LISTENER

Liz

Adelaide, South Australia
  • 30
  • reviews
  • 102
  • helpful votes
  • 53
  • ratings
  • A House for Mr. Biswas

  • By: V.S. Naipaul
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 21 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 145
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 136

A House for Mr. Biswas, by Nobel and Booker Prize-winning author V. S. Naipaul, is a powerful novel about one man's struggle for identity and belonging. Born into poverty, then trapped in the shackles of charity and gratitude, Mr. Biswas longs for a house he can call his own. He loathes his wife and her wealthy family, upon whom he is dependent. Finding himself a mere accessory on their estate, his constant rebellion is motivated by the one thing that can symbolize his independence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thoughtful story, WONDERFULLY narrated

  • By Liz W. on 12-11-17

Tedious

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-18-18

While recognising the excellence of the writing, and bearing in mind the author's reputation, I still found this book tedious. None of the characters was sympathetic and I just became more exasperated as it went on. I couldn't finish it and so I returned it. Sam Dastor's narration was however, excellent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • This Must Be the Place

  • By: Maggie O'Farrell
  • Narrated by: Thomas Judd, Penelope Rawlins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

A reclusive ex-film star living in the wilds of Ireland, Claudette Wells is a woman whose first instinct, when a stranger approaches her home, is to reach for her shotgun. Why is she so fiercely protective of her family, and what made her walk out of her cinematic career when she had the whole world at her feet? Her husband Daniel, reeling from a discovery about a woman he last saw twenty years ago, is about to make an exit of his own. It is a journey that will send him off-course, far away from the life he and Claudette have made together.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Liz on 06-28-18

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 06-28-18

I found this book disappointing, having recently read 'Instructions for a heatwave' by Maggie O'Farrell, which I enjoyed. The writing seemed self-conscious and mannered, and I didn't care for the male narrator. I couldn't get into it so I returned it.

  • Kick: The True Story of Kick Kennedy, JFK's Forgotten Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth

  • By: Paula Byrne
  • Narrated by: Antonia Beamish
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

The remarkable life of the vivacious, clever - and forgotten - Kennedy sister who charmed the English aristocracy and was almost erased from her family history. When Kathleen Kennedy sailed to England after her father had been appointed ambassador to Great Britain in 1938, her wit, aloofness and sexual charisma at once became the source of endless fascination for the British public.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating sidelight on the Kennedy family

  • By Liz on 03-20-18

Fascinating sidelight on the Kennedy family

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

Reviewed: 03-20-18

The upbringing of the children is really interesting, especially the roles the parents allotted themselves. Strange though, that Joe Kennedy's part in Prohibition and the fortune he made from it is not mentioned. A minor irritant is the way Cliveden is mispronounced throughout - I would have thought an English narrator would know that it is Cliv-den, not Clive-den.

  • Now We Are Dead

  • By: Stuart MacBride
  • Narrated by: Steve Worsley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 122

Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel got caught fitting up Jack Wallace - that's why they demoted her and quashed his sentence. Now he's back on the streets, and women are being attacked again. Wallace has to be responsible, but if Detective Sergeant Steel goes anywhere near him, his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good. The Powers That Be won't listen to her, not after what happened last time. According to them, she's got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another MacBride gem!!!

  • By 6catz on 11-25-17

Tiresome lead character

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

Reviewed: 02-27-18

An unsympathetic lead character, trying to be a female Rebus? She really is crude and obnoxious though is obviously supposed to have a 'heart of gold'. Doesn't work for me. I have never been to Aberdeen, and from the descriptions of the city in this book I have no wish to. It is portrayed as gloomy and dreary. A side issue is the truly disgusting food the main characters eat! I think the book could have done with some tight editing. I switched my iPod to 2X speed as there were many rather tedious descriptions. The narration was appropriate, and the Scottish accent readily understandable to the non-Scottish listener.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Jane and Prudence

  • By: Barbara Pym
  • Narrated by: Maggie Mash
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

The setting of this very funny novel, one of Barbara Pym's earliest, is an English village where Jane's husband is the newly appointed vicar, and where Prudence will pay Jane a visit and find herself courted by a fatuous young widower.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Dreadful narration

  • By Liz on 11-20-16

Dreadful narration

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-20-16

This is a very funny story, but is ruined by the narration. Her delivery is slow and over-emphatic, almost as if she were reading to people who are hard of hearing. This has the effect of erasing the subtlety of the writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Travels of Maudie Tipstaff

  • By: Margaret Forster
  • Narrated by: Jacqueline King
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17

Plagued all her life by her roisterous husband, straitlaced, outspoken, domineering Maudie is now on her own. Invited by her two daughters and her son to spend four months with each of them, she leaves Glasgow for the first time, uncertain of what awaits her. But what she finds in the very different homes of her children is not what she expects, causing her to reassess her life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Waiting for a change

  • By colleen on 10-14-12

Superb!

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

Reviewed: 09-29-16

Wonderful characterisation of a respectable buttoned-up Glasgow housewife of the 5os. Jacqueline King's narration is outstanding, she absolutely nails Maudie's primness, as well as doing the Scottish, Yorkshire and American accents perfectly.

  • Gallows Hill

  • By: Margie Orford
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

A dog scavenging in an illegal building site digs up a bone. A human bone. She drags it back to where her mistress lies dead in an abandoned shed, but there are hundreds more. Skeletons which have lain undisturbed for centuries beneath Gallows Hill, where Cape Town’s notorious gibbets once stood. Investigative profiler Dr Clare Hart is called in by Captain Riedwaan Faizal of the SAPS Gang Unit and soon discovers that a deadly, more recent secret lies hidden among these long-buried bones.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent thriller set in Cape Town

  • By Liz on 03-14-16

Excellent thriller set in Cape Town

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

Reviewed: 03-14-16

Well researched and fascinating. Outstanding narration as usual by Saul Reichlin. I would love to listen to her other books but the samples I listened to were unbearable as they were spoken in a phoney South African accent - why couldn't they get Saul Reichlin to do them all?

  • The Girl in the Spider's Web

  • Millennium Series: Book 4
  • By: David Lagercrantz, George Goulding - translator
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 16 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 296
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 280

Mikael Blomkvist is contacted by renowned scientist Professor Balder. Fearing for his life, but more concerned for his son's well-being, Balder wants Millennium to publish his story. More interesting to Blomkvist than Balder's advances in Artificial Intelligence, is his connection with a certain female superhacker. It seems that Lisbeth Salander, like Balder, is a target of ruthless cyber gangsters that will soon bring terror to the streets of Stockholm, the Millennium team....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Ripping Yarn

  • By Greg on 10-19-15

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 09-01-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Doesn't measure up to the Larsson novels. The writing is full of clichés, and the characters all conform to particular stereotypes. It just isn't credible. Saul Reichlin does his best, but it must have been an uphill task for him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Death at the President's Lodging audiobook cover art
  • Death at the President's Lodging

  • An Inspector Appleby Mystery
  • By: Michael Innes
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 82

Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the president has been murdered in his lodging. Scandal abounds when it becomes clear that the only people with any motive to murder him are the only people who had the opportunity - because the President's Lodging opens off Orchard Ground, which is locked at night, and only the Fellows of the College have keys.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • must love brit academe 'tween the wars

  • By connie on 09-07-11

Tedious

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

Reviewed: 02-18-15

Has Death at the President's Lodging turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Curious mispronunciations jarred.

Any additional comments?

The characters were stereotyped and I just couldn't engage with them. I have enjoyed other Michael Innes novels; perhaps because this was the first of the Inspector Appleby series he hadn't yet got into his stride. I couldn't finish it.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Dead Line

  • By: Chris Ewan
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

What do you do if your fiancée goes missing, presumed taken? If you're Daniel Trent, a highly trained specialist in hostage negotiation, the answer is simple: You find out who took her and you make them talk. Set in Marseille, Dead Line is a fast-paced thriller that pitches the listener into Daniel's world, as he tries desperately to secure the release of Jérôme Moreau from a ruthless gang in order to interrogate him on the whereabouts of his fiancée. When things don't go according to plan however, Daniel must use all his skills and instincts to find the answers he's looking for.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Ultimate letdown

  • By Liz on 01-31-15

Ultimate letdown

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

Reviewed: 01-31-15

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone who doesn't mind a thriller with no resolution

What was most disappointing about Chris Ewan’s story?

OK this is a thriller. So to pretend it's some kind of literary oeuvre with no need for tying all the loose ends together is irritating to say the least, especially when you've used up a credit on it!

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

Simon Vance is, as always, a most accomplished narrator. One cannot fault him.

Any additional comments?

The most obvious fault with the novel is the lack of a resolution; you have followed these people through the whole novel, yet you are let down at the end, it is as if the author couldn't think of a resolution. So we have this wishy washy conclusion, and are left wondering what happened to Aimee?