The narration by L.J. Ganser was fine. A few clever surprises and characterizations were fun, but the heroines couldn't keep up. I'd like to make allowances for the young Sisters Grimm--they've had a hard life, what with being orphans and surviving a series of rotten foster families, and they're YOUNG, but at some point--at least, if this were a real Grimm's tale--they would stop griping and bickering and get down to business. I've enjoyed many YA fantasies and quite a few for younger readers, but maybe I'm too old for this one. Particularly annoying: the author's tendency to regularize all irregular verbs, and to insert definitions of long or unusual words into character conversations. That's what dictionaries (or even Kindle word look-ups) are for. Allow children to be enterprising. My advice: read the original Grimm tales.
The Grand Sophy is one of Heyer's best humorous romances, and Clare Wille recreates every character perfectly, so I loved that.
What I liked least was realizing that I had acquired an abridged version of this delightful book! This is not a novel you wish were shorter!
Augustus Thornhope--the perfect languishing would-be Romantic poet.
The Grand Sophy--this version of it, at any rate--inspired me to find a full-length audio edition and listen to it all over again. I hope such a thing exists!
I DO recommend this audiobook for anyone who isn't already familiar with the original. The story is delightful, the characters are engaging, and the narration is excellent. Then afterwards you can check out the full-length print book and have even more fun reading it yourself!
Classic bildungsroman begins...
It's incomparable! Dunnett's writing has been compared with Mary Renault, Hilary Mantel, Patrick O'Brien. Her central character(s) are fictional, but the historical settings and characters with which they interact (for example, in Niccolo Rising, 15th c. Bruges and Anselm Adorne) are accurately and brilliantly portrayed. She has a painter's eye and a poet's pen, which makes the books a pleasure to hear read aloud by a skilled narrator.
His Jordan de Fleury is appropriately scathing.
It's a complex story and a bit long for that, but I was sorry when it ended.
If you've read the book, this is a great way to revisit it. If not, this is a great introduction to the series. Hopefully Audible.com will be bringing us the rest of the House of Niccolo as well as Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles.
Somewhat like the first Paksenarrion book, it's hard to tell just where this one is going. We have two or three characters' stories to follow. Eventually the focus does seem to fall more on one of them, but I'm not sure even Moon knew which it would be, at first.
She's not my favorite narrator, but she has improved over the course of these novels and I'm accustomed to her style.
It would make a great movie--the cuts between locations and characters would work quite well.
In the end, I enjoyed listening to this book and plan to continue with the series.
This was a one-time listen. Entertaining, but not the kind of thing I'd come back to. YMMV, but if I'd bought the physical book, it wouldn't be a keeper.
I'm sure there'll be a sequel, and I'll probably read it/listen to it, because I'm curious about what happens with Atticus's apprentice.
Luke Daniels also narrated Hearne's HOUNDED. It was equally engaging.
As contemporary fantasy goes, this was pretty good fun. The Celtic mythology is pretty solid, if you care about that kind of thing, so that wasn't annoying.
The way characters frequently held conversations that should have been confidential in loud voices in public places really stretched credulity--that's a lot of naive characters!
I'd have made the plot a little less dependent on loose talk.
Character voices/accents are fun.
Stay on earth.
It was still fun to see how it all worked out. I did come to care about the characters and their outcomes, so overall--a success.
Love, Chivalry, Tragedy
White manages to gently satirize medieval society (in his alternate history, Uther Pendragon takes the place of William the Conqueror) and 20th century culture (the psychoanalysis of the Questing Beast), while at the same time taking medieval life and human beings quite seriously. I learned a great deal about real medieval hawking, hunting, and chivalry--things Malory takes for granted, as they were part of daily life in his times.
Arthur & Guinevere listening to the stories of the knights' Grail quests.
I always cry when Lancelot does his one last miracle, and of course, at the end. But there are several scenes that made me laugh as well.
The narrator reads clearly and does all the voices very well, including different accents.
I remembered The Door into Summer as one of my favorite early Heinlein novels--before he started writing the long wacky rants after Stranger in a Strange Land. So I expected to enjoy revisiting it in audio form, and for the most part, I did. The best part, as I recalled, is protagonist Dan Davis's relationship with his cat, whose determination to find a way to a "better" outdoors gives the book its title. Also entertaining: the many near-predictions of 21st century technologies--the book was originally published in 1957 & the story is set in 1972. The narrator was appropriately matter-of-fact.
On the other hand, on this listen, I also heard many hints of the more extreme Heinlein to come--casual sexism combined with "women are superior" that probably didn't make a ripple in the 1950s, a kinda creepy romance (which didn't register a bit when I was much much younger and more innocent), and a lot of "every man a king" libertarian business. Still, a good story, and Heinlein is still one of the century's sci-fi masters. Plus, a man who likes cats can't be all wrong.
One thing I like about Chief Inspector Alleyn is that, unlike today's detectives, he pretty much does things by the book--if you don't count letting that unreasonably discreet journalist hang around--and yet still manages to be rather dashing. Marsh is very much a writer of her time, so don't expect political correctness--stereotypes abound. Nevertheless, one of the pleasures of listening to DEATH IN ECSTASY rather than just reading it to oneself is that reader James Saxon is a master of dialects & accents. These add greatly to the characterization and even enhance a clue here and there.
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