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Vicuña

UK
  • 208
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  • 300
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  • 290
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The Beatles: The Authorised Biography cover art
  • The Beatles: The Authorised Biography

  • By: Hunter Davies
  • Narrated by: John Telfer
  • Length: 18 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146

There's only one book that ever truly got inside the Beatles, and this is it. During 1967 and 1968, Hunter Davies spent 18 months with the Beatles at the peak of their powers as they defined a generation and rewrote popular music. As their only-ever authorised biographer, he had unparalleled access - not just to John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but to friends, family, and colleagues. He collected a wealth of intimate and revealing material that makes this the classic Beatles book - the one all other biographers look to.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprised

  • By Mr. David Walker on 10-08-13

Truly awful

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

Reviewed: 15-08-19

One of my worst downloads, and I have over 600 audio titles. I expected better of Hunter Davies; I’ve enjoyed his journalism for years, but this book is trite, sycophantic and I don’t feel much honesty. It’s not even well written. The narration is dreadful with horrible false Liverpudlian accents attributed to each of the main players.

I’ve given this my best shot over a number of tries; I like their music, I grew up in the 60s but this is dreadful.

The Hoarder cover art
  • The Hoarder

  • By: Jess Kidd
  • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 944
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 863

Maud Drennan - underpaid carer and unintentional psychic - is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her. With only her landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal's decades-old hostility and the strange activities of the house itself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully written, beautifully read Irish novel

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-03-18

Starts well then I lost interest

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

Reviewed: 07-08-19

Great narration but I lost interest in both characters and plot. First half was ok, but it became more and more convoluted with references to the past. Lacks tension.

The Magus cover art
  • The Magus

  • By: John Fowles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
  • Length: 26 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 360
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 315

John Fowles’s The Magus was a literary landmark of the 1960s. Nicholas Urfe goes to a Greek island to teach at a private school and becomes enmeshed in curious happenings at the home of a mysterious Greek recluse, Maurice Conchis. Are these events, involving attractive young English sisters, just psychological games, or an elaborate joke, or more? Reality shifts as the story unfolds. The Magus reflected the issues of the 1960s perfectly, and it continues to create tension and concern today.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great reading by Nicholas Boulton

  • By White Eagle on 30-06-13

Convoluted

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

Reviewed: 07-08-19

Really struggling to finish this. Can’t engage with the main characters and it may be very clever, but it’s boring. I recall buying the p/b years ago and don’t think I finished that.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Negotiator cover art
  • The Negotiator

  • By: Frederick Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 340
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338

The kidnapping of a young man on a country road in Oxfordshire is but the first brutal step in a ruthless plan to force the President of the United States out of office. If it succeeds, he will be psychologically and emotionally destroyed. Only one man can stop it - Quinn, the world's foremost Negotiator, who must bargain for the life of an innocent man, unaware that ransom was never the kidnapper's real objective...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • more twists and turns than a twisty turny thing

  • By R. M. Ingram on 17-10-16

Not dated

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

Reviewed: 07-08-19

Although this was written some years ago, there’s little sense that it’s outdated. No mobile phones, so there’s reliance on telephone boxes for some contacts, but that in no way detracts.

This is a nail biting political thriller, fast paced, complex in that it’s unclear where allegiances lie and it kept me guessing right to the end. Twists and surprises along the way and some duplicity and double dealing. A great ride.

The Mayor of Casterbridge cover art
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge

  • By: Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by: Tony Britton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

This audiobook is about the rise and fall of Michael Henchard. While out-of-work he gets drunk at a fair and impulsively sells his wife and baby for five guineas to a sailor. Eighteen years later he is reunited with his wife and daughter, who discover that he has gained wealth and respect and is now the most prominent man in Casterbridge. Though he attempts to make amends he is no less impulsive and once again loses everything due to bad luck and his violent, selfish and vengeful nature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent reading

  • By Richard on 02-09-11

Outstanding narration added to the pleasure

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

Reviewed: 07-08-19

It’s some years since I read Hardy. I used to find some of his descriptive passages a little dull. But I’d forgotten his sharpness of observation; character, morals, times. He’s witty, clever and above all, a great storyteller who’s able to mix social justice with people who feel real. I was spellbound by this tale, which in many ways remains apposite. A moral conundrum.

Tandia cover art
  • Tandia

  • By: Bryce Courtenay
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 26 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207

Tandia is a child of all Africa: half Indian, half African, beautiful and intelligent, she is only 16 when she is first brutalized by the police. Her fear of the white man leads her to join the black resistance movement. With her in the fight for justice is the one white man Tandia can trust, the welterweight champion of the world, Peekay. Now he must fight their common enemy in order to save both their lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent read

  • By Rachel on 30-09-09

Sweeping in scope

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

Reviewed: 04-08-19

Second book and it’s best to listen to The Power of One first to fully understand background and relationships. The scope is immense. In addition to being an outstanding adventure story, driven by strong characters and skilful plotting, the roots of the tale are woven around fact.

Much of it makes for uncomfortable listening. A brutal rape early on reverberates throughout the story as the paths of victim and perpetrator cross in later life. There are references to the Sharpesville massacre, a brutal and motiveless attack and an act of violent oppression. But despite the subject matter, Bryce never shies away from the truth, often presented from both sides. There’s a lot about boxing which I found surprisingly interesting.

Bryce was underrated in his lifetime as an author. I’ve enjoyed everything he’s written.

Trespass cover art
  • Trespass

  • By: Rose Tremain
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

In a silent valley stands an isolated stone farmhouse. Its owner is Aramon Lunel, an alcoholic so haunted by his violent past that he’s let his hunting dogs starve and his land go to ruin. Meanwhile, his sister, alone in her modern bungalow within sight of the Mas Lunel, dreams of exacting retribution for the unspoken betrayals that have blighted her life. Into this closed world comes Anthony Verey, a wealthy but disillusioned antiques dealer from London.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A slow-burner of a book

  • By Kirstine on 31-05-10

Multi layered tale of love, loss, despair

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

Reviewed: 28-07-19

Juliet Stevenson’s narration, as to be expected, is superb. Every character is immediately recognisable and her pacing is spot on.

Rose Tremain brings everything she writes to life. In this story, a series of disparate characters come together to make a very satisfying whole. An ageing gay London antique dealer is looking for meaning to his life. His sister lives in France with her lover and their relationship comes under the microscope. And a weird French brother and sister are key to the mystery. It’s brilliant storytelling. Evocative, imaginative and I really felt these characters and their lives were real.

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division cover art
  • Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division

  • By: Peter Hook
  • Narrated by: Peter Hook
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 191

Inspired by the attitude and energy of punk, Peter Hook and school friend Bernard Sumner joined lead-singer and lyricist Ian Curtis and drummer Stephen Morris, and with some cobbled-together instruments, they created their own unique sound. In 1980 they had released two albums and were on the cusp of touring America when Ian Curtis committed suicide. In this no-holds-barred account, Peter Hook gives us the inside story of life with Joy Division. He talks with candour and reflection about Curtis's suicide and covers the band's friendships and fall-outs....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb!

  • By simmering123 on 02-04-16

Incisive and interesting

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

Reviewed: 24-07-19

I’m not sure that I could have read this book. Much as I like Joy Divison and New Order’s music, the constant use of expletives in Unknown Pleasures could be hard going. But listening to Hooky narrating, it borders on acceptable. I ignored most of it and concentrated on the content.

There’s a huge amount of insight into the his5or6 of the band, their gigs, contemporaries, the creative process, difficulties conflicts etc. Life on the road was ver6 different in the late 1970s early 1980s and one has to admire their dedication. Loads of info about the inspiration behind many of their most memorable tracks, along with a few revelations about how the music process really works. Enjoyed this.

A Breath on Dying Embers cover art
  • A Breath on Dying Embers

  • D.C.I Daley, Book 7
  • By: Denzil Meyrick
  • Narrated by: David Monteath
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 282
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 263
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 262

When the luxury cruiser, hastily renamed Great Britain, berths in Kinloch harbour, the pressure is on DCI Jim Daley. The UK Government are taking a high-powered group of businessmen and women on a tour of the British isles, golfing and seeing the sights, as part of a push for global trade. But when one of the crew goes missing, and an elderly local ornithologist disappears, will the pressure become too great?   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Jennifer Chennell on 11-07-19

Outstanding series

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

Reviewed: 22-07-19

Part of the great pleasure with this series is listening to a narrator who captures the nuances of language and characters to perfection.

This is an amazing and, in my view, underrated series of books featuring a cast of regular characters. The setting is West Coast Scotland with Big Jim Daley as the central police officer along with his sidekick, Brian. Both have backstories which develop with each book and they need to be read in order to fully appreciate how individuals are developing and changing.

This story has the usual ingredients; a death or two and this time the mystery centres on a visiting cruise ship, filled with the rich and influential, a dash of terrorism, local and central government politics and power struggles and a turn in fortune for DCI Daley. Recurring characters, Hamish and Daley’s wife return and the plot turns from one point of interest to another as various strands come together. There’s humour and tension, a barreload of skilled plotting and all in all, these books are just such a joy. Love this series.

The Underground Railroad cover art
  • The Underground Railroad

  • By: Colson Whitehead
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 717
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 661
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 657

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A spellbinding, heartbreaking tale of slavery.

  • By bookylady on 13-06-17

One of my top 10 audiobooks ever

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

Reviewed: 18-07-19

Brilliant, heartbreaking, inspiring . Riveted throughout. A truly amazing book which kept me listening throughout. Incredible performance.