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  • Home Fire

  • By: Kamila Shamsie
  • Narrated by: Tania Rodrigues
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother's death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London - or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. Then Eamonn enters the sisters' lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved this book

  • By Sandra on 13-06-2018

Wow. Incredible, powerful, chilling.

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

Reviewed: 18-02-2018

Themes of love, family, terrorism, politics and the constant struggle for identity are threaded throughout Shamsie's modern retelling of the Greek tragedy Antigone.

Disturbingly, the ancient tragedy plays out well in its current day setting.

Through each character's point of view, Shamsie reveals the complexity and uniqueness of the individual that's otherwise hidden behind religious, political and cultural stereotypes.

I couldn't stop listening - it's a compelling storyline, full of characters I became completely invested in, and is brought to life with excellent narration.

I've just finished and my heart is still pounding. A brilliant, heart wrenching, challenging book.

Highly, highly recommended.

  • The Sapphire Rose

  • The Elenium, Book 3
  • By: David Eddings
  • Narrated by: Greg Abby
  • Length: 21 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

Finally, the knight Sparhawk had come to possess Bhelliom, legendary jewel of magic that alone could save Queen Ehlana from the deadly poison that had felled her father. Sparhawk and Sephrenia, ageless instructor in Styric magics, made haste to free Ehlana from the crystalline cocoon that had preserved her life while they desperately sought a cure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A classic fantasy favourite

  • By LC on 04-01-2018

A classic fantasy favourite

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

Reviewed: 04-01-2018

The whole of this series is enjoyable from start to finish. David Eddings created a fascinating medieval-inspired world full of knights, royalty, gods and magic and brought it to life with a classic epic quest fantasy storyline interwoven with light hearted humour and loveable characters. A favourite!

  • An Echo in the Bone

  • A Novel
  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 45 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 417
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 389
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 387

Jamie Fraser knows from his time-traveling wife Claire that, no matter how unlikely it seems, America will win the Revolutionary War. But that truth offers little solace, since Jamie realizes he might find himself pointing a weapon directly at his own son - a young officer in the British army. And Jamie isn't the only one with a tormented soul - for Claire may know who wins the conflict, but she certainly doesn't know whether or not her beloved Jamie survives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love them all

  • By Anonymous User on 10-04-2018

More light hearted sci fi/historical fiction fun

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

Reviewed: 26-11-2017

Another fun volume in the Outlander series full of the usual sex, romance, violence, overt Scottishness supported with detailed historical research. A guilty pleasure!

Fahrenheit 451 cover art
  • Fahrenheit 451

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs or the joy of watching pages consumed by flames, never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Glad to have finally read/heard it

  • By LC on 30-07-2017

Glad to have finally read/heard it

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

Reviewed: 30-07-2017

I've heard so many people reference this book over the years, so it's nice to finally understand it myself.

If I'm honest, I did take a little while to get through the book but I'm still glad I did.

  • The Turn of the Screw

  • By: Henry James
  • Narrated by: Emma Thompson, Richard Armitage - introduction
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy winner Emma Thompson lends her immense talent and experienced voice to Henry James' Gothic ghost tale, The Turn of the Screw. When a governess is hired to care for two children at a British country estate, she begins to sense an otherworldly presence around the grounds. Are they really ghosts she's seeing? Or is something far more sinister at work?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Typical James

  • By V. J. Hutchinson on 14-02-2018

Emma Thompson is perfection!

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

Reviewed: 17-07-2017

This was my first read/ listen of The Turn of the Screw and Emma Thompson's narration really made the story come to life.

  • Alas, Babylon

  • By: Pat Frank
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eerily close to home, even today

  • By LC on 27-05-2017

Eerily close to home, even today

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

Reviewed: 27-05-2017

The United States unintentionally sparks a nuclear war with USSR when a US fighter plane accidentally strikes a base in Syria, resulting in USSR's nuclear retaliation.

Pat Frank might have written this novel in 1959 but swap USSR for Russia and it's a synopsis that could just as easily be drawn from a future headline.

This was the first time I'd read/ listened to Alas, Babylon and I really enjoyed it - particularly the insight it gave me into 1950s nuclear age. Gender roles are strong - men are brave and protective, women stand by their men and children as nurturers and carers and even little boys carry stiff upper lips.

But how interesting it is to see how society breaks down and yet humanity persists in the face of a nuclear war. Now I've read it, I can see where so many other post-apocalyptic novels, films and games have rightfully drawn their inspiration.

A great read - highly recommended.

  • David Copperfield

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 33 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16

Based in part on Dickens's own life, it is the story of a young man's journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among its gloriously vivid cast of characters, he e.ncounters his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; the frivolous, enchanting Dora; and one of literature's great comic creations, the magnificently impecunious Mr. Micawber.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can see why this is a classic

  • By Sharon on 05-08-2018

A favourite classic told well

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

Reviewed: 23-09-2016

David Copperfield is a favourite of mine and this audio version definitely does it justice.

The narrator has an understated style but still does a fantastic job of bringing all of Dickens's characters to life.

*Spoilers!*


His depiction of Dora completely changed my previous (rather uncharitible) perspective on her character and made me understand how David fell in love with her childlike charm.

Daniel Peggoty was exactly as I'd imagined, as was his sister, David's Aunt Betsy, and the foolish and melodramatic Micawbers. Traddles's kindness and good nature shine throughout. The narrator's take on David himself hits the perfect balance of sincerity and gentle self deprecating humour.

All in all this is a lovely audio version that remains true to the classic tale.

  • Thérèse Raquin

  • By: Emile Zola
  • Narrated by: Kate Winslet
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 30

Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet ( The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dark dark dark... but oh so good

  • By LC on 21-06-2016

Dark dark dark... but oh so good

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

Reviewed: 21-06-2016

**SPOILERS**


It's awful to watch these characters descend into self inflicted neurosis... but also deeply satisfying you watch karma served up to these awful people with such prompt and unyielding relish.

This is not a tale of redemption or genuine remorse - regret and self pity, perhaps, (maybe even a little bit of revenge from Madame Raquin's perspective) - but if you were hoping to come out the other side feeling like your faith in justice and all that is good and right has been restored... I'm putting it out there - this ain't the book you're looking for.

Kate Winslet's narration has a quiet, implacable, almost cold and unemotional edge to it - perfectly appropriate for the novel and its empty souled characters. Her deliberately detached and distant narration approach is very well matched to the novel and Zola's writing style.

While Therese Raquin is not exactly the most uplifting novel you're going to read/hear - this version is certainly worth a listen....If for no other reason than to remind yourself to work harder at being a better person than the characters in this book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Jane Austen BBC Radio Drama Collection

  • Six BBC Radio Full-Cast Dramatisations
  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julie McKenzie
  • Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 156
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139

A collection of BBC radio full-cast dramatisations of Jane Austen's six major novels. Jane Austen is one of the finest writers in the English language, and this volume includes all six of her classic novels. Mansfield Park: on a quest to find a position in society, Fanny Price goes to live with her rich aunt and uncle. Northanger Abbey: young, naïve Catherine Morland receives an invitation to stay at the isolated Gothic mansion Northanger Abbey.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Abridged, but well done.

  • By Dean Spilias on 04-07-2016

Charming and thoroughly enjoyable adaptations

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

Reviewed: 07-06-2016

I'll start by saying that I love all of Jane Austen's novels and will happily watch any TV or film adaptation, so I was always going to be easy to please! That being said, I think each dramatisation was very well done - capturing some of Austen's witty observations through the user if a narrator and at the same time bringing each of the characters to life with some excellent and colorful voice acting by each of the actors.

I found it interesting that some novels were chosen to be continued across multiple episodes while others were condensed right down but all seemed to work quite well.

If you enjoy Jane Austen's works then I would highly recommend this series to you. I had so much fun getting lost in Austen's world while going about my everyday chores!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful