It is official....Lillian Jackson Braun has run out of ideas! That is the only reasonable conclusion to which I can come having just finished the Audible version of this "story". Disjointed and with no real point to the tale, this book is a complete disappointment. I have quite enjoyed her earlier "Cat Who" books but this is utter rubbish. There are a couple of incidents in the story which may be crimes but nothing ever develops with these. Save your money & don't bother with this one. Braun's earlier works are much better.
A Scottish island has reluctantly been plunged into a state of sobriety due to a whisky shortage cause by WWII. As luck would have it, a ship bound for the USA, and laden with the finest Scottish whisky, is shipwrecked on the island's coastline.
This tale has a great deal of the customary Compton Mackenzie charm with various minor stories of island life and love interwoven with the main plot. I must say though, that I found the book ended abruptly. In fact, I thought there had been a mistake and the recording had somehow jumped a chapter, but no. I felt the book needed a little more finishing but obviously Mackenzie didn't agree.
In all, it is an entertaining, frothy listen well presented by David Rintoul. However, it does leave you with the feeling that the vast majority of islanders must be alcoholics if Mackenzie's portrayal is accurate!
If you are a fan of this tale from childhood, I'm sure you'll enjoy this adaptation of "Ballet Shoes". That being said, the storyline is highly improbable to the point of absurdity. Coming from a professional dance background myself, I found the whole dance school set-up to be preposterous. It is definitely a dated book. The actors present the play well however I did not find the character of Posy very likeable at all. I could only recommend this book as a curiosity.
I love the "Anne" books and was looking forward to again hearing the wonderful story of the little red-haired orphan who steals our hearts. Sadly, the narrator lessened my enjoyment enormously. I'm sure Ms McCarthy gave it her best but unfortunately, this is not a very inspiring reading of Anne's story. Ms McCarthy has some curious pronounciations of certain words, including a strange way of saying Avonlea, which becomes very annoying. She also makes Anne sound as though she is part bullfrog, using any extraordinarily raspy tone for the character. It is such a shame that the reading is not of a quality fitting this classic tale. I cannot recommend this particular version due to the inadequacies of the narrator.
Ms Grenfell narrates her own life story in this utterly charming Audible book. Written with great skill & self-deprecating humour, we join Ms Grenfell's journey through her early years which were dominated by the eccentric personality of her American mother. Throw in her Waldorf & Astor cousins, add her very English father and her brother & we have a fascinating listen ahead. This is a truly charming book filled with wonderful anecdotes of theatre life. I highly recommend this book.
This series gives the impression it will teach you basic Italian but I found it to be a complete waste of time.
This classic tale of the magical nanny is brought beautifully to life by Sophie Thompson. As a long-term fan of the Poppins books, I was hesitant to purchase this version but I have been very pleasantly surprised. Ms Thompson embues each of the characters with great personality and individuality through her skillful reading. This is a wonderful addition to any children's (or adult fans's) library.
If you have never read or heard any of Lillian Beckwith's stories, do yourself a favour and buy this book! Many of Beckwith's tales are based on her real-life experiences when she moved from London to the Scottish Hebrides. Suffering from ill-health, she was advised by doctors to go where the air was fresh and the life-style simple. Instead of heading to the English country-side, Beckwith moved lock, stock and barrell to the Hebridean Isles where she became so entranced with the people and the crofting life that she stayed for some 20 years.
Bruach Blend is just one book in a series by Beckwith which details her comical struggles to become a crofter and to fit in with the Hebridean people. Her book is filled with much humour and some quite touching tales of the harsh existence of the proud people of the Islands. There are many colourful characters who have a unique way of expressing themselves and of dealing with the challenges of daily life. The Bruach-ites are always the first to laugh at themselves, making their stories incredibly endearing. Beckwith is such skilled writer. She is able to capture the people, their stories and the landscape in such detail and yet, the details never gets in the way of the flow of the story. Her books are very easy and enjoyable to read or listen to.
Hannah Gordon is a wonderful choice of narrator, coping well with the snatches of Gaelic dialect and various accents. She skillfully conveys the dry humour of the Island's inhabitants and draws you, as the listener, right into the story.
My only regret is that there are not more of Lillian Beckwith's wonderful Hebridean stories available on Audible. I'd buy every one!
I love the movie "Adam's Rib" with Spencer Tracey & Katherine Hepburn so was a little dubious about buying this adaptation. I'm so pleased I did! It's a most enjoyable rendering of this play featuring wonderful performances by Adam Arkin & Anne Heche and a talented supporting cast.
This is a story of the age-old battle of the sexes and the double standards society has regarding the roles and rights of men and women. Although the original was written back in the 1950's, the material is still delightfully witty. While our social values have changed in many respects, this play highlights some issues where there is still inequality between men and women.
This one is definitely worth a listen!
Being a long-term Mary Poppins fan, I was delighted to find this title on Audible. "Mary Poppins and the House Next Door" is a lesser known title amongst the Poppins books and is quite difficult to obtain in print, so it is wonderful to be able to access another of P.L.Travers' enchanting tales through Audible.
This is only a short tale, almost like a chapter story, rather than a full book like most of the other M.P.books. I don't consider this to be Travers best work but it is still most enjoyable. Those familiar with the other Poppins books will, once again, meet many old friends (and some villans) from previous stories and will again become ensnared in the web of unforgetteble personalities as they go about there lives in Cherry Tree Lane. If you are unfamiliar with the Mary Poppins series, you will still be able to fully follow the story and characters as it also works as a stand alone story. The story is obviously written in a different era and, as such, displays some different social values from current society. However, this does not detract from the story as the reader/listener is aware that the stories are not set in current times.
Sophie Thompson captures the magic of Travers' story with her wonderfully descriptive storytelling and she brings each character to life with flair and good attention to detail.
This is definitely a book to add to your collection if you are a Poppins fan.
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