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Calliope

ratings
83
REVIEWS
82
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
17

  • Lord Arthur Savile's Crime & Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Derek Jacobi
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" is a masterpiece of polished cynicism in which poison, explosive clocks, and finally murder forerun married bliss. Also included are: "The Canterville Ghost", "The Model Millionaire", "The Young King", "The Fisherman and His Soul", "The Happy Prince", "The Devoted Friend", and "The Portrait of Mr. W. H." These eight stories were produced in the heyday of Wilde's career.

    Calliope says: "good title story, but fairy tales are just OK"
    "good title story, but fairy tales are just OK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are 2 styles of Oscar Wilde stories here - the satirical scenes of British society that most people know from his famous plays, and fairy tales that were purportedly written for children. The children's fairy tales seem more heavily moralized that the fairy tales written by Hans Christian Anderson or Grimm, but that might just be my memory because these are fresher in my mind. In fact, both types of stories carry the same types of satirical messages of society, but one is dressed up in fantasy characters.

    I remain a huge Wilde fan, but his fairy tales are not among my favourite of his works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sacred: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (114)

    Dying billionaire Trevor Stone hires private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaroto find his missing daughter. Grief-stricken over the death of her mother and the impending death of her father, Desiree Stone has been missing for three weeks. So has the first investigator Stone hired to find her: Jay Becker, Patrick's mentor.

    Roswell says: "A pure page-turner"
    "I really like Kenzie and Gennaro, but......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a little torn reviewing this book, because I really like Kenzie and Gennaro and have enjoyed many other of Lehane's novels featuring them......however the actual plot and the other characters are not that great in this installment. I did like the Scientology-like "counselling" institute, but much of the rest of the story was pretty predictable, and the secondary characters and villains were rather flat and predictable. Lehane's style is still good and I enjoyed the narration, so in that way this is a compelling -- but ultimately lightweight -- audiobook. Not up to the level of many of Lehane's other novels, like Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and A Drink Before the War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twelve Angry Men

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 50 mins)
    • By Reginald Rose
    • Narrated By Dan Castellaneta, Hector Elizondo, Armin Shimerman
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (151)

    Over the course of a steamy and tense afternoon, 12 jurors deliberate the fate of a 19-year-old boy alleged to have murdered his own father. A seemingly open and shut case turns complicated, igniting passions and hidden prejudices.

    Emily says: "Excellent court room drama"
    "Terrific play, great voices"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've seen the wonderful movie adaptation of this play (1957), and that helped bring this audio dramatization to life - I'm not sure it's quite as powerful without having a true feeling of the setting and behaviours. Plays are written to be performed, and without exposition (describing the setting, movements, expressions, etc) there is something always missing from only hearing the dialogue, unless you're already aware of those elements (or unless you're reading the set direction, etc.)

    However, if you've seen this play on stage or in one of the film versions, this is a wonderfully performed version that will take shape in your mind quite easily.

    As a disclosure, the actual performance is about 20 minutes shorter than the production time of this audiobook, which includes at the end an interview with the playwright's widow about the play.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chiefs

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1318)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (745)

    In 1919, Delano, Georgia, appoints its first chief of police. Honest and hardworking, the new chief is puzzled when young men start to disappear. But his investigation is ended by the fatal blast from a shotgun. Delano's second chief-of-police is no hero, yet he is also disturbed by what he sees in the missing-persons bulletins. In 1969, when Delano's third chief takes over, the unsolved disappearances still haunt the police files.

    Old Hippy says: "Absolutely Terrific!"
    "40 years in a small Southern town"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow, this is a good story, with a slow, Southern drawl. Had it not taken place in small town Georgia (from the early 20s to early 60s), it would have seemed too dragged out, but the pace (and the pace of the narration) fit the time and place of the book. Apparently few people ever left Delano if they started there, but I'm not sure if that speaks to the towns goodness or if it's like quicksand that grabs ahold and doesn't let go.

    It starts when a failed cotton farmer is hired as the first sheriff of small-town Delano, based on his general standing and respect in the town - and it follows his life and career until he is killed in the line of duty almost a decade later. But it's not just about him -- it's about all the townspeople, from the powerful and respected president of the local bank and the quirky excentric who wanted to be sheriff and failed, to the servants from the farm who had to move to town for new lives when the farmer turned to law enforcement.

    After the first sheriff dies, the book jumps forward 20 years to the town now welcoming their returning veterans from the war, both black and white, and we get to see some of the original characters and their sons who are now young men. The book pays very little attention to any women, which actuall turns out to be a good thing for the audiobook (since the narrator did not handle women's voices very well), and is proobably appropriate for the time frame. This middle part of the book includes more politics......the son of the first sheriff is now a lawyer running for political office; the current sheriff is a racist hothead who likes violence, the quirky excentric is still living alone in his log cabin up the mountain, and the black community is starting to assert itself in small ways, as returning veterans bring home new skills and new attitudes - and new conflicts.

    That sheriff also gets himself killed in the line of duty (though with less respect), and the book jumps forward another 20 years. Delano hires their first black sheriff, there is a lot more political action, and a lot more racial conflict as the town (and county's) reaction to the first black sheriff begins to boil.

    Through all 60 years is the underlying mystery of missing young men - it began when the first sheriff was faced with the puzzle of a naked teen who apparently fell off a bluff with signs of restraint and torture, and continued as subsequent sheriffs started noticing a pattern of missing young met who were last seen traveling near or through the town. That mystery is finally finished with violence and horror 60 years after it started, putting a nice bow on the decades-long arc of this community.

    Though at times the narrator is excellent with a slow and relaxed pace, he loses several points for doing poorly with female voices (especially his horrid vocalizing of the Anglo-Irish wife of a character, met in Londong during the war), and for not having enough differentiation between the characters, making some conversations hard to keep track of.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Real Shot in the Arm

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Annette Roome
    • Narrated By Jacqueline King
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Fed up with household chores and an uncaring husband, English mother Chris Martin, 40, gets a job on the small local paper, trading one form of drudgery for another until she happens on the body of a teacher who appears to have hanged himself, but who really died of a heroin overdose. Chris and wisecracking reporter Pete Schiavo, who soon beds her, uncover blackmail, a crooked real estate deal, bribery, police corruption, and a drug connection.

    Calliope says: "good fun, a nice surprise"
    "good fun, a nice surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel, but I was glad I took the chance and listened to it. I've been trying to find the author's next book, with the same characters, but haven't found it locally or on Audible, but I'd like to try it.

    The main character is a British housewife who takes a job with the local small-town newspaper - against her husband's wishes - as a chance to get out and about and do more than tend to her house, husband, and almost-grown son. While covering a rather boring local conference on substance abuse, she stumbles upon a dead body, apparently dead by hanging but who actually died from a heroin overdose. It's the biggest news to hit their little town in a long time, so she teams up with a more seasoned reporter from the paper and sets out to uncover the mystery.

    What follows is a kind of convoluted story of murder, fraud, kick-backs, drugs, and adultery, but made into a fun and amusing story by the first-person narrative of the main character. And excellently narrated by Jacquiline King. I sort of thought of it as a British housewife version of the New Jersey bounty-hunter stories by Janet Evanovich. In fact, both authors won the Crime Writers' Association award for best first novel (Roome for this book in 1986, Evanovich for One For The Money in 1995).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Goldfinger

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (162)

    James Bond is challenged by a maniacal superfiend: the world's cleverest, cruelest criminal. Complications abound. A beautiful golden girl turns up dead, and a friendly game of two-handed canasta turns into a deadly game of survival with ever-rising stakes: 15 billion dollars worth of U.S. government bullion. But 007 knows that Auric Goldfinger's rules remain brutally simple: heads I win, tails you die.

    DARBY KERN says: "One of Fleming's better books"
    "unexpectedly enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The parts of the book I enjoyed the most were unexpected, probably because of how those parts differed from the movie that I've seen several times (though not recently). The James Bond presented here was more human and "rough", hardly the polished playboy of the Sean Connery-portrayed Bond of the movies, and I liked that better. More like the Daniel Craig Bond than the Connery Bond. Sadly, he's more chauvanistic than the character even in the 1964 movie, but I can write that off as a product of the author's time and place.

    Nevertheless, it's still an enjoyable secret agent romp with a good villain, good Bond, and a typical happy ending. The narration was very good, and definitely helped keep the story moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Devil in a Blue Dress: An Easy Rawlins Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Walter Mosley
    • Narrated By Michael Boatman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (222)

    Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

    Jefferson says: "Beware of Mysterious Sexy Women with Big Suitcases"
    "narration added so much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book many years ago, and I don't remember it being as interesting and evocative as the audiobook - the narration really added to the atmosphere of the noir story. Good characters, good story, good narration.......definitely worth listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • As the Crow Flies: A Walt Longmire Mystery, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1112)
    Performance
    (970)
    Story
    (964)

    Craig Johnson has won multiple awards and earned starred reviews from Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews for his New York Times best-selling Walt Longmire mysteries. Embarking on his eighth adventure in As the Crow Flies, Sheriff Longmire is searching the Cheyenne Reservation for a site to host his daughter’s wedding, when he sees a woman fall to her death. Teaming up with beautiful tribal chief Lolo Long, Walt sets out to investigate the suspicious death.

    B.J. says: "Simply one of my favorite series."
    "Walt is off the reservation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Actually, in this installment, Walt Longmire is ON the reservation - and out of his jurisdiction - as he helps the tribal Police Chief with the case of a woman he witnessed fall to her death. Not only is he out of his jurisdiction professionally, he's a little out of his depth personally as his daughter's wedding approaches and he gets emotionally torn between his past and his present, and her present and her future.

    This continues to be a series of books I love listening too - good stories that are terrifically read. I actually have to make myself slow down and not listent to all of them back-to-back.....I want to savour them and make the series last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bloody Jack

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By L.A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1078)
    Performance
    (596)
    Story
    (590)

    Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of 18th-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret.

    Terry says: "Sometimes it clicks"
    "Not just for teens.....a good story well read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Actually, it's a good story terrifically read - Katherine Kellgren (who I've enjoyed performing the Royal Spyness novels) has done an amazing job bringing the characters and their situations (fun, fear, nerves, panic, sadness, irony) to life. I do believe that this is better listened to than read, and I don't think I would have gotten past the first dozen pages if I had been reading the print version.

    I have no shame in calling this a swashbuckling tale of life on the high seas - though a cliche, it does fit this situation, and the book (almost) never seems like a cliche. One can clearly tell it's written for tweens, but it's good fun nonetheless and never seems juvenile, neither in story nor in language choice. It starts with 11 or 12 year old orphan Mary on the streets of London, who puts on a dead friends clothes to appear as a boy and manages (by virtue of being able to read) to get herself hired on as a "ship's boy" on a vessel of His Majesty's Navy. It ends, about 3 years later with her set off the ship in Boston, ready for installment 2 of the series. In between there are sailors and pirates, ships' chores and liberty in port, battles and Sunday's spent dancing jigs and learning to play the tinwhistle. Oh, and some parasailing and being marooned on an island. Just about the most you can stuff into 3 years of a young girl's life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Julius Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (92)

    Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling Roman plays. The plot against Caesar and the infamous assassination scene make for unforgettable listening. Brutus, the true protagonist of the play, is mesmerizing in his psychological state of anguish, forced to choose between the bonds of friendship and his desire for patriotic justice.

    David says: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars"
    "Classic story in a classic play"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never had the opportunity to see a stage production of Julius Caesar, but I'm glad I listened to one rather than read the play -- there's so much more in the context of a production that brings a situation to life. This story of political allegiances and personal friendships is a classic one played out not just on the battlefields of the past but in the homes, schools, and workplaces of today, though on a much less fatal scale.....and that's what makes this play a true classic. Add to that is the benefit some of the rather poetic language that has also become a classic ("Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war", "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones", The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves").

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Snow White Must Die

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nele Neuhaus
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    Overall
    (1012)
    Performance
    (882)
    Story
    (875)

    On a rainy November day, police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace.

    C. Vincent says: "Great narrator, unbelievable, never-ending story"
    "didn't see that coming, again and again......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is pretty much a German version of a classic British genre -- murder and mystery in a small village where everyone knows everyone else and they're all hiding each other's secrets. That's good; I like that type of story, and this one doesn't disappoint - mostly. If anything, it's a little too convoluted, with new revelation after new revelation. Still, I liked the mystery, the main characters, and the narration, and I enjoyed the glimpse into German life and lifestyle a little (this is the first German novel I've "read").

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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