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Adele

ratings
9
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
1

  • The Children's Book

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By A. S. Byatt
    • Narrated By Nicolette McKenzie
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Olive Wellwood is a famous writer, interviewed with her children at her side. For each of them she writes a separate private book. In their rambling house near Romney Marsh they play in a story-book world - but their lives, those of their rich cousins and of their friends are already inscribed with mystery.

    Phillip says: "Adult book about the pleasures of knowledge"
    "Strange Narration"
    Overall

    I expected to like this book, having enjoyed 'Possession' many years ago. Moreover, as an artist, and a fan of Arts and Crafts, the setting appealed to me. I usually devour my audio books, but I find that I am grinding my way through this one - after several months I am still only half way through. I've been struggling to work out why. There's a big cast and potentially some great characters although most of them at this stage are not too well developed. It isn't the kind of story where you itch to know what happens next - I don't really care enough about anyone and their relationships with each other are mostly quite remote. But I have come to the the conclusion that, for me at least, that the narration is, well, a bit tedious. It sounds like a lecture rather than a narration. I've tried imagining other treatments and I think it might have been done differently. I'll get to the end eventually, but won't be recommending it to my friends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bring Up the Bodies

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (85)

    By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

    Elena says: "As good as the Wolf Hall"
    "Wolf Hall it isn't, but well worth the read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Only 4 stars, which feels a bit mean, but it's not Wolf Hall (which must be read first for this book to make any sense at all). Wolf Hall was truly exceptional, and any book would be hard pressed to stand up to comparison. The same comment goes for the narrators - which isn't to say that Simon Vance wasn't excellent. I really enjoyed Bring Up the Bodies. Not a lot happens but the cut and thrust of court politics and interpersonal conflicts are utterly intriguing. It is refreshing to read something so intelligent, original and really well written. I hope the final book in the trilogy will be as good as Bring Up the Bodies and don't mind waiting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Four Fires

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (976)
    Performance
    (646)
    Story
    (638)

    The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

    Robert says: "Hit in the solar plexus"
    "Good Australian Family Epic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this read. Didn't expect the narration to be through a child's eyes, but I quickly got over that and came to enjoy it. GREAT performance. I felt at times that the author was being a little too instructive, but appreciated his desire to share some fascinating information. The single perspective was limiting at times - as indicated by the author needing to justify how the narrator could possibly be privy to some of the incidents he relates. I think this story might have had the potential to be a future classic if the internal voices of the individual characters had been present - allowing for greater complexity and sophistication in thinking and feeling than could be offered through the boy narrator's eyes. I loved the characters and had no trouble empathising with them and caring about their stories. I thought a couple of the characters were a bit too stereotypical, almost to the extent of parody, but on the other hand the complex portrayal of Tommy (and his relationships) was exquisitely handled. LOVED the descriptions of the Australian man-made and natural landscapes. Altogether a highly recommended read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In Session: Dr. Morgan Snow with Steve Berry's Cotton Malone, Lee Child's Jack Reacher & Barry Eisler's John Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 44 mins)
    • By M. J. Rose
    • Narrated By Natalie Ross, Phil Gigante, Scott Brick, and others
    Overall
    (988)
    Performance
    (807)
    Story
    (830)

    As a therapist specializing in sexual issues, psychiatrist Dr. Morgan Snow isn't easily shocked, or shaken, as readers of the popular "Butterfield Institute" novels know. There are times, however, when the need for her services leads her out of the office... and into unfamiliar worlds. In these stories, the therapist matches her wits -and her training - against three men of mystery: Jack Reacher, John Rain, and Cotton Malone.

    Rose says: "Thank you for the free story, however........"
    "OK listen, but glad it was free"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These short stories were competent but they weren't outstanding. The performance was good but the stories weren't that interesting to me - all a bit too superficial.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (488)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (282)

    When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family.

    Tim says: "Wonderful story, brilliant writing and narration"
    "Original, witty, clever, charming - loved it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought my son might like this. I had a sneaky listen to check it out and couldn't stop listening! While there are some traditional themes (no spoilers, but think graveyard), they are handled in a light, original and very sympathetic way. Very well produced. Well written, witty, perfectly narrated, great music and a raft of rich characters that are easy to relate to - this quirky story has something for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13551)
    Performance
    (8023)
    Story
    (7878)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Simply dripping in syrup and cliche"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a mild erotic fantasy novel, thinly veiled as an historical/sci-fi adventure. The relationship between the two protagonists, and the sex scenes, are preposterously syrupy and cliched. Numerous rape and attempted rape scenes are presented in a facile manner. I suspect its not too far removed from Mills and Boon. Not for me, but if you like this kind of thing then you'll probably love this.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Thorn Birds

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Colleen McCullough
    • Narrated By Mary Woods
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (487)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (184)

    The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of the 20th century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their 7 children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister. It ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O'Neill, embarks on a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots.

    Anne says: "disappointing"
    "Appalling narration spoiled a good story"
    Overall

    The book was fine, but completely spoiled by the awful narrator. I don't think I'm especially picky, but this was an exceptionally bad job. Her interpretation of sentences was often wrong (emphasis misplaced so that the sentence had the wrong meaning), pronunciation was often way off even allowing for an American accent (eg Brisbayne? i don't think so.) The narrator's Italian and Australian accents were so bad at times i was close to turning it off. This is one of the rare times when I didn't listen to a sample before purchasing - I won't be making that mistake again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Saul Reichlin
    Overall
    (1373)
    Performance
    (642)
    Story
    (642)

    Lisbeth Salander lies in Intensive Care with a bullet lodged in her head. She will face trial for three murders and one attempted murder on her release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist, Salander must not only prove her innocence, but identify and denounce the corrupt politicians that have allowed the vulnerable to become victims of abuse and violence. Salander is now ready to fight back.

    Olga says: "A Fabulous Finale"
    "Good story - could have done with an edit"
    Overall

    I like the trilogy very much - very strong story, intelligent, politically insightful, plenty of twists and turns, and interesting characters. The version I downloaded didn't ask me to change tapes (as mentioned by other reviewers) so that problem appears to have been addressed. I think that the book(s) could have been edited in a way that pruned out some of the extraneous detail, which was most conspicuous in the frequent irrelevant lists - what someone bought, what they did when they got home, what clothes they put on and in what order... These struck me as clunky and the kinds of things that might be noted in the margin if you were directing a movie, but I just kept thinking 'yeah, yeah, get on with the story'. I always purchase unabridged books because I want to hear the story as the writer intended, but in this instance I'd be curious to hear the abridged version - perhaps it preserves the detail required to tell the story in full but without all the padding?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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