This is up to this author's usual well written literary standards, with a good reader, plot, and story. It is, unfortunately, entirely believable, given our recent (and known long past) political history. Hopefully, this plot will always be (have been) fictional; though something tells me that there is more to the fiction than fiction, either now, or in the past or future.
This is a belly full of laughs and no mistake. I swear one of the princes is a Texan! The reader is also a prince of a guy, and elevates a delightful story into a howl.
What? Me? Resist Jim Dale reading an adventure about an unpopular British schoolboy who breaks out of the boring everyday London into the "other" city, where fantastics come alive and where a seemingly (not really) dorky girl companion bravely accompanies him?
Not on your life!
All I want is the next one.
This is a superb book, a life changer for me. It may be a little easier read in the written form than the audio, at least in part due my needing to stop reading and ponder several ideas here. The concept of sitting meditation and buddhist psychology and thought is by no means new to me, having studied it for decades. But this particular presentation was stimulating, not just to the mind, but to the spirit. Nothing to do with religion, just the development of relationship with the entire universe, presented in a very down-to-earth form.
Can't get past the first hour and a half to see if this is a good story or not. I was impressed with all the reviews, and eager to listen, as I love good historical fiction. But there was a bit too much of the burnings and the tower ttorture in the first part for me. I know they existed, and I know there were sadists, but a little demonstration goes a long way. If I ever pick this book up again in the distant future, I will skip to halfway into the story to see if it gets any less grisly. As it is, I wasted a credit.
This is 2nd of an historical fiction series that was presented on audio in reverse order; but each book stands well on its own merit. Which says a lot for any book that is part of a series these days.
This is a believable historical portrayal of Richard I era England, accompanying delightful characterizations in an intriguing adventure / mystery. There is action, a smattering of sex, a good deal of philosophy about the concept of "honor" in people of both noble and ordinary birth, all without too much agonizing over ideas when they can be shown in the deeds of the characters, from lowest to highest in the social order. There is also a sample (a bit too much for my taste) of the torture of victims of the royal jail, albeit realistic for the times. But the characters win the day, especially the "disgraced" and former knight, Crispin Guest, and his child side-kick, Jack (who provides a charming "Greek chorus", while being a good foil for our hero).
Overall enjoyable enough to make me want to hear the entire series. And the most excellent reading of Michael Page carries me along into these stories nicely!
Interesting fictionalized presentation of the politics of post-Alfred (and pre-Norman) England. This is a time period of which I have read little historical fiction, but I would like to hear more. Details of daily life (especially for nobles) seem to be portrayed well. There is enough suspense, some gore, no gratuitous sex. It gives a pretty good sense of what it must have been like to live under the shadow of fear of Viking raids. Aethelred "Unred" Is shown as waffling and increasingly mentally unstable; but the story also gives a good feeling for what it must be like to hold power in a world where power-grabbers abound, and the way to power is violence. The way to power for women, make no mistake, is in relation to a man, and there is little enough even then. Overall, although not outstanding, I found it entertaining and somewhat informative. My main complaint is that it ends abruptly, and the next story is not yet available..
If you like the feeling of curling up in front of a fire with a good book, then this is that sort of book. It is a charming mystery with little twists. It inspired me to make evening tea with fresh thyme I was growing in a pot on my porch; and I will never smell thyme again without remembering this story.
A classic, written over 80 years ago, before the results of World War II were known, and before any of the current technology was conceived (the first binary digital computer and the Turing machine were both not developed until 1936). This is definitely a history, not a story, and there are no characters here. It spans billions of years of human evolution, includes genetic engineering (used to both improve the human species and to save it from extinction, which almost occurs a number of times).
The scope of this book is ambitious, and some of Stapledon's future predictions (of the near future) are, neccessarily, inaccurate. But the philosophical impact is, nevertheless, gratifyingly huge. I first read this book in 1970, and it left an impression on me for the rest of my life. I was pleased to find it in audio, and the reader is a good match. I will listen again, and will probably get the other book of his that I have read, "Starmaker".
Not really about the Book of Kells, but excellent on its own merits. It does contain a story about that book, but the main plot is not so much the time-travel (which is important to the character portrayal) but life and times in the Ireland of the 10th century. Herein is contained the storytelling (and the magic) of the Irish of any age, and richly portrayed by both the author and the reader. There are scenes in this book that I will probably never forget (and as much as I read and listen, that is saying something!)
The reader and the story of the progressive portrayal of the theater itself is worth the listen. Plot is ok, but it is elevated by showing (not telling) how drama changed over the course of several hundred years. It was done in such an entertaining manner that it bears at least one more listen.
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