You no longer follow Jenny

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Jenny

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Jenny

Woodlands, Australia | Member Since 2012

ratings
32
REVIEWS
30
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
11

  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Susan Cain’s groundbreaking book Quiet, brilliantly read by Kathe Mazur. In Quiet, the international best seller, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts - and how you see yourself.

    rebecca says: "Ssshhhh"
    "What if you are different?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Quiet to be better than the print version?

    Using the audio edition meant that I could have the programme running more than I would be if I were reading. However, when using audio, it is much more complicated to turn back/go back to something that is referred to in an earlier chapter.

    I think that the listener/reader will have to choose according to their personal situation.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    There is no story - this is a book about psychology.


    What about Kathe Mazur’s performance did you like?

    I thought that she read very well. Her voice was clear, her pauses were enough to allow me to absorb the information.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This could only be made into a documentary and as such it would be terrific with the name and tag line that it already has.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Richard Flanagan
    • Narrated By Richard Flanagan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.

    Margaret M. Bell says: "Insert hyperbole here"
    "What Is Love?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Narrow Road to the Deep North to be better than the print version?

    No, not better. Each one has so much to offer the person reading or listening. Both are intimately connected to Richard Flanagan in a remarkable way.


    What other book might you compare The Narrow Road to the Deep North to and why?

    I have not read a book quite like this one. Richard Flanagan has written so sensitively about human relationships - between people - and within oneself. The way he writes challenges the reader/listener to reflect on their own experiences, even if that person does not recognise what is happening to them as they work through the book.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Flanagan – was your favorite?

    For a lot of the book I was drawn to Darky Gardiner; and I was shocked to discover his origins. The revealing of his story, was as ironic as it was loving.

    In the end, I had the greatest warmth for Amy. Her bewilderment, her illness, her life, mostly unexpressed after the early part of the book, brought out the caring, nurturing part of my soul. I felt good thinking about her.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was so very impressed with the way Dorrigo Evans' story is brought around at the end of the book. Such sensitive and insightful writing.


    Any additional comments?

    I was deeply moved to hear Richard Flanagan reading his book. Many authors are far from being adequate narrators. RF, using a flat voice, with very little intonation, allowed the characters to reveal themselves without any veiling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Sophie Hannah
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one's mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman?

    ELIZABETH Mc IVOR says: "THE MONOTOMOUS MURDERS"
    "Channelling Agatha"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Monogram Murders the most enjoyable?

    The story. I think that Ms Hannah has captured the essence of Agatha Christie's story telling style. There is a lot of reliance on dialogue to move the plot along, always interspersed with Poirot's egomanic claims that HIS little grey cells are superior to his offsider's!

    The only 2 comments that I make about the book, is the setting is not a classical Christie setting - elite hotel, aristocratic home or simple English country village. (Indeed the village in this story bears more relation to Midwich that St Mary Mead!) The other comment is that the writing is a bit more detailed than I am used to with Agatha Christie, making the story a bit too long.

    However, neither of these was a significant barrier to my enjoyment of the book. I congratulate Sophie Hannah on an excellent replication of a Hercule Poirot tale, and await her foray into Miss Marple's world.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not on the edge of my seat, any more than one of Agatha Christie's stories did. What it did do well was to get me to exercise my little grey cells. I thoroughly enjoyed the many and varied red herrings as they trailed across the story.


    Have you listened to any of Julian Rhind-Tutt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't heard Julian Rhind-Tutt previously, and I thought that his personification of Poirot was especially good. I liked his voice and the pace at which he read.

    One problem that I did have was that he varied the volume of his voice rather too much, and that even with earphones that sit inside my ear, there were times when I had to turn the volume of my iPod very high (if I had time) and then, when using hie regular voice, it was much too loud.


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

    No extreme reaction - a quiet delight that there is someone who can write a good copy of Agatha Christie's style.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a Christie afficionado - read it. If you have never read Christie - read it, but then read some Christie afterwards

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
    • Narrated By Patience Tomlinson
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is an incredibly quirky, humorous, and warm-hearted story about growing old disgracefully - and breaking all the rules along the way! 79-year-old Martha Andersson dreams of escaping her care home and robbing a bank. She has no intention of spending the rest of her days in an armchair and is determined to fund her way to a much more exciting lifestyle. Along with her four oldest friends - otherwise known as the League of Pensioners - Martha decides to rebel against all of the rules imposed upon them.

    Jenny says: "The Winner Takes It All; or Practise Makes Perfect"
    "The Winner Takes It All; or Practise Makes Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It is a long book. Within it there are 3 sections in each of which a significant crime is committed. This is a great structure. But the book is filled with back story and explanation of character's observations and responses. Personally I think it needs a very severe edit in order to bring the focus much more clearly onto the crimes and their intentions and results.


    What could Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Less words. Too many descriptions and backstories.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None of the scenes was particularly memorable to me. In spite of all the explanations and descriptions, the characters did not come alive to me. Having said that, I still think the concept in the book is terrific - that of elderly people grabbing life by the throat and shaking the gold from it.


    Did The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules inspire you to do anything?

    I haven't started planning a crime spree, but I think I will be very vigorous in editing my own writing.


    Any additional comments?

    So - I think - listen to this story when you need a long and meandering tale that has excellent concepts in it - grey power and the Zimmer Frame Gang standing up against the inequalities in their world - and told in a slightly amused, slightly ironic voice. But don't expect anything profound.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Light Shining in the Forest

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Paul Torday
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Norman Stokoe has just been appointed Children's Czar by the new government. He sells his flat and moves up north to take up the position. However before his first salary cheque has even hit his bank account, new priorities are set for the government department for which he works. The Children's Czar network is put on hold but it is too late to reverse the decision to employ Norman. So he is given a P.A. and a spacious office in a new business park on the banks of the Tyne. He settles down in his new leather chair behind his new desk, to wait for the green light to begin his mission.

    Jenny says: "The Public Service vs The Individual"
    "The Public Service vs The Individual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Light Shining in the Forest to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read this book, I have only listened to it.


    Has Light Shining in the Forest turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I don't think it is very easy to slip this book into a genre.The story is horrible, macabre, bizarre - in the class of weird that I put M J Hayder - but it is not only that. It is more; and more important.The motif of unaccompained children being taken by someone that they know, rather than a stranger is very, very unsettling. All the more so when the listener realises the reason behind the kidnappings. What happens to the children is not dealt with in any detail, and if it were, it would be unbearable. BUT - This book is written by a man who clearly understands the machinations of the Public Service, in particular, its awful failings and bureaucracies. He very cleverly juxtaposes these with what is happening to the kidnapped children and how The System fails them. And fails them very badly.He also shows how the system, being amoral, can never be changed nor overcome by an individual; and so, in the greatest irony of all, the listener discovers that Norman, the Children's Czar without a job but who cannot be removed from his public service post until he transgresses the public service codes, Norman then enters that other massive and amoral bureaucracy - the Roman Catholic Church!


    Which character – as performed by David Timson – was your favorite?

    No favourites, I just found it very easy to follow the book because of the clarity of David Timson's characterisations


    If you could rename Light Shining in the Forest, what would you call it?

    No Picnic For Teddy Bears


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (354)

    Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you ever know the person you love? These are the questions that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

    Janie says: "Get Gone Girl soon!"
    "Too long by half"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Only to a friend who a) really liked drawn out mystery/thrillers; b) needed an audio book that lasted a long time - ie someone who was travelling a long distance/time; c) had a lot of patience and d) is very open-minded about sexual dysphemisms.This is because this story, although filled with murderous and ghoulish twists and turns, moves remarkably slowly - and this is different from your average thriller book. There is a lot of backstory in it, which is interesting and to some extent useful, but it seriously interrupts the flow of the front story.Amy, the female protagonist is a particularly nasty woman with a sweet affect and a pitch black soul. Her various sexual images is disturbing and, was for me, unpleasant.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Amy's plot(s) were ingenious. Amy's back story was almost irrelevant.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The interview that Nick does with Rebecca in the pub.


    Could you see Gone Girl being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Not without a lot of editing and shortening of the story. I don't think it has enough to carry a TV series, other than a 2 or 3 parter that tells the story in some detail.I am not very au fait with current stars, so am not able to comment on who would be good currently. From yesteryear - I think Amy was almost written for Joan Crawford and the hapless Nick could be played by James Stewart or Kevin Spacey.


    Any additional comments?

    The essence of this story is excellent. The twists and turns were not easily predicted, usually, and there were a lot of them. My difficulty was that it went on and on, and much of what was told did not take the actual tale any further forward. It was a lot of reflecting by one unreliable character about the other, equally, unreliable character. The opinion of one of them about the other was not often helpful.
    The format, of Nick and Amy speaking in the first person was very good. Neither of them are reliable narrators, both of them lying frequently but undetectably.The readers were very good. They brought the characters to life vividly.If you have a long time to fill in, or simply enjoy an almost neverending story - then this would be an excellent choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joseph Anton

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Salman Rushdie, Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    On 14 February 1989, Valentine's Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being "against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran". So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team.

    Jenny says: "Beware the Ayatollah!"
    "Beware the Ayatollah!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Joseph Anton?

    It's immediacy.And it's sadness.In doing what was his passion and his purpose, Salman Rushdie was condemned, not just by the fatwa, but by many colleagues and countrymen who accused him of doing it for the publicity!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Joseph Anton?

    The decision to have a baby and then the birth of that baby - Milan. It spoke of hope in a very hopeless place. A place that then grew more hopeless as the marriage that produced Milan broke down. Yet Rushdie expresses an eternal hope in the love that he bears for both his sons.


    Which character – as performed by Salman Rushdie and Sam Dastor – was your favorite?

    Salman Rushdie himself. Resenting being called Joseph Anton and yet thinking how clever he was to have devised it- too clever for his minders, who then called him Jim!

    His patience with his situation and the occasional outbreak of frustration. His bewilderment as other people seemed to misunderstand and to resent what was happening to him and how much it was costing to maintain 24 hour protection for him.

    His personality glows softly in every word.


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

    Both. But neither in an extreme way.

    I certainly felt outrage towards those who condemned him for The Satanic Verses without reading it - and that included Ayatollah Khomeini.

    I was also very annoyed by the attitude of the Iranian government who prevaricated about removing the fatwa, even going so far as to say that because Khomeini was dead, it could never be removed. It reinforced my opinion of that regime.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a long and very interesting book.

    It has to be as the fatwa lasted from 14 February 1989 to a nominal withdrawal 24 September 1998.

    Rushdie still receives cards on the 14 February every year from hardliners who declare their intention to carry out the fatwa. He describes this rhetoric rather than a real threat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight's Children

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Lyndam Gregory
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Born at the stroke of midnight at the exact moment of India’s independence, Saleem Sinai is a special child. However, this coincidence of birth has consequences he is not prepared for: telepathic powers connect him with 1,000 other 'midnight's children' all of whom are endowed with unusual gifts.

    Linda says: "Briliant on all fronts!"
    "India's Magic, India's Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Midnight's Children?

    The prose, the prose, the prose. Salman Rushdie has a poetic style throughout this book that is fable and mystery and historical novel in every sentence.


    What other book might you compare Midnight's Children to and why?

    Yann Martel's Life of Pi. Maybe because they both encompass something of the subcontinent that as a Western raised Anglo, I cannot quite hold, but which enthrals me.

    Myth of any culture is a fascination to me, and both these books have a quality of myth and parable. They demand that I look deeper into everything I know.


    Have you listened to any of Lyndam Gregory’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have never listened to this narrator,and I thought he was excellent in portraying the various characters so that they were instantly recognisable each time they appeared.


    If you could take any character from Midnight's Children out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    If I had a choice, I would like to eat a meal with all the characters and to watch the interplat amongst them. I didn't feel drawn to one in particular.


    Any additional comments?

    I may read/listen to this Booker of Bookers another 199 times, and always there will be another layer to peel back. I will not live long enough to know that I have grasped it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Jane Wymark
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Opening with "A Second Home", in which Mantel describes the death of her stepfather, Giving Up the Ghost is a wry, shocking, and beautifully written memoir of childhood, ghosts (real and metaphorical), illness, and family. Finally, at the memoir's conclusion, Mantel explains how a series of medical misunderstandings and neglect left her childless, and how the ghosts of the unborn have come to haunt her life as a writer.

    Jenny says: "Her Grief Observed"
    "Her Grief Observed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Giving Up the Ghost the most enjoyable?

    The anecdotes from the life of Hilary Mantel that are then reflected upon by the author and placed into the context of her whole life. It is a complex book, but there is a simplicity about it that is very graceful.


    What other book might you compare Giving Up the Ghost to and why?

    Clearly, by my plagiarism of his title, C S Lewis' book, ' a Grief Observed'. Although Lewis is writing about the death of his wife, and his responses to it; and Mantel is writing about her never-born child, to me they are very synchronistic in their integrity and openness.

    I did not think either wrote of raw pain, but rather of observed pain. They were able to experience and then describe an internal feeling.


    Have you listened to any of Jane Wymark’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have watched innumerable 'Midsomer Murders' though.

    In this book, I found her voice sympathetic and expressive. It told the story without being in any way obtrusive to it.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I do not think this could be made into a film. It is too intimate and inward looking. The actual story of the author's life is not remarkable and would not really make for good watching.

    What is remarkable is how Hilary Mantel focusses on her emotional responses to the events of her life - and that is something that can only be presented in words, not pictures.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is complex and rewarding. It is short and beautifully crafted.

    I think it speaks to all of us, as each one of us has had a deep loss at sometime in our lives.

    It is important to say that such a complex book will not satisfy in a single listening/reading. There is too much in it to take in. However given its brevity it is easy to listen to a 2nd and even a 3rd time with as much interest in it as was there the 1st time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Testament of Mary

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Colm Toibin
    • Narrated By Meryl Streep
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    The incomparable, multi-award-winning Meryl Streep reads this spellbinding novel from acclaimed author Cólm Toibín. 'I remember everything. Memory fills my body. As much as blood and bones.' This is Mary. A mother whose son was taken from her and lost to the world. A woman who lives now in exile, watched by those who seek to preserve the sanctity of her son's memory. But Mary's recollections of his difficult life and tragic death are a truth that few who knew her son now recognize.

    Jenny says: "The Anger of His Mother"
    "The Anger of His Mother"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Testament of Mary in three words, what would they be?

    Raw, real and succinct


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Testament of Mary?

    Without any doubt, it was Mary's description of the crucifixion of her son.


    What about Meryl Streep’s performance did you like?

    Meryl Streep has a soft and deep voice that is very easy to listen to. She is also a consummate performer and uses her skills to bring this suffering woman to vivid life.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    ...suffering so great that even speaking the name of her loved one is unbearable...


    Any additional comments?

    Many.

    Don't listen to this book if you do not have some idea of the life of Jesus and, to a lesser extent, his mother, Mary. Most of the events referred to in the story are not explained, clearly it is assumed that the reader knows them.

    Don't listen to this book if you want to find a kindly mother who is coming to terms with the death and loss of a son - that is not the Mary of this Testament. This Mary is truly suffering, not only the loss of her son, but from her own actions, her own responses to him in life and death.

    Don't expect to understand the characters, or even to know who they are, when you listen for the first time. I have listened to it and also read it three times, and each time I uncover more. I am still not sure of whom Mary is speaking at times.

    This is a gut wrenching, heart tearing book; but it is so alive, so real, so beautiful.

    Don't be afraid to listen to it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.