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Holly

I adore British literature from the Victorian Age through World war II, primarily, and fantasy, but also enjoy mysteries once in a while.

ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States

ratings
31
REVIEWS
23
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
38

  • Falling Free

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (794)
    Performance
    (570)
    Story
    (580)

    Leo Graf was just your average highly efficient engineer: mind your own business, fix what's wrong, and move on to the next job. But all that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat, where a group of humanoids had been secretly, commercially bioengineered for working in free fall. Could he just stand there and allow the exploitation of hundreds of helpless children merely to enhance the bottom line of a heartless mega-corporation?

    Kelly Howard says: "if you want the books in order..."
    "Another Satisfying Prequel to Miles Vorkosigan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    This compelling story draws you into the fate of the Quaddies, genetically engineered slaves with a second set of arms in place of legs. Their desire to procreate and live as normally as they can, to experience the kind of lives we, as humans, take for granted, became far more absorbing to me than I had anticipated.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Lois McMaster Bujold is a truly fine writer, with a superb ability to capture your imagination when you least expect it...Grover Gardner does complete justice to her storytelling, narrating convincingly and without any distractions for the reader. Lois's "voice" still rings true.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend you read this book as background after experiencing a few of the early Miles Vorkosigan novels.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Revenge

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Diane Mott Davidson
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (98)

    Goldy Schulz is thrilled to be catering a holiday breakfast feast for the staff of the Aspen Meadow Library. But little does she know that on the menu, alongside the Great Expectations Grapefruit, Chuzzlewit Cheese Pie, and Bleak House Bars, is a large helping of murder.

    T. W. Norman says: "Sweet is a Treat"
    "Sweet plot, sweeter reading & sweetest characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot is terrific--so good I kept sliding my progress bar back to re-listen, the characters are rich in detail, and the narrating is perfect. I love to be made to laugh in the midst of a mystery, and I was laughing out loud in several places, often AT Goldy, but in a nice way. This is one of my favorite in the series.

    A definite sweet re-read...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Double Shot

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Diane Mott Davidson
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (94)

    New York Times best-selling author Diane Mott Davidson has taken readers by storm with clever mysteries filled with tantalizing plots and mouthwatering recipes. In her 12th novel, her tastiest tale yet, the ingenious storyteller whips up a rich soufflé of murder and mischief.

    Laurene says: "Narrator ruined this one..."
    "Best plot yet in the series..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a pivotal installment in the culinary capers of Goldy...and the duo detecting of the first two ex-Jerk wives is funny and engaging, especially when Marla and Goldy respond in unison. The narrator's rendition of Sandee is very funny and apt. The plot itself is possibly the best yet in the series.

    I want to address the negative comments in some reviews about the narrator. I do think a different type of microphone or recording method was used, which picked up more human or mechanical sounds that appear human, and obviously a good quality assurance plan wasn't applied. There are parts that should have been re-recorded because of this curious background sound. My solution was to turn down the volume a bit and the plot was so good I didn't let it detract. I feel Barbara does her usual stellar job and I honestly was not bothered--just aware because I had seen the reviews. When I first started listening to the series, I was startled by the narrator. I had read some of the books and grew up in Colorado, so I was expecting Goldy to sound, well, a bit like me. But I reminded myself she hailed from New Jersey. Barbara Rosenblat sounds like it and I have grown accustomed to her and feel she has great transitions to other characters, finely nuanced, especially voicing Tom. I am very particular about my narrator, and I, for one, would wholeheartedly recommend this Audible recording to any potential listeners. Again, the plot is enthralling--VERY well-written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chopping Spree: Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #11

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Diane Mott Davidson
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (57)

    For Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz, business isn't just booming - it's skyrocketing. But as her friend Marla is constantly warning her, "success can kill you." Goldy knows she needs to slow down before she breaks down, and she vows she'll do it - right after her next booking: a cocktail party for the Westside Mall's Elite Shoppers Club.

    ot in the garden says: "A complete disappointment"
    "Enjoyed much more than expected!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been listening to all the Goldy Bear Culinary Mysteries in order. Because of the negative reviews given for this particular book and the narrator, I delayed purchasing it, then put off listening to it. Having just finished it, I feel compelled to post a review because I disagree wholeheartedly with the negative reviews I have read here. The narrator, the plot and the characterizations were all just fine and I actually found the plot of this particular installment more engrossing than many of its predecessors.

    It took me some time to get used to the original narrator of the series, although I finally did, and I enjoy her. However, I enjoy Joyce Bean just as much, with the exception of her voice for Tom. The plot was really quite good...I found myself listening to the details with even more attention than usual and was surprised at what was eventually untangled. I thoroughly enjoyed the scene when Goldy is catering a luncheon for potential investors in a snowstorm. Very well written and funny! As for Arch, well, I have never much liked him, and his behavior as "a teen" is exaggerated, but there is at least a kernel of truth in the mother/teen scenario. Is it a bit much at times? Probably....but it resolves well.

    Please don't be put off by the negative reviews posted here. I am so happy I decided to soldier on with this fun, engaging mystery series, with the added attractions of dealing with food and the Colorado Rockies, two things I adore.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Helen Fielding
    • Narrated By Samantha Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (311)

    Bridget Jones, the iconic character who sold 15 million books worldwide, inspired a major motion picture franchise, and became beloved as a Chardonnay-swilling everywoman, is back in this hotly anticipated third installment.

    Marci says: "Love this book for exactly what it is"
    "Comic writing at its best, and so much more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was put off by the pre-publication spoiler alerts, and postponed my purchase a few days...but, please, keep listening...I think perhaps Helen Fielding is in the running for very best comedic writer of our time, but she is so much more. The moments of poignancy--I shed real tears three times! Samantha Bond deserves an award for her performance, as well.

    This book is so hysterically funny in places that I literally bent over laughing uncontrollably while out walking...it makes you laugh out loud. Without a spoiler, lets just say an itchy theme had me in paroxysms of laughter. The use of modern technology and culture was applied with unbelievable skill to move the story along. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is so entirely wonderful that I would listen to several chapters while out walking, then listen to the same material at my PC before moving on to the next set of chapters.

    Beautifully plotted, rich in characters you understand and care about, completely entrancing!

    Please purchase this book...it is superb and you will want to listen to it again and again.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Our Hearts Were Young and Gay: A Comic Chronicle of Innocents Abroad in the 1920s

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Cornelia Otis Skinner, Emily Kimbrough
    • Narrated By Celeste Lawson
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Actress Cornelia Otis Skinner and journalist Emily Kimbrough offer a lighthearted, hilarious memoir of their European tour in the 1920s, when they were fresh out of college from Bryn Mawr.

    Holly says: "Snorting with laughter...!"
    "Snorting with laughter...!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I own this book in hardcover, it has been a long time since I read it. I used one of my credits to acquire it from Audible recently, and one day instead of listening to classic rock, I started this up on my iPOD on a marathon walk. I walk daily, very long and very fast.

    Let me tell you, breaking out into laughter, so hard one even snorts, is quite disruptive to one's aerobic breathing! And genuinely fun :D! This is a delightful book that will make you laugh uncontrollably in many places. It is beautifully rendered by Celeste Lawson.

    By the way, I have a few fans out there who wave at me and smile but because I have been grinning like a monkey while listening to this charming book, I have doubled my race walking fan club, a nice side bonus of being an Audible devotee.

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED comedy! Also so nostalgic of a time gone by and what it is like to be young...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Anthony Powell
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.

    James says: "A Modern (but Subtle) Masterpiece."
    "Lingers like the remembrance of a long embrace"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I own and have read the paperback volumes of this richly detailed classic gem from British literature, and then discovered the cassettes at my library...those are long since removed from the shelves, so I was thrilled to find Anthony Powell's Dance series available through Audible. They grow on you. At first I compared them to The Forsyte Saga, less favorably, but the subtlety is like the aftermath of a long embrace, and the characters stay with you even when the narration ends. I strongly recommend all three trilogy sets to get the full impact of Anthony Powell's masterpiece. Warmly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cryoburn: A Miles Vorkosigan Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1277)
    Performance
    (692)
    Story
    (691)

    Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter, Miles, to check it out

    Kevin says: "Its nice to come Home!"
    "A perfect listening experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished my third listening of this Audible recording and write through many emotions that will tug at your heart when you reach the ending....beautifully rendered story by Grover Gardner. He manages to capture the essence of a wide range of memorable characters, from young boys and girls to elderly women to middle aged men and women...honestly, he really comes into his own with this performance.

    I can't say enough good things about the extraordinary talent of Lois McMaster Bujold and her beloved Miles Vorkosigan. I *think* this is my favorite of all her books...exquisitely plotted, just complicated enough, and a fabulous array of characters, both believable and richly unique.

    HIGHLY recommended, especially if you never dreamed you would consider "space opera."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Charlotte Fairlie

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By D. E. Stevenson
    • Narrated By Hilary Neville
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (28)

    Charlotte Fairlie is a successful, elegant career woman. Still in her 20s, she has landed a job as headmistress of her old school. She is admired and liked by both staff and pupils - but she begins to feel there is something missing in her well-organised life. Then one summer she goes to stay with a young pupil on the remote Scottish Isle of Targ. In the romantic atmosphere of the Highlands, anything can happen - and even the cool, efficient Charlotte surprises herself.

    susan says: "A good "read""
    "Narrator's splendid rendering of a lovely story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I already knew I loved Charlotte Fairlie, having read my paper copy several times. But what makes this so special is Hilary Neville and her splendid rendering of a lovely story. I feel she captures the very essence of talented author D.E. Stevenson's voice...I feel as though this special author is really speaking to me, telling me a wonderfully engaging story earnestly and truthfully. I am VERY happy with this recording, and sorry I didn't play it sooner. It is destined to be re-listened to a couple times a year.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-1942

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Joyce Dennys
    • Narrated By Mandy Gasson
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Spirited Henrietta wishes she was the kind of doctor's wife who knew exactly how to deal with the daily upheavals of war. But then, everyone in her close-knit Devonshire village seems to find different ways to cope. With life turned upside down under the shadow of war, Henrietta chronicles the dramas, squabbles, and loyal friendships that unfold in her affectionate letters to her "dear childhood friend" Robert.

    Holly says: "Heart-warming and charming story of civilian WWII"
    "Heart-warming and charming story of civilian WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this well-written epistolary novel, and have read it many, many times in paperback. The only reason I didn't give the performance and overall rating five stars is that I already had a set inner voice for Henrietta and the recording didn't match it...that is my issue, not the narrator's. She does a terrific job; I just had been "listening" in my head to Henrietta so many times that it took some adjusting. The overall treatment of civilian life in WWII Britain is terrifically well-done, with comedy used to handle privations and annoyances and worse. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (967)
    Performance
    (870)
    Story
    (882)

    Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Cousin to imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, his chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "We are finally allowed to see Ivan without Miles."
    "Ivan comes through for us all :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a delightful Lois McMaster Bujold novel, with the fine writing, superb plotting, and tremendous character development one expects from such a gem of a writer. I grew very fond of Ivan, finally, with this book. The recording is excellent and it is one I will re-listen to a couple of times a year, so well worth the expense. Oh, and I positively love Simon in this novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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