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MAGJAG

Member Since 2017

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 180 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2018
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  • Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 26 mins)
    • By Raymond Chandler
    • Narrated By Toby Stephens, Kelly Burke, Barbara Barnes, and others
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (112)

    A brand new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of a classic Raymond Chandler mystery featuring private eye, Philip Marlowe. Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away.

    JAMIE says: "WARNING: NOT THE COMPLETE NOVEL"
    "Better than the movie."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (Dramatised)?

    It followed the original Chandler story. Performances were spot on.


    Any additional comments?

    Like all Chandler books, hard to put down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • James Madison: A Life Reconsidered

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Lynne Cheney
    • Narrated By Eliza Foss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (395)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (358)

    This majestic new biography of James Madison explores the astonishing story of a man of vaunted modesty who audaciously changed the world. Among the Founding Fathers, Madison was a true genius of the early republic. Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution and crucial to its ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of states - so eloquently presented in The Federalist papers - helped shape the country Americans live in today.

    Teresa says: "Nice history of the early national period"
    "Lynne Cheney Ain't No David McCullough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Lynne Cheney and/or Eliza Foss?

    NO.


    What could Lynne Cheney have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Rely more on factual events and writings rather than speculating or "imagining" what it must have been like during the course of the events written about.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Eliza Foss’s performances?

    It would depend on the subject of the book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. A waste of my time. I expected a better narrative of one of the most influential and fascinating people in U.S. history.


    Any additional comments?

    While it usually doesn't matter to me whether a book is narrated by a man or woman as long as the performance is good, I must say that the choice of narrators here was not a good one. I have encountered many female narrators who have done an excellent job "voicing" the men in a book but that was not the case here. This book seemed to need a man's voice considering virtually all the individuals quoted or referred to are men, or at least a better female narrator. Foss sounded like a 2nd grade school teacher and an uninspired one at that. In addition to a poor choice in narrators, Cheney's book itself was not satisfying. I barely got 1/3 of the way through before I had to give it up and it was a struggle to stick with it that long. I cannot count how many times Cheney relies on speculation of facts or "imagining" what it must have been like to fill out her narrative. Isn't there plenty of factual evidence on which the narrative can rely without retreating to inferring, guessing or imagining? Cheney's attempts to be folksy or familiar with her subject also falls flat. I just do not find her to be a good writer. I do not recommend this book at all on any level.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Death in the Clouds: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (335)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (309)

    From seat number nine, Hercule Poirot is almost ideally placed to observe his fellow air travelers on this short flight from Paris to London. Over to his right sits a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite. Ahead, in seat number 13, is the Countess of Horbury, horribly addicted to cocaine and not doing too good a job of concealing it. Across the gangway in seat number eight, a writer of detective fiction is being troubled by an aggressive wasp. Yes, Poirot is almost ideally placed to take it all in.

    Calliope says: "Poirot plays matchmaker while solving a murder"
    "A classic Christie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lots of suspects, a series of clues and misdirections, plus a couple of love affairs and still Poirot is triumphant. Hugh Fraser's renditions of the Poirot stories are the absolute best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A New York Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By Saskia Maarleveld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    The year is 1904. Twenty-three-year-old Jemima Pitt, the daughter of Thomas Pitt, head of Britain's Special Branch, is crossing the Atlantic. She is traveling with an acquaintance, Delphinia Cardew, who is to marry the aristocratic Brent Albright in a high-society New York wedding - a grand affair that will join together two fabulously wealthy families, titans of the international financial world. But Jemima senses a mysterious shadow darkening the occasion.

    Michel says: "A pretty typical Anne Perry Christmas story"
    "Pitts' Kid Carries on Tradition"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Entertaining holiday yarn featuring Thomas & Charlotte Pitts' daughter visiting in NYC. Not a lot of Christmas feeling but a good whodunnit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Third Girl: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (233)

    Three young women share a London flat. The first is a coolly efficient secretary. The second is an artist. The third interrupts Hercule Poirot's breakfast, confessing that she is a murderer - and then promptly disappears. Slowly, Poirot learns of the rumors surrounding the mysterious third girl, her family, and her disappearance. Yet hard evidence is needed before the great detective can pronounce her guilty, innocent, or insane.

    TwoBadWolves says: "Did she...or didn't she...that IS the question!"
    "Third Girl is First Rate!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lots of suspects and plot twists. Hugh Fraser is his typical outstanding self. I could not put it down and listened to the whole volume in a single afternoon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • After the Funeral: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (270)

    When Cora Lansquenet is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard's funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard's will, Cora was clearly heard to say, "It's been hushed up very nicely, hasn't it.... But he was murdered, wasn't he?"

    In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery....

    MAGJAG says: "Hugh Fraser Forever!"
    "Hugh Fraser Forever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of After the Funeral to be better than the print version?

    Yes, It was much more vivid than if I read it in bits and pieces myself. Listening to a great book allows me to listen for extended periods of time instead of trying to squeeze in reading time during a busy day.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Poirot. It begins and ends with Hercule.


    What does Hugh Fraser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    There should be a law that only Hugh Fraser (or David Suchet) narrate Christie novels. Fraser's performance is like having your own special narrator who will spellbind only you to the exclusion of the rest of the world. A wonderful, wonderful talent. Fraser brings each character to life and adds emotional intensity at the perfect moment.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait to work my way through each and ever single volume Hugh Fraser narrates.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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