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Kirsty

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Not for the squeamish

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

Reviewed: 06-02-2020

I won't finish this book about unpleasant people doing unpleasant things to each other very nastily.

16 people found this helpful

A great disappointment

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

Reviewed: 14-12-2019

I found the writer opinionated to the degree that it just became unlistenable - what came across to me was that her views are the only valid ones. When she was giving straight history the narrative was OK, but soon she was off with her opinion, and rarely, if ever, did she quote from a person with a dissenting view. The reader's performance was great.

It's a Cracking Yarn

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

Reviewed: 22-10-2019

Despite making his views known about Brexit and the current leaders of superpowers, this is a much more benign John Le Carre than in many of his other works. He seems to actually like his main characters and makes us really feel for them, and enjoy their journey as the story grows, rather than pitying them. I have read in some newspaper reviews that Ed really annoys people, but I know some Eds and he is drawn realistically but sympathetically for the most. The work feels slighter than others but despite the state of the nation, the story around the characters and where they end up was pretty positive, unlike in quite a few of his other works.

As to the reading, while being a complete fan of Michael Jayston, yes, he is younger than the author at 83 but this is the second he hasn't narrated so perhaps he is no longer available. To start with I was concerned that maybe Mr Le Carre has emphysema or similar as he did seem breathless, but either I got used to it, or it lessened. Loved the book and have listened to it three times already.

1 person found this helpful

Evocative of the Outback Landscape and Its People

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

Reviewed: 13-10-2019

Well, I think it is, as I haven't been in western Queensland, but this is a great story. The landscape, as seen through European-Australian eyes (I did not get the sense there are any characters who are Indigenous), often seems to be the main character, the humans secondary. The search for the actual lost man is like peeling an onion: who he is at the beginning of the book is very different from the person we have got to know by the end. In fact, that goes for most of the people. It's as if their characteristics change as more of their story is revealed, but the landscape doesn't.

I Love Paris!

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

Reviewed: 11-09-2019

I found out things I didn't know and relived memories of visits past. But the narration almost sent me to sleep, delivered without animation, and in flat tones. So jarring and really detracted from the text.

Brilliant Enlightment

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

Reviewed: 10-06-2019

I had heard of the White Ship, I remembered being fascinated by the late 70s TV drama 'The Devil's Crown' (on the back of which my daughter's names include Eleanor), I loved The Daughter of Time and knew of the York and Tudor struggles called The Wars of the Roses. However, the wealth of information provided by the author in this book, closely followed by listening to the next instalment in the saga, The Hollow Crown, have broadened my knowledge immensely, and spectacularly brought the players and the period to life. Dan Jones' research and scholarship, complemented by his skills in narrating his works have made listening a delight. I will now start over!

The Ladybird Guide to Holidaying in Britain?

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

Reviewed: 10-05-2019

I have other of Prof Allitt's Great Courses and enjoyed them and have got a lot out of them. However this appears to be squarely aimed at the American college student, is delivered in avuncular tones to make Britain sound like paradise on earth, in fact he says almost as much in his final summing up.
Britain IS probably better for most than it was in 1921 when Prof Allitt's father was born but things are not improving for many, many of the population. I may have missed the concerns about the rising knife crime in the capital and beyond, the fall of living standards of people unable to work, the forced return to homelands they never knew of the Windrush generation, the falling apart of the health system, the dysfunctional government and the hate speech which has become mainstream in both social and tabloid media.
But I guess none of that matters: like ProfessorAllitt the tourist can leave a Bed and Breakfast replete with the fully fried English, Scots or Welsh breakfast, take in another well or little known historical spot he has featured, and comfortably reflect on the country's past as he portrays it. Let's hope these tourists never have to experience Britain's other, darker present.

Maybe an OK book, but ruined by the sound

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

Reviewed: 31-12-2018

I purchased this book sometime ago but couldn't remember why I did not persevere with it. After viewing the wonderful Love and Desire exhibition at NGA, I tried again. Maybe there was something wrong with the audio engineering, but in places it sounds as if the reader has read every individual word out of context and then the narrative has been spliced together. To my ears, it is completely unlistenable. I don't like to blame the narrator, it seems much more to be a technical or editing issue. And I have deleted it, and downloaded it again to make sure it was not a fault in the original download. Very very disappointing.

Another cracking spy yarn, and this one is true!

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

Reviewed: 31-12-2018

I dimly remember a news story about this man but I won't relate it - no spoilers in this review! Suffice it to say, this is a tale of conviction, persistence, incredible courage, patience and determination. The author narrates his story brilliantly, and has pieced it together without access to any official documentation, presumably relying on the memories of main characters and bit players alike. Those of us who lived through the 80s owe the subject an enormous debt of gratitude, for keeping his head when all around were losing theirs, intent on dangerous oneupmanship in the nuclear stakes. Thank you.

4 people found this helpful

Missing Bill himself, and William Roberts

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

Reviewed: 13-11-2018

I enjoyed the book, as I have all of Mr Bryson's, but was sad about the narration. I just feel Mr Osgood does not have the lightness of touch and self deprecation of those books read by Nr Roberts, or by the author himself. The text is up to the usual standard, and the criticisms, observations, and praises are well articulated, but the voice is querulous at times and too heavy handed, if a voice can be that.