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Debbie

Mountain Home, ID, United States | Member Since 2005

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 286 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • The Dark Is Rising: Book 2 of The Dark Is Rising Sequence

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Susan Cooper
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (128)

    On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift: he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.

    W. S. says: "5 for the series, 4 for the reader"
    "Excellent Audio Version of an Excellent Book"
    Overall

    This series has always been one of my favorites and I've read this book innumerable times. I was hesitant about the audio version, because it can change the way you perceive the book. My only complaint would be that the recitation of the poems/chants wasn't, to my opinion, done very well, but that is a minor complaint. I really enjoyed the addition of the correct accent to the way I've always "heard" the story narrated in my mind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Poisonwood Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Dean Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2968)
    Performance
    (1793)
    Story
    (1807)

    The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

    Lynda Rains Bonchack says: "A long time coming..........."
    "Don't Be Scared Off By the Narration Reviews"
    Overall

    This is a great book with adequate narration. I read the print copy years ago and loved it, and have been wanting to listen to it on audio for a while now. Because several reviewers complained so much about the narration, though, I put off purchasing it. That was a mistake, because there's nothing terribly wrong with the narration. It's not the best, it could be better, but at no point while listening did I find myself becoming distracted from the tale because of the narration. The characters don't need different voices because their names are stated at the beginning of each chapter they narrate, and the author has written them different voices that can be distinguished in print. The narrator only speaks quickly in the sense that her rate of speed doesn't fit with the Southern accent in which she reads - there's a Southern accent but no Southern drawl.

    While the narration could certainly have been better, it in no way interfered with my enjoyment of this excellent book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Patrick Fraley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (115)

    The idealized childhood of this fictional hero, based on Mark Twain's own early life, is filled with robust good humor and high-spirited adventures. Yet there is also an in-depth experience of the central South of the 1840s. While romping through fun-filled fantasy, Tom Sawyer shows how morally complicated real life can be.

    Andrea says: "Well worth a listen"
    "Acceptable"
    Overall

    The book itself is, of course, a true classic and a great read. I found it especially interesting to contrast the character of "Tom" with today's children, and our "ritalin epidemic." Tom was misunderstood by the common society and adults of his time, and based on how we treat modern children with similar characteristics as Tom, clearly we still haven't figured him out.

    The narrator was neither exceptional nor horrible; he did an acceptable job. I would be interested to compare this reading to others, as there are apparently quite a few available.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Abarat

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Clive Barker
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (127)

    It begins in the most boring place in the world: Chickentown, U.S.A. There lives Candy Quackenbush, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future might hold. When the answer comes, it's not one she expects. Out of nowhere comes a wave, and Candy, led by a man called John Mischief (whose brothers live on the horns on his head), leaps into the surging waters and is carried away.

    Azizul says: "Dark Fairy Tale"
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this audiobook. It does have a fairy-tale feel, and you should be aware that it has a sequel, so expect a sudden ending with no conclusion. Unlike the other reviewers, I feel it is definitely similar to the author's other works, just not his most popular or commonly known ones. The unusual characters reminded me of "Cabal" and the overall feeling of unreality and the matter-of-fact transitions to & from the various islands and the "real world" felt like "Great and Secret Show."

    This book wasn't fantastic, not the best book I've ever read, not even Clive Barker's best, but it was enjoyable and passed the time quite pleasantly. The book has a way of skimming over darker issues so that it seems like a light tale suitable for children, but in the tradition of all fairy tales, certain scenes still leave you with a feeling of unease, as if something more terrible actually happened but the author wanted to spare you the details.

    The narration was the same, good not great, and nothing to complain about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Swiss Family Robinson

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Johann David Wyss
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    "For many days we had been tempest-tossed...the raging storm increased in fury until on the seventh day all hope was lost." So begins this delightful adventure story. The Robinson family, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four sons, will emerge alive from this terrible storm, bringing to land two dogs and a shipload of livestock: hens, pigeons, and geese.

    B. Junkin-Mills says: "A review from my (10 year-old) son:"
    "Worst book yet"
    Overall

    This book is so terrible, I'm not sure where to begin. Why is this book considered a "classic?" It's awful, both in narration and content. The best thing I can say about the narrator is that the person they chose is perfect for the part - he sounds every bit as pompous and full of himself as the way it is written. Narration complaints: he frequently stops sentences before they are finished, for example "...and we quickly climbed the tree. Delighting in our own ingenuity." You can also hear background noises like papers shuffling and I swear at one point he lights a pipe, which would actually be kind of cool had he done it in context.

    As for the content of the book itself, I'm still in shock that it is considered a classic. It is absolute garbage. My usually willing suspension-of-disbelief is currently rioting over the blatant lack of knowledge of basic facts. Monkeys are called apes. Buffalo and penguins inhabit the very same ecosystem. Every useful plant known to man not only exists on this island but is also easily discovered. There are consistency gaps, and editorial issues that would be minor if there weren't hundreds of them. The only way I would let my children listen to this would be with an encyclopedia and directions to write a report on everything Wyss got wrong.

    This is, however, an excellent example of the British attitude of the time, "manifest destiny," and "we will succeed in all endeavors because God is on our side." Mind you, I don't have a problem with the fairly heavy-handed Christian message; if it weren't so twisted as to be laughable it wouldn't bother me.

    If you are interested in this audiobook because of a school assignment, it will do just fine. The narrator is fairly easy to understand, if rather unprofessional, and his voice suits "Father" absolutely perfectly. If, however, you are hoping the book will be a fun and educational way to pass time for you or your children, while catching up on your "classics," skip this

    4 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Robert Stanek
    Overall
    (1071)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (85)

    After the Great War that divided the peoples, the kingdoms of men plunged into a Dark Age that lasted 500 years. To heal the lands and restore the light, the great kings decreed that magic and all that is magical, be it creature, man, or device, shall be cleansed to dust. The cleansing raged for so long that no human could recall a time without it and it is in this time that the Dark Lord Sathar returned from the dark beyond.

    Byron says: "Pompous drone"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    Based on the reviews, I was really surprised by the lack of quality in the narration of this book. It's extremely difficult to listen to. As another reviewer mentioned, there is virtually no transition when they switch from one character or section to another, and the narrator has an odd way of speaking that I have difficulty understanding. (I usually prefer narrators with accents, so it's not just the accent.)

    As for the content, I didn't find anything outstanding. The characters seemed flat and were at times difficult to tell apart. Descriptions were few & far between, to the point that I had difficulty determining when a scene was set in the same place it had been earlier in the book. Dialogue - yawn.

    Definitely not recommended. (Because I find that it's easier to determine if you have the same taste as a reviewer, here are some authors that I do enjoy: Tolkien, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Anne McCaffrey, Susan Cooper, Douglas Adams.)

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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