Virginia Beach, VA, United States | Member Since 2011
This is one of the worst purchases I've made from Audible since I've been a member. There is very little plot and the characters are just confusing. I know there must be a storyline, even if it's just to give the narrator something to read between sex scenes, but darned if I can figure out what it is. And for erotica, this story is just....well it's just plain nasty. I can do without knowing some of the "gory details", thanks. The narration is not good either. Ms. Stern seems to have a difficult time doing an Irish accent and each time a male character speaks she uses a horrible, whispery monotone that really grates on my nerves. She speaks so quickly that the name Chastity often sounds like "Chasty" and if I have to listen to her "sniffle" anymore I think I'll go crazy. I could not finish this one, folks. Don't waste your time.
Just finished this one. It isn't the best book in the series. I have not listened to all of the books in the Hamish MacBeth series, but of the ones I have finished, this is probably my least favorite. It just seemed to drag on and on and I couldn't wait for it to end. I didn't really care who did it. The title is rather appropriate since I found this whole book to be a bit of a bore.
Mr. Malcolm is, IMHO, not the best choice of narrator for these books. He reads very quickly; often running sentences together (including dialog), completely ignoring punctuation and using little inflection. I hate this. He sounds like an older man so, of course, all of the characters sound like old men. Even the female characters. I don't like to be critical, but a narrator can make or break an audiobook. Unfortunately he reads numbers 19 and 21 through 28 of the series. So if I want to listen to them on audiobook I'll just have to deal with it. Ugh!
MC Beaton does it again. This is another good book for a rainy weekend. First off though, I have to say that I find previous reviewers' criticism of Davina Porter's narration to be off-base. I realize that personal opinions are usually diverse, but those who think she was confused about what accent to use have likely never met a person from the Scottish Highlands. Davina Porter's portrayal of Scots in general, and Highlanders in particular, is pretty spot-on. The Scottish accent is difficult to do and, to an untrained ear, the Highland lilt CAN sound a bit Eastern European. I know it can be confusing for many Americans to have the prose read in one accent and the dialog read in others, but if you're not familiar with the way a certain people-group speaks, perhaps you should reserve judgement until you've done a bit more research. Davina Porter is English by birth, but is married to a Scotsman. She is one of the best narrators for these types of books because of her ability to speak in all kinds of British dialects. It disconcerts me to see her given bad reviews by those who may have meant well, but may be ignorant of the facts.
Now about the story, IMHO, this is one of the best in the series as far as plot and (further) character development goes. I have not read or listened to all of the books in the MacBeth series so I can't say for certain; however, this one made me wish I could listen to the whole book in one sitting. I love the fact that Hamish actually gets to leave Lochdubh and travel a bit, meeting "new and interesting" people in Amsterdam (no need to elaborate on that further). He gets to dress up in clothes he would NEVER buy for himself and go undercover, finding that he likes to play the bad guy.....occasionally. He also learns how to charm a woman with "concrete knickers", perhaps creating a new love interest for future books. But Hamish soon finds that city life isn't for him, reinforcing his love for Lochdubh, its people, and life in a small, Highland town.
If you like Hamish MacBeth mysteries, you won't be disappointed with "Death Of An Addict". If you've never listened to Davina Porter narrate a story, you are in for a treat. Just listen with an open mind. If you are not used to different British (Scots) dialects, you might need to pay more careful attention. But doesn't any mystery, no matter how well-written, require a reader/listener to pay closer than usual attention?
I listened for about twenty minutes and could go no further because the narrator takes short, loud indrawn breaths after nearly every sentence. This MUST be an affectation that she thinks makes her sound more professional. It is simply ANNOYING and I couldn't stand it any longer.
A narrator can make or break a story. Glad this was free. I will NEVER purchase anything read by Kirsten Potter, no matter how terrific the story may be.
Yes, I know my title isn't the greatest, but it was the best I could think of to describe my opinion of this book. That said, I may even continue with the series someday. The story was not bad. It held my interest. I have listened to Wanda McCaddon's narration many times and I think she is a fine reader, although at times she seems to be rushing through the story a bit too quickly. This book is a perfect example of that. Another reviewer commented that it is often hard to tell when the story switches between characters and places. This makes it hard to tell where you are in the story and confuses the listener. I found myself hitting the 30-second rewind button frequently. Another reviewer commented that her childrens' voices are irritating; however, I did not find that to be the case. To each their own, I guess. I believe that Ms McCaddon is a more mature woman, but (IMHO) she does a fine job voicing various characters, including men and younger women. She can also give voice to various dialects, which I REALLY appreciate in a narrator. There are many narrators who cannot (it's not easy!). Bad accents can really ruin an audiobook listening experience for me.
I would hope, since this is the first of a series, that the subsequent books get better. The author writes well. This story is interesting, to a point. There are twists that make it suspenseful enough to hold one's attention (I found the manner in which the "yellow man" is dispatched to be quite creative). The characters are fairly well developed and the author does an admirable job of giving just enough information about her characters' backstories to leave listeners wanting to know more. This is a good way to set-up a series.
I would not say it was a waste of time, but neither was it so good that I couldn't put it down. I would urge others to listen for themselves and then share their thoughts with the rest of us. I'd like to hear more opinions about this author/book/narrator.
I was looking forward to the beginning of a new series with a great new character to follow This ain't it. The main character, DS McAvoy, is nothing but a politically correct wuss who is supposedly crazy in love with his wife, but lusts after his female boss. Huh??? I've never read a book who's main character has less personality than McAvoy. And as a previous reviewer commented, the story could indeed do with a bit less domestic bliss. It added little to the plot and made me question just how much McAvoy loves his wife if he's conflicted about wether or not to kiss his overtly sexual boss.
I did a quick google search and found that the population of Scotland is over 5 1/4 million people. That said, could they not have found a narrator who can convincingly voice a Scottish character? Why do audiobook publisher's not check first to see if the chosen narrator can actually deliver a convincing accent? Why is it so hard to find narrators who can "speak Scots"? I've lost count of the times I have been disappointed in a narrator because of this. It really ruins the listening experience. Mr. Curless may be quite good at various English dialects, but he is AWFUL with the Scots accent. It was so bad that I couldn't wait for this book to end. This, coupled with the fact that his voice is SO gravelly, grated on my nerves so badly that I ended up listening on 3X speed just to get this book finished.
My advice is to save your credit. I won't be listening to anything else by this author or narrator.
This is not one of the better detective stories I have listened to recently. The plot is fairly predictable, nothing very interesting. It's a standard whodunnit. I do not like the deliberately misleading introduction of Louise (if you listen to/read it, you'll understand what I mean). It's immature and lacks imagination on the writer's part. There is nothing here that makes me want to continue listening if this should become a series.
What I enjoyed least about this book is the narrator. The chair she is sitting in often creaks noticeably in the background. She has a bad habit of sucking in air between her teeth. Sometimes it could be appropriate to the dialogue, but at other times it's just annoying. Her portrayal of male characters is very distracting as her voice becomes extremely harsh-sounding and nasal. Right around the beginning of the second half it is obvious that she has a rather bad head cold and at times her voice becomes so scratchy that it I found myself actually clearing MY throat! I wanted to yell at her to take a drink of water! When this happens, I don't understand why they don't just stop recording and wait a few days for the reader to get better instead of pushing them until they are hoarse. Things like this are distracting to me and really detract from the listening experience. A narrator should be unobtrusive, in my opinion.
I wish I had saved the credit, but it isn't the worst I've listened to. It's just....meh. Save your credit unless you're desperate for Britcrime and have listened to everything else.
I'll be honest, I bought this book because it was inexpensive. I didn't really have any expectations for it because there are so many dismal Christian fiction books out there that I didn't want to be disappointed yet again. While the story was decent and relatively well-written, it isn't going to set the world on fire. This book is (surprise!) a book written by Christians, for Christians. If you are a Christian and are looking for a book that won't question your beliefs, by all means get this book; however, that said, I'm really getting tired of books with Christian characters who are so goody-goody as to be laughable. I understand that Christian authors don't want to write characters who might offend other Christians, but come on! There aren't any characters in this book that aren't Christian, or at least on their way. It's just not realistic in this world today. I rarely purchase Christian fiction anymore because Christian authors just can't keep up. And until they can, no one is going to sit up and take notice. Where is an author who can connect with the millions who have become disaffected by the church; people who are holding on to their faith (sometimes barely), but who have to live in this secular world? THAT person will make millions! Guaranteed!
The story, while touching in parts, is kind of unbelievable. I know that there are babies born alive from botched abortion attempts, but I have a difficult time believing that they have memories of the trauma that surface in later years. But I'm not a doctor or therapist so what do I know? I also found it a bit strange that her birth mother has often heard a little girl's voice calling to her over the years since the procedure and when she meets Hanna she realizes that it was Hanna's voice she'd been hearing. Um...really??? I have three kids and I hear them calling to me all the time, but that's another story....
A word about the narrator (huge sigh).....Someone must have owed her parents a favor. Rachel Hendrix sounds very young, which is appropriate for this YA book. She also sounds very inexperienced. I would be surprised to find that she had actually read the book first before she recorded this. In many places her reading sounds stilted or just plain odd. My biggest complaint though is that she made absolutely no differentiation between characters; male or female, young or old. All of them were read in her voice, with no change in inflection or tone. Hannah's middle-aged father sounded just like Hanna. Her male friends all sounded like her female friends, often making it extremely difficult to tell which character was speaking. Then there is this. At times I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was smiling very broadly, often inappropriately. This made the prose and/or character sound unintelligent. It's hard to speak normally with your mouth in the wide-open smile position and the producer should have picked up on this and limited it because it was very distracting. And when it was written that a character laughed, the reader would laugh, too. This drove me crazy because it's hard to visualize a male character laughing when it comes out like a teen girl's giggle. I was under the impression that this was a narration no-no. At best it is redundant. If it's written in the text that a character laughs, it isn't necessary for the reader to do so. But, Ms. Hendrix sounds like a very happy person and I'm happy for her. I would have preferred, though, that she put much less of herself and much more of the characters as they are written into her reading. She could have done with a read-through of the book with lots of character development before she recorded it.
But I said at the begining that I didn't pay a lot for this book. I'm glad. If I had I'd likely be returning it.
My kingdom for some really great, _relatable_, Christian fiction!
I will say up front that this book was not at all what I was expecting, which may have affected my opinion. I had just finished "Birthdays For The Dead" by Stuart MacBride, which I enjoyed, and was hoping this book would be similarly suspenseful. It wasn't even close. From the description given I was expecting more of a mystery where the protagonist is actually in some danger. This book is about Stuart Gilmore, kind of an unlikeable guy (IMHO) who gets beat up and threatened a lot by some not-so-bright local gangsters who he offended when he cheated on their sister, his fiance, five years previously. There are a lot of flashbacks to before this incident and a lot of reminiscences with and about his old school friends, whom he mostly denigrates. One thing that makes him unsympathetic in my opinion is his justification of his infidelity by saying it's just something people do to sow their wild oats. The storyline is filled with a great many soliloquies by the narrator that turn into rants by the end of the book, mostly against Christianity and political conservatives. Toward the end of the book, when it actually gets to the reason Stuart has come back after being run out of town five years ago (to attend his former fiance's grandfather's funeral), he rants that "the minister is blethering on about the ashes to ashes, dust to dust nonsense and how the deceased is now close to God and all that bollocks..." and how he "gets embarrassed for us as a species..." and wants "to jump up and shout to the speaker "oh, f--k off or something equally guaranteed to ruin everyone's day and make myself more unpopular. Nothing's more guaranteed to bring out my inner atheist than listening to some holy-man who thinks all the answers are already there in some book whether it was written a millenium ago or last week!".
Yes, I am a Christian; however, I enjoy secular fiction and rarely get offended when an author expresses liberal and/or atheistic viewpoints. I have read many books where politically conservative or Christian characters are vilified (there seems to be a lot of them nowadays) because I realize that there are bad people in EVERY demographic. But this book is offensive on more than one level. I have read/listened to a number of books with the f-word and c-word are used. I do not get offended at the use of foul language and I am not a prude, but there are bits of dialog here where the f-bomb is LITERALLY every other word. Characters regularly refer to sex as "f---ing" and refer to each other as "c---s". The only word I can think of to describe most of the dialog in this book is "low". In fact, the whole story is pretty low.
There are parts where the main character's inner monologue just drones on and on as if the author was trying to impress us with his intellectual ability. These passages could have been significantly edited without losing any content. Or maybe I'm just too bourgeois to really get it. ;O> I badly wanted to skip ahead, but resisted, thinking I might miss something important. I was wrong and could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration by giving up, but I didn't feel I could write an accurate review if I hadn't finished the book.
A word about the reader: Peter Kenny is probably a really nice guy, but I am kind of particular about pronunciation. I know this is a bit picky and I have no idea if Mr. Kenny is a native Scot or not, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when readers pronounce the letter 'r' where there isn't one. Hearing the word 'palm' pronounced "parm" and the word 'half' as "harf" was irritating. He does this on many other words as well throughout the book. I've never heard native Scottish speakers do this, but it is quite common when English narrators attempt to read with an American accent. I don't like to criticize narrators because it cannot be easy to do what they do. Hats off to Mr. Kenny for no doubt doing his best.
I'm glad that Audible lets you return books now. Otherwise I would be kind of annoyed at having actually payed money for this book. It's definitely going back and I'll not be purchasing anymore books by Iain Banks.
I purchased this book at the same time as "Pillars of the Earth". After listening to "Pillars" (which I did not enjoy) I should have just returned this one because it's more of the same: one or two likeable characters surrounded by some of the most despicable characters I have ever read. Time after time, the sympathetic characters are foiled/raped/tortured by their evil overlords/priors/bishops/outlaws......ad nauseum. It got really frustrating after awhile. The character development is very good and it seems the author has done a lot of research, but the story is just so _depressing_! The author has a habit of repeating the same things over and over, as if he thinks the reader has forgotten certain facts about characters or previous events. I happen to find this off-putting. It would be understandable if he wanted to reiterate something that occurred in "Pillars", but not from this book.
Both of these books contain repeated rape along with many descriptions of various female characters' breasts and nether regions, and a lot of graphic violence. If you prefer your literature to be a little more uplifting, skip it.
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