Eric Ambler practically invented the modern spy novel -- his works set in the late 30s define the European noir version of the genre. Always there is a more-or-less innocent person caught suddenly in the web of international intrigue, and Ambler conveys the helpless, swept-along nature of the plots very effectively. His atmospheres and settings are beautifully done, one almost sees The Third Man playing in black and white with dramatic lighting as one reads. Except for the clumsily drawn American-but-a-Russian-agent Zaleshoff (Brits have always had trouble with American dialogue) the characters are fascinating, well-defined, and plausible. David Thorpe's narration is spot on -- he is great as the oh-so-English protagonist/narrator, and does a nice job with the atmospherics that are so central to Ambler's work.
This was my first Discworld book (and it won't be the last). The best part is the performance -- Stephen Briggs does an awesome job of portraying the numerous very vivid, very quirky characters in this book. The result is a bit like a Harry Potter book, except for adults. Pratchett's story is a bit thin, but his characters and situations are beautifully done -- comedy, suspense, action, it's great. A whole lot of fun, I highly recommend it for anyone who likes fantasy fiction and dry British humor.
As a newcomer to the discworld series I listened to one of the late books , and was intrigued. I decided to start at the beginning, and am glad I did. This beautifully performed version sets up the whole discworld context very nicely, and I recommend that anyone embarking on the series start here, although the others seem to stand up very well on their own. Nigel Planer does a great job of acting the numerous characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
This is a rare case of the movie being much better than the book (Sideways is another). The writing is sadly dated -- stilted, artificial dialogue, annoyingly precious and two-dimensional characters. The narrators, all good readers, do their best with the material, but they couldn't save it. I actually couldn't finish this book.
Kate Harper definitely, JJ Salem no.
Nothing, it's just a style I find I don't like.
She really paints a picture of real people, and with this book I couldn't have found any of the characters human just reading it.
I thought it would be more of a murder mystery and less of a chick lit shopping/life style book, so the genre is not my thing. I think if the capsule review had hinted a bit more at the plethora of brand names and upscale shopping references I would have known to stay away. But Kate Harper is an awesome reader.
This book is very well read -- I cannot fault Mr Keating's performance, especially his rendering of numerous characters, some in the Cornish accent others in standard London or south country. I think my problem with the book is that the number of characters and the complexity of their interactions makes the plot hard to follow. Elizabeth George is probably better as a paper book (I have enjoyed many of her Lynley mysteries) than an e-book.
This latest Furst is another great, atmospheric story of Europe during World War II -- the ordinary and not-so-ordinary human beings who lived every day through terrible times, doing what they thought they had to do just to survive but also to make the world better. Furst takes the reader back into a world we can only imagine now, and brings it completely to life. The grubby details of daily life under totalitarian regimes (in this case, Paris during the Occupation)are very real in Furst's telling, as is the nature of heroism -- ordinary people impelled, for their own reasons, to brave acts of resistance, sabotage, and espionage. George Guidall's reading heightens the atmosphere and brings the characters to life -- his dry, wry, world-weary tone is just perfect for Furst's works, and his adept characterizations help us visualize these people.
It's usually better to listen to the author's reading, assuming they can read decently, and this one is no exception. Bourdain gives us the sense that we are actually listening to someone talk about himself, not just reading a book. He is so honest about what an unwholesome character he was that knowing it's him reading it really adds to the experience.
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