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B Gumbrell

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 97
  • ratings
  • The Quality of Silence

  • By: Rosamund Lupton
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins, Harriet Carmichael
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 206

Set in the extreme landscape of Alaska, The Quality of Silence follows the story of Yasmin and her deaf daughter, Ruby. Yasmin arrives in Alaska to be told her husband, Matt, is dead, the victim of a catastrophic accident. Yasmin, unable to accept this as truth, sets out into the frozen winter landscape, taking Ruby with her, in search of answers. But as a storm closes in, Yasmin realises that a very human danger may be keeping pace with them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic start but ludicrous storyline

  • By B Gumbrell on 21-09-15

Fantastic start but ludicrous storyline

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

Reviewed: 21-09-15

Any additional comments?

I loved Rosamund Lupton's two previous books and was enthralled by this one for the first third of the novel. She writes with such imagination, beautiful prose and emotion that it is almost impossible to dislike but...the story line in this novel is so far fetched that it reaches the realms of silliness. There is also a strong sense of being preached at about the wonders of Alaska and the damning consequences of fracking which becomes boring after a while. This had the potential to be another wonderful and innovative book if it had stayed just a touch nearer to reality.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Case of the Love Commandos

  • By: Tarquin Hall
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

The wonderful fourth outing for Delhi detective Vish Puri. When Ram and Tulsi fall in love, the young woman’s parents are dead set against the union. She’s from a high-caste family; he’s an Untouchable, from the lowest strata of Indian society. Young Tulsi’s father locks her up and promises to hunt down the “loverboy dog.” Fortunately, India’s Love Commandos, a group of volunteers dedicated to helping mixed-caste couples, come to the rescue. But just after they liberate Tulsi, Ram is mysteriously snatched from his hiding place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining, funny and clever

  • By B Gumbrell on 21-06-15

Entertaining, funny and clever

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

Reviewed: 21-06-15

What made the experience of listening to The Case of the Love Commandos the most enjoyable?

A well woven story, beautifully narrated as always by Sam Dastor. It had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing but it wouldn't have mattered if it hadn't - the real highlight is the way India shines through. The characters, particularly Mummy-ji, are just a joy. I hope Vish Puri has a long life!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Silkworm

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 2
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,802
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,313
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,296

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 star rating based on quality not name

  • By Linda on 06-08-14

Excellent narration - shame about the story

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

Reviewed: 30-08-14

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No - unless you have a taste for the fantastic and the gruesome.

Any additional comments?

I can only repeat what has been said before. Yet again, her editor is letting J K Rowling (Galbraith) down. This could have been a very good book but it needed a thorough prune and a little more honest feedback. Bucket-loads of unpleasantness alone does not make for adult reading. The plot is so ludicrous that it fits better with fantasy than crime. However, the narration is so splendid that I had to listen to the end.

  • Oh Dear Silvia

  • By: Dawn French
  • Narrated by: Dawn French, James Fleet, Llewella Gideon, and others
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,162
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 878
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 881

Who is in Coma Suite Number 5? A matchless lover? A supreme egotist? A selfless martyr? A bad mother? A cherished sister? A selfish wife? All of these. For this is Silvia Shute, who has always done exactly what she wants. Until now, when her life suddenly, shockingly stops. Her past holds a terrible secret, and now that she is unconscious in a hospital bed, her constant stream of visitors are set to uncover the mystery of her broken life. Meanwhile she must lie there, victim of the beloveds, the borings, the babblings and the plain bonkers. Like it or not, the truth is about to pay Silvia a visit. Again, and again and again...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilarious!!!!

  • By Indigoleopard on 01-11-12

Clever, sensitive, beautifully narrated

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

Reviewed: 22-08-14

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

This is a true performance. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it just from the printed page but the narrators give absolute life to this story.

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

I'm surprised this isn't a film already. It's made for it.

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

  • By: Rachel Joyce
  • Narrated by: Jim Broadbent
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,365
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,826
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,821

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof, or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking - to save someone else's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gentle but engaging

  • By Ms on 17-06-12

Simply wonderful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

A moving and thought provoking story, very well written and beautifully read. I could not stop listening to it and irritated my family by keeping my ear plugs in for a whole day! I intend to buy the paperback copy so that I can keep it on my shelf and dip into it from time to time. I look forward to more from Rachel Joyce.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Snow Child

  • By: Eowyn Ivey
  • Narrated by: Debra Monk
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213

A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start for themselves in a homestead 'at the world's edge' in the raw Alaska wilderness. But as the days grow shorter, Jack is losing his battle to clear the land, and Mabel can no longer contain her grief for the baby she lost many years before. The evening the first snow falls, their mood unaccountably changes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A lovely haunting story with gentle narration

  • By S. Bradshaw on 06-03-12

A book of two halves

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

In many ways, this is a beautiful book, full of charm and imagination. The principle question of whether the snow child is a real person or a spirit from another dimension draws the reader in. The characters are well drawn though not always likeable and the writing is captivating. However, I felt the book lost it's way about half way through and could have ended at several earlier points leaving the story all the richer for it. I began to lose patience with the characters as it ploughed on and struggled to finish it. Having said that, the first half was wonderful and worth reading just for that.

  • Maxwell's Island

  • The Peter "Mad Max" Maxwell Series, Book 13
  • By: M J Trow
  • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Having had his retirement snatched from him by malfunctioning technology, Peter “Mad Max” Maxwell finds himself facing yet another year at Leighford High School. His wife, Jacquie, is further annoyed when a family holiday quickly becomes an impromptu Year Seven trip to the Isle of Wight. The situation takes another turn for the worse when the wife of Tom Medlicott, the new Head of Art, goes missing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • don;t tell max anything.

  • By Mrs. K. I. Richards on 03-05-15

Another delight

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-12

A further jolly tale by M J Trow superbly narrated once again by Peter Wickham. Although the plot is far from strong, this book like the earlier novels in the series, entertains through its sheer humour and the delightful way the characters are drawn. These are feel good books and I hope Maxwell has many more adventures to come. As for Peter Wickham, I could listen to him read the back of a cereal packet and enjoy it! Pity he isn't let loose with Inspecter Lestrade.

  • Rumpole's Last Case

  • By: John Mortimer
  • Narrated by: Bill Wallis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

The irrepressible, audacious defence barrister Horace Rumpole is back with seven marvelous stories by John Mortimer. The much loved stories were adapted from his scripts for the hugely popular TV series of the same name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rumpole's Last Case

  • By Carol on 23-05-11

Pure bliss

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-05-12

Listening to this is like double cream on strawberries - nothing new or surprising but utterly delightful. A wonderful way to spend a few hours.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Beastly Things

  • A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery, Book 21
  • By: Donna Leon
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26

When a body is found floating in a canal, disfigured and with multiple stab wounds, Commissario Brunetti is called to investigate and is convinced he recognises the man from somewhere. However, with no identification except for the distinctive shoes the man was wearing, and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, the case cannot progress. Brunetti soon realises why he remembers the dead man, and asks Signorina Elettra if she can help him find footage of a farmers' protest the previous autumn.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • New narrator please!

  • By J Halle on 09-05-12

Slow, slow, slow

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-04-12

Well written and good character development but the slow development of a thin plot and an even slower narration by David Colacci practically sent me to sleep. If you need to know the details of every mouthful of food eaten by the characters, you'll like this but it felt like padding to me. Not Leon at her best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Long Song

  • By: Andrea Levy
  • Narrated by: Andrea Levy, Adrian Lester
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

A moving tale set in Jamaica during the last years of slavery from Orange Prize winner Andrea Levy. You do not know me yet. My son Thomas, who is publishing this book, tells me, it is customary at this place in a novel to give the reader a little taste of the story that is held within these pages. As your storyteller, I am to convey that this tale is set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully entertaining

  • By Jenny on 30-04-10

The Long Song

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-09-11

A wonderful book narrated with considerable talent by the author which allows the listener to grasp the full sense of every phrase. Good prose, believable characters, a moving and yet often funny story and informative too given the historical and social context of the novel. What more can one ask? An entertaining and emotional treat in so many ways.