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Jane

Solana Beach, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 91 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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  • A Monstrous Regiment of Women

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (711)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (463)

    Followers of the New Temple of God - all well-bred, well-heeled young women - are becoming targets for murder. With Sherlock Holmes at her side, Mary Russell plunges headlong into a dangerous investigation of life behind the sinister temple walls.

    Karen says: "A Monstrous Regiment of Women"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every scene in which Sherlock Holmes plays an active part is thoroughly enjoyable. However, the sermons/speeches of the main female character other than Mary Russell were too long and incredibly tedious, made even worse by the way in which the narrator drew them out. The first sermon/speech more than adequately demonstrated the strange religious fervor of the character; everything after that was just short of nails on a chalkboard. My other complaint is that the solution to the mystery is practically a non-event. I have read or listened to other Laurie R. King books and enjoyed them much more than I did this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Claudius the God

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Robert Graves
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (202)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (102)

    Robert Graves continues Claudius' story with the epic adulteries of Messalina, King Herod Agrippa's betrayal of his old friend, and the final arrival of that bloodthirsty teenager, Nero.

    Darwin8u says: "The Deified King of Historical Fiction"
    "Did the janitor pinch-hit for a no-show narrator?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Where did they get this narrator? He could not have been more ill-suited for the role. Voicing a Roman emperor, even one who was an awkward, half-crippled misfit, calls for a modicum of gravitas. This narrator sounds like some guy named Bill from Cleveland or Indianapolis.
    I listened to the audiobook of "I, Claudius" and loved the story and the narrator, so I was looking forward to "Claudius the God." Foolishly, I assumed that the narrator of the latter, if not the same person, would be of similar quality, so I didn't listen to the audio sample before purchasing the audiobook. Learn from my mistake.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Moscow Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1173)
    Performance
    (498)
    Story
    (496)

    In the new thriller from the New York Times best-selling author of The Secret Servant, the death of a journalist leads Gabriel Allon to Russia, where he finds that, in terms of spy craft, even he has something to learn. He's playing by Moscow rules now.

    Lucie says: "Change of narrator"
    "Abysmal narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Daniel Silva can be counted on for an entertaining tale of international espionage, provided your expectations aren't set too high. However, the producers of this audiobook made a gigantic blunder in selecting the narrator. The main action in the story unfolds in Italy, Russia and France, and Mr. Silva liberally sprinkles Italian, Russian and French words, phrases and place names throughout his narrative. Phil Gigante has an uncanny knack for horribly mispronouncing nearly EVERYTHING that isn't in English, and it drove me to distraction. I don't know how the audiobook production process works, but it is clear to me that Mr. Silva was not actively involved. Don't get me wrong -- I don't expect a narrator to know Italian, French and Russian. However, I do think it is reasonable to expect that, if the narrator is unsure how to pronounce a word, he should find out. I won't purchase another audiobook narrated by Mr. Gigante.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death on the Nile: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By David Suchet
    Overall
    (286)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (128)

    All the best ingredients are here: an idyllic cruise in an exotic setting, a beautiful young woman on her honeymoon, a shocking murder with suspects galore. Fortunately Hercule Poirot is on the scene, thanks to a cruise holiday on the River Nile, and he exercises all his "little grey cells" in probing the passengers' airtight alibis. This most challenging mystery is known to be the author's personal favorite.

    Ian says: "A fine Poirot mystery"
    "Suchet is perfection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David Suchet is incomparable. It is common knowledge that he does a pitch-perfect Poirot, but the man does an equally extraordinary job capturing the whole colorful cast of characters and telling the story in a captivating way. Not that Agatha Christie needs any help in the story-telling department, of course...
    This was such an enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Silent Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Richard North Patterson
    • Narrated By T.J. Edwards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (75)

    When seventeen-year-old Tony Lord was accused of the murder of Alison Taylor, his friends turned against him. Now he is a San Francisco lawyer dedicated to the defense of his clients, but his new client is one of those fair-weather friends...and he is suspected of murdering of a female student. Tony must confront not only the fear that his friend is a murderer, but the buried truths that underlie Alison's death so long ago.

    Linda says: "Caught me by surprise...."
    "Not the narrator's fault"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The good: the narrator - not the best, but good. The bad: the plot! If you have read at least a couple of legal thrillers before, you will not be the least surprised when the real killer is unmasked. In fact, categorizing this book as a legal thriller is only 50% accurate. The first-person narrator of the book (not the narrator of the audio recording) becomes ever more unlikeable and pathetic as the snail's-pace plot grinds on. This is partly intentional on the part of the author - a successful criminal defense lawyer sometimes relies on morally repugnant (or at least amoral) tactics. But it is also the result of an inexplicably fierce loyalty between the protagonist and his boyhood friend cum accused murderer - even the lengthy flashback that consumes most of the first half of the book failed to provide an adequate basis for the purportedly inextricable link between the two.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Burglar

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Maurice Leblanc
    • Narrated By Walter Covell
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Maurice Leblanc, a writer of detective fiction during the same period as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, created Arsene Lupin, a sort of French Robin Hood. An inventive genius, a master of disguise, and an accomplished actor, Lupin operates in the choice chateaux and salons. He scorns sham and with great disdain leaves his card in a baron's residence. The card reads, "Arsene Lupin, gentleman-burglar, will return when the furniture is genuine."

    Karen says: "Delightful"
    "Dreadful narrator"
    Overall

    Walter Covell's narration bludgeons the life out of the story. He rarely pauses between sentences, so the tempo is flat and uniform. There are few inflections in his voice, and when he does manage them, it sounds as though this is the first time he's read the book because the inflections fail to capture the meaning or tone of the text.
    I am not giving up on Arsene Lupin but will henceforth only consider audiobook editions of Leblanc's work that are narrated by others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Pocket Full of Rye: A Miss Marple Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Rosalind Ayres
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    The agonizing death of a wealthy financier raises many questions for Inspector Neele, whose investigation almost overlooks the bizarre clue of grain found in the man's suit pocket. When two other members of the household are killed, Miss Marple uncovers the pattern, which follows the plot of a children's poem. But the killer's motive is still to be found. Christie is at her chilling best in this superbly told tale of death by nursery rhyme.

    Abigail says: "A Fun, Quick Read"
    "Pitch-perfect"
    Overall

    The book itself is exactly what mystery readers expect from, and love about, an Agatha Christie novel - multiple murders; sweetly sly Miss Marple; and an expertly crafted plot down to the last detail. She never resorts to pulling a rabbit out of a hat as the solution of the mystery, but rather puts all the necessary clues to solve the crime plainly in the narrative if you are clever enough to appreciate their significance. Of course, even if you manage to catch a few of them, Christie is always two steps ahead. There are multiple layers of red herrings of varying degrees of subtlety, so that while you are patting yourself on the back for spotting one, you are falling for another one hook, line, and sinker.
    The narrator is as expert as the writer herself. She gives each character a distinct voice - complete with class-appropriate accent, nuanced tone, and pattern of speech - that makes each character clearly identifiable, but she does it so unobtrusively that it is easy to forget that all of the voices originate from the same person.
    The entire listening experience is captivating.
    The only flaw is that, as another reviewer noted, there are technical problems with the recording around the middle of the audiobook that convinced me my iPod was malfunctioning.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The After House: A Story of Love, Mystery, and a Private Yacht

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Mary Roberts Rinehart
    • Narrated By Kristen Underwood
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Out of funds and longing for a sea voyage, young doctor Ralph Leslie jumps at the chance to sign aboard a luxurious millionaire's yacht as steward of the After House. His job is easy sailing until one summer night, when the dream voyage suddenly becomes a nightmare of blood and terror. One of the ship's officers is thrown overboard; another one is killed with an axe. As panic sets in on the boat, only the young doctor remains calm enough to try to solve the murders.

    Jane says: "Weak material; weaker narrator"
    "Weak material; weaker narrator"
    Overall

    I purchased this audiobook because it had a rating of four-and-a-half stars. I can't imagine why it was rated so highly. The biggest problem for me was the narrator, whose voice was simultaneously dull and irritating. (The audiobook I had listened to right before this was Agatha Christie's "A Pocket Full of Rye," whose narrator was one of the best I've heard.)
    The plot of the book itself was uninspired, with a denouement and unmasking of the culprit that could almost have come from an episode of Scooby Doo. The writing was dated and stale, which cannot be due simply to its having been written in 1914 -- the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie spring to life as easily now as they did when published. The dialog is full of ominous pronouncements that are so ham-fisted that any seasoned mystery reader will immediately recognize them as red herrings. If you buy this audiobook keeping all of this in mind and having set your expectations low, you might be entertained by it, but I doubt it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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