Los Angeles, CA | Member Since 2013
Yes! I would like to see more focused research about Lady Almina's life rather than listen to lists of who was at dinner, what was served and who wore what.
I liked the son's adventures the best.
Based on the comments of other readers, I was excited about reading this book. I listened to the audible version and I must say that, while interesting, it didn't engage me as I thought it would. Yes, it tells the story of the countess of Highclere Castle, the site of Downton Abbey; and, yes, Lady Almina lived a very compelling life, especially in her years as a nurse during World War I. But I was immediately wary when the Introduction states that this is not a biography nor is it a history. So, then, what is it? Much of the book (especially the early chapters) are lists culled from guest books and photographs. Who came to dinner. What did Almina wear on her wedding day? Who were her bridesmaids. Where did they have their wedding reception and what was served? Frankly, this was not particularly compelling to me.
The book gets more interesting when journalistic records of the time improve and we learn more about Lord Carnarvon's many trips to Egypt and his discovery of King Tut's tomb.
This is rich material but because of the lack of sufficient research, it lacks a deep exploration of the key relationships in Lady Almina's life. After all, relationships form the foundation of the engaging Downton Abbey...that's what keeps us involved in the show...and that's what is missing here.
I really liked the opening of this novel -- the setting, the scenario, the narration were all nicely done and set an appropriately gloomy mood. But, then the story takes one detour after another and I couldn't wait until it was over.
But, getting to the end was the worst part...I hated the way the author completed his story. It was unsatisfying and even somewhat hokey.
This was one of my least favorite books.
I was so excited to see this final episode arrive on Audible, I quickly downloaded and listened to it...and I was not disappointed. This episode is an hour long; the first part sets up the scenario (and, to be fair, it's a little long and sometimes confusing), but without it, the payoff in the second half would not occur! It's a great episode and completes the series in a satisfactory and extremely funny and appropriate way.
I don't know what I will do without the crew of MJN Air...they have entertained me for hours on my commute and I will miss them terribly.
When I first began this book, it frustrated me: the three lead characters were: an alcoholic, a depressed and unhappy woman and an embittered new mother. How would I ever get through it when the protagonists were unsympathetic and annoying? I am so glad I persisted because the book is a thrilling read and so worth the investment of time and energy.
Anyone who has commuted to work will understand Anna's situation: as she takes the train to and from work every day, she looks out the window and imagines the lives of those who live in the homes along the route. But, when this situation is combined with Anna's alcoholism and her inability to maintain control of her life, her memories and her stories, you can see just how scary it can be when a real, honest-to-goodness crime occurs on her train route.
After I got over my initial annoyance with the three characters, I was riveted by the story and by the author's creative ability to keep the mystery fresh and have it unfold slowly, not revealing the culprit until the end.
The three narrators are excellent! Each one has a distinct voice and attitude that adds depth to the story.
What a lovely idea to recruit Tom Mison, who stars as Ichabod Crane on Fox TV's hit series Sleepy Hollow, to narrate Washington Irving's famous short story. And, he does a wonderful job! He reads with clarity and wit and makes the characters, especially Ichabod Crane, come alive.
Very nice addition to the Audible library!
I must've been living in a cave these past 20 years because I swear I had no knowledge of Diana Gabaldon or her Outlander series of books until the Starz series came on. But, after watching Episode 1, I decided to read the book and listen to the audio version simultaneously. Now I know what all the fuss has been about!
The enduring love between Claire and Jamie is romantic and wonderful. The author writes of their friendship and then love with such care. And, the backdrop of 1943 Scotland as the Highlanders fight the British for freedom is visceral and all too real.
While the book could be a tad shorter for some, I didn't mind the length as the author had me turning the page with rapt attention. In fact, I made a pact with myself that I would NOT go directly into Dragonfly in Amber (Book 2); that I would give my mind (and my eyes) a rest. But, that did not happen, oh no. I dove, feet first into the second book with enthusiasm. In fact, I'm rather glad I discovered this series so late...I don't have to wait for the next book to be published!
Thank you, Ms. Gabaldon, for this treasure trove of Claire and Jamie stories!
It's a classic for a reason. This book is a wonderful, compelling and searing slice of life in 1930s Alabama. The author's examination of prejudice is exceptionally told, without being preachy. The story, from the little girl Scout's point of view, is honest and true. And, by the end, every female reader will be in love with Atticus Finch while every male will want to emulate him. If you eschewed it during your school days, it's still not to late to read it. It's a timeless story that will stay with you long after you close the book.
From the moment I joined Audible.com, I waited for this book to be available. It is an incredible artistic achievement by an Oscar-winning actress. Sissy Spacek reads the novel superbly, showing respect for every word on the page. It is a remarkable artistic achievement.
Thank you, Audible, for finally getting this book to your listeners. It is an A+ listening experience.
There are some things about this novel about poor sisters living in the slums of Paris in the late 1800s that I really liked. For example, the author paints a vivid picture of the place and time so we can almost feel what Marie and Antoinette are going through. When Marie works so hard to pass her ballet exam to move up to the cadre, the reader can feel the poor girl's fatigue. Basically, I liked the story (up to a point) and got caught up in their dramatic situations -- how they both had to work so hard for so little; how they had to deal with their father's death and their mother's alcoholism; how Antoinette is so in love with the loser Emile that you want to just shake her; and how Marie succumbs to her patron, Mr. Lefevre, which nearly ruins her life and almost destroys her future.
The author's senses of verisimilitude of the time and place feels spot-on.
But, there is no joy in this book and, most importantly, very little hope for these characters. It is dreary, depressing and dramatic. It is also somewhat repetitious, as you see similar scenes play out at different times again and again. If the book were shorter, the dreariness wouldn't feel quite so overwhelming. But, it is long and all-encompassing and soon becomes oppressive.
The book is nicely written; the author's use of language is superb. And, she creates an environment that is realistic and characters that you feel for. But, eventually, it was too oppressive an experience. I wanted to like this more than I did...but I just didn't.
The narration was superb, though. I really loved the voices of the two sisters; they were distinct and yet had similar tones.
I liked the setup, environment and even the ghosts but the language is so difficult that much of the story and characters are obscured. The main character is never really developed and neither are the children. The notion of the ghosts doesn't pay off (to me) and so I was never really engaged in the story. I suppose my sensibilities have changed with the times but the story of a governess who takes care of two children in a big country home that is haunted by the ghosts of the old governess and butler just didn't captivate me. It would seem that this setup is ripe for tension and terror but the language keeps the listener at such a distance that the emotions didn't ever heat up for me.
In what could've been a terrific and haunting story with many layers and dimensions, instead, I found this to be a disappointment.
On the other hand, the narrators were both excellent.
I will admit that Hamlet is my favorite Shakespearean play and the idea of this book didn't sound appealing when I first heard about it. But, because I love the play so much and the narrations of Richard Armitage, I gave it a try and I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised.
In a word, this novel is EXCELLENT. It doesn't change any of Shakespeare's plot but it does offer a tremendous amount of added depth to the story and to the characters. For example, we get a glimpse into the depths of Ophelia's despair and depression so when her story is completed, we have a better understanding of what happened.
The authors have done a masterful job of giving new life to well-known and much beloved material. This was a stunning and wonderful listening experience...which brings me to Richard Armitage, the book's narrator.
Mr. Armitage is a fantastic narrator and I'm a fan of all the books he has read. But this could be the jewel in his crown. He does such a superlative job reading this dense, complex novel. The listener never gets confused, despite the myriad number of characters and accents required of the narrator. It is a phenomenal performance, one of the best I've ever heard in any genre.
Thank you, Audible, for commissioning this novel. It was truly an exceptional listening experience.
Whenever I need a swift mood change, I immediately go to Cabin Pressure…it doesn't matter which season or what episode, the program never fails to disappoint me. Every episode is hysterical and well-acted and I laugh heartily at every line. I'm so disappointed that the show is over...
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