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Eliane

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Vintage Pratchett, a joke every sentence

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

Reviewed: 10-09-2020

Once again, Sir Terry surpasses with brilliantly funny characters, dense plotting and a stunningly clever meta-theme on story telling and fairy tales. So good. Nigel Planer captures Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax perfectly, although I'm not 100% sold on his younger female characters - particularly Magrat - they all sound a bit dopey. But really who cares when something is this consistently funny?

Brilliant on every level

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

Reviewed: 04-07-2020

What an amazing work. Trevor Noah's story is a fascinating insight into pre and post Apartheid South Africa, told with humour, pathos and a searing intelligence. It is also very much the moving and at times heartbreakingly profound relationship between Noah and his beautifully strong willed mother. His chapters are by turns hilarious, outrageous, shocking and tragic, and the denouement had my heart racing. Noah is, of course, a brilliant reader, with perfect comic timing and a multilingual capacity that is mind blowingly clever. I can't rate this book 6 stars, so 5 will have to do. Don't hesitate to buy it! I promise you I have no relation to Noah, I just think this audiobook is uniquely fantastic.

A stunning retelling of The Tempest

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

Reviewed: 01-05-2020

I love this book. This is Atwood at her best. The writing is tight, clever, sardonic and pleasurable to listen to. The themes she explores, like the themes explored in The Tempest, are so deep: incarceration, power, gender, racism, sexism, slavery, colonialism; yet because Atwood's writing is so entertaining and clever, and because it's all set within the context of a theatrical production, you don't feel like you are being lectured to. RH Thompson's reading is brilliant. His characterisations are so well defined and his choice of delivery is perfect. I didn't want it to end.

Vintage Terry Pratchett

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

Reviewed: 18-05-2019

Clever, funny, a total nerd fest (and I say this as a nerd), this is classic and perfect Trey Pratchett. Enjoyable on every level and, as always, read brilliantly and flawlessly by Stephen Briggs.

Brilliant, clever, laugh out loud funny

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

Reviewed: 20-04-2019

I loved every minute of listening to Ben Elton reading his own book, Identity Crisis. It’s extremely topical, whip smart and so funny I had to stop the reading sometimes just to laugh. It’s full of wonderful characters, all of whom Elton brings to life perfectly, both in his writing and his reading. The story is also a murder mystery, so it has plenty of dramatic tension - you won’t want to stop listening. But underneath all that it’s also full of heart and compassion, and is a very nuanced and intelligent exploration of ‘identity politics’. Bravo Mr Elton!

Funny, clever, insightful - important reading for all ages!

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

Reviewed: 01-01-2019

I really loved this book; I was born in 1968 and brought up in Canberra, so there was so much in here that resonated with my experiences. There are many, many laugh out loud moments. I listened to it in the car with my 18 year old daughter and it sparked several interesting discussions about our childhoods. Great research, great insights, great fun. My one criticism is that the reading is a little forced at times. There are jokes that I can tell could be funnier if read differently. It feels like there’s a director in the background saying ‘Slow down! Enunciate! Speak more clearly!’ and as a result Richard doesn’t read with the natural easy style he has on radio. A small quibble, but I’ve noticed this same phenomenon in another Bollinda reading (Nine Perfect Strangers), where it sounds again as if the reader has been asked to slow down to a forced, unnatural pace. I find it disconcerting. Otherwise, The Land Before Avocado is great and I’ll definitely buy a copy for my Dad’s Birthday. But maybe not the audio version...

Funny, moving, gripping and relevant

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

Reviewed: 05-10-2018

I loved Nine Perfect Strangers, and Caroline Lee's reading of it. The characters are drawn with great attention to detail - their failings humorously revealed but their journeys of self discovery treated with love and compassion. Moriarty is not shy do deal with some pretty hefty issues, and I was often brought to tears, but because she understands that tragedy and comedy can live side by side, it's a joy to be brought through their troubles. Lee understands this perfectly, and knows exactly when to undermine a character's self importance with a childishly petulant voice. Worth listening to again, both for the writing and the performance.

Great fun, maybe too many brands

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

Reviewed: 07-09-2018

I really enjoyed listening to this book, particularly Lydia Look’s Asian accents, which are pretty spot on. Sometimes the lists of prestigious brands can get a bit tedious, although I get that this is intended. Sometimes the way Lydia has been directed to inflect certain sentences doesn’t always make sense and is a bit irritating e.g. when Ms Look reads ‘“Abc def,” Rachel said,’ the ‘Rachel said’ part is read as if it comes at the beginning of the sentence, not at the end. It’s annoying because you expect someone is going to say something, and then you realise they’ve just said something. That said, hats off for differentiating between all those different Asian accents - that’s quite a skill! Overall very enjoyable and a great story!

Classic short form Atwood delights

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

Reviewed: 31-07-2018

Atwood’s acerbic wit, sharp intelligence and sinewy writing abound in these three collections of her short prose pieces. She turns myths, fairy tales and legends inside out, interrogating their logic with forensic intensity and savage humour. Pay attention, though: if you miss a word you may have missed the point!

Intriguing new storylines

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

Reviewed: 18-04-2018

I loved this latest addition to the No. 1 Ladies Detective series. Without giving anything away, it centres on a most intriguing new development in Mma Ramotswe’s story, and of course has a juicy mystery to solve. Adjoa Andoh’s performance is, as always, impeccable. Her differentiation of the characters’ voices is masterful and so entertaining. I strongly recommend The House of Unexpected Sisters.