I always think a version in print is better (we like to encourage our children to read), but I do love that we can listen to these books in the car or for "quiet time".
We've purchased the first 18 books for my children (aged 4 and 5) and plan to continue through the series. Mary Pope Osborne does a great job; the only thing better would be if they were dramatized.
I love so many things about this series: That Jack and Annie are kind to one another, the positive messages about reading and the idea that reading can take you places, and the historical accuracy of each book. My kids love them!
I found the story to be completely unrealistic. The idea that any man would over-analyze situations the way Jonas repeatedly does made his inner dialogue laughable. Had the story been stretched out over the course of several months, it would have been more realistic. It's complete fantasy that two people would bare their souls (by miraculously overcoming the personal demons that have been entrenched for decades) and fall in love in a matter of days. The male narrator's voice was completely disingenuous- he sounded as if he were working really hard to sound "sexy", but (imho) ended up sounding like a cheesy game show host. Her narration sounded like it was done with home equipment - I could hear her swallow and the dryness of her mouth was audible as well. There weren't sufficient pauses between sections w/in the chapters, which made the time jumps very confusing and made it difficult to tell when they were narrating dialogue (vs. the written words of the book).
Overall, it disappointed me; but more than that I am shocked that it made the NY Times best-seller list. What does that say about the "average" consumer?
I'm so disappointed! I've really enjoyed Samantha Young's other books, but this one falls very short of the mark. This story line was a series of one identical scenario played over and over again, just with different dialogue and settings.
In every serious relationship, you eventually get to the point where you ask yourself, "When does 'compromise' become 'settling'?" In Samantha Young's other books, this inner struggle is believable, and the story maintains momentum as the characters work through their inner conflicts. Not so in 'Fall From India Place'. It is stagnant and gets perpetually stuck in the exact same issue over and over again. What results is a completely dysfunctional relationship that takes about 5 hours too long to resolve its one issue; absent any real growth, all that is left is pointless drama. If I wanted to be mired in that kind of pre-pubescent, irrational, narcissistic drama I would watch Jerry Springer.
Ms. Lynn's performance was horrible! I was continually confused by the time jumps due to an absence of appropriately lengthy pauses. In addition, her Scottish accent was non-existent. She was unable to make any of the characters sound distinctive from her own voice, which made the dialogue very confusing. Her performance was so bad that it would prevent me from buying another book narrated by her, even if the book itself looked like a winner.
I'm really disappointed. I'm hoping the poor quality of this book is a one-off, but I will hesitate before reading another Samantha Young.
Note that the first part of the book spends most of its time flashing back to Hannah's high school years, so the protagonist is, in essence, about 15 years old. Had I known, I would have given this book a miss. I'm not really interested in reading about the awkwardness of the teen years or the pain of unrequited love.
Amy McFadden does an outstanding job, in my opinion. Her narration is more like a performance than a "reading". She is somehow able to convey an amazing breadth of emotions through timbre and pace; I was mesmerized and quickly immersed in the story b/c of her talent. In addition, her voice has an impressive range, which allows the male voices to be believable. I was thoroughly impressed -- after two years of membership and countless listens, this is my first 5-star rating for narration.
I love Sylvia Day's writing. Although I would categorize her books as "Cheetos for the brain", they are better-written than any other books I've been able to find in this genre. This particular book I found to be somewhat more believable than her others. I especially enjoyed Gia's family dynamic (the "tough love" of her brothers was heartwarming and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny).
At times it made me laugh, but it's not a "crying" kind of book.
We listen to it over and over again -- it's wonderful!
Howie. Stockard Channing's interpretation of his character is spot-on and she does a great job with his voice.
There are so many... the one where the girls unite to bury the cat made me cry and the one where Ramona ruins both birthday cakes made me laugh for days.
Definitely. My kids ask for it every time we get in the car.
Stockard Channing is the absolute perfect person to narrate this! She does an amazing job with every voice: from petulant 4-yr old Ramona to her world-weary father, and every character in between.
My children are aged six and seven, and I was astonished at how much more empathy I have for their day-to-day experiences after having listened to the entire series. Beverly Cleary has a gift in her ability to make her characters relatable, and every time I find myself losing patience with the kids over something that seems completely inconsequential, I remember poor Ramona. Then I take a deep breath, grin, and put my "listening ears" on.
No way! Her characters are incredibly stereotypical, the story line is completely unrealistic, and it reads like a personal fantasy (unsuccessfully) put to paper.
Don't waste your time or your money.
Very imaginative. Great descriptive details make the story come alive, and the premise (parallel planes of existence) is unlike anything I've read before. Least interesting: battle descriptions.
Lordy. Anyone who's visited Scotland (or Ireland? Accents were so butchered that I wasn't quite sure where the characters were supposed to be from) or knows anyone of Scottish descent knows that the Scots accent is impossible to decipher. Therefore, I'm glad that a TRULY authentic Scots accent wasn't used, as I'm sure I wouldn't be able to understand a word. :) That being said, Shana Savage's performance (if you can call it that) was a non-stop distraction from the story itself. Not only did she butcher the accents, she also carried them into the lines before and after the dialogue itself. It's really a shame; otherwise a great listen.
Perhaps. Someone call Steven Spielberg. But would it be as good (or meaningful) without the sexual connection being portrayed? Sex is so much a part of what drew them (and kept them) together that I wonder if the characters would be shallow and unconvincing without it. And I don't think the US is yet ready for X-rated movies at the theatres. :)
You must purchase!
Definitely the narration and sound effects. It adds a dimension that you can't find in books read by only one person. Winnie the Pooh is a favorite of ours, and this version tops our list.
The stellar cast on this recording does a truly amazing job. I couldn't believe what a difference it made (vs. a book read by just one person). The sound effects are wonderful as well; my children are always entirely absorbed in listening when this is on.
Absolutely! The stellar cast on this recording does a truly amazing job. I couldn't believe what a difference it made (vs. a book read by just one person). The sound effects are wonderful as well; my children are always entirely absorbed in listening when this is on.
Oh, Judi Dench. Who knew you could do Winnie the Pooh as well as English royalty?
My kids are aged 4 and 5 -- they love this!
Isabel Keating does a wonderful job with the narration; her inflection and pacing is spot on.
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