Member Since 2011
The narration was great but above all else the story was simply as I expect it to be. It is so hard to find really good literature in modern times and that is why we have the classics... Authors like Jane Austen are constantly my 'fall back' plan really when I am looked to be immersed in a story with actual characters, characters that are so imperfect and yet so absolutely perfect in the roles they play.
Most persons already know the story of Emma, there are enough movies about the book in modern time for many persons to at least have some idea of the story. The novel was rightly named Emma and is easily one of my favorite female characters and, at the time the novel was written, was decades ahead of her time. The dynamics and description of details between the very relationships between the characters in the book by Jane Austen is what sets this novel apart I believe. Truly, just plain majestically written.
The narrator was good, she did a credible enough job to carry the book off. I will admit that she could have done more, but in all honesty the content itself more than overcompensates for the less than stellar narration.
All in all.... Stellar book... Beautiful title...
This is one of those books that have been getting rave reviews from bibliophile or rather anyone who is a fan of modern literature. The book appealed to me for a number of reasons but for some strange reason I never got around to give it a try until recently. I wasn't disappointed...
The first thing you find right off the bat is how well Haruki Murakami is able to use words to paint a picture. And I am no referring to a half baked imagery that leaves you to fill in the blanks but he fully attempts to describe the scenery in such a way that your entire senses seem to be a part of it. This can cause someone to get impatient and skip past these moments and lose one of the things that make this novel really special.... that amazing attention to detail.
Keep in mind whilst going through this novel that originally this was actually three books. 1Q84 was actually released as three separate books (Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3) and so while it might seem really long, keeping in mind that it originally was three separate books it's actually pretty normal in terms of length (and also bang for your buck seeing that you're buying three books in one). This is one of those books where patience is a good thing, just sit back and enjoy the ride, don't watch the hours spent going through the book just enjoy the actual journey. I can assure you by the time the book actually ends you will be begging for more once you really allow yourself to enjoy it.
1Q84 is, at worst, one of the most imaginative story lines I have ever really come across. Haruki Murakami weaves an elaborate and immaculate storyline with interesting, flawed characters each with their own back story. Even these minor characters are developed in a way that leaves you feeling satisfied in the end. I am seriously impressed as to how Haruki Murakami came up with the storyline and the time and energy that was invested in creating this piece of work, if this is the style of Japanese writers I would hope that more can be translated to English.
The narration in this book takes some getting used to, especially the voice of Allison Hiroto which can quite literally put you to sleep with how soft and gentle it comes off. After an hour or two though all the voices just seem to lay on you like high quality satin sheets (another sleep reference but without it actually putting you to sleep). Once the story picks up you get gripped and caught up with the way the narrators still seem to be so patient in their delivery but yet somewhat wishing they would pick up the pace. Truth be told though, you likely won't increase the tempo at this point because you would have gotten so used to the pace you won't mind it at all.
I truly can just go on and on about this book for the mere fact that it was done so exceptionally well. When I can write a review this long it means I either really enjoyed or really disliked it... and this book.... I LOVED!
I am slowly but surely becoming a fan of Hillary Mantel here. The combination between her and Simon Vance is was very much fitting here. Most persons I have heard speaking about "Bring Up the Bodies" generally tends to say that they preferred the book in the series, "Wolf Hall", to this. Personally though, I found that I enjoyed "Bring Up the Bodies" more.
I've always liked to read about this particular era in British History... the era of the Boleyn's. The downfall of Anne and the sensationalism that surrounded this time is something that I would never predict to happen in real life. Seeing what happens through the vantage point of Thomas Cromwell is pretty fascinating if you ask me. Having to manipulate and contort the law the way he did to fit the whims and fancies of the King of England at the time, Henry VIII. The narration was what I have come to expect from Simon Vance to be honest. Simply flawless.
I found this book very.... long. The sad part about this misconception on my end is that I regularly listen to books that are 20+ hours long. I have even gone through War & Peace as well as Anna Karenina and those did not feel as long as this book. The narration was dry at best and I found myself just getting through this book through mostly sheer will power than due to any sort of interest.
If you are a naturally observant person, one of those people particular key on detail then you will find this book more or less telling you what you know already. A lot of what is said in this book regarding reading people tends to be very subjective and the author admits this at multiple parts in the book. I won't lie and say there was nothing good or nothing learned here because there was actually some noteworthy portions and it served to confirm some of my already preconceived notions; on a whole I saw it as just a sea of useless fodder with just a small handful of note-worthy moments.
The narration was painful to listen to.... I found it so difficult to get through this book and the narration did not help. Maybe it was the content that was just lackluster and the narrator couldn't do much to improve it.
As I said, this book just seemed way too long for a title that is just 7 hours long... I normally go through 7 hour worth listening in a day.... Yet I think I went over a week before I could finish this one....
This was a book that was done right.... this is an audiobook that was done right! This is undoubtedly the best audiobook and probably the best book I have gone through all year and without question will rank amongst one of the best books I have read/listened to in a long time! The storyline was simply honest, the wording itself seemed flawless, the pacing perfect and the narration was downright immaculate.
Clearly you can see from my review thus far that I am raving about this book and when I do people tend to ask me "Why? Why is this book so great to you?" When I answer this question I can't say anything like "There is an amazing twist" or "The action is awesome"... All I can say is that you should try thinking about the perfect day, sun shining, it not being too hot, a nice gentle breeze and you taking a long ride to the country with your favorite song playing and with perfect company to boot...
This book isn't so much about the ending because truth be told you could probably have predicted the ending after a few chapters.... But what you DO get to enjoy is the journey. It is honest, sobering, tragic, paced to perfection and beautifully woven. You find yourself enjoying the different storylines that pops up, the interesting quotes that you find along the way, the beautiful sceneries they describe and mostly the stirring emotions that are evoked. Love, lost, sacrifice, hope, truth, hate… life is described in this book.
The narration was superb. I could listen to Shohreh Aghdashloo all day I believe. She truly has a story teller's voice, a voice that in and of itself is seemed innately engrained with a story in and of itself. I've always thought that she would have been a great narrator and she did not disappoint, I truly could listen to her do anything probably. Navid Negahban another impressive narrator which did just an amazing job here as well. Khaled Hosseini the author as well as a narrator here did a surprisingly impressive job. I honestly did not expect him to do so well but he actually 'exceeded my expectations'. I felt like the pacing in this book was so perfectly done you could close your eyes, lay on your back and just visualize the amazing world being dictated to you.
All in all this is one of those books that has gotten a lot of hype and deserved every single one of them. Absolutely and positively done RIGHT!
I am a huge Phillipa Gregory fan but sadly this particular title did not live up to the high expectation I had. There were three narrators and of the three I truly only enjoyed one of the three narrators whilst the story, though interesting just lacked something for me.
The Other Queen follows the life of Mary, Queen of Scots during her imprisonment leading up to her death. As much as Mary's storyline is a real focal point, a rather fascinating storyline also includes Bess and her husband George Talbot. The three weaves a rather interesting relationship especially when you add Queen Elizabeth as well as William Cecil.
It's mostly a typical Phillipa Gregory type novel with the intrigue, love and treachery. You find yourself both disliking and liking all of the main characters at one point or another whilst seriously disliking both Queen Elizabeth and William Cecil. Cecil's character was definitely not spared during this conversation and as for the main characters they all seem to have at least one fundamental fault that makes them particularly difficult to like completely.
The narration though was what killed it for me. I found Ron Keith (the voice of George Talbot) so completely infuriating that I honestly wanted to just skip through his sections completely. He truly sounded like a whimpering school boy to me throughout the whole entire book. The voice of Mary was done relatively well while the voice of Bess had it moments for me.... and no all these moments were of a positive nature.
Overall the book is able to serve up what you have mostly come to expect from Phillipa Gregory. But as a whole it seems to be lacking a little bit in terms of the storyline whilst the narration for me just made it all the worse in my vantage point. It's an 'OK' listen for me, but nothing to write home about.
I am having issues finding fault with Gillian Flynn I find. I am a fan, a true fan of Gillian Flynn and keeping that in mind I am concerned for my own mental health because I am sure that says a lot about me.
Gillian Flynn's brand of dark, twisted writing comes from a truly dark place. Her mind clearly goes places that a normal person would call... disturbing. I find though that it taps into that place that I think everyone has (as a form of justification because I clearly have it maybe). That dark/twisted/demented place where things aren't all rainbows and butterflies.
Gillian Flynn creates an amazingly flawed female characters in the form of Camille here. Her knack for creating such characters again is both dually intriguing and disturbing in the same sense. The way everything unfolded in this book was creepy in short and the way the entire story unwound itself was jarring at the very least. You might have been able to see what is about to happen from a mile away but even so you will enjoy each and every twisted, demented, crazy stop in the process. The writing in this book as the writing in all of her books just seem to be in a different league amongst most authors. Even if you dislike how dark this book is you will find yourself enjoying this dark twisted ride if only for the superb writing.
Another narration that I can find little fault with. Ann Marie Lee was able to portray Camille just as I expected her to sound. She kept up with the excellent storyline and only served to enhance the overall listening experience.
So apparently Chevy Stevens had gotten wide acclaim for this, her first book and I can definitely see why. The actual writing was 'ok' to be honest and there are moments in the book where I find myself getting annoyed with the main character 'Annie O’Sullivan' herself. Clearly I am not a young woman who has never been abducted but let’s just say I doubt I would have made with some of the decisions she made. I actually enjoyed how the story was done... from the vantage point of therapy sessions. You can see how she has somewhat of a mental breakdown through the therapy sessions as she works through certain aspects of what happened. The thing though that made this book stand out was the ending... All I can say is that I did NOT see that coming....
Angela Dawe did an exceptional job to be honest. She was able to portray that 'unfurling from at ends' feeling whilst listening to the book which was actually quite fitting for this book.
Initially while writing this review I was on the fence about this book to be honest but thinking back now.... the good outweighs the bad. I am not going to say this was some work of art however it was interesting and that twist! That ending twist was truly something.
This book was honest, fun and chilling all at once. I have seldom liked 'coming of age' titles for the mare fact that it is either too PG or just plain too twisted. This on the other hand was just plain right... It did not attempt to share some shocking deep life lesson nor did it attempt to hide behind a whole lot of useless fluff and annoying teen angst... It just felt real.
Stephen Chbosky's writing style allowed the reader/listener to really see Charlie's life just how he wishes it to be portrayed. It was a unique sort of writing style if you ask me and I can see how it can be a miss if done incorrectly, but when done right in the case of this book, it is utter genius! You find yourself reminiscing about your High School career, seeing the faces of your friends in your high school classes being represented here and unlike most other books that seem to force down the typical jock/cheerleader/nerd, this was done in such an effortless and real manner you can't help but falling into that mood of sheer nostalgia. The book was honest and actually was able to broach a rather disturbing topic but again because it was so time, done so effortless and so right I truly could not see the book done in any other way.
Perfection was found by choosing Noah Galvin to be the narrator. I could find very little titles that I could say was better narrated than this one.
I appreciated this book vastly for all the things that it did here and all the fundamental truths that it represented. It will strike a chord with almost anyone I believe; from the pitch perfect narration to the excellent storyline... all of this was just done really well.
I was a bit skeptic when I first chose this book to listen to but this book became one of those gems that I am glad I took a chance on. It does so many things so very right that I would simply suggest this book to anyone, literally to anyone.
Barbara Demick tells the story of like in North Korea and tell this story through interwoven true life experiences between a handfuls of individuals. The book in its entirety has a very anti-North Korea tone to it and if you are no careful you can easily be caught up into that sort of rhetoric. Keep in mind though that Barbara is simply telling things from persons who have lived and later defected from North Korea so there is some amount of distaste and bitterness from said persons. The author tries her best to not inject too much of such sentiment in her work but coming from her background as a reporter probably, she simply reported what the interviewees wish to have portrayed mostly.
All that being said even if you disagree with the tone of the book itself, it pokes enough in this direction to have you wanting to know more. It pokes at your curiosity in the right places and leaves you asking the right questions opening up this topic for discussion, driving one to actually want to do some research on this topic.
The narration suited well what was being portrayed. I do have some slight qualms with it as I thought the entire book seemed a bit over enunciated. You could hear her breathing in after every sentence it seems. Otherwise the mood and general tone was very much to my liking.
You would enjoy this book, at the time I listened to this (2013) it was current, impressively done, mixing the right amount of facts with an actual story and also highly thought provoking. One of the best books I have listened to in a while.
This is probably one of John Knowles' most popular titles and represents a coming of age story between two friends over the course of a year. It has a very sobering tone and can be perceived as very 'heavy' in terms of the overall ending of the title. The author doesn't in any way spare you from the realities of that time and provides no 'magical fixes' for any of the problems the boys at the Academy faced. This book does in fact teach some rather jarring life lessons through its exquisite writing and sheer honesty.
The narration for me was lacking. I found myself somewhat steeling myself to get through the book. Had it not been for my 'grit your teeth and get through it' mentality or the fact that I simply enjoyed the book's content, I wouldn't have made it through the title.
I am taken back in time to when I first started getting into books with this one. Reading, or in this case listening, the classics always tending to produce in me a sense of nostalgia for the past, a time dated in the early 90's when I was just a kid.
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