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Warren, RI, United States | Member Since 2006

  • 6 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 295 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • White Teeth

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Zadie Smith
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Archie's life has disintegrated. Fresh from a dead marriage, middle-aged Archie stretches out a vacuum hose, seals up his car and prepares to die. But unbeknownst to him, his darkest hour is also his luckiest day. With the opening of a butcher's shop, his life is saved and soon he is on his way to beginning a new life with a young Jamaican woman looking for the last man on earth.

    G. House Sr. says: "Disjoint Narrative w/Funny Moments Dusted Throuout"
    "May have been interesting, bad reader"

    I truly did like "On Beauty" and though that I'd try another Zadie Smith. I listened to the sample before buying, and the reader was pleasant enough. BUT that was the reader doing the third-person narrative. Had no idea of quite how horrible she'd be with the voices. I thought I'd get used to it, but just got more and more annoying. Had to give up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Ulli Birvé

    The superlatively analytical Inspector Hemingway is confronted by a murder that seems impossible – no one was near the murder weapon at the time the shot was fired. Everyone on the scene seems to have a motive, not to mention the wherewithal to commit murder, and alibis that simply don't hold up.

    Monica says: "Not a good read(er)"
    "Not a good read(er)"
    What did you like best about No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1? What did you like least?

    Georgette Heyer's mysteries are sprightly and entertaining, though dated in regard to foreigners (teeth gritted), and rather contrived, shallow plotting (about which see comments on narrator). I am also less fond of the Inspector Hemingway novels than the earlier ones--they seem more routine. But like her other books, this was well written, full of fun, and had its share of wonderful characters--especially Vicky. And it is these qualities that make me love Georgette Heyer, even at her less-than-best.

    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Ingenious, if improbable. The villain is a most satisfying choice. Not sure I like the way one promising character gets reduced to a second-best dull old thing, but the emerging love story is fun.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Aside from pleasant speaking voice, she ruined this book in every possible way. No animation at all and draggy pace. This is especially unbearable when she voices the male characters, for whom she switches to Very. Carefully. Spaced. Monotone. This a serious crime in Heyer novels, which are so dependent on shadings of tone, irony, comedy, and a fine sense of the ridiculous. The reading killed these, so that the only thing left was the not-very-entertaining plot. You don't read Heyer for plot. I was so looking forward to revisiting the rest of the mysteries, but absolutely can't.

    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Not with this cast/production. No way.

    Any additional comments?

    Try again with a different reader? And for Heyer fans who have not read her mysteries, get the books! They're lovely escape reading.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Our Mutual Friend

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A sinister masterpiece, Our Mutual Friend was Dickens' last completed novel. It is perhaps his ultimate vision of a dark, macabre London and the corrupting power of money.

    Erez says: "Worth six stars"
    "A Masterpiece"

    For my money, Our Mutual Friend is the best novel Dickens ever wrote--a bit darker than the others, but all the more powerful. Although it presents the usual cast of caricatures, there are no throwaways, the themes they represent are not trivial. Dickens (sorry, no apostrophe function) attacks on snobbery and greed are unusually vicious as well as funny, and there is a new depth to the main characters--especially in the darker romance (there are two). Lizzie Hexam is a breathtaking character--serious, beautiful, redemptive. Dickens sentimentalism (to my mind the serious flaw in his works) is kept to a minimum in this one.

    And--The reading is perfect. Robert Whitfield is a talented and sensitive reader. I will be looking for more of his work.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Martin Chuzzlewit, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson

    The vast cast of diverse characters includes, among many others, the hypocrite Mr. Pecksniff, the undertaker Mr. Mould, the jolly Mark Tapley, the gentle Tom Pinch, the nurse who enjoys her bottled comforts, Mrs. Gamp, and the lovely Mary Graham, over whom the disagreements of the young and old Martin Chuzzlewits cause the younger to go to America to seek his fortune. Dickens' depictions of the United States are amusing and scathing, to say the least!

    Monica says: "Production Value Issues"
    "Production Value Issues"

    Can you go wrong with Dickens? Well, yes. No disputing that D. was a great author, and this books has great moments, the usual vivid characters, and a very funny view of the Englishman in America. The added bonus with this author is that he was an actor, very aware of the way his books would sound read aloud--as they most often were. Too bad the same care was not taken with this recording. Sound quality is very bad--hard to hear in the car. And though Flo Gibson really does a competent read here, she will never be a favorite of mine. So the combination of muffled production and a less than ideal reader make this one a disappointment.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull

    This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

    Frank says: "Choice of Narrators"
    "Stunning, amazing, the best"

    This book and the rest in the series are just wonderful--lively characters and action, rich with historical and naval detail, and beautifully and wittily written. Patrick Tull's reading takes the experience to an even higher level. It was hearing Master and Commander that got me hooked on audio books for life. Even if you think naval/adventure novels are not for you (I certainly thought so), give this a try. You may fall in love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Evil Genius

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By John Bolen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Wilkie Collins' most financially successful novel, The Evil Genius, opens with a jury determining the fate of a sea captain whose ship allegedly facilitated a diamond theft. The story develops into a powerful novel of Victorian private life, including deception, adultery, and divorce...

    Margaret says: "Story is fine, but not a mystery."
    "Bad reader"

    I really enjoy Wilkie Collins' Vistorian potboilers; they're full of sly humor and mysterious doings, and his characterizations are great. Too bad I couldn't get past the reading on this one. As said by previous reviewer, women's voices are cringeworthy. So are the rest. Weird accents and a delivery that makes me suspect that reader was seeing the book for the first time. Had to give up.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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