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Matthew R. Penn

New York, NY | Member Since 2006

ratings
129
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1181)
    Performance
    (1012)
    Story
    (1022)

    Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.

    Darwin8u says: "Mantel Pulls the History out of the History"
    "Better Than the First One!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Bring Up the Bodies in three words, what would they be?

    Ann Boleyn? Inconceivable!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mantel's 2009 Booker Prize winning effort "Wolf Hall", to which this novel is a sequel, suffered, I felt, from a lack of editing. "Bring Up the Bodies" is tauter and, for that reason, actually better.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Vance is always a first-rate narrator, and he doesn't disappoint here.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Anne's final days


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2249)
    Performance
    (1575)
    Story
    (1584)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Theresa says: "Amazing story, well written & well read"
    "Ditto"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Endurance again? Why?

    All the superlatives you've read about this book, happen to be true. So, I have nothing to add, except, "Ditto!"


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Endurance?

    It sounds like cliche, but is in fact only echoing what's been written about this book already, to say that there isn't one most memorablle moment. The entire story is a thrilling page-turner that just so happens to be true.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Shackleton


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

    yes, definitely


    Any additional comments?

    Buy this book! You don't need any more convincing. . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Anthony Horowitz
    • Narrated By Derek Jacobi
    Overall
    (1061)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (929)

    Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective in literary history. For the first time since the death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a new Holmes story has been sanctioned by his estate, whetting the appetites of fans everywhere. Information about the book will be revealed as deliberately as Holmes himself would unravel a knotty case, but bestselling novelist and Holmes expert Anthony Horowitz is sure to bring a compelling, atmospheric story to life.

    GP says: "A disapointment"
    "All the Way Holmes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The House of Silk in three words, what would they be?

    Horowitz did it!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author clearly did his homework in having researched his subject thoroughly, producing a story that will delight fans of Sir Arthur's canon.


    Have you listened to any of Derek Jacobi???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    There is a reason that Derek Jacobi is considered one of the finest actors in the English language. Listen to this book, and you'll know yourself.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Without revealing too much of the plot, I will say only that this novel really humanizes Holmes more than we are used to seeing in other popular portrayals of the character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jenny Lawson
    • Narrated By Jenny Lawson
    Overall
    (1914)
    Performance
    (1748)
    Story
    (1762)

    For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

    Briana says: "This was supposed to be funny"
    "The Title Says It All!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) better?

    a guarantee that I could get those several hours of my life back, if not completely satisfied


    What was most disappointing about Jenny Lawson???s story?

    that she felt compelled to narrate it herself


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jenny Lawson???s performances?

    no


    What character would you cut from Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)?

    Jenny Lawson


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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