LISTENER

Linda Marea

Sydney
  • 26
  • reviews
  • 13
  • helpful votes
  • 59
  • ratings
  • The Hollow Man

  • By: Oliver Harris
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

Detective Nick Belsey needs help. Something happened last night - something with the boss's wife - and Belsey needs to get out of London, and away from the debt and the drink and the deceit. Collecting his belongings back at Hampstead CID on what should be the last day of his career, Belsey sees a missing person's report. But this one's different; this is on The Bishop's Avenue, one of the most expensive streets in the city. Belsey sees a chance for a new life. But someone else got there first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the most intelligent thrillers around

  • By Linda Marea on 18-11-2018

One of the most intelligent thrillers around

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

Reviewed: 18-11-2018

A big lush story that never slowed in pace, Oliver Harris’s work is sharp smart and fearless.
It takes a lot of skill to develop a character that defies likability from page 1 to an antihero you’re rooting for by the last 2 heart thumping chapters.
Dark humour, visceral tension and complexity throughout made this an absolute winner!
Kudos to Toby Longworth for a brilliant narration. What a delicious voice and excellent delivery brings to this already outstanding book is something you’ll have to hear to believe.
I simply can’t wait to get stuck into book 2!!!

  • The Power of Vulnerability

  • Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage
  • By: Brené Brown PhD
  • Narrated by: Brené Brown
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,933
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,701
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,704

On The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Brown offers an invitation and a promise - that when we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You'll Laugh, You'll Cry, It'll Change Your Life!!

  • By Lyndon on 28-05-2015

Perhaps the most important nonfiction book ever.

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

Reviewed: 04-11-2018

I laughed, cried and nodded in approval.
I felt exposed and raw.
Enough lights went off in my head that I could have illuminated a small city.
I think I’ll be rereading this book for a long time in an effort to sort out the baggage I now can label.
This is not your average self help book. This is the most heartachingly wonderful eye opener you’ll ever experience.

  • Any Ordinary Day

  • Blindsides, Resilience and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life
  • By: Leigh Sales
  • Narrated by: Leigh Sales
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 291
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 259
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 258

As a journalist, Leigh Sales often encounters people experiencing the worst moments of their lives in the full glare of the media. But one particular string of bad news stories - and a terrifying brush with her own mortality - sent her looking for answers about how vulnerable each of us is to a life-changing event. What are our chances of actually experiencing one? What do we fear most and why? And when the worst does happen, what comes next? In this wise and layered audiobook, Leigh talks intimately with people who've faced the unimaginable, from terrorism to natural disaster to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting

  • By Mrs. J. C. Bodnarchuk on 06-10-2018

This is about as close to perfection as you’ll get.

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

Reviewed: 30-10-2018

Leigh Sales is one of those individuals who manages to tell a story with all the eloquence of a first class journo, but with all the compassion and heartfelt truth of your most trusted best friend.
It’s hard not to weep along with her very vulnerable and open accounts of the stories she’s researched for Any Ordinary Day. Because Leigh has struck up genuine bonds with her subjects the stories are raw and magnificent tributes to the human condition at it’s very best when faced with the very worst.
I’m in awe of Leigh Sales for her generosity in the telling of these stories, and also her own.
She’s a writer of immense talent but also a person of incredible character strength and warmth.
How lucky Australia is to have Leigh Sales.
She’s an absolute gem!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Bombproof

  • By: Michael Robotham
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 32

Sami Macbeth is not a master criminal. He's not even a minor one. He's not a jewel thief. He's not a safe-cracker. He's not an expert in explosives. Sami plays guitar and wants to be a rock god but keeps getting side-tracked by unforeseen circumstances. Fifty-four hours ago Sami was released from prison. Thirty-six hours ago he slept with the woman of his dreams at the Savoy. An hour ago his train blew up. Now he's carrying a rucksack through London's West End and has turned himself into the most-wanted terrorist in the country.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Janette Gorman on 04-03-2017

What a cracking read!!!!

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

Reviewed: 15-10-2018

I was trawling through books narrated by Sean Barrett - because he is just superb - and came across this gem by Michael Robotham. Fast paced, slick and brimming with likeable characters (courtesy of Mr Barrett’s golden tonsils), Bombproof had me from the opening paragraph to the satisfying conclusion.
And did I mention Sean Barrett?!?! Gosh this fellow should be knighted for services to the spoken word.
This book is a great adventure, set amongst London’s dirtiest operators but holding high the unlikely hero in all of us.
I’m off to buy the next Robothom...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Down Cemetery Road

  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

Sarah Tucker - a young married woman, bored and unhappy with her life - becomes obsessed with trying to find a little girl who disappears after a neighbouring house is destroyed by a massive explosion. She soon discovers that people she thought long dead are still alive and those living are fast joining the dead. What begins in suburban south Oxford ends on a remote and unwelcoming Scottish island as the hunt for the missing child takes Sarah out of her marriage and onto a journey with a troubled ex-soldier.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Maybe

  • By Sandra on 26-06-2017

What an ambling load of silliness.

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

Reviewed: 04-10-2018

I can only think that Mick Herron was paid by the word for this work. That, or his editors had gone on strike. I’ve never read a book that wasted so much time showcasing a writers obvious talent while taking the longest possible road to get to the destination, which frustratingly was just as unsatisfying as the whole read.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a great fan of his Jackson Lamb books-this is why I started reading Down Cemetery Road. But the characters in this book aren’t particularly likeable, the plot was far-fetched and I ended up listening all the way through to the end as a test of my own endurance.
Anna Bentinck’s performance was astonishingly good. The only saving grace to this bizarre navel gazing effort from Herron.

  • Wimmera

  • By: Mark Brandi
  • Narrated by: Fabio Motta
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 81

In the long, hot summer of 1989, Ben and Fab are best friends. Growing up in a small country town, they spend their days playing cricket, yabbying in local dams, wanting a pair of Nike Air Maxes and not talking about how Fab's dad hits him or how the sudden death of Ben's next-door neighbour unsettled him. Almost teenagers, they already know some things are better left unsaid. Then a newcomer arrives in the Wimmera. Fab reckons he is a secret agent, and he and Ben stake him out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gut wrenching

  • By val Montagnana Wallace on 23-06-2018

Exquisitely beautiful but devastatingly tragic.

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

Reviewed: 30-09-2018

I read this off the back of reading ‘Less’ so it was a tall order to hit a mark that would leave me feeling satisfied. Firstly I was disarmed by Brandi’s extraordinary ability to capture the very essence of what it was like growing up in Australia in the 70s and 80s. The innocence of the 2 main characters and the business of negotiating childhood is exquisite.
But the darkness that creeps into their lives is so subtle that the growing tension leaves you on edge and yet totally ill prepared for the devastating conclusion. No book has ever had me in tears. And as Wimmera drew to a close I sobbed and sobbed.
I loved this book and felt profoundly moved by Fabio Motta’s gentle tender read. His narration provided perfect nuance to Brandi’s story of youthful innocence betrayed and destroyed beyond all recognition.

  • Less

  • By: Andrew Sean Greer
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 58

Who says you can't run away from your problems? Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn 50. A wedding invitation arrives in the post: it is from an ex-boyfriend of nine years who is engaged to someone else. Arthur can't say yes - it would be too awkward; he can't say no - it would look like defeat. So, he begins to accept the invitations on his desk to half-baked literary events around the world. From France to India, Germany to Japan, Arthur almost falls in love, almost falls to his death, and puts miles between him and the plight he refuses to face.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Genuine greatness

  • By John Alsop on 20-09-2018

My Book Of The Year

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

Reviewed: 25-09-2018

Everything, every moment, every word of this book is so beautifully crafted. The narration by Robert Petkoff couldn’t be more perfect. Day after day I would stop reading and quietly reflect on this exquisite work. Usually a greedy reader, I took my time and soaked in every emotional glorious moment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Spook Street

  • Slough House, Book 4
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Seán Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

Twenty years retired, David Cartwright can still spot when the stoats are on his trail. And he's not as defenceless as they might think. Jackson Lamb worked with Cartwright back in the day. He knows better than most that this is no vulnerable old man. 'The old bastard' has raised his grandson with a head full of guts and glory. But far from joining Spook Street, River Cartwright is consigned to Lamb's team of no-hopers at Slough House.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Laconic prose brings the binds of toil to life

  • By Orca on 21-05-2017

Perhaps the best book in the Slough House series so far

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

Reviewed: 26-08-2018

There are more twists and turns in this book than in a work of macramé. If you’ve read the previous books you’ll be developing real affection for the washed-up spooks of Slough House, and now it’s time for Mick Herron to shake us up with shocking events. As always Sean Barrett’s performance is absolutely superb and on song for every character.
And by the time this book comes to a conclusion you’ll be looking to download the next instalment.

  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

  • By: Jeanette Winterson
  • Narrated by: Jeanette Winterson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

When Jeanette Winterson left home at 16 because she was in love with a woman, Mrs. Winterson asked her: "Why be happy when you could be normal?" This book is the story of a life's work to find happiness. It is the story of how the painful past returned to haunt Jeanette's later life, and send her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother. It is also a book about other people's stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft which supports us when we are sinking.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My first Winterson book

  • By Linda Marea on 20-08-2018

My first Winterson book

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

Reviewed: 20-08-2018

Everyone raves about JW. And I now know why. Such brutal delicate heart aching honesty. Such delicious humour. Such a gift to read.
I felt so uncomfortable sharing in the intimacy of her story yet so privileged.
And her reading of her own work winds the volume up on all of the emotional responses to her experiences.
Often you can feel an ending loom in books. A natural conclusion or completion. The book ends and you move on feeling satisfied (or maybe not) with how the story has been wrapped up. But this is one of the few books where I was not ready for any ending. I wanted this to go on. Like a friendship. I loved her and her stories. And I want more.

  • Real Tigers

  • Slough House, Book 3
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Seán Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39

London's Slough House is where disgraced MI5 operatives are reassigned to spend the rest of their spy careers pushing paper. But when one of these 'slow horses' is kidnapped by a former soldier bent on revenge, the agents uncover a larger web of intrigue that involves not only a group of private mercenaries but also the highest authorities in the Security Service.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic addition to the series

  • By Janette Gorman on 27-07-2017

Mick Herron triumphs again!

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

Reviewed: 07-08-2018

Superb plot. More fleshing out of characters who’ve become as familiar and annoying as family. Brilliant English humour and even sharper dispatching from Jackson Lamb who’s surely become an iconic figure in modern spy fiction. Or should be!
And Sean Barrett continues to perform at a level of genius that has me replaying passages again and again. Just because I can. Because he is truly excellent!!!