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Roberta

...occasionally broadens her horizons, but generally just wants to be entertained...

Salzburg, Austria | Member Since 2010

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 296 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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  • Secret Garden

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • Narrated By Helena Bonham Carter
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    Since its original publication in 1911, The Secret Garden has ranked as one of the world's best-loved novels, captivating children and adults alike with its luminous tale of secrets and revelations, growth and renewal, and, above all, the transforming power of love.

    Jane says: "Great narration and a classic story"
    "Very abridged, but wonderfully read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this version behause it was narrated by Helena Bonham Carter and I truly enjoyed listening to her reading of it. Only too late did I discover that the book was abridged, and very drastically so. The main points of the story are all there, but not much more. This is the reason for the low story score. So much of the magic is gone, of Colin's development into a normal boy, of the transformation of the garden. It was a good reminder of the original book, but not nearly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (23)

    Mary, unloved and selfish, finds friendship and happiness helping her neurotic, invalid cousin become strong and healthy. Nature's powerful magic touches both children as they toil to revive their secret garden. The story alludes to some very modern themes including the ability of mental beliefs to create health, the strength of group optimism, and the restorative power of nature.

    Laurie says: "This reading spoiled me"
    "Wekl read old fashioned story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This unabridged version is quite delightful. I heard the abridged version read by Helena Bonham Carter but it was too short, too much was missing. This version is complete, and very well read. Unfortunately the sound is inconsistent, often too quiet at the beginnings of chapters, but aside from that I heartily enjoyed it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    Overall
    (4698)
    Performance
    (4120)
    Story
    (4160)

    This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.

    Sara says: "Strange & Fascinating"
    "Excellently read, story drags a bit."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No wonder this narrator was chosen as narrator of the year... If anyone can make a rather long fairy tale interesting, she did. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lick: Stage Dive, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Kylie Scott
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1852)
    Performance
    (1705)
    Story
    (1709)

    Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this. Evelyn Thomas' plans for celebrating her 21st birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.

    Jordy says: "4.5 Lickable Rock Stars!"
    "Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fun, lighthearted, funny, well-read. An enjoyable bit of fluff for a lazy afternoon. Enjoyable main and background characters with a few interesting twists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword)
    • Narrated By Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, and others
    Overall
    (1392)
    Performance
    (1281)
    Story
    (1277)

    From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

    Anne Morris says: "I don't normally write reviews but..."
    "A walk down memory lane..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very enjoyable! I really enjoyed hearing from all the original actors, and Carey's imitations were also spot on. A glimpse into the filmmaking world that shows acting isn't always sunshine and rainbows, although in this case it was a lot of fun. I watched the film again right afterwards, and enjoyed every moment - again. Perhaps even more...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kingslayer

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Honor Raconteur
    • Narrated By Mark McClain Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    He had known this day would come. No man could escape the entire might of the Sovran forever. He just found it humorous that it was an enemy of the Sovran that had caught him instead. Bound, kneeling before a queen whom he had hounded for a straight year, he should have been anxious. Or at least a little worried. Instead, a strange sense of relief filled him. It was over. His mad escape from Brindisi's justice was over. "That is a very calm expression on your face, General Darius Bresalier," she observed. Her tone was idle, but her eyes were as sharp as a hawk's.

    M. McCormick says: "Argh!!!"
    "Sooo Slow. Sooo predictable. Sooo simple."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started out with a great premise and a good beginning, but the narration by Mark McClain Wilson was awful. I hoped I would get used to it, but it just became more and more annoying. He may have separate, convincing voices for each character, but that is the only reason he received the two stars I gave him.

    The story itself also bogged down significantly in the middle and was very, very straightforward. I was interested up to and including the first battle in the desert, but then either Honor Raconteur ran out of ideas or fell in love or something, because it all goes downhill from there. The story is very predictable and overly clichéed, two characteristics only emphasised by Mr. Wilson's overly emphasised reading. I had the impression that Raconteur wrote this off the cuff, because there is no character build-up, no story planning, no foreshadowing for later events. And although I've not even finished my listen, I know that absolutely everything will turn out fine and the main character will succeed with nary a hitch, be rewarded by the queen and live a peachy keen life in a world filled with roses and rainbows.

    Further, far too much time is spent with the main character wooing a woman just two or three months prior to the battle of his life, something that tested the bounds of credulity as this was a lifetime soldier with only one goal - to save the country (and therefore the continent? kingdom? who cares?) from annihilation by a country with an army x-times larger than his. And then a woman distracts him? Of course all turns out fine (yawn - not even finished listening yet and still sooo obvious) and before, during and after the procedure we are treated to trite, emotional scenes which try to be moving and humourous but which only caused my eyes to roll.

    Frankly, I don't know which factor made this experience so negative. Was it a poor story read by a narrator trying too hard? Was it a good story butchered by a narrator? I will certainly give neither the author nor the narrator another chance so I guess I'll just have to live in ignorance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In Bed with the Devil

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lorraine Heath
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen, Antony Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1013)
    Performance
    (892)
    Story
    (893)

    They call him the Devil Earl - a scoundrel and accused murderer who grew up on the violent London streets. A proper young lady risks more than her reputation when consorting with the roguishly handsome Lucian Langdon, but Lady Catherine Mabry believes she has no choice. To protect those she loves, she would do anything-even strike a bargain with the devil himself. Lucian desires respectability and a wife above all else, but the woman of his choosing lacks the social graces to be accepted by the aristocracy.

    SIMARA says: "Exceeded my expectations..."
    "An ideal historical romance... truly enjoyable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I used to read a lot of these as a teenager but have since gotten caught up in other genres. I bought this during a sale to give the audible romance genre another chance after a bad choice and was well rewarded! The characters are lively and have great personalities. Susan Ericksen's reading was good, but occassionally the character's voices were not distinct enough. The story is complex enought to be interesting and the romantic bits are also fun. I would definitely listen to another book by Ms. Heath!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Bluegrass Baby

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1622)
    Performance
    (1488)
    Story
    (1473)

    Sadie Hutchins loves her job at the Kentucky Tourism Commission. Not only could her co-workers double as the cast of Parks and Recreation, but she loves finding the unusual sites, hidden gems, and just-plain-odd tourist attractions of her home state. She’s a shoo-in for the director’s job when her boss retires at the end of the year…until hotshot Josh Vaughn shows up to challenge her for the position. Josh is all sophisticated polish while Sadie’s country comfort, and the two have very different ideas of what makes a good campaign.

    Diana Turmenne says: "Made me want to visit Kentucky!"
    "Highly recommended! Funny, interesting, well read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not even done listening and I simply have to write that I loved it. I bought this on some sort of sale to brook the time before my pre-order arrived and am hooked. I will definitely listen to more from both Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi. Don't want to stop listening, am sad I only have another half hour of book to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Camel Club

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (3213)
    Performance
    (1363)
    Story
    (1368)

    It exists at the fringes of Washington, D.C., has no power, and consists solely of four eccentric and downtrodden members whom society has forgotten. Their simple goal is to find the "truth" behind their country's actions.

    Alex says: "The Good, Bad, and the So-So"
    "Too formulaic, too much coincidence."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although the name Camel Club is quirky and appealing and the characters in part enjoyable, I did NOT like the book or the reading, although if you can get through the first four hours you'll make it through the rest. Accept the following: it's very cliché. Bitter Arab/Islamist? check. Mysterious, tragic hero? check. Quirky formulaic side characters? check. (Although I did like Caleb...). Then there's the coincidences... there's just... so... many... the island, the boat, the restaurant, the parallel break-in (I don't think that's a spoiler, it is a suspense/crime/spy novel....). Jonathan Davis' reading doesn't help at all. Too little difference between the voices (except for Caleb, maybe that's why I like him so much) and the reading tries too hard to be suspenseful. Also, Davis' voice changes too much between breaks. As a final affront, there's sometimes music at the end of a chapter, but even that is inconsistent and detracts more than it improves.

    Oh dear, I nearly forgot the thesaurus style of writing, with bizarrely placed high quality words in the mouths of unsuited characters. Such a shame, really. I wanted to like it, the whole way through.

    But I didn't, so I can't recommend it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Pint of Murder: Madoc & Janet Rhys, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Charlotte MacLeod
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    Old Agatha Treadway baked her own bread, canned her own vegetables - and died of botulism in her very own kitchen. Accident, says Dr. Druffitt. Murder, says neighbor Janet Wadman. And says it again when she finds the doctor dead, too. Detective Inspector Madoc Rhys, of the royal Canadian Mounted Police, agrees. But who's the killer...? The town miser, who wants the one thing only Mrs. Treadway could have given him? The miser's son who's panting for the doctor's daughter? Widow Druffitt, who's holding secret meetings with unlikely people? The hired girl who listens at keyholes? The hired man who hides in haylofts?

    connie says: "cute Canadian cozy"
    "Mounties, mystery, romance - Enjoyable!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Pint of Murder the most enjoyable?

    To be honest, the first enjoyable point was the Canadian aspect. And the story was quite amusing. Very small town, lots of gossip and distinct characters with distinct personalities. And of course the mountie - who doesn't like mounties??


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It was interesting and kept me guessing until the end. A bit distracting was the constant postulating "oh, person x had this motive because of this reason, but this other person could also have done it for that reason" and so on... That distracted a bit, but everything else was fun.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    That would be a spoiler, but it has to do with it being a small town and how quickly information travels.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This is a silly question, sorry Audible! I'd rather write about the narration which was quite good and very suitable to the setting, the characters and the story. In no way was I ever consciously aware I was being "narrated at".


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2336)
    Performance
    (2168)
    Story
    (2157)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Fantastic"
    "Classic story, very well read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?

    The best part was the narration.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it wasn't 1:1 with the film. I've never read/heard the book before, and the additional details were fun to learn (like why the tin man is made of tin, and more about the flying monkeys, and stuff like that)


    What about Anne Hathaway’s performance did you like?

    Oh, she was excellent. I liked everything about her performance. An excellent narrator.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    This isn't that kind of book... but it did occasionally make me laugh, and I guess that moved me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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