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  • 6
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 27
  • ratings
  • Black Diamonds

  • The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty
  • By: Catherine Bailey
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 15 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 704
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494

Wentworth is today a crumbling and forgotten palace in Yorkshire. Yet just 100 years ago it was the ancestral pile of the Fitzwilliams' - an aristocratic clan whose home and life were fuelled by coal mining. This is the story of their spectacular decline: of inheritance fights; rumours of a changeling and of lunacy; philandering earls; illicit love; war heroism: a tragic connection to the Kennedys'; violent deaths: mining poverty and squalor; and a class war that literally ripped apart the local landscape.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By Colin on 19-02-09

Such an interesting story badly told

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

Reviewed: 07-04-18

This is a fascinating story but the structure of the book was all wrong. There was way too much about miners not related to the house but then the post war events were covered in a postscript. Much too long, it would have better split into several books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How to Stop Time

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,405
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,233
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,230

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to jazz age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them firsthand.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb as I expected from Matt Haig

  • By Kaggy on 17-07-17

Old story not particularly well done

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-03-18

I have given up with this as I could not feel any sympathy with Tom. Not particularly well written or well narratored

  • The Summer Before the War

  • By: Helen Simonson
  • Narrated by: Lucy Scott
  • Length: 15 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England's brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha's husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent sabre rattling over the Balkans won't come to anything.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good listen

  • By Ellen on 11-05-16

couldn't finish it...boring

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-03-18

Had a couple of amusing incidents but too dull to waste time on. Narrator not good.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Vinegar Girl

  • The Taming of the Shrew Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare)
  • By: Anne Tyler
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

'You can't get around Kate Battista as easily as all that.' Kate Battista is feeling stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister, Bunny? Plus, she's always in trouble at work - her preschool charges adore her, but the adults don't always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected delight

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-01-17

Narration too slow

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

I had to speed the narration up but story OK. I sympathised with Kate

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Improbability of Love

  • By: Hannah Rothschild
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards, Jilly Bond
  • Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 596
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 559

Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected secondhand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two - only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Loved Every Minute of It. Great Characters.

  • By bookylady on 02-04-16

Unputdownable

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

Reviewed: 27-04-16

This is the best book I have read/listened to in along time. Great story well told.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Beach Hut next Door

  • By: Veronica Henry
  • Narrated by: Julia Franklin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 90

The sun is out, and the beach huts at Everdene Sands are filling up once again. Jemima is artist in residence for the summer, capturing the antics of the holiday makers on canvas. But it's not long before she becomes embroiled in their tangled lives.Vince and Murphy are best mates, and misspent their youths in the waves and bars of Everdene. Now they are making plans for The Lobster Shack, eager to make their fortune.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Poor narration

  • By S on 12-11-14

Poor narration

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

Reviewed: 12-11-14

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

This was becoming an interesting story as it introduced all the characters backgrounds. However the narration changed after an hour or so and was read like a story aimed at 3 year olds. Subjects such as sex, prison and divorce were read like the characters were on a day out to the zoo. I gave up.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The character development was most interesting.i

Would you be willing to try another one of Julia Franklin’s performances?

NO

3 of 3 people found this review helpful