Shepherdstown, WV, United States
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.
"Classical Mythology" is one of "The Great Courses" doing what this series does best in several ways:
1) Elizabeth Vandiver is a well-qualified, pleasant-voiced, and obviously enthusiastic lecturer. Her command of the subject and interest in conveying it to the listener is evident.
2) There's lots for the general listener to learn. My husband and I have listened to the entire course during driving trips. We are perhaps just a bit more-than-average in our acquaintance with Greek mythology through history and literature. We're experiencing the "Percy Jackson" series with our grandson just now and enjoying that very much. This course serves as a great reminder and review of the knowledge we have/had, as well as lots of new information about the gods, heroes and tales of ancient Greece.
3) Professor Vandiver shares her opinions and even her biases. It's fantastic when listeners can pause the presentation to debate and even argue some of the points made by a teacher. Makes for a thought-provoking and involving experience.
4) It's unforgettable in lots of ways. The course brings insight into how our society today is still affected by these stories. Vandiver points out ways in which these myths have influenced modern archaeology, psychology, politics, and literature from Shakespeare to comic books.
Highly recommended as a useful and fun listen!
Inola Walela must be the best name ever! Along with a solid plot, fast-moving action, and intriguing characters, that's a good reason to give "Crescendo" a try.
We have seen it before, of course. The female cop - a misfit, conflicted, complicated character with secrets in her past. She's hesitant to commit to a personal relationship, she rarely confides in anyone, and she's unsure of herself and her position in the Department. Most of the men on the squad don't fully trust or accept her. Her dedication to solving her case, however, and exceptional skills make her a good cop, and she's willing sometimes to break the rules in pursuit of justice.
Still, Inola and her fellow characters are appealing, and the story grabs you fast. Ledford is a good writer, and Christina Cox narrates with clipped, no-nonsense enthusiasm and considerable skill. I'm definitely willing to continue with this new series.
My one reservation is whether, in the summer of 2014, we are becoming a little less trustful and accepting of the well-meaning cop who may exceed and/or misinterpret authority. In fictionl, we have accepted much in law enforcement that is more questionable when presented in the real streets of New York City or St. Louis. Will (and should) that make stories like this less popular?
I read all Georgette Heyer's books a long time ago, but I couldn't remember this one. Now I know why.
Pen Creed is one of Heyer's very young heroines. She's plucky, determined, willful and naive. And this seems to be her appeal to a polished, educated, experienced-but-bored man of the world. Lucky for her, he is also an honorable and principled guy, for we are quickly aware that, without him, she would be in a pack of trouble!
So much so that her innocence borders on stupidity and her willfulness approaches heartlessness. Now, this is not so common in the ladies of Georgette Heyer. Generally, the reader/listener can forgive the youthful wayward actions and enjoy the depth and heart of even the youngest characters. In "The Corinthian", you come to suspect that either Sir Richard will become completely bored with Pen pretty quickly or he's not all that bright himself.
Either way, this does not add up to prime Heyer. Even her usual attention to the eccentric "minor" characters is subdued here, as though even her heart was not in writing this particular story. She must have needed the money, or faced an impractical deadline. Even a dedicated Georgette fan can skip this one. Try "Sylvester" or "Venetia" or "Sprig Muslin" instead.
…But not entirely what we have always thought!
Shakespearean purists may object, but, as the authors point out in the epilogue, Shakespeare himself wasn't a purist. He borrowed and changed and molded stories to the stage.
And it's a good story! This novelization, without the familiar speeches, proves that the basic tale still holds attention and gives the authors a great opportunity for expanding characters and plot features.
I'll admit I bought this primarily to hear the wonderful voice of Richard Armitage, and he certainly does not disappoint. As with all excellent narrations, the listener quickly forgets she/he is experiencing the voice of one person, and we are drawn into the action and the characters effortlessly.
I love this take on the old story. There's depth of emotion here, and the characters and actions make sense in a new way. Anyone who's enjoyed Tom Stoppard's "Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead" should appreciate the twists and turns in this version as well.
As a wonderful bonus for those of us who have longed for deeper and better-realized female characters in Shakespeare's plays (tho we know we've had no right to expect it), Hartley and Hewson endow the women of Elsinor with brains and sensible motives and actions.
It's refreshing and different and beautifully read.
I thought I would really like this. It started out well: a great premise, witty and feisty female protagonists, and the author has all her vampires and werewolves in a row!
Then, not much. The promising characters just never came to life for me. The tone became increasingly more arch than witty, the situations contrived. No heart.
What fun to discover a classic that has not come my way before. Loved everything about this: the plot, the structure, and the narrator.
Levin's story is riveting, featuring a very believable bad guy with mind boggling self confidence and resourcefulness. The book is structured around three episodes, each one with memorable characters and building suspense, capped by surprise. And the narrator guides us well, bringing it all to life.
If I'd been reading this, I'm sure I'd have skipped ahead to find out the ending - love that that's a lot harder in Audible versions!
It's been years since I read (and absolutely loved) "Neverwhere." This is a terrific way to re-discover a fantasy classic.
Others have mentioned the perfect performances here. They are wonderful, and the work has been lovingly and beautifully adapted for radio (and Audible).
If you read the book, dive into this version of "Neverwhere". If you haven't yet experienced Gaiman's crazy world, take a moment to get used to the accents and the background noises, and enter. Like radio, it's presented in episodes - but be prepared to stay up late listening to all of them in one sitting! It's that good!
Having recently been in the Alaska Inland Passage, I thought this was worth a try. And, because of my own good memories, it was, if only for the location and the whales.
There's some decent intrigue here, as well. But the entire work is marred by the really terrible reading of the story. Meaning that this narrator only READS the book, and with not a lot of interest or enthusiasm at that.
I can only recommend this book if you have a thing for remote lighthouses and/or the magnificent Inland Passage of Alaska.
Wow! This is one of those books after which you never look at things quite the same way again. And, oh, it all makes so much sense!
I'm sure there are experts who would question whether this is exactly the number of "American Nations" or the precise boundaries and variances within each district. However, the weight of historical fact and intuitive "rightness" of this general theory is, in my view, absolutely undeniable. So much of what puzzles us in the disagreements and different philosophies of America's regions is explained forcibly and persuasively by Colin Woodard.
All of the regions display good and appalling mindsets and inclinations in this description - no one escapes scathing criticism for actions throughout American history. Naturally, there are sweeping generalizations and stereotypes involved in presenting such a thesis, but I found myself often smacking myself on the forehead (figuratively speaking, mostly) and expostulating: "Oh, of course! of course!"
I'll never forget this book - it will come to mind especially at Election time. I recommend it highly for anyone from any region. You may not agree with it all, but you won't deny it offers intelligent insight into much of America's past and present - and probably foretells the future all too well!
Huge fan; I want to make that clear. I have gobbled up all the Longmire mysteries and am in awe of George Guidall's narrative abilities. Love the humor and the interaction of the characters.
That said, I was a bit disappointed in "Any Other Name". For the first time in the series, I felt myself being manipulated here. One too many demonstrations of Walt's doggedness, one too many wounds in one too many extended confrontations, and for what? Would the man we know and love really put so many strangers above a frightened Katie in her hour of most need?
There are excellent moments. I just loved, for instance, the fog-and-snow storm that finds our hero unknowingly in the midst of a herd of potentially dangerous buffalo.
I'm just hoping for a return to top-notch form in Book 12.
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