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Shiraz

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 71
  • ratings
  • Never Let Me Go

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: Kerry Fox
  • Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 936
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 866
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 868

In one of the most acclaimed novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatizes her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Haunting and thought provoking

  • By Stephibobz on 08-09-15

Disappointing, frustrating and rather unpleasant

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

Reviewed: 18-08-18

Not for me although I can understand why many other listeners/readers enjoyed the story as it was certainly original and thought-provoking. However, I found the main protagonists to be pathetic and unrealistically compliant, and so they irritated me. The story was very slow to unfold and I found I was asking more questions than getting answers, so again, the story frustrated me. Personally, I found the subject matter quite distasteful and I couldn't suspend reality enough to believe that any of the main characters in this dystopian society would simply accept the injustice of their fate, or that others would not fight to defend their fellow humans' rights. I think there could have been a far better story to have evolved from this idea.

  • Hellbent

  • By: Gregg Hurwitz
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 748
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 707
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 704

To some he was Orphan X. Others knew him as the Nowhere Man. But to veteran spymaster Jack Johns, he was a boy named Evan Smoak. Taken from an orphanage, Evan was raised inside a top secret programme designed to turn him into a deadly weapon. Jack became his instructor, mentor, teacher and guardian. Because for all the dangerous skills he instilled in his young charge, he also cared for Evan like a son. And now Jack needs Evan’s help....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By ben on 16-03-18

Incredible series!

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

Reviewed: 09-06-18

Wow - I have to say that this series has been utterly addictive. Totally edge of your seat, kick-ass action. This book shows us a different side to Evan’s character as his relationship with a 16-year old orphan girl, Joey develops. Evan also discovers where the orders for his assassination have come from and the last moments leave us in no doubt that there is an even more incredible story yet to unfold. I now happily place this series within the top 5 series of books in my reading life and highly recommend them. The combination of excellent penmanship and attention to detail from Greg Hurwitz and the utterly brilliant narration from Scott Brick really has produced a ‘dream team’. This series just has to be made into a film and if Scott Brick has the physical ability to act out the demands of the role of Evan Smoak as well as he narrates him then the role should undoubtedly fall to him! Brilliant, brilliant read!!

  • Jane Eyre

  • By: Charlotte Bronte
  • Narrated by: Thandie Newton
  • Length: 19 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,193
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,101
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,099

Following Jane from her childhood as an orphan in Northern England through her experience as a governess at Thornfield Hall, Charlotte Brontë's Gothic classic is an early exploration of women's independence in the mid-19th century and the pervasive societal challenges women had to endure. At Thornfield, Jane meets the complex and mysterious Mr. Rochester, with whom she shares a complicated relationship that ultimately forces her to reconcile the conflicting passions of romantic love and religious piety.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A beautiful audiobook!!

  • By Philip on 13-02-17

Enthralling!

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

Reviewed: 09-05-17

What did you like most about Jane Eyre?

I read this as a book when I was just 10 years old and I remember loving the story immensely. But having come back to it 40+ years later to listen to it as an audio book on my way to and from work, I can only say it far, far surpasses my recollection of how good it was and that the story has been enhanced by hearing it read by such an excellent narrrator. What a total joy to listen to. Such mesmerising language and imagery; such incredible intonation and emotion from Thandie Newton. Jane Eyre is an excellent story from an incredible mind.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jane Eyre?

So many ... but if I had to choose it would be the last scene between Jane and Edward Rochester before she runs away from Thornfield. The intensity of the emotion is overwhelming at times - with credit to Thandie Newton's narration for making me feel as though I were in the room with them both!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Again, so many great scenes but I'll plump for the one where Rochester dresses up as an old gypsy woman to find out how Jane feels about him.

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

The full range of emotions are stirred up by this story - shock at the injustices, intense dislike for the Reeds, admiration and affection for Jane, disgust at Rochester and Rivers (ugh, what loathsome men!) as well as joy at the eventual reunion.

Any additional comments?

This is an outstanding story, read by an outstanding narrator. It has left an indelible mark in my memory and in my heart. I'm so glad I tried the audible download - breathtaking!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Jamaica Inn

  • By: Daphne du Maurier
  • Narrated by: Tony Britton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 939
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 938

Jamaica Inn stands alone on Bodmin Moor, stark and forbidding, its walls tainted with corruption. Young Mary Yellon soon learns of her uncle Joss Merlyn's strange trade here. But does he deal in blacker secrets still?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A grand story..narration not so grand

  • By Jeremy P. James on 24-08-11

Spellbinding!

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

Reviewed: 18-12-16

What a fantastic listen! Couldn't wait to get in my car for the drive to work just to listen to this superb story. Full of mystery, suspense, danger and a sprinkling of romance. Narration was exquisite and the various accents absolutely effortless for Tony Britten. This is one of those stories and performances that lingers in your thoughts a long time after it has finished. Thoroughly recommended.

  • Liane Moriarty

  • Audible Sessions: FREE Exclusive Interview
  • By: Liane Moriarty, Robin Morgan
  • Narrated by: Liane Moriarty, Robin Morgan
  • Length: 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

Audible Exclusive. Liane Moriarty drops by to talk about her career.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Guarded

  • By Shiraz on 23-08-16

Guarded

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

Reviewed: 23-08-16

The interviewer probed and anticipated reader curiosity well but not much forthcoming from Ms Moriarty who seemed reluctant to give much away. Shame as I would have been very interested to know more about her life and story inspirations.

  • The Help

  • By: Kathryn Stockett
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
  • Length: 18 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4,207
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,439
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,432

Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Aibileen is a black maid raising her 17th white child. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is the sassiest woman in Mississippi: a wonderful cook with a gossip's tongue. Graduate Skeeter returns from college with ambitions, but her mother will not be happy until she's married. Although world's apart, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny's lives converge over a clandestine project that will change the town of Jackson forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Relished every minute

  • By Sara on 22-03-10

Couldn't stop listening until I'd finished it!

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

Reviewed: 03-06-16

If you could sum up The Help in three words, what would they be?

Memorable, moving, marvellous!

What did you like best about this story?

The stories told by the different characters. The utterly outstanding narration. The shocking nature of the story and its historical significance. The appropriately timed humour. Everything!

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

No, but I would definitely listen to more audible books from any of these ladies. The narration was outstanding all round as their interpretations made this book come to life. I particularly liked the voice of 'Minny' - such sassy attitude!

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

Absolutely, yes! I drove my husband mad at night as I lay in bed with my earphones in 'til the small hours; I tuned in whilst driving; plugged my earphones in whilst waiting for meals at restaurants - yes, all very rude of me but I just couldn't get enough and was so disappointed when it ended as there seemed so much more story to tell. A truly engrossing story and so well narrated.

Any additional comments?

This is a story that has left an indelible impression. I can't get the characters, story or the message out of my mind. Probably one of my top three audible listens. Please read it, you won't be disappointed.

  • Private Peaceful

  • By: Michael Morpurgo
  • Narrated by: Jamie Glover
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164

Told in the voice of a young soldier, the story follows 24 hours in his life at the front during World War I, and captures his memories as he looks back over his life. Full of stunningly researched detail and engrossing atmosphere, the book leads to a dramatic and moving conclusion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • really good.

  • By Anonymous User on 07-04-19

Very thought-provoking

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

Reviewed: 01-03-16

A very somber and thought-provoking story. Draining at times too as it contains a lot of sadness, unfairness and death with hardly any moments of joy or hope to lift the spirits occasionally. Mr Morpurgo has pitched this perfectly with year 6/7 children in mind - it has a clear message and uncluttered writing style with plenty of interesting themes for discussion. Well narrated by Jamie Glover.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sycamore Row

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Michael Beck
  • Length: 20 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,551
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,429
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,426

Fight them, Mr Brigance. To the bitter end. We must prevail. In the long-awaited successor to the novel that launched his phenomenal career, John Grisham brings us the powerful sequel to A Time to Kill. As filled with twists as it is with legal mastery, Sycamore Row proves beyond doubt that John Grisham is in a league of his own. Jake Brigance has never met Seth Hubbard, or even heard of him, until the old man's suicide note names him attorney for his estate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grisham back at his best

  • By Liz on 10-12-13

Compelling!

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

Reviewed: 03-11-15

Sycamore Row is a gripping and compelling audio book and great value for 18+ hours of escapism! The story is fully enhanced by the superb narrator who has an extraordinary range of character voices and accents which add greatly to the mental imagery. This is a truly excellent legal mystery surrounding a will dispute. It gradually unfolds with plenty of stories within stories so the plot never becomes dull and contains many moments of high drama Overall a very easy and pleasurable listening experience. The book would convert really well to the screen and I wonder why this hasn't happened? Thoroughly recommended.

  • Cursed

  • The Watchers Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: S.J. West
  • Narrated by: Christa Lewis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Lilly Rayne Nightingale always felt like Fate was trying to wipe away her existence through a series of odd, near fatal incidences. Luckily, her best friend Will was always one step ahead of Fate preventing her from being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Will was her knight in shining armor until he broke her heart after their one and only kiss. On Lilly's first day of college, she meets Brand Cole. Intrigued by Brand, Lilly must decide whether or not she can give up her adolescent fantasy of being reunited with Will and allow Brand the opportunity to conqueror her heart.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Unbelievable characters ruin a great story concept

  • By Shiraz on 11-02-15

Unbelievable characters ruin a great story concept

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

Reviewed: 11-02-15

As a couple of other reviewers have commented - this book produces a bit of a love/hate relationship. The story concept for this trilogy is a really good one and will undoubtedly appeal to Twilight, Fallen, Mortal Instrument etc fans (although I wouldn’t place it in their league). I love the idea of angels living on Earth and falling in love with mortals, so was really absorbed at first and particularly keen to find out why the main character, Lilly, appears to attract so many near-fatal accidents but is miraculously spared death.
Lilly meets a series of ‘model-like’, wealthy men who fall in love with her and want to protect her from the accidents. Despite competing for her love and attention, the three male characters work together to investigate the dark forces that lie behind the attempts on Lilly’s life and their devotion to her and cooperation with each other is commendable, if unrealistic.

However, the sheer volume of men that fall in love with Lilly, the at-times ridiculous stereotypical characterisations and some of the situations the characters find themselves in were so totally unbelievable that my initial enthusiasm was wiped out by what came across as a shameless attempt to 'throw in' every assumed possible young female fantasy - I found this quite patronising.

The narrator has a fantastic soft voice that suits Lilly and even Tara really well, but is just awful as a British male as her 'British' accent and tone resulted in Brand come across as a highly patronising individual. It became pretty nauseating at times to be honest, and I rolled my eyes to the ceiling in utter disbelief at the shameless stereotyping and farcical situations which were unfortunately exaggerated by the narrator's poor interpretation of the male characters.

That said, bizarrely, I did feel compelled to buy the next two books just to find out what Lucifer really wanted with the main protagonist and what God had planned for his fallen vampire-angels and their werewolf children (hmm!)

This had all the makings of a fantastic trilogy but was let down, in my opinion, by the often ludicrous characterisations; the poor narration of the male characters, and a frankly over-zealous desire to tick the ‘appeal’ boxes for a lucrative female teen market.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Divergent

  • (Divergent, Book 1)
  • By: Veronica Roth
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,532
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,404
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,403

For 16-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead…. A debut novel that will leave you breathless.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Easy reading

  • By Diane on 08-07-14

Wow - I was simply blown away!

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

Reviewed: 26-06-14

This is not my typical genre for listening to, however, the reviews persuaded me to give it a go and I have honestly never been more delightfully surprised in my life! What a gripping, action-packed story (with a hint of romance yet to come).

The story concept is an extremely intelligent one: the world has changed - there is a new way of governing and reducing conflict by separating individuals into 'factions' according to one of five character traits. But what happens when individuals do not have one clear character trait? Well, they are the 'divergent' and present a threat to this new society as they have the ability to think more freely....

The emotions this book evoked were incredibly powerful: I was annoyed at the obsequious and self-denial of the abnegation; irritated by the supercilious nature of the erudite; amused at the forthright nature of the candour; at peace with the amity, and both exhilarated and shocked by the energy and ruthlessness of the dauntless. The story was graphic and violent on many occasions but this was well balanced by the vulnerability of the two main characters: Triss and Four, and the developing tenderness in their relationship.

The narration by Emma Galvin grew on me over time, although initially I felt it was very monotone and this made it difficult to distinguish between the characters, their thoughts and their speech. I probably became accustomed to it over time and felt she injected more contour and intonation into her narration as the story developed.

Without a doubt, this is a powerful and gripping read with a strong and well thought-out plot - it had me on the edge of my seat throughout and has left me desperate to read the next book!