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Katrine

Member Since 2007

ratings
271
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • The Secret Scripture

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Sebastian Barry
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    Nearing her 100th birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future, as the Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital where's she spent most of her adult life prepares for closure. Over the weeks leading up to this upheaval, she talks with her psychiatrist, Dr. Greene, and their relationship intensifies and complicates. Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is at once shocking and deeply beautiful.

    Katrine says: "Grim, and somehow elating.."
    "Grim, and somehow elating.."
    Overall

    This story still haunts me a week after I finished the book. I'm not able to focus on the book I'm trying to listen to now, I still have Roseannes voice in my head. Beautifully written, beautifully narrated. I haven't quite made up my mind about the ending though...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forsyte Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John Galsworthy
    • Narrated By Fred Williams
    Overall
    (276)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (90)

    The three novels that make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family through three generations, beginning in Victorian London during the 1880s and ending in the early 1920s. Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women.

    Kay in DC says: "A delight"
    "Make sure you listen to the audio clip!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Forsyte Saga better?

    This is just the kind of book I'd usually love, a family saga in a historical setting, and a classic to boot, and so I bought it without even listening to the sample (silly, I know, but this was early in my audible membership.) The ratings are so good, I'm surprised so few people seem to truly hate the narration here as much as I did. I've tried listening again and again, but the droning monotone literally puts me to sleep every time. It's one of maybe 3 books I've never been able to finish - out of hundreds of audiobooks I've purchased over the past few years. I can't comment on the story, since I couldn't focus on it at all and never got past the first hour or so.


    Would you be willing to try another book from John Galsworthy? Why or why not?

    I very much want to read this book, but none of the unabridged versions available now appeal to me. There's an abridged version by Martin Jarvis who is one of my favourite narrarors. I wish he would record an unabridged version. Simon Vance would be great too. Maybe I'll download an ebook version instead.


    How could the performance have been better?

    As another reviewer mentions, this narrator sounds like a robot. A little more life and emotion would be welcome.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    annoyance that I wasted a credit, when it didn't simply put me to sleep.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Restless

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Rosamund Pike
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    What happens when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? During the summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother, Sally, is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigrée and one-time spy.

    Elanjelian says: "A worthwhile listen"
    "A different kind of spy story.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Restless the most enjoyable?

    I'm not usually a reader of spy novels, but took the chance on this since I've loved everything else I've read by William Boyd so far. This story has all the elements of a traditional spy story, but there's depth and richness here as well as action and thrills. There's more emotion here, too. Of course there's a love story, and the two narrators of the story are a British spy during the second world war and her daughter, who slowly discovers that the mother she thought she knew has a secret, tragic and still dangerous history. As usual Boyd adds in plenty of historical detail. Rosamunde Pike's narration is beautiful. Perfect for the characters, the period and the tone of the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Restless?

    The part of the story where Eva begins to suspect she has been betrayed is nerve-wracking. And so are many others.


    Any additional comments?

    This version of Restless seems to be exactly the same as the more popular one selling at twice the price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Helen Lisanti
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (212)

    Charles Bingley, a wealthy young gentleman, has moved into Netherfield Park manor, which causes much excitement in the village of Longbourn, especially among the five unmarried daughters of the Bennet household. Despite many romatic complications, the overall tone of this classic novel is, as Jane Austen described it, “light and bright, and sparkling”.

    Amazon Customer says: "It's About Time I Read This"
    "Well worth $ 4.87!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't come up with anything new to say about this book - it's a classic. I enjoy Austen and have both read and listened to all her novels. However, I didn't have an audio version of P&P in my library, and a couple of weeks ago when I was suffering from a nasty cold, and with -15C outside, I felt in need of a "comfort" listen. I have a few favourite narrators on audible, and especially for a classic I'd usually go with a tried and trusted one, but I wasn't very familiar with any of the narrators reading the unabridged version. I was initially a little sceptical of this bargain-priced version, but with no credits to spare and being on a "January" budget, I took the chance after listening to the audio sample. I was not disappointed. This is very well read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Other reviewers have pointed out that the narration is fast-paced - there's not much of a pause after sentences and between paragraphs. It seem almost as if all pauses have been edited out. I also agree with the reviewers who mention especially Mr Bennett sounding a little strange early in the book, but the voices do improve as the narrator gets further along. These issues didn't detract from the story for me, maybe that's because I knew the book well enough already that I could easily follow the story despite any slight distractions.

    If you're using a credit anyway, listen to all the versions offerred to find the one you like best, otherwise this is a very good option, whether you already know and love Pride and Prejudice or you never got around to reading Austen and wonder what all the fuss is about. It is a classic, but this really is not a hard read. It's entertaining, light and often very funny, with plenty of human interest and recognizable situations despite having been written 200 years ago.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Any Human Heart: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (95)

    Best-selling author William Boyd—the novelist who has been called a “master storyteller” (Chicago Tribune) and “a gutsy writer who is good company to keep” (Time)—here gives us his most entertaining, sly, and compelling novel to date. The novel evokes the tumult, events, and iconic faces of our time as it tells the story of Logan Mountstuart—writer, lover, and man of the world—through his intimate journals. It is the “riotous and disorganized reality” of Mountstuart’s 85 years in all their extraordinary, tragic, and humorous aspects.

    connie says: "very satisfying story-telling"
    "I didn't want this book to end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story of Logan Mountstuart's life is told through his diary entries, taking him, and us, through the 20th century, bumping into major and minor writers, artists and historical personalities and touching on events like the spanish revolution, WW2, the Biafra War and a Baader-Meinhof plot. We get insider descriptions of milieus such as the Bloomsbury group, the Paris literati of the 20's and 30's, the music and arts scene in New York in 50's and 60's New York, and an assortment of spies, tax-refugees and expat royals in the Caribbean. Critics have pointed out that the plot is just a bi too contrived - routinely landing Mountstuart at the centre (or at least the fringes) of all this historical action, but it never seemed that way to me while listening. I found this beautifully written. Mountstuart's style does go through subtle changes, reflecting his age and the style of whatever present he is describing and, as always, Simon Vance's narration takes the prose up a notch. Logan Mountstuart is multi-faceted, a selfish, serial adulterer - longing for love and human connection, always moving on, but seeking a sense of home and belonging, part of big picture, but still obsessed with daily minutiae. I don't need to admire a literary character in every aspect to find his life a fascinating subject, or to feel a mild sense of loss as the narrative gently winds down, just before the next big turning point of the 20th century - the fall of the Berlin wall.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • An Accomplished Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jude Morgan
    • Narrated By Phyllida Nash
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (25)

    1817. As a young woman, clever, self-reliant Lydia Templeton scandalised society by rejecting Lewis Durrant, the county's most eligible batchelor.

    Ten years later, Lydia has no regrets and, having concluded that matters of the heart need no longer trouble her, she is quite happy to remain unwed. But others still seek Lydia's advice on their love lives.

    Meg says: "Lovely"
    "Worthwhile if you like Austen homages."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I haven't read all that many Austen homages, and most have been disappointing so I was hesitant about this but I'm glad I decided to give it a chance. The plot and characters may not be the most substantial or original, but the writing and narration combine to make this perfectly suitable as light, holiday entertainment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Let It Shine

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Josephine Cox
    • Narrated By Carole Boyd
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Ada Williams was once an ambitious woman who believed money and power would bring her happiness. But now, she is all alone in the world, except for her greedy, bitter son Peter, who despises her and waits for the day he will inherit her fortune. Ada, however, has a different plan altogether.

    Jeanette says: "Good listen"
    "a complete waste of time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Let It Shine better?

    Just read something else. This makes Barbara Taylor Bradford's books look like candidates for the Booker Prize.


    What was most disappointing about Josephine Cox’s story?

    I didn't expect very much from this book except light entertainment - but it's some of the worst drivel I've ever read. Drippingly sentimental yet full of gratuitous violence and unmotivated evil which really adds nothing to the story. Characters are stereotypic in the worst possible way and the writing is really just one cliché after the other.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration wasn't bad at all - but it couldn't save this book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No. The setting and plot (far-fetched as it is) could have made for an interesting story. England during the depression, trials and tribulations of a working class family. Other authors have done a much better job with these elements, though.


    Any additional comments?

    I came over this book because it was on a special 4.95 offer at checkout. I thought it might be nice mindless entertainment for the holidays and didn't bother to check reviews here or elsewhere. I only finished it because I was bored and hate giving up on a book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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