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Michael

ratings
103
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
2

  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3250)
    Performance
    (2287)
    Story
    (2287)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "Poor writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good writing is more important for an audiobook experience than for conventional reading. It is harder to skim over the annoying parts, or to skip ahead if you really just want to see what happens. Here, the author chose an interesting historical setting, and had some good ideas for characters and story. But the writing is below average, and I recommend looking elsewhere.

    Here are some specific criticisms:
    - Phony sounding dialogue;
    - Over the top, eye-roll inducing, descriptions;
    - Inconsistent narrator point-of-view; sometimes in the characters' underpants (literally), sometimes a lofty historical perspective, sometimes getting sidetracked in an irrelevant crime caper, and once suggesting a recipe for the reader to try at home;
    - Blatantly contrived plot devices; typical examples: (a) having characters raped and tortured for no particular reason, other than to generate sympathy; or (b) supposedly smart criminals scheme and suffer extensively trying to get a three digit safe code . . . but they don't realize that it would only take a few hours to try all 1000 combinations? (They had access, and assuming a generous 10 seconds per attempt, it would take less than 3 hours.) Not so smart.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2957)
    Performance
    (2269)
    Story
    (2277)

    An orphan's life is harsh---and often short---in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains---a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans---a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards.

    Luke A. Reynolds says: "Stupendous, but be warned."
    "First in a series, but stands on its own"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    When reading an an incomplete series, I find cliff-hanger endings and unresolved major plot points at the end of books to be frustrating. Particularly so, when there are long delays between books, as appears to be the case with the third book of this series.

    This book leaves you wanting to know more about the characters and about the world, but without the frustration. So if the series' delays were giving you pause, don't worry and give this a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Maryrose Wood
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (128)

    Of especially naughty children, it is sometimes said: “They must have been raised by wolves.” The Incorrigible children actually were. Discovered in the forests of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

    Yvette says: "Wonderful! ... but only the first installment..."
    "Narrator sets the perfect comedic tone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The narrator has a very distinct and important persona for this humor driven book. She is a modern person who constantly highlights the absurdity of the characters, their Victorian sensibilities, and the story. She uses distinct voices and accents, and dramatic timing for her many droll observations and asides.

    I was worried that the unrelenting effort of sounding witty would be too much, and the narrator would just sound arrogant and annoying. Not to fear, however; Ms. Kellgren handles the material perfectly for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The book is smart and funny, and is enjoyable for adults and kids (althought some of the vocabulary and literary/historical references will be lost on younger kids.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12421)
    Performance
    (4821)
    Story
    (4856)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    Joseph says: "Good historical setting, but loose story."
    "Pillars vs. World w/o End"
    Overall

    Both Pillars of the Earth and the sequel World Without End are very well done and worth listening to. However, they are both so long and have so many same or similar setting, character and story elements that, if I had it to do over, I would probably only listen to one of them. My recommendation would be to listen to World Without End. It is a bit of a better book, and you don't need to know anything about the first one to fully appreciate it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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