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Earnest

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  • reviews
  • 42
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • The Trick to Time

  • By: Kit de Waal
  • Narrated by: Fiona Shaw
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal, read by Fiona Shaw. Mona is a young Irish girl in the big city, with the thrill of a new job and a room of her own in a busy boardinghouse. On her first night out in 1970s Birmingham, she meets William, a charming Irish boy with an easy smile and an open face. They embark upon a passionate affair, a whirlwind marriage - before a sudden tragedy tears them apart. Decades later, Mona pieces together the memories of the years that separate them. But can she ever learn to love again?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A precious book.

  • By Earnest on 06-23-18

A precious book.

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

Reviewed: 06-23-18

CAUTION for some listeners. Do make sure you enquire carefully to realize what it is about. You may not be ready for it, yet.
But I am very glad that a courageous writer has written , face on, about something that happens to many of us.
And I respect the writing of a truth and all the confrontations with reality all of us MUST eventually make, with kind, persistent help.. to keep going and to find purchase on the river bed of life.
Thank you.

My breathless admiration too for Fiona Shaw’s skill. I know she is a peerless actor from Becket to Potter but this reading is like Art.
Mind you, it was a bit confronting to be watching her amazing acting in “Killing Eve” at night and listening to her on Audible being people in such a remarkably different story. That’s a fine actor for you.

Go girls. Keep bringing us stories that swing the spotlight round to such utterly different points of view and drawing attention to ways of being that are never shown and acknowledging skills seldom appreciated.
And demonstrating to us all that you can, must, survive.

  • The Life to Come

  • By: Michelle de Kretser
  • Narrated by: Wendy Bos
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

The dazzling new novel from Michelle de Kretser, author of Questions of Travel, best seller and winner of the Miles Franklin Award. Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don't tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sadly, these tales do not ignite interest

  • By Earnest on 05-18-18

Sadly, these tales do not ignite interest

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

Reviewed: 05-18-18

Small portions of lyrical description build an expectation and then nothing happens.
How disappointing.
Courageous criticism of Australian foibles or academic pretensions, the list of subjects of these criticisms are lengthy, rise up promisingly, then fade and only appear to be snide comments.
And the voice actor - who produced this? The pronunciations were so poor as to make a listener flinch with embarrassment. The whole cadence of sentences were lost.

  • A Legacy of Spies

  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, is living out his old age on the family farmstead in Brittany when a letter summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself are to be scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great revisit of a smiley classic

  • By Anonymous User on 10-10-18

An exotically re-embroidered tapestry of memory and moment.

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

Reviewed: 09-11-17

How genius-like to pick up a majestic piece of one's work and then work back into it with such finesse and skill so that the newly worked area appears not only seamless but adds to the brilliance.
Wow.
All the old magic is there beautifully developed into a modern tale where elements such as " what is any of it for?" and " what can an older person make of a committed life"-all elements blended together so movingly.
How powerful the reality is that any series of events in any life, let alone a spy's life, is manipulated by and affected by the jealousy, ambition and thwarted love of others.

Tom Holland settled in and by the end, the brilliant actor that he is, helped to make this an an exemplar for all literary audiobooks.

  • Our Souls at Night

  • A Novel
  • By: Kent Haruf
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 3 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,115
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,104

In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Our Souls at Night is simply perfect.

  • By Bonny on 06-01-15

Mesmerizing reality

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

Reviewed: 09-06-17

Such a gentle, heartbreaking tale about ordinary people.
Beautifully read with just the right amount of sparkle to lighten very serious content.
How well Mr Haruf knew a quiet life.

  • The Door

  • By: Magda Szabó, Len Rix - translator
  • Narrated by: Siân Thomas
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121

Intense, brilliant and moving, The Door is a compelling story about the relationship between two women of opposing backgrounds and personalities: one, an intellectual and writer; the other, her housekeeper, a mysterious, elderly woman who sets her own rules and abjures religion, education, pretense and any kind of authority. Beneath this hardened exterior of Emerence lies a painful story that must be concealed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Challenging, but an engrossing, literary work.

  • By Earnest on 09-05-17

Challenging, but an engrossing, literary work.

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

Reviewed: 09-05-17

A total immersion in a unique relationship between two women of a different age, class and experience.
Superbly nuanced absences are the real descriptors of what marks out this friendship or dependence. Negative behavior, competitiveness, jealousy and misunderstandings abound but essentially, both women help the other move through their lives.
Behind every successful woman is an excellent housekeeper.
And behind every human struggle, it is made beautifully clear, is dust.
The subtle shading in of the extraordinary disturbances that shook Hungary to the core are masterly.
A tour de force overall.

Siân Thomas is a "find." Great voice actor.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • In This Grave Hour

  • Maisie Dobbs Mysteries, Book 13
  • By: Jacqueline Winspear
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

Britain is at war. Returned from a dangerous mission onto enemy soil, Maisie Dobbs is fully aware of the gravity of the current situation; her world is on the cusp of great change. One of those changes can be seen in the floods of refugees that are arriving in Britain, desperate for sanctuary. When Maisie stumbles on the deaths of refugees who may have been more than ordinary people, she is drawn into an investigation that requires all her insight and strength.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • No surprises but blandly entertaining

  • By Earnest on 04-12-17

No surprises but blandly entertaining

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

Reviewed: 04-12-17

Familiarity with just about everything from before sometimes is what a listener sometimes needs.
Gratefully, there are fewer of the usual overdone ,clichéd dialogue sequences which are often found in "light" genre fiction.
Be prepared for the plodding plot.

  • The Handmaid's Tale

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Joanna David
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed . If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pit stop to hell.

  • By Earnest on 04-09-17

Pit stop to hell.

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

Reviewed: 04-09-17

This story needs to be understood by all men and women without the interference of various "softening" or "dramatic license" or anything else. It is not perfect in either its form or content but it contains an imperative.
Read this and understand what is at risk. Already. Again.
Are we all to end up as footnotes in a sociological history conference in a galaxy far away? Without resistance?
We were warned.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Aurelio Zen: And Then You Die

  • By: Michael Dibdin
  • Narrated by: Cameron Stewart
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Aurelio Zen of Rome's elite Criminalpol is back, but nobody's supposed to know it. After months in hospital recovering from a bomb attack on his car, he is lying low under a false name at a beach resort on the Tuscan coast, waiting to testify in an imminent anti-Mafia trial. Zen has clear instructions: to sit back and enjoy the classic Italian beach holiday - relaxing in the sun, eating seafood and engaging in a little mild flirtation with the attractive woman sitting under the next umbrella.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ridiculous efforts at women's voices

  • By Vivien Tarkirk-Smith on 08-27-15

A well plotted Zen again

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

Reviewed: 03-01-17

After several novels, one comes to appreciate just how capable a writer the author was.
The stories are very well written, lyrical often, informative and often funny..not your usual crim lit fare. Hurrah.

BUT - although I know it is far too late because the novels are quite old and the chance of a revival has been lost with the cancellation of the TV series (Rufus Sewell was a magnificent "Zen")..nonetheless, Audible producers of the Now please take note - this Actor is not up to the job. His woeful attempts at Italian are sustained and embarrassing, his characterisations are pitiful. If I hadn't been so committed to the author I would have given up.. how insulting to make every female Character's voice a caricature/pantomime !
They all sounded like a 10th class actor attempting an imitation of a person in drag.

It's far too late to salute Michael Kitchen for his great voice actor job of sharing the earlier stories with wit and individuality..and honouring the tone the author wrote in. So sad.

  • Master Georgie

  • By: Beryl Bainbridge
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul, Lindsay Duncan
  • Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

The book that finally won Beryl Bainbridge a Booker prize: by popular vote the Best of Beryl. Beryl Bainbridge’s most popular novel explores the nature of love and obsession, as foster child Myrtle follows Master Georgie from the slums of 19th century Liverpool to the battlefields of the Crimea, where tragedy ensues.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brutal, finely rendered but why abridged?

  • By Earnest on 09-16-16

Brutal, finely rendered but why abridged?

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

Reviewed: 09-16-16

It is glorious to listen to the prose style that dazzled many of us for years. How wonderful to have the opportunity to revisit this author - at last.
More please..but from a range of her books. I laud her brave writing about human beings used by circumstance, other human beings and specifically, war.

  • Flora

  • A Novel
  • By: Gail Godwin
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

Ten-year-old Helen and her summer guardian, Flora, are isolated together in Helen's decaying family house while her father is doing secret war work in Oak Ridge during the final months of World War II. At three Helen lost her mother and the beloved grandmother who raised her has just died. A fiercely imaginative child, Helen is desperate to keep her house intact with all its ghosts and stories. Flora, her late mother's twenty-two-year old first cousin, who cries at the drop of a hat, is ardently determined to do her best for Helen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the few books about "real people.

  • By Debra J OConnor on 03-29-15

Languid, intimate and evocative listen.

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

Reviewed: 07-04-16

How surprising a book can be. Bit by bit, piece by piece, a story unfolds while, even a close reader, can perhaps not consciously feel how strongly the events are becoming entwined with their own memories, by their own life.
The power wrought by this author transcended many Continents, a different strata of life, an almost different language and shook this listener to the core.
How similar we all are even if we are very different.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful