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Lucy

Wiltshire UK
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  • The Innocent

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 75

The setting is Berlin. Into this divided city, wrenched between East and West, between past and present; comes twenty-five-year-old Leonard Marnham, assigned to a British-American surveillance team. Though only a pawn in an international plot that is never fully revealed to him, Leonard uses his secret work to escape the bonds of his ordinary life - and to lose his unwanted innocence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good read with a few turns you woldnt expect.

  • By Graham on 07-05-16

Good tale, spoilt by pages and pages of gruesome, violent hideous descriptions of murder

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

Reviewed: 15-02-18

Such a shame, for me this book was a pollutant. It made me feel disgusted at the violence. I couldn't like, or feel anything but utter horror and loathing for Leonard and Maria. What they did was just too shocking and how they went on to lead normal suburban lives was beyond belief. The worst McEwan book I've read. He must be a bit of a nut job to write such stuff.

I am not easily shocked as I work in an operating theatre but the description of dismemberment was quite revolting.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Greatest Traitor

  • The Secret Lives of Agent George Blake
  • By: Roger Hermiston
  • Narrated by: Michael Tudor Barnes
  • Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

On 3 May 1961, after a trial conducted largely in secret, a man named George Blake was sentenced to an unprecedented 42 years in jail. By his own confession he was a Soviet spy, but the reasons for such a severe punishment were never revealed. To the public, Blake was simply the greatest traitor of the Cold War. Yet his story touches not only the depths of treachery, but also the heights of heroism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All the detail in the right order

  • By Gill Corrigan on 01-10-14

Fascinating story

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

Reviewed: 01-01-18

I really enjoyed this book and because George Blake is still alive it is possible to see video of him on YouTube and to flesh out the full story. He seems to put himself into a different category to the other spies because he did not take payment. However I found Sean Bourke's description of Blake in Russia very telling.
He explains that Blake was a very different character than he was in the Scrubs and was patronising and supercilious. Had Bourke and co been played because they would have their uses to Blake in helping him escape? Blake's treachery is easier to understand because as he said, he never belonged and England wasn't his country so he felt no loyalty to it.

  • A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: Michael Tudor Barnes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 525
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 495

Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Retold with Gripping Narrative

  • By Pippa Lamb on 14-10-14

Excellent story. Brilliant narration

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

Reviewed: 06-12-17

I so enjoyed this book. The story of Kim Philby and Nicholas Elliott was fascinating. The narration was marvellous I love the husky, well spoken tones of Michael Tudor Barnes, so suited to this tale of treachery and lies. It is my favourite audible book to date.

  • Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh

  • By: Joseph Conrad
  • Narrated by: Kenneth Branagh
  • Length: 3 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 963
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 832
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 830

A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just bliss

  • By Fiona on 13-05-16

Incomprehensible

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

Reviewed: 04-11-17

I'm sorry to be in the minority but I hated the narration, Kenneth Branagh sometimes speeded up his narrative so that it was completely garbled, he also did that weird actor thing where the emphasis is on the wrong word so completely distorts the sense of the writer. I often think actors do it when they, themselves do not understand what the author is trying to convey. But they emphasise it with such certainty that you, the listener are tricked into thinking they understand the text. They do not.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Burmese Days

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Allan Corduner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327

An unabridged recording of Orwell's brilliant first novel read by Allan Corduner. The story is largely based on Orwell's own experiences as a police officer in Burma. Set in the dying days of the Raj, it depicts the harshness and darker side of colonial rule. And at its centre is John Flory, a lone individual hopelessly trapped in a vast political system; themes which set the agenda for much of his writing. Burmese Days was Orwell's first novel, and was issued in 1934 in America, then a year later in the UK where there had been fears and controversy initially that the material could be libellous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful listen

  • By Chelin on 05-12-12

Transported back to colonial Burma

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

Reviewed: 22-09-17

This was such a brilliant book. The listener is immediately transported back to a different place and time. All the main characters are so trapped by their social classes and the expatriate community was so stifling. The narrator did a brilliant job with most of the different voices, although some of the female ones were a bit Hinge & Bracket. Nevertheless I really enjoyed this audiobook and would strongly recommend it.

  • Far Eastern Tales

  • By: W. Somerset Maugham
  • Narrated by: Robert Powell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

Far eastern Tales is a collection of Maugham's short stories, all born of his experiences in Malaysia, Singapore, and other outposts of the former British Empire. The stories included on this recording are Footprints in the Jungle, Mabel, P & O, The Door of Oportunity, The Buried Talent, Before the Party, Mr. Know-all, Neil MacAdam, The End of the Flight and The Force of Circumstance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Far Eastern Tales (Unabridged)

  • By Toni Hinckley on 24-03-10

Beautifully narrated, a real storyteller

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

Reviewed: 08-08-17

I love Somerset Maugham he tells stories so beautifully. I don't care if they're out of fashion or non PC. They are of the time and therefore historically interesting and well crafted. Ultimately they tell the story of the human condition with all its failings and frailties. I first read Maugham over 40 years ago and they are still captivating. Robert Powell is a brilliant narrator. His voice is pure magic and he enunciates clearly and with great emotion. I enjoyed it so much I looked for other readings from him but there were none that interested me.

Sit back and enjoy and be transported to the Far East in another era.

  • Restless

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,354
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 912
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 906

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read, 2007.
Winner of the Costa Book Awards, Novel of the Year, 2006.
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.
Longlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.

What happens when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? During the summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother, Sally, is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigrée and one-time spy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gripping and thoughtful book

  • By Tom on 03-11-07

Missing key parts of the original novel

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

Reviewed: 02-07-17

This is such a good story and the narration is excellent, BUT why oh why has it missed key parts of the novel out. Very disappointing.

  • And Then There Were None

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 6 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 668
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 609
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 605

Agatha Christie's world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N. Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Still a superb read!

  • By Mr on 15-11-15

Narrator changes accents and voices

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

Reviewed: 22-06-17

Brilliant story, very well known. The narrator changes characters' voices throughout the story. Example Justice Wargrave starts off by speaking ridiculously slowly like a caricature then morphs into Winston Churchill by the end. Despite this the plot and structure of the most famous of Christie's novels makes it enjoyable listening.

  • Sweet Tooth

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 689
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 482
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 485

Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • McEwan Takes Us Back To The Seventies

  • By GC on 15-10-12

Seventies time warp

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

Reviewed: 25-03-17

I loved this book. It is beautifully written and evokes the whole feel of the seventies. The research and details of MI5 are authentic and the characters are detailed and believable. I loved the ending. Well read by Juliet Stevenson who was a contemporary of mine at school.

  • Brazzaville Beach

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Harriet Walter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 200
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

I live on Brazzaville Beach... I am here because two sets of strange and extraordinary events happened to me... One in England, first, and then one in Africa. On Brazzaville Beach, on the edge of Africa, Hope Clearwater examines the complex circumstances that brought her there. Sifting the details for evidence of her own innocence or guilt, she tells her engrossing story with a blunt and beguiling honesty that not only intrigues and disturbs but is also completely enthralling.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing despite 4 stars

  • By Maddy on 02-02-12

This William Boyd book didn't grab me

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

Reviewed: 09-03-17

I've been to the Congo so picked this thinking it would be interesting but it just didn't do it for me. I didn't feel a connection with any of the characters despite the quite excellent narration from Harriet Walter. (I'm actually seeking out books she narrated as I liked her voice so much). But I found the mathematical theorems very boring, also John Clearwater's character extremely one dimensional , couldn't see the attraction AT ALL. I felt the romantic scenes through Hope's viewpoint were all what a male author wishes a female felt. Not realistic at all. So although it is very well written, the subject matter (chimps and maths) just didn't interest me greatly. It started off so well and I almost imagined I was back in Brazzaville but then it was downhill.