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  • 8
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  • Carol

  • By: Patricia Highsmith
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when an alluring woman in her 30s walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. She is an awkward 19-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn't love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol's world, she soon realises how much they both stand to lose....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ethereal

  • By Stevie on 18-01-2017

A truly affecting story

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

Reviewed: 04-11-2016

What did you like most about Carol?

It speaks to a number of interesting themes, including gender, sexuality and class discrimination, all woven into an affecting story and characters you can invest in.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I enjoyed Therese, because of the arc of her story, her self containment and her burgeoning maturity.

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

When Carol is blackmailed into going home and Therese is left alone.

  • The Night Manager

  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 19 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 63

The night manager is Jonathan, a veteran of clandestine operations. In flight from a failed marriage and his own past, he has taken refuge in the luxury hotel trade. Yet he finds no escape from his demons. Driven by a desire for atonement and by an inherited patriotism, Jonathan allows himself to be recruited as a British secret agent with a mission to expose the murderer of the woman he himself betrayed. His odyssey takes him across Britain and Canada to the Caribbean and the jungles of Panama. But there are more treacherous jungles still in Whitehall and Washington.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Lost at Sea

  • By Anna Spencer on 07-11-2017

A gripping spy thriller from one of the best.

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

Reviewed: 04-11-2016

Where does The Night Manager rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's up there amongst those I've enjoyed the most.

What other book might you compare The Night Manager to, and why?

The Constant Gardener, also by Le Carre which has similar themes and a similar male protagonist, although focused on corruption in the Pharmaceutical industry rather than in the arms trade.

Which character – as performed by Michael Jayston – was your favourite?

Pine was probably my favourite, though a little bit wet sometimes.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

'From room service to the secret service' ;)

Any additional comments?

If you enjoyed the book, you'll enjoy the TV miniseries with Hugh Laurie and (swoon!) Tom Hiddleston, not to mention the fantastic Olivia Colman.

  • Purity

  • By: Jonathan Franzen
  • Narrated by: Dylan Baker, Jenna Lamia, Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 24 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

A magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom and The Corrections. Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother - her only family - is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother has always concealed her own real name, or how she can ever have a normal life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting but

  • By sophiek on 05-12-2018

A good long story to get your teeth into

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

Reviewed: 04-11-2016

Would you consider the audio edition of Purity to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version, so I have no comparison of which is better.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked Leila. She was a much stronger female character than Pip. I liked her intelligence, professional prowess and no-nonsense manner, and I identified more with her as a mature woman, while recognising my younger self somewhat in Pip.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I enjoyed the various voice artists' performances in the audio, which were well performed and added to my enjoyment.

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

No, I felt that this book offered more black comedy moments than 'moving' moments.

Any additional comments?

I would have like to have read more of Leila's story, which in my opinion could have made a book in itself.

  • The Wonder

  • By: Emma Donoghue
  • Narrated by: Kate Lock
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 70

An 11-year-old girl stops eating but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse sent to investigate whether she is a fraud meets a journalist hungry for a story. Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue's The Wonder - inspired by numerous European and North American cases of 'fasting girls' between the 16th century and the 20th - is a psychological thriller about a child's murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • not a psychological thriller

  • By Joana on 28-09-2016

Enjoyable, but nothing like 'Room'

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

Reviewed: 04-11-2016

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

No, I have enjoyed other audiobooks much more than this that I'd recommend first.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

In hindsight, I suppose it was predictable, but I didn't see it coming until late in the story.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I enjoyed the interactions between Anna and Lib, where Lib would tell the girl riddles. The whole situation was a riddle and I think this is what Donoghue was trying to express.

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

I wouldn't say 'moved', but when Anna was on the brink of death, it was sad.

Any additional comments?

A very slow paced story which made for a good bedtime listen, as it lulled me off to sleep very well.

  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

  • The Road to Nowhere, Book 1
  • By: Meg Elison
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead. In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth's population - killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant - the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power - and the strong who possess it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This was so good

  • By bluebeard on 31-07-2018

On the whole a gripping read

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

Reviewed: 04-11-2016

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

I'd recommend this book as a great read which captures the imagination from beginning to end. It's very well paced, and the premise, although not original, makes for a good set up.

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed this as a great example of dystopian fiction.I also enjoyed the female narrator and her being a very non-stereotypical character.

What does Angela Dawe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Angela Dawe is a fantastic voice artist and great at performing different accents, age groups and genders.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I couldn't wait to get into bed each night to find out what happens next.

Any additional comments?

The only thing that was a little grating, as another reviewer notes, was the 'this equals that' motif, repeated with a frequency that I felt unnecessary. There are many other ways to express 'if this then that' that the author could have used.