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Elizabeth

Member Since 2012

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 99 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • 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
  • Memory and Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Charles de Lint
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (110)

    As the young student of the cruel, brilliant artist Vincent Rushkin, Isabelle Copley discovered that she could paint images so vividly real they brought her wildest fantasies to life. Now, 20 years later, Isabelle must come to terms with the shattering memories she has long denied and unlock the slumbering power of her brush. And, in a dark reckoning with her old master, she must find the courage to live out her dreams and bring the magic back to life.

    David E. Ballard says: "If this is your first de Lint"
    "Boring - I gave up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With so many great books out there which I have yet to read, why should I work hard to plod through the slow pacing and long, dull conversations (some of which are thinly veiled de Lint sermons on how badly women are treated) ? The characters aren't interesting although they could have been. I didn't care about their problems. I couldn't even get interested in the one supernatural character that showed up early in the narrative. And, to top it off, the narrator was bad. Kate Reading made her female voices too high and her male voices too low. Irritating. I am sorry I paid for this book. This was my first de Lint and my last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Soldier

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ford Madox Ford
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (95)

    The Good Soldier is a story about the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples - one English, one American - and the growing awareness of American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian façade. It is Dowell’s attitude - his puzzlement, uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration - that makes the book so powerful and mysterious. In Ford’s brilliantly woven tale, nothing is quite what it seems.

    Jefferson says: "The Clueless Cuckold and the Romantic Philanderer"
    "Brilliant writing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is considered one of the finest novels of the early twentieth century. The story and characters are suffocating - slowly killing each other and themselves - and we readers - through their idleness and pointlessness. However, and this is an enormous HOWEVER for anyone who is interested in HOW novels are written, I have never seen such an exquisite example of moving backwards and forwards in time to construct the story and characters. I may read this again and again just to see how Ford did it. It is simply brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ivanhoe

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Walter Scott
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (60)

    The epitome of the chivalric novel, Ivanhoe sweeps listeners into Medieval England and the lives of a memorable cast of characters. Ivanhoe, a trusted ally of Richard the Lion Hearted, returns from the Crusades to reclaim his inheritance. Rebecca, a beautiful Jewish woman, is defended by Ivanhoe against a charge of witchcraft - but it is Lady Rowena who is Ivanhoe's true love. The success of this novel lies with Scott's skillful blend of historic reality, chivalric romance, and high adventure.

    Matthew says: "Excellent writing, excellent narration!"
    "Fun for those who like classics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Scott is not one of my favorite writers although I love 19th century literature. However I had promised myself to read this book some day and I did enjoy it. The performance was very good and the story is fun. But it is a 19th century person's view of an action story - melodramatic by our standards, with stock characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (225)

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie’s brilliant historical novel follows the fortunes of five characters living through the tumultuous 1960s—a time when the Biafran-Nigerian War raged in southern Africa.

    Alla says: "Horrifyingly human - mandatory reading"
    "Beautiful and painful story of Biafra"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not know this book would take me through the Nigerian civil war when I bought it. But I am so glad I learned about it through this stunning story of an upper class African family that eventually found themselves on the losing side. The story is well written, beautifully narrated, and delivers the war gently. No clobbering with gruesome gratuitous violence and no battle scenes. This is simply the experience of a few individuals who lived through it. I loved the characters and especially the twin sisters whose difficult relationship is finally healed because of the war.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Supernaturals

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (597)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (543)

    Seven years ago, Professor Gabriel Kennedy's investigation into paranormal activity at Summer Place ended in tragedy, and destroyed his career. Now, Kelly Delaphoy, the ambitious producer of a top-rated ghost-hunting television series, is determined to make Summer Place the centerpiece of an epic live broadcast on Halloween night. To ensure success, she needs help from the one man who has come face-to-face with the evil that dwells in Summer Place, a man still haunted by the ghosts of his own failure. Disgraced and alienated from the academic community, Kennedy wants nothing to do with it. But Summer Place has other plans....

    DebaDeb says: "Scary!!"
    "Fun but not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The performer did a poor job with female voices and accents. The story is fun but not especially scary and certainly not original. The author tried very hard to draw a parallel to Shirley Jackson's iconic Haunting of Hill House and it back fired on him - by trying to do something that good, and failing, his story suffered by the comparison. I did enjoy the unlikeable characters who competed with each other. Had the performance been better I would have upped the rating simply for the light entertainment factor which is sometimes all I want.

    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
    (2884)
    Performance
    (2674)
    Story
    (2680)

    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
    (331)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (296)

    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
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1536)
    Performance
    (1340)
    Story
    (1346)

    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.

    RSolomons says: "Every Character a Gem!"
    "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

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