Its quaintness, its prose and its setting. I realise that it is considered to be the first detective novel, but by giving it a notional genre, there is a danger that it will be limited to that in the reader's expectation. It is much, much more than a detective novel. And it is very much a novel of its era. I believe that it was released in serial format initially and it lends itself to this very well. There is a gentle antiquity to it and reading a chapter or two then having an enforced break (while the author writes the next two chapters perhaps!) is a charming way to consume this book. Especially in this world of endless racing and pacing.
No, not on the edge of my seat - it is a mystery but not a thriller. Being set in and written in the 19th century, it reflects that slower epoch.In fact, the plot was unbelievable in these times, but it was a vehicle for the other aspects of the novel, like the writing, the construction and the 'twist in the tail'.
I thought this was an excellent novel for reading aloud. I liked the sound of the narrator's voice and was impressed by his ability to draw the characters in my mind with his changes voice for each one.His pace was good, not too slow so that the story dragged on and on - it is a long book, but not so fast that I felt rushed by the speed of his delvery.Wonderful diction too.
No, I enjoyed listening to it as and when I had time. I liked being able to return to the beginning of chapters if I had been away for a while, or just going back 30 seconds in order to refresh my memory.
I would not recommend this telling of the story of Macbeth if my friend did not already have an understanding of Shakespeare's play. The story is very close to the story in the play, but where it differs, for authorial impact, the difference is sometimes very big.
I think Macbeth, the play, has so much to tell us about ourselves and our own motives and actions. I understand it is so intense to work with it on stage, that actors will not name it for gear of bringing bad luck upon themselves. Rather it is called The Scottish Play.
The book certainly picks up this intensity of emotion, but it is ascribed to characters in the book and it felt like they were removed from my gamut of feelings in a manner quite different from sitting in a darkened theatre and experiencing all the drama in one sitting
I would be very interested in reading their work. I thought that they captured the spirit of the plat well and translated it into a very readable story.
I thought the narrator was wonderful, his rich and guttural Scots accent was dark and well suited to the words he was reading, nay bringing to life.
To hear the comments from the authors was a very pleasant surprise.
I would be surprised to see the book made into a movie when the play is really the thing.
The novel is very very dark. There is a lot of violence and cruelty and much suffering from which women and children are not spared, Potential readers should be aware of this if they are inclined away from such things.
I would recommend this version. It is very clearly read, and it is easy to follow the story, to make sense of Emma Bovary's situation in a way that I found more difficult when reading the book silently.
Without doubt I thought of Anna Karenina. There are many similarities in the positions in which these women find themselves. Both of them admirably highlight the plight of married women in the times in which they lived.
However the similarities are only part of the picture - there are also many differences that add piquancy to the comparisons possible. Indeed there are many reviews and scholarly papers that discuss Anna and Emma.
I particularly liked the manner in which she differentiated the characters. Her use of accent was very exact.
Her own voice worked well with the story and she moved it along without any feeling of being rushed.
I found it too complex to listen to in more than 30 - 60 minute sittings. There is a lot of detail in Flaubert's writing and I wanted to savour it as I listened. This meant that I could feel overwhelmed by too much of the text.
This is such a classic and yet it has such a simple presentation. It was a remarkable book in its time, given that it was about a married woman's adultery in its basic premise.
But it also exposed the ways that some of the main characters think and feel, which is also a new concept in novel writing in the 19th century.
As I love 'The Chronicles of Narnia' and this is part of them, I would always read it in its place in the series. It is not my favourite book in the Chronicles, but it is an important part.
My comment above really covers this question. I think it is important to read the Chronicles in the order in which the events happen in Narnia, so this book cannot be skipped.
One thing I enjoyed was having a different reader for each of the 7 books. For me that added a lot of interest and quality.
I haven't heard Alex Jennings narrate anything else.
This would have to be the moment when Shasta/Cor and his father are reunited.
The book keeps the story of Narnia alive and moves it onward. Read/listen to it.
Not as a stand alone story, but most definitely if my friend was interested in listening to 'The Chronicles of Narnia'.
I would strongly recommend that they begin their adventures in Narnia with this story.
I liked the cabbie so much - Frank - by name and nature. One who was a king in both of his worlds.
My skin tingles when I remember the birth of Narnia - to the song of Lion.
Definitely not a strong reaction.
This very much a prequel, a story that helps to make sense of the next book - ' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe'.
Without this book that one is diminished, but this book most definitely needs to be linked with the series.
This is a must-listen prequel. All the books are relatively short, so no time is wasted.
Memories of childhood flooded in because the first contact I had with this book, I was less than 10 years old, was my mother reading it to me.
From that first time, every time I have had contact with the story, the magic has touched me; this time was the first time I have listened again and taking it in through my ears frees up my imagination, especially my visual imagination, to see things the way I want them to be. If my eyes are busy reading words, some of that optical brain space is being used up.
The Secret Garden - also magical in essence with a grown up who believes the children. And I think my first contact was having it read aloud to me.
I would, although I do think his voice is only a little bit above dull.
Triumph of the Deeper Magic
The magic is deeper and deeper every time I read this book. I would strongly recommend listening to the Chronicles of Narnia in the chronology of the Narnian world, and to listen to them consecutively - that is - without any other books in between.
.....and again, and again; if there is enough time in my life.
Firstly, this is a remarkable story, written in great depth, with such understanding AND in the 19th century.
Secondly, the issues within it are relevant to each of us, not all the issues to every one of us, but there will be something(s) that will speak to you if you are willing to listen.
Thirdly, it is much, much bigger than its title suggests and encompasses many more people and relationships than Anna and Vronsky.
As was true when I listened to 'War and Peace', I liked the way in which Tolstoy combines philosophy with a good story. No - a great story.
Kate Lock was magnificent - and that very pleasantly surprised me. She enacted every character with her voice, including the minor and insignificant ones.
That would actually be impossible because of the length - 41+ hours. But I was always sorry to have to take a break.
My understanding is that Tolstoy considered this his greatest novel and that Levin was very loosely based on himself.
Even with more than 100 years gap, there is a freshness and aliveness that drew me into the book.
I appreciated so much more of all the main characters and what they had to 'say' about living life than I was able to do when I read it (not listened to it) as a much younger woman myself.I was challenged and fascinated and delighted and saddened - the gamut of human emotions - as the story moved along.......but do not expect it to move fast - there is far too much philosophical reflection and internal dialogue for that.
Sit back, stay alert and hear the voice of Tolstoy speaking to you through his characters brought to life by the sound of Kate Lock's voice.Enjoy!
Compassionate, creative and challenging
I have to say that the beginning of the story, where Major Pettigrew and Mrs Ali meet is quite wonderful. He, dressed in his wife's clematis covered housecoat - she collecting the paper money - and both as embarrassed as anything because they are so out of context.
Yet at the same time there is an immediate sympathy between them in their mutual loss of spouse, magnified so much more for Major Pettigrew by the sudden loss of his brother.
I think he managed to combine the best narration with a good speed of reading so that the story moved at an acceptable pace.
From Lahore and Cambridge they came.....
This is a charming story that turns class and age assumptions upside down. The main characters are well drawn and the basic story moves well and covers some unexpected ground.
Some of the minor characters are a little less believable and seem to be portraying a character trait rather than being a whole person.
Overall, this is a good read/listen and would make a gorgeous film, should anyone take the option ever.
Definitely. The story is very good as one listens along, and then, in the final chapter, the entire premise is upended and the reader has to try to regain their perspective on the characters and the events.A 2nd or 3rd listening, having the surprise ending known will make the experience entirely different and, in a new way, just as remarkable.
Immediately prior to listening to Sweet Tooth, I listened to John Le Carre's 'A Perfect Spy'. This is another spy story involving MI5 and its machinations. It also sets the individual into the complexity of a highly regulated secret organisation. And it also has a sting in the tail....But from there the stories diverge. It is the way each one explores similar things and comes up with a variety of scenarios that give the reader an opportunity to think about their own secret lives.
The narrator, as performed by JS, is the star of the book. But who is the narrator? Well. that is the Sting in the Tale.....
Smoke and Mirrors
Once again JS excels in her reading of the book. She is a joy to listen to and characters come to vivid life with her deft touch.Ian McEwan is one of the finest writers in English. Every one of his books is different, yet the astute reader can sense the connections between them. His characters live and his descriptions bring the scene to the reader so well.
By the way - I have used both spellings of tale/tail quite deliberately.
Not better, simply a different experience. When I read the book, I created the sounds of the humans, the piggies and the Hive Queen. I liked doing that and got a great deal out of it.
In listening to the narrators, some of the intonations and emphases were very different from mine, but were nevertheless, creative and made the story come alive.
Oh, this is wonderful story about acceptance of difference, forgiveness, faith, the limits of understanding, and star flight, alien planets and their life forms, the power of instantaneous communication and love.
I liked the mystery of the death of Pipo and Libo and Marcao being unfolded. I liked the development of and collapse of relationships between all the living beings on Lusitania. I liked the consistency of how star travel affects the age of the traveller and their relationship with those who remain land based.
I liked Ender and Jane, I liked Human and the Hive Queen, my heart reached out to Miro and Novinha.
It was such a good story just in itself, and the issues that come to the surface enriched my reading/listening
The slight alterations used to represent the various significant characters was easy to follow. I was impressed with their Portuguese too.
If only I could have stayed awake that long!
OSC says in his comments after the story that this was his idea of the original Ender book and that all the others (and I think there are 15) are simple pre- or se- quels to it. I can understand what he means by this - it is a beautifully crafted story that is very cleverly and closely developed. It works as a stand alone book, but is better when read/listened to in sequence.
So - Ender has been in our Universe for 20 years. He continues to capture the imagination and heart of his readers with the immensity of his achievements and the tragedy of the price he pays. He will always be that 6 year old boy, the 3rd, born solely for the purpose of being assessed when the 1st and 2nd's didn't come up to scratch. Such a little boy with such a big heart and soul; and mind.
Indeed, Ender is such a real character that as a reader I can easily overlook the phenomenal mind that created him. Because Ender is only a character, the genius of the book has to be the author, Orson Scott Card, who in the 2 decades since Ender's conception has gone on to create and entire universe, an Enderverse, around him and the people and creatures he comes across.
In the Enderverse, all understanding and belief about The World has to be suspended - how did OSC manage to make it all so believable and realistic? The great mind is that of the author, but he very skilfully hides himself behind his masterpiece - Andrew/Ender Wiggin.
Excellent science fiction and fantasy. Can be appreciated by all ages from about 10 years to forever....To never have read about Ender will make your life less complete!
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