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Robin

ratings
93
REVIEWS
83
FOLLOWING
11
FOLLOWERS
15
HELPFUL VOTES
97

  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey, Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1009)
    Performance
    (814)
    Story
    (815)

    One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.

    David says: "Gripping novel, excellent production"
    "A classic that should be better known"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Woman in White again? Why?

    Probably not because of the length but I did enjoy it


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Some of the plot was predictable but there were several dramatic surprises.


    Which character – as performed by Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Walter was my favorite, although he doesn't appear in large parts of the book. I chose this book partly because I have enjoyed Simon Prebble. The largest part narrated by Josephine Bailey is of the character Marian and I disliked how she did that character, she sounded too mechanical, as if she was reading rather than speaking.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There is a great surprise around the middle of the book which I didn't see coming and which introduced many questions answered in the later part of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I will probably listen to others by Collins.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paw and Order: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (51)

    In the seventh book in the brilliant New York Times best-selling mystery series, canine narrator Chet and P.I. Bernie journey to Washington, DC, and the dog-eat-dog world of our nation’s capital. Stephen King has called Chet "a canine Sam Spade full of joie de vivre". Robert B. Parker dubbed Spencer Quinn’s writing "major-league prose". Now the beloved team returns in another suspenseful novel that finds Chet sniffing around the capital city and using his street smarts to uncover a devilish plot.

    Tracey says: "The Guinea Pig Did It!!"
    "Quinn and Frangione forever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes, these books are all sort of the same but I don't care. I hope Spencer Quinn keeps writing them forever and Jim Frangione stays on forever as the voice of Chet. I was on a trip last week, exhausted and jet lagged, and I couldn't focus on a print book or a more serious audiobook. I put this on and immediately was smiling and chuckling.

    Chet and Bernie are in a new setting here of Washington DC and of course they immediately run across a murder. But what really matters as usual is the wonderful relationship between man and dog, and the great dog's-eye view of the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hunting Shadows: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery, Book 16

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (172)

    A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a man is murdered. After another body is found, the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard. Though the second crime had a witness, her description of the killer is so strange it's unbelievable. Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own. The victims are so different that there is no rhyme or reason to their deaths. Nothing logically seems to connect them - except the killer. As the investigation widens, a clear suspect emerges. But for Rutledge, the facts still don't add up, leaving him to question his own judgment.

    Kathi says: "Another great Ian Rutledge book!"
    "Complicated mystery with atmosphere"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In a way this is a typical Ian Rutledge mystery, with the long shadow of WWI cast over events. There are some interesting minor characters introduced. But Rutledge's struggles and the presence of Hamish (most unusual sidekick ever) are less featured. Simon Prebble is always good though I found it hard to distinguish some of the many characters by voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swallows and Amazons

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Arthur Ransome
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (53)

    Swallows and Amazons, the book that started it all in 1930, introduces the Walker family, the camp on Wild Cat Island, the able-bodied catboat "Swallow," and the two intrepid Amazons, plucky Nancy and Peggy Blackett.

    Jefferson says: "Idyllic, Funny, Vivid Childhood Adventure-Play"
    "Kids' adventure stands the test of time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know who would be more envious, 21st century kids or 21st century parents, of a time and place where kids, aged 7 to at most 14, can sail real boats, swim, camp, build fires, use knives, etc. with no adult supervision for days on end. The kids know they are responsible for everything and they live up to the demands. Sure, this is fiction, but it is based on the author's childhood. These are the people who would grow up to deal with the Battle of Britain, air raids and rationing with the motto "Keep Calm and Carry On".

    The kids also have great imaginations, and the girls are just as good at sailing and climbing as the boys, which is very impressive for a story from the 1930's. One of the girls, whose name was probably Letitia but goes by the (to Americans) unfortunate name of Titty, is always the first to suggest bloodthirsty adventures.

    I'm not sure why a woman narrates, as the author was a man and the kids are of both genders, but it works fine. Apparently some British listeners disliked the narration as too much like a governess, but I thought it was good, and she was able to keep the voices of the various characters distinct.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth Is Missing

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Emma Healey
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    In this darkly riveting debut novel - a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also an heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging - an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

    Amber says: "A contemporary mystery for non-mystery lovers."
    "A tour de force!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is told by Maude who is increasingly suffering from dementia. Talk about an unreliable narrator! But because we hear what is happening in her brain, we understand that everything makes a kind of sense, other people just don't see those connections. This book made me want to be more patient with and interested in my aging relatives.

    The narration is brilliant. The great Davina Porter captures the many sudden mood changes and confusions while keeping the heroine relatable. Also there are parts of the story that are early memories, and Porter changes her voice enough so that she is still Maude but a younger one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tooth and Claw

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Here is the tale of a family dealing with the death of their father, of a son who goes to law for his inheritance, a son who agonizes over his father's deathbed confession, a daughter who falls in love, a daughter who becomes involved in the abolition movement, and a daughter sacrificing herself for her husband.... Except that everyone in the story is a dragon, red in tooth and claw.

    Robin says: "19th Century Novel - with Dragons"
    "19th Century Novel - with Dragons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story right out of Austen, Trollope, or Dickens, all about social class, money, property, marriages, and society. But all the characters are dragons. It's really charming to read about the dragons putting on hats, attending church, riding on trains (when flying isn't socially acceptable), and then sitting down to a few raw cows for dinner. And if tensions between them get too high, they just eat each other! A tour de force and very well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (668)
    Performance
    (612)
    Story
    (609)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Hank Reads! says: "Completely absorbing!"
    "Didn't match the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first heard about this book, I thought "I can't handle ANOTHER story from WWII. But the reviews said it was "luminous", "extraordinary", and that it dealt with the relationship of two young people during the war. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that their intersection takes up maybe 5 minutes of the book. And I wish I had listened to my original concerns.

    One theme of the book is the spiral as seen in shells, drains, etc. and the book structured in the form of a spiral. A number of elements start out far apart and as the story circles around and repeatedly comes back to them, they get closer and closer together until they reach the point of connection. A clever idea, but I think it would have been more effective if the author hadn't started the book with a scene from almost the end, then gone back to show how the characters got to that point, while sometimes interspersing scenes from the "present". I don't mind that the book isn't linear, though some readers did get confused, especially in audio. But since we know the direction the story will go, and we know how WWII turned out, there's not much suspense. I felt more dread - which manifestations of the evils of war will these particular characters have to suffer through before they arrive at the scene that opened the book? (cold, hunger, betrayal, illness, loss?)

    There are a number of big questions addressed and they aren't subtle. What is free will? What is courage? What is the power of human communication, human knowledge, and human imagination? What is guilt and what is innocence? The more the book went on, the less its characters seemed like real people to me and the more they were symbols.

    The narration was fine, and the narrator handled the French and German pretty well but it was so slow that I ended up using the double speed on my iPod, which I've never done before. Sometimes I wished I could have speeded up even more. That's an indication that the book was not grabbing me. For audiobooks I usually want them to last and I want to savor the performance rather than get through in a hurry.

    Please check out other reviews as most people loved this book and its writing. Maybe I just need a longer break from any book involving Nazis!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shotgun Lovesongs: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nickolas Butler
    • Narrated By Scott Shepherd, Ari Fliakos, Maggie Hoffman, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (133)

    It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends—all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town—it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own, or struggling to do so. One of them never left, still working the family farm that has been tilled for generations. But others felt the need to move on, with varying degrees of success. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit, and one of them even hit it big as a rock star. And then there’s Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives.

    Janice says: "Thirty-Something angst"
    "On Wisconsin! Great sense of place"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a Midwesterner I enjoyed the setting of prairie and small town. Someone said the subject was the angst of 30-somethings, but I'd say it's more about the universal experience of never being content with what we have, envying someone else, not knowing they are envying you. It's about the age when people look around and wonder if this is how their lives are supposed to turn out. And it's about figuring out what is really important in life.

    I usually don't care for books with multiple narrators because I will hate at least one of them but in this book I thought all the narrators were excellently matched with their characters. The one female character may have been less effective, but I think that's because the male author didn't give her as much depth as he did to the men he created.

    It may be unrealistic the way some of the characters described the land in such poetic terms, but I thought it fit in just fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Attachments: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Laura Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (618)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (543)

    Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder, coworkers at The Courier, know the newspaper monitors their office e-mail. But they still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers, and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill still can’t believe that it’s his job to monitor other people’s e-mail.

    Julie says: "Just what I'd hoped for"
    "Narrator could have done so much more!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A large part of the book is comprised of emails between Jennifer and Beth. I assume they are supposed to have different personalities, but the narrator made them sound exactly alike, at least to me. I'm not sure why I didn't pick up on this with the sample as it annoyed me in the first 5 minutes of the book.

    It wasn't awful, but only mildly amusing. It wasn't the mail format that was the problem for me. I loved The Boy Next Door narrated by the inimitable Barbara Rosenblatt and also the Shopaholic books which contain a fair number of letters, emails, etc. Those made me laugh out loud and I'm sure this one could have with a more versatile narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6942)
    Performance
    (6609)
    Story
    (6621)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Terrific! and perfect for audio!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent example of a book I would never have read without Audible and all the great reviews. I'm not really interested in science, engineering or space BUT in my opinion that's not what this book is about. It's about human beings and the human spirit.

    I would have listened to this in one sitting if I could have. I couldn't tear myself away! The narration was perfect! I saw a couple of reviews online that found the hero's journal entries to be silly. I can see that written out, they may look that way, but on audio they are exactly right. Kudos to R. C. Bray who totally was our hero Mark.

    The story is gripping and exciting, but also heartwarming. It would make a great movie. And if I were to be stranded anywhere, this is the guy I would want with me.

    Remember how I said above that I wasn't interested in space? This week while I was in the middle of the book, there was a newspaper article on Mars and I read every word! That is the power of great fiction, to expand our interests and our horizons.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Bonny Light Horseman: Bloody Jack #6

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (410)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (249)

    In My Bonny Light Horseman, the infamous pirate, riverboat seductress, master of disguise, and street-urchin-turned-sailor Jacky Faber has been captured by the French and beheaded in full view of her friends and crew.Inconceivable? Yes! The truth is she's secretly forced to pose as an American dancer behind enemy lines in Paris, where she entices a French general into revealing military secrets--all to save her dear friends.

    Celia says: "Stunning & Engaging"
    "Our sailor now is on land"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It takes some rather odd circumstances to get Jacky into close proximity with Napoleon himself. But the upshot is that the reader is forced to consider that war is not simple with good guys all on one side and glory as the reward.

    Several characters remark that our heroine has 9 lives, it's probably more like 20, I've lost track of the many times she is at the point of dying when. . . something happens and she is saved! Ah well, that's the genre after all.

    Kellgren continues to surpass all expectations. In this book, she has to indicate that Jacky is speaking French with an American accent, while continuing to narrate in her original Cockney. She also gets to do German and Russian accents for a change. Without her, I probably would never have picked up this series written for a younger audience and wouldn't have gone past one or two volumes. I only wish I had children the right age to appreciate these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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