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Louise

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Outstanding.

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

Reviewed: 12-10-2020

Graham Norton is beloved as a TV presenter but, having now read all his books, I think it is fair to say he should be first and foremost commended as an author. This book is an intricate mix of drama, tragedy, comedy and also offers an insightful commentary on the politics and attitudes about sexuality over generations. The book itself is intelligently constructed with the tale being told from multiple perspectives over different time periods, working back in a way which could be confusing but isn’t. A master storyteller, Norton narrates this book himself and what a treat it is to listen to. Every nuance is perfectly captured, every emotion is presented in a sincere and credible way. I grew up in the 1980s and remember well the attitudes and behaviours towards gay people. I remember the terrible discrimination against people with AIDS. I think we still have a long way to go but this book celebrates the progress we have made while also reflecting on the price many people paid to get us here.

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Great thriller!

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

Reviewed: 25-09-2020

This was a great story - really kept me guessing. The characters were well developed, albeit unloveable in most cases. The narration was okay if you are happy with upwards inflections at the end of every second sentence.

Drums of Autumn cover art

A family at last?

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

Reviewed: 22-08-2020

This is where we finally see Claire and Jamie together, seemingly safe, and setting up their home. But nothing is ever that simple for the Frasers and what a great chapter in their story this is. I loved the detail from a historical point of view as much as from the characterisation. Touches of humour make the relationships real and any fan of this series will sigh with happiness at the romance. Davina Porter falters with Bree’s narration and it hurts the audio-book, for me, as Bree is a character I struggle with in the first place.

Probably what you wanted

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

Reviewed: 22-08-2020

Marian Keyes delivers a funny, interesting story with likeable characters. This book will hold your interest even as you want to shake the characters from time to time. Even though most of Keyes’ books can be a bit formulaic, it is a formula that works. You will laugh, you might feel uncomfortable about how close to the truth the story gets and you will love the wonderful narration.

Another case of King keeping us guessing

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

Reviewed: 22-08-2020

I really couldn’t work out how King was going to explain this but he did it! An amazingly creative and terrifying story, even from the man who brought us The Dead Zone and It. Will Patton’s narration is perfect for King’s writing.

Two great tellers of tales

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

Reviewed: 22-08-2020

Stephen Fry does an amazing job in giving life to this amazing story. Indeed, he puts so much feeling into the narration that it is almost as if he wrote the book and not J K Rowling. A wonderful story and the first of many, it is rightly referred to as a modern classic. I liked the book when I read it - but with Stephen Fry’s narration, I loved it.

Yeah - nah...

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

Reviewed: 22-08-2020

It’s a clever idea, and one I wish Diana Gabaldon would pursue - telling the same story from another character’s perspective. I didn’t particularly like Twilight but it was about 100 times better than this. I have read with interest the criticisms of the toxic nature of the main characters’ relationship and, hearing about it from Edward’s perspective, it is even ickier. Great narration, though, and I hope we’ll hear more from Jake Abel.

Compelling story but narration detracts

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

Reviewed: 22-08-2020

This is a great mystery story with characters I have come to know and love over a series of consistently strong books. Even Joy Ellis’ masterful dialogue doesn’t save the audio-book version, however. I listened to the whole thing because I wanted to know how it would end, but did so with gritted teeth. If you like Richmond from The IT Crowd, this narrator’s style may appeal. Otherwise, give it a miss.

Bringing classic myths and legends to life again

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

Reviewed: 22-08-2020

This book was a great idea. Reworking old stories and characters to make them more appealing and accessible to a modern generation. Add to that Stephen Fry’s always fantastic narration and this is a winner.

Agatha Christie-esque

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

Reviewed: 02-08-2020

This is a fun read, if a little predictable. It reminded me of Agatha Christie - a group of people cut off from the world, someone dies, who could the murderer be? The narration was generally good except for Miranda’s which was cringe-worthy in its efforts to sound snooty and unlikeable,