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Margaret

st kilda east, Australia

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 113 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Any Human Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Mike Grady
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the 20th century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness.

    Margaret says: "A fabulous book"
    "A fabulous book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Any Human Heart the most enjoyable?

    The story is just wonderful, the writing is terrific, the characters are rich.


    What other book might you compare Any Human Heart to and why?

    Forrest Gump, in that real characters interact with the protagonist. But this is an English book, through and through.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I am a very fussy listener, and I'd give this narration 3 out of 5. Perhaps a younger narrator would have been better for the earlier part of the book.


    If you could take any character from Any Human Heart out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Logan Mountstuart, the lead. He's funny, smart, complex and flawed - just as a good lead character should be.


    Any additional comments?

    This is such a satisfying read, and for me, a great introduction to a writer who is now on my "must read" list. I can't recommend it highly enough. And once you've read it, take a look at the glorious TV series of the same name starring Matthew McFadyen and Jim Broadbent. I'm sure I'll revisit both the book and the show over the coming years, they're that good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Prince

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Rebecca Dean
    • Narrated By Amy Hall
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Edward VIII became notorious for abandoning the throne for Mrs Simpson, but in the summer of 1911 he was a prince straight from the pages of a fairy-tale. Raised by the harsh disciplinarian King George V and his unfeeling Queen Mary, the prince longed for the warmth that had been deprived of him. The high society Houghton girls' lives however, were full of fun, both at their magnificent family seat Snowberry, and at the whirlwind of glamorous parties which punctuated their lives.

    Margaret says: "Pedestrian"
    "Pedestrian"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A more plausible storyline, or at least a lot less of the Mills&Boon. This has been likened to the works of Philippa Gregory. Well, both authors write fictional accounts of the lives of historical characters. That's where the similarity ends. I've got about four hours left to go, and I'm not sure I'm going to make it. Romance is one thing, but this is just unbelievable, soupy nonsense. Edward VIII, and the period in question, are both fascinating and rich in character and history. This book is a Harlequin novel with the British royal family thrown in. The actual facts, like Bertie's stammer, were laboured to death. The scenes where George V was reflecting on various things were ludicrous. If you're looking for a flimsy romance novel with a few historical characters thrown in, you may enjoy this. If you like a little history with your historical fiction, tread carefully.

    A note on the narrator ... I think she did a fair job given the quality of the material, however, there were a lot of mispronunciations: saverich for Tsarevich, the word "says" always rhyming with "days", all with a frequency which I found grating.


    What could Rebecca Dean have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Have somebody else research and write it.


    What three words best describe Amy Hall’s voice?

    Nice tone


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment for sure. I've had this book on my wish list for a long time. You can probably guess that I've discreetly removed any other Rebecca Deans from my list.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By John McCormack
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    When he was twelve years old, Adam Ryan went playing in the woods one day with his two best friends. He never saw them again. Their bodies were never found, and Adam himself was discovered with his back pressed against an oak tree and his shoes filled with blood. He had no memory of what had happened. Twenty years on, Rob Ryan - the child who came back - is a detective in the Dublin police force. He's changed his name. No one knows about his past.

    A User says: "Don't miss this one, literary crime lovers..."
    "A nice start to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up In the Woods in three words, what would they be?

    Well worth listening.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Woods?

    The quality of writing continued to impress me.


    Did John McCormack do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    John McCormack was a good, not great, narrator (but I am fussy). Make sure you get this version rather than the one narrated by Steven Crossley if chronic mouth clicks and whistles give you the creeps.


    Any additional comments?

    The lovely Marian Keyes (via Twitter) often heaps praise on Tana French, so I thought I should give her a go. I wasn't disappointed. BUT although this is a series, the next books are about different characters, so there isn't an on-going story arc as such. The second book lost me with its rather far fetched story. This one, though, is very enjoyable, but beware, not every loose end is tied up.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gone with the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Margaret Mitchell
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    Overall
    (3156)
    Performance
    (2113)
    Story
    (2148)

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Margaret Mitchell's great novel of the South is one of the most popular books ever written. Within six months of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had sold a million copies. To date, it has been translated into 25 languages, and more than 28 million copies have been sold. Here are the characters that have become symbols of passion and desire....

    dallas says: "not to miss audible experience"
    "The best!!"
    Overall

    If you've never read this book, you must! And Linda Stephens' narration is wonderful. She really brings the characters to life. I've already listened to this one three times and know I will do so again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Pursuit of Love

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nancy Mitford
    • Narrated By Emilia Fox
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    Oh, the boredom of waiting to grow up! Longing for love, obsessed with weddings and sex, Linda and her sisters and cousin Fanny fantasise about the perfect lover. But finding Mr Right proves difficult, and Linda must bear marriage with both Tony the stuffy Tory MP and gorgeously handsome but humourless communist Christian before finding real passion in war-torn Paris with Fabrice.

    sue says: "Loved it"
    "Great book, so-so narration"
    Overall

    This is one of my favourite books and I have been desperate for its audiobook release. I think Emilia Fox's narration was very ordinary, sometimes bordering on annoying. Patricia Hodge reading its companion book, "Love in a Cold Climate" is much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Taste of Sorrow

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jude Morgan
    • Narrated By Phyllida Nash
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    From an obscure country parsonage came the most extraordinary family of the nineteenth century. The Brontë sisters created a world in which we still live the intense, passionate world of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights; and the phenomenon of this strange explosion of genius remains as baffling now as it was to their Victorian contemporaries. In this panoramic novel we see with new insight the members of a uniquely close-knit family whose tight bonds are the instruments of both triumph and tragedy.

    Margaret says: "Great writer, poor narrator"
    "Great writer, poor narrator"
    Overall

    I couldn't keep listening to this one. Ms Nash sounds like she is a little drunk, or seriously dehydrated. The mouth clicks drove me crazy. I'll try again through small speakers, rather than headphones. Such a shame, as Jude Morgan is one of my favourite writers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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