"Agincourt" retells the story of the French defeat at the hands of the English made famous in Shakespeare's "Henry V." The author has extensively researched this historical event, and his retelling of it "feels" authentic. The novel also reworks a few familiar scenes from Shakespeare's play, which should satisfy those who have come to love that story. It is extremely captivating and highly believable. I couldn't put it down. I would, however, offer these caveats. The profanity is extreme and relentless, and some characters are grotesque - to put it mildly. The first hour is especially vile, and the descriptions of war are long and graphic. The excellent reader goes a long way in making the harshness palatable.
This romance novel for men is unoriginal and lacking suspense. Perhaps it's a testament to our jaded times that the graphic sex is tedious, the espionage lacks suspense, and the gruesome murder fails to shock or surprise. The unrealistic, tidy ending is a joke. The author seems to want to be Graham Greene but ends up being Barbara Cartland. I like the narrator, which is why I stuck with it until the end.
I've been in love with Walker Percy's "Lancelot" since reading it in college more than 30 years ago. It's a great story and in many ways changed my life. This audiobook reading was a disappointment. The narrator works hard at capturing Lancelot's Louisiana-Southern accent but misses the nuances of his very Southern sardonic humor and brings no gravity to his philosophical musings, which are the foundation for the startling ending. What we get is truly a babbling tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I still hope that some day a great reader will come along to give this book the treatment it deserves.
Sensational, syrupy romance involving a French nobleman of middling importance and a tubercular courtesan. This book isn't that long, but you can fast forward 20 minutes at a time and not miss a thing.
In this cheap trick of a mystery novel, Edmund Crispin distracts his audience scene after trivial scene that kill time and fill space while doing nothing to advance the plot. Information is deliberately withheld so the “detective,” who operates on “intuition,” can appear to be as brilliant as he keeps telling us he is by revealing all in the grand finale. Instead of clues dropped the way, there’s a long, unsatisfying explanation at the end. (Actually, any number of explanations could have been devised to explain why any of the characters could be the murderer.) The characters are such clichéd personalities that they could have been called the Director, the Big Star, the Budding Starlet, the Talentless Jezebel, etc., with one being indistinguishable from the other. Having never before heard of Crispin, I had hoped to discover a new treasure, but now I understand why he is not mentioned in the pantheon of great mystery writers of the 20th century.
Once upon a time, "Trustee from the Toolroom" might have been classified as juvenile fiction. It's a straightforward adventure story, competently delivered, with manufactured drama, contrived solutions, and no real surprises as the plot steadily unfolds. The likable characters and this author's obvious faith in the goodness of human nature provide enjoyable entertainment in the absence of any real wisdom, deep insight, or challenging message.
I don't usually listen to non-fiction, but The Children of Henry VIII is as interesting as it is entertaining. I don't know if the author reveals many new details about the lives of Henry's three children; however, she does pull together a wealth of information into one solid book. If you're interested in this period at all, this book is a good place to start.
Today, Henry VIII is mostly known for his many wives, but his impact on the England of his day - and far beyond - was far more substantial than his reckless love life. This book reveals Henry's legacy, how it affected politics in England long after his death, and, how it was interpreted by his surviving children, who all had strong personalities of their own.
The narrator, Simon Prebble, is excellent as always!
You don't have to be a golfer to enjoy this collection of comic tales from P.G. Wodehouse.
All of the stories are fairly predictable - boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. This collection is a light but pleasant way to pass a few hours.
Jonathan Cecil is an excellent reader of P.G. Wodehouse's material. He's a master of character, expression, and interpretation - one of the all-time bests!
I enjoyed it, and I would listen to it again.
The Heart of a Goof is an entertaining addition to the P.G. Wodehouse canon, in the same vein as the Mr. Mulliner tales.
Thomas Hardy has earned his place in British literature. Without a doubt, he's a good writer. However, in most of his stories, the conflict is caused by an unhappy love affair and the fate of the characters lies in an extraordinary coincidence, which ultimately ruins their lives. The stories also tend to run on and could have been edited - a lot.
Neville Jason is a great reader, though. I would not hesitate to buy a book narrated by him.
No, but now that I understand this author's vision of life, I doubt I would listen to another book by Thomas Hardy.
My favorite of the short stories was "The Three Strangers" - involving the search for an escaped prisoner in an isolated farming community. It is quite clever and is the only story in the collection that has a happy ending.
A better similar collection of short stories based on everyday happenings in the lives of ordinary people is: Rudyard Kipling's stories of India, Tales from the Hills.
I doubt there's a more famous detective in literary history that Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. The Sherlock Holmes canon has been read by many authors, some better than others and most better than Alan Cumming.
This is a great introduction to the Sherlock Holmes stories and hopefully will leave you wanting more. When you're finished with Holmes, you can move on to Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, another great fictional detective in his own right, equally fussy and equally brilliant. Or Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Whimsey stories, which raise the detective novel to an art form. The Sayers' novels are not readily available on Audible, unfortunately, but one can always hope.
He doesn't provide enough distinction between the voices of the characters, particularly Holmes and Dr. Watson. I've found that few movie actors make good book readers and usually steer clear of them.
It's a clever and amusing story - why cut anything?
Audible kindly provided "The Blue Carbuncle" as a Christmas gift to its members. I hope it will inspire a few listeners to explore other Sherlock Holmes stories and keep alive great fiction from a bygone era.
Depraved. Cowardly. Funny.
To most Americans, the First Afghan War is a little known part of history, and it made me more interested in this period. What happened was horrific. The first part story was infused with comedy, but the second tragic part is pure spell-binding action. Under the circumstances, cowardly as Flashy was, I couldn't blame him for running for his life.
Flashman - it's perfect.
George McDonald Fraser's had the rare ability to create a likable "hero" who has no heroic virtues and every conceivable vice. He may be selfish, cowardly, and - oh, yes - depraved, but there is wisdom lurking beneath his cynicism. That said, "Flashman" is not for the prudish, the politically correct, or the faint of heart.
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