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India J

Brooklyn, NY, USA | Member Since 2014

  • 5 reviews
  • 80 ratings
  • 199 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Mansfield Park

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of Jane Austen's most complex and mature works, Mansfield Park shows the writer at the top of her form, tackling the manners and customs of early 19th-century society with wit and irony that still resonate with readers two centuries after the book's initial publication. Flo Gibson's compelling narration gives perfect voice to the trials and tribulations of Fanny Price, sent at a young age to live with her rich relations.

    Michael says: "Wonderful story !"
    "All the terrible reviews of the narrator are true"

    Such overacting! Such misreading! Such a grating voice! Gaaah!

    I downloaded this despite the negative reviews, thinking, "But I love _Mansfield Park_. How bad could it be?" The answer is, Very bad. Flo Gibson makes everyone in the book sound like an idiot. Her attempts at an English accent are embarrassing. Her phrasing and intonation are so unnatural that it's hard to follow the story and take the characters seriously. In sum, she's very a obtrusive reader, utterly lacking in subtlety, and she significantly diminishes my enjoyment of the book. I wish Audible would offer a different unabridged edition.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Frederica

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Clifford Norgate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Rich and handsome, the hope of ambitious mothers and despair of his sisters, the Marquis of Alverstoke sees no reason to put himself out for anyone. But when a distant connection applies to him for help, he finds himself far from bored.

    Carol says: "Frederica"
    "Fun novel, well read"

    This was my first Georgette Heyer novel, so I can't say whether it's one of her finest, but I enjoyed the story, and the reader was definitely one of the better ones I've heard. His voices for the different characters were distinctive without being too stylized, and he did particularly well with the female characters--often a weak spot for male narrators. The character of Frederica, especially, sounded convincingly natural.

    I was disappointed to find that Clifford Norgate did not record more of Heyer's novels; I would gladly have purchased them.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull

    This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

    Frank says: "Choice of Narrators"
    "The gold standard of audiobooks, for me"

    Over a period of five years I have listened to most of this series, as read by Patrick Tull, at least twice, and in my opinion he is the perfect narrator. I have tried listening to other versions a few times, for a different perspective, but they just sound so impersonal, by contrast; so distant.

    In Tull's versions, I can nearly always tell which character is speaking, before there is any "so-and-so said" tag, and he is (was) one of the few male narrators I've heard who can represent female characters without making me wince. He reads respectfully, making every character sound believable, regardless of sex, age, class, region, or nation. His modulation and rhythm add interest even to unintelligible lists of nautical terms.

    I have recommended these recordings to dozens of people, and I have heard my recommendation seconded by others many times. Of course, since what sort of voice one likes to listen to is so personal (for instance, I can't bear Frederick Davidson, one of the most popular readers in the industry), you should listen to the samples of all this series's readers and download what you think will please you best. The books are wonderful, and I trust you will enjoy them regardless of who is reading. But after listening to the samples, and especially after listening to an entire book in the series, I think you will agree with me not only that these are the best set of Aubrey/Maturin recordings, but also that they are among the best audiobook recordings ever made, period.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Great Expectations

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Standing as one of the most revered works in all of English literature, Great Expectations traces the development of Philip Pirrip, called Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations to a man of depth and character. Pip is reared by his sister and her husband Joe Gargery, a blacksmith. In his youth he is influenced by the eccentric Miss Havisham, who was jilted on her wedding night and who has brought up her adopted niece Estella to hate men.

    John says: "Fully Deserving a 5-Star Rating!"
    "Over the top"

    I realize I'm in a tiny minority here, but I intensely disliked Mr. Davidson's narration.

    Dickens's characters are already caricatures on the page, and to read so much caricature into them *on top of that* makes them completely unsympathetic and unbelievable, to me. I found Davidson's reading of Pip so affected as to be distracting, and his voice for Joe was particularly dehumanizing.

    I would have much preferred a more naturalistic reading. YMMV.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Vicar of Wakefield

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Oliver Goldsmith
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    India J says: "Terribly muddy sound"
    "Terribly muddy sound"

    I'm sure this *was* a great recording, but unfortunately the sound is so muddy and garbled that I can barely make out what Tull is saying. It sounds like a cassette tape that's been left on the dashboard in the sun for too long. So very disappointing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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