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Lola

Member Since 2010

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 112 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • A History of English Food

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Clarissa Dickson Wright
    • Narrated By Clarissa Dickson Wright
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    In this major new history of English food, Clarissa Dickson Wright takes the reader on a journey from the time of the Second Crusade and the feasts of medieval kings to the cuisine - both good and bad - of the present day. She looks at the shifting influences on the national diet as new ideas and ingredients have arrived, and as immigrant communities have made their contribution to the life of the country. She evokes lost worlds of open fires and ice houses, of constant pickling and preserving, and of manchet loaves and curly-coated pigs.

    Carole Withane says: "Fascinating, entertaining and informative"
    "Interesting food history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a fan of the two fat ladies and deeply interested in the lost arts of the kitchen I really wanted to give this book a go and I did enjoy it.

    Clarissa gives a good run-through of English cuisine starting from Medieval times. It is quite fascinating what she has to say and listening to some of the recipes she has un-earthed make me wish I had bought the printed book so I could try some of them.

    There are a few disappointments however. For some reason the tone of her voice isn't as boisterous or excitable as she was in the Two Fat Ladies TV series. She is often quite monotone and only occasionally bursts out with her usual enthusiasm.

    There are also a lot of "I supposes" and "In my opinions" so that although she has obviously researched her material there are quite a lot of educated guesses about her subject matter. Not hugely distracting but it happens so often you do start to wonder how much solid facts are in the book.

    All in all I did enjoy the book, although I am not sure how many listens I will give it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (317)

    I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

    William says: "Amazing. I want you to listen to this."
    "Liked it, but slightly disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first book by Patrick Rothfuss I have read. Rupert Degas made this story an absolute joy to listen to.

    Without giving to much away, the story is split into two, with Kvothe the mighty hero recounting his story of his path to becoming a hero to listeners in the present day. The action that happens in the present day is just as interesting, if not more so than the main bulk of the book - which is the tale of Kvothe growing up, discovering 'sympathy' (magic), becoming orphaned, living rough as a street kid before going to a university for arcanists and then having a short adventure with his love interest.

    Rothfuss writes this typical hero story in an unusual way. Kvothe our hero, seems very mysterious in the present day - full of darkness and brooding. In recounting his tale he turns our mysterious hero into a very human character. One full of flaws and common worries and concerns. Half the book seems to be made up of Kvothe worrying about where he will find money to pay for his tuition and trying to impress a girl.

    While there is a part of me that appreciates this honesty, I feel that this book could easily have been edited to half it's length and been just as interesting. Also, while you can easily anticipate things building up to future adventures and climaxes, nothing much really happens in the book. Seriously. And the little adventure that happens at the end seems kind of thrown in just to try and round off the first book.

    Having said all this, Degas's performance made me not want to stop listening. Seriously one of the best audiobook performances ever. The substance he gave to all the characters was just amazing. I will definitely buy the next book and as I am the kind of person who listens to books more than once will probably give it another listen, but I am hoping that the story picks up in pacing and gets better in the next two books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Angelmaker

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nick Harkaway
    • Narrated By Daniel Weyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    All Joe Spork wants is a quiet life. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don't always get paid and he's single and has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he's not trying to compete with the reputation of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, his infamous criminal dad. Edie Banister lives quietly and wishes she didn't. She's nearly ninety and remembers when she wasn't. She's a former superspy and now she's... well... old. When Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. It's a 1950s doomsday machine....

    Lola says: "Just a bit too silly."
    "Just a bit too silly."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first book I've listened to by Nick Harkaway and I didn't really know what to expect. The story is so ridiculous that I'm having trouble para-phrasing it. It's the story of a watch/clockwork maker (Joe) who gets embroiled in events that his crazy genius grandmother began when she embarked on a personal mission to make the world a better place through some kind of never really explained soundwaves (?) that mechanical bee's make when released into the world.

    Joe gets thrown into a lot of different situations while being hunted down by various authorities and organisations and there is also a lot of background story about Joe's grandmother's lesbian lover (Edie) who happens to be a secret agent of some kind. This is to give the history of the mechanical devices and some background history of the characters. However the main problem I have with the story is that Joe is really hard to emphathise with. He's not an interesting character even though a lot of stuff happens to him. So I ended up not really caring whether he lived or died. And bizarrely his character changes with about a quarter to the book to go and he transforms into a gun waving gangster boss that his deceased father used to be. This shift doesn't endear him to me in any way nor did it's abruptness seem all that plausible.

    I also found the writing style to be a bit awkward. It didn't seem to flow as well as some writers do. I am quite fond of Terry Pratchett books and I like fantasy and fiction. I think that Angelmaker could have been quite good if the way his characters reacted to events were a bit more believable and the listener could empathise with them more.

    The performance of the book was really good and probably the main reason why I finished listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Northanger Abbey

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (615)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (350)

    When Catherine Morland, a country clergyman's daughter, is invited to spend a season in Bath with the fashionable high society, little does she imagine the delights and perils that await her. Captivated and disconcerted by what she finds, and introduced to the joys of "Gothic novels" by her new friend, Isabella, Catherine longs for mystery and romance. When she is invited to stay with the beguiling Henry Tilney and his family at Northanger Abbey, she expects mystery and intrigue at every turn.

    Johnny says: "Awesome"
    "Refreshing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the other audible reviews before trying this book, and yes it's very different to her other books... But I really enjoyed it! It is meant to be a satire of the popular gothic fiction books of the period. I found the satire and the comedy quite refreshing and I loved the character of Henry Tilvany and his comical speeches to Catherine when they are dancing.

    Yes, the book isn't as highly polished as her other novels but definitely worth a read if you enjoy classic Austen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2743)
    Performance
    (2304)
    Story
    (2309)

    History has all but forgotten.... In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next best-selling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write. But then she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction....

    Martha says: "Get Out Your Hankies"
    "Mushy... with some interesting bits"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ok.. I'm not a romance reader. I got this book because I looked at other peoples reviews and thought this book was going to be a historical fiction book with a bit of romance. I was wrong! It's a romance book with a bit of historical fiction.

    So needless to say I cringed through most of the book because romance isn't really my thing. Having said that it is really well written and performed - I can't believe how many accents the narrator did, and did well. And despite my cringing at the mushy bits I did listen to it all the way to the end because I wanted to find out what happened.

    So, all in all, If you like a good romance this is probably a good book for you. It's just not my cup of tea!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (383)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (340)

    They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count. Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich - they're the only ones worth stealing from - but the poor can go steal for themselves.

    Tracey says: "Very Entertaining!"
    "Now completely hooked on gentleman bastards!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this audiobook completely off others recommendation on audible and was really surprised. I'm now completely hooked on this series and am in high anticipation for the release of the third book.

    As others have said: think fantasy mixed with a dash of oceans 11 with a plot line that is rarely predictable. Great characters but be warned there is a fair bit of violence and swearing - but nothing I found overtly graphic or gratuitous. The narrator is amazing and really hits the tone of the books. Personally I imagine this to be set in something like medieval Venice with its many gangs and political intricacies (with a bit of magic and alchemy thrown in). However Lynch is great at not making these aspects too complicated for his readers/listeners to follow.

    Highly enjoyable!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Odysseus: The Greatest Hero of them All

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 54 mins)
    • By Tony Robinson
    • Narrated By Tony Robinson
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    The most powerful men in the world were all together in a circle in the middle of the room. Drawing their daggers, they cut their right hands and, above the pile of gold, swore Odysseus’ vow: Helen could marry whom she liked, and the Princes would defend them both.… Everyone’s heard of the wooden horse of Troy, and of the beauty of Helen. Well this is the story as Odysseus saw it, from his boyhood in Ithaca to his participation in the bloody Trojan war itself.

    Greg says: "New Take on an Old Classic"
    "Still loving it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I remember borrowing this as a cassette tape from my local library when I was a kid. It was so enjoyable back then and it is just as great now. It gave me my first interest in Greek mythology. I really recommend it for parents wishing to give a child an educational and entertaining story. The authors are really creative in this re-telling of the fall of Troy and Tony Robinson does a fantastic job of making the story both funny and meaningful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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