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Lisa

Auckland, New Zealand
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 10
  • ratings
  • The Mountain Story

  • By: Lori Lansens
  • Narrated by: Corey Brill
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

On the anniversary of the day his best friend, Byrd, had a tragic accident on the mountain that had been the boys' paradise and escape, Wolf Truly reaches for the summit again with the intention of not coming home. But Wolf meets three women in the cable car on the way up from Palm Springs and finds himself agreeing to help them get to a mountain lake. As the weather suddenly deteriorates, the group is stranded on a lethal ridge, and the lights of the city twinkle below, so close and yet so terrifyingly far away.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great survival story. Great life story.

  • By Lisa on 23-03-2018

Great survival story. Great life story.

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

Reviewed: 23-03-2018

Would you listen to The Mountain Story again? Why?

Definitely. Great story.

What did you like best about this story?

This was simply a great book that totally delivered on all levels.
I have to admit I'm quick to find fault with most fiction - and non-fiction.
It's hard to find something that's original, not full of clichés or clunky moments, transports you to a different landscape, is genuinely moving and keeps you turning the pages from first page to last. (Or the audio version of that). Or leaves you thinking "was that it?" and is forgotten within hours.
But this book was all the good and none of the bad. A rare thing.
I do particularly love a good survival story so I am the target reader to start with, but this was a survival story with a heartbreaking life story attached. But with a happy - on a realistic scale of happy - ending. Which is the only kind of heartbreaking story I want to hear to be honest.

Which character – as performed by Corey Brill – was your favourite?

All characters were great.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Which I hate because I want a good book to last as long as possible, but it was hard to put this one down.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended.
And I only recommend around 1 in 10 books I read.

  • The Stowaway

  • A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
  • By: Laurie Gwen Shapiro
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over, and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet's final frontier? The night before the expedition's flagship launched, Billy Gawronski - a skinny, first-generation New York City high schooler desperate to escape a dreary future in the family upholstery business - jumped into the Hudson River and snuck aboard. Could he get away with it?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • 3 hours in - no story yet.

  • By Lisa on 30-01-2018

3 hours in - no story yet.

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

Reviewed: 30-01-2018

What disappointed you about The Stowaway?

After listening for 3 hours, still nowhere near Antarctica or anything remotely resembling adventures at sea or elsewhere.
Billy's life story is very mundane, no entertainment value there, and the vague background stories of polar explorers that could have added lots of interest is very matter of fact,

Has The Stowaway put you off other books in this genre?

I love this genre. Anything about early explorers, adventure travel, pioneering - I'll listen to it.
Shackleton's story for example is my idea of the greatest story ever told.
But this one simply makes me wonder why this character was chosen as someone to write about.
There's nothing engaging about his childhood story or his personality and it turns out that stowaways were a dime a dozen at the time. There were three on his boat alone. So the premise of the brave and daring stowaway evaporates pretty much from the beginning.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator is extremely downbeat and monotone.
There's no trace of humour or enthusiasm, in fact I'd say he sounds distinctly uninterested in what he's reading.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Stowaway?

Would definitely cut the clunky references to the girlfriend he possibly had - or not.
There was a thin story about his high school girlfriend that really had no substance and no relevance whatsoever. And came across like an exercise to fill a page or tick a box.

Any additional comments?

If you are particularly interested in this era in New York City, and the immigrants of the time AND you're obsessed with anything at all to do with seagoing exploration AND you like a story that rolls slowly along in a ho-hum way without anything particularly interesting to break the flow - you might love it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Child

  • By: Fiona Barton
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Adjoa Andoh, Finty Williams, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 599
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 599

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers, it's impossible to ignore. For one woman it's a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her. For another it's the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered. And for a third, a journalist, it's the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth. The Child's story will be told.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great story!

  • By Chrissy C on 13-12-2017

Looking for a genuinely good mystery? Get this.

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

Reviewed: 15-08-2017

Where does The Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the Mystery/Suspense genre - near the top, couple of rungs below Gone Girl.
I'm not a huge reader of this genre, but every so often if one sounds particularly good, as in a genuinely good mystery with really good twists and turns - and not gruesome - I'll give it a go.
Usually I find them really disappointing - as in; predictable, same old characters; same old formula; totally unplausible, flat ending. But this one was minimal on all counts. Kept me listening happily until the end, and although the ending can be guessed beforehand, it's still a really good plot.
There were a few unanswered questions and unexplained red herrings, but bottom line - the last three of this genre I've tried have been badly disappointing and I've returned them (notably - I See You - don't waste a credit!) but this one delivered and I can happily recommend it.

What other book might you compare The Child to, and why?

Maybe a little bit of Girl On the Train.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Very good job done by the team of narrators.
Though be prepared - Angela never sounds anything other than hysterical.

  • Life on Purpose

  • How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything
  • By: Victor J. Strecher
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

A pioneer in the field of behavioral science delivers a groundbreaking work that shows how finding your purpose in life leads to better health and overall happiness. Your life is a boat. You need a rudder. But it doesn't matter how much wind is in your sails if you're not steering toward a harbor - an ultimate purpose in your life. While the greatest philosophers have pondered purpose for centuries, today it has been shown to have a concrete impact on our health.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly recommended

  • By Andrew on 13-06-2016

Easy listen but nothing groundbreaking

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

Reviewed: 29-06-2017

I found this easy enough to listen to, all the advice is good and valid, but to me it was basically a summary of a whole lot of fairly generic good advice.
Didn't find anything particularly original or profound or new, which was disappointing.
For example - there's a whole chapter on diet, and while it is - again - good advice - it's nothing you wouldn't find in any "good health" magazine. And didn't even come across as particularly relevant to having a Life Purpose.
There are a few anecdotal stories about specific people with a purpose, but nothing particularly powerful.
Not a bad book at all, but don't read it expecting to find any great secrets or profound wisdom about Life Purpose, just some general good advice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Buddhism Plain and Simple

  • By: Steve Hagen
  • Narrated by: William Hope
  • Length: 4 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

The observations and insights of the Buddha are practical and eminently down to earth, dealing exclusively with awareness in the here and now. Buddhism Plain and Simple offers listeners these fundamental teachings, stripped of cultural trappings that have accumulated around Buddhism over the past 25 centuries.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sorts the wheat from the chaff

  • By Kindle Customer on 28-11-2018

Not really Plain or Simple... or Buddhist

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

Reviewed: 02-06-2017

I love Buddhism and love things put Plainly & Simply.
But I'd describe this more as one person's version of Buddhism, which is not really the standard version, and not put particularly plainly or simply at all.
It was one of those books I kept drifting off from, didn't have any great "yes, great concept/advice/inspiration" moments, and after I finished it - couldn't really remember anything he said.
If you're looking for a good foundation Buddhist book, I'd recommend Jack Kornfield Buddhism for Beginners.

  • The Dry

  • By: Jane Harper
  • Narrated by: Steve Shanahan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,619
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,511
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,517

A story of desperation, resolution and small-town prejudice played out against the blistering extremes of life on the land. Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, a farmer turns his gun on his family and then himself. As questions mount and suspicion casts a long shadow over the parched town, specialist investigator Aaron Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him 20 years earlier.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Really good book.

  • By Lisa on 29-11-2016

Really good book.

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

Reviewed: 29-11-2016

Great setting, great main character and supporting characters, great story, well written and great double mystery.
Crime mysteries are not my usual first choice, but I liked the sound of the setting for this one so gave it a go.
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to every minute of it. Very few of the usual "oh come on, you've got to be kidding" clumsy co-incidences, unanswered questions or predictable formula characters and red herrings.
When both mysteries were finally answered, I hadn't seen either of them coming and found them very plausible, well thought through and totally worth waiting for.
And best thing of all - even though the main event was a violent murder, there was an absolute minimum of gratuitous gruesomeness which I really appreciated. Quite rare in these de-sensitised days.
It was all about the story and didn't try to wring out any more shock/horror than was necessary.
Hints of a sequel towards the end - or was that just wishful thinking?
If so, I'll definitely be getting it.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • I See You

  • By: Clare Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 831
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 771
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 771

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation, no website - just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant great story.

  • By Mindy on 21-08-2016

60% fine; 40% way below average

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

Reviewed: 29-11-2016

Best I can say is - if you love this genre, then sure, you'll like it.
Quite good most of the way through, though the usual few clumsy red herring suspects and co-incidences and unanswered questions. Could have been redeemed if the ending was good, but I found the ending unbelievably well, unbelievable.
Almost as if she grabbed a bunch of formula crime/mystery/whodunit endings, cut and pasted them together and tacked them on the end to wrap it up. Even though it was a stretch to make them make any sense at all.
Absolutely none of the gripping-ness of Gone Girl, doesn't even compare to Girl On The Train. Really can't recommend it at all.
Actually find it hard to understand where all the previous great reviews came from.

  • 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 2,239
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,967
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,970

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

Be Aware....

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

Reviewed: 25-08-2016

This book does have some good insights and advice, but be aware -
she talks a LOT about her devoted and supportive husband; her fantastic and supportive friends, and the incredible relationship she has with her adolescent daughter.
A little bit of that is fine, but by the end of it you might be starting to wonder if telling everyone about her amazing life is possibly her main reward, ever so slightly more important than talking about the advertised subject.
Just saying...if that's not something you need to hear a lot about, you might want to give this one a miss.

  • The Killer Next Door

  • By: Alex Marwood
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

No. 23 has a secret. In this bedsit-riddled south London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, something waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide. Collette and Cher are on the run; Thomas is a reluctant loner; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a 'quiet man' nobody sees try to stay hidden. And watching over them all is Vesta - or so she thinks. In the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the neighbours into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Too gruesome. Can't recommend it.

  • By Lisa on 13-05-2016

Too gruesome. Can't recommend it.

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

Reviewed: 13-05-2016

Yes it's totally well written, great characters, great plot development, great narration.
But...the gruesomeness was just too much for me.
Before you buy or listen to this, be warned - this is some of what you'll hear:
The main subject matter - young attractive girls (of course, who's interested if they're not young and attractive) being murdered, then either mummified or dismembered and disposed of via a domestic blender and the plumbing system.
Detailed description of what that does to the plumbing system.
Long descriptive scenes involving obese dead bodies and rooms swimming in raw sewerage. Yes, at the same time.
Descriptions of the same dead body days after being dumped.
Description of an elderly woman being beaten until she's unrecognisable; witnessed by her terrified granddaughter.

Those are just the ones that spring to mind.

If you really like reading/hearing about that kind of thing, then I guess you'll like it.
But a little bit worrying if you really do.
I couldn't help but end up feeling what a shame that a book with everything else going for it had to go way too far down the grisly track and end up just making me feel quite sick.
And also a bit depressed that this kind of thing is so popular.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Skeleton Coast

  • Oregon Files, Book 4
  • By: Clive Cussler, Jack du Brul
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

1896: Four Englishmen flee for their lives across the merciless Kalahari Desert, carrying a stolen fortune in raw diamonds, and hunted by a fierce African tribe. The thieves manage to reach the waiting HMS Rove - only to die with their pursuers in a vicious storm that buries them all under tons of sand.... The present day: Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the covert combat ship Oregon have barely escaped a mission on the Congo River when they intercept a mayday from a defenceless boat under fire off the African coast.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I was hoping for.

  • By Lisa on 13-02-2016

Not what I was hoping for.

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

Reviewed: 13-02-2016

My fault for not knowing much about Clive Cussler, but I was expecting a fairly traditional action adventure treasure hunt story set in the African desert, possibly on horses or camels.
What it actually is, is a version of Mission Impossible/The A Team/James Bond - x 10, on steroids. Including something like 1,000 ultra-violent deaths by machine gun, missiles and other high tech deadly devices. All while travelling at high speeds on boats, planes, parasails, or other means.
Basically the fantasy of a boy who loves speed, violence and ridiculously high tech toys and the admiration of beautiful women.
If that's what you're after - this is for you.
If not, leave it off the wish list.