LISTENER

Ross Bower

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 92
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings

SO EXCRUCIATINGLY SLOW

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

Reviewed: 11-08-19

i must admit I have been an ardent follow of Audible books since they began. Having something like 700 books on my iPod I am a seasoned listener and rarely return books, let alone write damning reviews. Perhaps my expectations were too high for this slow-moving plot, as I see there are many positive reviews. Nevertheless I was disappointed in this purchase and am about to return it. I guess if I were a day-time listener, rather than a night-time one, I might have been able to stay awake long enough to enthuse about this book, be more accepting of the poor narration of some of the characters, and perhaps even have enjoyed the whole 16 hours!

21 people found this helpful

HAVE I MISSED SOMETHING/

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

Reviewed: 21-04-19

Poor narration. Many, many sentences beginning with "I" ("I" grew tired of counting them!), dull presentation ... not sure if the plot was any good as I gave up after three chapters.

2 people found this helpful

MISOGYNY AT ITS BEST!

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

Reviewed: 06-11-17

I simply cannot understand the high rating reviews here and on Amazon; Goodreads reviews are far more measured, many complaining at the negative, sexist references towards women, mainly by Frost, but seemingly compounded by a lot of his male co-workers. See also The Letterpress Project which succinctly describes how I feel about this type of writing. It's not often I delete downloads from Audible ... but this is a prime example. Hopefully these kind of references towards women will, eventually, be recognised for what they are ... mindless ignorance. With this subject being covered by Prime Time Media at the moment it illustrates how long this negativity towards women has been allowed to infiltrate society.

DREARY, STILTED NARRATION, POOR QUALITY PROSE

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

Reviewed: 15-08-17

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

Someone who hasn't listened to many Audible stories and is less discriminating.

Would you ever listen to anything by Paul Finch again?

No ... he and the narrator have had their chance!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Paul Thornley?

David Monteath, John Harvey, Ian Hanmore, James Cameron Stewart, Johnathan Keeble ... I could go on ... but won't bore you.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

To be honest, I really don't know. The narration is so stilted, with odd pauses, I find I am so critical it puts me off the story line. The quality of the writing, grammar especially, is so very basic I find my brain rearranging and embelishing sentences. In no way have I been "carried away" by the plot or narration.

Any additional comments?

I have downloaded 900 books from Audible, especially enjoying Scottish crime stories ... unfortunately this is not a book I would ever recommend and certainly not worth downloading let alone listening to.

WHAT A PITY

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

Reviewed: 12-08-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes, the narration. Very poor, flat and unemotional to the point of boring.

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

I downloaded two Alex Gray, both narrated by Joe Dunlop. I think I might be interested in the plot line of the first book, but poor, dreadfully dull narration which finds me struggling to find the will to listen to the conclusion and reluctant to even bother to listen to the second book.

Would you be willing to try another one of Joe Dunlop’s performances?

Definitely not.

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

No

Any additional comments?

How could anyone even think such flat, dismal narration could carry this book?

1 person found this helpful

NARRATOR DID THE BEST HE COULD

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

Reviewed: 23-06-17

What would have made The Shadow in the North better?

A more complicated text and plot.

Would you ever listen to anything by Philip Pullman again?

No.

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

Anton Lesser is a brilliant narrator, which is why I downloaded Phillip Pullman's trilogy. However enticing the narrator the substance of the book was poor.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Shadow in the North?

This book and series was not for me. Was it written for a teenage audience?

Any additional comments?

I struggled to listen to the first in the series, and unfortunately thought downloading the next two would be a good idea. However long I persevered (I love the narrator) these books could not keep my attention. I assume they were written for a much younger, teenage, reader. The quality of writing was juvenile! I wish more than two reviews had picked this up and warned me of the quality of writing.

13 people found this helpful

COULDN'T ENDURE THE SHOUTING AND POOR NARRATION

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

Reviewed: 15-06-17

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

Someone who doesn't get irritated at the verbal abuse and shouting. Someone who can believe in Inspector Steel without thinking "Is this meant to sound like a woman".

What was most disappointing about Stuart MacBride’s story?

Having listened to Cold Granite, narrated by Steve Worsley I thought this detective series was for me. Not wanting to listen to abridged versions I downloaded Blind Eye, narrated by Stuart McBride and found his reading so over the top I have stopped listening to the remainder. I also downloaded Shatter the Bones, narrated by Steve Worsley which I, hopefully, will enjoy. I have over 850 stories downloaded from Audible ... this rendition is one of the worst!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Stuart MacBride?

I enjoyed Cold Granite narrated by Steve Worsley who is far more in tune and sympathetic with the plot line and characters. He is believable ... the author's narration was awful.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Blind Eye?

Most of them were difficult to engage with because of my irritation with the narrator.

Any additional comments?

What a difference good narration makes to what could have been an entertaining and enjoyable series!

1 person found this helpful

ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING DOWNLOADS

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

Reviewed: 04-06-17

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

A completely different plot! How interesting are sea coordinates of tracing dismembered feet in trainers? I am not interested at all in how many spoons of instant coffee go into a mug half full of water. Far too much padding in a not very interesting plot. References to a size 18 woman having difficulty in getting in and out of chairs should be omitted as offensive to women. I know many size 18's who have no difficulty whatsoever sitting down, let alone standing up! As I listened I found myself wondering would the author have described a man in such terms?

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Douglas-Home again?

No.

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

I downloaded this book purely on loving David Monteath's previous narrations. I will follow him but certainly not the author.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Sea Detective?

I would edit most scenes as I found them boring, overplayed, annoying and poorly written. The story drags on and on in a dreary fashion. I am two-thirds through listening and about to give up. Good for falling-asleep-listening though because of the lack of pace.

Any additional comments?

I have about 800 books downloaded from Audible, this being one of the worst which I will delete from my I Pod.

29 people found this helpful

A COMPILATION OF POOR REVIEWS

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

Reviewed: 29-11-16

What disappointed you about Head in the Sand?

Childlike prose was extremely irritating. Awful narration for female parts ... so bad it was difficult to differentiate which female was speaking at any one time. Lots of repeated boring details as to what characters were wearing (before they spoke) and which make of car etc. I spent much of my time mentally rewriting each sentence in an effort to improve it!

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

My reaction to the ending was "thank goodness it has ended" as I found the whole book unbelievably poor in all senses of the word.

Would you be willing to try another one of Napoleon Ryan’s performances?

No.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I found the plot interesting and believable but totally spoilt by poor quality writing and narration.

Any additional comments?

I have over 700 books by audible on my IPod ... I was disappointed this book was a total waste of a much valued credit!

COLM TOIBIN

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

Reviewed: 18-04-15

I have read and downloaded all of these author's stories and up until now have loved them. However this particular story is so uneventful, so boring, so deadly dull I stopped listening to it about three-quarters of the way through. Perhaps something of interest did happen at the end, but I simply did not have the endurance to continue. Nora, the main character in the book, was so lacking in personality and proactivity I could find no interest at all in her or the story of her life. I found myself wondering if she had any kind of assertive personality when her husband was alive as she obviously hid behind the kudos of his professional persona but suspect she was as inert then as she was throughout her life! Unfortunately I suspect it will put a lot of listeners/readers off Colm Toibin which is a pity because his other works are exceptionally good.

3 people found this helpful