LISTENER

ReadersinVA

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
  • 18
  • reviews
  • 39
  • helpful votes
  • 228
  • ratings
  • The Witch Elm

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,559
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,251
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4,236

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, the Main Character Comes Off Poorly, But...

  • By Marina on 10-19-18

Thank God that's over.....

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

Too long and too slow.
Ploughed on to the end thanks in part to the narrator who tried his best.
None of the characters were either very engaging nor were they or their behavior very credible to me.
Kept going because .....well, it's Tana French - a hugely talented writer . With anyone else, would have given up after the first third.
But in the end I have to conclude that, like French's "A Secret Place", it's another big disappointment.





  • The Ruin

  • By: Dervla McTiernan
  • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,835
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,583
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,583

When Aisling Conroy's boyfriend Jack is found in the freezing black waters of the river Corrib, the police tell her it was suicide. A surgical resident, she throws herself into study and work, trying to forget - until Jack's sister Maude shows up. Maude suspects foul play, and she is determined to prove it. Cormac Reilly is the detective assigned with the re-investigation of a seemingly accidental overdose 20 years ago - the overdose of Jack and Maude's drug-and-alcohol-addled mother. Reilly is under increasing pressure to charge Maude for murder when his colleague Danny uncovers new evidence....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Book of the Year

  • By Sharon on 07-11-18

If you like Tana French ... this is for you

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

Reviewed: 07-25-18

Gripping first novel, well developed characters, credible and well paced plot and great sense of place. Style is similar to Tana French for those who enjoy her novels also set in Ireland. And Aoife McMahon shows how great narration is done and can really add so much!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • The Lost Empress

  • Jefferson Tayte Genealogical, Book 4
  • By: Steve Robinson
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 569
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507

When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Empress' victims, a British admiral’s daughter named Alice Stilwell, he must travel to England to understand the course of events that led to her death.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not the author's best, but worth listening to

  • By Historygal777 on 04-29-18

Ludicrously contrived

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

Reviewed: 02-04-18

Another well narrated Jefferson Tayte mystery, this one with a plot that unfortunately borders on the ludicrous. Alice’s various actions in the face of an eloborate spying plot against Britain involving her family just don't seem at all credible and the whole narrative structure crumbles as a result. Pity - the historical context (Empress of Ireland) is very interesting and real.

  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky

  • A Novel
  • By: Mark Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,315
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,069
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,992

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He's a normal Italian teenager - obsessed with music, food, and girls - but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior. In an attempt to protect him, Pino's parents force him to enlist as a German soldier - a move they think will keep him out of combat.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Thing? It Really Happened!

  • By Charles Atkinson on 08-07-17

Hard granite wrapped in whipped cream

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

Reviewed: 06-29-17

For those who like historical fiction - this book is set during the largely forgotten but brutal last few years of the second world war in northern Italy. It is supposably based on the remarkable experiences of one teenage Italian, with so many coincidences that plausibility is challenged. But the author has chosen to wrap the factual narrative of Nazi atrocities in this theater of war with a cloying romantic froth of whipped cream which often detracts from the seriousness of the underlying subject matter.

  • Dead Lions

  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Michael Healy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 336
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336

London’s Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “"low horses", as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. But now the slow horses have a chance at redemption. An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. The despicable, irascible Jackson Lamb is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade’s circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient Cold War secrets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top Ten

  • By Aaron on 01-15-15

Weak narration

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

Reviewed: 11-03-16

Story is not up the level of the first in the series, Slow Horses, but what I found most disappointing was the narration - not enough distinction made between the different voices for the characters, and a rather flat delivery overall.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The River of Souls

  • Matthew Corbett, Book 5
  • By: Robert R. McCammon
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,348
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,241
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,240

The year is 1703. The place: The Carolina settlement of Charles Town. Matthew Corbett, professional 'problem solver,' has accepted a lucrative, if unusual, commission: Escorting a beautiful woman to a fancy dress ball. What should be a pleasant assignment takes a darker turn when Matthew becomes involved in a murder investigation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • SPOILERS! Still love Matthew Corbeett

  • By Frances on 06-14-14

Is the author getting bored with Matthew Corbett?

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

Reviewed: 04-26-16

I have listened to all the Matthew Corbett stories to date - all great Audible listens with an outstanding job by the narrator Edoardo Ballerina - one of the best. But why are each of the novels getting shorter and shorter? Book 1 was over 30 hours (!) but by book 5 we are down to under 9 hours which feels like just half a story and then author Robert McCammon get fed up writing and wrapped it all up quickly. He is usually a writer who excels at fine detail and historical authenticity and one who takes his time to develop the characters and plot. Not sure what the back story was on this one.

  • Lords of the North

  • The Saxon Chronicles, Book 3
  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Tom Sellwood
  • Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,835
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,431
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,425

The year is 878, and the Saxons of Wessex, under King Alfred, have defeated the Danes to keep their kingdom free. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord, helped Alfred win that victory, but now he is disgusted by Alfred's lack of generosity. Uhtred flees Wessex, going north to search for his stepsister in the formidable stronghold of Dunholm.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Different reader

  • By Tracy Moshier on 05-14-15

Narrator lets this one down

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

Reviewed: 04-26-16

First two in this Saxon series were superbly narrated by Jonathan Keeble; Tom Sellwood's performance pales by comparison unfortunately. Some of the characters' voices he uses are almost laughably bad. I did think however that by the last quarter or so of the story, the performance was a somewhat more confident one.

  • Night over Water

  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: Tom Casaletto
  • Length: 14 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,685
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,276
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,274

On a bright September morning in 1939, two days after Britain declares war on Germany, a group of privileged but desperate people gather in Southhampton to board the largest, most luxurious airliner ever built - the Pan American Clipper - bound for New York.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun Listen

  • By Daniel McAfee on 07-11-08

Grade: D-

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

Reviewed: 07-23-15

One of the worst books I have read/listened to in decades. Cardboard cutout characters; hopeless dialogue; an implausible plot bordering on the outright laughable. Lame lame lame. The sole redeeming feature is the detailed description of the Clipper itself - but could have got that from Wikipedia (or Brittanica back in the day). The narrator does a good job but my sympathies are certainly with him having to plod through this garbage. How Ken Follet has been so successful in publishing such stuff is beyond me but I certainly won't ever be a repeat purchaser. D-

  • The Secret Place

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
  • Length: 20 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,954
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,564
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,556

"The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Well...I really liked 50% of it

  • By Pamela on 09-11-14

A bitter disappointment

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

Reviewed: 01-19-15

I am a fan of Tana French and have enjoyed all her books, especially as Audible versions - until this one. This is really two books in one. Book one is the grindingly boring story of a school murder, populated by a cast of intensely irritating, two dimensional school girls. Plodding through this is made even worse by the narrator Lara Hutchinson - although I do sympathize with her about the material she had to work with. In sharp contrast, Book 2 is classic Tana French - superbly drawn characters (Detectives Stephen Moran, Antoinette Conway and Frank Mackey) and the complex psychological interplay between them. The narrator for this book, Stephen Hogan, really enriches the experience. However, Book 1, which frames the plot such as it is, drowns out Book 2 to such an extent that I was left with a sense of bitter disappointment after a long wait to read it.

  • Gray Mountain

  • A Novel
  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Catherine Taber
  • Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,754
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,009
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,017

The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Painful to listen to

  • By Toni on 10-24-14

A little bit too run-of-the mill

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

Reviewed: 01-19-15

Reasonable read pitching bad guys (coal this time) against small time lawyers, but a little too formulaic. I also thought it ended so suddenly I had to check if I had missed part 3 somehow.