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The Lovely Rod

Adelaide, South Australia
  • 51
  • reviews
  • 46
  • helpful votes
  • 51
  • ratings
  • American Gods

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman, Dennis Boutskiaris, Daniel Oreskes, and others
  • Length: 19 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 479
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 444

Shadow Moon has served his time. But hours before his release from prison, his beloved wife is killed in a freak accident. Dazed, he boards a plane home where he meets the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who professes both to know Shadow and to be king of America. Together they embark on a profoundly strange road trip across the USA, encountering a kaleidoscopic cast of characters along the way. Yet all around them a storm threatens to break.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Benchmark Title

  • By Ian on 10-02-12

Sensational

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-30-18

The audiobook is easier to follow than the TV series (which I also loved) because - like most books - we get to know and understand the characters and their motivations much better. This is a fantastic and fantastical story. The multple narrators help keep the plots and characters clear. They also enhance the audiobook by keeping it fresh. If you're not used to longe audiobooks, then one like this - almost 20 hours - can be a bit daunting, particularly with a single-voice narration.
I loved this book and everything about the narration. Highly recommend it.

  • So Long, Lollipops

  • The Free Until The End of the World Novella
  • By: Sarah Lyons Fleming
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 3 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,095
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,749
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,743

Peter watched his new family drive away, certain it was the last time he'd ever see them. But sometimes plans go awry in the best way. Now, the plan is to get back to them. But sometimes plans go awry in the worst way. Sometimes the only plan is to believe it will be all right, even when it's almost impossible to believe.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Zombie, Chick Lit

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 12-30-15

A zombie novella with spoilers

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18

This novella gives spoilers for the main novel it’s based around. It’s a zombie story that uses a female narrator for a central male character. It’s an odd decision. While narrator Julia Whelan is a clear reader, she lacks excitement. Her character work is like a talented aunt reading a bedtime story.
The final 40 minutes of the recording is a preview of the main novel, Until the End of the World.

  • FREE: Crackanory Too Cracked for TV - exclusive to Audible

  • By: Crackanory
  • Narrated by: Toby Jones, Katherine Parkinson, John Robins, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 456
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 381
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 379

Imagine if Jackanory was set free from its childish shackles. What twisted, funny tales would it unleash upon the world? Combining some of the UK's best and brightest comedy writers and performers, this exclusive to audio edition of UKTV's Dave Channel Crackanory is a master class in storytelling and features an all-star cast including Toby Jones, Katherine Parkinson, John Robins, Robert Bathurst and Simon Bird.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By Poeticies on 05-24-17

5 short comical stories - all great fun

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18

All five stories are highly entertaining in this comical collection by various authors. The stories run for approximately 15-20 each, making them a nice quick listen while you’re on the go.
In the first story, Phil accidentally has his dry cleaner assassinated on a dark web vengeance site called Criss Cross, only to find he now has to reciprocate. The tongue in cheek narration by Robert Bathurst is matched with great voice work.
The second story is an outrageous supernatural ghost story. Narrator Katherine Parkinson is hysterically funny. She also puts on some great character voices, adding to her humorous reading.
John Robins reads The Character Assassin about successful author Rachel, who lives alone with her cat, Millhouse. This is the tale of a plot that refuses to change when Rachel attempts to alter the story of her current book. Equally quirky is The Egg That Knew Too Much – perhaps my favourite of the stories, as read by the suburb Toby Jones. It’s the story of Ted, who loves eggs until one day he cracks one open to find a tiny scroll predicting a horse race winner. The notes become regular and the predictions are always accurate until one day they change to begin predicting who will die. When his own death is predicted, Ted races against time to find the egg farm and break the curse.
In the final story, read by Simon Bird, Mike and Rob are like two peas in a pod until Rob gets their dream IT job. Like the stories and a narrators before, this is a fun tale with an unexpected twist, expertly read by the narrator.
Crackanory is a British audio series so should appeal to lovers of that absurd British humour that they do so well. Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Listen to Love

  • By: Tom Ballard, Joel Creasey, Damon Young, and others
  • Narrated by: Tom Ballard, Joel Creasey, Osher Günsberg, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Pop on your headphones, and hit 'play' - Australia, let's talk about love. Marriage equality is a subject that's captured the hearts and minds of Australians for years, and the topic of love is one for the ages. What is it to love and be loved? What does it mean to have our relationships recognised by the communities we are a part of? These questions and more are explored in Listen to Love, a six-part original audio series from Audible.com.au in partnership with The Equality Campaign.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • There needs to be more of it

  • By The Lovely Rod on 08-29-18

There needs to be more of it

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18

This is a series of quick listens written at a time when Australia was debating marriage equality. Thankfully, those laws have passed, but the conservative right-wing and blindly religious still resist. That keeps this discussion timely and relevant, not just for Australia but for many other countries that are now debating the issue or have recently gone through it.

Tom Ballard is a popular comedian, great host and a very cluey individual. His dive into this subject is kept interesting and enjoyable, with each episode kept to about fifteen minutes. For those directly affected by the debate, this can be both affirming and frustrating to hear. For those outside of the debate who have an interest in actively interfering (for or against) in other people’s relationships, this series may make you aware of issues not previously thought of. Either way, it’s great to see this short-run series readily available and done so well. There needs to be more of it.

  • Someone to Love

  • A Heavenly Christmas, Book 2
  • By: Patrice Wilton
  • Narrated by: Rita Page
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 30

Allison Cornwall was forced to leave her hometown in Connecticut and live life on the run from an ex-boyfriend turned stalker. She changed her name and hunkered down in Heaven, PA. The small, idyllic town was a safe haven where no one could find her. And yet, after a year and a half of peace, he did. Police Chief Ian Brown is determined to keep crime out of Heaven. When Ally fears for her life, he's there to protect. Recently divorced, he's not looking for love, but this innocent young woman touches his heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Suspense, romance and sensuality

  • By Rabid Reader on 10-16-17

A fresh take on holiday romance

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18

Having not hear the first book in this series I was a bit dubious about diving into Book 2 however it’s a stand-alone story with no need to have started at the beginning.

Combining romance with suspense in a little town called Heaven, narrator Rita Page reads a bit too slowly for my preference, but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed by speeding up the playback. Even so, her voice is ideally suited for a Holiday romance and she doesn’t skimp on the tension when it’s required. There’s some dark moments in Wilton’s text which keeps this seasonal romance interesting and the listener on their toes.

I found this story to be a refreshing and interesting take on the genre, coving themes of romance, domestic violence and differences in age.

Recommended listening.

  • Guided Meditation: 30 Minute Deep Sleep Hypnosis for Better Sleep, Stress Relief, & Relaxation

  • By: Mindfulness Training
  • Narrated by: Mindfulness Training
  • Length: 41 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

Getting an amazing night of sleep every night doesn't have to be difficult. With this 30-minute guided meditation accompanied by an ambient soundtrack, achieving mindfulness and a better sleep is as easy as pressing play. Throughout this audiobook hypnosis, you will be guided from start to finish. We will begin with your current state of stress and restlessness and bring you to a peaceful state of calm awareness, where you will be able to push all of the troubles of the day into the distance and find true relaxation with the ambient soundtrack.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well done!! It really works!! 👏

  • By Mandymay💄👠👛 on 11-25-17

It works!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18

Short and sweet, this guided meditation is just the right length to let the listener go as deep as they need.

The soothing music, nature sounds and stretches of no dialogue let the listener float in their own visions when not being led. The female voice is soft and calming when she does speak, beginning by telling the listener which position is best before moving the focus to their breath.

It’s a nicely balanced recording that really works to help you relax and meditate. The short run time also means it can be used effectively every day.

  • Strength Training Not Bodybuilding: How to Build Muscle and Burn Fat...Without Morphing into a Bodybuilder

  • Strength Training 101, Book 1
  • By: Marc McLean
  • Narrated by: Evan Schmitt
  • Length: 2 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

How to build muscle and burn fat … without morphing into a big, bulky bodybuilder. Have you failed to get in great shape after weeks and months of going to the gym? Do you lack confidence in the gym, feel too weak, or feel self-conscious about the current shape of your body? Are you put off lifting weights because you don’t want to end up with the bulky, overgrown bodybuilder look? No need to worry. This book is all about strength training NOT bodybuilding - and yes there is a difference.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Training book1

  • By Zoe on 04-29-18

Useful, practical and motivating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18

In contrast to the relatively recent fad of bulking up too much, online personal trainer Marc McLean offers sound advice on how to build a natural-looking body through strength training – one that’s lean and athletic instead of a bulky body-builder’s physique.

Narrator Evan Schmitt is ideal for this audiobook. It’s a manual for the ordinary man or woman and so he sounds like an ordinary person – not some deep-voiced, grunting army sergeant or yelling gym instructor. His voice is clear, inviting and calming, which is precisely what is needed for anyone beginning their fitness journey.

McLean’s book covers a large range of topics which are suitable for both beginners and those with experience. He discusses overcoming fear, focus, preparation and goal setting, and the benefits of keeping a training journal to schedule workouts and keep track of progress. Like many books of this ilk, there’s the mandatory spiel on motivation and diet, and the need to ditch bad habits by finding the right mindset.

McLean goes into great detail about his four key rules to effective strength training, along with information on progressive overload and training frequency. He doesn’t skimp on the basics either, such as warming up, safety first and using proper technique.

Strength Training Not Bodybuilding is a useful, practical and motivating guide to building body and mind.

  • Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 1

  • By: Cheryl Mullenax, Randy Chandler, Kristopher Triana, and others
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 290
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 269
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 270

Editors Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax put the call out to horror writers and editors of extreme stories, the hardcore stuff that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos, the transgressive tales you can't "unread" (as Chuck Palahniuk says). Some of the stories you'll find here are loaded with very graphic descriptions of violence, sex, and depravities, while others may contain only one shocking moment of brutality. In others, the hardcore aspect may be less graphic and subtler than you might expect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truly horrifying

  • By erobbins33 on 10-20-16

Good variety of stories & great narration

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18


Joe Hempel is one of my favourite audiobook narrators in the horror genre. I’ve had the joy of reviewing several of his audiobooks and have thoroughly enjoyed each. He’s one of those rare readers whereby I would choose an audiobook based on the strength of his involvement.

Hempel narrates this collection of short stories alone, as he does with the second volume. One of the greatest difficulties the genre horror is to narrate grotesque scenes and over-the-top occurrences without making them sound absurd or unintentionally comical. With almost 200 audiobooks to his name, Hempel has mastered this difficult skill. He turns terror into an artform and completely suffocates the listener in the moment.

There are multiple authors for this collection, offering a broader scope of stories than the second volume (which I heard first). The tales range from a killer comedy told from the killer’s point of view, to the religious cover-up of the existence of demons. There’s the sexual perversions of Matt and Emily in “King Sh*ts”, and the wonderful outing of a cross-dressing killer trying to be normal (“Bored with Brutality”). Zombie lovers will love a woman’s search for her lost lover in “Hungry for Control”, while “Eleanor” leads a clergyman to temptation as he tries to raise a monstrous child.

As with the second volume, alternating voices would make the shift between each story work better, but that’s absolutely no reflection Hempel’s abilities. He dishes out the comedy as much as the gore.

I was provided a copy of this recording for review about a year ago but, due to an accident, was unable to fulfil that promise. Relistening to it again 12 months later, I found myself lost in the fun of it all over again. This is a great and varied collection for fans of the genre.

  • The Guns of Frank Eaton

  • By: David Althouse
  • Narrated by: John Burlinson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

"My boy, may an old man's curse rest upon you, if you do not try to avenge your father!" Answering those words, young Frank Eaton determines to settle with each of the six men who had riddled his father full of lead. Frank's thirst for a reckoning takes him across the lawless Indian Territory, to Southwest City, Missouri, to the wide-open mesa lands of eastern New Mexico and, finally, to Albuquerque.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Real Page Turner!

  • By David on 09-17-17

An authentic western about family & revenge

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18


I don’t listen to a lot of westerns, although I grew up with John Wayne films set in the wild, wild west. Even so, I was surprised to learn that Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton is an actual historical cowboy (1860 – 1958). There’s something thrilling about mixing fiction with fact to add authenticity to the story and author David Althouse does it well.

The story is told retrospectively as a story-within-a-story. Jesse Stamper of Oklahoma retells what 97-year-old Eaton had told him. It’s Eaton’s reminiscences of getting revenge for his father’s murder when he set out as a boy not long after the Civil War to take down The Regulators – a gang of 68 killers – in New Mexico. From gun slingers to gypsies, this is a tale of family and revenge. How much of it is real, I don’t know, but Althouse convincingly depicts details of the Wild West that goes beyond the superficial. One example of his detail, which adds so much to the telling of the story, is when one character explains how to load a musket gun.

John Burlinson does a great job narrating, particularly with his accent but unfortunately, the recording itself isn’t the sharpest. If you listen to the sample on this page, you’ll hear the reverb. The clarity is acceptable enough to keep the audiobook enjoyable, but if you prefer your sound quality to be of the highest level, you may want to take note of the sample.

I was provided a copy of this recording for review about a year ago but, due to an accident, was unable to fulfil that promise. Relistening to it again 12 months later was still enjoyable. If a book is worth a relisten, then it’s well worth recommending.

  • Vacation

  • By: JC Miller
  • Narrated by: Curt Simmons
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

Dr. William Koval, a pragmatist with little faith in humanity, prefers to dwell in the eerily comforting microscopic realm, where he is master of his domain. But his worldview is upended when he decides to go on the English walking tour his wife had been planning before her murder three years earlier. Only when William confronts his past, including his troubled marriage, will he find a way to rejoin the living, to move forward, and perhaps love again. The real journey, he discovers, lies within.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Curt Simmons brings Dr. Koval to life!

  • By Angelina on 09-02-17

A love story to make you laugh and cry

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18


I’m a big fan of JC Miller’s work. Of her other 3 audiobooks currently here on Audible, I’ve rated each 4 out of 5 or above. She’s a marvellous storyteller and Vacation is no exception. Falling somewhere between a comedy and a romance, her ability to make me laugh and then tear up with sadness is a credit to her talent.

The plot is an unexpected one for a romance because there’s a great deal of focus on the situation rather than the budding romance. A Seattle doctor, still grieving for his deceased wife three years on, is encouraged to take a UK history tour that he and his late wife had once wanted to do. At the same time, fellow Seattle resident, Annie, escapes for respite to the UK on the same tour after her own family tragedy. The tour is lead by a shonky but likeable Irishman who eventually takes off and leaves the tour group to fend for themselves.

As the narrator, Curt Simmons has mixed success. His American, French and various British accents are suitably done but, like most Americans, his painful Australian accent misses the mark completely. It appears to be the one accent that most American performers cannot mimic. That aside, he brings feeling and fun to this story about grief, love and letting go.

I was provided a copy of this recording for review about a year ago but, due to an accident, was unable to fulfil that promise. Relistening to it again only 12 months later has proven just as enjoyable, although that’s primarily because of Miller’s writing. Lovers of romance should find this particular story a bit different from the usual fare with Simmons narration doing an overall satisfactory job.