LISTENER

Tim P.

UK
  • 46
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 52
  • ratings
  • The Diary of a Bookseller

  • By: Shaun Bythell
  • Narrated by: Robin Laing
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 867
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 787
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 792

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gentle pleasure

  • By Flint on 11-12-17

Really enjoyed this

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

This was an impulse buy and not my usual, and I went against a few of the reviews that sought to pick at parts of it.

Yes, it is a diary, yes its written in diary format, depicting different days of running a second hand book shop. Not sure what some other ppl who purchased it were after. The format also allows listeners to dip in and out.

I would've loved Shaun to have narrated it to better get his delivery, however, Laing does a good job and we feel for all the main characters and understand the issues they face daily from different customers. Yes they poke fun here & there (not as much as they do at themselves) but understand the customers keep them in business and judge not. Well not much.

The online orders (I use amazon & abebooks myself, as well as ebay) are a running joke; the book provides interesting information that buyers may not have thought about throughout and depicts the trials & tribulations of running any local shop I'm sure as well as the history of where some of the books have come from and the lives they lived before we get our hands on them - and can you give them another life?

It's a little bit of light hearted fun as a read/listen, underpinned by retail economics/history if you care to think about it; if not just have a good chuckle.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Person Controller

  • By: David Baddiel
  • Narrated by: David Baddiel
  • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 175
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173

From the author of The Parent Agency comes a thrilling, funny and touching new adventure. Fred and Ellie are twins. But not identical (because that's impossible for a boy and a girl). They do like all the same things, though. Especially video games. Which they are very good at. They aren't that good, however, at much else - like, for example, football, or dealing with the school bullies. Then they meet the Mystery Man, who sends them a video game controller which doesn't look like any other controller they've ever seen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's worth buying

  • By Mr. D. Brown on 27-10-16

Kept the kids entertained

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

The kids (aged 8 & 10) enjoyed this thoroughly - that much we've bought most of Baddiel's books as a result for them to read.

I listened in here and there, and was impressed at the level at which he writes for the younger age group - plenty of words for them to ask 'what does that mean' and learn from but not enough to make it inaccessible - and it has good messages that you want children to think about that they don't get from Netflix series etc.

A few bits felt outdated (phrases/terminology/technology), but that only served to remind me of things from my past... and that I'm now a dad and getting older myself.

  • The Ash Tree

  • By: M. R. James
  • Narrated by: David Suchet
  • Length: 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 165
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 149

The tale of a man who unwittingly angers a sorcerer, who is assumed by some Monty scholars to be based on the self-styled 'Great Beast,' occultist Aleister Crowley. Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Here Hare Here

  • By Kaggy on 12-12-14

Hasn't aged well

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

I've bought a few of these MR James short stories to see what they are like.

Suchet as narrator is good and adds life, but these stories have not aged well in terms of suspense or content. I don't believe my kids would've been perturbed by this, but assume it was uncomfortable material back in the day.

I personally think horror/suspense like this is better read than listened to, however, I'm not sure how much you can be concerned about characters after 30 minutes of getting to know them.

  • The Tractate Middoth

  • By: M. R. James
  • Narrated by: David Suchet
  • Length: 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 209
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 184

A young librarian receives a request for an obscure Hebrew book from a sinister gentleman, unaware of its contents. Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • not engaging enough

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-01-14

Hasn't aged well.

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

I've bought a few of these MR James short stories to see what they are like.

Suchet as narrator is good and adds life, but these stories have not aged well in terms of suspense or content

I personally think horror/suspense like this is better read than listened to, however, I'm not sure how much you can be concerned about characters after 40 minutes of getting to know them.

Good little twist though, and sure to pass a short train journey/commute etc. and I enjoyed more than the Ash Tree as a result.

  • Exile

  • Marc Dane, Book 2
  • By: James Swallow
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 16 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 501
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 466
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 465

Move over Jason Bourne, Marc Dane is here.... A vicious Serbian gang whose profits come from fake nuclear weapons. A disgraced Russian general, with access to the real thing. A vengeful Somali warlord, with a cause for which he'd let the world burn. A jaded government agency, without the information to stop him. Only one man sees what's coming. And even he might not be able to prevent it....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling Listen / Superb Narration

  • By Rich Banton on 06-12-17

Not as good as the first

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

I really enjoyed the mix of action, team working, technical guile and vulnerability of the Marc Dane in Nomad, the first book in the series.

In this sequel, Exile, he has become terminator-like and any tension and suspense the first book held replaced with more action scenes and little character development. Again that was done in the first.

There is a semblance of a plot, and an entertaining book it is, but at no point do we feel anything other than a successful outcome for our uber-Dane or his sidekick who has also taken on an air of Hollywood indestructability.

Methinks this was written with the silver screen, or a 24-esque series in mind now it is open to further sequels. Narrator remains steadfast, but with less to work with.

  • The Labyrinth of the Spirits

  • By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 27 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 99

From the international best-selling author of The Shadow of the Wind. Barcelona, 1957. Daniel Sempere runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop, is happily married and has a son. No longer the child who discovered the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he is still haunted by the mysterious death of his mother when he was six years old. Meanwhile his best friend and accomplice, Fermin, is about to marry the love of his life. But something appears to be bothering him....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Epic, enthralling and moving

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-11-18

Fourth intallment delivers despite minor flaws...

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

Reviewed: 30-10-18

This is the fourth in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, and I was an immediate a fan of the audiobooks from the first.

Fans of the series will note this is the fourth narrator as well, and while Daniel Weyman does a good job I found he didn’t provide the varied voices of the previous narrators which disappointed me. With a raft of characters to vocalise, I could only pick out about three different voices. In some exchanges I lost who was speaking between a man and a woman.

Although a longer story by quite a way than the previous stories, this still held its own and was in keeping with the previous books - adding in new plots as well as continuing the previous three books - however contained far less in terms of twists and surprises, or 'other-worldliness'. At this point I should say it not necessary to have read the others but it would be most beneficial if you have, and ties up every loose end I could think of without being contrived; which was great but may have constrained the writer somewhat.

That said, the writing remains beautiful and takes you away to a different time and place, nothing was too obvious and the characters we have loved through the previous trilogy grow with us while new faces are introduced. It kept me entertained for nigh on 28hrs so must be doing something right and I'm looking forward to others by the same author, but feel this series can be put to bed now, wonderful as it was and I thank the author for delvering time after time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost: Austria

  • Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures, Book 1
  • By: Janelle Diller
  • Narrated by: Kae Denino
  • Length: 1 hr
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Nine-year-old Brooke Mason has lived all her life on a ranch in the Colorado Rockies. Now she's headed to Austria with her mom. Brooke can't wait! They even get to stay in Schloss Mueller, an ancient Austrian castle. Even better? There's a girl Brooke's age to play with! Eva, the girl who lives in Schloss Mueller is thrilled to meet Brooke. Unfortunately, the castle's ghost isn't quite so happy. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • kids really enjoyed this by the end

  • By Tim P. on 12-09-18

kids really enjoyed this by the end

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

my girls say it started slow but loved it by the end. not too scary, but more grown up than some

  • A Head Full of Ghosts

  • By: Paul Tremblay
  • Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 214
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 204
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 202

The lives of the Barretts, a suburban New England family, are torn apart when 14-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to halt Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truly mad and deeply disturbing

  • By Kaggy on 30-03-18

A very clever 'haunting'. Pls read whole review...

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

I'd been recommended Paul Tremblay as an author as I'm a fan of horror and when this and another of his books were in my wish list as well as an audible credit BOGOF deal I jumped in! I start off this review with a couple of negatives, but purely personal views and shouldn't prejudice against a great 'read' so pls read all my (again, personal) thoughts.

To get the first monkey off my back, I have to say I wasn't a fan of the narrator when she did 'male' voices. As limited as they were they came across as comical and took the edge of some moments unfortunately. That said, Joy Osmanski did an excellent job of the female characters, even the different voices for the same people i.e. through the ages.

The second monkey was that although I really enjoyed this book, i didn't find it scary. I enjoy reading and watching horror, but although they never really give me the frights they hold my suspense, while perhaps feel they lose something for me personally in the audio format. This held me, but if you are similar to me you aren't in for a horrific time... unfortunately.

But this was still a great book as you can see from my score. So classing this as a psychological thriller, it holds it's own as we care about characters, what they're going through and how they themselves feel at any given moment. If flits between a 'now and then' storyline but they aren't that far apart (less than 20 years) so we have contemporary view to the situation which makes a nice change for this 'Exorcist' type setting rather than the old, Victorian gothic or mental wards and horrendous medical practices of yesteryear i.e. digital technology, mobile phones, clued up teenagers and a progressive view of mental health.

For fans of the horror genre part of the premise may seem overdone, possessed young girl needs an exorcism, but the great thing is the author Paul Tremblay more than eludes to this in the book, almost debunking his own storyline as we go as we follow the perspective of the possessed younger sister as a child and adult. But it never detracts from what he trying to convey.

It is a very clever book, well researched and written and never feels like a carbon copy of anything you may have read or watched before. Tremblay's blogging character who reviews the TV show the possession is based on, ironically The Possession, has a great knowledge of films, both horror and filming techniques (which as a media student I appreciated but it didn't go into boring detail) and the classic stories to refer to. Clever, not just in terms of factual detail but how the possessed girl thinks, what she knows, what she makes you think & feel as well as twists along the way.

I don't want to give much away, but thoroughly enjoyed it and have The Devils Disappearance lined up in my queue for a soon to be listened to experience. Glad I gave Tremblay a go - thanks audible!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Nomad

  • By: James Swallow
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 16 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,344
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,254
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,253

Marc Dane is an MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when a brutal attack on his team leaves Marc as the only survivor - and with the shocking knowledge that there are traitors inside MI6 - he's forced into the front line. However, the evidence seems to point towards Marc as the perpetrator of the attack. Accused of betraying his country, he must race against time to clear his name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For lovers of I Am Pilgrim

  • By Robert Rawlins on 28-10-17

much better than i thought - great fun!

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

I think I picked this up in sale back in the day, and recently got round to it... and loved it!

im always wary of the next lauded 'action hero' i come across; be it a revamped Bond, another Reacher, or even a Bourne but I loved this character - from his reluctance at certain situations, to not being the most amazing (take your pick...) sniper, ninja, bomb technician, ladies man, black tray masked man etc. Dane acted as you might expect which adds realism thanks to the author. The issues of the book, although written a couple of years ago, still address world issues prevalent today. There was a slight feeling of stereotyping, but didn't detract.

Colin Mace, the narrator, was very good, but stood out even better in situations where there were action sequences - some books I have listened to haven't given the thrill of the case, got the blood pumping or made you think the passage was different to one from Driving Miss Daisy. Mace delivered with aplomb.

With this being the first in a trilogy feel I can get into these without the thought of needed to read 200 books to catch up.

  • The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked

  • By: David Baddiel
  • Narrated by: David Baddiel
  • Length: 1 hr and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 576
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373

Let's celebrate World Book Day with The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked, written and recorded by the author David Baddiel, especially for World Book Day on March 3rd 2016. This is the first audiobook to be produced for World Book Day - it’s a hugely entertaining and touching story of a boy called Alfie who likes to keep to strict routines and schedules. It’s all rules, rules and more rules in Alfie’s life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • very good and entertaining.Helps me sleep!

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-09-18

Kids loved it

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

Reviewed: 22-08-18

Family are big Dahl and Walliams fans and just tried this hr long story to pass the time and really liked it!

“Funny” and “amazing” was the feedback from my 7 and 9 yr old daughters who love to read and are just getting into spoken word.