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Laura

ratings
50
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • These Three Remain: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Pamela Aidan
    • Narrated By George Holmes
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (91)

    His proposal of marriage to the lovely, but socially inferior, Elizabeth Bennet thoroughly rejected, Darcy must come to terms with her evaluation of his character and a future without her.

    Connie says: "You need to be a P&P fan"
    "Not Austen, but a Wonderful Darcy Transformation"
    Overall

    Granted this is not real Austen, but for all of us hungering for more to the P&P story, it certainly fills the bill in more ways than one. The style and structure are reminiscent of Austen, but more important, this book, or, rather, series, actually enhances the story and provides plausible explanations for the change in Darcy's thinking and behavior, something sorely missing in the original. It is always a delight to see a good story, originally written from one main character's point-of-view, from another POV. There are flaws, however. The first time I listened to the trilogy, the entire Norwycke section seemed a bit silly, superfluous and completely unrelated. However, the second - and subsequent - times through, I came to realize that it did several things. First, it anchored the events of Austen's story to its time tying it to the assassination of Perceval and other related plots of the period. It also fills in the story of Darcy's long absence from Austen's original.
    And, finally, it delineates Darcy's processes by which he comes to think he loves Elizabeth, tries to forget her, learns to face his own weakness of character, and finally realizes her true value through his struggle to understand and help his sister, his realization of who his real friends are, and his failure to interest himself in other women. Austen's Darcy has always been considered one of literature's great romantic men. However, from a 21st century perspective, he isn't particularly likable, much less lovable. Much of that is due to the fact that Austen gives us no real, logical transition from his shocked anger at her refusal to his complete change of heart regarding himself and her family and lack of connections. This series provides us just that. I've listened to the trilogy 4 times so far and still find it fun. The narrator does an excellent job of delineating characters giving each one a distinct personality and voice. Not for Austen purists, however.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4282)
    Performance
    (2939)
    Story
    (2975)

    In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal - 15-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.

    Jim says: "Remastered into chapters from CD."
    "What is with the idiotic fanfares?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Furies of Calderon in three words, what would they be?

    Battles galore!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Actually, the saga is fascinating and will clearly lead to more books in the series. It stimulates the mind to consider what went before and what will come after - not just in the story, itself, but for humankind.

    The characters are well-drawn and engaging, but I find that the author relies too much on battle behavior to expand information about a number of the characters, but left far too many holes in the actual development.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Tavi going back for Kitai


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I must admit, I did get bored with all the battles. Each one was extended and highly detailed making it feel like the series was little more than one VERY LONG battle. IOW, there was more battle description than actual story.

    But what there was of story and of character was strong and engaging.


    Any additional comments?

    The single biggest irritation were those awful fanfares with reason for them - just stuck in from time to time in the middle of a conversation. It was almost as if they were put in to mask an edit-join in the recording. However, instead of masking them, they highlighted them and the sounds were absolutely TERRIBLE and disruptive to the narrative.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lauren Willig
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (176)

    Arabella Dempsey's dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson's Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls' school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies....

    A. L. Bray says: "A smashing good time!"
    "Finally Turnip shows his stuff!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Mischief of the Mistletoe the most enjoyable?

    I laughed out loud! Kate Reading does brilliant character differentiation and does the single best voices of both women AND men that I have heard (and I have over 500 books in my Library),

    The characters are true and consistent. They are delightful to boot, and the story is so much fun.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Can't pick a "favorite scene." Every time I try, I find another to replace it. I enjoy the entire series, but this one is so much fun that I smile every time I think of any single moment in it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Steel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Catherine Aird
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    There were two things seriously wrong when someone found Mr Meredith in the library of Ornum House and greeted him with a ‘Good morning’. For one thing, it was five o’clock in the afternoon; and for another, the greeting took the form of a murderous blow to the back of poor Mr Meredith’s head. But Inspector Sloan doesn’t discover any of this until he finds the weapon, a large primitive club, topped with an iron spike.

    Barbara says: "Good story retitled"
    "What the heck is he saying!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Can't get through it. Bailey talks so fast and his characters are so poorly delineated that I can't figure out what's going on!. I keep trying to listen but get so confused about who's talking. I think the story might be good, but I can't grasp it. I just don't seem to hear fast enough!

    Because I loved the descriptions of the story, I bought 6 more of the Catherine Aird books and am greatly regretting it. I may try another to see if Bailey gets any better or at least slows down. Otherwise, I am going to return them.


    What didn’t you like about Robin Bailey’s performance?

    First, he simply talks way too fast. That would not be a problem, but he runs one character's dialogue into another's so that you can't tell who is talking at any given time. He reads as if the entire book were one run-on sentence.In addition he doesn't give any personality to his characters. When one visually reads a book, one can see by the change of paragraph and punctuation marks where one character's speech ends and another begins. While reading, the personality of each character becomes clear - not from the descriptions but from the words they use and the pace at which they use them.In an audio book, the listener does not have all those cues so necessary to enjoyment of the story. Instead, we rely on the reader to create the characters, making each one distinctly different and clear. At the very least, we expect the reader to respect the punctuation. Although I like Robin Bailey's voice, his reading is not only annoying, but he makes the story incomprehensible.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Don't know. Can't get through the book


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know who chooses readers for various books, but I do wish the producers would audition voices for various books. This isn't the first one I've run into where the reader can't communicate the story. One cannot count on a good actor being a good reader, either. Some of the best actors/actresses are the worse readers. Training in oral interpretation would help.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Grub-and-Stakers Move a Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Charlotte MacLeod
    • Narrated By Lory Reyes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Members of the Grub-and-Stakers Gardening Club set out to find a murderer after a body is unearthed on a Canadian wildflower preserve.

    Laura says: "Delightful books! Boring narrator"
    "Delightful books! Boring narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Grub-and-Stakers Move a Mountain? What did you like least?

    I've loved Charlotte MacLeod for many years. She wrote the funniest, most delightful cozy mysteries of all time. The Alisa Crag series are especially delicious. The characters are hilarious and adorable; the writing witty and whimsical; and the stories an absolute pleasure.

    HOWEVER, this narrator does no justice. She simply doesn't seem to have the flair that these characters need. As a matter of fact, the characters are almost indistinguishable from one another and, what little she does to them is inconsistent at best.

    I've heard women do fantastic male voices, both in cadence and inflection as well as pitch. This is important in most novels with major male characters read by women. But this is even more critical when you have characters such as Osbert Monk. She does a fair Scottish accent, but that is the only reason you know Sergeant McVicker is speaking, but even that isn't consistent. Nor do you ever hear McVicker's twinkle or gentle sarcasm. And Osbert's absolutely hilarious writer of classic western fiction sounds more like a boring wimp.

    The women are vaguely distinguishable, but completely uninteresting - not at all like the actual characters, themselves, each of which are unique and absolutely wonderful. She can't even create and develop, much less be consistent with the most distinctive character of all - Arethusa Monk.

    When I read the books, I smiled during every minute and laughed out loud rather often. I don't think I actually laughed once in the listening. Clearly it isn't the book - it is the reader.

    Audible, please be very careful when selecting narrators for the books you actually produce and be very critical of those you don't.


    How could the performance have been better?

    A different narrator. Oral interpretation is a very specialized form of acting. Only those who are very good at it should read novels. And, when humor is a fundamental element of a book, the requirements are even more stringent.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Absolutely, but it is an old cozy and, if ever produced, it would have to be on TV.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dreaming of the Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (118)

    Often compared to both Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, Deborah Crombie is internationally acclaimed for her deftly written mysteries that combine suspense, with lyrical prose. Sharply etched characters further enrich this story of tangled relationships and dark secrets. Twelve years after their divorce, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid receives a phone call from his ex-wife Victoria asking for his help.

    Rollin says: "A subtle british procedural"
    "Couldn't get past the first 5 minutes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Dreaming of the Bones?

    Loved the first three books in the series, but the reader starting with this one is so bad that I can't stand to listen to more than the first 5 minutes. Wish I could return the book.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Certainly not any more books by Deborah Crombie unless the producers get rid of this reader and return to Michael Deehy or someone with a better voice and far better characterization.


    What didn’t you like about Jenny Sterlin’s performance?

    The basic voice is unpleasant to listen to at all. There is no performance about it. The timbre of the voice is harsh and strident. There is no distinctions between or among characters. She has a terrible "male" voice, little differentiation from the female and no difference among the females. Also the candence is entirely soporific.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Other than great disappointment in the reader, never got far enough to determine anything about the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Is there any way to return a book?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5684)
    Performance
    (4850)
    Story
    (4845)

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends - and his own soul - Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic....

    Bill says: "Not the best audio book in the series"
    "Great Story! Weak performance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13?

    The story was inventive, fun, and exciting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I cannot say I had a favorite character. There was so little character differentiation that they all ran together. I'd love to hear it again with Marsters characterizations. And I would be willing to pay for it!!!


    What didn’t you like about John Glover’s performance?

    Although Mr. Glover is an excellent actor (I've seen many of his performances over the years), he simply does not even compare to James Marsters in the voice characterization of Harry and is seriously weak in the differentiation among characters.

    Character differentiation is a particular skill which Mr. Glover seems to lack. And his voice is sufficiently distinct in timbre and cadence that it gets in the way of most of the various characters. His voice actually does sound like Butters.

    This is one time I regret paying full price for the book and yet would be willing to do so again if it is re-recorded with Marsters. Marsters has created a distinctive voice for Hary which was missed in this recording. Glover's voice lacks the strength necessary for Harry. He also in entirely unable to express Harry's humor and sarcasm. So many of Harry's great smart-ass comments were completely lost.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Duty and Desire: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Pamela Aidan
    • Narrated By George Holmes
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    Though Darcy struggles privately with his desire for Elizabeth Bennet, he must still fulfill his roles as landlord, master, brother, and friend. In Book Two, the "silent time" of Austen's novel, Fitzwilliam Darcy and his personal world emerge as he deals with his servants, including a valet with aspirations of sartorial triumph.

    connie says: "wonderful, wonderful fluff"
    "Not Austen, but Good Series, Anyway!"
    Overall

    Granted this is not real Austen, but for all of us hungering for more to the P&P story, it certainly fills the bill in more ways than one. The style and structure are reminiscent of Austen, but more important, this book, or, rather, series, actually enhances the story and provides plausible explanations for the change in Darcy's thinking and behavior, something sorely missing in the original. It is always a delight to see a good story, originally written from one main character's point-of-view, from another POV. There are flaws, however. The first time I listened to the trilogy, the entire Norwycke section seemed a bit silly, superfluous and completely unrelated. However, the second - and subsequent - times through, I came to realize that it did several things. First, it anchored the events of Austen's story to its time tying it to the assassination of Perceval and other related plots of the period. It also fills in the story of Darcy's long absence from Austen's original.
    And, finally, it delineates Darcy's processes by which he comes to think he loves Elizabeth, tries to forget her, learns to face his own weakness of character, and finally realizes her true value through his struggle to understand and help his sister, his realization of who his real friends are, and his failure to interest himself in other women. Austen's Darcy has always been considered one of literature's great romantic men. However, from a 21st century perspective, he isn't particularly likable, much less lovable. Much of that is due to the fact that Austen gives us no real, logical transition from his shocked anger at her refusal to his complete change of heart regarding himself and her family and lack of connections. This series provides us just that. I've listened to the trilogy 4 times so far and still find it fun. The narrator does an excellent job of delineating characters giving each one a distinct personality and voice. Not for Austen purists, however.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Pamela Aidan
    • Narrated By George Holmes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (98)

    As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley's persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows, as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.

    Douglas says: "The Spirit of Austen Enchanted"
    "Not Austen, But Delicious Nontheless"
    Overall

    Granted this is not real Austen, but for all of us hungering for more to the P&P story, it certainly fills the bill in more ways than one. The style and structure are reminiscent of Austen, but more important, this book, or, rather, series, actually enhances the story and provides plausible explanations for the change in Darcy's thinking and behavior, something sorely missing in the original. It is always a delight to see a good story, originally written from one main character's point-of-view, from another POV. There are flaws, however. The first time I listened to the trilogy, the entire Norwycke section seemed a bit silly, superfluous and completely unrelated. However, the second - and subsequent - times through, I came to realize that it did several things. First, it anchored the events of Austen's story to its time tying it to the assassination of Perceval and other related plots of the period. It also fills in the story of Darcy's long absence from Austen's original.
    And, finally, it delineates Darcy's processes by which he comes to think he loves Elizabeth, tries to forget her, learns to face his own weakness of character, and finally realizes her true value through his struggle to understand and help his sister, his realization of who his real friends are, and his failure to interest himself in other women. Austen's Darcy has always been considered one of literature's great romantic men. However, from a 21st century perspective, he isn't particularly likable, much less lovable. Much of that is due to the fact that Austen gives us no real, logical transition from his shocked anger at her refusal to his complete change of heart regarding himself and her family and lack of connections. This series provides us just that. I've listened to the trilogy 4 times so far and still find it fun. The narrator does an excellent job of delineating characters giving each one a distinct personality and voice. Not for Austen purists, however.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Lindsay Duncan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1024)
    Performance
    (530)
    Story
    (542)

    Pride and Prejudice has delighted generations of readers with its unforgettable cast of characters, carefully choreographed plot, and a hugely entertaining view of the world and its absurdities. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighbourhood, the lives of Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down.

    Louise says: "excellent reading"
    "Book great! Reader, poor."
    Overall

    I chose this version because I am familiar with Lindsay Duncan as a good actor and presumed she would handle the characterizations well and display the drama, the charm, and, especially, the humor provided by Austen into the text.

    Sadly, I was wrong. Not only were the characterizations poor - in most cases they were indistinguishable. She has a good voice, but not for reading novels, especially ones where character is so critical.

    I have listened to many books, read by both men and women and have found most to be more than competent and many, quite extraordinary. This is the first book in which I have been sufficiently disappointed as to delete it from my library and search for another version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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