LISTENER

Phyllis

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 70
  • helpful votes
  • 69
  • 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 2,071
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,953
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,949

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

Overwrought, overly complicated and overlong

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

I couldn't finish it -- got tired of all of the above. Too bad - I usually like Tana French.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Taste for Vengeance

  • A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel
  • By: Martin Walker
  • Narrated by: Robert Ian Mackenzie
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226

When a British tourist fails to turn up for a luxurious cooking vacation in Bruno's usually idyllic Dordogne village of St. Denis, the worried hostess is quick to call on Bruno for help. Monica Felder is nowhere to be found, and her husband, a retired British major, is unreachable. And not long after Bruno discovers that Monica was traveling with a mysterious Irishman (her lover?), the two turn up dead. The Irishman's background in intelligence and his connection to Monica's husband only raise more questions for Bruno.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best of the best

  • By Sharon Major on 06-28-18

Way to much cooking going on

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

Reviewed: 07-15-18

This may be a good book, but couldn't get past the tedious descriptions of cooking duck liver. Narrator is fine, but all he seems to be doing is reading recipes.

  • Minding Frankie

  • By: Maeve Binchy
  • Narrated by: Sile Bermingham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 631
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 409
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 401

When Noel learns that his terminally ill former flame is pregnant with his child, he agrees to take guardianship of the baby girl once she's born. But as a single father battling demons of his own, Noel can't do it alone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top Notch Binchy

  • By Carolyn on 03-06-11

Sorta sweet...kinda awful

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

Reviewed: 03-19-18

A potentially sweet story spoiled by the narrator and too many characters. Since none of the characters were developed past sketchy stereotypes, it was hard to care much what happened to any of them. Nonetheless, I persisted although I almost gave up on the book after a couple of chapters because of the narrator. Her voice was grating, and her various accents dreadful. Too bad, because I enjoyed Tara Road and Scarlett Feather.

  • The Masqueraders

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Ruth Sillers
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 651
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 585
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 580

After participating in the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Robin and Prudence, brother and sister, become engaged in a swashbuckling, romantic adventure. Our hero and heroine must cross-dress and switch genders if they are to escape prosecution a humorous move that allows Heyer to explore the manners and language affectations of the period as the two romp through the elite saloons and clubs of London.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intrigue, romance, loyalty and wit!

  • By Patricia on 05-14-14

Early Heyer not up to Later Works

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

Reviewed: 07-13-14

I don't especially like Georgette Heyer's early works compared to her more mature books, and I hesitated to buy this one when it became available. My low expectations were met. I might have liked it better, but I took an instant dislike to the narrator's reading, and it took me several attempts to get beyond the first couple of pages. My favorite character in the book is the twin's father, and unfortunately the narrator turned him into the buffoon. The narrator overall was annoying -- a little too sticky sweet, and actually hard to differentiate among the characters.

In fairness, I rank Heyer's mystery/adventure romance books like this one, Talisman Ring, The Toll Gate and others below her character-driven romances like Cotillion, Friday's Child, and The Unknown Ajax. But if you like a heavy dash of implausible adventure mixed with romance but with less depth of character and humor, this may be the book for you.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Room

  • By: Minette Walters
  • Narrated by: Laural Merlington
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 34

The newspaper reported the case with relish. Jane (Jinx) Kingsley, fashion photographer and heiress, tried to kill herself after being unceremoniously jilted by her fiance, Leo Wallader. Leo has disappeared - together with Jinx's best friend Meg Harris. But when she wakes from her coma, Jinx can remember nothing about her alleged suicide attempt. Nevertheless, Jinx is convinced that she would never try to kill herself over Leo. Surely it was she who wanted to break the engagement.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent narration!

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-19-11

Narration Spoiled Entire Book

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

Reviewed: 06-28-12

Fake British accent, harsh voices, made this novel almost impossible to finish. I cannot give an unbiased review of the story because the narration was so distracting.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Death Comes to Pemberley

  • By: P. D. James
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,213
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,032
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,051

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lots of fun for Austen lovers!

  • By Lesley A. Slavin on 12-20-11

My Hopes Dashed

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

Reviewed: 12-18-11

I have always liked PD James' mysteries, and love Jane Austen, so I had high hopes for this combination of author and characters. Unfortunately, this book is just silly. The ponderous narration doesn't help a weak story and minor mystery. The original characters are not much amplified except what would be easily predicted. The many extractions of Austen's glowing phrases for those unfortunates who have not read Pride and Prejudice are not enough to rescue this book.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

A Mind to Murder audiobook cover art
  • A Mind to Murder

  • Inspector Adam Dalgliesh, Book 2
  • By: P. D. James
  • Narrated by: Roy Marsden
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

That a man who caught murderers should be a successful poet seemed inappropriate to some people. But Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh of the Criminal Investigation Department was attending his publisher's annual sherry party when a call from Scotland Yard whipped him away to investigate a particularly brutal murder. In the elegant Steen Psychiatric Clinic, which catered strictly for upper-class neuroses, sprawled the body of Enid Bolam, a chisel through her heart. It had been a vicious, calculated thrust, suggesting that the killer had not only confident knowledge of anatomy but unusual strength.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Bad sound, good story

  • By David Hurwitz on 06-15-06

Terrible audio

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

Reviewed: 11-29-11

Found it hard to listen because of the terrible sound quality. Although I liked Marsden as the Inspector on the tv series, he's a little monotonous as a narrator. Otherwise, typical PD James -- which is pretty good.

  • Willful Behavior

  • A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
  • By: Donna Leon
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 148

Mystery lovers everywhere are addicted to Donna Leon's ever-honorable Commissario Guido Brunetti and her portrayal of Venice's beautiful but sinister byways and canals. In Willful Behavior, Brunetti is approached for a favor by one of his wife's students. Intelligent and serious, Claudia Leonardo asks for his help in obtaining a pardon for a crime once committed by her now-dead grandfather.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pronunciation

  • By Lawrence Hicks on 11-06-11

Miscast Narrator

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

Reviewed: 11-22-11

Stephen Crossley has been a great narrator of other books, but is totally miscast in this Italian venue. Where is David Colacci when we need him?! Story is typically cynical Donna Leon--but interesting, nonetheless.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • A Sea of Troubles

  • A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
  • By: Donna Leon
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 253
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 215

On a beautiful spring morning on the island of Pellestrina, south of the Lido on the Venetian lagoon, a small fishing boat moored at the docks suddenly explodes. When it becomes clear that the fire was deliberately set and the boat’s owners brutally murdered, Commissario Brunetti tries to dig up information from Pellestrina’s close-knit - and closemouthed - citizenry. But it is with mixed feelings that he accepts Signorina Elettra’s offer to visit her relatives there and search for clues.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Mystery

  • By Jocelyn on 11-29-11

Not up to Leon's usual

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

Reviewed: 10-24-11

I have always enjoyed Donna Leon's books, but this is short on plot, and an unsuccessful attempt at suspense and sex.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dreaming Void

  • Void Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 22 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,585
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,556
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,571

AD 3580. The Intersolar Commonwealth has spread through the galaxy to over a thousand star systems. It is a culture of rich diversity with a place for everyone. A powerful navy protects it from any hostile species that may lurk among the stars. For Commonwealth citizens, even death has been overcome.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • What can I say

  • By Randall on 05-08-18

Not a Stand-Alone Book

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-12-10

Although the author has created a wildly imaginative universe, this book was difficult to follow because characters and situations carried over from previous works.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful