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Jennifer

Member Since 2011

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 88 reviews
  • 235 ratings
  • 625 titles in library
  • 167 purchased in 2014
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  • The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Randall E. Stross
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (199)

    At the height of his fame Thomas Alva Edison was hailed as “the Napoleon of invention” and blazed in the public imagination as a virtual demigod. Newspapers proclaimed his genius in glowing personal profiles and quipped that “the doctor has been called” because the great man “has not invented anything since breakfast.” But Edison's greatest invention may have been his own celebrity.

    Richard Daniel says: "Fast paced account of Edison"
    "A lively account of the inventor/ public icon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A good bio, but I took longer to listen to it than I usually do with books of comparable length. Stross showed the private workaholic inventor's journey from telegraph operator to celebrity nearly overnight, and how his temperament and celebrity would influence his work and the world at the turn of the century and beyond. While he did do a lot of work and began innumerable projects, I think his lab assistants and employees did not get nearly enough credit for their contributions.

    I think his own stubbornness and confidence in his own opinions and powers were his downfall when it came to the business side of his many operations. If he hadn't been so set on his phonograph being purposed exclusively how he wished, he could have capitalized on the public interest early and run away with the market - but his disdain for the public's "lower minded" wants and his inflexibility lead to others taking over the market when the time was ripe, and he again failed to adjust with the advent of radio entertainment. I think a lot of his perceptions and narrow-minded opinions when it came to all things audio was due to his partial and increasing deafness (an aspect that was totally new to me, though I had some cursory familiarity with his general bio). But he had his way, he made every decision and things were done how he wanted them to be done.

    It still strikes me as amazing how much credit the press gave him, and how big a public figure he became -and stayed- despite his overestimates of his achievements and their release dates. Especially when it came to his work on incandescent light and rolling out his utility service in NYC. I liked the sections on the kinetoscope's development and on his friendship with Ford. What a world it was for them... And so true, as the author pointed out in the final passages, that he lived at an ideal time for all of the developments to take place and to receive the recognition that he did. Industries were born from his work, and everyone knew it was his work, whereas today most people don't think twice or care to know who developed and advanced the technology we use every day - just as I would not have known whose patents were involved in the iPod in my hand even though his total patent count rivals Edison's...

    Very well read by Mr. Gardner. He had an animated tone, and really brought the scenes in the lab and late 19th century to life. No dry non-fiction droning here. I'd recommend to anyone with an interest in the inventor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wuthering Heights

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Emily Bronte
    • Narrated By Michael Page, Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (66)

    The novel begins with Lockwood, a tenant, taking up residence close to Wuthering Heights. His landlord, Mr. Heathcliff, proves to be surly, unfriendly and rude. When Lockwood discovers a mildewed book with the names Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Heathcliff and Catherine Linton scratched on its cover he begins to read and starts on a strange tale that proves irresistible .

    Steve says: "Awesome!!!!!"
    "Tragic, Unsettling Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Emily Bronte and/or Michael Page and Laural Merlington ?

    Well, if there were other books by Emily Bronte I can't say I wouldn't try it, but as this was her only published novel, we will never know. The narrators were satisfying enough that I wouldn't avoid other books they've read, but nor were they exceptional enough for me to seek them out for their voices alone.


    What about Michael Page and Laural Merlington ’s performance did you like?

    I liked the use of two narrators for this work, as it help set off Bronte's structure, though the narration as a whole wasn't without it's flaws. I recall when I read a hard copy in high school, I was often bewildered to remember who was talking, and this solved that issue to an extent, by giving our narrator Lockwood the voice of Page, and his storyteller Nellie the voice of Merlington. The trouble still arose within Nellie's tales because Merlington hardly used any variation in her narration to distinguish between dialogue and narration within Nellie's story and Nellie outside of the flashbacks (so that when Nellie would switch from retelling speech to someone or commentary in the past to suddenly addressing Lockwood in the present, it could sound as if he were in the scene in the past). The issue eased up when Nellie's story began to catch up with the present day of Lockwood's visit.


    Do you think Wuthering Heights needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I feel absolutely no need for a furthering of the saga. Leave those poor folks in peace and take me no more to those depressing moors.


    Any additional comments?

    A classic, and well written, but tragic and awful tale of the inhabitants of the Heights. It took me so long to get through because it continuously depressed me with each new development Nellie regaled upon Mr. Lockwood. The epitome of the Gothic style, the original tragic soap opera.

    Never have I come across a more tortured and cruel soul in literature than that of Heathcliff, and while I can comprehend the sources of his motives, I have no sympathy for this anti-hero.

    It was hard to understand some of the thick accents like Joseph's but otherwise was gripping and heart wrenching... I nearly gave up hope before the end... Such ghastly episodes and doomed creatures... and though a masterpiece of fiction, I hardly think I will have the inclination to revisit such dark pages again anytime in the near future. True, the last 20 mins or so made me feel a little better for the two young folks, but still... Unsettling is the only word for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Joanne Fluke
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (177)

    In her first foray into the sleuthing game, resourceful, red-headed Hannah Swensen must find the right ingredients to solve two perplexing murders. One chilly morning on her way to The Cookie Jar, Hannah discovers Ron, the dairy delivery man, shot dead in his truck. When she begins to investigate, she suspects the dairy owner. But when he, too, is murdered, Hannah must look further afield for the culprit.

    Kay says: "so disappointed ..."
    "Great cozy, better cookies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a wonderful cozy style amateur sleuth mystery.

    The main character -cookie baker turned investigator- Hannah was immediately likable. She had a great attitude, and I liked both her internal sarcastic and flippant commentary and her reminders to be more tactful, and I appreciated her intelligence and the logical way she went about trying to follow up all of her leads.

    Plot-wise, there were one or two things I picked up on earlier than Hannah (like Danielle's situation) but she caught up, and she always tried to do the right thing and help people when she could (like getting Tracy's old things to Luanne). I also realized the true identity of the murderer a step ahead of her, but she was biased a bit about her suspect, so I forgave her oversight. And of course the Eureka moment wouldn't have been nearly as suspenseful or well/satisfyingly played out if she'd come to the correct conclusion earlier. With Hannah doing all the sleuthing and legwork that she did, I wonder how Bill is going to get on during future investigations...

    Great supporting cast of friends, family, and other townspeople ... Norman was entertaining, as were "the mothers" (though thank heavens my mom isn't of the matchmaking persuasion). Her shop assistant and friend Lisa sounds like a godsend, the kindest and hardest working young woman you'll ever meet. I wasn't sure about Hannah's sister Andrea but she grew on me, and her daughter was adorable. And I have high hopes for the new detective in town.

    And I can't forget to mention the cookies! I loved all the cookies. I've bookmarked and copied out the recipes and can't wait to bake them -the chocolate covered cherry delights especially, they sounded to-die-for. My mouth is watering just thinking about them...

    The narration was great. Suzanne Toren had the perfect tone for Hannah - sometimes she sounded like a no nonsense Catherine Hepburn type, which I thought was perfect. She did manage varied voices for most of the cast, though a few of the younger females sounded a bit too high and airy for my liking. For the male voices she didn't do anything too rough or growl-y sounding, she lowered her tone a little, but aside from knowing who was speaking, they didn't have a distinct masculine quality- but that's fine by me. I'd rather have it sound natural and distinct and less male sounding than to have to grit my teeth through a poor attempt at a deep or gruff tone that just sounds constipated or always angry (which I have heard female narrators do to the heroes of novels)... It was well done, no glaring inconsistencies in dialogue or other narration or editing issues.

    I look forward to the next installment (both for the great story and characters, and for the recipes)!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Anglo-Saxon World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Michael D. C. Drout
    Overall
    (473)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (232)

    Had the Angles and Saxons not purposefully migrated to the isles of the Britons and brought with them their already-well-developed use of language, Angelina Jolie may never have appeared in the movie Beowulf. Professor Michael D.C. Drout is at his best when lecturing on the fascinating history, language, and societal adaptations of the Anglo-Saxons.

    Matthew says: "Amazingly good"
    "Old English, battles, kings, monks, fun stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good lecture series, neatly broken up into the important periods and topics of the 500-ish years of the Anglo-Saxon era. I was very amused by Professor Drout's mnemonic device for the century-long divisions. I can honestly say I will never forget it. I loved the old English quotes and excerpts that he began each lecture with, and the discussions of the language and its development. He told stories of battles and kings, but also common people, the church, and about their literature. He was easy to follow, and always made everything interesting and easy to comprehend. Complications ensued with some of the dynasties and fighting over successions, especially when so many of the names sound alike - or were even the same, in the case of the many Harolds just preceding the Norman conquest... But nonetheless it made for a great narrative throughout, and I do feel that I've learned things -ranging from historic, religious, to linguistic and literature, and even some more modern cultural echoes and revivals. Thomas Jefforson's interest in the study of Anglo-Saxon made for an interesting and rather unexpected topic near the end.

    Prof had very engaging manner of speaking, and his enthusiasm and expertise for the subject was highly evident. Recommended to those who are interested in the period, be it the history, culture, literature, or language... there was something for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Greta Scacchi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (96)

    Persuasion, Jane Austen's last novel, is a tale of love and marriage told with irony and insight. Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth have met and seperated years before. Their reunion, after the passage or irrecoverable years of their youth, forces a recognition of the false values that drove them apart.

    Patricia says: "Really lovely . . ."
    "Different tone, feel than other Austen novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had never yet read this Austen novel, her last. The first thing that strikes me is that the tone seemed rather different from her others, though I'd perhaps be hard pressed to say just how.

    I felt a lot of sympathy for Ann right off the bat, given the nature and temperaments of her family members, leaving her neglected by all but friend of the family Lady Russell. And while I was sad that she was persuaded from her young man, I could understand Lady Russell's reasons for doing so. I was so glad for Sir Walter's financial imprudence, as it gave way to Ann separating from them and keeping more suitable (too her) company of the happy and down to earth friends in the village.

    Without lending myself to too many plot spoilers, I was glad for the adventures of the young people (though I hold a disdain for Mary and her ilk, always imagining some ill done to them or nervous malady... ridiculous woman), and for the society of the Admiral and Captains. I was worried for Ann upon her going to Bath and being thrust back into the shadows and unpleasant company of her father and sister who placed value on others in wholly selfish and misguided quarters... But alas I was quite glad for her finding a friend and being content, despite all that could have made a less kind and patient person so miserable. I was glad that it but took a few weeks for the company and all affairs to be set right for her, none deserved it more.

    The manner and revealing of the true nature of a potential suitor quite brought to mind the parallel case of Mr. Wickam and the Bennett's story in P & P. The writing was far more subdued, less passionate in expression than in Austen's other novels - though that seems fitting of this older and quieter heroine. Perhaps it wouldn't be wrong to say it was more mature, as Austen was as well at the time of writing. Ann observed propriety without looking down her nose at anyone, and made herself useful at every opportunity; she was unobtrusive, most considerate, and gentle. A character to be admired.

    The narration was good, there was nothing particularly remarkable of either a positive or negative nature. One thing did bother me a bit, that there were excessive pauses in the reading, which I'm sure was due to the editing, given the timing and surrounding audio. It was always clean and between sentences, but seemed to increase in length and frequency as the book progressed. I thought several times my iPod or speakers had glitches or lost power, only for the dialogue to resume seconds later. But aside from that, Scacchi's reading was fine. She adopted different voices for dialogue as necessary, but they weren't remarkable nor were they faulty.

    A good read, glad to have added it to my repertoire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Highland Surrender

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tracy Brogan
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (844)
    Performance
    (768)
    Story
    (767)

    Defiant Highland beauty Fiona Sinclair is shocked by her brothers’ treachery. To seal a fragile truce, they have traded her hand in marriage to their sworn enemy, a man she has never met, a man she was raised to despise. With no choice but to wed, Fiona makes her own private vow: Though she may sacrifice her freedom, she will never surrender her heart. Commanded into marriage by the king, Myles Campbell is no more willing than his reluctant bride. Still, she is a rare beauty, passionate enough to warm even the coldest marriage bed.

    Karen says: "I couldn't stop listening!"
    "Fighting for pride and love behind enemy lines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Married and sent behind enemy lines, Fiona must save her pride, her clan, the king, and keep her husband...

    I rather liked this Scottish romance. I'd say of all the romances set in the Highlands that I've read in the past few years (maybe a dozen), this ranks in about the top half; out of all of the romances in any sub-genre that I've read in the past few years (above two dozen) it's definitely nearer to top ten. If I could, I'd give the story 4.5 stars, but it wasn't quite a 5.

    It had multiple conflicts driving the plot -the murder and subsequent clan feud, the newlyweds dealing with each other, and the larger issues of loyalty and treason both to family and king. What I liked was that the author gave different perspectives, by narrating from different characters' points of view. They were primarily Fiona's and Miles' viewpoints, but it was rounded out by John's as well occasionally.

    Poor Fiona had her whole life turned upside-down when she was married into the clan she'd been raised to regard as a brutal enemy, and then again, when she began to learn that all the convictions instilled in her may not have been well-founded. It was quite an adventure of ups and downs for the couple, and more secrets and danger were revealed as time went on. I found the king to be an entertaining character, and quite enjoyed how Fiona and he first met. And thank goodness for Vivian, a woman without whom Fiona would not have gotten along very well in her new home, and who turned out to be helpful in unexpected ways. The scene picking out nightgowns with her was one of my favorites. Without making it too much of a spoiler, I was glad John was able to do what he did at the crucial moment. Such a treacherous time to have lived in... and of course it all came down to the final clash of sides. Some tense moments, but I'm glad things worked for the heroine and hero as they did.

    Oh, and I liked the geography that was described as they traveled, from what I know of Scotland, it seemed at least relatively properly mapped. (I've been on the shores of Loch Ness and Loch Fyne, both mentioned, and it made me quite nostalgic.)

    The narration was good, a few varied Scottish accents, a few French as needed, and decent male voices. The issue I took was something about the breathiness of Coomes' voice, and how she tended to sound overly desperate and melodramatic because of the cadence and pitch modulation she constantly used. (I've listened to other books she's read in the past, and didn't like them BECAUSE they were overly melodramatic, and her voice was more fitting there.) It bugged me most early on, so I either got used to it as I listened further, or she toned it down appropriately after Fiona was feeling less constantly under threat from every direction.

    A fun escapist romance/adventure, with a twist ending no one saw coming. Well worth a credit, though I am happy to have gotten it on sale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By P.G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cecil
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (64)

    Fate draws Bertie back to Totleigh Towers, home of the horrifyingly drippy Madeline Bassett and the simply horrifying Watkyn "Pop" Bassett. Bertie is worried, as the only obstacle to a trip down the aisle for him and Madeline is the fact that his friend Gussie and Madeline are in love with each other.

    Paul Norwood says: "Are you a Wodehousian?"
    "Wonderful little jaunt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'm delighted to report that this installment of Wooster's adventures and mishaps are once again silly and entertaining to the last. I would recommend it to any fan of Wodehouse's style.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves?

    Many silly events were memorable - things have been made a mess of around Bertie at Totleigh Towers yet again, and he has many worries taking turns as most trying to his peace of mind, and turns to the trustee Jeeves to help him out of the soup. Some of my favorite plot points included Bertie and Pop Basset being cornered by Bartholomew, the fight between Spode and Stinker, and the follow-up knockout by Em in kitchen garden.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Cecil – was your favorite?

    Expertly narrated, as always by Cecil. He manages to give life to the various loud and ridiculous characters with the many voices he adopts, some of the most notable being the gruff Spode (ever challenging for Bertie to keep up dialogue with all of those "you"s and "oh"s and the like), and Aunt Dahlia (forceful and playful with Bertie, hollering abuses good naturedly), and so many others.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Washington Irving
    • Narrated By Tom Mison
    Overall
    (1215)
    Performance
    (1129)
    Story
    (1137)

    In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball.

    Sara says: "Treasures Of Jolly Autumn"
    "Told like a true fireside ghost story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't recall if I've read this before, but I did know the basic plot. It is a wonderfully written short story, positively full of vivid and lush imagery. Irving took time acquainting his readers with the environs of the secluded community by the Hudson, from its history and people to all the countryside, and gave life to it especially in his description of the vibrant autumn life, leaves, and fruits of the harvest. And what a figure does Ichabod make, the lank schoolmaster whistling and strolling among the knolls, and taking such delight in good and plentiful food. I think he rather courted Katrina's wealth than her, as he was so dazzled by the abundance of the farm estate. But alas, he was so susceptible to superstitions, and passed that fateful night ride homewards...

    Irving's style was masterful, building expectation throughout, up to the pivotal point, and bit by bit he makes your heart pound faster in time with poor Ichabod as he dashed for the bridge - and the sudden stop is jolting, with a decrescendo of speculation in the aftermath. Wonderfully written, and a great spooky tale -with a plausible explanation proposed for those of us not inclined toward the supernatural, and the locally supposed explanation for the believers.

    Tom Mison was a wonderful narrator. He matched his tone and pace well to the style and content. As the story was all expressed in a narrative from a single limited point of view, there were no varried voices or dialogue upon which to critique his skills, but thus as it was he did it well. Like listening to one of the tales told by one of the Sleepy Hollow residents while gathered by the fireside, and delighting in the sharing just as Ichabod did in them.

    While I received this for free from audible, I'd have considered it well worth purchasing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FREE Masked Ball at Broxley Manor

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (502)
    Performance
    (459)
    Story
    (454)

    A delectable prequel to the national bestselling Royal Spyness mysteries featuring Lady Georgiana Rannoch—thirty forth in line to the throne, and England’s poorest heiress. At the end of her first unsuccessful season out in society, Lady Georgiana has all but given up on attracting a suitable man—until she receives an invitation to a masked Halloween ball at Broxley Manor. Georgie is uncertain why she was invited, until she learns that the royal family intends to marry her off to a foreign prince, one reputed to be mad.

    Amazon Customer says: "Strident narration, shallow story"
    "Short and sweet Halloween treat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an adorable mini episode in the life a Lady Georgie. It is a prequel, which takes place at the end of her debut season and before the events of Her Royal Spyness. It is short and sweet, featuring my favorite minor royal, and with guest appearances by her various family members and other familiar cast members from the series.

    Georgie is as delightful as ever, and finds her first episode of mystery and danger at a masquerade ball. And of course finds an intriguing young gentleman as well.

    Katherine Kellgren was as delightful and great a narrator as ever. She is the only voice of Georgie to my mind, and she does fantastic interpretations of the British aristocrats, from the proper set to the randy gents and even the Americans. Wonderful performance.

    I thouroghly enjoyed it, and wished for more. I can't wait for the next book!
    Thanks Audible for this sweet Halloween treat!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Murder in Mesopotamia: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    Nurse Amy Leatheran had never felt the lure of the "mysterious East", but she nonetheless accepts an assignment at Hassanieh, an ancient site deep in the Iraqi desert, to care for the wife of a celebrated archaeologist. Mrs Leidner is suffering bizarre visions and nervous terror. "I'm afraid of being killed!" she admits to her nurse. Her terror, unfortunately, is anything but unfounded, and Nurse Leatheran is soon enough without a patient. The world's greatest detective happens to be in the vicinity, however....

    Jennifer says: "Odd to hear a Poirot case narrated by a female"
    "Odd to hear a Poirot case narrated by a female"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story was unique in the telling, from a first person point of view by a character on scene at the time of murder but unconnected with the group and who helps Poirot in his investigations (but who is not wholly above suspicion). I liked the perspective, as she lent her own practical and no-nonsense take of the people and events. And she distinguished herself from the few previous storytellers in the way she expressed herself, her calm evaluations, and I rather appreciated her conduct with the investigation and Poirot. Unlike Hastings, she didn't outwardly fall for red herrings or show Poirot some insight by way of grasping everything that was ultimately unimportant. She was on hand and helpful and gave useful info to him in just the manner of her profession, as she herself describes, a nurse there to help the attending doctor.

    As far as the whodunit, I had many surmises along the way, and new info on alibis and motives was still surfacing right up until the big reveal. I had my suspicions proved right about the monk, and I was partially right about Mr. Kerry, but hasn't figured him out entirely. I was greatly amused by Coleman, and as a reader of PG Wodehouse, I appreciated the reference and found it a wonderful comparison. But honestly, this case had me fogged for the most part, and I had not come close to guessing the solution that Poirot unveiled in the end.

    Appropriately, for this female-narrated volume, they chose a female narrator rather than the usual voice of Poirot I am accustomed to. She took a few chapters to get used to, but she was pretty good on the whole. Her weakness was in maintaining numerous male characters' voices, and some times their accents would blend into each other. It made a few dialogues a tad confusing, but on the whole didn't obfuscate the actions. What bothered me more was the fluctuation of her Poirot voice - it always held his "foreign" accent as the nurse put it, but at various times it sounded as if it was that accent applied to Emmott's tone or the husband's or the nurse herself, rather than a single consistent voice.

    An enjoyable journey. Interesting, chronologically this case takes places just prior to that of the murder on the Orient Express, though this volume is several books later in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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