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Allison

Thousand Oaks, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3266)
    Performance
    (2304)
    Story
    (2305)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "Bravo."
    Overall

    I found this book by mistake! I typed into Audible "New Zealand" and saw that the second book in this series had the highest ratings under my NZ search... so I took a chance and listened to all 3 books. I loved them all. I loved the history, the fictional characters, and most of all I was astounded by Humphrey Bower's AMAZING versatility in terms of accents and voices. This is a brilliant AUDIObook thanks to him. Don't get me wrong, I still would have enjoyed all three books if I had read them, but Bower's voices and accents are like nothing I have ever heard come out of one person in one audiobook.
    I LOVED the 1st & 2nd books in their own right. I liked the 3rd book, and needed to read it just to know the end of the story, and I have no regrets. Courtenay doesn't mind dragging his characters through hell and back in order to tell this historical amazing story of England, Australia, and New Zealand. Being an American who has spent significant time in all three countries I found it exciting, educational, and, do to his strong character development, I was also emotionally invested. I was devastated when characters were hurt and jubilant when something good happened to them. And this emotion was heightened due to Humphrey Bower's amazing characterizations through accent and intonations.
    Bravo, and thanks to both Courtenay and Bower for making these three books a great experience for me, and I can only say that I am sad that the saga is over.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (617)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (258)

    This is the story of the unhappy family of Anna Karenina. The novel contains much concerning Tolstoy's spiritual crisis and his search for the meaning of life. But it is also chiefly about marriage, and the growth and death of love.

    AnnaH says: "Even Better Aloud"
    "Could not get into it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Anna Karenina better?

    Felt like my life was wasting away while listening! I tried so, so hard to care about the characters, and I found myself dreading it and trying so hard to stay engaged in the story. I wanted to like this story so badly, and I just found it SO boring and gave up about half way through. I feel so disappointed.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Justine: The Alexandria Quartet

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Lawrence Durrell
    • Narrated By Jack Klaff
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (46)

    Set amid the corrupt glamour and multiplying intrigues of Alexandria, Egypt, in the 1930s and 1940s, the novels of Durrell's Alexandria Quartet (of which this is the first) follow the shifting alliances - sexual, cultural and political - of a group of quite varied characters. In Justine, an English schoolmaster and struggling writer falls in love with a beautiful and mysterious Jewish woman who is married to a wealthy Egyptian.

    Judith says: "Durrell and Alexandria"
    "The performance was a complete disappointment."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    How could the performance have been better?

    I loved this book when I read it many years ago, and I have been looking for the audio book ever since. I was so happy to see it had finally been recorded, and when I heard the sample, Jeff Klaff's voice sounded wonderful in his seemingly natural British accent. However, his acted accents have such strong affectations that I found it painful to listen! He slows down, pauses at very odd moments, and drops his voice an octave making it distractingly hard to understand and listen to. All his Egyptian accents sound as if the person is on their death bed- even the women. It is hard to feel the intense infatuation for Justine that the narrator expresses when she talks in such a ridiculous voice!Sadly, I'm going to need to discontinue listening, and I will not buy the 3 other audiobooks, something I was really looking forward to. Jeff, you have a beautiful voice, have more faith in your own voice and use less affectation, I'd rather hear Justine and the other characters as a softer version of your real voice then the voice you or the director chose for her. It currently sounds like over acting. I'm truly sorry about the negative comments, but I hope that they will serve folks well in the future.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tommo and Hawk: The Australian Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1890)
    Performance
    (1265)
    Story
    (1267)

    Brutally kidnapped and separated in childhood, Tommo and Hawk are reunited at the age of 15 in Hobart Town. Together, they escape their troubled pasts and set off on a journey into manhood. From whale hunting in the Pacific to the Maori wars of New Zealand, from the Rocks in Sydney to the miners' riots at the goldfields, Tommo and Hawk must learn each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive.

    Angie says: "Brillant Narration"
    "Awesome Book."
    Overall

    I found this book by mistake! I typed into Audible "New Zealand" and saw that the second book in this series had the highest ratings under my NZ search... so I took a chance and listened to all 3 books. I loved them all. I loved the history, the fictional characters, and most of all I was astounded by Humphrey Bower's AMAZING versatility in terms of accents and voices. This is a brilliant AUDIObook thanks to him. Don't get me wrong, I still would have enjoyed all three books if I had read them, but Bower's voices and accents are like nothing I have ever heard come out of one person in one audiobook.
    I LOVED the 1st & 2nd books in their own right. I liked the 3rd book, and needed to read it just to know the end of the story, and I have no regrets. Courtenay doesn't mind dragging his characters through hell and back in order to tell this historical amazing story of England, Australia, and New Zealand. Being an American who has spent significant time in all three countries I found it exciting, educational, and, do to his strong character development, I was also emotionally invested. I was devastated when characters were hurt and jubilant when something good happened to them. And this emotion was heightened due to Humphrey Bower's amazing characterizations through accent and intonations.
    Bravo, and thanks to both Courtenay and Bower for making these three books a great experience for me, and I can only say that I am sad that the saga is over.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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