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Jefferson

Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan Member Since 2010

I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

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  • "Poignant Modern Fairy Tales Wonderf..."

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    Story

    Which is more impressive in this audiobook, the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde or the readings of them by the assembled famous British actors? At their best, Wilde's stories are exquisitely beautiful and painful and reveal deep understanding of the tragedy of the human condition (mortality, inequality, prejudice, selfishness, and hatred), as well as its transcendence through generosity, self-sacrifice, beauty, faith, and love. The readers are perfect, with wise, compassionate, and flexible voices and deep understanding of each word they say and of each scene they depict.

    Special highlights are Dame Judi Dench reading "The Nightingale and the Rose" so full of wit and emotion, Jeremy Irons reading "The Devoted Friend" with a surprisingly wide range of voices for different characters, Joanna Lumley reading "The Star Child" and moving me to tears, and Robert Harris reading "The Happy Prince" and moving me to tears, too, especially whenever he says, "Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow." Sir Derek Jacobi reading "The Fisherman and His Soul," Sinead Cusack reading "The Birthday of the Infanta," and Sir Donald Sinden reading "The Selfish Giant" all do fine jobs with fine tales.

    The only dud (forgive the pun) is "The Remarkable Rocket," which, despite Geoffrey Palmer's excellent reading and despite the interesting concept (sentient fireworks talking about their upcoming royal display) is finally a mediocre joke that long overstays its welcome. The only disappointment is that the cover art says that there is a bonus track of "The Actress" read by Elaine Stritch, but it's absent from the audiobook.

    Anyway, I highly recommend this excellent audiobook.

    More

    Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: In Aid of the Royal Theatrical Fund

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Joanna Lumley, and others
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    Here is a collection of the Oscar Wilde's famous fairy tales, read by a cast of leading British actors. Additional narrators include Geoffrey Palmer O.B.E., Sir Donald Sinden, and Elaine Stritch. Music: 'Reverie De Sebastian' by Steve Davies.

    Jefferson says: "Poignant Modern Fairy Tales Wonderfully Read"
  • "A Modern Classic Epic Flawed by One..."

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    I eagerly purchased this audiobook of T. H. White???s complete The Once and Future King, because for a long time Audible only had the individual books available. And I loved the first four books, which begin with the halcyon fantasy of The Sword in the Stone, in which the boy Arthur (???Wart???) is educated by an anachronistic Merlyn. The scenes describing the daily life of a medieval castle during different seasons are vivid and beautiful, while those recounting Wart???s fantastic adventures and transformations into various animals are imaginative, suspenseful, and humorous. White loved and respected flora and fauna (even snakes), and this first book is encyclopedic and fantastic, dense and rich, absorbing and moving.

    From the second book, The Queen of Air and Darkness, which opens in the cold north as Queen Morgause boils a black cat alive while her four sons are telling the story of their grandmother???s rape by Arthur???s father, begins the increasingly dark movement of the novel, centered on the tragedy caused by Arthur???s family history and the romantic triangle between himself, Guenevere, and Lancelot (The Ill-Made Knight). In the 2nd through 4th books White most closely follows Malory, though he also moves the era forward from the 11th to the 15th century and empathically imagines how medieval men and women felt and thought with modern psychological insight. At the same time, he writes plenty of joie de vivre, questing and combating knights, and fascinating details about medieval life (food, fashion, feudalism, etc.).

    The novel really concludes with the 4th book (The Candle in the Wind) as the last battle between Arthur and Mordred is about to begin, but this audiobook then adds The Book of Merlyn, which may be good for completists, but which I found disappointing, as on the eve of the last battle Merlyn takes his former pupil off for a night of anachronistic political and philosophical debate with Badger and company about why humans wage war and what might be done to prevent it. Apart from Arthur changing into an ant and a goose to experience two different social systems, there is little ???story??? in this last book: too little Arthurian Matter and too much Whiteian Musing.

    Jason Neville does a marvelous job reading the long work, effortlessly giving different characters distinctive voices and personalities without over doing it (so that, for example, his female characters sound like human beings rather than like a man imitating ???women???). And his King Pellinore reminds me of John Gielgud.

    I recommend this audiobook for anyone interested in the Matter of Britain or philosophical and well-written fantasy.

    More

    The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (1319)
    Performance
    (1103)
    Story
    (1100)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
  • "A Delightful and Moving Experience"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to Peter Pan read by Christopher Cazenove was a delightful and moving experience, a story of exuberant childlike imagination (in which the line between make-believe play and real adventure is blurry) with an undercurrent of painful adult loss. One moment we are laughing at the pathetic pirate Smee, the unlucky Lost Boy Tootles, the conflicted Captain Hook (who can never resolve the dilemma of ???good form???), or the playful narrator (who likes to hint at doom on the horizon or to remind us that we are after all only spectators), the next moment we are sighing at the sadness of Peter Pan???s existence or at the inevitability of maturity and mortality. Wendy and Peter playing at being and almost becoming the parents of the Lost Boys is affectingly humorous and sad, because it is not quite the real thing and because it cannot continue.

    Christopher Cazenove???s reading of the book is flawless and engaging (just as is his reading of Howard Pyle???s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood). He doesn???t need to change his voice dramatically to represent different characters, because his emotional engagement with them is so affecting.

    I love Barrie???s fusion of ideal (joyful innocent play) and real (heartless selfishness and forgetfulness) childhood. He channeled his conflicting feelings for children, childhood, parents, and adulthood into a charming and moving classic. If you???ve only ever seen the Disney version of the story, or if you???ve never experienced Peter Pan in any form, I highly recommend this audiobook version of it. I know that I???ll listen to this book again many times.

    More

    Peter Pan

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By J. M. Barrie
    • Narrated By Christopher Cazenove
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (36)

    Barrie works an indisputable magic on listeners of all ages in this classic tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up. As a baby, Peter Pan fell out of his carriage and was taken by fairies to Neverland. There, he can fly and is the champion of the Lost Boys and a friend to the fairy Tinker Bell. Revisiting England, Peter becomes involved with Wendy Darling and her younger brothers, all of whom accompany Peter to Neverland. The children have many adventures and vanquish the pirate Captain Hook.

    Jefferson says: "A Delightful and Moving Experience"
  1. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wild...
  2. The Once and Future King
  3. Peter Pan
  4. .

A Peek at MissSusie66's Bookshelf

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Votes
478
 
127 REVIEWS / 180 ratings Member Since 2010 104 Followers / Following 7
 
MissSusie66's greatest hits:
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

    "Warning Gushing Ahead…….."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow I now understand the Bronson Pinchot love! All of his voices in this one are so fantastic! He made me see animation and characters in my head each one with a distinct personality, look and facial expressions he totally brought this great book to life for me! Between Christopher’s fun writing and Bronson’s narration this one will be a go to book when I am feeling down! And if you are listening to the audio make sure you listen all the way to the last second!

    This is the funniest book it is so much fun! This is humorous fairytale retelling at its best. It reexamines the Prince & Princess mythos. Do you really think the prince’s name was Charming? Who names their kid Charming? Do all the prince’s have names not just The Prince and if you are a Prince must you be a hero? If you are a Princess must you always be the lady in distress can you not save yourself? And how come the bards never write songs about the witches? How come all the stories are about the princesses? These questions and many more are what this book is all about!

    I just can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this book! These princes Liam, Gustav, Fredrick, and Duncan are not quite what you’ve read before and neither are the princesses. I love the giants and the trolls and even the bad witch Zoberah (*sp audio)! These characters are so much fun and I am so excited to hear that there will be a second book. This one made me laugh out loud and smile it is just so much fun!
    If you are looking for a great family vacation/roadtrip book I highly recommend this one!

    If you haven’t it figured out yet I loved this book so just go get it and you will too!

    5 Stars

  • Moon Over Manifest

    "Highly entertaining"

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    Performance
    Story

    Abilene Tucker is a motherless child (well it is a Newbery winner and I think this is a requirement) her daddy has sent her to Manifest, Kansas where he used to live there she meets some great characters and sets out to find out more about her father as a young man. This book goes back and forth between Abilene’s story during the depression in 1936 and the story of a young man named Jinx and his best friend Ned in 1918.

    This was a good coming of age story filled with quirky characters, and a bit of mystery and it gives you a feel of the times both stories are set in. I fell in love with Abilene and Jinx I ended up rooting for them both in their different time lines, the stories melded together very nicely. This was an uplifting story and has a feel good ending. I highly recommend this to the young and old alike it’s highly entertaining historical fiction for all ages.

    All the narrators did a great job but with this group of people how could you go wrong!

    4 ½ Stars

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    "Not the story I thought I knew"

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    Story

    Anne Hathaway did a good job with so many different voices but I had a hard time with the voice of the Scarecrow because it sounded like Marge Simpson. Listen to the sample on audible then go to youtube and listen to Marge Simpson it was too close to being the same voice I just couldn’t picture the Scarecrow in my head because the voice was Marge! That was the main voice that was just wrong and it took me out of the story, the rest of her voices were good with a few being annoying and some just not fitting, like a valley girl voice just seemed out of place. I guess I liked her narration overall I just wish the Scarecrow had sounded different.I would recommend this audiobook even with Marge Simpson cast as the Scarecrow! Anne does bring many voices to the mix maybe at times too many because some of them don’t seem to belong in the land of Oz but what do I know I’ve never been there!...

    As I listened to this I came to the realization that I have never read Wizard of Oz before, yes I know I was shocked too. This story was a bit more violent in parts than I was expecting also there were some huge differences from the movie we have all seen 1,000 times so I had to try to get the movie out of my head and just go with the story, which I did enjoy. But in the end you can’t help comparing the differences…the shoes (silver, not red)...Toto (black, not brown) …Dorothy is a much younger girl…the violence, there is a lot of lopping off of heads that I did not expect..Also the witches seem to play a much smaller part in this than they did in the movie.

    Everyone knows the premise of this story there are over 3000+ reviews and 98,000+ ratings on Goodreads alone so really what am I going to add other than if you think you have read this book but aren’t sure give it a try you may be like I was and realize you have never read the story Baum wrote, you only know the Hollywood version!

    3 1/2 Stars

  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

    "Not even close to the musical movie"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well I have discovered that my favorite movie from childhood is only Very Loosely based on Ian Fleming's book of the same name.

    The only thing familiar from the movie I love so much was the car and the kids' names, everything else is different, no grandpa, no Truly, no child catcher or Baron. It was very odd to have it be familiar yet not at the same time.

    I’m still trying to get over how different this was than what I was expecting; it is more similar to the Bond stories than the musical movie is. There are crooks and their hideout and trying to get away. This was a fun book but just know it is nothing like the movie of your childhood.

    David Tennant's narration was fabulous though, great accents and voices and characters! Tennant’s narration made this book even better.

    4 Stars

Katherine

Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 12-03-13 Member Since 2009

I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

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  • "Charming children’s fantasy"

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature

    Five Children and It combines eleven stories that Edith Nesbit wrote about five siblings who discovered a wish-granting fairy called The Psammead in the sandlot of the house they recently moved into. The stories were originally serialized in shorter form in Strand Magazine in 1900. The first story (the first chapter of the novel) tells how the children moved from London to Kent, explored their new house and yard, and found the Psammead. He grumpily agrees to grant the children a daily wish that will end at sundown.

    Each chapter tells the story of a single day, how the children wish for something, and how it goes wrong. Usually they wish for something obvious like beauty or money, but sometimes they accidentally wish for something they didn’t really want granted, such as when Cyril carelessly wishes that his baby brother would grow up. The consequences are always unexpected and usually quite awful, and the children have to get themselves out of the situation they got themselves into, often at a cost that leaves them poorer than they were before they made the wish. It’s all rather funny and there are many lessons learned. The take away message is to be careful what you wish for!

    I love Edith Nesbit’s stories — they’re still as humorous and wonderful as they were over 100 years ago. They’re delightfully old-fashioned. For example, the little boys play outside in coats and ties and have to roll down their stockings to show off their bruises. Nesbit is an intrusive narrator, often offering commentary and amusing insights about the characters or their predicaments and sometimes making polite suggestions for the reader’s own behavior. I thought the book was charming and I think it will appeal to any modern reader, child or adult.

    Five Children and It has been adapted into anime, comics, a BBC TV series and movies, and several children’s authors have expanded upon the concept in their own novels. Nesbit also wrote some later stories which included the Psammead.

    Five Children and It is easily found for free online since it’s now in the public domain. I listened to the audio version read by Johanna Ward who is absolutely wonderful. I got this book for $3 by “purchasing” this free Kindle version and then using the Whispersync feature to purchase the audio version. If you do likewise, make sure you’re getting Johanna Ward’s narration. There are others, but I doubt they could be better.

    More

    Five Children and It

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By E. Nesbit
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Curious to see if people on the other side of the globe walk upside down, Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother start digging a hole to Australia. They don’t get too far, however, before they dig up a furry brown creature with bat’s ears. It is a Psammead, an ancient sand-fairy. The Sammyadd, as the children call it, grumpily tells them that he is obliged to grant their wishes, because making people’s wishes come true is what Sandfairies do. However, there is one catch: The wishes come undone at sunset.

    Katherine says: "Charming children’s fantasy"

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    The truth about the Super children is finally exposed, and the town of Noble’s Green has created a special boarding school for its superpowered children. That’s where Daniel’s friends are headed, while he - regular kid that he is - is headed to summer school. But all is not well at the Academy for the Extraordinarily Gifted, or in Noble’s Green. A clique of popular kids has taken over the school. And at the same time, vandals have been destroying property all over town, and citizens are beginning to blame their gifted young residents

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UNABRIDGED) by Tommy Greenwald Narrated by MacLeod Andrews, Cassandra Campbell

    Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Making Money

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Tommy Greenwald
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews, Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Loveable slacker Charlie Joe Jackson is back. This time he’s trying to devise ways to make money - and fast. Charlie Joe’s weekly allowance just isn’t cutting it and he desperately needs money to buy a Botman, the latest gadget to sweep his middle school. Only catch is, he wants to earn the money by doing the least amount of work possible. After several failed attempts, including a near disastrous day of dog-walking, Charlie Joe hatches a plan to throw his own bar mitzvah (no gifts please - checks only) even though he’s not Jewish.

  • Fancy Nancy and the Fall Foliage (






UNABRIDGED) by Jane O'Connor Narrated by Chloe Hennessee

    Fancy Nancy and the Fall Foliage

    • UNABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Jane O'Connor
    • Narrated By Chloe Hennessee
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    Fancy Nancy loves fall - the fashion, the weather, and especially the colors of the leaves! As Fancy Nancy helps Mom and Dad rake up, she gets a stupendous idea to do something unique with the most beautiful leaves she has found. Join Nancy as she celebrates the changing of the seasons in this storybook adventure.

  • Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One (






UNABRIDGED) by Kate DiCamillo Narrated by Arthur Morey

    Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (52 mins)
    • By Kate DiCamillo
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
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    Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn't have is a horse - until he meets Maybelline, that is, and then it's love at first sight. Maybelline loves spaghetti and sweet nothings, and she loves Leroy, too. But when Leroy forgets the third and final rule of caring for Maybelline, disaster ensues. Can Leroy wrestle fate to the ground, rescue the horse of his heart, and lasso loneliness for good?

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  • The Disappearing Friend Mystery: The Boxcar Children Mysteries, Book 30 (






UNABRIDGED) by Gertrude Chandler Warner Narrated by Aimee Lilly

    The Disappearing Friend Mystery: The Boxcar Children Mysteries, Book 30

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By Gertrude Chandler Warner
    • Narrated By Aimee Lilly
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    The Boxcar Children decide to raise money to help the Greenfield hospital. At Beth’s suggestion, they form a service called The Boxcar Helpers - to babysit, wash cars, mow lawns, and care for pets. But Beth keeps disappearing. And then other things start to go wrong. Is someone trying to put them out of business?

  • The Turtle of Oman (






UNABRIDGED) by Naomi Shihab Nye Narrated by Peter Ganim

    The Turtle of Oman

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Naomi Shihab Nye
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
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    Aref does not want to move to Michigan. He's sure the kids there won't like him. Also, he has everything he needs right where he is! But Sidi has another point of view. Sidi says Aref will go and come back. Just like a falcon or the turtles of Oman, he'll travel far and make his way home to Muscat. So Aref sets out to say good-bye to everything he loves. Good-bye to Mish-Mish, Diram, Sulima, dunes, Sidi…. But how can he stand it?

  • Amelia Bedelia Chalks One Up (






UNABRIDGED) by Herman Parish Narrated by Christine Ebersole

    Amelia Bedelia Chalks One Up

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Herman Parish
    • Narrated By Christine Ebersole
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    Amelia Bedelia's mother is feeling blue, so she decides to head to town for lunch and a little shopping. Amelia Bedelia is having a playdate of her own, and she decides to make her mom feel better. How? By covering the driveway, house, and garage with colorful chalk pictures. Amelia Bedelia and her friends draw everything her mom loves best, including flowers, shops, and a happy portrait. The result? Well, chalk one up for Amelia Bedelia!

  • Kell, the Alien: Aliens, Inc Series, Volume 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Darcy Pattison Narrated by Josiah John Bildner

    Kell, the Alien: Aliens, Inc Series, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 24 mins)
    • By Darcy Pattison
    • Narrated By Josiah John Bildner
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    Shipwrecked on Earth and desperate to make money, an alien family decides to make a living by opening Aliens, Inc., an intergalactic event-planning business master-minded by nine-year-old alien boy, Kell Smith. Kell discovers that his neighbor, Bree Hendricks, turns nine years old next month and she wants a party with an alien theme. That should be simple as flying from star to star. But things aren't that easy: Earthlings' ideas about aliens are totally wrong.