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.
"Shadow of the Moon" is strictly for fans of melodramatic romance novels. It is not a great story: it is, in fact, completely overwritten by an author who never uses one word when she can use 20, who can't introduce so much as a minor, fleeting character without providing their pointless back stories, who repeats herself over and over. You can skip chapters three at a time without missing a thing. As a book reader, the narrator is O.K., but she she accentuates its flaws by failing to bring it vibrantly to life.
Spider-zombies take over a small American town in a comic novel that feels like it was conceived and written by a 14-year-old boy. The story is the stuff of every B-grade science fiction movie, but it's poorly conceived and poorly delivered, with too many scenes that are over-written and too much humor that relies on vulgarity rather than the author's cleverness. It's 14 hours long - it could have been four. After about one hour, listening became sheer torture. I just couldn't get through it. If I could give it zero stars, I would.
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.
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