LISTENER

Fiona O'Connell

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 105
  • ratings
  • To the Bright Edge of the World

  • By: Eowyn Ivey
  • Narrated by: Christine Lakin, John Glouchevich, Kiff Vandenheuvel
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Lieutenant Colonel Allen Forrester receives the commission of a lifetime when he is charged to navigate Alaska's hitherto impassable Wolverine River with only a small group of men. The Wolverine is the key to opening up Alaska and its rich natural resources to the outside world, but previous attempts have ended in tragedy. Forrester leaves behind his young wife, Sophie, newly pregnant with the child he had never expected to have.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding narration

  • By Fiona O'Connell on 11-09-2018

Outstanding narration

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

Reviewed: 11-09-2018

I loved The Snow Child and love Alaska so had to read this book. I had the hard copy as well as the audio but the narrators were so good I kept opting for the audio. Once again Eowyn Ivey writes a lovely novel - although it did not feel like fiction. Beautiful prose and I loved all the different narratives.

  • The Bookseller's Tale

  • Oxford Medieval Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Ann Swinfen
  • Narrated by: Philip Battley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Oxford, Spring 1353. When young bookseller Nicholas Elyot discovers the body of student William Farringdon floating in the river Cherwell, it looks like a drowning. Soon, however, Nicholas finds evidence of murder. Who could have wanted to kill this promising student? As Nicholas and his scholar friend Jordain try to unravel what lies behind William's death, they learn that he was innocently caught up in a criminal plot.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • brilliantly written

  • By Kindle Customer on 22-12-2018

A joy to read

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

Reviewed: 26-07-2017

A lovely story, well narrated. Ann Swinfen brings 14th Century Oxford to life with very real characters and interesting history of story writing, parchment making and book binding.

  • The Return

  • Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between
  • By: Hisham Matar
  • Narrated by: Hisham Matar
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

Hisham Matar was 19 when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Gaddafi, Hisham was finally able to return to his homeland for the first time. In this heartbreaking, illuminating memoir, he describes his return to a country and a family he thought he would never see again. The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale of loss. It is an exquisite meditation on history, politics and art.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Judy on 29-04-2017

A powerful memoir - better in written format

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

Reviewed: 08-05-2017

I had a written copy of this book as well as the audio version and would recommend the written format - definitely 4 star. The book moves between cities and decades, often within a chapter, which works well in the written format but was confusing in the audiobook. I also feel the beautiful prose is better pondered in the written form. Maybe it was just my download but a large section of chapter 14 was repeated.

This book is a wonderful testament to Hisham's father, family and country. A story of love and loss and Libya's history. Highly recommend.

  • The Bletchley Girls

  • War, Secrecy, Love and Loss: The Women of Bletchley Park Tell Their Story
  • By: Tessa Dunlop
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

Historian and broadcaster Tessa Dunlop tells the story of the women of Bletchley Park through exclusive and unprecedented access to the women themselves. The Bletchley Girls weaves together the lives of 15 women who were all selected to work in Britain's most secret organisation - Bletchley Park. It is their story, told in their voices; Tessa met and talked to 15 veterans, often visiting them several times. Firm friendships were made as their epic journey unfolded on paper.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Timely Tribute

  • By Marjo on 29-05-2017

Loved it

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

Reviewed: 11-02-2017

I loved this book! A wonderful account of 15 very different Bletchley women, but also a great social history of that time.

  • Swing Time

  • By: Zadie Smith
  • Narrated by: Pippa Bennett-Warner
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 121

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and true identity, how they shape us and how we can survive them. Moving from Northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time. Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe or makes a person truly free.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mixed feelings

  • By Fiona O'Connell on 29-01-2017

Mixed feelings

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-01-2017

Beautifully written - I love her character details, observations on human nature, family, cultural identity. However the book frequently swings back and forth in time and place which I find difficult with an audiobook. I found the early 'Tracy' period very engaging but the later Aimee/Africa period was ho-hum. The narrator was outstanding.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

  • By: Chris Cleave
  • Narrated by: Luke Thompson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss - until his flatmate, Alistair, unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she'd be a marvelous spy. When she is - bewilderingly - made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very predictable.

  • By Jennie Howard on 20-05-2019

One of the best!

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

Reviewed: 31-12-2016

A wonderful story very well written. Both humorous and heartbreaking with outstanding narration by Luke Thompson.

  • Beloved

  • By: Toni Morrison
  • Narrated by: Toni Morrison
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A challenging listen

  • By Fiona O'Connell on 02-12-2016

A challenging listen

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

Reviewed: 02-12-2016

A difficult book to listen to as it switches narrators and time frames without notice. The story feeds out in disjointed pieces - challenging but a good story. Loved the author's use of language and her poetic turn of phrase.
The narration was very slow and breathless which I initially felt created good atmosphere, but later found annoying so I slightly sped up the narration speed with good effect.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Year of Marvellous Ways

  • By: Sarah Winman
  • Narrated by: Sarah Winman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

A Year of Marvellous Ways is the much anticipated and utterly beguiling new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international best seller When God Was a Rabbit. Cornwall, 1947. Marvellous Ways is a 90-year-old woman who's lived alone on a remote creek for nearly all her life. Recently she's taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She's waiting for something - she's not sure what, but she'll know it when she sees it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Marvelous will capture your heart

  • By Jane Densley on 07-04-2019

Whimsical, enchanting

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

Reviewed: 28-10-2016

Loved the quirky character of Marvellous Ways, in fact I loved all the characters. Beautifully written although some of magical concepts lost me. Excellent narration.

  • We Need to Talk About Kevin

  • By: Lionel Shriver
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

Kevin Khatchadourian killed several of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a teacher, shortly before his 16th birthday. He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband, Franklin, the story of Kevin's upbringing. A successsful career woman, Eva is reluctant to forgo her independence and the life she shares with Franklin to become a mother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The audiobook is so much easier to take in...

  • By Sarah on 13-04-2017

Loved it!

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

Reviewed: 24-10-2016

What a writer! Beautiful prose, disturbing events and it built to a heart stopping climax. Add to this the excellent narrator and it becomes a 5 star audiobook.

  • Shrill

  • Notes from a Loud Woman
  • By: Lindy West
  • Narrated by: Lindy West
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147

'Women are told, from birth, that it's our job to be small: physically small, small in our presence, and small in our impact on the world. We're supposed to spend our lives passive, quiet and hungry. I want to obliterate that expectation....' Guardian columnist Lindy West wasn't always loud. It's difficult to believe she was once a nerdy, overweight teen who wanted nothing more than to be invisible. Fortunately for women everywhere, along the road she found her voice - and how she found it!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling

  • By Valerie on 06-10-2016

Thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 11-09-2016

I had never heard of Lindy West and a lot of her topics were foreign to me, so I feel that my mind has been opened by this book. With honesty, intelligence and humour she shares her experience as the brunt of fat shaming, internet trolls, and outright abuse / harrassment. It has made me think and be more mindful of others.