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RM Simon

ratings
291
REVIEWS
20
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
97

  • Kept in the Dark

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Jill Masters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (17)

    Kept in the Dark is a probing psychological portrait of the near destruction of a marriage - a novel that combines keen insights with vigorous emotional strength. Jealousy, guilt, excessive pride, and compulsion all sweep across its surface.

    Virginia says: "Fascinating Story"
    "Really 2.5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Slow, repetitive, the least interesting Trollope I've ever read (or listened to). As others have commented, the audio quality is abysmal; it seems to be a copy of an old Books on Tape analog recording, with that telltale faint back dialogue those of us who have been with audio books since the old days of worn library cassettes will recognize.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Unconditional Surrender

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Evelyn Waugh
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Guy Crouchback has lost his idealism. A desk job in London gives him the chance of reconciliation with his former wife.

    RM Simon says: "Wonderful narrator"
    "Wonderful narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator, new to me, is masterful. The book, which I didn't know, is good, bolstered by Waugh's brilliant prose. It is, though, the third book of a linked trilogy, the other two volumes of which aren't available on Audible. I was interested enough to want to read this book--published in the US as "Men at War"--and the first two volumes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Audley’s Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mary Elizabeth Braddon
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    This Victorian best seller, along with Braddon's other famous novel, Aurora Floyd, established her as the main rival of the master of the sensational novel, Wilkie Collins. A protest against the passive, insipid 19th-century heroine, Lady Audley was described by one critic of the time as "high-strung, full of passion, purpose, and movement." Her crime (the secret of the title) is shown to threaten the apparently respectable middle-class world of Victorian England.

    RM Simon says: "Mixed feelings"
    "Mixed feelings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reader is skilled and pleasing, although some of her pronunciations are very odd. The book, though. . . The first half is all plot and no character, much heavy-handed foreshadowing, pedestrian language. Somewhere just pass the middle I got more caught up in the story and began to enjoy it more. As is the case with many Victorian novels, it is overlong and quite repetitious. Mrs. Braddon is no Dickens, not even a Wilkie Collins, but the book occupies a niche that is not heavily populated with competitors, at least on audio.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Zodiac: The Shocking True Story of the Nation's Most Bizarre Mass Murderer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Robert Graysmith
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (671)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (384)

    After Jack the Ripper and before Son of Sam there was only one name their equal in terror: the deadly, elusive, and mysterious Zodiac. Beginning in 1968 the hooded mass murderer terrified the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area with a string of brutal killings. A sexual sadist, his pleasure was torture and murder.

    Zentaro says: "Interesting"
    "disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Barely interesting. It's a long recitation of incidents with no story arc. (I realize it's nonfiction, but it's pretty much just one thing after another.) The narrator has a nice voice but just reads; different characters don't have different voices. I was lured to read the book because I really enjoyed the movie of a few years ago, but it is very different.

    The only reason I'm not rating it 2's overall is that a 2 for me means that I really dislike the book and my response to this was milder than that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pale Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (95)

    A 999 line poem in heroic couplets, divided into 4 cantos, was composed--according to Nabokov's fiction--by John Francis Shade, an obsessively methodical man, during the last 20 days of his life.

    David says: "Quality recording!"
    "An unusual audio experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this after having reread the book, which I first read when it was published (and disliked). This time I found it far more palatable. I can't imagine, though, what it would be like for someone who hadn't already read the book to listen to it. My opinionated opinion: The reading is wonderful. As for the book, the poem is a craftsmanlike and interesting one; the commentary, which occupies the largest part of the book, is immensely clever in the expected Nabokovian way, attributes many of Nabokov's prejudices to the ostensible narrator, Charles Kinbote, but fails for this reader because the story that narrator alludes to in the commentary, that of the birth, upbringing and exile of Charles Xavier, King of the Zemblans, is just not interesting.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • No Second Chance

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (746)
    Performance
    (355)
    Story
    (363)

    Marc Seidman awakens to find himself in an ICU, hooked up to an IV, his head swathed in bandages. Twelve days earlier, he had had an enviable life as a successful surgeon, living in a peaceful suburban neighborhood with his beautiful wife and a baby he adored. Now he lies in a hospital bed, shot by an unseen assailant. His wife has been killed, and his 6-month-old daughter, Tara, has vanished. But just when his world seems forever shattered, something arrives to give Marc a new hope: a ransom note.

    Jon says: "You're going to like this experience !"
    "A disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first Harlan Coben. In the beginning I found it almost too exciting. As the reading continued, though, my interest waned and doubts about the story began to creep in. They grew. As I neared the two-thirds mark, I was impatient for the story to wrap up, irritated at the needless complexity of the plot, the introduction of new characters, the gaping holes, the implausibility of everything--story, characters, and their motivation. I finished by concluding that there will be no second chance for Harlan Coben.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rough Country: A Virgil Flowers Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1169)
    Performance
    (624)
    Story
    (629)

    Virgil's always been known for having a somewhat active, er, social life, but he's probably not going to be getting too many opportunities for that during his new case. While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, he gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort.

    Ruby says: "Extraordinary Plot Twists"
    "Such a pleasure"
    Overall

    This is my second Virgil Flowers book. As before, Sandford paints a pleasing picture of the life of small town Minnesota, its people and scenery and its ways. The mystery, too, is satisfying, and the narrator most pleasing. A real treat to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sum: Tales from the Afterlives

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Eagleman
    • Narrated By Gillian Anderson, Emily Blunt, Nick Cave, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (104)

    In one afterlife you may find that God is the size of a microbe and is unaware of your existence. In another, your creators are a species of dim-witted creatures who built us to figure out what they could not. In a different version of the afterlife you work as a background character in other people’s dreams. Or you may find that the afterlife contains only people whom you remember, or that the hereafter includes the thousands of previous gods who no longer attract followers.

    Ryan says: "Surprisingly profound, if you get past whimsy"
    "A modest pleasure at best"
    Overall

    The first few are amusing and provocative. The book quickly becomes tedious. I would have abandoned it but for its being relatively short, only an hour longer than my daily walk.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Started Early, Took My Dog: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (617)
    Performance
    (366)
    Story
    (369)

    Waterhouse leads a quiet, ordered life as a retired police detective - a life that takes a surprising turn when she encounters Kelly Cross, a habitual offender, dragging a young child through town. Both appear miserable and better off without each other-or so decides Tracy, in a snap decision that surprises herself as much as Kelly. Suddenly burdened with a small child, Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge.

    Beverly says: "For the Love of Children and Dogs"
    "a great pleasure"
    Overall

    Terrific book, well written, with a great narrator. My first Kate Atkinson, but only the first; there will be more.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Innocent Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By P.D. James
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Now eighteen, the adopted daughter of Maurice Palfrey, a well-known academic, Philippa has claimed her birth certificate from the Register Office and, with it, a terrible discovery. Some people never forget. And why should they? In another part of London Norman Scase is steeling himself to meet Philippa's mother, the murderess who, years ago, strangled and buried his little daughter.

    James Gordon says: "Brilliant!"
    "Not fine vintage PD James"
    Overall

    As always, Michael Jayston is superb. The book, though, is disappointing. The plot creaks, and developments and background often seem rather implausible. There is also a pervasive tone of creepiness I don't associate with PD James; it reminded me of Ruth Rendell's Judgment in Stone, amazingly creepy but far more successfully so (made into a terrific French movie called La Ceremonie).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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