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C. Telfair

Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

Shepherdstown, WV, United States

ratings
249
REVIEWS
236
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
284
HELPFUL VOTES
1409

  • The Winter's Tale (Dramatised)

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By John Guilgud, Peggy Ashcroft
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events that lead to death, a ferocious bear, an infant left in the snow, young love, and a statue coming to life. Sir John Gielgud and Dame Peggy Ashcroft lead a cast recording of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.

    C. Telfair says: "Wonderful Production"
    "Wonderful Production"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Recorded Shakespeare just doesn't get any better than this! Despite the time that has obviously passed since it was made (Guilgud and Ashcroft are long dead, after all!), the sound quality of "The Winter's Tale" is very good. And the performances are just wonderful. "Winter's Tale" is rather odd in the abrupt twists and turns and seemingly inexplicable plot line. The play walks an interesting line between tragedy and comedy. Hearing such storied actors performing the piece offers a great way to experience "The Winter's Tale" without actually going to the theater. The Shakespeare plays offered by Audible are terrific bargains!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark W. Muesse
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (107)

    No understanding of human life, individual or collective, could be complete without factoring in the role and contribution of these history-shaping teachers. Now, this 36-lecture series takes you deep into the life stories and legacies of these four iconic figures, revealing the core teachings, and thoughts of each, and shedding light on the historical processes that underlie their phenomenal, enduring impact.

    cliff says: "Audible at its best"
    "A Valuable and Entertaining Overview"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good example of what "The Great Courses" do best. There's a lot of information here, clearly and enthusiastically presented. These four religious figures are described in their historical context, religious and ethical significance, and influence on their and our contemporary worlds.

    At the outset, the Professor remarks that it is his goal that the listener not be aware of his own religious leanings by the end of the set of lectures - and he delivers on this promise of objectivity. We may argue to ourselves that one or another of these religious icons stands above the others, but this course presents them - quite rightly - as equal, giant figures in the history of religion and thought.

    I suppose it could be said that this is pretty basic stuff if you are already well versed in the lives and significance of these men and in the study of world religions. For most of us, however, it seems to me that this is a wonderful overview and well worth the time spent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Deeper Than the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1683)
    Performance
    (1037)
    Story
    (1027)

    Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer's escalating activity.

    John Wayne Tucker says: "A pleasant surprise"
    "Exploitative, Trite, and Badly Written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I could, I would have given this book minus ratings. If I dislike a book this much, I usually just either return it or decide not to review. But this time I think I should warn serious readers of psychological thrillers, dark mysteries, or romantic fiction.

    The characters here are mere stereotypical ciphers, the dialog is trite and hokey. I could not believe that a woman writer could present women in such a way: there's the nagging scold, the grasping and icy social climber, the cowering battered wife - all without a trace of subtlety or insight. Men are manly men, total abusers, or not very interesting. And, heaven help us, there's even the chattering, gossipy, one-of-the-girls gay man! Seriously?

    Add to this a nearly sickening and exploitative degree of graphic violence against women, child abuse, and utterly unimaginative and gratuitous sex scenes.

    Even the "mystery" isn't all that good. It doesn't come as any surprise at all who the villain is.

    Waste of time, money and/or credit. Skip it!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers from the Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (794)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (746)

    He's a duke. He's a mathematical genius. He can't talk and he's locked in a lunatic asylum. Only a modest Quaker girl can reach him, but when she helps him to escape, she's swept into his glittering aristocratic world, her life torn apart by his desperate attempt to save himself.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "~COMPELLING!!~ Love This Author! Love This Book!"
    "Odd Choice for this Genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How strange is it to find yourself in the middle of a traditional Romance Novel wishing for fewer erotic moments. Well, this is a most unusual book, and that is what happens! Stick with me for a moment while I explain.

    "Flowers from the Storm" (and where, oh where, does that inadequate title come from??) is very, very good in many ways. It's probably the best I've ever encountered at describing what it must be like to have a stroke and endure its effects. The confusion, frustration, anger, and helplessness of our hero are ours - his scrambled thoughts, feelings, attempts at language are conveyed to the reader/listener in an almost visceral way. It's extraordinary.

    Then there's our heroine. Maddie's Quaker beliefs are really honored and explained here - not just shoved in to create contrasting life styles and views for our lovers. All characters, in fact, are wonderfully presented, from the Duke's family and friends to the Quakers to the attendants at the madhouse. There's a real talent here for filling the story with rich and full characters.

    So, here's the dilemma: "Flowers" is full of serious, thoughtful, and interesting content. Yet, there's the necessity, in a Romance Novel, for the love scenes in some detail and eroticism. I'm not adverse to these scenes in traditional romances, but they do seem rather out of place here. I actually found myself wanting these diversions to go away and get us back to the real story of the Duke's struggles with his physical disabilities and the desperate need to communicate his mental competence. And Maddie's struggle with her efforts to help him and maintain her values of simplicity and honesty.

    Books which present this subject matter so well are usually given credibility - I'm just afraid the book's genre category and the really dumb cover and title will keep its rightful audience away. Too bad!

    Nicholas Boulton is a fantastic narrator - especially when conveying the Duke's point of view. It's harrowing to hear the raw confusion, fear, and frustration of a man accustomed to absolute power dealing with the inability to communicate - and we're with him every step of the way.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Narrated By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (559)
    Performance
    (499)
    Story
    (492)

    It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.

    loix says: "A fun and inspiring civics lesson"
    "More than Meatballs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This seemed a no-brainer bargain buy - classically French trained, Ethiopian chef from Sweden who ended up in Harlem. Sounded fascinating, and so it turned out to be!

    I'm neither great cook nor foodie, but I do watch Food Network shows in spare moments, and I've admired Samuelsson's point of view in his various contests and food shows. Turns out he's just as thoughtful and intelligent as he appears on TV.

    Nothing is better than a memoir where the author actually has something to say - with honesty and humility. Sometimes our "American Dream" stories get glossed over, without revealing the price that almost always has to be paid for success in business. Samuelsson tells his own interesting life-so-far story without a lot of psychological self-analysis, but with awareness of his flaws - and with refreshing condor and lack of self pity. The people in his life ring true, and the reader/listener finds him/herself taking an interest in each one of them.

    Must say I look forward to hearing what he has to say later on in his life. This is a memoir with a difference and well worth the time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Language A to Z

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John McWhorter
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (623)
    Performance
    (565)
    Story
    (550)

    Linguistics, the study of language, has a reputation for being complex and inaccessible. But here's a secret: There's a lot that's quirky and intriguing about how human language works-and much of it is downright fun to learn about. But with so many potential avenues of exploration, it can often seem daunting to try to understand it. Where does one even start?

    Jacobus says: "A genious Miscelany of linguistic topics"
    "Gobsmacked!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Now this is something fun and different from the venerable "Great Courses." I love them, but they tend to be considerably longer and more scholarly than "Language A to Z".

    Not that Professor McWhorter doesn't know his stuff. He is a speaker who helps put the "great" in these courses! I've listened to more than one of his audios and really respect his knowledge and teaching ability.

    Whether or not you are interested in linguistics, I would recommend listening to this course. It goes by in a minute (every lecture is only 15 of them!), and there's lots of pop culture references and interesting revelations about the origins of some of our strangest sayings.

    This is a great highway listen - and an enjoyable way to learn something in 15 minutes!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Fine Summer's Day: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    On a fine summer's day in June, 1914, Ian Rutledge pays little notice to the assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo. An Inspector at Scotland Yard, he is planning to propose to the woman whom he deeply loves, despite intimations from friends and family that she may not be the wisest choice.

    C. Telfair says: "A Welcome Earlier View of an Old Friend"
    "A Welcome Earlier View of an Old Friend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thank you, Charles Todd for this wonderful gift! It's a glimpse of the strong, confident, happy Ian Rutledge we know must have existed before the ravages of war.

    Ian is planning his marriage to the young and self-absorbed Jean while becoming more and more involved in an unusual case. The perpetrator is diabolical, and Ian must convince himself and others in law enforcement that his suspicions are real. There's a lot of darting about the countryside and putting together clues from churchyards and archives, but the story emerges in a most intriguing way. Inspector Bowles is just as contrary and vindictive as he will later be, and we get glimpses of Ian's sister and aunt in earlier, more carefree days.

    There is, however, another 'villain' in this piece. Just as menacing as any criminal, WWI is relentlessly in the background. Friends and colleagues are already marching off with enthusiasm to serve their country, and the knowledge that Ian Rutledge will soon follow - and will pay dearly - is painful to the listener/reader . It all makes for a bittersweet experience but one which this series fan really appreciates!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Risk of Darkness: Simon Serrailler 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (142)

    Following on from the child abduction in her previous novel The Pure in Heart, Susan Hill explores the crazy grief of a widowed husband, a derangement that turns to obsession and threats, violence and terror.

    Nancy says: "Nail biting story and brilliant narration"
    "An Excess of Story Lines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to the first three books in this series pretty quickly and enjoyed the writing and the characters. Simon Serrailler and his family are full of surprises and offer real depth to the works. In this book, the family dynamic changes considerably, setting up lots of possibilities for future revelations.

    "The Risk of Darkness", I think, has at least one two many plotlines - one in particular could easily have been eliminated altogether without damaging the overall story. Hill is a very serious writer - the gloom factor is pretty high, even for readers who don't much care for a lot of humor in mysteries. In this listen, it's a bit of overkill.

    This was satisfying in that some questions from earlier books are answered. So, despite being a bit less impressed by this addition to the series, I am willing to continue to the 4th book - but I need a little break before the plunge.

    Steven Pacey is one of the main reasons for pursuing the Simon Serrailler series - his narration is fantastic.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Damage

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rebecca James
    • Narrated By Craig Baldwin
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When Tim Ellison finds a cheap room to rent in his dream location, it seems nothing more than a wonderful stroke of luck. Despite the fact that the owner of the house, the mysterious Anna London, is unfriendly and withdrawn, he takes it. But when strange and terrifying things start happening in the house at night, Tim wonders if renting the room has been a terrible mistake - until his feelings for Anna start to change.

    C. Telfair says: "Reversed Gothic with a modern, Aussie touch"
    "Reversed Gothic with a modern, Aussie touch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A recent piece in the New York Times Book Review crime section led me to this book. Who could resist an Aussie modern Gothic Suspense/Romance with a reversal of characters?

    It's all there - the old mansion, dark hallways with locked doors; there's even an attic full of secrets! But, in "Sweet Damage", the brooding resident is a young woman, and the 'innocent' who happens into situation is a surfer dude!

    The setting is modern-day Sydney, the characters have updated issues and phobias, and the romance is a bit hotter than in most traditional Gothic novels. The twists and turns of plot and the surprises keep you listening and are a lot of fun to follow. Dense characters are revealed slowly, and that old sense of suspense, menace, and unanswered questions remains until the end.

    Craig Baldwin has a slight accent - the American reader can easily understand him, but there's an appropriate hint of Australia in his voice.

    I liked this a lot.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Pure in Heart: Simon Serrailler 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (215)

    Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler, first introduced in The Various Haunts of Men, is on a painting holiday in Venice when he is summoned home by a telephone call. He has family problems to face, and the stress and grind of running a busy police station. When a little boy is snatched as he stands with his satchel at the gate of his home, waiting for his lift to school, an ordinary community realises that terror and evil are in their very midst.

    Rebecca says: "Love This Series!"
    "A New - and unusual - Favorite Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading the first book in this series, I had a few reservations. This second entry pretty much resolved all that.

    The main character, Simon Serrailler, is much more in evidence here. He turns out to be a complex and interesting personality - frustratingly reserved, uncommunicative and distant; but, at the same time, a caring boss, brother, uncle and son. He and the other characters keep you interested, and the plot is an involving one.

    Some reviewers have noted that the resolutions of Susan Hill's plot lines are not very satisfying for many mystery fans. I'd say that her characters and the police actions in the books may rather reflect much of the true nature of police investigations and human motives.

    Steven Pacey, like all the best narrators, isn't a distracting performer. Instead, he just quietly personifies all the characters and delivers a natural and comfortable reading. Hard to beat that!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Various Haunts of Men: A Simon Serrailler Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (345)

    A woman vanishes in the fog up on "the Hill", an area locally known for its tranquility and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man, and even a dog disappear, no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet town. Young policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case; she's new to the job, compassionate, inquisitive, and dedicated to the task of unraveling the mystery behind this gruesome sequence of events.

    karen says: "Best of the best...."
    "Haunting Indeed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm pleased to find this series. Unusual, yes, unexpected, yes. But, from what's in "The Various Haunts of Men," it seems to me that Susan Hill can take her place among the elite of mystery writers. There's nothing cozy or formula about this story, but it's thoughtful, serious about human nature, and it feels true. I was truly hooked and moved by the characters and the emotion of the story.

    Other reviews have mentioned the relatively short amount of time actually devoted to the man who is supposedly the "hero" of this series, Simon Serrailler. Let's just say that this book is enough to keep me moving forward in the series to find out more. And I'm happy to be doing so with this wonderful narrator, Steven Pacey.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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