You no longer follow A. Hawley

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow A. Hawley

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

A. Hawley

PORTLAND, OR USA | Member Since 2008

66
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 238 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Anansi Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Lenny Henry
    Overall
    (4074)
    Performance
    (1916)
    Story
    (1929)

    Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times best seller American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny, a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

    A. Hawley says: "Beautifully narrated"
    "Beautifully narrated"
    Overall

    I'm fairly new to audiobooks, and every purchase still feels like a bit of a gamble. I prefer to listen to books I haven't already read in print, and finding a good book that's also a good audibook seems to be a matter of chance. Anansi Boys was a gamble that paid off handsomely.

    The novel itself is as clever and original as I expected from Neil Gaiman. It's peopled by amazingly colorful, likable characters who give rise to a wonderful plot. I'm sure I'd have enjoyed the story very much in the written form.

    But the narration! Wow! The reader has a beautiful voice and a nuanced set of accents and speech styles that make the listening a continuous pleasure. Some of the story's witticisms are laugh-out-loud funny, largely, I suspect, because of the reader's own droll delivery.

    If you like fantasy-oriented fiction and prefer your audiobooks beautifully narrated with simple production values, add Anansi Boys to your list.

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Steven Pressfield
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1232)
    Performance
    (1077)
    Story
    (1066)

    Internationally best-selling author of Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire and Tides of War, Steven Pressfield delivers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that “resistance” is the greatest enemy, and he offers many unique and helpful ways to overcome it.

    Grant says: "Fighting through procrastination."
    "Very, very motivating and enlightening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you learn from The War of Art that you would use in your daily life?

    It got me writing every day.


    Any additional comments?

    This one was a life-changer. Pressfield's ideas about Resistance are specifically for writers, but I have artist and entrepreneurial friends who've gotten just as much motivation and value from them. It's a short, galvanizing book. The ideas are forceful. He expresses them in his own terms, which employ metaphors of war and sport that I'd normally find distasteful, but which here just feel honest and straightforward. He's not trying to please everyone (which is, in fact, a big part of his advice to other writers).

    I'd say that if you are an artist, a writer, a musician, or the a practitioner of any craft or skill that you wish you were doing more of, or were more devoted to, The War of Art might be a game-changer for you. It was for me: after listening to it, I completed revisions on a long-procrastinated novel and have continued to write nearly every day.

    George Guidall is an excellent narrator for this material. His voice is wry and humorous, and he brings a deep understanding of the text to his reading, every paragraph pitch perfect. I think he adds a significant dimension to the book that I wouldn't have gotten from the print version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Regency Buck

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By June Barrie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (87)

    It is in regrettable circumstances that beautiful Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine first meet Julian St John Audley. The man, they both agree, is an insufferably arrogant dandy. But unfortunately for them, he's also the Fifth Earl of Worth, a friend of the Regent and, their legal guardian.

    Amanda says: "Fantastic Performance"
    "Early Heyer and it shows"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I love just about every Georgette Heyer novel I have in audio form, and return to them over and over. Regency Buck was (I believe) Heyer's first foray into the Regency era, and it's interesting to see her laying the groundwork for the many novels that followed and created the Regency Romance genre. All the tropes that come to signify the genre are here: Brighton, the Pavillion, the Prince Regent, Beau Brummell, curricle races, Gentleman Jackson and boxing, the social restrictions placed on women, fabulous wealth and high titles, a glowering and unapproachable hero and a feisty heroine.

    She does, however, get a little carried away with the details (you will never, ever hear a longer or more obsessive description of the interior of the Brighton Pavillion!), displaying all her amazing research, and after this novel she backs away from using important historical figures of the age as significant characters. There's an odd, "Mary Sue" feeling to heroine Judith Taverner, who is unbelievably rich, very attractive, unusually liberated, a "notable whip," AND who is admired by the Beau and the Regent AND a couple of the Royal Dukes.

    The Gothic sinister-mystery element is kind of fun, and something that Heyer's later Regencies don't have as much of. It's an enjoyable enough tale, nicely narrated by June Barrie. It can't have been easy to lend life to the very-long sections about the roads between London and Brighton, boxing matches, or the aforementioned architectural detail!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Venetia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Phyllida Nash
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (141)

    Venetia Lanyon, beautiful, intelligent and independent, lives in comfortable seclusion in rural Yorkshire with her precocious brother Aubrey. Her future seems safe and predictable: Either marriage to the respectable but dull Edward Yardley, or a life of peaceful spinsterhood. But when she meets the dashing, dangerous rake Lord Damerel, her well-ordered life is turned upside down, and she embarks upon a relationship with him that scandalizes and horrifies the whole community.

    Carol says: "Heaven for Heyer Fans"
    "One of Heyer's unusual heroines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy Venetia Lanyon as one of Heyer's more unusual heroines. I can overlook the dated implication that she somehow inherited her relatively "loose morals" from her mother (and if you can't overlook dated ideas, you probably shouldn't bother with Georgette Heyer's novels), and just enjoy the character. She's more implicitly sexual than many of Heyer's leading ladies, and it really is fun to follow the progress of a young woman who doesn't care about the social restraints of the Regency era AND who isn't schooled into submission for it.

    All that said, it's not my favorite Heyer novel. The characters, with a couple of exceptions, don't leap to life the way her best ones do, and there are long stretches between plot points. It's an enjoyable listen, and of course Phyllida Nash does a wonderful job here as in all her Heyer readings, but unlike greater favorites (Cotillion, Frederica, Lady of Quality, The Grand Sophy...), this one isn't bearing up to multiple listenings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Julie Sondra Decker
    • Narrated By Reay Kaplan
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    What if you weren't sexually attracted to anyone? A growing number of people are identifying as asexual. They aren't sexually attracted to anyone, and they consider it a sexual orientation - like gay, straight, or bisexual. Asexuality is the invisible orientation. Most people believe that "everyone" wants sex, that "everyone" understands what it means to be attracted to other people, and that "everyone" wants to date and mate. But that's where asexual people are left out - they don't find other people sexually attractive, and if and when they say so, they are very rarely treated as though that's okay.

    A. Hawley says: "Thorough and eye-opening"
    "Thorough and eye-opening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    As a little-understood sexual orientation, asexuality may seem inscrutable to non-asexuals and overwhelmingly nuanced to people wondering how or whether to place themselves along the asexual spectrum. Julie Sondra Decker's book patiently and thoroughly covers a vast range of those nuances. She's extremely careful and precise in her language, inclusive and conscientious. She doesn't descend into sarcasm or irritation, even when addressing some of the most tone-deaf FAQs lobbed at out and activist asexuals.

    I identify in the asexual spectrum, and after frequenting online ace forums and doing some reading, I was still confused (and sometimes alienated). This book provided a lot of clarity, teasing out all kinds of variations on the asexual orientation and giving me much more confidence about my choice of "label." Listening to it was a validating experience. As others have mentioned, it's repetitive (which actually helped hammer home some of the ideas in my mind): definitely view each section as a long article designed to be read by itself.

    Decker's writing style doesn't lend itself particularly well to the audiobook format, apparently featuring lots of slashes (e.g., "and/or," which is read aloud as "and slash or"), tables and lists. Part Six, Additional Resources, is a heroic and sadly unlistenable reading of dozens of long URLs. The resource section would have been better served by a single simple URL that audiobook listeners could go for the rest of the links. It's a minor quibble, but if the author is looking at reviews: Julie, any chance you could post a links page like that?

    Nevertheless, Reay Kaplan's narration is clear, well-paced and easy to listen to, so hats off, especially for soldiering on through Part Six! I'm so glad to have found this subject covered so excellently.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Civil Contract

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Phyllida Nash
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (179)

    Set in the Regency period, this is a classic tale of misunderstood love and an arranged marriage.

    Janet says: "Excellent Narration"
    "A surprising favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up A Civil Contract in three words, what would they be?

    "Surprisingly satisfying romance"


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Civil Contract?

    It's a quiet, subtle story that didn't appeal to me when I first read it as a teen. Much older now, I can appreciate the unromantic, unheroic heroine and the civil arrangement that both main characters must accept with grace and make the best of.


    Have you listened to any of Phyllida Nash’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I think I own almost all Phyllida Nash's readings of Heyer novels, and they're uniformly wonderful. At this point, hearing her voice is like catching up with an old friend. I can relax, knowing she will always treat the material with respect and affection, giving distinct voices to all the characters and never missing the inflections and rhythm that characterize Georgette Heyer's prose.


    If you could rename A Civil Contract, what would you call it?

    I dunno--A Civil Contract is a pretty good name.


    Any additional comments?

    One of Heyer's least romantic romances, and yet surprisingly one that I found easier to swallow in the 21st century than some of her more frivolous stories (in many of which, pique and temper stand in for actual strength of character in her heroines; while domination and impatience are too often the main characteristics of her "strong" men). Here, we start with an unromantic arranged marriage between a rich but otherwise unattractive young woman to an impoverished but "noble" man. While we see that Jenny quietly does love Adam, the foundation of the arrangement is civility. They accept their situation and treat each other with respect and good manners. It's never portrayed as thrilling, but it's one of the few Georgette novels where we see past the proposal and the first kiss into the marriage and family life--and see that it's working. Kind of a nice change.Another distinction of this novel: I can't think of another Heyer novel that deals as clearly and (relatively) fairly as this one does with the class distinctions that lie at the heart of the whole Regency genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Washington Irving
    • Narrated By Tom Mison
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (515)
    Story
    (519)

    In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball.

    IHeartPublishing says: "Fantastic!"
    "Just a delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Free: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to be better than the print version?

    I blush to admit that I'd never read this classic American story (though of course images from it are pervasive in the culture, thank you, Disney). It was written in a period when people were used to being read to, and hearing it read aloud reveals how rich, rhythmic, and hilarious the text is.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Way, way funnier than I was expecting: sly, humorous characterizations that made me laugh out loud. The rich descriptions of the harvest season in early America are still beautiful and easy to relate to, even though our world is so very different today.


    What about Tom Mison’s performance did you like?

    He has a beautiful, trained voice and strikes the perfect note for an audiobook: just "actorly" enough, perfectly paced, and exactly the right amount of dry humor for the story. I imagined that Mison was having a lot of fun in the recording booth.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud, very unexpectedly, in several spots.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm delighted to have been offered this title for free! I don't normally buy short Audible works, and would have missed this one if it hadn't been associated with the "Sleepy Hollow" TV show. (PS: there's virtually NO connection between the original Ichabod Crane and the TV-show character of the same name, played by Tom Mison!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil You Know

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Carey
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1057)
    Performance
    (498)
    Story
    (504)

    Felix Castor used to cast out demons for a living, and London was his stomping ground. But in a time when the supernatural realm is in upheaval and spilling over into the mundane world of the living, his skills are in renewed demand. With old debts to pay, Castor is left with no choice but to accept one final, well-paying assignment: a seemingly simple exorcism.

    Jessica says: "wonderful story"
    "The narration forced me to abandon ship"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Mike Carey and/or Michael Kramer?

    By Mike Carey, yes--and I have, in written form.


    What didn’t you like about Michael Kramer’s performance?

    No good ever comes of having an American actor fake British accents. Ever. I've enjoyed Kramer's readings in the Wheel of Time series, so I know he's talented. This was a very, very bad case of the wrong person for the job. The book's narrator is supposed to be from Liverpool, the story is peopled with all sorts of characters who should have nuanced UK accents, and yet they all sound like--well, like Americans faking what they think English people sound like. Cringeworthy, frankly.


    Any additional comments?

    Clever, original, dark and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, this is a fantastic start of an urban fantasy series with an overarching story that the author never loses sight of. I deleted the truly unlistenable audiobook and paid for the Kindle edition instead, and am happily reading the whole series. Sad that the audio version was so wrongly cast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mind Over Mind: The Surprising Power of Expectations

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Chris Berdik
    • Narrated By Nick Oglesby
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (25)

    We all know expectations matter - in school, in sports, in the stock market. From a healing placebo to a run on the bank, hints of their self-fulfilling potential have been observed for years. But now researchers in fields ranging from medicine to education to criminal justice are moving beyond observation to investigate exactly how expectations work - and when they don’t. In Mind Over Mind, journalist Chris Berdik offers a captivating look at the frontiers of expectations research, revealing how our brains work.

    A. Hawley says: "Interesting material, less than stellar narration"
    "Interesting material, less than stellar narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    If I were a professional audiobook voice talent, and commissioned to read a mainstream science-for-the-layperson title like this one, I think I might take a look at the text, notice that there are some foreign terms and ten-dollar English ones in it, and find out how to pronounce them. The narrator for this book didn't do that. Consequently, his pronunciations of French and Latin names and phrases becomes absolutely hilarious at times--enough to have taken me right out of the book.

    I'm not talking about esoteric terms here; just that it's not King Lewis XVI, and not Chateau-nee-uf du Poppay, and not inexORable, and not "in vino vu-REE-tas" and...and... There's one such gaffe every few minutes.

    Sadly, this makes a fairly thought-provoking text sound kind of...well, silly.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Accent Your Character - Standard British English: Dialect Training

    • UNABRIDGED (30 mins)
    • By Paul Meier
    • Narrated By Paul Meier
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (23)

    Add some kick to your characters with some quick and simple dialect training. Paul Meier has been training actors for over 25 years and now offers his experience to the casual pretender in these entertaining presentations. You will find accent tips, colloquialisms, and charismatic character concepts that will add to your storytelling, roleplaying, or cosplay.

    A. Hawley says: "Worth the price but don't expect actual training"
    "Worth the price but don't expect actual training"
    Overall

    Paul Meier riffs on Received Pronunciation or Standard British English, up and down the scales from Cockney to the King, and demonstrates nuances of class, profession, and fictional style. There are some good tips here about using different variations for historical and fantasy characters.

    It's a fun listen, well worth the low price, and I think frequent re-listening might instill a bit of the rhythm and character of the dialect in an American speaker. But there are no exercises here, nothing to actually guide an actor or storyteller in developing this dialect. Don't mistake this for language training or coaching. It's not. That, you have to pay a lot more for.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (847)
    Performance
    (487)
    Story
    (489)

    In The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan put the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl at the center of a rich history, told through characters he brought to indelible life. Now he performs the same alchemy with The Big Burn, the largest-ever forest fire in America, a tragedy that cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy.

    P. Bergh says: "A fascinating history of early Forest Service"
    "Thrilling history, beautifully read"
    Overall

    Timothy Egan's The Big Burn is the best sort of nonfiction book: a detailed and thoroughly researched examination of an interesting moment in history, made exciting and lively by the way the author structures the narrative. The Big Burn reads like one of those great disaster movies of the 70s, introducing a range of characters, great and humble, connecting them to an ominous disaster, and then following each of their stories to the thrilling conclusion.

    Unlike disaster movies of the 70s, though, The Big Burn will provoke thought and discussion about what has changed and what hasn't changed--politically, environmentally, and socially--in America in the hundred years since the events took place.

    Robertson Dean's deep, rich voice has a weight and substance suited to the text, and he even lends a touch of acting and dialect in extensive citations from the writings of historical figures.

    I generally listen to fiction from Audible, and the Big Burn was as entertaining and engaging as any novel, with a great deal more substance and food for conversation.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.