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Robin

ratings
112
REVIEWS
93
FOLLOWING
11
FOLLOWERS
18
HELPFUL VOTES
121

  • The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Melanie Benjamin
    • Narrated By Kim Mai Guest
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (81)

    In her national best seller Alice I Have Been, Melanie Benjamin imagined the life of the woman who inspired Alice in Wonderland. Now, in this jubilant new novel, Benjamin shines a dazzling spotlight on another fascinating female figure whose story has never fully been told: a woman who became a nineteenth century icon and inspiration—and whose most daunting limitation became her greatest strength.

    Rupe says: "Amazing"
    "Truth wasn't stranger than fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb the most enjoyable?

    The narrator did a great job of portraying the character's feelings and viewpoint.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I think it should have been fictionalized more. There were whole sections of the character's life that weren't all that interesting, but since the author was basing it on a real person, we were stuck with that. Maybe the book should have just been shorter and not tried to cover her whole life.


    What does Kim Mai Guest bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She did a very good job portraying emotions and views of the various characters


    Who was the most memorable character of The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb and why?

    Mrs Tom Thumb is the one you get to know the most, as everything is seen through her eyes. She did have an amazing life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Paying Guests

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (416)
    Story
    (418)

    It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

    B.J. says: "Great pacing, as always, but ..."
    "Way too long!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sarah Waters as usual gives plenty of period detail with a background of unknown menace. But every part of the book could have been much shorter. At one point near the end, the main character thinks about how boring life is when things drag on and on. I shouted out "Yes!" to my iPod, as that's how I was feeling about the book. The narration was good, that's what kept me going, and there was some suspense about various incidents, it's just that it took forever to resolve each one. And I didn't need to know quite so much about housekeeping in 1920!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Among Others

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (772)
    Performance
    (666)
    Story
    (668)

    Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

    Eoin says: "Subtle Character Piece"
    "Books can save your life!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book about books, about magic, and about the magic of reading itself. Books are the brightest part of life for the young heroine, and are also her doorway to connecting with other people. The narrator is the incomparable Katherine Kellgren, who gets a whole new accent to voice, Welsh, which she does terrifically. I so wanted to meet this young lady and share her enthusiasm for the joy of reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (796)
    Performance
    (511)
    Story
    (498)

    Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

    A User says: "Ulysses (Unabridged)"
    "Don't worry about understanding - just listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book I put off for many years, because it was supposed to be hard work. It probably is if you want to study all the allusions to mythology, Irish history, Shakespeare, etc. But It's wonderful just to listen to. It's full of poetry and song, sometimes just in the middle of a sentence. It does take concentration and I listened to some sections more than once, always picking up new things.

    I'm working through it with a book group and I've been listening first, then looking at the text to see what I missed, or what visual aspects there are (as he does play with that as well.) This must have been very challenging for the narrator and I think he does a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rapture of the Deep: Bloody Jack #7

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (432)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (278)

    On the very day that Jacky Faber is to wed her true love, she is kidnapped by British Naval Intelligence and forced to embark on yet another daring mission--this time to search for sunken Spanish gold. But when Jacky is involved, things don't always go as planned. Jacky has survived battles on the high seas, the stifling propriety of a Boston finishing school, and even confinement in a dank French prison.

    Amazon Customer says: "Excellent series"
    "Predictable series still has some surprises"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If it weren't for the brilliant narration by Kellgren, I probably would have listened to 1 or 2 of this series at most. At this point, I think the author includes scenes, songs and voices just to show off what Katherine Kellgren can do.

    The events keeping Jacky and Jamie apart have become quite farfetched and some of the plot twists are predictable . And yet there were still a couple of surprises that were logical based on information we already head, but that I didn't see coming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Chbosky
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2260)
    Performance
    (2056)
    Story
    (2075)

    Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love.

    FanB14 says: "Intelligent, Absorbing Coming of Age Story"
    "Touching and entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story with an unusual hero. It takes some time to get to know him and understand what makes him tick. Some readers said he seemed too innocent to be a 15 year old but I think there are kids like that, and when you get through the book, you can understand why. I thought the narration was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1718)
    Performance
    (1148)
    Story
    (1157)

    Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle. While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result.

    Amazon Customer says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "A bit outdated but has heart and soul"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The underlying story from WWII is fascinating, and this coming from someone (me!) who swore off WWII books for the indefinite future! Shute has a positive view of humanity and even in the war, there is only one really evil person. He shows how ordinary people can rise to extraordinary situations and how eager we really are to connect and help each other. I chose this book because I so enjoyed the same theme with a very different story in Shute's Trustee from The Toolroom.

    There are a couple of flaws to the book. I think the later part is all sort of epilogue and not as strong as the earlier sections. Having the story told by a third person is a little odd, since some of the time he is narrating things he couldn't really know. And the casual racism toward the "abos" is a bit alarming.

    The narration is very good, rather subdued but it works fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (779)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (697)

    Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared.

    adrienne says: "A delightful surprise!"
    "Somewhat entertaining but farfetched"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The main character is a clever idea, a mystery writer who actually is himself a thief. I liked his personality and his attempts to work out his novel's plot. But in some ways he was awfully dense in solving the mystery of this story. And the plot became pretty unlikely. At one point the hero just happens to be at a particular spot to recognize a clue. It was also a bit more violent than I like, I think more than was necessary. The narrator was very good and kept me interested, but overall this was nothing special and I probably won't continue with the series

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1580)
    Performance
    (1472)
    Story
    (1479)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Alexis says: "Fun! Things you might want to know:"
    "Not really about a pandemic, much better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From the descriptions, I thought this would be a medical thriller about a pandemic sweeping the world. That's a category I don't particularly care for, but I knew with John Scalzi writing it, there would be some heartwarming moments and some humor. It turns out the pandemic is only the backstory. The main story is a police mystery and a look at future technology.

    I have the version with a choice of two narrators but to me Will Wheaton IS John Scalzi, and vice versa. (I got to hear Scalzi read once and they actually do sound alike!) So I doubt I'll even listen to the other reader.

    Besides being creative and funny, Scalzi always has a message about respect and human connection (or even nonhuman in some books). Here he has a great hero who is a decent and peace loving guy but can really kick some butt when he needs to -and enjoy it.

    I was a bit disappointed that the last section was the "prequel" rather than more of the main book. I wasn't as interested in hearing other voices or characters at that point. There certainly could be sequels and I'd snap them up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Off to Be the Wizard

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Scott Meyer
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1713)
    Performance
    (1613)
    Story
    (1622)

    It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble. Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

    Charles says: "Fantastic"
    "Just for fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing deep or serious here, just geeky fun. I'm not sure if the audience is supposed to be young adults. It would certainly work for them. Fans of Ready Player One should enjoy it, but it's lighter in tone. Give a guy magic powers and all he wants is unlimited burritos, beer and board games - plus flying is not bad.

    It wasn't what I expected from the description of a modern young techie adrift in the Middle Ages, but that's the point, he doesn't find what he expected either. The well-done narration contributes to the humor.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Interestings

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Jen Tullock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1271)
    Performance
    (1126)
    Story
    (1129)

    The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

    Tango says: "Needs a better title, but a good read (listen)"
    ""Interesting" enough but nothing special"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this appealing but I'm sure many listeners will be annoyed by the mostly well-off East Coast young people whining about what they don't have or can't do. It could have been shorter. Also it's mostly in chronological order but then items will be thrown in out of order for no particular reason.

    The characters' happiest times are in high school at their arts camp. For many of us, being an adult is way better than adolescence but those people keep trying to return to their youth, which of course never works.

    The narration is very good and it kept my attention. It's an interesting contrast with Shotgun Lovesongs, which is also about a group of friends in middle age regretting their lost youth. I think that one was deeper than this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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