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Will

Cochrane, AB, Canada | Member Since 2005

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 188 ratings
  • 563 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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  • Latter End

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Patricia Wentworth
    • Narrated By Diana Bishop
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Things had never been quite the same at Latter End since Lois had taken over. Suddenly life seemed to be an endless succession of bitter family rows - which Lois, needless to say, invariably won. More than one person at Latter End found themselves stretched to the limit by Lois and her bullying, and it was only a matter of time before somebody snapped.

    Mary says: "Hurrah for Miss Silver!"
    "Very very good"
    Overall

    This is just lovely, a good plain classic mystery beautifully read by Diana Bishop. Let's hope the other twenty or so Miss Silver mysteries follow quickly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tea with the Black Dragon: Black Dragon, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By R. A. MacAvoy
    • Narrated By Megan Hayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Martha Macnamara knows that her daughter, Elizabeth, is in trouble; she just doesn't know what kind. Mysterious phone calls from San Francisco at odd hours of the night are the only contact she has had with Elizabeth for years. Now, Elizabeth has sent her a plane ticket and reserved a room for her at San Francisco's most luxurious hotel. Yet she has not tried to contact Martha since she arrived, leaving her lonely, confused, and a little bit worried. Into the story steps Mayland Long, a distinguished-looking and wealthy Chinese man who lives at the hotel and is drawn to Martha's good nature and ability to pinpoint the truth of a matter.

    S. Wells says: "Lovely Tale, but...."
    "Not recommended..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing is cheesy, but there is something charming about this story. The mystery involves old-timey computers; it's amusingly antique, but never much of a puzzle. The black dragon himself is a great invention, and his zen master/love interest (who has a surprising cousinship with Mrs Pollifax and other middle-aged ladies of American popular novels) has good bones. But the narrator is so bad that this is a hard listen. If nostalgic, maybe better to find the ebook or an old paperback copy and just read it for yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Garth Nix
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    Award-winning author Garth Nix returns to the Old Kingdom with a thrilling prequel complete with dark magic, royalty, dangerous action, a strong heroine, and flawless world-building. This epic fantasy adventure is destined to be a classic, and is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones.

    Ethan M. says: "Return to the Old Kingdom in an inverted YA novel"
    "Halfway through, I'm afraid that's all I can take"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although the story is proceeding with Nix's usual skill, I have to report from the trenches here that Graeme Malcolm is a *terrible* narrator. His sea-sick cadences range up and down in exactly the same bandwidth, in an ecclesiastical sing-song that removes meaning, and the least spur of urgency, from the writing. If you want to listen to Nix, go back to the Tim Curry versions, which were superb. I'm going to buy the book and read it rather than slog through the rest of this audiobook, wincing at every downturn of inappropriate phrasing, just to find out what happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Old Captivity

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Cameron Stewart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Young pilot Donald Ross has little in common with the Oxford don who has employed him on an expedition to the Arctic - and still less with his beautiful but stubborn daughter, Alix. But once the three of them reach the treacherous shores of Greenland, their destinies are inextricably bound by the events that unfold there.

    Susan says: "Nevil, Were You Called To Dinner?"
    "Give it a miss"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ugh. This is a doughy, unsatisfying mess of a story. Sexist, stupid about the north, and packed with mystical drivel. Go listen to Trustee From The Toolroom instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Most Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Roger May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    It is the Second World War and France has fallen. In their trusty fishing boat, Genevieve, armed with only a flame-thrower and limited ammunition, a small group of officers and men take a stand against the might of the German army. This is classic Shute: a thrilling adventure about the heroism of ordinary men that will keep you on the edge of your seat, cheering them on.

    Sandy says: "Censored for 3 years"
    "Not recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of Nevil Shute's best work, including A Town Like Alice, Pied Piper and even Requiem for a Wren, opens our eyes to life in wartime in a quiet, devastating, and remarkably balanced way. But this book, written in the early years of WWII (finished in 1942 but censored until 1945), lacks the balance of hindsight and falls into overheated—literally, since it deals with the development and use of flamethrower guns—semi-propaganda. The narrative device of introducing each officer's backstory in turn is simplistic and unsatisfying, and their suffering, however sad, never seems to equate, for modern listeners, to the glee they take in raining acid death down on every German they can. Nuance is abandoned, not just by a weirdly bloodthirsty French priest, but even by the supposedly-objective narrator. Gruesome and flat, not recommended unless you want a cartoon look at how the English viewed the Germans in 1942.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Paul Torday
    • Narrated By Richard Mitchley
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    From the best-selling author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen comes a story of inheritance, a great country house, and a way of life that is disappearing...Ed Hartlepool has been living in self-imposed exile for five years, but with a settlement regarding his inheritance looming, he must return to his ancestral seat, Hartlepool Hall.

    motown says: "It was OK"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Or maybe it's just me—I found the relentless human, financial and emotional stupidity of the main character depressing; I'll skip to the end to see what machinations get him out of his entitled, parasitical aristo troubles, but only to settle my mind.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Numbered Account: Julia Probyn, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ann Bridge
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Jasicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Julia Probyn, like most people, knew very little about anonymous numbered accounts in Swiss Banks. Until her cousin, Colin Munro, asked her to look into the matter of one containing a fortune, for his fiancée Aglaia Armitage, left to her by her Greek grandfather. Then Julia learned a great deal. But besides bonds and debentures, old Mr. Thalassides, proved to have left documents of vital interest to the British Secret Service, and to other Powers as well, in the vault with them. When these disappear, the hunt begins.

    Will says: "Of their time"
    "Of their time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sadly, these Julia Probyn mysteries are rife with gentle, endemic racism and steeped in very conservative sun-never-sets-on-the-empire political thinking. It's too bad, because they're pretty charming in their own way. Julia is a glorious sleepy blonde who looks too stupid to be of any account, but has a fine, curious mind. She is helpful in a volunteer capacity to British intelligence, in between various small romances. They're mildly funny, in an unexacting way, and tidy travelogues as well—but if you are sensitive to racist characterizations or find the unthinking superiority of the upper classes irritating, these books are not for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Specimen Song: A Gabriel Du Pre Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Peter Bowen
    • Narrated By Jim Meskimen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    A lost and frightened horse plods down the National Mall, startling the crowd. When Gabriel Du Pré spots the confused animal, the connection is immediate, for neither of these creatures belongs in the sweltering heat of a DC summer. Du Pré, a Métis Indian from the wilds of Montana, calms the horse and leads it to the nearest policeman. Du Pré is in Washington to play his people’s music for a Smithsonian festival, but after leading the horse to safety, he encounters a murder instead.

    Kathi says: "Good, but read after the first book!"
    "Meskimen inhabits Dupré, and Bowen's whole world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've liked the Peter Bowen Montana mysteries for a long time, but these new recordings by Jim Meskimen outdo the old ones by a long long mile. Meskimen 's reading is head and shoulders better than the earlier versions—he allows us to see how good the writing is in these plain prairie tales, complicated by mystical interruptions from the venerable Benetsee. Bowen's humour comes shining through here, and so does the genuine clean air of that Montana landscape. Very highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Change of Heir

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Michael Innes
    • Narrated By Matt Bates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    George Gadberry, "resting actor", packs his bags and heads for obscurity when the tax inspector beckons. Then he receives a mysterious invitation and a proposition that could lead to enormous riches. Wealthy imbiber Nicholas Comberford wants George to impersonate him in order to secure a place in the will of fabulously affluent Great-Aunt Prudence, who lives in a Cistercian monastery and won't allow a single drop of liquor in the place. Gadberry's luck seems to have changed - but at what cost?

    Will says: "Not Innes's very best—try Allingham first"
    "Not Innes's very best—try Allingham first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's always a certain weird charm about Michael Innes's mysteries—they're interior, as well as intellectual. This one is almost entirely interior, but the person we inhabit is a two-bit actor, down on his luck, venal and weak. It's a long time to spend being so closely inside his head. Well read, but for a much more delightful run at this kind of plot (lost heirs, mistaken identities, clergymen with a taste for the occult) try Sweet Danger, by Margery Allingham, a fabulous and often very funny rural-Ruritania romp. (And listen to other Inneses first, the brilliant Appleby ones, like Hamlet, Revenge or Silence Observed.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wandering Fire: The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (174)

    A mage's power has brought five university students from our world into a realm where an ancient evil has freed itself from captivity to wreak revenge on its enemies.

    Katherine says: "heavy"
    "Great fantasy, exquisitely told"
    Overall

    This fantasy cycle, which concludes with The Darkest Road (not yet available on Audible, so brace yourself for a wait), is the very best of the genre. The epic battle brewing between Light and Dark is made more bitter by the addition of the Arthurian story, worked out once again here in the first of all the worlds, Fionavar. A magnificent series. But WHERE IS PART THREE!??

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Summer Tree: The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (246)

    The Summer Tree is the first novel of Guy Gavriel Kay's critically acclaimed fantasy trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry. Five university students embark on a journey of self-discovery when they enter a realm of wizards and warriors, gods and mythical creatures - and good and evil...

    Nissa says: "Obviously the first book of three"
    "Brilliant, but where is part 3??!!!"
    Overall

    The Fionavar trilogy outstrips Lord of the Rings in its own field. This is the most fully-imagined, fully-realized epic in the whole of the genre, and a must-listen for anyone who loves intelligent, spell-binding fantasy. The narration is a bit stiff off the top but soon warms. But WHERE IS PART THREE??? We are hanging on by our fingertips waiting for it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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