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Spicewood, TX, United States | Member Since 2007


  • A Civil Contract

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Phyllida Nash

    Set in the Regency period, this is a classic tale of misunderstood love and an arranged marriage.

    Janet says: "Excellent Narration"
    "Excellent Narration"

    G. Heyer's novels are always fun but a great deal of their humor and character insight lies in the wording and implications of the text. Ms. Nash's narration hits this spot on and made me enjoy the audio book even more than the text version. She handles voices (both male and female), tone, characterization and interpretation with a fine sense of the author's intent.

    Heyer is true to the period and transports us there. This immersion in time is a hallmark of Heyer, contrasting to many contemporary authors who insert 21st century views/mannerisms in historical settings. Ms. Nash delivers this perfectly.

    If you enjoy a quiet, believable romance of ordinary problems against a background of extraordinary difficulties, try this book.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Sci-fi really worth reading"
    Any additional comments?

    The Martian is about survival, the power of inventiveness over despair, the commitment of people at risk to their partners, and what astounding accomplishments can be achieved by both a team and the individual. Yet it's as much a character study as science fiction which is a blend I really value.

    I don't know when I've enjoyed a book so much. Weir's characters are diverse and vivid and Bray's performance captures them all. The plot has many crooks and unexpected solutions, but all are plausible, which in some ways makes them more surprising. Some readers may find the technical information dense but it adds so much to the appreciation of the efforts and outcomes I felt it contributed to the story.

    The Martian is engrossing, compelling and uplifting. If you're looking for the kind of read that both grabs you as a story and pours out ideas to consider, don't miss this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "A quiet man doing a hard thing"
    Any additional comments?

    The forward says this book was written by Neville Shute and left as a legacy for his daughter who published it. The story somewhat parallels this idea of legacy as it is about a man trying to reclaim a fortune in diamonds for his orphaned niece. Keith Stewart is a quiet little British man who finds himself with a great responsibility and determines to meet that challenge. He moves forward one step at a time, always stepping again despite not seeing a path, and encounters misfortune and high adventure with the same modest perseverance. He's a specialist author who's always surprised to be recognized, a bemused but unjudging companion, and a man quite appreciative of other's talents but with very little ego about his own. I grew to like him very much -- as did most of the characters in the book. Stewart's quiet determination and the interesting situations and descriptions that Shute's engineering background applied to the story make an enjoyable mix. Frank Muller's performance is excellent, handling a wide variety of characters, nationalities, and ages with seamless flow. This is the kind of book you'll enjoy reading and put aside with a regretful smile at the end, wishing it could go on a bit longer. Or at least that you could have tea with Keith Stewart and see his workshop.

    I like good stories, interesting characters and happy endings. This had all three.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Winter Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Diane Armstrong
    • Narrated By Deidre Rubenstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Halina Shore is a Polish born forensic dentist living in Australia. When she travels to Poland to take part in the investigation of a war crime, she finds herself at the center of a bitter struggle in a community that has been divided by a grim legacy. As the investigation proceeds, her professional assignment becomes a confronting personal odyssey as the truth about her own past begins to emerge.

    Sara says: "A great listening experience"
    "Tedious with an annoying protagonist"

    In light of the keystone tragedy in the story, the main character's personal crisis is narcissistic and in self-pitying. The author tends to state (and re-state) the obvious and by over-explaining the characters and the science she leaves little suspense and nothing for the reader to discover. Not recommended.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Devil's Cub

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Michael Drew

    The excesses of the young Marquis of Vidal are even wilder than his father's before him. Not for nothing is the reckless duellist and gamester called "the Devil's Cub". But when he is forced to leave the country, Mary Challoner discovers his fiendish plan to abduct her sister. Any only by daring to impersonate her can Mary save her sibling from certain ruin.

    Janet says: "Lovely book but narrator missed the mark"
    "Lovely book but narrator missed the mark"

    Devil's Cub is one of my favorite Heyer books and I anticipated with pleasure the audio version. However, it felt like the narrator didn't grasp the humor, period or characterizations as he should. Humorous comments were misinterpreted and historical insights and characterizations undermined by his rendering. At one point I wondered if he had read the book before recording -- or perhaps the genre just didn't click for him.

    Production values were excellent and the narrator is easy to listen to, but the interpretation left a lot to be desired. You can't miss with Heyer and this is a fun book, but it deserved a better narration.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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