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Tim Vicary

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Lovely story beautifully told

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

Reviewed: 11-10-15

What did you like most about The Secret Life of Bees?

It was an unusual story but what I really loved was listening to the beautiful reading by Jenna Lamia. I loved her southern accent and I thought she brought the characters to life very well.

3 people found this helpful

Hypnotic story

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

Reviewed: 02-06-15

If you could sum up The Girl on the Train in three words, what would they be?

hypnotic spellbinding mystery

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

They wove a spell which drew me into the mystery.

Any additional comments?

This was a very clever mystery story, with three different narrators, each telling the tale from their own slightly unreliable point of view. Not much dialogue but a lot of internal monologue from the three main characters. Spell-binding narration, fascinating as I tried to work out what had really happened. Recommended.

Top Man Boris - ripping yarn!

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

Reviewed: 25-02-15

Where does The Churchill Factor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book ranks very highly. I was briefly disappointed to find that it was not read by Boris himself, but Simon Shepherd makes an excellent substitute, bringing life energy and colour to Boris's words -an excellent performance.

And Boris writes very well indeed. I've read several books about Churchill but this is one of the best. Instead of going through his life chronologically Boris takes different themes, investigating each thoroughly and presenting the arguments for and against his hero's conduct in each before, most of the time, coming down firmly in favour of Churchill. And what a huge story there is to tell! Boris himself is man of great energy and originality, but again and again we see him gasping in awe at the super-colossal talents of his hero. So many amazing achievements, almost all of which have shaped the world we live in today. He surely must have been the greatest Englishman ever!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All of them, all the way through. Never a dull moment.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, both. Much more laughter than crying though. I marched through the woods, walking the dogs, chuckling away to myself. Many strange looks!

Any additional comments?

Increased respect for Boris. This book is a considerable achievement in itself, and he is the Mayor of London, after all. So presumably, like Churchill, he wrote it as a sort of relaxation, in the evenings after the day job. What will he write when he's Prime Minister?

Unusual hypnotic story

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

Reviewed: 25-02-15

What made the experience of listening to H Is For Hawk the most enjoyable?

Helen MacDonald has a beautiful, hypnotic voice which is a pleasure to listen to. The story itself is fascinating, combining the training of a goshawk, about which I knew nothing, her grief at the death of her father, and the comparison of her own experience with that of T.H. White. White's book, The Once and Future King was once a favourite of mine; but I knew nothing about his personal history, or the fact that he too had trained a goshawk before writing that book. So I learnt a great deal about several different things which were new to me, and the emotions involved in them.

What other book might you compare H Is For Hawk to, and why?

I suppose Ring of Bright Water, or Tarka the Otter. Both like this, unique stories about the relationship between animals and humans - both referred to in this book too.

Any additional comments?

This book could become a classic.

2 people found this helpful

Wonderful - more please!

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

Reviewed: 27-01-15

Would you listen to Ross Poldark again? Why?

Yes. This is one of my favourite books, and it is beautifully read by Michael Maloney. My only slight caveat was his accent for Demelza, which to me sounded more Berkshire than Cornish, but all the male characters were highly convincing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ross Poldark?

It is all memorable but the conflicts between Ross and his lackadaisical servants Jud and Prude, and his early encounters with Demelza, stand out particularly.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I have read the book several times so listening to it was an added pleasure. There are many moving moments, strong underlying conflicts for all of the main characters, beautiful evocation of eighteenth century Cornwall, strong understanding of the society and different social classes of the time, and a fair sprinkling of humour as well.

Any additional comments?

I only wish that this audiobook was not an abridged version; I would happily have listened to the whole thing. And why has no-one recorded audio version of the other novels in the Poldark series, several of which are even better than this first one? More please!

5 people found this helpful

The Blackhouse cover art

Grim but compelling

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

Reviewed: 27-01-15

What made the experience of listening to The Blackhouse the most enjoyable?

Very well read by Steve Worsley. A clear strong Scottish accent.

What did you like best about this story?

Although the main character is a detective this is not primarily a detective story; it reads like an autobiographical novel with the crime story added on. The setting of the Isle of Lewis , told in the first person, sounds very authentic - I presume Peter May grew up there - and it is this grim, harsh Puritanical background of island life that is the most interesting, although a bit of humour to lighten it now and then would have been nice.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I didn't laugh or cry - I just suffered - it is that sort of book. At times I thought of giving up but the background of island life - especially the fishing expedition for gannet chicks on An Sker - was sufficiently unusual and interesting to keep me going. The actual detective work was pretty skimpy.

Any additional comments?

The chapters as displayed on my Ipod bore no relation to the chapters as narrated in the book, which was pretty irritating when - on several occasions - I lost my place and was trying to get back to where I left off.

Compelling and disturbing

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

Reviewed: 17-01-15

Where does Chequered Justice rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was the first audiobook I have listened to and it was excellent. I had read the book some years ago but had forgotten many of the details, and listening to it brought the whole thing alive in a compelling and refreshing way. Leslie Phillips reads with a fruity, delightful voice which is easy to listen to, and many episodes, especially the motor racing ones, are heightened by professionally produced sound effects which, I think, are unusual among audiobooks but at times made it more like listening to a radio play.

What did you like best about this story?

The story itself is based on real events, a personal tragedy in which the main character, Will Middleton, is ensnared in a web of legal tricks by the agents of an unscrupulous insurance company. The details of this, sometimes hard to follow, give a disturbing insight into the way an innocent victim can become trapped in the labyrinth of the British legal system. At the same time the compelling excitement of the world of motor racing is brought to life.

Which character – as performed by Leslie Phillips – was your favourite?

Leslie Phillips reads all the characters well but the voices of the pompous judge and prosecution barrister are particularly delightful.

2 people found this helpful