Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
Well, it was a great lot of fun. A few years ago, I began to read the book, and I put it aside, finding it rather simplistic, sort of light reading and I simply could not get beyond her going to the CIA to naively ask for a job as a spy. (okay, I live outside Washington,DC, so my thinking there is pre-programmed). :-)
Then I read the reviews for it on here, and thought maybe I'd try listening to it for a different experience. So glad I did! My husband and I sat up till 2am because we were mesmerized.
There have been a few books that I sadly think were disappointing because of the way they were read. This is just the opposite! A book I could not get engaged with when reading it came alive because of the incredible reading talent of the narrator. I would say it was like reading a completely different book. Higher praise then that I don't know how to offer.
Oh, Mrs. Polifax, for sure.
I found the scene in which she had a conversation in a tiny bookstore with its owner very sweet and touching. This was just before all the excitement began!
I realized even more with this book how much the narrator brings to it in this format. I know I have stopped listening to several books that I would have finished reading. And there have been memorable narrators that I love, no matter what they read. But this was the first time I ever listened to a book that I had made up my mind beforehand about in a negative way, only to have the delightful surprise of hearing an entirely "different" book, at least as read by Ms.Rosenblatt. Highly recommend..
On first encountering Mrs. Polifax you expect her to be another Miss Marple, an observer who summarizes the major plot points for the reader and reveals the killer after a string of seemingly unrelated actions. Well, hurrah for Mrs. Polifax, (picture your great aunt Sadie), who takes command of the story and doesn't let go until the end. No couch potato is she in this espionage tale. I was surprised at the brisk pace of the story. Set during the early years of the cold war, it was interesting to realize how little the world has changed, the players have merely shifted. But at the some time how the power struggles have morphed from the days of the Red Scare to today's well armed terrorist organizations.
The characters felt real for the period, even the CIA operatives and the bad guys. I enjoyed the narrator for the most part, though her American male characters all sounded the same. And a character we meet later in the book who is Chinese sounded more like a person from India. Other than those small quibbles, I enjoyed the book and plan several return trips to visit Mrs. Polifax.
The Mrs. Pollifax mysteries are an old favorite of mine. I first heard them when I checked them out from the library in the 1990s. I was new to audio books back then and I did not fully appreciate what good writing and what a great performance I was experiencing.
Ms Gillman's writing is entertaining, concise, and fast moving. The stories are full of action and suspense. And, for me, now and forever Ms Rosenblat is the voice of Mrs. Pollifax.
I am collecting them all and I am pleased to have this great collection in my library permanently. Hearing them again is like having a great visit from a long lost friend. This is truly a classic mystery series.
I have all the Mrs. Polifax books & re-read them on an annual basis starting in the 1970's.
Now reading them on my MP3 player brings the characters to life. Dorothy Gilman was a truly wonderful author, now Barbara Rosenblat brings the characters to life.
A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!
The Mrs. Pollifax series starts with this title. This one was written in the 60s, during the Cold War, and so is dated. Still a fun read! I first read it in the 70s, and have listened to the audio version on CD with my teenagers in the 90s. They enjoyed it too, and it became a tradition on long car trips to find a Mrs. Pollifax book to listen to.
Barbara Rosenblat is my favorite narrator, hands down! She does well with different voices, and her droll tone is perfect for the comedic bits. She did have a little problem near the end, giving Mrs. Pollifax a British accent, but that was just a small slip-up. The first I have ever heard from her, and I have listened to a lot of books she narrates.
I'm looking forward to downloading more of the Mrs. Pollifax series, and I'm letting my now adult children know that they are available on Audible! Maybe they can start a tradition with their children!
Barbara Rosenberg is always a 'value-add' to any book. I spend a good deal of time commuting, and Barbara could make 'Web Logs for Dummies' enjoyable.
Another excellent mystery series for Audible. Especially with Barbara Rosenblat's skilled reading, this series reminds me of the Amelia Peabody series, but in this case, the 'mystery' drives it. The Peabodys are like soap operas; you don't really care about the mystery, it's the characters that drive the story. Mrs. Pollifax, however, leaves you constantly wondering just HOW she's gonna get out of this one. Good stuff!
I've only listened to two of her stories, but I thoroughly enjoyed both. There's an element of 'out of the frying pan - into the fire' to these mysteries, and while I would not say they're 'riveting', they do draw me back.
Barbara Rosenblat is always a joy to listen to. Her ability to make you believe you're listening to actual male characters always amazes.
Miss Marple on 'roids...
The important role created for an elderly lady.
The character crawling through the fields camouflaged as a sheep.
Knowing the PI shop keeper was killed.
I'm glad to have found a new entertaining series to help me though sleepless nights with my ipod.
Prize-winning Poet, Composer and Lyricist.
This story surprised me! Emily Pollifax is an older woman, busy with much volunteer work, but not really happy.In fact, as her doctor notes, she is suffering from mild depression.
However, Mrs. Pollifax does not turn to an anti-depressant. She turns to a dream she had from her youth -- that of becoming a spy.
Her approach to getting that job is phenomenally unique and full of good humor. I enjoyed it from cover to cover (as it were). Enough to listen yet again, and again after that.
Emily Pollifax is intriguing not because she is so outwardly different from women her age, but because of how she looks at life. She comes across as a "doddering old woman" yet she does amazing astounding things that people in their young adult years might find too demanding. But Emily doesn't do these because she's in "shape" to do so. She does them because they befall her.
Her spirit is what is so commendable, and while she like all of us has her "grumpy" moments, for the most part her openness to life in general and learning specifically are truly inspirational. But mostly she is far more interesting that one would expect. In fact, she is completely Unexpected.
Highly recommend to all ages.
Barbara Rosenblat does a wonderful job of creating the voice of Emily Pollifax, making her more alive and believable than print could do.
This is one of the best, and most fun, spy-series on Audible. Barbara Rosenblat is an wonderful reader, whose male characters are always believable. They are pretty much a product of their time, but Gilman always has sympathy for the regular natives of the oppressed countries Mrs. Pollifax visits.
Start with this and move on to the whole series - there is perhaps one so-so book in it, but the rest are all great!
Unexpected. Fresh. Fun.
I can't believe that after years and years of listening to audio book mysteries, I procrastinated on picking up a Mrs. Pollifax. Really. What was I thinking? Well, I am glad I finally did as it perked me up and out of a gloomy mood.
She's witty and delightful. A confection of whipped sugar and spice. You have to love a character that gets up and goes out and joins the CIA in her twilight years and then handles it using a life time of experience as a wife and mom. And she's just genuinely nice.
Gilman had a way of describing the landscape that I felt very much like I was "vacationing" along with Mrs. P.
Well, when you know Barbara Rosenblat is reading a book, you know the performance is going to be fantastic. After years upon years of listening to her...it's like putting on your favorite comfortable cashmere cardigan. She's part of the reason I thought to give it a try.
Yes it was! I finished it in two.