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Bjerkana

Love the outdoors and like to spirit a good book or audiobook into my pack. Live in the bush, grow much of my food and make stuff by hand.

Australia | Member Since 2014

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 56 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Caught in the Light

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Robert Goddard
    • Narrated By Michael Kitchen
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    On assignment in Vienna, photographer Ian Jarrett falls suddenly and desperately in love with a woman he meets by pure chance, Marian Esguard. Back in England, he separates from his wife and goes to meet Marian at an agreed rendezvous, only to hear her tell him on the telephone that she will not, after all, be coming. Then she vanishes from his life as mysteriously as she entered it. Who and where is the woman he met and fell in love with in Vienna?

    Janice says: "Three rules when reading Goddard . . ."
    "Pulls you in"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Caught in the Light again? Why?

    The story was full of twists and surprises. Each time I thought I'd worked out what was going to happen, it took another turn. Right to the end it kept me guessing. It was my first Goddard book but won't be my last.


    What about Michael Kitchen’s performance did you like?

    The narration by Michael Kitchen really enhanced this intriguing book, which got me in from the beginning. He really knows how to tell a story. His delivery grabbed my attention and his ability to voice the different characters was excellent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It wasn't possible to listen to this book in one sitting because of the length but I reached for it at every opportunity and couldn't wait to go back to it whenever I had the chance.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. As one of my first Audible books, I'm certainly pleased that I joined up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Steady Running of the Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Justin Go
    • Narrated By Steve West
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In 1924, the English mountaineer Ashley Walsingham dies attempting to summit Mount Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson - whom he has not seen in seven years. Ashley’s solicitors search in vain for Imogen, but the estate remains unclaimed. Nearly eighty years later, new information leads the same law firm to Tristan Campbell, a young American who could be the estate’s rightful heir. If Tristan can prove he is Imogen’s descendant, the inheritance will be his.

    Bjerkana says: "Intriguing, two stories in one"
    "Intriguing, two stories in one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although the romance on which this mystery is based is rather improbable, the story is totally gripping from the first. The book follows the story of a young man searching, with powerful motivation, for the truth about what became of two young people he believed to be his great grandparents, winding their real stories between his unearthing of clues. All three of the stories we follow are fascinating and the descriptions of his forebears' experiences at the time of the Great War are vivid and moving. The final revelation is tantalisingly treated and the end of the book, while perhaps a little predictable, feels very right. I loved this book and would choose more by this author and this narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hundred Pieces of Me

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lucy Dillon
    • Narrated By Juanita McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Gina is starting her life again, after a difficult few years she'd rather forget. But the belongings she's treasured for so long just don't seem to fit who she is now. So Gina makes a resolution. She'll keep just a hundred items - the rest can go. But that means coming to terms with her past and learning to embrace the future, whatever it might bring…

    Bjerkana says: "Predictable but sweet"
    "Predictable but sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps I was not the intended reader of this story as it seemed a little trite. If you're into romances, it will have lots for you as it recounts the history of the heroine through three relationships, idealistic first love, ill-chosen marriage and the more mature love after suffering. However, I found the story rather predictable and, perhaps because I'm not greatly materialistic, did not get excited about the "stuff" which brought the heroine memories of when and where she had acquired it. It seemed a little too neat that she was able to resolve the personal difficulties she had with old relationships and with her mother during the course of the story. But overall it was a pleasant and undemanding listen and was well performed by the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jonas Jonasson, Rachel Willson-Broyles (translator)
    • Narrated By uncredited
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (82)

    In a tiny shack in the largest township in South Africa, Nombeko Mayeki is born. Put to work at five years old and orphaned at 10, she quickly learns that the world expects nothing more from her than to die young, be it from drugs, alcohol, or just plain despair. But Nombeko has grander plans. She learns to read and write, and at just 15, using her cunning and fearlessness, she makes it out of Soweto with millions of smuggled diamonds in her possession. Then things take a turn for the worse....

    Diana says: "Cheeky, Clever and Current story + great narrator"
    "Cheeky, incisive, compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read Jonasson's book, "The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared", I immediately wanted to read this book and I wasn't disappointed. If anything, "The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden" is even better.
    The delightful book, abounding with dry humour, quirky characters and amazing coincidences, is savagely satirical and presents a view of politics which forces the listener to see the absurdity of it all. At the same time, it's a rollicking story which compels you from one situation to another. In the print version, it would be a "page turner".
    The narration, however, transports it to another level. Sadly the narrator is uncredited but his command of the accents required by the various characters and his dry delivery of the humour really enhance the story. I heartily recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Place of Greater Safety

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    A tour-de-force of historical imagination, this is the story of three young men at the dawn of the French Revolution. Georges-Jacques Danton: zealous, energetic, debt-ridden. Maximilien Robespierre: small, diligent, and terrified of violence. And Camille Desmoulins: a genius of rhetoric, charming, handsome, but erratic and untrustworthy. As these key figures of the French Revolution taste the addictive delights of power, they must also come to face the horror that follows.

    Emily says: "No cast of characters available"
    "Living breathing flesh on history's bare bones"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've learned about the French Revolution at school, you've probably assembled a jumble of facts about the dramatic actions of the revolutionaries and the mob and the outcome of it all. Hilary Mantel dives beneath that to breathe life into the characters who populated the events.
    In this well-researched book, she draws flesh and blood portraits of the leaders of the revolution and what led them to the events of that stormy time. You feel embedded in it, experiencing what drove them from crisis to crisis and directed their actions. You see their relationships, their trials and their temptations. Although the details have to be surmised, they are based on careful analysis of the writings of the real people involved, drawing out their motivations and beliefs.
    This is an immensely powerful book, a tour de force, which drew me so into the times that I found it difficult sometimes to relate to my day-to-day 21st century life after a session of listening.
    Jonathon Keeble's brilliant performance, complete with consistent and identifiable voices for the characters, enhanced it further, making it an experience I won't readily forget. I felt I lived the times. I look forward to further offerings from this author and this narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • About A Boy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Nick Hornby
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (141)

    Will does not want children, but he does see the point of single mothers, especially if they look like Julie Christie. When he meets Marcus, whose parents have split up and who is being persecuted by bullies, Will finds that he has a lot to learn.

    Michael Dillman says: "Charming story, even if you've already seen movie."
    "Funny and poignant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This delightful book brings together an unlikely collection of characters. It tells a story full of the human side of contemporary stereotypes - a slightly autistic, bright boy who is bullied at school, his depressed single mother, his intellectual father who has left for another woman, a man living a Peter Pan existence on inherited wealth, concentrating only on fostering his "cool" image and finding women to date. The characters are so alive and engaging and the story so full of compassion and humour that the often dark events take on a positive slant. Julian Rhind-Tutt's performance is like a radio play, each character having his own distinct and appropriate voice and the action moving forward with hilarious clarity. I loved this book and immediately went looking for more by the same author and the same narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dirt Music

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Tim Winton
    • Narrated By Suzi Dougherty
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (37)

    Georgie Jutland is a mess. At 40, with her career in ruins, she finds herself stranded in White Point with a fisherman she doesn't love and two kids whose dead mother she can never replace. Her days have fallen into domestic tedium and social isolation. Her nights are a blur of vodka and pointless loitering in cyberspace. Leached of all confidence, Georgie has lost her way; she barely recognizes herself.

    Bjerkana says: "Good story, atmospheric"
    "Good story, atmospheric"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dirt Music?

    I love Winton's writing and his ability to paint such a powerful picture of Western Australia's landscapes and people. This was a good story, if a little predictable, but well developed and had a satisfying ending.


    What other book might you compare Dirt Music to and why?

    It was my second Winton audiobook, after "Breath", which I'd loved. The narrator in Breath had managed to inhabit his characters fully and present the story with full understanding of the text, which brought it very much to life.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator in Dirt Music seemed often to lack understanding of what she was reading and I found myself thinking "I'd have read that passage differently" to give a different emphasis and atmosphere. Everything was read with much the same intonation, which became like a repeating tune after a while. I found myself trying to appreciate the story in spite of her, rather than because of her delivery.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book despite my disappointment with the narration because Winton's characterisation and description lifted it beyond the telling of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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