If you love Jeeves and Bertie Wooster you will absolutley love this recording. The characters come alive in humor and drama with Frederick Davidson giving them voice and as always Blackstone's recording is top notch. Well worth the 6 hours of listening.
My warning is: This book begins with about a two hour and fifteen minute introduction in which the author justifies the historical accuracy of his writings and especially in defense of The Last Cavalier. During this portion many aspects of the story will be shared before hand and for those who want a surprise you may want to skip the introduction. They do attempt to warn you about the disclosure, but do not give you any indication of how long it takes to skip it. Also, due to the fact that in many instances the author is reading from letters dealing with the story, it is not always obvious when the introduction ends and the novel begin.
Additionally, this novel is not finished by Alexandre Dumas because he dies before it is completed. The ending of the novel is continued by another writer who, in my opinion, does an excellent job of wrapping up the story. The narrator is very good and the story line is an action packed Dumas tale, in character with his previous works.
This is an engaging story of innocence and violence. It brings an awareness of the historical sufferings of the weak and oppressed under the laws of that era. However, what struck me most was the strong message of the saving grace of Jesus throughout all of the characters' harshest trials. While there are times that the story is set aside for moments of religious reflection, the thread of it is never lost. Ms. Stowe entwines the gospel message of redemption and sacrifice with a historically significant portrayal of the horrors of domination and ungodliness. The recording was done very well, with easily identifiable voices and accents. The quality of the recording was clear without interruption.
In this humorous novel Bertie is dragged into yet another scrape by his "chums" who continue to lean on him for assistance since "the were in school together". As always Jeeves comes to their aid and the good times just roll on. It is a very good recording and Jonathan Cecil does a fine job with the narration. (One side note: This is one continuous story not several as in most of the other recordings I have listened to.)
This was my first introduction to Jeeves and Bertie Wooster and I was extremely pleased. They are a humorous pair with Jeeves in the role of straightman and Bertie as the one who needs bailing out frequently. I enjoyed Martin Jarvis portrayal of both characters and found the recording well made. An excellent place to start if you want to try a novel by PG Wodehouse!
I was disappointed to discover that these are the same stories as on The Inimitable Jeeves Volume 1. While Martin Jarvis is an excellent narrator, my personal preference in the voice of Bingo comes from Fredrick Davidson. I wouldn't purchase this one but go for the Volume one instead.
The four stars are awarded because it was a well written story, with well developed characters and an interesting plot. I did not find it difficult to follow the storyline though different readers took over at different parts as a means of developing the narration. (Somewhat like a testimony in a court of law) While, the narrators were good, a few times the actual taping device seemed to have restarted at a different volume, so it was not a flawless recording. (This is why I did not give it a 5 star rating.) For parents: There was no language or inappropriate descriptions that would prevent an adolescent from being able to listen along with the parents, though I am not sure the story would be interesting to a younger child.
On the positive side, the reader is excellent. Mady Weston does a fabulous job with multiple languages and characters. Unfortunately, the negative aspects of this book completely distract from the simple story line of a poor lonely girl seeking the love she sees abounding all around her. When Lucy Snow, a young Protestant English lady, begins teaching in a private Catholic French School in Villette the story transforms into a thinly veiled attempt for the author to work out her major issues and prejudices against the Catholic faith. The characters of the book play the role of sounding out her sermons on the many evils of "Popery" and the "Jesuit treachery". Such common and lengthy disortations, peppered with personal attacks, form the main jist of this novel. Unlike other works of Charotte Bronte that treat faith as a fact of life, this one is merely about her unveiled dislike for all things Catholic. Addtionally, many of the characters are french and many times there are not translations given for the conversations that have ensued. I loved Jane Ayer by Charlotte Bronte and was disheartened to discover this side of an author I had enjoyed so much.
Another excellent novel by Charles Dickens! Sympathetic and noble Nicholas attempts to find his fortune in an interesting array of life styles which compose jolly old England. Narrated by Robert Whitfield, this novel boasts of a wide cast of voices which not only maintain the listeners' attention but also portray the characters in a most delightful and colorful manner. Excellent read if you truly enjoy Dickens!
This one reminds me of C.S Lewis' Screwtape Letters. The author, once again, delivers a philosphical conversation disguised within the realm of a creative cast of characters. In this one, the reader is treated to an indepth look at whether God exists (the Landlord), if there is any need to follow His rules and what the results might be if you did not. The scenario is one that is easy to understand (since many of the names reflect their views) yet entertaining enough to keep your attention. As always, Robert Whitfield gives an outstanding performance as a whole host of characters, never missing a beat. The only reason I have given this three stars rather than more is because the story can get a little slow in a few spots...such as John's stay with "Wisdom". However, it worth the time to listen to and appreciate another clever work by C.S Lewis. (Parents warning: This novel does contain the mention of "fornication" and discussion on lust so is not necessarily suitable for a younger audience.)
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