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Janice Budd

Canada | Member Since 2009

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 49 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
6

  • The Persimmon Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1597)
    Performance
    (1159)
    Story
    (1147)

    The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

    Corinne says: "An excellent sequel"
    "Great Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Finally! I have found a book to break the 3-star slump I seemed to be in.

    I have found a new author and new narrator. Bryce has a lot more novels to discover, and Humphrey Bower brings many of them to life with his fabulous command of accents.

    The story has a little bit of everything. It is a romance, but not a mushy tale, of two young people separated by war when the Japanese invade Java. Nick sets sail for Australia expecting to meet Anna there. Anna, gets caught behind enemy lines and learns to do whatever she needs to do to survive. Nick, because of his command of the Japanese language is recruited to Intelligence in the Navy and stationed at Guatemala Canal.

    Will they survive the war, and if they do, will their love for each other survive?

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10560)
    Performance
    (9584)
    Story
    (9605)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Hot and Cold Just Like the Apartments"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There may be minor spoilers in this review.

    I didn't really know what I was getting with this book. It was clearly a mystery, but I wasn't prepared for the science fiction component. I may be the only one, but I thought there were similar characteristics of "A Canticle for Leibowitz " by Walter M Miller, in that Nate and his Scooby Do Crew found very old schematics that they didn't understand. As in Canticle, there was the fanaticism surrounding them. Eventually the schematics were figured out and space became a new frontier.

    At times I was carried away by the story. Other times I was so bored with it I was ready to quit. The whole Scooby Do thing became quite repetitive and overworked. I never watched any of the cartoons, but after I finished this book, I was quite well acquainted with them.

    I thought that Cline built some interesting characters whose stories evolved over time. Nate was quite boring, which suited his role. I liked Veet the best with her sarcasm and witty barbs. If it wasn't for her comic relief, I'm not sure I would have continued with the book.

    I thought Ray Porter's narration to also be a mixed bag. While he was fine when reading dialogue, he was quite stilted and perfunctory when reading the narration sections.

    Overall, I enjoyed the story. = 3-1/2 stars

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dressmaker: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Kate Alcott
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (194)

    Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes. Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy.

    Victoria says: "Good story, awful narrator"
    "Wasn't Swept Away"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This could have been a heart wrenching story, but it was one step up from a Harlequin Romance. If Kate Alcott had gotten rid of the love triangle, which added nothing to the story, and focused more on the drama of the inquiry it would have been more compelling.



    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting part of the story was the testimony at the inquiry. The author's note said that much of it was taken from the actual transcripts. There were some moments when the reality of the tragedy really hit home and when you could almost feel the fear that ruled people fighting for their lives. While the author did focus on this human tragedy, she whitewashed it with a stupid love story.

    The least interesting was Jack. He was superfluous to the story.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I thought Susan Duerden was very good when it came to dialogue. She spoke naturally, and conversationally. She gave unique voices to many of the characters. Perhaps the strongest voice was that of Lady Lucille Duff-Gordon. The problem came when there was no dialogue. She accented words at the end of each sentence which gave it a rise and fall in rhythm, hence a very sing-song voice. I found that tendency to be distracting.


    Was The Dressmaker worth the listening time?

    Good question. It was an okay story, and I finished it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life with Crows: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1772)
    Performance
    (1505)
    Story
    (1492)

    For the first time in unabridged audio! A small Kansas town has turned into a killing ground. Is it a serial killer, a man with the need to destroy? Or is it a darker force, a curse upon the land? Amid golden cornfields, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers evil in the blood of America's heart.

    Polly says: "SCARY, WEIRD, ENGAGING"
    "Leaves a lasting impression"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's official. I want to see Tommy Lee Jones play the role of Pendergast in the movie... if there's a movie.

    Oh, right. People want to read a review of the book, not my choice for actors to play the characters....

    It has all the elements that make for a good mystery, including the gruesome quotient and the hint of possible super natural elements. It kept me awake on the long drive home. I doubt it will keep me awake at night though. We don't have any corn fields around here.

    Scott Brick does an excellent job of giving each character his/her own voice. I think I've fallen in love with Pendergrast just because of Scott Brick's voice.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6307)
    Performance
    (3093)
    Story
    (3109)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    "Fun Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fun read. Neil Gaiman is a great narrator of his audiobooks and I enjoyed his performance.

    I would love to see this as a movie with all the quirky ghosties and denizens of the graveyard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Cold Day for Murder: A Kate Shugak Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Dana Stabenow
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (232)

    Eighteen months ago, Aleut Kate Shugak quit her job investigating sex crimes for the Anchorage DA’s office and retreated to her father’s homestead in a national park in the interior of Alaska. But the world has a way of beating a path to her door, however remote. In the middle of one of the bitterest Decembers in recent memory ex-boss — and ex-lover — Jack Morgan shows up with an FBI agent in tow.

    Tracey says: "You never go wrong with a Stabenow novel"
    "Just Okay"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been intrigued by some of the other books in the series. It was highly recommended to me that I read the first few books to learn the background of Kate Shugak. I didn't find the story to be all that suspensful.

    I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it instead of listened to it. I thought the narrator's voice didn't suit what I thought the protagonist should sound like. Kate seemed to be a no-nonsense country gal with an injury to her throat. Her voice should have been husky at the very least. I was distracted by Marguerite Gavin's interpretation, so much so that I didn't focus on the story the way I should have.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Solaris: The Definitive Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (translator)
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (2150)
    Performance
    (1741)
    Story
    (1758)

    At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation - complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

    Burns says: "A comment on negative reviews"
    "Slow Story, Fabulous Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the premise of this book - an alien life form that clones a person from your memory. The thing that dragged me down was the endless narration of scientific technical journals. I have to marvel at the mind of Stanislaw Lem to create such a theory.

    The narrator really saved this book for me. He created such individual accents for the various characters. My favorite voice was that of Snow.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (2685)
    Performance
    (1477)
    Story
    (1472)

    Amelia Peabody inherited two things from her father: a considerable fortune and an unbendable will. The first allowed her to indulge in her life's passion. Without the second, the mummy's curse would have made corpses of them all.

    Carrie says: "Nice break from the usual-"
    "Fun Romp Down the Nile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's nothing more fun than a romp down the Nile, searching lost tombs while being chased by a mummy! Just like everyone else, I'm going to say that I loved the interaction between Peabody, the ever wise busy body, and Emerson, the curmudeonly archeologist.

    My only problem with this book was that the protagonist sounded much older than her 32 years. Perhaps that was the result of the narrator's voice. I struggled (and was distracted) by that inequity.

    Perhaps my other problem was that I was preoccupied and had trouble focusing on the story. I was constantly missing things and having to rewind. I may have to read it again someday. Nah! I'll just read the next book in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Sherrill
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (736)
    Performance
    (691)
    Story
    (691)

    Five thousand years out of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur finds himself in the American South, living in a trailer park and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. No longer a devourer of human flesh, the Minotaur is a socially inept, lonely creature with very human needs. But over a two-week period, as his life dissolves into chaos, this broken and alienated immortal awakens to the possibility for happiness and to the capacity for love.

    Cathy says: "Full of surprises, delightfully unexpected"
    "Modern Day Fable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was about half way into the audiobook and wondering what the story was all about. But I decided to persevere to the end. I was already planning my review, "I missed the point". But, the point was made very succinctly at the end of the story. And then I understood -

    This is a modern day fable, complete with a moral at the end of the story. It's about being different and how people fear that which doesn't fit into the norm.

    One of the problems for me was the narrator, Holter Graham. He did great mooing sounds as the minotaur and distinguished well between voices. However, his performance was quite perfunctory and bland on everything that wasn't conversation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (17105)
    Performance
    (13005)
    Story
    (12944)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "Abandoned"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened for 1 hour and never laughed once. From all the reviews I read, I thought it was going to be a romp full of great laughs. But for me, it was a yawn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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