LISTENER

Philip

Upper Hutt, New Zealand
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 297
  • ratings
  • This Is Going to Hurt

  • Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
  • By: Adam Kay
  • Narrated by: Adam Kay
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 265
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 245

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not for the prudish but well written/read

  • By Carron on 11-08-2018

One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest?

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

Reviewed: 07-01-2019

I chose this title because of the books structure. It started as a rather silly book of doctor jokes for junior doctors and then ended more powerfully. So why the parallel? Well I think it made me sad (as did cuckoos nest) because the jolly characters had feelings. I feel sad that young doctors are going through all this now when years ago I felt the same and even now (as an ancient relic and a community based Carer) I feel the same disrespect by politicians, colleagues and sometimes patients and their families who do not understand the pressures of doctors lives relative to the trivia of their own (that is a generalisation that will sound arrogant but largely true). The moaning about being 30 minutes late for their appointment as they have to pick up their groceries. They rarely acknowledge the humanity and vulnerabilities within us. Once we were gods. Now sometimes we are vermin as judged by mice. Very sad society dumps on doctors, nurses, policemen and teachers. Maybe we should start to fight back rather than be hounded out of our careers? At least I will retire from mine, if not entirely unscathed like the author of this book.

  • Don't Believe It

  • By: Charlie Donlea
  • Narrated by: Nina Alvamar
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history - a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over 12 weeks and centres on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a spring break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work?  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fiction not a true story

  • By Philip on 19-11-2018

Fiction not a true story

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

Reviewed: 19-11-2018

There were times when I could not decide if this was a a novel about a true story or, simply, a novel. It is certainly a murder mystery and the plot runs quite a dance until you decide that Colonel Mustard has used the candelabra in the drawing room. Narration quite good but, for be at least, not exactly right for this book. Overall what transpires is an intriguing story, if a little on the edge of credibility, especially when the heroine meets a sticky end just when she was getting close to the Colonel. Oh well. It end telling you another book must be on the way. This male author does want to punish his heroines.

Of course, I would recommend this book. It was a good read with many twists snd turns in it. And in the drive I couldn’t tear myself away from it. I will look out for Charlie Donlea’s sequel In due course.

  • End of Watch

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403

End of Watch is a compelling and chilling suspense novel which sees retired detective Bill Hodges back on the trail of his nemesis, Brady Hartsfield, the criminal the press called The Mercedes Killer. Foiled in his attempt to commit a second mass murder, Hartsfield is confined to a hospital brain-injury unit in a seemingly unresponsive state. But all is not what it seems: Brady is able to influence both his physician and the hospital librarian to commit crimes in the outside world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling, Immersive , Stunning,

  • By Tilly Hopper on 10-06-2016

An unmistakable SK ending

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

Reviewed: 16-11-2018

Although I did feel the first two books were better, I suppose it was inevitable that the supernatural would creep back in somewhere. And here it is. Normally I avoid such books as they are far fetched. Even SK never quite convinced me that science is part of his domain. Having made such reservations, he is a skilful writer and storyteller and it is difficult to stop reading (listening) even when the incredible is happening. And of cause ‘Will Patton’ as ever is knockout. Even if you are a scientist, don’t miss this book. Incredible maybe but certainly entertaining and a SK ending which shows unusual creativity. The whole series is a must.

  • Finders Keepers

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 369

1978: Meet Morris Bellamy ,the man who robs the safe of America's most famous reclusive writer, John Rothstein. But it isn't just the money he is interested in. Morrie is obsessed by the author's notebooks and is prepared to kill the author for them. 2009: Meet young Pete Saubers, whose father was knocked down by an out-of-control Mercedes in a job line-up. When he discovers a buried trunk of money and notebooks of a famous writer, he has the means to rescue his family from poverty.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great follow up to Mr Mercedes

  • By Dorian on 08-06-2015

Another drama with the hint of the occult

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

Reviewed: 06-11-2018

Another great book read by a phenomenal narrator. A must for any ‘reader’. There is something about Stephen Kings books that “get under your skin”. Like Bill Hodges, he would like me to say that. A pleasure to listen to. Difficult to read any book anymore - I was particularly bad at this - when theatre is added to such well-honed writing skills and storytelling ..... but any film will inevitably fail to be any more than a selection or a synopsis of any of his books.

  • Frieda

  • A Novel of the Real Lady Chatterley
  • By: Annabel Abbs
  • Narrated by: Leith McPherson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Germany, 1907. Frieda, daughter of aristocrat Baron von Richthofen, has rashly married English professor Ernest Weekley. Visiting her family in Munich, a city alive with new ideas of revolution and free love, and goaded by a toxic sibling rivalry with her sisters, Frieda embarks on a passionate affair that is her sensual and intellectual awakening. England, 1912. Trapped in her marriage to Ernest, Frieda meets the penniless but ambitious young writer D. H. Lawrence, a man whose creative energy answers her own needs. Their scandalous affair and tempestuous relationship unleashes a creative outpouring that will change the course of literature - and society - forever. But for Frieda, this fulfilment comes at a terrible personal cost.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Understanding D H Lawrence

  • By Philip on 28-10-2018

Understanding D H Lawrence

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

Reviewed: 28-10-2018

My very first enquiry into D H Lawrence’s life and literary motivations, I found this stimulated further interest in his biography. A chauvinist or aesthete, one gets a glimpse of both. Frieda and ‘Lorenzo’ were a curious couple but somehow complimented each other in their needs, but Frieda comes over as a powerful muse for a man who may have been a literary genius. My northern English roots drove me through this book but I particularly valued the historical postscripts at the end. The narration was OK. The German accents more authentic.

Any D H Lawrence aficionado might value this story.

  • Lethal White

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 4
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 544
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 510
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best Book Of The Series... So Far!

  • By Anonymous User on 20-12-2018

Cracker or Strike

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

Reviewed: 28-10-2018

Another sequel in the life of Strike (Batman) and Robyn. This is clearly not the last before we see a florid or failed affair. Whereas I learned about Lethal White in this book I found it a tenuous title considering the novels context. The story and intrigue get s little more complex with each incarnation and one starts to reach incredulity with this one. On the whole I enjoyed the book as there is something likeable about Strike (who I can only see as Robbie Coltrane) and the guileless accident prone love interest with an oik of an husband. Whether Strike would ever be credible in ‘upper’ social echelons is perhaps a talking point but it adds a frisson of interest. Although, I am probably not going to expect a lot, I suspect I will still read the next book. It’s not Harry Potter at least.

  • Boy Swallows Universe

  • By: Trent Dalton
  • Narrated by: Stig Wemyss
  • Length: 16 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 767
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 713
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 717

Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious criminal for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer. But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptional

  • By Al on 01-07-2018

A most unusual and original book

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

Reviewed: 17-10-2018

Although this novel is seen through the eyes of a young boy, it is not a teenage but an adult book; also in the genre of a black comedy. There is an element of literary alongside the profane and streetwise. Importantly, the narrator is very much part of this book and he makes you think it is his book. SW is remarkable mimic, with a sense of irony and he jumps from character to character, across genders separating each personas with ease. The characters are vivid. I really enjoyed this book. Quite unique.

  • A Tapping at My Door

  • By: David Jackson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69

From the best-selling author of Cry Baby, the beginning of a brilliant and gripping police procedural series set in Liverpool, perfect for fans of Peter James and Mark Billingham. A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She's disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes. DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went horrifyingly wrong, is put on the case.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Overpriced

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-06-2016

Great crime story telling and characterisation

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

Reviewed: 02-09-2018

Loved this book and its narration with characters who had credibility and depth. An unusual development from the title and intro which suggests the macabre but evolved into an interesting if original northern crime story. An easy read with a few twists and turns to throw you off the scent. The narration added immensely to this book. The accents and delivery created a canvas of characters all with discreet personalities. A must-read, whether or not you like crime stories.

  • Robin

  • By: Dave Itzkoff
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman
  • Length: 16 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 56

Robin by Dave Itzkoff shows how Robin Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression - topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews - and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Learnt so much of Robin!

  • By Peta R Lythall on 28-06-2018

A must read for William's Aficionados.

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

Reviewed: 02-09-2018

I was not entirely sure about this biography at the beginning because Williams was portrayed in a way to which I had not previously had insight. This was not initially helped by Berman's narration. However, as the biography progressed I gained a new understanding of this extraordinary man. Berman then excelled as his characterisations of Robin progressed. His enormous number of friends/associates, his family, his loves and weaknesses, his loneliness, his lack of self-confidence, only excelled by his need to be better and a great comedian. His tragic end and the real story that happened behind that one many imagined and its cause for me added particular meaning (as a doctor). Williams was a most unusual, and immensely talented individual. Like all special people, they are complex, sometimes hypocritical but this man, loved by so many, was his own tragedy. He will be remembered as a one-off. A great comedian not yet to be outdone. This book allows us more insight into what this man was really like. For those who like Williams, this is an important book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Persimmon Tree

  • By: Bryce Courtenay
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 27 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139

The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Jehanne on 16-03-2018

Perhaps one of the best novels I have read

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

Reviewed: 02-09-2018

Bryce Courtney, alas no more, is one of the New World's great writers. As always, he paints detailed pictures of his characters who are believable and sufficiently complex to be interesting. This is my third of the books of his and I have listened to on Audible and I am simply in awe of his writing in this one. I learned a lot, felt a lot and was riveted by the story. I could hardly stop listening to this novel and was sorry - even after 27 hours - it ended at all. He writes somewhat like Dickens with passion and detail, pushing you back in time until you feel like an observing bystander. He is more contemporary in style and in each instance writes about a different era.

Humphrey Bower - his regular - was an almost faultless narrator on this occasion. He excelled this time and added immensely to the writing like few could. Amazing characterisations of either sex. I believed every one of them, What a great team they made.

I really recommend this book highly. It is a GREAT book. How nice to leave such a legacy of work behind like this. A man of many talents, modern for his day, and yet he will be remembered mostly for his writing I am sure.