Shepherdstown, WV, United States
Just want to say that this is a rare, uncut version of the play. Audible's other "Earnest" titles are of the abbreviated text usually performed. It's a real pleasure to hear Wilde's very witty lines - and a whole scene - which are routinely cut from productions.
If you already know "The Importance of Being Earnest" or other of Wilde's very funny plays, you'll be aware that the plot is pure fluff and silliness. I mean that in the very best way: Monty Python and P.G Wodehouse (What Ho, Jeeves!) owe a debt to Oscar Wilde.
This is obviously an older recording, but the sound is quite good. The performers are wonderful, tho perhaps less well-known that those on other versions. I enjoyed this thoroughly!
I'm a Grandma, and my just-turned-seven grandson has been obsessed with this series since borrowing the movie "The Owls of Ga'hoole" from the library.
Delighted with his furious reading, I decided to check out Kathryn Lasky's work. Must say I didn't have much hope that the books would offer much literary value! So, I read a couple and ordered this one from Audible.
What a nice surprise! There's real "meat" here in a riveting story about a charming society of owls. As with many of the best and most popular series for the very young, the action seems very violent and the dilemmas faced by the characters seem very mature. Smart authors like Lasky keep what are very serious human themes at a distance from young minds by using animals as characters. Their world is somewhat like ours, but the real pain and threats which make these characters and the story so real aren't experienced in an uncomfortable and scary way. Must say I am impressed with the quality and the emotional impact of the Ga'hoole books I have read.
Reading was fun, but Pamela Garelick makes this world even better! I love her narration. Of course, it's best to encourage kids to read the books themselves, but the Audible alternatives would make great family listens during car trips.
but, what the "Hell", it's Dan Brown!
How to relate a literary classic about sin to the problem of population control? Ignore the fact that there is no real connection, supply non-stop action, and manipulate your readers til their minds boggle! That's the Dan Brown way, and he has returned more or less to form in "Inferno".
It's been pointed out by many (including me) that this author is not a stellar writer, improbabilities-to-impossibilities abound in all his books, and he pulls all kinds of unfair tricks on the reader. But here's a guy who knows how find an intriguing premise, then how to grab and hold your attention throughout a longish book.
If you like Brown in top form (as in "DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons"), then you will almost certainly like "Inferno". At times infuriating, this is still a fun and diverting ride! And Paul Michael delivers it with authority and enthusiasm.
I was excited about revisiting - in audio - a series of books which I have so enjoyed over the years. In one way, I was not disappointed, because the performance by Steve West is quite good, and all the quirky characters I remembered are still there. The aristocrats, the wannabes, the shop-and-bar keepers.
But, on the whole, these characters have not aged particularly well. Although the "pub" title trademark remains interesting, "Aunt Agatha" and "Melrose Plant" now seem more the copies from older British mysteries that they actually are. There's a dated, self-conscious feeling here that is not as apparent in the original, classic series of Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Marjorie Allingham and, to some extent, Agatha Christie.
Is it possible that American authors really can't quite capture the traditional, cozy British who-done-it? Maybe - and I think I'd rather just remember the Jury/Plant series as something I really liked 25 years ago. No need to revisit.
This is a very informative and interesting audio. My husband and I listened to it on a cross-country road trip, and it took up a fair number of days and states! We learned a lot!
Both a history of the contentious battle leading up to WWII and a semi-biography of Lindbergh (and, to an extent his wife Ann,) this new work by Lynne Olson succeeds on the first count but falls a bit short on the second. So many people were involved in the anti-war and America First movements, and their motives were so varied, that the account and the cast of characters is sometimes too complicated to follow, and the Lindberghs are absent for much of the discussion. I found myself wanting to get back to them.
But this is at heart the tale of two very different, very opinionated, very stubborn men of great influence in a turbulent time. Hearing their story (and that of other pro-and-anti-WWII activists) is a reminder that no action in American history has been without controversy, not even the response to the Hitler movement in Germany. Some of those who opposed war were genuinely and earnestly convinced that involvement in WWII would be disastrous for America - they were labeled traitors and anti-Semites. Those who wanted to come to the aide of Britain were called war-mongers. It is painful to recognize in these historical arguments the same short-sighted intolerance and vicious personal attacks which are so common in today's politics.
Japan ultimately settled the argument between the interventionists and the isolationists.
Lynne Olson justly reminds us that such periods of debate should not be forgotten.
I have loved this series! Maisie Dobbs remains an admirable commentator on both the difficult and admirable social changes taking place in Post-WWI-Britain. This book is no exception, in that it deals with the post-Empire immigration struggles which brought new vitality but also often-resisted change to all of Europe's countries.
That said, Maisie has alas become a very predictable character. Her ambivalence about her relationships, her origins, and her wealth are becoming a bit stale. This once intriguingly different woman is too often now just too good to be true. And the increasingly syrupy narration of Orlagh Cassidy has not helped.
I hope the ending of this addition to the series foretells a vibrant, new direction for Maisie. The 1930s are advancing, and all her readers know what is coming for Britain within the next decade. Here's hoping Winspear returns to form as WWII approaches!
It's just not the same in Philadelphia. I liked this entry in the excellent series, but "Kindness" lacks something because it's not in Wyoming and Montana. There's just not that same sense of belonging in a place.
So, enough for varying the locale - now it's time to return home and keep the series there! Anyone who's a fan of Longmire (and there are many of us!) will want to listen to this addition, but I wouldn't start here.
As usual, George Guidall is just perfect!
This is a great addition to a wonderful series. There's something about Walt Longmire and his friends and family that draws the reader/listener into their world.
Much of this appeal is due to the terrific narration of George Guidall. He IS Walt Longmire - and Bear and every other character. He brings such heart and expression to the experience!
This book is particularly involving, because there's a baby, a Dog, and a wedding! You just can't help caring about these characters and about the resolution of the mystery. And you hope for more.
Pandas are a wonderful subject for one of the Magic Tree House books. The kids love them, but they learn here some of the realities of life for these endangered animals.
This is a terrific series, and it's nice to have an audible version. Can't help wishing, tho, that Mary Pope Osborne would allow someone else to "read" them. She obviously cares about the material, but I think children would benefit from a professional narrator.
In "The Importance of Being Earnest," Oscar Wilde's very upright English aristocrat Lady Bracknell says something like " I hate arguments; they are so often convincing."
Well, this book is a convincing and not-altogether-welcome argument, but an important and sobering one nevertheless. Using rock-solid evidence from lots of sources (modern and historical), Robert Kaplan tells us why we shouldn't dismiss geography as a determiner of politics simply because technology has made the world so "small". Our assumption that the whole world would be democratic if it just had the chance and the right example has tripped the US (and others) up most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. The overturn of oppressive governments in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and potentially Syria may not be turning out the way we thought/hoped they would either.
So, woe to those who don't know or heed the lessons of history and the enormous influence that geography has always had on the peoples of the world! I suppose this should be self-evident, but it wasn't made clear in the history classes I took.
Many of the theories of geopolitical history and warfare are quite detailed and scholarly and will be more than some readers wish to explore. The lessons, though, seem to me to be essential in understanding not only the past but in preparing for the future.
These truths may be unpalatable and frightening for those of us who believe that, at heart, all human beings basically think alike and want the same things. I suspect Kaplan's more realistic and more cautionary view of the world is correct, and we should all hear about it.
I was often uncomfortable listening to this, but I recommend it highly for those who want a clear-eyed view of what may be coming in the future!
I really have enjoyed the books of this series. This one, however, confused me on several levels. First of all, there's the really unlikely series of coincidences upon which the story and solution of this mystery are based. This number of connections would be hard to swallow in the smallest of villages; we're expected to believe that all these people come together exactly at this time and after all these years in a city the size of London!
I'm also trying to figure out the significance of the title and the information given in Chapter-beginning quotes about the old Crystal Palace. It's history is interesting, but the relevance to this story seems a bit obscure.
Gemma and Duncan and their developing relationship and blended family have been an important part of this series. Their domestic bliss, alas, so desired by fans, does not now add much tension or mystery. It's easy to see why authors delay these happy endings for as long as possible. Not to say they have become dull, but such perfect, loving people don't offer the same intrigue that the early Gemma/Duncan byplay did.
The smooth, lilting quality of Gerard Doyle's voice proves a bit too lulling for this sometimes slowly moving story. I think he's usually wonderful as a narrator, but he's not well suited to this listening experience.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.