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Die Falknerin

ratings
979
REVIEWS
200
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
49
HELPFUL VOTES
1096

  • This House Is Haunted

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Boyne
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (175)

    When she arrives at the hall, shaken by an unsettling disturbance that occurred during her travels, she is greeted by the two children now in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There is no adult present to represent her mysterious employer, and the children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, another terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong. From the moment Eliza rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence that lives within Gaudlin's walls.

    Dorothy says: "Well Read - Not Very Scary, Had Promise"
    "This Book Is Dreadful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Friends have been telling me I need to read John Boyne for years, so I looked forward to the experience. Having finished "This House Is Haunted," I could scarcely be more disappointed.

    The first three chapters could be cut as they only introduce irrelevant backstory. Removing overwritten passages of description and scenes in which nothing happens to advance the story would bring it down to the size of a novella. Even then, the plot is so contrived and predictable that it would not be worth reading.

    The most aggravating things about this book are the modern attitudes, speech patterns, and social customs that permeate every chapter of the book. These "intrusions" continuously break the attempt to create a fictional dream of the past and are as jarring as a sneezing fit during a chamber concert.

    Also, I found it hard to believe the author had spent any time with real children, even precocious or eccentric children, of any century.

    Alison Larkin is a charming narrator, but even she could not bring life to these wooden characters.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Beware of Pity

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Stefan Zweig
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    In the twilight of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a young cavalry officer is invited to a dance at the home of a rich landowner. There - with a small act of attempted charity - he commits a simple faux pas. But from this seemingly insignificant blunder comes a tale of catastrophe arising from kindness and of honour poisoned by self-regard. Beware of Pity has all the intensity and the formidable sense of torment and of character of the very best of Zweig's work. Definitive translation by the award-winning Anthea Bell.

    Die Falknerin says: "One of my favorite authors"
    "One of my favorite authors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Along with Alexander Lernet-Holenia and Márai Sàndor, Stefan Zweig is a jewel in the literary crown of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    Beware of Pity is a period piece, an all too brief glimpse at a world forever lost.

    It is a story which may seem quaint in our time now that honor, manners, and human decency are thin on the ground. But it fascinates for all that.

    Zweig is often dismissed by the superficial reader as “sentimental.” Yes, he can be. He was, after all, a Viennese very much of his time.

    But such a reading is shallow and simplistic. To dismiss Zweig with a supercilious sniff is to miss not only a visit to his evocative fictional world, but to his deep understanding of character and conflict.

    I love his work all the more as I get older, and enjoy returning to his fictional Wien. He is an author with whom I never fail to lose myself utterly.

    This reading is simply extraordinary. With so many clueless narrators slaughtering foreign languages with the most grotesque pronunciation, Boulton’s performance is glorious, even musical, as befits the author himself. I enjoyed every minute.

    I hope someone will bring us another of Zweig’s extraordinary novels, The Post Office Girl.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • P. D. James BBC Radio Drama Collection: Seven Full-Cast Dramatisations

    • ORIGINAL (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By P. D. James
    • Narrated By Greta Scacchi, Hugh Grant, full cast, and others
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations of P. D. James' acclaimed mysteries, plus P. D. James in Her Own Words. This collection includes: Cover Her Face, A Taste for Death, Devices and Desires, A Certain Justice, The Private Patient, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull Beneath the Skin.

    Die Falknerin says: "Desert Island drama"
    "Desert Island drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This collection is a treat. Sîan Phillips, Anna Massey, and many other brilliant actors shine throughout nearly seventeen hours of dramatised James. I particularly enjoyed Robin Ellis in the role of Dalgliesh. Although I knew whodunnit in these stories because
    I’ve been a James fan since I was a young teenager, I still loved listening to the mysteries as they unfolded once more. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good British mystery with beautifully done dramatisations from talented actors.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The White King: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Leanda de Lisle
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Less than 40 years after England's golden age under Elizabeth I, the country was at war with itself. Split between loyalty to the Crown or to Parliament, war raged on English soil. Its casualties were immense. At the head of the disintegrating kingdom was King Charles I. In this vivid portrait - informed by previously unseen manuscripts, including royal correspondence between the king and his queen - Leanda de Lisle depicts a man who was principled and brave but fatally blinkered.

    Die Falknerin says: "Enlightening Stuart history"
    "Enlightening Stuart history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stuart history is an area about which I know very little, which is one reason I turned to this book. It was without a doubt an incredibly entertaining and enlightening listen. As with Leonie Frieda's biography of Catherine de Medici, I found myself wanting to read still more biographies of some of the characters I met within the narrative. That's always a delightful surprise! I am in awe of de Lisle's extensive research. Her writing style is lively and accessible as well. Malcolm's narration was very well suited to the subject throughout. Highly recommended to those interested in the Stuarts, the English Civil War, or British history.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Closed Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Goddard
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    The year is 1931. The new and luxurious transatlantic liner Empress of Britain is on her eastward passage. Among the first-class passengers on board are two English confidence tricksters, making a discreet exit from a little awkwardness they have left behind them in the United States.

    Lorriee says: "No Redemption."
    "Love Goddard but hated this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've enjoyed all the Goddard books I've read until this one. I found the writing to be a bit overwrought, the characters wholly unlikable and self indulgent, and the plot contrived. The dialogue is extraordinarily trite throughout and the excessive touristic scene painting of Venice tedious. The love scenes are laugh out loud hilarious. It surprised me in the most unpleasant way to find Goddard had written this book. In fact, I wondered several times if he had "farmed this one out." If you're new to reading his novels, try another. Bill Wallis is a wonderful narrator capable of epitomizing a vast range of characters, though his pronunciation can occasionally be eccentric.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Mark Thompson
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (66)

    The Western Front dominates our memories of the First World War. Yet a million and half men died in northeast Italy in a war that need never have happened, when Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire in May 1915. Led by General Luigi Cadorna, the most ruthless of all the Great War commanders, waves of Italian conscripts were sent charging up the limestone hills north of Trieste to be massacred by troops fighting to save their homelands.

    says: "Lost in history..."
    "An indispensable contribution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    THE WHITE WAR is an indispensable contribution to the study of the Italian experience of World War I. It is all the more valuable in that it is written in English and available on audio. I read it years ago and have given the book as a gift. All of use who have read it and have been impressed by Mark Thompson's straightforward style and immense research and recommended it to still more readers. I was delighted to see it become available on audio and highly recommend it to any who are interested in this neglected yet incredibly important conflict.

    I've been obsessed with World War 1 from childhood, and also have a passion for Italian history. The focus of this book perhaps makes it a specialist's subject, although it certainly deserves a wide general readership. If you are not interested in the minutiae of Italian life, both at home and on the front, you might prefer to look elsewhere. But if you're like me and you devour such detail with relish, you might just love this book as much as I do. The characters, both honorable and reprehensible, and the experiences, will stay with me forever.

    Apparently the narrator is an all or nothing proposition. I didn't mind him at all because he reminded me of another narrator I enjoy, Paul Panting. Furthermore, he didn't slaughter the Italian language. There are all too many narrators on audible who cannot pronounce their native English properly, far less another language, so for Gerard Doyle and others like him, I am truly grateful!

    Buon ascolta.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By James Buckley, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt
    • Narrated By Cira Larkin, Wayne Edwards
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism offers an extensive survey of the history, doctrine, practices, and global circumstances of Roman Catholicism, written by a range of distinguished and experienced Catholic writers. Engages its readers in an informed and informative conversation about Roman Catholic life and thought.

    Marcus says: "Great Overview"
    "Great content, excruciating narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Blackwell Companion is a broad survey of Catholic history and issues with entries from a wide variety of writers.

    The first part of the book, the historical survey, was read by Cira Larkin, who read this ponderous, philosophical work in a happy-joy-joy style totally inappropriate to the gravitas of the subject. She has no idea how to pronounce Latin or French, and at times, puts on accents. For example, she does a sort of Hogan's Heroes voice for theologian Karl Rahner. Narrators, please stop doing this to readers. It is neither amusing nor necessary. In fact, it is a hideous distraction from the content.

    The second and third parts, on Catholic cultural issues and practices, are read by Wayne Edwards, who sounds as if he'd rather be doing anything else than reading this book. Bored and monotone throughout, he does not enhance the subject matter, but makes one nod off.

    What a strange combination of narrators to choose for such a book!

    If I had it to do over again, I would skip this and go straight to print. I think it is a worthwhile study for those interested in Catholicism. Sadly, it will be unlikely to appeal to those who are RadTrad or ultraconservative, but for moderates there is much to consider.

    It is rather heavy and at times dry, but that is the nature of the subject. Do not expect a lively style.

    Recommended with reservations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Rodney Stark
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (148)

    As we all know, and as many of our well-established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called "Hitler's Pope", the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long-held beliefs were all wrong?

    jjdoctor says: "Enlightening"
    "Convincing refutations "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book. I especially love that a Protestant wrote it, though I'm a Catholic myself. That is to say, I enjoyed reading something from the perspective of one interested in the truth rather than one simply reinforcing an official viewpoint for its own sake.

    Stark is an excellent writer, spirited and entertaining. His wit is dry, crisp, and refreshing as he refutes errors and sets the record straight. The narrator, while not ideal for the subject, was competent, though he does have a tendency to pronounce Latin as if it were modern Italian.

    The subjects address are varied and fascinating. These include: historical accusations of anti-Semitism, a discussion of the alternative supposedly suppressed extracanonical (mostly Gnostic) texts, the myth that peaceful pagans were persecuted by the Church, the idea that the Church put the Dark in the Dark Ages, the idea that the Crusades were a land grabbing insult to Islam, the lies about the Inquisition, the allegation that the Church squashed scientific progress, the question of slavery, the accusation that the Church supports totalitarian states, and resistance to Protestant modernity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Johnnette Benkovic, Thomas Sullivan
    • Narrated By Therese McLaughlin
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (16)

    In The Rosary, Johnnette Benkovic, founder and president of Living His Life Abundantly and the founder of Women of Grace, teams up Thomas K. Sullivan, the creator of the Warrior Rosary, to explore why the rosary is the weapon for such a time as this. Together, they've gathered some of the most astonishing historical and contemporary accounts of victories associated with the rosary along with their own inspiring personal experiences.

    Die Falknerin says: "Ave Maria"
    "Ave Maria"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lovely tribute to the meaning, power, and beauty inherent in the Most Holy Rosary. Through a brief history and many touching anectdotes, this book will bring you a deeper appreciation for the devotion to the rosary. If you have neglected it for some time, you’re likely to return to the rosary with a grateful heart.

    As a dedicated rosary maker and someone who recently reconciled with the Church, I have at times held to the rosary as my lifeline. I experienced clerical abuse from which I thought I could not heal. Indeed, I could not heal on my own. Through the rosary, I found the comfort, forgiveness, and peace that only Our Lord can give, and returned to the Church.

    Each writer in this book has a wonderful story of grace and faith that will inspire you to seek the richness of graces found in the contemplation of the sacred mysteries. Many of us have experienced our little miracles. Maybe you have, too.

    The rosary is a profound weapon in your daily spiritual warfare arsenal. While Christ has conquered, we must never forget the devil is still active, determined, and very real. Turn to your rosary in times of temptation, challenge, and trial. All these things will happen. We were not promised an easy life as Christians, and suffering is inevitable. During these struggles, the rosary will aid you in keeping your eyes on Christ and His Blessed Mother.

    As Catholics, we should know what the rosary is and is not, and we should pray it properly and well. This may seem obvious, but poor catechesis and insufficient explanation in early training at home may be issues, and RCIA leaders’ explanations are sometimes inadequate for converts.

    It is also good to be able to explain the rosary simply and clearly to those who misunderstand it. This book can be helpful and supportive when such occasions arise. Accusations that the rosary is superstitious nonsense, vain repetition of prayer, or mariolatry can be countered effectively only when one understands the rosary’s true meaning. I have been delighted to introduce several inquiring Protestants to the rosary and the way it shows the life of Christ through the eyes of His Blessed Mother. If you are asked, be prepared to answer with joy and charity.

    I strongly recommend this accessible, meaningful book and hope it will bless you.

    For further reference, you will find an abundance of additional information in two books from wonderful priests, and a papal encyclical:

    THE ROSARY by Romano Guardini and CHAMPIONS OF THE ROSARY by Donald Calloway.

    I came to rediscover the rosary through a lifetime of writings by Blessed Pope Paul VI. Throughout his ministry, he commended the Blessed Mother and advocated a properly Christocentric devotion to the rosary. Please see his encyclical, MARIALIS CULTUS as well. Thank you, Papa Montini, for your suffering on behalf of the Church and for your intercession.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Old Testament (Unabridged Selections)

    • HIGHLIGHTS (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Naxos AudioBooks
    • Narrated By Philip Madoc, Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Here are the greatest and best-loved stories from the Old Testament of the Bible, stories which can be read as much for their human, literary, and historical appeal as for their religious meaning. The selection ranges from childhood favorites like David and Goliath, to key moments in Jewish history (such as Exodus), and also includes some of the finest poetry in the Old Testament (the Song of Solomon, for example).

    Gregory says: "Excellent!"
    "Magestic performances of favorite passages "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved all the performances here. (I’d listen to Anton Lesser read assembly directions for a lawn mower!) With the music, I’d give it ten stars if I could. I’ve never found a disappointing Naxos title, but this one is exceptionally well done. I’ll be listening to the New Testament selections next.

    Note: The title clearly says both that this is abridged and that these are selections, so no one should expect the whole Old Testament, especially at this length!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Renewal and Reconciliation

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Archbishop Fulton J Sheen
    • Narrated By Fulton J. Sheen
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Discover the spiritual insights needed to face your fears and grow in holiness with Renewal and Reconciliation.

    Die Falknerin says: "Excellent preparation for Advent or Lent"
    "Excellent preparation for Advent or Lent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This collection of retreat messages from Archbishop Sheen was directed to an audience of priests, but each one offers invaluable insights for lay Catholics as well.

    I wish I could give a copy of this to every Roman Catholic priest in this country. When you listen to this, you will see how much worse the problems Sheen addressed have become, especially with our priests. I found it sobering and depressing. Though these messages are decades old, they might have been spoken yesterday.

    As a follow up, I asked my parish priest why he never spoke of sin and reconciliation. (Most of his autumn homilies are about his interest in football. Indeed one week he brought a football to the ambo). He shrugged and said that parishioners came to be entertained, not lectured.

    Do they?

    This isn't a Vatican 2 problem. It is far more foundational than that, and Sheen is brilliant in noting not only the causes, but the solutions. Master teacher that he was, he never pointed out a problem without offering a remedy.

    If you are looking to add a little gravitas to the not so new normal, go back and listen to anything from Sheen. He fully understood the privileges and obligations of the priesthood, and how the all about me attitude could wreck not only a vocation, but any Christian life. The message is universal.

    The sound quality here is outstanding, too.

    Thank you, Archbishop Sheen. Pray for us, and may God advance your cause for sainthood.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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