Shepherdstown, WV, United States
"Cold Comfort Farm" is very dated and very British. It's a send-up of a kind of rural novel popular at the turn of the 20th Century -- dour, secretive characters living foreboding lives on isolated, atmospheric farms on the fens or the moors of England.
Aunt Ada Doom and the Starkadders trudge through existence on Cold Comfort Farm ("There have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort!") There are also the brooding, sex-starved sons Seth and Rueben, the grumbling, illiterate servants, and the cows (Aimless, Feckless, Graceless and Pointless). Into this seething mass of eccentricity drops Miss Flora Poste, a bright young thing from London whose parents have just died, leaving her with little money and the need to seek out a place to live among relatives. The Starkadders are it, and Flora is determined to set their lives straight in short order!
It's giggle-and-laugh out loud funny! As though, in America, Dorothy Parker suddenly found herself in the wilds of Appalachia. Stella Gibbons wrote the book in 1932, and this is a radio dramatization. The actors are wonderful, but beware some of the country accents (intentionally nearly incomprehensible at times). In the background, you can hear the lowing and cackling of the beasts, the ever-present thunder storms, and the sucking of the mud in the pasture.
This is 3 1/2 hours of great fun! Not for everyone, but lovers of all things British, Masterpiece Theater, and something really different are in for a treat.
I wanted to refresh my memory of this book in anticipation of the upcoming second movie. Instead of reading this one off the page, I decided to turn to the Audible version. And I was ultimately disappointed.
In print, I like this sequel to "The Hunger Games". Dealing with the consequences of one's actions and accepting responsibility are the lessons Katniss must learn when she grows into a leadership role. Her transformation from puppet to resistance leader is inspiring for all readers, young or old.
So, why is this listen not up to par? The reader is to blame! One-toned overemphasis on every word robs the experience of its great emotional core. "The Hunger Games" trilogy is all about emotion, and this narrator doesn't bring it. Clarity is important in an audio book; "EEE-nun-cee-ay-shun" here becomes a distraction and, eventually, a frustration.
Too bad! Stick to the written version.
You would not have thought that a book about crew and I would be at all compatible! My only knowledge of rowing comes from when I was a kid shuffling my Dad from one place to another while he caught no fish. I always took a book!
No matter, this listen is for everyone. The writing and the boys of the title are so sublime that the story skims along - as quick and lightly as "The Boat" itself. Daniel James Brown has taken exactly the right approach to telling the tale. He chose a few individuals whose compelling personal lives frame the excitement of the sports action with emotion and genuine feeling. Then he finished with the extraordinary circumstances of that particular Olympics of 1936.
It's a crackerjack combination. I am so grateful that I chose this Audible offering - mostly on a whim. Brown's exemplary writing, the inspiration of the story, and the perfectly measured voice of Edward Herrmann create an almost transcendent listening experience! An amazing book!! I am in awe!
I have followed Elizabeth George's Linley/Havers series since the very first book, and I have been a fan.
"Just One Evil Act" will be my last adventure with these two detectives.
I will try in this review to avoid any spoilers for those who will still want to try this book (as I did). In this listening experience I was left with several mysteries of my own. How many of us who have been acquainted with Barbara Havers all these years can believe that her reaction to being used and betrayed by a good friend would lead her to protect that friend? Our prickly, hotheaded, emotionally self-protective, untrusting Barbara?
Who could accept that the demanding new head "Gov" at Scotland Yard would overlook again and again dereliction of duty, lying, and actual law breaking? And, alas, who would have thought that this fan could actually find herself fed up with the actions and stupidity of a favorite character?
"Just One Evil Act" is simply too, too long. And I didn't believe it.
Like some other reviewers, I have had trouble reconciling the "Walt Longmire" TV series with these books. Conclusion: The books are way better! And the Audio versions are the very best!
"Serpent's Tooth" is a great case in point. Here it is: all the humor and wit - along with the cracking good basic mystery story - which make the series stand out. Johnson's choice of subject here is timely and gripping. His characters are, as always, wonderful and flawed and funny and heartbreaking. And, of course, George Guidall! I'd hate to be a TV actor trying to compete with that unique, wry, expressive voice!
TV's Walt is a good guy, but pretty much indistinguishable from other stoic, handsome, aging cowboys. The real Walt Longmire is here at Audible - with Craig Johnson and George Guidall.
Grafton rejuvenated her Kinsey Millhone series during the past few entries. That momentum kind of gets lost in "W".
Although the story lines are cleverly brought together, there's a sluggishness to this one. Kinsey puts up with a lot of stuff that Kinsey just wouldn't put up with - and that results in some frustration for the reader. I kept wanting to just "smack her upside the head"! There is one particularly obvious (and pointless) red herring. And, although Grafton presents a realistic and nonjudgmental view of the homeless, other seemingly-important characters and topics just sort of disappear along the way.
Hopefully, we'll see Kinsey rebound again at the very last of the alphabet.
Savage and violent aggressors, looters, slave traders, the Vikings do indeed make the perfect mindless "heroes" in video games! And it's very hard to picture them in the guise of the meek, mild, socialistic Scandinavians of today.
Professor Harl presents us with the real story, and, in some ways, it matches our preconceptions of the massive, feared raiders of movies and TV. Did you know, for instance, that there was a Viking king called "Bluetooth?" And, sadly, that the Vikings did not wear those cool horned helmets? What they did was learn from the cultures they dominated; they intermarried and absorbed much of the culture of their conquests.
In fact, they had an enormous influence on Britain, Germany, Iceland, Eastern Europe, even Russia. Yet that relentless warrior ethic sort of melded into the cultures of all these places and leaves little trace at home.
This course is very long, and some of the details may be most interesting only to specialists and/or those of Scandinavian descent, but there is much here for the listener with a more casual interest in history. The Professor presents a full range of Viking legacies - financial, military, artistic and literary - with enthusiasm and full command of his subject.
Once again, the Great Courses comes through with a fascinating presentation.
I really love this book! We're back in Three Pines for much of the action, there's an intriguing and touching mystery relating to legendary Canadian quintuplets, and the background plot line which has continued through most of the series progresses nicely.
Louise Penny has a great bag of tricks. She varies her locations, gives us more than one side to each character, and thus keeps us a little off balance with each new book. Who knew she could pull off a longish episode of cyber suspense so well? There's a lot of action (computer and real time) in this addition to the series. The wonderful cast of characters and the humor are front and center - add this to the usual spot-on narration of Ralph Cosham, and you have a very satisfying addition to the Inspector Gamache series. If you haven't read them, I'd advise starting at the beginning with "Still Life" and going through them in order.
I am in the minority here, as I do not fully agree with most of the other reviewers. Although this book starts well, and Pessl's writing is very good, I found "Night Film" to be something of a slog. It's just too long - why can't she and many other talented young writers (I'm talking to you, Tana French) learn the value of listening to a good, exacting editor?
I liked the premise, and the characters are quirky and compelling, but so much of this book is just going in circles. It adds up to much ado about not much. Sorry, but I think I'll skip the next one.
I have been a fan of the Great Courses for a long time. The two biggest drawbacks were price and difficulty of download. So, hooray for Audible for bringing us this collection!
"The American Civil War" is a terrific overview. I have recently moved to "Civil War country" near Antietam and am especially glad to refresh my memory of lessons past and add new knowledge about this subject.
Professor Gallagher gives us military information, of course, but there's also much about the political, social (regional, racial, etc) and other ramifications of the conflict. I especially enjoyed lectures about what was going on at the homefront on both sides during the war - and the attention to the experiences of women and African Americans (slave and free). It's not difficult to understand, hearing this recording, why we still live with so much "baggage" from the Civil War. Also, how fortunate we have been since to experience no warfronts on our homeland.
I learned a great deal from this course and highly recommend it!
I've been reading Georgette Heyer's regencies for years - some of the books many times. "False Colours" has never been one of my favorites.
That said, this is still so much better than most romances. The age-old plot of twins being mistaken for each other is used effectively. There's sparkle and wit in the characters and some question as to how the whole thing will be resolved. Even secondary Heyer makes for a diverting and enjoyable listen!
I think Phyllida Nash is a wonderful narrator for Georgette Heyer.
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