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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
246
REVIEWS
233
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
274
HELPFUL VOTES
1359

  • Adam Bede

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (36)

    George Eliot’s first full length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love. Adam Bede is a hardy young carpenter who cares for his aging mother. His one weakness is the woman he loves blindly: the trifling town beauty, Hetty Sorrel, who delights only in her baubles—and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand.

    C. Telfair says: "First George Eliot Novel and First-Rate!"
    "First George Eliot Novel and First-Rate!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This has it all - great setting, characters, love triangles, tragedy, and a lot very welcome comedy, as well!

    I had never read this first book by George Eliot, but I must now rate it as one of my favorites. And I suspect that is partly because I have just first experienced "Adam Bede" in the audio format! The dialects of Eliot's wonderful people would be hard-going in book form, but Wanda McCaddon renders them understandable yet full of character and personality.

    This is a familiar old story. Class distinction, misplaced affection in Victorian England leads to unhappiness and tragedy. Yet the strong, the hard working, and the morally resolute prevail in the end.

    Adam Bede, the title character, is not necessarily the most interesting or the most important character in this book, yet one understands why the author chose him to represent what she believes to be the epitome of British virtue. It's not a revolutionary or a shocking novel, but Eliot weaves the old tale with a real mastery of description, characterization, and humor. I highly recommend this book, and especially the narration of Wanda McCaddon.

    14 of 14 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
    (484)
    Performance
    (429)
    Story
    (423)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (586)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (515)

    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!

    2 of 2 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
    (39)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    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!

    4 of 4 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
    (176)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (134)

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Damage

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rebecca James
    • Narrated By Craig Baldwin
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    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.

    4 of 4 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
    (250)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (200)

    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!

    2 of 2 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
    (369)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (318)

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Time and Time Again

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Ben Elton
    • Narrated By Jot Davies
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    It’s the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be.Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war.

    KMNNY says: "Excellent Read, Edge of Seat, Smart"
    "Don't Mess With Yesterday!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What happens when a bunch of academic historians actually get the opportunity to change history? Well, I think you can imagine that the results are not what they expected - and not necessarily of benefit to the present and future.

    This is an often fascinating look at alternative histories, of the "be-careful-what-you-wish-for" variety. There's lots of action and some quirky and interesting characters in both the past and present sections of the book. For time travel genre fans, it's a real winner with excellent narration.

    If, like me, you tend to find yourself asking too many questions and thinking too many "but"s, just remember to suspend that gut disbelief in the whole concept - you'll have a good time inside "Time and Time Again"!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Blanding
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (211)

    Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers - both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects.

    Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief - until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library.

    Andy says: "with a little charm, you can rob almost anyone"
    "A Study of the Strangeness of People"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fascinating listen! You might think map collectors and dealers just couldn't be all that interesting, but you would be wrong.

    Anyone who has poured over a map on the fly leaves of a book or noticed the beauty of a colorful map will appreciate the subject matter here. There's a lot of surprisingly enlightening information about the history and artistry of map making around the world. Listening while on road trips, my husband and I found ourselves learning a lot and enjoying the process.

    But this is not a book just about maps. It's primarily about people and their odd, odd ways. Forbes Smiley is the map collector, student, dealer, and, finally, thief. He's a complicated man - one who can love maps and the libraries which harbor them while, at the same time, consistently stealing for personal gain from the institutions and people who trust him.

    It's also about the incredible lack of records and security in rare book libraries and archives. About the defensiveness of university and public library officials who fear losing prospective donations so much that they fail to report thefts from their collections. About collectors and dealers who eagerly snap up maps which they well know may be stolen. About the distinction between "fine art" and these lovely antique maps and atlases - and the discrepancy between punishments for criminals involved in stealing them.

    This book is about a lot. I think just about anyone will like it!



    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Masqueraders

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Ruth Sillers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (217)

    After participating in the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Robin and Prudence, brother and sister, become engaged in a swashbuckling, romantic adventure. Our hero and heroine must cross-dress and switch genders if they are to escape prosecution a humorous move that allows Heyer to explore the manners and language affectations of the period as the two romp through the elite saloons and clubs of London.

    barbara says: "Difficult to follow as an audio book"
    "Swashbuckle City!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most of Georgette Heyer's best known romances are set in the fairly sedate English Regency period at the beginning of the 19th century, but "The Masqueraders" takes place a couple of generations before that. The Hanoverian King George I has recently defeated the Stuart line of Bonny Prince Charles, so the politics are more unsettled and dangerous at this point in time. The French Revolution is 50 years in the future, so English aristocrats still emulate their continental counterparts in lavish dress, speech, and exaggerated manners. Duels are common and pretty much tolerated in a fairly permissive society.

    Add to this exotic setting a couple of young adventurers, Prudence and Robin, who assume gender-bending disguises to obscure their politically- and socially-suspect past. Confused prospective lovers, a couple of duels and carriage chases, and an oh-so-eccentric father add complications and hijinks galore.

    The story and characters are alternately charming and frustrating, as is the somewhat antiquated language assumed by the author. I believe that Ruth Sillers does a wonderful job of presenting this hodgepodge of French-accented and mannered English without often resorting to an overly arch tone.

    I still prefer the Regencies, but "The Masqueraders" does offer some memorable characters, stirring action sequences, and a change in style and tone.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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