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John

CelticPagan

Levittown, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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  • Midnight Terror: Classic Tales of Vampires

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Augustus Hare, E.F. Benson, Guy de Maupassant, and others
    • Narrated By Nigel Lambert, Hayward Morse, Garrick Hagon, and others
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Darkness falls. The undead rise to feast on the succulent blood of the living. For years vampires have fascinated great writers of the occult such as De Maupassant, Count Stenbock, E Nesbit and EF Benson. This is The Story Circle's collection of some of their spine-chilling tales told by award-winning actors.

    John says: "Mostly a good collection of stories"
    "Mostly a good collection of stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While some of the stories in this anthology are extremely well written, others are not. Sadly, the first story is just such one firmly in the not category. An obvious poorly executed retelling of Dracula (poorly handled with a slight Indian twist), the story sours the listener right as the book begins. Other stories, such as the one by E.H. Heron, go a long way to make up for the few poor ones. To be fair, i purchased this book while it was on sale, and for the small amount of money I spent (it wasn't worth wasting a credit on due to the slight cost), I got what I paid for, so to speak. If it again is on sale, Vampire fans may wish to pick it up to see how early twentieth century writers dealt with the rise in popularity of Vampires after Dracula. However, if you want a really good Vampire story, once that is vastly superior to Dracula (and preceded it) get J.Sheridan La Fanu's excellent Carmilla.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fool Moon: The Dresden Files, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7890)
    Performance
    (5925)
    Story
    (5904)

    Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.

    pterion says: "I'm liking Harry more and more"
    "Fantastic author and fantastic reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read all of the Dresden Files books, and love them so much I wanted to get a copy I can bring with me to listen to anytime. James Marsters truly brings the world of Harry Dresden alive in his readings of Jim Butcher's works. His voice is now the one I associate with all the characters. Great job on this one and all the ones he reads. I am hoping that he will get a chance to read Ghost Story, as I will not get the audio version of the book without him as the voice actor.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4055)
    Performance
    (1864)
    Story
    (1863)

    A Signature Performance: Tim Curry rescues Charles Dickens from the jaws of Disney with his one-of-a-kind performance of the treasured classic. Our listeners loved this version so much that it inspired our whole line of Signature Classics.

    Nanci says: "Superb story and reading!"
    "The finest reading of this story ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tim Curry shines as the narrator of this beloved short story, doing the justice Dickens' tale deserves. His voice acting skills have always been top notch, and here they shine. Unlike abridged versions of this classic tale, he preforms the entire book, giving the story its depth sorely lacking in many other audio book, and most movie/TV adaptations. The Alastair Sim move version comes closest to the story, and remains a favorite of mine year in-year out, but Tim Curry's narration has taken its place as the best "performance" of this story ever. Bravo Mr Curry!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark and Stormy Knights

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Shannon K Butcher, and others
    • Narrated By Renee Raudman, Joe Barrett, Marc Vietor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (509)
    Performance
    (365)
    Story
    (366)

    It was a dark and stormy knight, and nine dark defenders embarked upon a most perilous quest. They're the ultimate defenders of humanity, modern day knights who do dark deeds for all the right reasons. In this all-star collection, nine of today's hottest paranormal authors bring us thrilling, all-new stories of supernatural knights that are brimming with magic mystery and mayhem.

    L. L. Kiminki says: "Get this just for P.N. Elrod, not for Jim Butcher"
    "A pretty good anthology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will be honest up front, I really only got this book because I saw it had a Dresden Files short story in it by Jim Butcher. I won't spoil things, but fans will find it a very interesting story, and one they might not (I certainly didn't) expect. I found his wife's story to also be very good, and P. N. Elrod always writes excellent stories. I didn't listen too carefully to most of the other stories, and I will likely go back and do so, but as I picked this up in anticipation of Jim Butcher's fourteenth Dresden Files novel, Cold Days, his was really the only story I was interested in listening to at the time of purchase. Sharron K Butcher's story was a very different type of story, but a pleasant surprise. I hope we will see more of this from her. Thus the above ratings is only for the stories I listened to, and not an overall rating. Id rate the Jim Butcher story five stars, with a solid four and a half stars for the narrator. He does an excellent job, but James Marsters has ruined other narrators telling of Jim Butcher Dresden Files books/stories as he is so damn good at it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Cindy Hardin Killavey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Everyone knows about Santa Claus of course and his wonderful trip around the world on the night before Christmas. But what about his early life? Where was he born? What was he like as a youth? How did he come to be such a wonderful toymaker? When did he start using the Reindeer? And, most importantly, how has he been able to live so very long?

    Louise M says: "Terrific"
    "Fantastic Story, but narrator isn't right for it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This has been my all-time favorite Yuletide book/story for many, many years (A Christmas Carol comes in second). The story is brilliant (and this is from someone who dislikes the Oz books L. Frank Baum wrote), but the narrator lacks the depth to do this justice. She is OK, but she tends to sound too much like a grandmother telling the story to her grandchildren far too often to make the book truly come alive, especially when trying to voice the male characters (then it sounds just awful). This book should be narrated by a male and female, both with rich voices and a good talent for voice acting.

    Of special note for me, as I come from a family (my mother's father's side) who never gave up, fully, the Celtic "Christian" religion, having parts of both the Pagan Irish Traditions and the Roman Catholic ones, and chose at age 16 to go fully Pagan, is the fact that this story works equally well for both Christian and Pagan readers (or in this case listeners).

    Anyone looking for a good story about "Santa Claus" for both themselves and their children will find this book wonderful. A new version, though, with a male narrator and female narrator for the numerous female characters, would make this a five-star book across the board, but I can only give it four-stars as Ms. Killavey simply isn't up to the task this story requires. She's not a bad narrator, just not the one for this book, and a strong male narrator to do the male voices is sorely needed. However, the story by itself is five-star all the way!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Days: The Dresden Files, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5705)
    Performance
    (5301)
    Story
    (5300)

    After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad - because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long.

    Ethan M. says: "Thwarts Every Expectation - In a Good Way"
    "Butcher does it again, and Marsters masters it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The fourteenth book in the Dresden Files series lacks only one thing to make it a six-star worthy book, and that is the sequel ready to go! James Marsters once again is at his best in the reading of this masterpiece of modern alternative/supernatural mystery. His ability to do the voice acting is spot on, as is his clear, crisp diction couples with the right inflection. It is obvious to anyone listening that Mr Marsters has, unlike so many other narrators for Audible book, not only read the book ahead of time, but is a fan as well. Jim Butcher has been my favorite modern (1980-present) author for some time, and his Dresden Files novels continue to be fantastic for their gritty realism of the characters, his continued adherence to the "laws of magic" he has set down, and for the fast pace at which the action happens. I have now read the book once and listened through twice, and it is still a book worth reading and listening to again. A true delight for any fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (5459)
    Performance
    (3715)
    Story
    (3726)

    The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

    Steve says: "Good but Too Short!"
    "One of the best Audio Books in any genre ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Max brooks is truly gifted at story telling and also is a fine voice actor as well. He has put together a fantastic, and realistic story of a "what if" scenario of the popular "Zombie Apocalypse" that has been part of our culture since Romero's groundbreaking "Night of the Living Dead". Better still is the cast of voice actors whom he has been able to assemble to voice the characters. their skills, both individually and collectively, along with a rich story, combine to make this one of the finest audio-books i have ever listened too.

    I only wish it had been unabridged, but word is that there may yet be a "Director's Cut" version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ambrose Bierce's Tales of Terror and the Supernatural

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ambrose Bierce
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    This collection of eerie stories explores the darkest regions of the mind. Included in the selections are Bierce's most famous tale, "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge", "A Watcher By the Dead", "The Death of Halpin Frayser", "A Cold Greeting", "A Wireless Message", "An Arrest", "The Isle of Pines", "A Fruitless Assignment", "At Old Man Eckert's", "The Spook House", "The Other Lodgers", "The Thing At Nolan", "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field", "An Unfinished Race", "Charles Ashmore's Trail", "Science to the Front", "The Famous Gilson Bequest", and more.

    Christine says: "Vocal quality"
    "Great Stories; So-So Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, I am a huge fan of the Weird Tales and Horror genres that started in the latter part of the Nineteenth Century, and Ambrose Bierce's stories are some of the best in both categories. However, I found that while an able reader, Flo Gibson wasn't up to the task of evoking the stories ambiance(s). She has a good voice, and likely would do well with other books, just not in stories such as these, or in the two above mentioned genres, especially since so many are written in the first person, and the teller of the tale is male. However, that aside, I loved this audio book version of some of my favorite tales. As a predecessor of such greats as Howard and the giant himself, Lovecraft, Bierce is fantastic at both storytelling and at invoking both horror and the Weird feelings that the former two would become so well known for doing in their tales. Anyone who loves the Weird Tales from the 1920's - 1930's (and that continue still, such as by Stross) should get this book.

    My one great disappointment with this book, though, is that one of Bierce's finest (possibly the finest) "Weird Tale" was left out - his "That Damned Thing". Off-hand I don't recall which one, bit one of the nine Doug Bradley's (yes, Pinhead) "Spine Chillers" anthologies has the story. I highly recommend both the series, and the volume that contains this story.

    All in all, a good solid book of Bierce's horror work. He has many more stories in this genre, but those selected are some of his best. Perhaps one day Audible.com will come out with a comprehensive anthology of all his Horror stories, and should they, I will be the first to buy it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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