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Ellie

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Utter nonsense and great fun -ying tong iddle I po!

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

Reviewed: 03-02-19

Classic radio comedy and utter nonsense from The Goons. I loved revisiting these wonderful oddball episodes. Well worth spending a credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

An absorbing and audacious mystery

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

Reviewed: 18-01-19

Considered to be one of the first mystery stories of its kind, The Woman in White is still the gold standard of story-telling and suspense. This Wilkie Collins classic has it all, a mysterious encounter on a lonely moonlit road, a devastating secret which somebody is willing to go to any lengths to protect, a super-villain who is as urbane and deadly as Lucifer himself, a heroine in peril and a hero who gradually gains in stature as the mystery unfolds. Written originally in an episodic style for a newspaper publication, the gothic flavoured narrative is told through a series of accounts given by various characters along the way. The sense of menace which surfaces early on in the story increases exponentially as events move forward and keeps you listening to find out ‘what happens next’. Ian Holm reads with great skill and understanding throughout, complementing the style of each character in his delivery. I defy anyone not to chuckle at his rendering of the annoying Frederick Fairlie, who is my favourite character of all and captured beautifully by Mr Holm. I can not recommend this enough. Having read the book multiple times in my life, it never fails to impress me and Audible has now added to its merits by pairing it with an excellent narration.

Step through the doorway to the world below

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

Quite possibly one of the most imaginative stories I have stumbled across in a long, long time. It is a charming and twisted fairytale set in the great city of London where two realities exist side by side, those of London Above (our world) and the more dangerous and sinister London Below. When the main character, Richard Mayhew, is accidentally drawn down into the rabbit hole, we follow him into a land where there really is an Angel Islington, Black Friars who guard a secret and the Nights Bridge, a place of nightmares. Along the way he encounters a host of delightful and doubtful characters who add colour, humour and horror to the palette in equal measure. The story is read by the author himself who does a fabulous job of bringing the story to life. It was incredibly easy to listen to and I can see me keeping this one in my library permanently.

... aka Hawthorne Investigates

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

Reviewed: 27-06-18

Initially, I was not entirely sure this would be my cup of tea. It felt odd hearing the story told in the first person and from the author’s personal point of view. However, once Hawthorne strode in, I was completely hooked. In fact, I managed to listen to the whole book in just two sittings (sleep got in the way before I could finish off the last 2 chapters). The central whodunnit was serviceable and interesting enough to propel the story forward but Hawthorne is definitely the star of the show. He is an instinctive, edgy, manipulative character who doesn’t seem to give a damn about (anyone or) anything but solving the case and it’s impossible not to love him. The narrator gave a solid and convincing performance throughout which helped ease me into the story and kept me listening to the very end. If you like your classic sleuthing duos (think Holmes and Watson, or Poirot and Hastings) then this might be right up your street.

Blair Witch meets Predator

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

Reviewed: 07-04-18

This novel is in two parts with a subtle change in genre and pace between the two. It is well written and the narrator is excellent throughout, however, I enjoyed the first half so much more than the second. Part One is like Blair Witch meets the Predator. A group of friends get lost hiking in the woods and realise something is stalking them. It is tense, nerve wracking and unfolds in ways which are familiar to horror fans but unsettling nevertheless. I LOVED this part of the book. Part Two is a step change into slasher horror territory. Everything is described as either dirty, bloody, grimy or broken and it began to drag a bit. Overall,it is a tense tale with a strong resolution (unlike many horror stories). I had the feeling this was written almost with film-making in mind so it did not surprise me when I discovered it has been adapted for the screen.

A stunning epic!

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

Reviewed: 27-01-18

It is difficult trying to find the words to describe how utterly engrossing this incredible and true story is. I listened to it over two days and could not put it down. By the end I felt as if I had been through the events with Shackleton and his crew. I swear, I even felt really cold listening to it, even though I was curled up on the sofa in a centrally heated house with the extra insulation of several dogs curled up next to me. The narrative is laced with excerpts and quotes from the various journals kept by the crew, which helps draw out the personalities involved and enhances the realism of their dire situation. Simon Prebble is flawless in his reading of this stunning epic. I don’t know what more I can add. Listen to it and find out for yourself.

A gentle stroll through British history

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

Reviewed: 27-01-18

This potted history of the British isles is an engaging whistle stop tour that begins with Julius Caesar landing on our shores and comes to rest as Queen Anne ascends the throne. Given the length and breadth of the subject matter and the sheer length of time it is covering, it is more of a superficial browse through the successive reigns of our kings and queens rather than a serious in depth re-telling of history. Nevertheless, it is easy listening and paints a cohesive timeline of events in very broad strokes, sometimes putting events in context and highlighting their impact in the ways that have survived to the present day. If you are an avid fan of any particular period of history, you may feel short-changed in the pencil sketch treatment of your favourite epoch, however, I defy any history buff not to be seduced by the clipped delivery of the narrators and the richness of the stories they tell.

As an additional note, as you reach the restoration of Charles II you may be surprised how the narration seems to speed past him with indecent haste. There is an error in the sequencing of the episodes where the restoration segment has been incorrectly inserted into the William of Orange chapters.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Haunting

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

An enchanting performance by Simon Callow. Best listened in the dark on Christmas Eve with nothing but the tree lights to cast shadows in the corners.

A haunted house classic in every way

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

Reviewed: 02-10-17

If you saw the tv version of this and was disappointed, don’t let this put you off trying the audiobook. This is a superior ghost story which sounds amazing when read out loud. The full flavour of Herbert’s nerve jangling narrative is given life by the wonderful David Rintoul who delivers a staggeringly good performance throughout. It fulfills the classic haunted house wish list: isolated house (check), creepy orphanage (check), a series of strange goings on (check), a reluctant psychic (check), family in peril (check), a thundering conclusion that takes place on a dark, stormy night (check). What more could you want?

Teen website sleuths in peril ...

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

Reviewed: 02-10-17

For anyone who loves Veronica Mars, Riverdale or Pretty Little Liars, this is an audio variation on the same kind of theme. Teen web sleuths set out to solve the murder of a young girl who may as well have been called Laura Palmer. She had secrets. But don’t get me wrong, it avoids falling victim to the expected tropes of the genre by delivering an engaging and clever plot with amusing pencil sketch characters to keep it all moving along nicely. I listened to the whole thing over two days and despite early misgivings, ended up pleasantly satisfied with the whole thing. The narrator is excellent and brings a warmth to the narration throughout the storytelling. If you are happy to spend a day or so in a world where all the girls are drop dead gorgeous, the boys have ‘ripped’ torsos and the author includes style notes in her character descriptions then this, quite possibly, is the perfect whodunnit for you.