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Simon

Ashburton, Devon, United Kingdom
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 7
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  • Life After Life

  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,799
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,617
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,598

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing story of "what ifs"

  • By Kirstine on 13-05-13

Again...

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

Reviewed: 05-06-13

I finished listening to this today on a long drive and, without thinking about it, immediately started listening again. It wasn't until I read other reviews that I relised the irony of this action.

This is a definite "listen twice" book; maybe more. It will take that to properly understand the clever variations and deviations of all the threads.

I'm a great fan of Kate Atkinson's writing and her skill in weaving stories based on family and other relationships that we can all recognise in our own lives and with an ability to make one smile and wince in the same sentence. This is no exception and arguably takes the art to a new level. KA has also never shied away from describing sudden, violent and tragic death (in an often slightly dissmissive manner). Here she affords herself multiple opportunities to indulge this apparent passion and carries it off with style.

This book is about more than that though. Much more astute people than I have written very insightful reviews of this book so all I need to say is that any fan of KA's work to date surely can't be disappointed by this.

  • Sweet Tooth

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 695
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 488
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 491

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

Sweet!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-12-12

I really enjoyed this. The reading by Juliet Stevenson is just fantastic - one of the best - and makes a good book even better.



I think I'll be listening again. I'm sure I missed many strong clues along the way about the way the book ends.



This reminded me in some ways of William Boyd's "Restless" and "Waiting For Sunrise" (a pretty good recommendation in itself), but also very different.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

  • A History of Nazi Germany
  • By: William L. Shirer
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 57 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,526
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,039
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,032

Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A unique account

  • By Richard on 07-12-10

Better than any fiction

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-04-11

I shied away from downloading this book a few times. I liked the idea of listening to it, but thought that the reality might be boring and beyond my powers of concentration.

How wrong I was. This is gripping from start to finish and all the way through one has to keep reminding oneself that it's a true story. It seems too far fetched and fantastical to possibly be real, but the sad fact is that it is real. Jaw dropping stuff, time after time. Better than any fiction and all the more uncomfortable for that very reason.

There's not enough space here to do this book justice, but if, like me, you have any interest in WW2 this is essential listening and at the same time simultaneously shocking and frightening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Restless

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 928
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 922

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

Great

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-10-10

Listened twice. Loved it. Get it!

Apart from one slightly unbelievable event at a key point (but no more than in most works of fiction) this story is totally credible and very thought provoking.

  • The Burley Cross Post Box Theft

  • By: Nicola Barker
  • Narrated by: Helen Lacey, Gareth Cassidy
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

Reading other people’s letters is always a guilty pleasure. But for two West Yorkshire policemen - contemplating a cache of 27 undelivered missives, retrieved from a back alley behind the hairdresser's in Skipton - it's also a job of work. The quaint moorside village of Burley Cross has been plunged into turmoil by the theft of the contents of its postbox, and when PC Roger Topping takes over the case, his expectations of success are not high.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent surreal cozy

  • By Angela on 23-09-10

Village Fun

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-10-10

This was a bit of a 'punt' for me to download and as the previous reviewer noted, the opening 'missive' is a little irritating, but I enjoyed it so much that I've listened to it twice now. That's partly because an audiobook doesn't afford the listener the opportunity to refer back to previous passages as easily as the written page (something any reader/listener of this book will surely want to do to check up on who's who and who said/did what to whom) but also because it's a huge amount of fun.

Forget the fact that no one would ever really write letters in the style and detail that is presented (it's essential for the development of the plot) and just enjoy it for what it is - a fun story in which anyone who's ever lived in a village will recognise certain characters!!

Best of all for this sad romantic was the late forming sub-plot between two peripheral characters and the mystery solving constable's way of addressing their mutual anguish in the book's denouement in the midst of solving and explaining the main 'crime'. Lovely!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Remember Me

  • By: Melvyn Bragg
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 2 hrs and 23 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

A passionate but ultimately tragic love affair starts when two students - one French, one English - meet at university at the beginning of the 60s. From its tentative, unpromising early stages, the relationship develops into a life-changing one, whose profound impact continues to reverberate 40 years later.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A very dull romance....

  • By Joan on 21-07-08

Dull

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-06-10

It's not often that I don't get to the end of an Audiobook that I've paid good money for, but this was one such occasion.

My chosen adjectives would be dull, pretentious, self-indulgent and b******s. All in the same sentence and in that order, if you so choose.

I tried, but I couldn't get beyond half way. Maybe I'm shallow, but really .... I listen to Audiobooks to help me stay awake while driving.

  • Corduroy Mansions

  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Andrew Sachs
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 68

Corduroy Mansions is the affectionate nickname given to a genteelly crumbling mansion block in London's vibrant Pimlico. This is the home patch of - among others - a lovelorn literary agent, possibly the first ever nasty Liberal Democrat MP and Freddie de la Hay, an urbane terrier trained to be vegetarian and respectful of feline rights.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like chocolate for the ears.

  • By Vivien on 08-08-09

Disappointed

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-09

I found this a little dull. I kept waiting for something big to happen but eventually realised that it wasn't going to. Maybe that just makes me shallow?

It's well written with some very good descriptive passages and some perceptive observations of human nature but if you're looking for "gripping" or "enthralling" then look elsewhere.

For me, the true measure of a good Audiobook is how slowly I drive to work and back home. This one did nothing for my contribution towards road safety.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful