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Frances

Fredericton, NB, Canada

ratings
5
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
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HELPFUL VOTES
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  • Fludd

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Fetherhoughton is a dreary town in 1950s northern England. Father Angwin has lost his faith. Sister Philomena strains against convent life. The inhabitants of the town go about their lives in a haze. Then a stranger appears, bringing with him the hint of something new. But who is Fludd? An angel come to shake the dwellers from their stupor, or is he the devil himself, a wanderer of the darkest places in the human heart?

    Frances says: "A strange little gem"
    "A strange little gem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Fludd rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's among the best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It would be hard to pick a favourite among half a dozen sympathetic characters. I think perhaps the old priest, because he is so clever, kind and flawed.


    What about Gordon Griffin’s performance did you like?

    In the dialogue, he differentiated among the various characters without caricaturing them. His reading was very sensitive and seemed to reveal things about the story and characters I had missed when I read the book myself a few years ago.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Alchemy meets Catholicism in the north of England ... but I don't think that would sell the movie very well.


    Any additional comments?

    Hilary Mantel is a wonderful writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Memento Mori

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Muriel Spark
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Muriel Spark's blackly comic masterwork begins with a voice on the telephone warning, "Remember, you must die." The recipient of the grim message is elderly Dame Lettie Colston, but soon 10 of Lettie's oldest friends also become targets of Death's anonymous herald. A bizarre investigation lays bare an intricate network of deception and disloyalty that binds together the vulnerable group of aging eccentrics.

    David says: "Character study"
    "The perfect novel?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read and listened to several novels by Muriel Spark in the past, and have always enjoyed them. This is the best yet, and in fact I don't know how a novel could be any better. As soon as I finished listening to it, I went back to the beginning and started again, and loved it just as much the second time, It is quite a short book but it's amazing how leisurely it feels. Scenes are described in meticulous and vivid detail. Even the most mundane interactions, viewed through Spark's eyes, are fascinating - whether funny or horrifying, or both.

    Nadia May's reading is also perfect. She gives each character a distinctive and appropriate voice, and her narration is cool and insouciant, which captures the author's tone wonderfully.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bachelors

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Muriel Spark
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    First found contentedly chatting in their London clubs and shopping at Fortnum's, the cozy bachelors are not set to stay cozy for long. Soon enough, the men are variously tormented - defrauded, stolen from, blackmailed, or pressed to attend horrid séances - and then plunged, all together, into the nastiest of lawsuits. At the center of that suit hovers pale, blank Patrick Seton, the medium.

    connie says: "philosophical black comedy"
    "A perfect reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I'd recommend it to someone who likes stylish funny unsentimental British fiction. The meticulously rendered seedy London mid-twentieth century setting and the many diverse characters make it a joy to listen to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters, and the way they were portrayed by the narrator. Some are sympathetic, most are funny, at least one is really quite awful!


    Have you listened to any of Nadia May’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've listened to several others. They're always good, including this one.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was hard to put it aside.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1370)
    Performance
    (727)
    Story
    (724)

    Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

    Shelley says: "Bizarre"
    "Put off by the narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Haruki Murakami and/or Rupert Degas?

    I would probably not try another book by Murakami. This one had a certain weird appeal but I found it long, wordy, and slow. I will certainly avoid anything narrated by Rupert Degas, unless I'm sure that there are no female characters, because he adopts an unconvincing falsetto when voicing females. They all sound exactly alike - like a man trying and failing to sound like a woman. And much of the book - at least as far as I got - consists of the main character (a man) repeating long stories told to him by female characters. I found it very distracting, then infuriating, and eventually stopped listening.


    If you’ve listened to books by Haruki Murakami before, how does this one compare?

    I haven't tried any others.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Rupert Degas?

    I don't know. He would have been okay except for the strange quirk of putting on a fake high voice for female characters. Good narrators (David Aaron Baker, Andrew Sachs etc.) don't do that.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Hmm...not really.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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