LISTENER

Claire

  • 43
  • reviews
  • 196
  • helpful votes
  • 89
  • ratings
  • The Infirmary: A DCI Ryan Mystery

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: LJ Ross
  • Narrated by: Tom Bateman, Bertie Carvel, Hermione Norris, and others
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 582
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 529
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 523

There's a serial killer targeting the streets of Newcastle, seemingly picking his victims at random but subjecting them all to the same torturous end. When the Chief Inspector on the case goes missing, it falls on DCI Ryan to track down the man who is brutally murdering women and goading the police to 'catch me if you can'. As everyone becomes a suspect, Ryan and his team get drawn further and further into the case, but for Ryan the nightmare gets closer to home than he could ever have imagined. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent DCI Ryan mystery....

  • By Salter on 08-11-18

Well paced, great cast

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

Some brilliant actors involved here who bring this world to life. I had never read any of the DCI Ryan novels, but was compelled to purchase this because the cast looked so good and because it promised to be a prequel to the novels, so no prior knowledge was necessary. I found it to be a top quality production all around; it was just like tuning in to radio 4 and getting hooked on a radio drama. The sense of place (Newcastle) was very convincingly brought out, as were the internal motivations of each of the characters, particularly having separate narrators to differentiate the two main story strands. It has left me hoping for another instalment of this dramatic version, rather than wanting to jump straight into the novels, because I must admit the poor reviews of the first novel do put me off, slightly. I might give it a go (I don't usually adhere to bad reviews), because I now feel invested in Ryan and Philips, and eager to hear more of their Newcastle.

  • A Keeper

  • By: Graham Norton
  • Narrated by: Graham Norton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 984
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 902
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 900

The mystery of Elizabeth Keane's father is one that has never been solved by the people of Buncarragh - not for lack of speculation. Her mother, Patricia, had been assumed a spinster until she began dating a mysterious man from out of town and within months had left Buncarragh and had married. Less than two years later, Patricia was back, with a new baby in her arms but no new husband by her side and unbendingly silent about her recent past. A secret she would take with her to her grave.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely...A Keeper.

  • By Sarah White on 06-10-18

A gripping yarn, so

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

Reviewed: 20-10-18

A pot-boiler, keeps you in suspense, and I enjoyed the two time lines, a really satisfying plot device to keep your attention. Well done to Graham Norton: he can spin a yarn, and I really admire his efforts - he conjurs rural Ireland so well.

  • Lethal White

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 4
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,060
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,717
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,690

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most epic Galbraith/Rowling novel yet

  • By Mikey on 19-09-18

The best so far...!

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

The Strike novels have always had a highly addictive quality, and this fourth is no exception -

I was actually hugely invested in a physical copy of a different novel when this came out, but one night I was too tired to read, so I thought I'd just listen to the first 10 minutes of this and ease myself in gently before jumping with gusto once I'd finished the other book...well, four days later, I had finished this and not touched the other! "Unputdownable", exactly. I listened over breakfast, which spilled into early afternoon and long evenings. It's so easy to dip into, but once I started I couldn't stop. A truly gripping central mystery (which, unlike the Silkworm or Career of Evil, didn't irritate me along the way), populated with characters who, in true Christie-style, all had plausible motives to commit various crimes, alongside the continuing relationship between Robin and Strike which enthrals me. I love the way we see their individual perspectives in separate chapters, it is very involving, like a serialised drama: perfect for an audiobook.

The only negative: it has left me wanting so much more, as soon as possible!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • 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 702
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 640
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 636

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

Satisfying

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

Reviewed: 17-07-18

Dan Stevens is a classy narrator and I've really enjoyed all his audiobooks - here I wasn't so keen on the voice he used for Justice Wargrave, but that aside, he brought it all to vivid life and left room for the listener to fill in any ambiguities. A perfectly well paced thriller, particularly once the soldiers begin to fall, ever more rapidly - builds a sense of isolation, paranoia and fatalism which kept us nicely gripped throughout both a plane journey and two train journeys. Christie does it again - without that little man's grey cells this time! (Oh, but the neat conclusion was just a little too neat, perhaps - we couldn't quite picture the final scenario working so well as it did...!)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Dance with Dragons

  • Book 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 48 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,599
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,992
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,994

The complete, unabridged audiobook of A Dance with Dragons. HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A Dance with Dragons is the fifth volume in the series. The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrative a little disappointing 😕

  • By Anna on 06-05-15

Desperate for more!

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

Reviewed: 17-07-18

Here we get the other side of the story from the characters absent from 'A Feast for Crows', and then some more - and I found it more gripping than ever! At this point in the saga, the investment level is very high both emotionally and intellectually, and even though most of my favourite characters are within AFFC, the action and pace of the story makes it so easy to become absorbed in the action in Essos.

There are - as pretty much every reviewer acknowledges - major discrepencies in the voices the narrator, Roy Dotrice, uses for each character, not only from book-to-book, but particularly in this volume, within the space of one book itself. However, let us not forget what a massive undertaking it must be to record over 40 hours of audio, and he does still imbue force and direction into each voice, and if you concentrate, he does allow you to gauge which is internal dialogue and which direct speech. My admiration for his achievements in recording these books actually only grew, particularly thinking that the next volume (should it ever appear - and please let's all hope it does!!) will be read by someone else.

In AFFC and ADWD we diverge enormously from the storyline as we may know it from the TV series, but that's all to the good - a second bite of the cherry I love so much! To quote George R. R. Martin's most overused phrase (sorry!), I hope volume six appears "in half a heartbeat"...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Clash of Kings

  • Book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 37 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,773
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,761
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,749

The complete, unabridged audiobook of A Clash of Kings. HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A Clash of Kings is the second volume in the series. Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are rising.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • True...

  • By James on 11-06-12

Addictive listening

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

Reviewed: 18-10-17

I have been surprised by how wildly different the books are to the TV show, which is sort of brilliant in a way because it's like losing yourself in another equally compelling timeline of Westeros! (Only trouble is not confusing one with the other...) The way the narrative is broken up by different character paths is a brilliant way to keep your focus and interest, so if there's one narrative you're not completely invested in at this point in the tale, stick around because your favourite is sure to pick up just a few chapters later. (I always looked forward to the installments of Tyrion, Sansa, Arya and Catelyn, particularly.)
Roy Dotrice does a brilliant job of discerning each character from the next in this installment - and my particular favourite interpretation of his has to be Dolorous Edd: he captures him uniquely and perfectly, eh. It's a long and enthralling listen, and the best way for me to experience the books as I know reading them would simply take me too long! (As soon as this finished I purchased the next, and was undaunted by its 42 hour length because I've become addicted to my daily fix of 3 or so chapters.)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Reader on the 6.27

  • By: Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, Ros Schwartz (translator)
  • Narrated by: Stephane Cornicard
  • Length: 4 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 55

An irresistible French sensation - Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore meets Amélie. The Reader on the 6.27 explores the power of books through the lives of the people they save. It is sure to capture the hearts of book lovers everywhere. Guylain Vignolles leads a dull and solitary life. He hates his job, and his only company at home is a goldfish. Every morning he takes the 6.27 to his tedious job at a book pulping factory.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Charming French Fairytale

  • By Claire on 10-10-17

Charming French Fairytale

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

Reviewed: 10-10-17

Spotted this in a train station as the book of the week, and glad I remembered to look it up on here. Deliciously narrated, Stephane Cornicard's voice is truly 'ear candy', and that makes this an audiobook worth purchasing over just reading the book.
This touching Paris-set vignette is highly reminiscent of the likes of Amelie: quirky, pleasant characters you cheer for because you recognise in them the basic human desire to be happy and fulfilled, and relate to their struggles along the way. It's the kind of story that finds humour, warmth and charm in the most basic, mundane everyday occurrences, and champions the dispossessed, where equally lonely and stubborn souls form habitual friendship groups that grudgingly, sometimes unknowingly, provide all the support they need to keep them afloat - gives us all hope, eh?
Like one of Aunt's sugar puffs, this is 'a little sweet, with no other pretension than quite simply to be eaten': enjoy! (Word to the wise, if you're at all queasy about bathroom functions, then maybe proceed with caution?!)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Devotion

  • By: Louisa Young
  • Narrated by: Eve Karpf
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

From the best-selling author of My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You and The Heroes' Welcome, Louisa Young's Devotion is a novel of family, love, race and politics set during the electric change of the 1930s. Tom loves Nenna. Nenna loves her father. Her father loves Mussolini. Ideals and convictions are not always so clear in the murky years between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the second.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A root through history

  • By Claire on 02-10-17

A root through history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-10-17

I was so pleased to find a third instalment of the lives of these characters I've come to love (my dear, I wanted to tell you; the heroes' welcome), and this certainly doesn't disappoint. The tremors of war grow alongside the children's journey into maturity, and I found myself every bit as drawn in to the perfectly expressed internal lives of the characters as ever I have been in this series.
The concentration on the growth of Fascism in Italy I found very educational and stirring, and the use of chronological letter writing to tell the story kept me on tenterhooks throughout as the dangers steadily increased. (Reminded me a lot of the film, Life is Beautiful, in places. I've never seen Tea with Mussolini, partly because I've feared I wouldn't understand it: well, now I feel I have more grounding!)
Equally well wrought was the character of Mabel, I felt; certain passages about the indignities she faced and faces were striking counterpoints to Riley's feelings of otherness in previous installments. Brilliantly narrated by Eve Karpf (initially I missed Dan Stevens' narration because his is the only voice of Riley that sounds authentic, but this novel feels more like the women's story, so Eve's sympathetic intonations - and convincing Italian - felt very fitting): I will now seek out her other performances.
Another beautiful novel from Louisa Young, with an ambiguous but hopeful conclusion.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • When Will There Be Good News

  • (Jackson Brodie)
  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134

In rural Devon, six-year-old Joanna Mason witnesses an appalling crime. Thirty years later the man convicted of the crime is released from prison. In Edinburgh, sixteen-year-old Reggie works as a nanny for a G.P. But Dr Hunter has gone missing and Reggie seems to be the only person who is worried. Across town, Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe is also looking for a missing person, unaware that hurtling towards her is an old friend, Jackson Brodie, himself on a journey that becomes fatally interrupted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Totally...

  • By Claire on 10-08-17

Totally...

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

Reviewed: 10-08-17

This is by far my favourite of the Jackson Brodie novels - such brilliantly drawn characters, especially Reggie (the "beating heart" of the novel), and a storyline that grips you from the very beginning and never lets go. I found it strangely uplifting (much more so than its grim predecessor, One Good Turn), in the way most Kate Atkinson novels are, because her natural humour in the face of chaos and darkness is always apparent, and the conclusion is 'totally' satisfying: Kate Atkinson's writing is a firm favourite in our household!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Harry Lloyd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,715
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,495

A century before A Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros.... A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin's ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there were Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals - in stature if not experience.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great intro to Westeros if u can't face the Epics!

  • By Mini on 04-11-15

The Lunk shows spunk

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

Reviewed: 03-08-17

Would you consider the audio edition of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms to be better than the print version?

Just as good - it'd be nice to see it in print and learn how the names and places are spelled, for example, but the characterisation here is wonderful (I do not greatly enjoy Roy Dotrice, sadly, and long for another actor to re-record the Ice and Fire books) and it's great to be able to listen to these stories back to back while relaxing or doing other things, as I think it'd take me too long to read them in print. I did find myself googling certain characters to find out more biographical information and learn more about the battles, because this universe George Martin has created is so vast and rich in its histories i.e. events are referred to in both these stories and Game of Thrones, and they all tally, and it's really nice to immerse yourself in this alternative history; you pick up new details every time you engage with the novels.

What other book might you compare A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms to, and why?

Obviously the Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) books because they take place in the same world and have many overlapping characters, settings and so on. It enriches the action of Game of Thrones.

What about Harry Lloyd’s performance did you like?

It was consistent, he really gets into the skin of Dunk the Tall, and knows his way around this world very well having acted in the Game of Thrones series so knows how everything works/how every role works, which comes across in the performance. Funny where it should be; dark and violent at other times - he marks out the internal dialogue from the external dialogue very clearly, it's just a very solid and enjoyable reading.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Hedge Knight who wasn't...

Any additional comments?

Makes you appreciate George R. R. Martin's immense achievement - we may marvel at how well J.K. Rowling knows her wizarding world, but this is arguably even more impressive, stretching back thousands of years, with every reign fully accounted for: magnificent (and beautifully well written).

5 of 5 people found this review helpful