Mr. Woods was a wonderful actor, but his narration of Portrait of a Lady is, at best, distracting. This is one of my favorite books, so maybe, like reviewer Elinor below, I'm more picky than usual, but the frequent interruptions for episodes of panting, audible swallows, painful American accents and his unfriendly portrayals of the women made this hard going. Like other reviewers, I was particularly put off by the shrill women's voices. This isn't the first time I've been disappointed with a narration by a well-known actor. I think narration requires different skills than those of a movie or television actor.
If you can listen beyond Mr. Woods' theatrics, though, the book is wonderful. Granted, a great deal has changed for women since the book was written, and it makes it difficult for us to understand some of young
Isabelle's actions and choices. She can easily seem frivolous and overly self-involved. Maybe her experiences and challenges as a very young woman are too different from those experienced by young women today; maybe this part of the book does not withstand the test of time. But the adult Isabelle is another person altogether--along with her adult husband and friends. We've known these people, and unfortunately, we've known these situations. Henry James wrote of Isabelle with great love and sympathy. I think this book remains a classic because most readers will find the same love and sympathy.
The glut of media about Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn in the past few years had almost convinced me I never, ever wanted to hear anything more about them; and then I heard Hilary Mantel interviewed on Fresh Air. First Wolf Hall and now Bring Up the Bodies. Fascinating characters. They are complex and human; multi-dimensional. I enjoyed feeling, in turn, dislike, pity, frustration, confusion and sometimes even amusement. And of course Thomas Cromwell is the most complex of them all. In summary, it's a great read/listen, and the narrator does a great job of helping bringing the story to life. You won't be disappointed.
There's been a great deal in recent media about Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn, and I thought I'd heard and read enough to last me a lifetime. But I heard Hilary Mantel interviewed on Fresh Air and she sounded so intelligent and spoke in such an interesting way about the women in her books, that I thought I'd given them a try. Lucky me! I learned more than I could have imagined about the people who played their large and tragic parts in the drama of Henry and Ann. But this is a book about Thomas Cromwell in particular--only a name to me until now. Fascinating and wonderful read/listen! You won't be disappointed.
This book of 3 novellas is unexpectedly fun and entertaining! The subjects of each of the three are academics, so this book is particularly endearing if you are or love an academician. All of the politics, competitiveness and battles of ego that make up life in our colleges and universities are lovingly handled by the author--but with an eerie spin that will make you shiver and make you laugh!
I discovered this book several years ago and have read it several times. Purchased it on Audible to enjoy it in one more medium. It's that enjoyable.
As many others have written, I loved this book despite my intentions. The author has spun a magical, beautiful and tragic story, and I was sorry to have it come to an end. I didn't want to stop hearing Pi's voice.
Which leads me to the subject of the narrator: A wonderful job. Sometimes the best that can be hoped of the narrator is that he/she just doesn't get in the way of the writing. Jeff Woodman, the narrator here, brought the book to life. His work is the new gold standard.
I highly recommend this book to anyone. I've been left with a glow and the anticipation of returning to it in a few months.
It's unkind, but whether it's a result of a dry mouth or popping sinuses, there are noises associated with the reader's voice that are terribly distracting. These noises combined with her strange interpretation of many characters' voices make it difficult to listen to this recording. This is a very enjoyable R. Rendell book, but the reader definitely detracts.
As read by the narrator, poor Hadley comes across as whiney, juvenile and someone I wouldn't wish on anyone--even E. Hemingway. Her "true and brave" statements were delivered in a Shirley Temple-esque style. Cute in a young child but from an adult? I have a feeling the narrator is the reason I ended the book with little sympathy for Hadley, but I'll need to wait awhile before I buy the book to confirm.
I was originally put off by the idea of a novel about a young woman held hostage for years by a serial rapist, because the subject seemed somehow exploitative. But since the reviews were so positive I purchased anyway, and am so glad I did. Great story enhanced by very, very good readers. Particularly the voice of Jack. I'm not certain I would recommend the book--but would certainly recommend the audible version of the book.
Loved this book. A sensitive insight into the life of an aging woman. O'Nan doesn't pull any punches, but listening, I had the impression he really cared about Emily.
Not worth the price or the time. Marginally amusing, but not much more. Word, word, word.
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