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Paddington

Sydney, Australia | Listener Since 2010

36
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 41 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 115 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8

  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: The Karla Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (92)

    Mr George Smiley is small, podgy, and at best, middle-aged. He is disillusioned, wrestles with idleness, and has been deserted by his beautiful wife. He is also compassionate, ruthless and a senior British intelligence officer in short-lived retirement from the Circus the British Secret Service organisation situated in London. But Moscow centre has infiltrated a mole into the Circus and it’s more than likely that the perpetrator is Karla Smiley’s old adversary and his opposite number in Moscow.

    Geoff says: "Top Narration"
    "disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first audible book that I have not enjoyed and I have listened to over 20. The narrator had a pleasant voice but it was hard work trying to see it through to the end. Several times I had to rewind to pickup the thread. I will not be getting any more John le Carre books.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (622)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (532)

    Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

    Brodie says: "On the Day we lost Bryce"
    "What a store teller ..... Bryce does it again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As with all of his novels, I have been thoroughly entertained by Bryce Courtenay listening to Jack of Diamonds. I am sorry that have only a couple of his novels left to read/listen to. This novel was in a different setting mostly in Canada and Las Vegas, and a little towards the end in a mining setting in Africa. It was set among the jazz world, high roller gamblers and Mafia connections with an interesting thread about the culture and times of pre and post world war 2. I love Courtenay's novels .... he has been a wonderful story teller and will be greatly missed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bittersweet

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Colleen McCullough
    • Narrated By Deidre Rubenstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Bittersweet follows the lives of four sisters - two pairs of twins. Edda, Grace, Kitty, and Tufts are about to become the first batch of nurses to be professionally trained in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. For Edda, it is the closest she can come to her dream of being a doctor. For Grace, the hospital is a terrifying place of sickness and mess, while Tufts discovers her hidden talents. For Kitty, it is a way to escape the suffocating love of her mother, who can see nothing beyond Kitty's astonishing beauty.

    Lyn McQuade says: "This was awful"
    "An entertaining Australian novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a big fan of Colleen McCullough. I have read most of her books and I am looking forward to her next! Having been a nurse in my earlier years straight from school in Australia I recognised some of the aspects of the nursing way of life that Colleen describes. Life was quite strict for a nurse even in the late 60's and 70's. I loved the historical setting and the characters portrayed. It is not attempting to be a great piece of literature but it held my interest throughout. It was entertaining and charming with twists that made it work well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • House of Memories

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Monica McInerney
    • Narrated By Catherine Milte
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are those that matter most. Following a tragic accident, Ella O'Hanlon flees to the other side of the world in an attempt to escape her grief, leaving behind the two people she blames for her loss: Aidan, the love of her life, and Jess, her spoilt half-sister. In London Ella is taken in by her beloved uncle Lucas, whose extraordinary house holds many wonderful memories for her.

    Paddington says: "heartwarming"
    "heartwarming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another of Monica McInerney's excellent novels. It was tragic and heart warming keeping my interest up throughout. Great characters. The ending was predictable and a little weak but apart from that it was well worthwhile reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (193)

    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.

    Carol says: "What a wonderful story!"
    "Unusual well worth a read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is a well worth a read. I was fascinated discovering what made the characters tick as the experiences of their past unfolded. Harold became an endearing character with his persistence and good heart coping with many difficulties while considering so many other people's feelings. I am glad I read it and was not put off by the title. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Daughters of Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tom Keneally
    • Narrated By Jane Nolan
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (56)

    Naomi and Sally Durance are daughters of a dairy farmer from the Macleay Valley. Bound together in complicity by what they consider a crime, when the Great War begins in 1914 they hope to submerge their guilt by leaving for Europe to nurse the tides of young wounded. They head for the Dardanelles on the hospital ship Archimedes. Their education in medicine, valour, and human degradation continues on the Greek island of Lemnos, then on the Western Front. Here, new outrages - gas, shell-shock - present themselves.

    Paddington says: "terrific story"
    "terrific story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a much more readable Thomas Keneally novel than his first ones. It was a terrific story based on Australian nurses and army involvement in World War 1 who supported British forces. I found it compelling but I would have preferred a definite ending, not a choice of two. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nancy Wake

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Peter FitzSimons
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    Overall
    (413)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (329)

    In the early 1930s, Nancy Wake was a young woman enjoying a bohemian life in Paris. By the end of the Second World War, she was the Gestapo's most wanted person. As a naive, young journalist, Nancy Wake witnessed a horrific scene of Nazi violence in a Viennese street. From that moment, she declared that she would do everything in her power to rid Europe of the Nazis. What began as a courier job here and there became a highly successful escape network for Allied soldiers.

    Simone says: "Who The "BLEEP" is Nancy Wake??"
    "So glad I read this one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Peter Fitzsimmons has written this remarkable story with a great understanding of Nancy as a forthright gusty Australian woman of her time. She also had a great appreciation of French and British culture. Most unusual for her day as an Australian, she was so obviously bilingual speaking French fluently. Stephanie Daniel reads this story beautifully.
    It is not surprising that Nancy was well recognised by the French, Americans and British for her courage and valuable service in WW2 with the Resistance in France under extremely dangerous circumstances.
    As an Australian whose father fought in WW2 and mother did a "man's" job of management during the War, I found this story fascinating and inspiring. I had not been aware of what Nancy actually did until I came across this book. It is so well written, just a joy to hear.
    Highly recommended, most worthwhile.




    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fishing for Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (492)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (324)

    Nicholas Duncan is a semi-retired shipping magnate who resides in idyllic Beautiful Bay in Indonesia, where he is known as the old patriarch of the islands. He is grieving the loss of his beautiful Eurasian wife, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to WWII, the scene of their first meeting and early love. His other wartime lover is the striking Marg Hamilton, a powerful and influential political player in Australia who has remained close to Nick.

    Louise says: "Okay Bryce I Just Finished Fishing For Stars"
    "sequel to The Persimmon Tree but not as good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    This novel is a continuation of The Persimmon Tree which was a terrific novel.
    Strangely this book is not up to par for Bryce Courtney. I have read most of his novels and thoroughly enjoyed them. He is a wonderful story teller.
    I can only guess that his illness was sadly affecting him when this one was written. At times this one is repetitious and long winded. I am not sure why he went onto the extra bit about the Franklin River protests. It was not necessary for the sequel to The Persimmon Tree. Having said this I am not sorry that I listened to this story and I am still a fan of Bryce Courtney.
    Humphrey Bower the narrator is superb and adds a great deal to making it entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Persimmon Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1653)
    Performance
    (1209)
    Story
    (1199)

    The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

    Corinne says: "An excellent sequel"
    "Another entertaining story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this story. It was interesting for me being an Australian from an historical point of view. My parents lived through the Second World War with my father being in the Australia Defence Force as a young man around the same as age the main character Nick. I found this particular story of the attempted escapes and plight of those who were not successful very compelling. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kings in Grass Castles

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Mary Durack
    • Narrated By Jenny Seedsman
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    "'Cattle Kings' ye call us, then we are Kings in grass castles that may be blown away upon a puff of wind..." - Patrick Durack, 1878. When Patrick Durack left Ireland for Australia in 1853, he was to found a dynasty of pioneers, and build an empire of cattle-land across the great stretches of Australia. His grand-daughter, Mary Durack, with a profound sense of family history, has rebuilt the saga of the Duracks, a saga that is the story of Australia itself, huge, pioneering, and tremendous in concept.

    Paddington says: "disappointing"
    "disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to read this story because I had visited the Durack homestead at the Ord River in the Kimberley Western Australia and because I recently met a young man who is a descendant of the Durack family. They were a remarkable Irish pioneer family. However, this particular account is sadly dreadfully tedious and boring. It covers far too much detail like a family diary.

    Much of the detail is not really required to provide a good account of the family sage. Too many suppositions are made to interpret the early Durack's thoughts.
    This in the only audible book I have found boring. I was determined to listen to the end but it never improved. I hope that someone with writing skill can redo this particular story and concentrate on a shorter span of their saga. It would be a tale worth writing in a more entertaining and readable style by a talented writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets of the Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Hannah Richell
    • Narrated By Emilia Fox
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    The Tides are a family full of secrets. Returning to Clifftops, the rambling family house high on the Dorset coastline, youngest daughter Dora hopes for a fresh start, for herself and the new life she carries. But can long-held secrets ever really be forgiven? And even if you can forgive, can you ever really learn to love again? Secrets of the Tides is the spellbinding debut from Hannah Richell; a rich and compelling family drama with a dark thread of suspense at its heart.

    Paddington says: "A compelling story"
    "A compelling story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this story captivating. It was skilfully written painting vivid pictures of the characters and events that unfold. Hannah Richell writes with great insight into the complexities of family relationships. If only more families had the maturity and sense to, in time work through the aftermath of their mistakes, loss and grief.
    I eagerly await her next novel The Shadow Year due to be published this year 2013. I hope Audible will add this one soon!
    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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