Mason, OH, United States | Member Since 2010
I enjoyed Philip Pullman's 'Dark Materials' trilogy, and wanted to hear more of his work. I was very pleased to see that Anton Lesser - one of my favorite actors - was the narrator for this work. Lesser's reading is amazing, as he convincingly voices everyone from a terrified female child to a pickpocket-turned-honest to an old crone. The story is gripping, and the presentation is superb. This is suitable for teens and adults, although the material is probably too strong for kids under 13.
As always, Juliet Stevenson does a superb job. But, for some reason, hearing the book instead of reading it brings out Emma's annoying and controlling personality. Reading it, Emma is charmingly misguided - hearing it, Emma is an unpleasant jerk. This has never been one of my favorite Austen books, but now I don't think I can read or listen to it again.
... but fortunately Thursday Next can roll with the punches. I love this series. I especially loved the tender and moving last chapters, when the narration point-of-view suddenly changes.
So many folks have told me that I simply MUST read this series. So I gave the audio book a try.
The good - the performance was excellent. The reader does a fine job of seamlessly shifting from English to Scottish accents, and her characters are well-defined vocally. No problems following the plot or which person was speaking.
The bad -. I simply could not stand the central character. She stupidly gets herself into trouble repeatedly because she won't accept that her values and mores clash with the time into which she has been thrust. I also hated a lot of the dialogue. Do people really talk like that? Conflicts continually arise because characters jump to bad conclusions and won't say what's on their minds. The prolonged and frequent sex scenes were frankly boring after awhile. Finally, the male characters - no matter how wounded, no matter how close to death - were almost always the savior of this annoying damsel in distress. She does get herself out of a few scrapes, and helps to save her beloved at a couple of points, but mostly she waits to be saved. Very tiresome!
I finished the audiobook but have absolutely no interest in continuing the series.
I thoroughly enjoyed this reading of P&P. At first, it drove me crazy when Ms. Fox would read Mrs. Bennett's lines - she would shriek and wail in a very obnoxious manner. Then I realized this is probably exactly how Mrs. Bennett would have spoken!
It is interesting listening to Greene as he struggles with the complexities, frustrations, and passions of his Roman Catholic faith. This book deals with these themes well, although to someone not interest in Roman Catholicism, the book may seem to beat the same dead horse repeatedly (and I found it tiresome at times). I intensely dislike the literary convention that the best way for a romantic triangle to resolve itself is for the central woman to die. ("Madame Butterfly" anyone? "Miss Saigon"?) However, Colin Firth's performance is outstanding. As one of the other reviewers said, Firth makes the main character angry, misanthropic, and cruel, but still very human and someone you care about despite his many great flaws.
This book was quite riveting. I usually listen to audiobooks before going to bed, but not this one - it made me too wound up! This was strictly daytimes-only listening. Now I look at our dependence on technology with skepticism and anxiety. Computers make our lives easier ... or do they?
I enjoyed listening to this, though I found it a bit slow sometimes. Didn't realize this was basically the first detective story ever written. As a detective story, it seemed a bit thin, but then again it's hard to get everything right when you are inventing a genre! I've also read that Collin's description of laudanum addiction is remarkably accurate. The reader is excellent. For folks who enjoy 19th century literature, be sure to give this one a listen - you will enjoy it.
Mark Steel performs often on BBC Radio. The first time I heard him was his bio of Beethoven (my favorite composer) and I howled with laughter throughout. Been a big Mark Steel fan ever since. This program is fun because he visits small and (to an American) obscure towns throughout Great Britain, and does a performance there talking about what makes each town unique and interesting. Who knew that there was actually a Boston in England? Not me!
I read 'Their Eyes Were Watching God" many years ago. I enjoyed it, though I found the conversations written in dialect hard to understand. Thank goodness for this audiobook! Ruby Dee's reading is exquisite. Through her performance, I can hear the beauty, the rhythm, the music of the language. It's a wonderful story, wonderfully written and wonderfully performed. This is my favorite audiobook so far - and that is saying a lot. Strongly, strongly recommended.
My daughter and I heard a portion of the second book in this series on Sirius Book Radio, and we were completely intrigued. So I bought the audiobooks of both Book 1 and 2, and thoroughly enjoyed both.
The descriptions may make it sound like this is some 'Twilight' rip-off, but it is not. The story is about adults trying to make their relationship work, and trying to learn more about how their species' came to be. The stories and characters are far richer than so much of the vampire YA literature out there! These books are for people who think, for people who have an interest in history and science and education.
The reader is quite good, although she occasionally (very rarely) mispronounces words. Can't wait for the third book!
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