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GoryDetails

gorydetails

Nashua, NH USA | Member Since 2002

ratings
436
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
142

  • Private Peaceful

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Michael Morpurgo
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    When he was 15, Thomas Peaceful lied about his age and followed his older brother into the English army to fight in World War I. Now two years have passed, and Thomas' duty for the night is to stay awake and watch the battlefields. He will be shot if he falls asleep. As the night goes on, Thomas reflects on home, his family, his first love, and the horrors of the war. And all the while, a shattering truth comes closer to the surface.

    GoryDetails says: "Sweet, poignant story..."
    "Sweet, poignant story..."
    Overall

    While anyone who's read much about WWI will probably not be surprised by the events of the story, it's still touching and, in places, quite powerful. The characters are endearing, and Jeff Woodman's reading adds emotion to the text; recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Never Hit a Jellyfish with a Spade: How to Survive Life's Smaller Challenges

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Guy Browning
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The big things in life look after themselves. Birth, love, death: they're all terrifically exciting, but they happen whether we like it or not. It's the little things in life that cause the most trouble. How do you deal with the million and one everyday challenges?

    GoryDetails says: "Dry, droll, very entertaining!"
    "Dry, droll, very entertaining!"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book (read wonderfully by Simon Vance); its mix of helpful (and not-so-helpful) hints and snarky humor reminded me a bit of a British Dave Barry - and I love Dave Barry so that's a good thing! From "How to Potter" to "How to Love" ["Men love women because they are the loveliest things on God's earth. Women love men because chocolate can't mow the lawn."], it addresses a great variety of topics - although I did not find anywhere in the book any bits about jellyfish, so the title remains a vague, almost Zen-like concept {grin}.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Daniel Stashower
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    This compelling biography examines the extraordinary life and strange contrasts of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the struggling provincial doctor who became the most popular storyteller of his age when he created Sherlock Holmes. From his youthful exploits aboard a whaling ship to his often stormy friendships with such figures as Harry Houdini and George Bernard Shaw, Conan Doyle lived a life as gripping as any of his adventures.

    GoryDetails says: "A lively, enjoyable look at Conan Doyle"
    "A lively, enjoyable look at Conan Doyle"
    Overall

    While I knew the rough facts about Doyle's life, I found a great many new bits of information in this biography, and came away with a greater appreciation of Doyle's body of work - though still very puzzled about his inability to be objective about the spiritualism movement. The book is full of wonderful anecdotes, and describes many of Doyle's less-well-known works in ways that made me want to dash out and read them. Narrator Robert Whitfield (aka Simon Vance) does a marvelous job here. Recommended.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Talisman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Sir Walter Scott
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (21)

    The Crusaders, led by Richard I of England, are encamped in the Holy Land, and torn by the dissensions and jealousies of the leaders, including, besides Coeur de Lion himself, Philip of France, the duke of Austria, the Marquis of Montferrat, and the Grand Master of the Templars. The army's impotence is accentuated by the illness of Richard.

    Benedict says: "Pretty good"
    "Surprisingly enjoyable adventure!"
    Overall

    I had only dim recollections of The Talisman as one of Scott's lesser-known works (as compared with Ivanhoe, anyway), but when I found this version, read by favorite narrator Robert Whitfield (aka Simon Vance) I had to give it a try. And I was delighted! It's a wonderful romp, with surprisingly liberal views of Saladin and his host; King Richard comes off rather poorly in comparison. The secret identities got a bit far-fetched, but it was all entertaining. Recommended!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula (Blackstone Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (524)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (191)

    In 1897, at the age of 50, Bram Stoker was touring manager to the actor Henry Irving and was enjoying a modest success as a journalist and writer. Publication in that year of Dracula was to bring him international and lasting fame.

    Katrina says: "Still Scary Two Centuries Later"
    "A wonderful reading of the vampire classic"
    Overall

    I've re-read Dracula many times over the years and always enjoyed it, so I was delighted to find that one of my favorite audiobook readers had done an unabridged version. Listening to it was a new experience, as so many small details become noticeable when heard, and I became more aware of the structure of the story than I had been before. While Van Helsing's broken English was sometimes more funny than Stoker may have intended, overall I thought all of the characterizations held up well, and despite knowing the story backwards and forwards I found myself getting teary once or twice. Definitely recommended!

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Marc Acito
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    From syndicated humor columnist Marc Acito comes a wildly inventive and hysterically funny novel that is equal parts Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Fame, Risky Business, Dead Poets Society, and The Catcher in the Rye.

    Lee says: "Funny funny funny"
    "Very funny tale, well told!"
    Overall

    I loved the book when I read it, and enjoyed it even more through Jeff Woodman's vivacious reading. It's very funny, and sweet without being cloying - and if there are some wildly improbable bits, well, isn't that what fiction is for? Recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lord John and the Private Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (1193)
    Performance
    (650)
    Story
    (665)

    With more than 10 million copies in print worldwide, New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is a global phenomenon. Lord John and the Private Matter, starring one of the most popular Outlander characters, captures all the adventure and magic of the series while delivering a fresh tale that is utterly captivating.

    GoryDetails says: "Lively tale, well told"
    "Lively tale, well told"
    Overall

    I should say at once that Lord John Grey is my favorite character from the Outlander books. Here he gets an entire novel to himself. I enjoyed the book when I first read it, and liked it even better with Jeff Woodman's nicely nuanced reading. Granted, it may be a frustrating experience for Clare-and-Jamie fans, as they are barely mentioned here. Likewise, it might be a bit confusing for those who come to this book without having read the Outlander books at all, as they'll be wondering why Lord John keeps thinking about this Jamie character. But I've always liked John Grey best, so this is the perfect book for me - and I thoroughly enjoyed the period detail of some of the seamier parts of London.

    54 of 55 people found this review helpful
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Haddon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3952)
    Performance
    (1675)
    Story
    (1698)

    Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

    Robert says: "Endearing. Pathos, humor, reality, and insight."
    "Loved the book in text AND audio..."
    Overall

    This is a simply wonderful story, funny and heartbreaking by turns - and the audio version is just lovely. I've added reader Jeff Woodman to my list of "people to listen to"; he does a splendid job (and I was astonished to find that he's not really a 16-year-old boy {grin}). Strongly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Greatest Horror Stories of the 20th Century

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Robert Silverberg, Henry Kuttner
    • Narrated By Michael Gross, Robert Forster
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    This collection of classic horror tales is as remarkable for its literary value as for its scream factor. You'll hear stories by the masters of the genre, past and present.

    GoryDetails says: "What's there is good, but it's not all there..."
    "What's there is good, but it's not all there..."
    Overall

    Since the description of this item does mention that its format is really only at 1, I wasn't too disappointed at the rather fuzzy quality of some of the tracks, but I was annoyed to find that, although the item is described as "unabridged," my download was missing three of the stories listed in the site description: "The Small Assassin" by Ray Bradbury, "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper" by Robert Bloch, and "The Words of Guru" by C.M. Kornbluth.

    The rest of the stories are good ones, from M. R. James' classic "Casting the Runes" [a nice old-fashioned chiller with very little overt gruesomeness] to Brian Lumley's devastating "The Viaduct" [a modern tale with no supernatural elements, and all the more horror for that; this one's quite gruesome, though, so be warned]. I recognized some of the readers - Michael Gross and Roger Rees among them; they all read well, with a few, including Rees, turning in excellent readings. [A list of who read what would be a nice addition to the product description.]

    So - this is a very good collection of stories, most of them read very well, and I'd rate it much more highly on content alone. Since the product description is misleading I'm knocking it back a bit, but the stories that ARE present are definitely worth hearing!

    31 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • The Incredible Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Sheila Burnford
    • Narrated By Megan Follows
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    An incredible story that will always stay with the listener, The Incredible Journey is a moving tale of unshakable faith, loyalty and a companionship so strong that it defies the odds of nature. Instinct told them that the way home lay to the west. And so the doughty young Labrador retriever, the roguish bull terrier and the indomitable Siamese set out through the Canadian wilderness.

    GoryDetails says: "Love the book, but beware background music!"
    "Love the book, but beware background music!"
    Overall

    "Incredible Journey" has been one of my favorite books since I first read it as a child; I can always count on weeping happily by the end. This audio version was read decently by Megan Follows, but I found the occasional addition of musical tracks to be annoying and, in some cases, so loud that they overwhelmed the vocals. That's why I'm only giving four stars instead of five on this one, but it's a great story anyway...

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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