Audiobook reviews, including Anne of Green Gables and Speaker For The Dead.

It’s a while since I posted some reviews, so here’s my latest listens from Audible. (If you are looking specifically for Christmas audiobooks, check out my reviews from last December HERE).

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Another of du Maurier’s for me, and another one I really enjoyed. It follows a woman who’s fed up with her bland existence in 17th century England, and decides to seek a bit of excitement by leaving her husband at home and heading off to their other house in the country. She’s not much of a mother, or wife, but she’s likeable enough, as is the titular Frenchman. It’s an exciting listen and, as ever, du Maurier pulls you back through time so you feel like you’re there with the characters.

I don’t think it’s a particularly believable story, but still a great listen (the narrator is also very good).

RATING – 5/5

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It’s a long, long time since I read one of Feist’s books. I loved Magician and bought a few of the others when I was in my early twenties. One of the books almost caused a fight as I took it into work and a couple of engineers thought it would be hilarious to rip out the last page and watch my furious reaction as I discovered their prank. I don’t think I ever did find out how that one ended and I’ve never forgiven those engineers either!

Anyway, I thought I’d give this a go. I regretted it straight away, as it starts off essentially ripping off Arnie’s first Conan The Barbarian movie and there’s a LOT of waffle and nonsense for a long time. It finally gets good though and I was glad I stuck with it as the ending was great.  Funnily enough, I thought I could see a lot of this author’s style in my own work, he must have influenced me without my realising it.

RATING – 3/5

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Ha, yes, bet you weren’t expecting me to be reading this eh? To be honest, I knew nothing about it, but it came up as a special offer from Audible for £2 or something so I thought I’d give it a listen. I did that with Jane Eyre after all and that was a revelation!

I have to say Anne of Green Gables isn’t really much of a story, it’s just a young girl growing up, in a rather twee, friendly community. I kept waiting on something exciting to happen but it never did. I kept thinking to myself “aw, that’s lovely” and, “oh, how nice” and things like that, rather than, “Oh yeah, now things are getting exciting!” or, “Take that you bastard!”. And yet, despite no explosions, or sword fights, or, well, anything much happening at all, I still enjoyed it! I listened to the end and found it quite emotional too.

I presume it’s actually a children’s book, and I’ve recommended it to my 11 year-old daughter but if your thing is more along the lines of action adventure, maybe steer clear…

RATING – 4/5

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Ender’s Game is a classic – if you haven’t read it, do so! Even the recent movie was, I thought, pretty good. And Shadow of the Hegemon took it to another level for me, I loved that one so much, it was really moving. It’s a few years since I read those though, so I wanted to give another in the series a try. This one sees Ender himself going to another planet far away and dealing with some funny aliens who aren’t really that alien.

It’s alright – OSC is a good writer after all – but I wasn’t that taken with the story. A lot of chatter, not much action or really any character development and the main female protagonist’s treatment of her husband and children and, well, everyone, make her seriously unlikeable.

There’s some interesting ideas explored though and it’s worth a listen. I probably won’t explore more of the series as it’s too bloody confusing to figure out the reading order. Apparently this is book 2 in a series but book 11 in another? Eh? So should I read book 3, or book 12 next, and what about book 10? WTF man?!

RATING – 4/5

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Another special offer from Audible and I couldn’t pass it up – this book was one of my favourites as a child, along with the rest in the series. You all know the story by now I’m sure, it’s a true classic, and perfect Christmas listening with all the snow and Santa Claus and all that good stuff. Listening as an adult you do notice things that didn’t seem so obvious as a child – things like the children killing wolves with swords without being traumatized, animals talking about Christmas when they can’t have any knowledge of Christianity, and what a little shit Edmund really is – but just ignore all that and enjoy the ride. One for the whole family to enjoy, especially with Michael York’s superb narration.

RATING – 5/5

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