I started narrating for Bolinda in 1997.
Venom House - read review
Author: Peter Corris
Peter Hoskins sounds rough enough and shrewd enough to be convincing as no-nonsense
private detective Cliff Hardy. Hoskins also projects an understated charm, which
allows Hardy credibility as the moderately well-rounded tough guy he's supposed
to be. Hardy recycles wastepaper and protests the overdevelopment of coastal
Australia, yet Hoskins's tone also projects the character's familiarity with
violence, sex and the dark side of Sydney. The plot moves swiftly, and Hoskins
wisely counters with an unhurried passage through it. New rumors about a suppressed
ransom note point to possible police or family involvement in a woman's disappearance
17 years earlier. Can Hardy afford the reward?
THE WASHINGTON CLUB
Cliff Hardy, a down-at-the-heels private investigator in Sydney, Australia,
faces daunting challenges in this hard-boiled detective story. When he takes
on a case for longtime friend and lawyer Sy Sackville, a series of events
begins that leads him into attempts on his life, the death of a close friend,
and a relationship with a murder suspect. Peter Hosking's narration fits
perfectly with personalities and setting: His weary tone and cynical air
speak volumes about the main character, and his rendition of the rest of the
cast is subtle and complex. A clear and easily understood Australian accent
brings the setting to life. M.A.M. Â© AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published:
Â©2000 AudioFile Publications, Inc., All Rights Reserved
Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte's crime-solving reputation is
undisputed. He always gets his "man." But when Bonaparte finds himself at
the Answerth's remote and foreboding family manor in the Australian
outback, his search for a murderer becomes an ominous mission. Australian
narrator Peter Hosking is a remarkably stalwart and capable reader; he has
an indulgent interpretation of these peculiar characters-a stranger bunch
you've yet to meet. The Answerth sisters, one prim and diabolical, the
other fierce-tempered and aggressive, are vividly depicted as possible
murder suspects. However, the idiot brother, kept under lock and key,
displays glimpses of potential for the deed, as well. Hosking, as the
detective-inspector, brilliantly guides the listener through a web of deceit,
bizarre behaviors, and a side of Australia you may never have known.
Peter Hosking gives a good-natured reading to a down-under police procedural.
Hosking's Australian accent helps the listener visualize the story of
Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, who takes only the impossible cases to crack.
Half bushman, half-sophisticate, he gets himself arrested in the small town of Merino
so that he can work the case from the inside. The production is technically clean,
with varied music introducing and ending the sides.
BUSHRANGER OF THE SKIES
Written and set in rural Australia in the 1930s, Bushranger features Upfield's serial detective
Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, whose task it is to stop murderous pilot Rex MacPherson from
taking over his father's ranch. As Bonaparte dodges bombs and treks through miles of scrub,
he is both helped and hindered by rival Aborigine tribes.
Hosking has the requisite Aussie accent and the ability to differentiate characters
as he narrates the story from dramatic opening to satisfying conclusion.
Only the Aborigine pidgin seems demeaning in these politically correct times.
Upfield admired the native Australians, but his condescending views led him to be
banned from school curricula. Ironically, both the hero and villain here are half-castes.
THE SLAPPING MAN
When I read The Slapping Man I liked it a lot as an example of Inversion - the world we know turned not just upside down ,
but sideways and slant-ways too - it attracted me and revolted me. And it was funny.
But I didn't remember it being particularly confronting.
This changed while listening to this audio version. Being read aloud the text seems much more graphic, in both content and language,
than it did when I read the book.
I was quite squeamish listening to it and often I had to turn it off, or down, particularly when anyone under the age of 18 walked into the room.
This is not to say that I didn't like the audio version of The Slapping Man, rather that I didn't quite recognise it.
What was likeable about the recording was Peter Hosking's sane and sober treatment of it.
I was thinking, considering the content, that there would be lots of voice characterisation, dotty renditions of the surreal characters of the novel.
Initially I was disappointed at how his reading resisted this, but eventually I was impressed by it because the content is already so frenetic.
I liked this presentation of The Slapping Man but I would warn listeners that the content and language is explicit.
With sensitivity and vision, novelist Tim Winton creates an Australian classic that takes the listener into the world of
two wholly believable working-class families in post-WWII Perth.
The Pickles family inherits, but cannot afford to keep, Cloudstreet, a rambling, ramshackled house - so they take in the Lambs as their boarders.
The Pickles are an irreligious, indolent lot, while the Lambs are pious and hard-working.
Peter Hosking's performance is true to Winton's unsentimental exploration into humankind's ability to love and survive amid adversity.
Hosking handles the mundane and the mystical with equal assurance.
His characterisations, including an aboriginal ghost and a talking pig are earthy, real, and frequently hilarious.
Hosking makes the most of Winton's honesty, wit, and original imagery. S.J.H.
THE MYSTERY OF SWORDFISH REEF
Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte is back to solve a seeningly impossible mystery.
Three men set off for a day of swordfishing never to return, leaving not a trace, until a tuna trawler hauls in a head complete with a bullet hole.
The famous tracker must search the ocean's ever-changing face to find the murderers.
Partially aboriginal, Bony is considered by some to be a savage, so he creates himself as the most gentlemanly of gentlemen.
Peter Hosking animates the characters in this 1939 novel, bringing the richness and vastness of the Australian continent vividly to life.
From distraught mother to suave and wicked murderer,
Hosking enriches Upfield's characters with intonations ranging from heated thrill to deadly cold calculation.
The variety and depth of characters in these mysteries still distinguish the series - that is, aside from its dashing, brilliant detective. B.H.B.
Listeners will love Alby Murdoch, photographer and secret agent for D.E.D., the Directorate for Extra-territorial Defence,
an intelligence-gathering unit of the Australian government.
Peter Hosking's performance creates an Alby who's a "dedhead" on a mission, escaping assassination attempts by the seat of his pants
and commenting snidely on bureaucrats, love, and life while dodging exploding luggage and menacing gunmen.
Hosking's portrayal of Alby offers listeners a wry sense of reality and a photographer's eye for beauty
(McGeachin teaches photography in Sydney) as he travels from Melbourne to Sydney to Bali to Australia's Outback.
Not quite as bumbling as Maxwell Smart or as urbane as James Bond, Hosking's Alby scores a direct,
often hilarious, hit on the self-important stuffiness of the espionage business. S.J.H. Â© AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/ JUL 07]
Despite his hard-boiled exterior, Private Investigator Cliff Hardy has a moral center.
Aging, laid-back, a survivor with the scars to show it, he's quit smoking and cut back on--but not given up--alcohol.
In LUGARNO, a posh suburb of Sydney, Hardy finds himself embroiled in drugs, blackmail, murder,
and a male escort service supplying wealthy Australian housewives with some naughty diversions.
Peter Hosking's excellent narration highlights Hardy's running commentary on post-Olympics Sydney;
his botched relationships with women; and his good-natured, if self-deprecating, personal assessments.
In the style of American crime noir masters Ross Macdonald and Raymond Chandler,
Corris creates a voice that is rough, brawling, occasionally tender, and distinctly Australian.
Hosking's narration of that signature voice rings with wit and truth. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/ JUL 04]
THE CLUE OF THE NEW SHOE
Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte is the half-Aboriginal protagonist in Upfield's popular Australian mystery series.
In this 1951 book, "Boney" is on special assignment to solve a murder in southeastern Australia.
Peter Hosking does a good job bringing life to Bonaparte, who is supremely self-confident to the point of arrogance; pedantic;
ingratiating to some and insufferable to others; and to modern ears, a racist.
Hosking, who is Australian, does as well with the many other characters.
He perfectly uses the tight vowels of Australian whites and the gentler speech of the Aboriginals,
and his females are as believable as his males. This is a well-paced, involving reading of a dated book.
R.E.K. Â© AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/ MAY 06]
THE BACHELORS OF BROKEN HILL
Arthur W. Upfield wrote many detective novels featuring Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte--Boney--born of a European father and an Aboriginal mother.
They are stylized portrayals of the perpetual outsider,
a man who succeeds in a race-conscious hierarchical organization because he never fails to solve the crime that confronts him.
In this story, Boney is loaned by the Queensland CID to solve a series of poisonings in Broken Hill,
a famous mining town in New South Wales. Peter Hosking's Australian accent, though strong, is always understandable to American ears.
Hosking gives Boney a flippant, superior vocal characterization that pinpoints his personality.
Not all of the other characters receive such clear characterization.
The listener usually knows who is speaking from the context, though not always by the voice.
These lapses do not detract from the pleasures of listening to this "Australian Poirot" in action.
R.E.K. Â© AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/JUL 01]
SENSITIVE NEW AGE SPY
Author Geoff McGeachin's popular thriller/farce series features Special Agent Alby Murdoch,
who finds himself in the thick of a deadly situation in Sydney, Australia, when all he wants to do is relax.
Part James Bond, part Pink Panther, Alby blunders his way through this hilarious action-packed adventure.
Australian narrator Peter Hosking gives Alby life in an inspired reading that is so infectious listeners will be begging for more.
Hosking reads as if he's not reading at all,
speaking to listeners in a straightforward and self-deprecating manner as he dives into character
and becomes Alby Murdoch with the greatest of ease. L.B. Â© AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2008]
THE WILL OF THE TRIBE
THE WILL OF THE TRIBE skillfully presents a "locked-door mystery"-a plot device beloved by fans of detective stories.
Peter Hosking's narration is the perfect vehicle.
Upfield's Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte mysteries are renowned for their reproduction of the dialogue,
lifestyles, and attitudes of 1930s Australians.
Inspector Bonaparte is part white, part aborigine-a helpful combination in this case
as a dead white man is found in an Outback crater, with no clue as to how he got there and no witnesses.
Hosking navigates male and female, white and aboriginal, young and old voices with the ease of a bounding kangaroo.
He pulls off these vocal acrobatics with masterful aplomb. M.L.K. Â© AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine [Published: JULY 2009]
THE DEVIL'S STEPS
Arthur Upfield's thirty-year-old series about Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte
of the Australian police is being reissued, and its politically incorrect aspects can be a bit jarring in 2009.
Nevertheless, Bony remains a fascinating, if improbable, character,
and narrator Peter Hosking has a wonderful time with him and other in the very large cast.
Our protagonist is on special assignment at a posh mountain resort.
His job is to sniff out who possesses German plans secreted out of Europe after WWII.
Murder intervenes. We have every accent to be found in Australia, every social class,
and sober and drunk versions of both men and women.
Hosking handles it all very well, only occasionally getting carried away by the exuberant opportunity.
But over-the-top is as it should be. R.E.K. Â© AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2009]
DEAD AND KICKING
In McGeachin's series, Alby Murdoch works for the DED,
the Directorate for Extra-Territorial Defence of the government of Australia.
As Murdoch is working his current freelance gig in Vietnam, where he's making a film about the war,
he sights men who were declared dead in the war.
En route, Murdoch's penchant for Asian foods has narrator Peter Hosking
deftly moving from the hero's rapture over purple basil to his quick-thinking evasion of his own assassination.
The story's diverse elements seem incongruous until the plot turns to a potentially fatal fish industry,
launched with a vengeance by evildoers and halted by Murdoch,
who is assisted by a sexy sharp-shooting Vietnamese detective.
Hosking is best at Murdoch's wry Aussie voice,
and he also manages the accents of Asians-friends and thugs-and an American politician.
However, he goes from salacious to shrill with an oversexed food celebrity
who is an enthusiastic fan of the ironic Aussie James Bond. D.P.D. Â© AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: FEBRUARY 2010]
BONEY AND THE BLACK VIRGIN
The harsh Australian Outback is the dramatic setting for Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte's (Bony) latest case.
In a distant, desolate sheep station, two men have been brutally murdered,
and Bony is just the sleuth for the job.
He is half Aborigine and uses his deep understanding of the land, the people,
and the country's strange and unusual flora and fauna as he finds minute,
seemingly insignificant, evidence buried in the dusty soil.
This communion with nature in Upfield's vivid imagery, paired with colorful idioms,
often leads to the most telling of clues.
Peter Hosking's performance reflects the harsh Outback with his melodious Australian accent,
overlayed by gruff, husky expression.
One can almost hear the parched essence of the backcountry drought in his crackled speech.
A.W. Â© AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: JANUARY 2011]
AN AUTHOR BITES THE DUST
The delightfully eccentric Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte
pretends to be a South African author to investigate the murder of a prominent Australian writer.
There are minimal clues, a situation that makes the challenge he faces that much greater.
Narrator Peter Hosking cheerfully presents humor and gravity in a variety of Australia's accents
in a most appealing conversational style.
A cat called Mr. Pickwick assists Napoleon with examining ping-pong balls filled with coffin dust.
As the tragic causes of the murder are revealed,
1930s-1950s Australia and its attitudes towards Aborigines and women are revealed.
This fascinating entry is part of Bolinda's Napoleon Bonaparte series.
S.G.B. Â© AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine [Published: JULY 2009]
THE BROKEN SHORE
Journalist Peter Temple's novels have won five of Australia's prestigious Ned Kelly Awards for crime fiction.
THE BROKEN SHORE makes it easy to see why.
Melbourne Homicide Detective Joe Cashin is recovering in his hometown, Port Monro,
where it soon becomes apparent that big cities aren't the only places big crimes occur.
Peter Hosking handles the rough-and-tumble characters as easily as the more subtle ones.
Child pornography, racism, sexual abuse, political intricacies, and Cashin's personal problems
all contribute to Temple's sophisticated plot
and allow Hosking's performance to bring a host of truthful characters to light.
There can be little doubt that this is an Australian original--earthy, raw, and savage,
yet as breathtaking and surprising as the country itself.
S.J.H. Â© AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 07]
SALT AND BLOOD
In SALT AND BLOOD, Peter Hosking demonstrates the importance of a good narrator.
Corris's novel is generally entertaining, and the dialogue is good at times,
but the story remains a bit of a stretch.
Policewoman turned private investigator Glen Withers, reunited with her ex-lover,
is hired to deal with the case of Rodney St. John Harkness,
an alcoholic recently released from a mental hospital who may have a heinous past.
Overcoming some long-winded passages, Hosking brings life to the story and keeps the pace brisk.
Just as the right ingredients can transform a mediocre recipe into a culinary masterpiece,
Hosking's style takes a good book and makes it a far better listening experience.
D.J.S. Â© AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/ MAY 08]
WHEN WE HAVE WINGS
In this slightly futuristic world, there's a class divide between rich fliers,
with genetically engineered attached wings, and wretchedly poor non-fliers.
Peter Hosking does an excellent job clearly differentiating between the two main characters.
Zeke, the traditional noir cop turned cynical private eye,
is trying to track down a young nanny who has stolen her charge.
Hosking expertly projects Zeke's confusion and shifting emotions as he uncovers the young woman's true story.
In addition, Hosking effectively projects Zeke's uncertainty
about whether or not he should get his own son wings in a system full of corruption.
This is a detail-rich story, and Hosking's clear, lilting voice,
with its slight Australian accent, is a true pleasure. S.M. [Published: JANUARY 2013]
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