LISTENER

Margaret

Brighton East, Australia
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 47
  • ratings
  • Fahrenheit 451

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Tim Robbins
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,090

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You

  • By W Perry Hall on 10-22-14

Very disappointing

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

Reviewed: 12-12-14

What was most disappointing about Ray Bradbury’s story?

I loved Ray Bradbury novels when I was in my 20's but found this very dated and predictable. The dialogue was very stilted and some of the attitudes are now very dated.

How could the performance have been better?

I admire Tim Robbins as a film actor immensely and think he was robbed in not getting an Oscar for Mystic River; he gave such a wonderfully subtle and nuanced performance in that film. However, I thought his narration of this novel was lazy and at times it seemed as if he was reading the text for the first time. Some of his characterisations were also somewhat overwrought.

Any additional comments?

I know that many listeners have given the novel and the narration top scores, but for me, it was a great disappointment.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Husband's Secret

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206

The Husband's Secret is a funny, heartbreaking novel of marriage, grief, love, and secrets. When her husband announces he's in love with her best friend, painfully shy Tess picks up her young son and returns to her mother's house. There she begins an unexpected affair with an old flame. Rachel is a woman in her 60s consumed by grief and anger at the loss of her daughter 20 years earlier. When her son announces he is taking her beloved grandson overseas, Rachel begins a descent into deeper bitterness and pain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Did Not Want it to End!

  • By Laura on 04-09-13

Wonderful story telling

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

Reviewed: 07-06-14

What made the experience of listening to The Husband's Secret the most enjoyable?

The Husband's Secret is a wonderful balance of humour, tragedy, regret and consequences. The characters are all likable and the reader/listener is keen to find out what will become of their lives.

What other book might you compare The Husband's Secret to and why?

It would be a disservice to this great read to compare it to another novel.

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

I have not heard Caroline Lee perform before but I am certainly keen to hear her again. Her reading of this novel and her characterisations were faultless. She is superb.

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

It made me both laugh and cry. Any novel that can evoke emotion is well written and the characters in The Husband's Secret are all believable. Any of them could be one of my friends and I finished the book wanting only the best for each of them.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Tell No One

  • By: Harlan Coben
  • Narrated by: Tim Machin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

Eight years ago David Beck was knocked unconscious and left for dead, and his wife Elizabeth was kidnapped and murdered. For the next eight years Dr Beck re-lived the horror of what happened that day every day of his life. Then one afternoon, he receives an anonymous e-mail telling him to log on to a certain web-site at a certain time, using a code that only he and his wife knew. The screen opens on to a web cam - and it is Elizabeth's image he sees. Is it a practical joke?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Margaret on 01-22-14

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 01-22-14

Any additional comments?

This novel was a great disappointment. The characters were one-dimensional, the plot was formulaic and full of holes, and don't get me started on the narrator! He was simply dreadful - his timing was abysmal and his characterisations were ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous, which made the book virtually unlistenable. I have rated the overall and story components a two-star rating because my opinion might be swayed by the jaw-dropping horror of the narration, which is really worth much less than one star.

  • The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,993
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,219

For LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch - hero, maverick, nighthawk - the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal. The dead man, Billy Meadows, was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who fought side by side with him in a nightmare underground war that brought them to the depths of hell.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What a Terrific Book

  • By Daniel McAfee on 08-01-08

Unable to last the distance

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

Reviewed: 07-19-13

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

I'm not sure who could enjoy this poorly written, predictable, join the dots novel. It's full of banal dialogue, stock characters and predictable situations. I, for one, couldn't bear to waste any more hours of my life by finishing it. However, I know that the Bosch series is a popular one for Michael Connelly. I just can't understand how!

What was most disappointing about Michael Connelly’s story?

The characterisations which seem to have been lifted from a 1940's c-grade tv show and much of the ridiculous dialogue were very disappointing.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Although the narrator did an admirable job with an awful script, many of his voice characterizations were jarring, particularly those of the young homeless, who all sounded like they were sub-moronic and had the misfortune to have to talk through a broken nose and a cleft palate. He also tended to place emphasis on odd words from time to time - but given what he had to narrate I can't blame him for losing concentration.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1?

I would not have published this book.

  • Fieldwork

  • By: Mischa Berlinski
  • Narrated by: Ramon De Ocampo
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

When his girlfriend takes a job in Thailand, journalist Mischa goes along for the ride, planning only to enjoy himself as much as possible. But when he hears about the suicide of a young woman, Martiya van der Leun, in the Thai prison where she was serving a life sentence for murder, what begins as mild curiosity becomes an obsession. It is clear that Martiya was guilty, but what was it that led her to kill?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect title for a great novel

  • By Margaret on 04-05-13

Perfect title for a great novel

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

Reviewed: 04-05-13

Would you listen to Fieldwork again? Why?

There is a lot to love about Fieldwork. I would certainly listen again to pick up on the many intriguing details I undoubtedly missed during my first listen. It's a book that is not merely interesting; it has a tale to tell about what it means to be human and how humans in different worlds all manage to live in an often unpredictable and sometimes hostile world; and how we all misunderstand each other. And it was funny, too.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Fieldwork?

The revelation at the end was well worth the wait. It wasn't a revelation in the traditional sense; hearing what Martiya finally learnt about the Diyalo and how she coped with that knowledge made her character, and her circumstances, much clearer. All peoples, and some people, do very peculiar things in the name of spirituality and culture. It is our way.

Any additional comments?

I read this book because I recalled a review by Stephen King. He said it was good book with an ill conceived title and a bad cover. Pfffft! to that! (She said in her usual articulate manner). The title was a perfect match for the narrative; and having been to northern Thailand many times, the original cover was also perfect.

  • Beautiful Ruins

  • By: Jess Walter
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,879
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,594
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,588

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • My mind wandered

  • By Ella on 11-25-12

Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 08-30-12

What did you love best about Beautiful Ruins?

I cannot recommend this wonderful novel too highly. I was engaged immediately by the settings, the characters, the story and the gentle compassion for flawed humanity that it conveys. Jess Walter considers the manner in which we seem to live in memories of the past or imaginings of the future. I can only say that while listening to this novel, I was entirely engrossed in my present.

What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

This is an outstanding performance by Edoardo Ballerini. I will certainly buy this wonderful novel in hard copy, but I cannot imagine that I will enjoy it as much without Mr Ballerini's amazingly nuanced narration.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Blacklands

  • By: Belinda Bauer
  • Narrated by: Colleen Prendergast
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to lay to rest the ghost of his uncle, who disappeared aged 11 and is assumed to have fallen victim to the serial killer Arnold Avery. Only Steven's Nan is not convinced her son is dead. Steven is determined to heal the widening cracks in his family before it's too late. And if that means presenting his grandmother with the bones of her murdered son, he'll do it. So the boy takes the next logical step, carefully crafting a letter to Arnold Avery in prison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Suspense, character, mystery

  • By Paul on 01-28-13

Bleak but brilliant

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

Reviewed: 06-12-12

What made the experience of listening to Blacklands the most enjoyable?

This novel is gripping and beautifully told. The characterisations are excellent, and in the case of Steven, heartbreaking. The portrayals of good-hearted Steven growing up in poverty, unnoticed by his tragically damaged family and of Arnold Avery, the cold-blooded serial killer of children, are compelling.

What other book might you compare Blacklands to and why?

Belinda Bauer shows great promise and this novel is every bit as good as a Ruth Rendell.

What does Colleen Prendergast bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Colleen Prendergast was pitch perfect in her narration. Her reading of the novel did not intrude on the story, as is the case with some readers.

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

The ending was particularly moving.

  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

  • By: Michael Chabon
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 614
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 268
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 267

It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat: smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, lousy abridgment

  • By Charles Floading on 01-09-09

Faultless

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

Reviewed: 05-28-12

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I recommend this engaging book to anyone who likes a good, well-written read. The characters are all well-drawn, interesting and consistent and the plot holds interest throughout.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the warmth and humanity of the main characters.

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

I cannot pick a favourite - Joe and Sammy are both wonderful and David Colacci's performance was consistenlty true and enjoyable.

If you could take any character from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Once again, I couldn't pick between Kavalier or Clay. I'm greedy! I'll take them both!

  • Killer Instinct

  • By: Joseph Finder
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 839
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 269
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 267

Jason Steadman is a 30-year-old sales executive living in Boston and working for an electronics giant, a competitor to Sony and Panasonic. He's a witty, charismatic guy who's well liked at the office, but he lacks the "killer instinct" necessary to move up the corporate ladder. To the chagrin of his ambitious wife, it looks as if his career has hit a ceiling. Jason's been sidelined.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Mediocre at best

  • By Emma on 06-08-06

Good, but predictable, fun

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

Reviewed: 04-23-12

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I'd smarten up the main protagonist. He's just a bit too naive.

Would you recommend Killer Instinct to your friends? Why or why not?

Some of them. Many of friends prefer a more intellectual read. I'm happy to be entertained.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

They were all well performed. Scott Brick is an excellent performer.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Sure. I kept thinking that it would make a decent movie.

  • Catching Fire

  • Hunger Games, Book 2
  • By: Suzanne Collins
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,324
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,330

Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dissent Rules

  • By FanB14 on 07-06-12

A fire that fizzles

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

Reviewed: 04-09-12

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

I think I'm just too old for this teen novel. It's very predictable and the narrator is appalling!

What do you think your next listen will be?

Next time I'll go for a more adult novel.

What didn’t you like about Carolyn McCormick’s performance?

Carolyn McCormick sounds like she is reading to a room of toddlers for whom English is a second language. Her characterizations are dreadful and she makes everyone sound stilted, stupid and surly.

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

Disappointment.