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Kenneth

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More than apposite

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

Reviewed: 28-03-2020

The calm eloquence of Josephine Tey’s style is really quite seductive, as is her skill at creating a plot. And Carole Boyd’s reading of it does full justice to the text. The reader is entirely caught up into the story, almost to his or her surprise, as is the case with The Daughter of Time. And this novel is also peopled with fascinating characters such as are in The Singing Sands. In our age of fake news and media manipulation, it is very apposite indeed.

Not revisited, but re-enacted

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

Reviewed: 03-06-2019

With his usual accuracy of detail and skill in storytelling, Robert Harris has allowed us to enter into what was one of the most horrendous and mind-altering events of Roman history. People of our century know Pompeii as a faintly gruesome historic tourist destination; Harris peoples it with inhabitants like us. His use of scientific volcanic quotations and facts about water engineering is both fascinating and informative. Steven Pacey’s reading of the story is excellent.

Certainly surprised by joy

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

Reviewed: 05-03-2019

What an insightful account of a remarkable group. To bring this group from a possible fate of being simply an academic footnote to a fascinating and informative account of creative humanity is a tour de force. The vignettes of less well known members of the group are marvellous. And Bernard Mayes’ reading of it is wonderfully warm and clear.

1 person found this helpful

History without Tears

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

Reviewed: 07-07-2018

It is the rare writer that can maintain the reader’s interest when the setting of the entire novel is a single hospital room, and when the subject matter is a research into, and an analysis of, historical data. But that is exactly what Josephine Tey has done. And the competent and clear reading of the text adds a further attractive dimension to it: it is Derek Jacobi doing what he does so very well. Having read the book decades ago, what a pleasure it has been to be able to listen to it now.

1 person found this helpful

Voles triumphant!

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

Reviewed: 20-07-2017

The wit, the observation, the storytelling, the plethora of unforgettable (and recognised) characters – one could ask for little more in a novel that keeps one chuckling all the way through. It is Waugh at his very best. And the performance by Simon Cadell is wonderful - with great subtlety, he catches, in his various voices, the essence of each character, and makes every minute of our listening to his reading a pure delight.

A marvel to hear

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

Reviewed: 03-03-2017

It is more than 20 years since first I read this book, and others, by Colin Thubron. I was immediately taken by the lucidity of the prose and the clarity of his observations; and now to find it read with such intelligence and understanding by Jonathan Keeble is a bonus beyond measure. I would recommend it highly.

Evocation of a forgotten civilisation

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5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-12-2016

The world of the Minatour and the bull dancers is brought from ancient frescoes into the immediacy of our present-day imagination. A wonderful re-telling and reading of the classic legend. All honour to both author and reader.

1 person found this helpful

Legends Reborn

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

Reviewed: 28-12-2016

We tend to grow up knowing legends presented either as children's entertainment or read by chance when in primary or junior secondary school. To come across them again as an adult could be a dangerous activity in terms of disillusionment or dismissal. However, Mary Renault not only re-presents the stories, but offers interpretation and commentary on them that allow them to assume their proper stature.

And in this audiobook Kris Dyer's reading captures the youthfulness of the narrator, Theseus, as well as pointing to his destiny.

Worthy of Great Praise

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

Reviewed: 25-10-2016

It is remarkable how effective Mary Renault is in peopling the past with characters that we recognise and respond to. In The Praise Singer, she takes, as the protagonist, a figure from the sixth century BC, Simonides, about whom we know relatively little, but who is regarded as one of the great lyric poets of that period in ancient Greece. And yet, in her presentation, she makes him live fully and convincingly in our minds and imaginations . And Mary Renault's clear knowledge of that complex period of Greek history when all was in flux, is truly awe-inspiring. It is a fascinating and enlightening work.

And in this audible version of it, all praise should be given to the narrator for his excellent reading of the text. He can nuance his voice, for the various people that we meet, in a most effective way, but for me, his skill came out most effectively in the various dialogues we hear: the continuing dialogue between Simonides and his brother; the great dialogue between Simonides and the hetaera, as well as others.

It is a book Simonides would have found worthy of song.

Enriching insight

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

Reviewed: 21-10-2016

I know of no other work, fictional or analytical, that allows the reader to enter into, and appreciate, the world of the Greek theatre and its place within the society of the Ancient World. And achieving that, it allows us to see why Greek theatre still influences and attracts 21st century people.

The narrator reads the text wonderfully, with the correct lightness of tone, but astuteness of observation, for a protagonist who is, in fact, giving us a sort of diary, covering the events that simply happen around him.