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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.

HELPFUL VOTES
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15
  • "Poignant Modern Fairy Tales Wonderf..."

    Overall
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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
    (99)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (78)

    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
    (1340)
    Performance
    (1120)
    Story
    (1119)

    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
    (48)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (41)

    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 MM's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
31
 
1 REVIEWS / 1 ratings Member Since 2012 2 Followers / Following 0
 
MM's greatest hits:
  • The Complete Wizard of Oz Collection: All 22 Stories

    "Audio chapter list below as was missing"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you liked the movie, this contains more detail.


    Any additional comments?

    The Complete Wizard of Oz is missing information on which stories and chapters are in which parts. I took the time to listen to and write them down for others to reference. I am going to add this to my feedback but it would be best if this was added to the audio books. Please excuse any mistakes. I have listed the stories contained in each part and their audio chapters. A hint is to look at the chapters lasting less than a minute. These contain the title and introductions to new stories. Part 1 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz audio ch 1-26. The Marvelous Land of Oz audio ch 27-40. Part 2 The Marvelous Land of Oz continued audio ch 1-14. The Woggle Bug Book audio chapters 15-17. Ozma of Oz ch 18-end. Part 3 The Road to Oz audio ch 1-27The Emerald City of Oz audio ch 28-endPart 4 The Emerald City of Oz audio ch 1-20. The Patchwork Girl of Oz audio ch 21-endPart 5 The Patchwork Girl of Oz continued audio ch 1-11. Little Wizard Stories of Oz audio ch 12-18. Ticktock of Oz audio audio ch 19-endPart 6 Ticktock of Oz audio ch 1-7. The Scarecrow of Oz audio ch 8-33. Rinkitink of Oz audio ch 34-end. Part 7 Rinkitink of Oz audio ch 1-21. The Lost Princess of Oz audio ch 22-end. Part 8 The Lost Princess of Oz audio ch 1-11. The Tin Woodman of Oz audio ch 12-37. The Magic of Oz audio ch 38-end. Part 9 The Magic of Oz audio ch 1-24. Glenda of Oz audio ch 25-end. Part 10 Glenda of Oz audio ch 1-12. The Royal Book of Oz audio ch 13-end

Jean

Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 12-23-13 Member Since 2010

I am an avid eclectic reader.

HELPFUL VOTES
3313
ratings
REVIEWS
668
631
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
587
12
  • "A classic"

    4 of 4 helpful votes

    I got this book with my Audible coupon that was recently given to me by Audible. I remember we read this book in high school way back in the early 50’s along with Sherlock Holmes stories. This is a book about the French Revolution. It also illustrates that you cannot judge a person by their appearance. Lord Percy Blakeney is a fancy dresser often starting current fads and plays the general flakey fancy party boy who married a famous French actress Marguerite St. Just. It turns out that Lord Percy is the Scarlet Pimpernel who rescues French aristocrats from the guillotine. Percy is a master of disguises and he and is merry ban give the French agent Chauvelin the slip as they continue to escape from his clutches. The book has lots of humor, action, and romance written in the style of the 19th century. Over all it is an interesting story placed in the middle of the French revolution. The book was written by Hungarian Baroness Orczy who lived in England. David Thorn did a good job narrating the story.

    More

    The Scarlet Pimpernel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Baroness Orczy
    • Narrated By David Thorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    Welcome to the French Revolution, where a dashing English aristocrat risks his life to enter France and save innocents from the guillotine.

    The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel is a secret society of English aristocrats who are determined to rescue their French counterparts from execution. Their leader is the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, whose name comes from the drawing of a red flower he uses to sign his messages.

    John says: "Great Performance, Awful Production"

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    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Nikki says: "This guy's mouth makes some serious noises..."
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    Jay says: "A Beautiful Story"
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    Stephanie says: "Hard to stop listening!"
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    "A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, 'Can we do this anonymously?' Because I don't need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week." So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic - and sarcastic asides - to the classics.

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    Six years earlier, Matty had come to Village as a scrappy and devious little boy. Back then, he liked to call himself "the Fiercest of the Fierce." But since that time, Matty has grown almost into a man under the care of Seer, a blind man whose special sight had earned him the name. Now Matty hopes that he will soon be given his true name, and he hopes it will be Messenger. But strange changes are taking place in Village.

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