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Maria

Parkwood, Australia | Member Since 2007

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 139 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Plaza Suite

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 41 mins)
    • By Neil Simon
    • Narrated By JoBeth Williams, Edward Asner, Hector Elizondo, and others
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Hilarity abounds in this portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at the Plaza Hotel. A suburban couple takes a suite while their house is being painted, a Hollywood producer calls a childhood sweetheart for a little sexual diversion, and a mother and father fight about the best way to get their daughter, the bride, out of the bathroom and back to the wedding.

    John Lane says: "I wish I could see the original play"
    "Emotions laid bare"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Neil Simon is a master at presenting realistic characters with all their flaws gloriously laid out for us to observe. Plaza Suite is so named, as the three different playlets are all set in the same suite in the famous Plaza Hotel in New York. If the walls of hotel suites could talk, stories such as these would be told. The third play in the line-up, Visitor from Forest Hills, is particularly humourous and exquisitely acted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Frankenstein

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mary Shelley
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (273)

    Narrator Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.

    Nancy says: "A great listen"
    "the devil is in the detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although Mary Shelley weights this story with in-depth detail about how her characters are feeling and what they are thinking, the flow of the writing still holds you.
    Dan Stevens expertly draws you in with his thoughtful and well paced vocal style.
    the story is engaging and you genuinely feel something for the Monster
    With regards to Dr Frankenstein one can't help but watch in frustration as he makes one
    bad decision after another. Gaps in the story for me are - The characterizations of the family members, which are portrayed as one-dimensional paragons of virtue.
    There is no explanation regarding important points such as how the Doc obtains body parts Or how he disposes of them, why he didnt just shoot the Monster when he had the chance and why wasn't he arrested for his wife's murder.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Barefoot in the Park

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Neil Simon
    • Narrated By Norman Aronovic, Laura Linney, full cast
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    A brand new lawyer and his young bride have returned from their honeymoon and are moving into their new high-rent apartment. In order to reach this "charming" dwelling, they must first climb six creaking flights of stairs. Once there, they find the place is absolutely bare of furniture, the paint job is all wrong, the skylight leaks, there is room for only one twin bed, and the wacky neighbors pop up at the worst times.

    Allyvp says: "As much fun as the movie"
    "Classic Neil Simon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Likeable characters are portrayed with humour and skill by the actors in this production.
    I particularly liked the character of Cora Bratter's mother.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet: Agatha Raisin, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Diana Bishop
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In the delightful Cotswold village of Carsely, the air is heady with romance. Agatha Raisin is convinced that the new vet has taken a shine to her. But before she can get anywhere, handsome Dr Paul Bladen is accidentally killed while attending to Lord Pendlebury's horse. So was it really an accident? All the evidence points that way, but the circumstances are decidedly suspicious.

    Maria says: "Always Entertaining"
    "Always Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These books are usually narrated by Penelope Keith, so it was with a bit of trepidation I bought this one narrated by Diana Bishop, whose work I am unfamiliar with.
    However, there is no need for concern. Diana is wonderful. Very similar voice to Penelope's. The beauty of these stories for me lies in the frankness with which the character of Agatha Raisin is laid bare for us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rapid Japanese, Vol. 2

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 8 mins)
    • By Earworms Learning
    • Narrated By Marlon Lodge, Tomimi Trebing
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Earworms mbt is a revolutionary accelerated technique that takes the hard work out of learning. By listening a few times to these specially composed melodies, with their rhythmic repetitions of Japanese and English, you will pick up over 200 essential words and phrases that will not just be on the tip of your tongue but burned deeply into your long-term memory in next to no time.

    Maria says: "Useful and Practical"
    "Useful and Practical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For those who want to expand their knowledge from Vol. 2. As with all audio lessons on a language, it is necessary for the listener to have some knowledge of the language already, to really get the benefit. I found the content to be practical for a person wanting to visit Japan and get by on a basic level. I enjoy the music and the voices used. I'm a fan of the earworms series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forsyte Saga (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Galsworthy
    • Narrated By Dirk Bogarde, Michael Hordern, Diana Quick, and others
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The blockbuster BBC Radio 4 adaptation of John Galsworthy’s classic family drama, featuring a star cast including Dirk Bogarde, Sir Michael Hordern, Diana Quick, Michael Williams and Amanda Redman. Galsworthy’s epic story chronicles the decline and fall of the Forsytes through almost 50 years of material triumph, emotional disaster, and a terrible feud that splits them asunder.

    Sarah says: "Nervous breakdowns galore"
    "Poor Soames"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story
    Whenever I see or hear a version of The Forsyte Saga, I always feel sorry for Soames.
    The much-maligned Soames Forsyte is the character that we are supposed to loathe, as most of the characters in the story do. But I can't. I much prefer him to his smug, watercolour painting cousin, Jolien. Or Jolien's useless windbag daughter, June. Or Irene, the unforgiving hypocrite who married him. Soames and his daughter Fleur have more spunk and personality than the rest of the Forsytes put together. And this story is redeemed by them.
    The Performances
    The male voices in this production are wonderful. At times when people die, the dialogue is very moving and is beautifully performed. I actually cried. Twice.
    As usual, a couple of the female voices let the show down. The oft referred to as beautiful character of Irene is voiced in a dull, low monotone in the mistaken belief that it makes her sound beautiful and ladylike. But she just sounds like a creepy bore devoid of personality or humour. The character of soames 2nd wife, being french, is also voiced wrongly. She sounds like an imbecilic five year old. Poor Soames, if only he could get a wife who could speak like a norman woman. But i'm particularly sensitive to these voice traits, so don't let it deter you from the production. On the whole, it is beautifully done, with love, care and affection by the actors and the producers.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Case for Paul Temple

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Francis Durbridge
    • Narrated By Crawford Logan, Gerda Stevenson
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    The police are desperate to cut off supplies of heroin and cocaine to the capital, but they are struggling. So Sir Graham Forbes turns to Paul Temple. By fast car and police launch, on deserted houseboats and midnight beaches, in dodgy East End pubs and smart West End restaurants, braving booby traps, bullets and blazing houses, Paul and Steve pursue the ruthless and feared drug dealer known only as ‘Valentine’. This new production for BBC Radio 4 uses the original scripts, vintage sound effects and much of the original incidental music from the missing 1946 production.

    Maria says: "Lost story lives again"
    "Lost story lives again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a new recording of a Paul Temple story which had been lost from the archives.
    Using many of the sound effects used in old recordings together with some pleasing performances by the actors, this production should appeal to fans of the series.
    The producers have taken their time to make this enjoyable to listen to. They have even included resumes of the previous chapter, just in case you need to stop listening and come back to it. Crawford Logan as Paul and Gerda as Steve are actors whose voices are most suited to their roles. There is not a bad performance in the entire cast. Allowing for a few cliched accents here and there. As with most of the paul temple series, you get lulled into cozy chats about country houses and pink gins, and then suddenly somebody is found dead. You need to concentrate or you miss the important bits.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind in the Willows (Dramatised)

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kenneth Grahame
    • Narrated By Dramatisation
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Many of the original cast from Alan Bennett's acclaimed National Theatre production appear in this special dramatisation for BBC Radio 4 including Richard Briers as Rat, Adrian Scarborough as Mole, and Terence Rigby as Albert with Alan Bennett as the narrator. A wonderful, highly-acclaimed dramatic performance of a classic novel.

    Maria says: "Charming - Not just for kids"
    "Charming - Not just for kids"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent production. Some of Britain's best contempory actors give voice to some wonderful animal characters. Music and sound effects add to this production's ability to transfer you to the Wild Wood, the Open Road or to Toad Hall. Slow and gentle, its great for even young children, while being well-crafted enough to smooth the brow of a harrassed adult.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death and the Maiden

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 24 mins)
    • By Ariel Dorfman
    • Narrated By John Kapelos, John Mahoney, Carolyn Seymour, and others
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Suspense mounts when Paulina and her husband offer hospitality to a stranger. Paulina thinks she recognizes, in their guest, the man who tortured her in prison, and she subsequently takes him hostage to find out the truth. A stunningly blunt and compelling play, Death and the Maiden explores brilliantly the issues of torture, power, vulnerability, ethics, and trust. An award-winning play by Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman, forced into exile in 1973.

    Maria says: "Strident"
    "Strident"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is full of conflict. When a woman thinks she recognises the voice of a man who raped and tortured her, she acts out her dream of revenge. However, the conflict is not only limited to the plot. The main female character, Pauline, not only berates her tormentor, she also berates her husband with a voice that grates on the listener very quickly. If you make it to the end you witness an interesting situation unravel, with a clever twist. But the author leaves the final solution up to the listener. Could have been named Misery if that name were not already taken.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Laura

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Vera Caspary
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Eileen Stevens, Oliver Wyman, and others
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (60)

    Laura Hunt was the ideal modern woman: beautiful, elegant, highly ambitious, and utterly mysterious. No man could resist her charmsnot even the hardboiled NYPD detective sent to find out who turned her into a faceless corpse. As this tough cop probes the mystery of Lauras death, he becomes obsessed with her strange power.

    Judith says: "I like this a lot."
    "Beautifully written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is long. As with most murder mysteries, it is a temptation to want to race through and get to the conclusion. Be patient and wallow in the character descriptions and insights that are outstanding.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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