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Elizabeth

Member Since 2012

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 99 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1494)
    Performance
    (1305)
    Story
    (1310)

    At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

    Dan Harlow says: "Almost more relevant now than when it was written"
    "Perfect performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dylan Baker is so good that he actually sounds like Henry Fonda. This performance is outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2800)
    Performance
    (2592)
    Story
    (2601)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "FINALLY! A great supernatural thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If, like me, you've been missing the real Stephen King, he's finally reincarnated in his son, Joe Hill. I don't know about you, but I loved Stephen King when he wrote supernatural thrillers many years ago. Sadly, in recent years he's been getting duller and duller. Although his writing is still masterful, his content is ho hum. It is astonishing that his son has developed into an equal craftsman - great characters, great dialogue, great plot. But Joe has great ideas for scary stories and we haven't had a good chiller from his dad in decades.

    This story is fabulous and creepy and fast paced and wicked fun! Kate Mulgrew renders a stellar performance and you simply cannot shut it off. I listen as I commute and I find myself lingering in the car because I simply have to know what happens next. Hill can create a bagful of terrifying monstrous bad guys and keeps piling on the danger until you can't stand it anymore.

    I must also recommend Hill's "Heart-Shaped Box" which is the ONLY horror novel that has actually scared me in three decades. Not kidding. Nothing scares me anymore. But Hill did it when no one else, including King, could.

    I cannot wait for more Joe Hill. And I would listen again to anything Kate Mulgrew narrates.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Halifax, Gentleman: Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Dinah Craik
    • Narrated By Peter Joyce
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (2)

    This is Volume one of the greatest romantic narrative novel of the early 19th Century. John Halifax, Gentleman, tells the story of an orphan boy whose first words in the story are “Sir, I want work; may I earn a penny?” By hard work, diligent study and an unshakeable faith in his God John attains wealth and happiness, despite much hardship and heartbreak throughout his life.

    Elizabeth says: "So boring I couldn't finish it"
    "So boring I couldn't finish it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love 19th century literature and purchased this because the description called a the "greatest narrative novel of the early 1800s.." But holy cow! This was incredibly boring. It just describes a rag to riches life of an angelically perfect man. There is no depth to the characters, no plot tension in the story, no real drama. I had to go read what the critics say about this novel and have learned that it is important because it describes the social and economic shift from agrarian landed gentry as the economic power base, to the middle class manufacturer. So I get why the readers of the time found this an important reflection f their society. But it is simply bad literature by our modern standards. Also, to make it worse - much worse - the reader is awful He has a gruff old man voice and cannot capture the necessary youthful voices. Everyone sounds 60 years old. Bad. Just bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Yellow Mask

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Bobbie Frohman
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In a tale delivering the best in the genre of romantic suspense, Willkie Collins’ novel The Yellow Mask, will hold you riveted from beginning to end. A priest believes the inheritance and great wealth of Count Fabio D’Ascoli was stolen from the Church many generations ago. This scheming priest decides to steal the money back and unleashes a mystery filled with terror and menace. Who is behind The Yellow Mask? Maddalena or...?

    barbara says: "Dated"
    "Really bad book from a really great writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't think of one good reason to put this subpar work into audiobook form. I love Willkie Collins but this was really boring. Not even close to the masterfully suspenseful style we learned to love through Woman in White and The Moonstones. I think Collins was paying homage to Ann Radcliffe - the creator of gothic suspense - because it emulated many of the elements in her works - renaissance Italy setting, an evil priest, a mysterious presence, thwarted lovers, etc. etc. But this does not work. Moreover the performance was terrible. The narrator used American accents for French and Italian people, and could not create differentiation between young females. Made the heroine sound about six years old. Very bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (327)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (292)

    Jasper Fforde's delightfully zany Thursday Next series shows no signs of slowing down with its seventh entry, The Woman Who Died a Lot. Despite being semihappily semi-retired from SpecOps, Thursday accepts the head librarian position at the Swindon library. But soon threats from a supreme Deity, a mnemonomorph, and the nefarious Goliath corporation press Thursday back into active duty.

    Lenny says: "Great continuation of the Thursday Next series"
    "Another great chapter in the Thursday Next series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I really miss the bookjumps into fiction, and meeting all the crazy characters from well-loved classical literature, Fforde still manages to entertain me with Thursday's adventures. If you're a fan, you'll enjoy this. NOT recommended if you haven't read the previous books. You simply won't understand what's going on. The good news is that this book sets us up for Fforde's next Next adventure - a jump into the dark reading material at the center of the universe. Can't wait!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unusual Uses for Olive Oil

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, author of the highly regarded Portuguese Irregular Verbs (200 LTD copies sold!) and a pillar of the Institute of Romance Philology in the proud Bavarian city of Regensburg, finds that life is very difficult these days. His academic rival (and owner of a one-legged dachsund) Detlev-Amadeus Unterholzer has been winning undeserved recognition. With help from the matchmaking Ophelia Prinzel, he stumbles toward a romance with Frau Benz, a charming widow who owns her very own Schloss and a fleet of handsome cars.

    Jean says: "The Professor!"
    "My favorite McCAll Smith character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The hilarious and idiotic professor of philology, Professor Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld, is McCall Smith's best character and the least known. I find much of Smith's writing very dull. But this series about his ridiculously pompous and clueless professor is laugh-out-loud fun! I highly recommend the first couple books in the series. Portuguese Irregular Verbs, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs, and The Villa of Reduced Circumstances. Sausage Dogs is one of the funniest things I have EVER read. Sadly, this book does not live up to the others and I waited sooooo long for it! Perfectly narrated by Paul Hecht but the story just wasn't as good as in the other books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Card

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Arnold Bennett
    • Narrated By Peter Joyce
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Arnold Bennett's... splendidly comic portrayal of Edward Henry Machin, known as Denry to his mother to save time, is set in Bursley, one of the author's Five Towns of Staffordshire. Starting in 1897, when Denry first saw the smoke of the potbanks, the tale chronicles his rise to fame and wealth including such events as improving his exam results to guarantee success, adjusting the guest list of the municipal ball to include himself and then daring to ask the Countess of Chell to dance!

    Elizabeth says: "What fun!"
    "What fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is old-fashioned, simple, good natured fun. Absolutely perfect listening for the morning commute. An Edwardian-era solicitor's clerk goes from rags to riches by taking wacky risks, applying his innate cleverness, and enjoying an endless stream of happy accidents. This author was very popular in his day and I am glad to add him to my library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Titus Groan: Volume 1 of the Gormenghast Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mervyn Peake
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (153)

    Enter the fantastical world of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast Trilogy, one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. Novelist C.S. Lewis called Peake's books "actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience."

    Benjamin L. Alpers says: "Count Me Among the Peake Fans"
    "Slow and boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Titus Groan?

    It is an excruciatingly slow story in which absolutely nothing happens for long stretches of time. It's really too bad because the author has some great characters and draws an interesting world. Unfortunately, over 8 long hours of listening, we were introduced to a handful of people, a baby got baptized, two men fought, and there was a fire. That's it! I'm not kidding. I honestly don't know if I will be able to even finish this book.


    Has Titus Groan turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No - in fact I am truly surprised that this classic is so boring. I generally like this type of novel.


    Have you listened to any of Robert Whitfield’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator is superb. I would definitely listen to him again. The problem is the writing, not the narrator.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Titus Groan?

    Good lord! What a question. I would have cut 8 hours down to no more than 4. So where do I begin? Let me be clear. I NEVER listen to abridged books. There is absolutely nothing for Audible to do here. This book should have been edited down when it was published. It's too late. I would not have bought this if it had been an abridged version.


    Any additional comments?

    Great production of a bad book. No one's fault but the original editors at the original publishing house. They should have taken this talented author in hand and cut cut cut.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The White Monkey: The Forsyte Chronicles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Galsworthy
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    The White Monkey is the fourth of the nine novels in The Forsyte Chronicles and marks the opening of the second trilogy in the series, called A Modern Comedy. In this new chapter, Fleur and Michael Mont begin to question their marriage when their good friend, author Wilfred Desert, can no longer contain his passion for Fleur. Fleur finds herself torn between her love for Michael and passion for Wilfred.

    connie says: "keep going"
    "A satisfying addition to the saga"
    Overall

    I was elated to discover there was more to the Forsyte Saga. This, my first foray into the sequel trilogy, did not disappoint. We follow the story of Fleur as she navigates a marriage and the London "modern set" with her true love far away and lost forever. Can she make for herself a place in society that will satisfy, now that passion is irretrievable? And her father, Soames, stands at risk to lose his fortune in a business scandal. I liked this well enough to go on to the second book of the trilogy, The Silver Spoon, which I also recommend. For Forsyte fans this is a definite thumbs up!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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