a possibility - thank goodness..

Any additional comments?

'Nuff said.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Merivel, A Man of His Time

  • By: Rose Tremain
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135

The Restoration is over and Robert Merivel, renowned physician and courtier to Charles II, now faces the anxieties of middle age. Questions crowd his mind: has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King's friend or the King's slave? In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles leaves him in despair, until a chance encounter with a seductive Swiss botanist allows him to dream of an honourable future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thoughtful, moving and gently humorous

  • By Linda on 19-12-14

I desperately want Rose Tremain to write sequels

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

Reviewed: 01-06-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Merivel, A Man of His Time to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version of Merivel but I read the print version of Restoration which I didn't enjoy as much.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I guess it has to be Merivel with all his flaws but the house is very important..

What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

Fantastic performance as always. He gets the tone just right.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and cried in turns and then howled at the ending and desperately wanted more. Why not a dynastic sequence?, We have two novels let's have more about the generations to come





Any additional comments?

My favourite Rose Tremain after "The way I Found Her"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful