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Maureen

Salem, OR, United States | Member Since 2009

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 98 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Hiss and Hers: An Agatha Raisin Mystery, Book 23

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (105)

    Agatha has fallen head over heels in love - again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man - including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn't even show up. Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike.

    Maureen says: "Pity for the narration but story also lacking"
    "Pity for the narration but story also lacking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Plot was more vicious than usual, and narration was problematic.


    Would you ever listen to anything by M. C. Beaton again?

    Yes absolutely. In fact, I'm getting ready to fire up another one tonight on my way to work. I am a big fan of Hamish MacBeth and Agatha Raisin and after dozens of books, I guess no one should be too out of sorts when one turns up as a dud.


    What three words best describe Davina Porter’s performance?

    Awful. But she is actually a very GOOD narrator so her performance on this book was perplexing.


    Did Hiss and Hers inspire you to do anything?

    Switch it off several times. The story was particularly vicious in regard to how the killer murdered the initial victim, and Davina Porter's strange voices made it a struggle to listen to. It was also another multiple murder victim scenario, which has seemed to become a more and more common theme with Ms. Beaton's books. While I would never recommend against the Agatha Raisin stories, it does seem like in Ms. Beaton's more recent books, she has been using an ever expanding number of murders in lieu of making the story around the initial murder more interesting or perplexing.


    Any additional comments?

    I only listen to these books in audible form because I commute 100 miles to work every day. I am a big fan of Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth mysteries and despite the let down with this one will continue to purchase them in audible formats for my commute. It's never easy to get used to a new narrator as I know only too well because the MC Beaton books have switched several times, but I couldn't adjust to Davina Porter's narration of this book. Davina Porter is actually a very good narrator whom I've heard before, and is pleasant to listen to - so I don't know what went wrong here but her voices really were pretty awful. Even after sort of adjusting to everyone else, I just couldn't adjust to her version of Agatha, who she turned into this sort of harsh crackling old ladyish voice that was just too far out of character if you read the Agatha Raisin books. If Ms. Porter does another, I sincerely hope she will listen to the previous narrators in this series and at least try to fall in a range somewhere along the diffentiations they made between characters. When narrators change in a series (even when they change from male to female of vice versa) it does seem as though they make something of an attempt to follow through with the general genre for the individual characters as previously narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23687)
    Performance
    (10272)
    Story
    (10354)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to be better than the print version?

    No way of knowing that, I would love to be reading regular books made with paper, but I commute for 3 hours a day and that's the only reason I listen to audiobooks.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    They were all good, Larsson is skilled at developing his characters and even more skilled at keeping your attention glued to the story. I couldn't really figure out why though, since the story was pretty rough in parts (sexual assault and violence) I expect to get depressed listening and will abandon a book altogether if it gets too violent or involves characters who are really sick. But somehow he kept me wanting to hear the rest of the story even when it became clear that the villain was really perverse.


    What aspect of Simon Vance’s performance would you have changed?

    The tone of his women character voices were sometimes kind of weird. I don't think he needed to alter his tone as much as he did for the women. I've listened to a lot of audiobooks by both men and women and even one series (about 20 books) that changed it's narrator from a woman to a man about half way in which was disconcerting, but it seems to me that if neither of them reach too far when they do the opposite gender, it works out better. Just my opinion anyway.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Pretty much, if it wasn't so long, even though it was impossible. I spent a lot of nights lingering in the driveway wanting to hear just a little more and a little more. But I have a rule that audiobooks are only for the car or really long walks.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to continue with the second book in the trilogy. The only reason I decided to check out this one on audio was because I saw all the actors from the new movie on Charlie Rose having a serious discussion about the author and how they went about making the movie. Then I looked up the author and found that his background was unusual and interesting and that he had recently die. I think the movie ends differently, so I wanted to read the book first before I saw the movie because I knew I would go to see the movie after watching that show. Thanks for carrying it. Oh, and while I'm at it, THANKS SO MUCH for offering the books and lectures of Dr. Richard Feynman. His work was a recent discovery for me, and I was really surprised to find that Audible had audio versions of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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