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Penny

ALDARA PARK, South Africa

150
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 169 ratings
  • 349 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • Half Moon Investigations

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eoin Colfer
    • Narrated By Hugh Lee
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    One month ago, a case came knocking on my door that made me consider getting out of the detective business for good. I'd just turned twelve.

    Meet Fletcher Moon. Half-pint schoolboy and fully qualified private investigator. Since graduating online, he has solved all sorts of minor mysteries at school and at home. It was only a matter of time before things got serious. The shortest detective in town is on the biggest case of his life.

    Penny says: "Excellent Story and Narration"
    "Excellent Story and Narration"
    Overall

    This book is thoroughly enjoyable, with plot twists to make Sherlock Holmes scratch his head. I hope Eoin Colfer writes a few more Half Moon stories.

    Hugh Lee does a brilliant job creating believable characters and keeping the wit and pace of the story alive. Five stars for a great performance and excellent entertainment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inheritance: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 4 - Part 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerrard Doyle
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    Not so very long ago, Eragon-Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider - was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.

    Penny says: "Production error spoilt the end"
    "Production error spoilt the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Why is it necessary to repeat 12 minutes of the final part of the book? Did the audio engineer fall asleep?

    I found the climax of the battle exciting and unpredictable, as it should be, and then enjoyed the long gentle wind down towards the end, even if it was marred by the 12 minute repeat.

    The cynic in me says there will be a book 5, which will of course ruin the author's credibility but make him some more money. After all, I had to pay for this book twice when US listeners did not. Times are tough, even for teenage writers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inheritance: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 4 - Part 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerrard Doyle
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    Not so very long ago, Eragon-Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider,l was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix.

    teves09 says: "Could Have Been Better"
    "Incredulousness !?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is great, but the editing is awful. Since when does a *professional editor* overlook the use of the non-word "incredulousness" when the real word "incredulity" is simpler, well known and a lot less clumsy. The mind boggles!

    The narration is, as always, very good, and in many ways covers up the blunders made by the author and his publishing company. The story is pretty exciting, and I can't wait for the conclusion in part 2.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Safari

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Deon Meyer
    • Narrated By Saul Reichlin
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    A beautifully written modern-day love story set in Sri Lanka and London. Emma le Roux is convinced she's seen her brother on the news as a suspect in the recent killing of four poachers. But her brother died twenty years ago. Then le Roux hires Lemmer - a professional bodyguard - to watch her back while she seeks answers. But it soon appears that others want the secrets protected at all costs, and will kill if necessary...

    Penny says: "Nothing to do with Sri Lanka or London"
    "Nothing to do with Sri Lanka or London"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The opening sentence of the book description is misleading and wrong: "A beautifully written modern-day love story set in Sri Lanka and London." The Amazon.com editorial review from Publisher's Weekly correctly identifies the location as South Africa's Kruger National Park and surrounds.

    Also, I really don't think its primary focus is a modern day love story. Its a thriller, like Meyer's other novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gary Taubes
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (1831)
    Performance
    (1164)
    Story
    (1153)

    Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

    Igor N. says: "Are you looking for an attachement for the book?"
    "It came in the nick of time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book came in the nick of time for me. In order to fix my cholesterol I was put on the wrong diet, and started gaining weight, increasing my risk of heart disease. Hopefully I can now control it correctly.

    One irritating problem with this book: the narrator replaces "causal" with "casual" and "causality" with "casualty". It would be amusing if it wasn't so obviously wrong. -1 star for these repeated errors. Apart from that I think this book is great.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • And Another Thing...: Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Part Six of Three

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Eoin Colfer
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    An Englishman's continuing search through space and time for a decent cup of tea....Arthur Dent's accidental association with that wholly remarkable book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has not been entirely without incident. Arthur has travelled the length, breadth and depth of known, and unknown, space. He has stumbled forwards and backwards through time.

    Penny says: "Froody Madness"
    "Froody Madness"
    Overall

    Eoin Colfer has done a splendid job of keeping the goofiness alive, and Simon Jones should be congratulated for a superb narration.

    Listening to this book brought back fond memories of listening to the previous Douglas Adams H2G2 books, and I enjoyed the wacky stories and the sense of deja vu created by the plot. I enjoyed the humour but felt that the god-bashing was a little overdone, but not gratuitous. I guess it was required by the plot, and raised some interesting philosophical questions, which I enjoyed.

    This book doesn't feel like a sequel or a "keep the successful formula going" effort. It has plenty of original ideas and feels fresh and froody. I think it brings the series to an elegant close, and it will take a brave man to write part 7.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Nelson Mandela (editor)
    • Narrated By Samuel L. Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Matt Damon, and others
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (153)

    Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales is an audiobook benefiting children orphaned and impacted by HIV/AIDS in South Africa, featuring Gillian Anderson, Benjamin Bratt, LeVar Burton, Ricardo Chavira, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, Parminder Nagra, Sophie Okonedo, CCH Pounder, and Alan Rickman.

    Penny says: "Exotic, fun and fascinating"
    "Exotic, fun and fascinating"
    Overall

    When you buy this book, be sure to download the accompanying reference guide and then seek out the 5 extra stories not included in the album. I have no idea why all the stories weren't bundled in together.

    The folk tales make you think, and provide some interesting explanations for why certain things are the way they are.

    The music by Johnny Clegg and Vusi Mahlasela adds a great multimedia touch, and the songs can be played separately from their stories as well. The reference guide has a translation of the words of the Zulu songs.

    The extra tracks are:
    Spider and the Crows
    The Lion, the Hare, and the Hyena
    The Cloud Princess
    The Cat Who Came Indoors
    Mmadipetsane

    Thanks to Audible for making this collection available worldwide.

    41 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Nelson Mandela
    • Narrated By Danny Glover
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, Long Walk to Freedom brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. Emotive, compelling, and uplifting, Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience, and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.

    Penny says: "A Pronunciation Massacre"
    "A Pronunciation Massacre"
    Overall

    This production is an audio massacre. I'm sure Danny Glover was delighted to read the autobiography of such an admired man, but this production did Mr Mandela no favours. I can't vouch for the Xhosa pronunciations, but Glover butchers common SA English words such as "veld" (pronounced felt) and even Mandela's own name. It's man-DEH-lah.

    This audiobook is a perfect example of how British and American disregard for accent and pronunciation leads to accusations of cultural imperialism. If Tom Sawyer was read by a Pakistani narrator, how many Americans would complain? There would be an outcry. So why not get a South African narrator to do a proper job? There are a number of SA voices with the deep vocal quality of Glover, without the glaring inability to pronounce names correctly.

    I'm sure I will eventually get used to the butchering of names and words, but it is all so unnecessary. The author deserves better respect than this disaster. The producer owes him an apology, but this is unlikely to happen.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Mandela: An Audio History

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 6 mins)
    • By Joe Richman, Sue Johnson
    • Narrated By Joe Richman
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    A five-part radio series to mark the 10th anniversary of South Africa's first democratic election in April 1994. Mandela: An Audio History tells the story of the struggle against apartheid through rare sound recordings, the voice of Nelson Mandela himself, as well as those who fought with him, and against him.

    Penny says: "Fascinating recordings"
    "Fascinating recordings"
    Overall

    This is one of the best summaries of a half century of complex history I have heard. It's well worth the purchase price just to hear some of those historic recordings.

    My only complaint is that very few of the voices are identified. I have lived in South Africa my entire life, and had no problem identifying the voices of F W de Klerk, Helen Suzman, Desmond Tutu, Pik Botha, Dr Motlana, Winnie, Zinzi and Nelson Mandela and a few news anchors. But I would love to be able to put names to the other two dozen voices, especially the ANC voices. Perhaps these could be added to the program notes somehow.

    I guess this complaint says a lot about the program: it draws you in and makes the history interesting. So much so that you want to know more. That's the sign of a great documentary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cry, the Beloved Country

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Alan Paton
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (580)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (251)

    This is the most distinguished novel that has come out of South Africa in the 20th century, and it is one of the most important novels of the modern era. Cry, the Beloved Country is in some ways a sad book; it is an indictment of a social system that drives native races into resentment and crime; it is a story of Fate, as inevitable, as relentless, as anything of Thomas Hardy's. Beautifully wrought with high poetic compassion, Cry, the Beloved Country is more than just a story, it is a profound experience of the human spirit.

    Penny says: "Two Words"
    "Two Words"
    Overall

    How do you rate a classic novel of all time, that is well read, but the narrator gets the names wrong?

    "Sophiatown" is NOT promounced SOfiah-town, but so-FIRE-town.

    "Veld" is pronounced felt (as in heartfelt).

    These words occur often throughout the novel, and every time they are used I wince. Do these audiobook publishers do NO RESEARCH at all? Is it really OK to mangle the Afrikaans quotes so badly that one has to burst out laughing? Is it OK to have a phony accent that makes a South African cringe? I have lived in Johannesburg all my life and I never heard anyone speaking like the white man from the reformatory.

    So, Michael York's narration skill gets 5, but subtract 2 for bad research. The story gets 5+, and is worth listening to. It's a great novel. Unfortunately a lot of what Alan Paton wrote in 1948 is still applicable 60 years later. SA is now a democracy, and Apartheid is no longer law, but the crime in Johannesburg is still just as bad, and there are still squatter settlements and poor people being exploited.

    34 of 34 people found this review helpful

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