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Connie H. Liddiard

Member Since 2007

ratings
84
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
21

  • North and South

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (63)

    This is the story of Margaret Hale, a young English woman who accompanies her family's move from rural southern England to the industrial north. It proves to be a difficult change, with all the attendant social conflicts and cultural misunderstandings consequent to such situations. It is a study in contrasts. Mrs. Gaskell created one of the Victorian era's greatest heroines in Margaret Hale, a young lady of passionate intensity.

    Cariola says: "An Awesome Classic"
    "Recommended"
    Overall

    Fans of Jane Austen, Dickens or George Eliot will enjoy this story. Mr. Thornton isn't Mr. Darcy - but he comes pretty close. Once you get used to the annoying falsetto simpering voice the reader uses for Margaret Hale and the unusual intonation he uses for chapter headings, the story makes you forget the shortcomings of the narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pardonable Lies: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlaugh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (545)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (322)

    In the third novel of this best-selling series, London investigator Maisie Dobbs faces grave danger as she returns to the site of her most painful WWI memories to resolve the mystery of a pilot's death.

    mary says: "please find someone else to narrate."
    "Recommended"
    Overall

    I was expecting a grown up version of Nancy Drew but this is so much more. A compelling mystery with interwoven plot lines, engaging characters, interesting history, and a like-able heroine. It isn't necessary to have read the earlier books in the series to enjoy this one although references to past events made me want to read those as well. Well-written and well-read also.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Dorrit

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (94)

    William Dorrit has been a resident of the Marshalsea debtors prison for so many years that he has gained the nickname "The Father of the Marshalsea". However, his suffering is eased by his close bond with youngest daughter Amy, or "Little Dorrit". The dashing Arthur Clennam, returning to London after many years in China, enters their lives and the Dorrits' fortunes begin to rise and fall. A biting satirical work on the shortcomings of 19th century government and society.

    Michael says: "a melody of genius writer & compelling reader"
    "Fantastic Reader"
    Overall

    Anton Lesser is a fantastic reader and although this may not be the best of Dickens, it isn't the worst of Dickens. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pictures of You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Caroline Leavitt
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    A tragic accident: One woman is left dead after she and another woman, both running away from their marriages, collide in the fog on a highway. The survivor, Isabelle, is left to pick up the pieces, not only of her own life but of the lives of the devastated husband and fragile son that the other woman, April, has left behind. Together, they try to solve the mystery of where April was running to, and why.

    Shawn says: "Anguish and self-recriminations galore!"
    "Not what I pictured"
    Overall

    I quit listening about half way through when a 4th grade boy popped in a pornographic DVD, called it "f-ing" (minus the hyphen) and we get a description of Red Hot Enterprises in the laundromat. Maybe it has a good ending, maybe it is a good character study, maybe it will be heart-rending, maybe someone else might not mind hearing so many f-words and profane uses of the Lord's name. Too many writers of modern fiction don't think they can tell a realistic story without foul language and descriptions of sex, but if you would rather not hear it then this one isn't for you. If you want to read other points of view, a few Amazon readers raved about the book. (I wish I had discounted the opinions of the author's students however.) No complaints about the reader.

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Widow of the South: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Hicks
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer, Scott Brick, Stephen Hoye, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (48)

    In 1894 Carrie McGavock is an old woman who has only her former slave to keep her company...and the almost 1,500 soldiers buried in her backyard. Years before, rather than let someone plow over the field where these young men had been buried, Carrie dug them up and reburied them in her own personal cemetery. Now, as she walks the rows of the dead, an old soldier appears. It is the man she met on the day of the battle that changed everything.

    Joyce says: "Best Yet"
    "Needs abridging"
    Overall

    I agree completely with Valerie Ryan's Amazon.com review: "Hicks is better at describing death and "the stink of war" than he is at life. If you read War and Peace and loved all the war parts and were bored senseless by the peace parts, this is your cup of tea." I'm not a fan of abridged works but this book needed condensing. It had too many scenes that just filled up pages and did nothing to develop the characters or build the plot. Some of the comments made by characters that were probably supposed to be profoundly philosophical just sounded stupid to me. The best part was the ending - and not just because I was finally finished. I usually really like audio with multiple readers, but I didn't think the voices fit the characters and it dragged at times. Many others listeners raved about the book and audio but I always like to see another point of view. Not a waste of time, but not compelling either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Eagle of the Ninth

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rosemary Sutcliff
    • Narrated By Charlie Simpson
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    Marcus Flavius Aquila, a young centurion in Roman Britain, is forced into retirement after receiving a wound in his first major engagement against a rebel British tribe. It allows him the freedom to embark upon a dangerous mission to find out what happened to the Ninth Legion, which, years before, disappeared in the savage lands of the Picts. Will he find out what happened to the men, led by his father, who never returned? And will he recover the Eagle, the symbol of Roman dominance and power?

    Connie H. Liddiard says: "Give it to us unabridged!"
    "Give it to us unabridged!"
    Overall

    My rating is 3 stars because this is an abridged version and so Sutcliff's lyrical style is lost. She isn't one for fluff, unnecessary plot twists, excess conversation or needless explanatory narrative so the only thing to remove to shorten things up are her beautiful descriptions. The story and characters are up to her usual 5 star standards but after listening to unabridged versions of "The Silver Branch," "The Lantern Bearers," "The Shining Company," and "The Outcast," I knew something was wrong with this audio almost immediately. I should have looked closer because I never would have purchased an abridged version on purpose. Her books are not long enough to need to be abridged to make people read them.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Branch

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rosemary Sutcliff
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In The Eagle of the Ninth, Marcus Flavius Aquila ventured into the wilds of Caledonia to retrieve the lost Eagle of his father's dishonored Ninth Legion. In this new story of Roman Britain, the mutilated standard is found again by Flavius, a descendant of Marcus, and his cousin Justin, a young surgeon in the Roman army. It is found at a time when conflicting loyalties, violence, and intrigue are undermining Roman rule in Britain.

    Connie H. Liddiard says: "Great historical fiction"
    "Great historical fiction"
    Overall

    Marcus Flavius and Justinius are two of my favorite Sutcliff characters. Both are incredibly likeable and this story of their efforts to protect the Emperor Carausius from a plot to overthrow Roman Britain is an interesting story about the opposing forces that shaped what would eventually become Anglo Saxon Britain. The Silver Branch is set about a hundred years before the fall of the Roman Empire and is one of the best examples of her ability to take what little is known for sure about Ancient Britain and weave it into a realistic story line. Johanna Ward has the perfect voice for narrating Sutcliff's lyrical writing style. Sometimes I hit the rewind just to hear a particularly lovely descriptive passage again. I have also read this book in print and the audio is great because you don't have to figure out how to pronounce some of the ancient words or places like Asklepiodotus or Rutupiae.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lantern Bearers

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rosemary Sutcliff
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    When the last of the Roman Auxiliaries leave Britain forever, they abandon the country to internal strife and the menace of invasion by Saxons. These are dark days indeed for Aquila, a young Roman officer who returns to his family villa to find all that he loves destroyed by the invaders. He escapes slavery only to learn that his sister has married a Saxon, and the knowledge fills him with bitterness.

    Mark C Walker says: "Well written"
    "Great historical fiction"
    Overall

    This is one of my favorite Rosemary Sutcliff novels about Ancient Britain and a group of "lantern bearers" who try to keep the flame of civilization lit as the Dark Ages loom with the fall of the Roman Empire. The main character, Aquila, is a complex man with a strong sense of duty and decency who faces difficult choices and mixed loyalties. I was introduced to Rosemary Sutcliff's novels in a children's literature class in college, but after listening to all of her books offered by Audible and reading a few in print I realized her writing is more suitable for older teens, young adults and adults. She takes what little is known for sure about Ancient Britain and weaves it into a realistic story line, creating characters that tell us who they are through their actions without wasting words or using unnecessary explanatory narrative. Her style is very lyrical and Johanna Ward has the perfect voice for narrating her books. Sometimes I hit the rewind just to hear a particularly lovely descriptive passage again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Outcast

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Rosemary Sutcliff
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    When a Roman ship is wrecked on the coast of Britain, Beric, the infant son of a Roman soldier, is the only survivor. Beric grows up with a Briton tribe, but to his foster people he remained an alien, one of the Red Crests. So when bad times come, the tribe holds him responsible and casts him out.

    Connie H. Liddiard says: "Great historical fiction"
    "Great historical fiction"
    Overall

    I was introduced to Rosemary Sutcliff's novels in a college class about children's literature, but after listening to all of her books offered by Audible and reading a few in print I realized her writing is more suitable for older teens, young adults and adults. She takes what little is known for sure about Ancient Britain and weaves it into a realistic story line, creating characters that tell us who they are through their actions without wasting words or using unnecessary explanatory narrative. What she doesn't do is add unbelievable chance encounters, romances, complicated plot twists, or head-case characters to keep readers going, so if you like that sort of historical fiction it may feel a little slow. Her style is very lyrical and Johanna Ward has the perfect voice for narrating her books. This story is interesting because it deals with cultures in both Ancient Britain and Ancient Rome, exploring the ugliness of slavery and the resiliency of the human spirit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dreamhunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Knox
    • Narrated By Edwina Wren
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Set in 1906, Dreamhunter describes a world very similar to ours, except for a special place, known simply as "The Place", where only a select group of people can go. These people are called Dreamhunters, and they harvest dreams that are then transmitted to the general public for entertainment, therapy - or terror and political coercion. Inside The Place, 15-year-old Laura finds out what happened to her missing father and uncovers a government secret.

    A. Sandoval says: "Simply Excellent, a new idea..."
    "Creative Concept"
    Overall

    The narration is a little slow with too many "mouth noises" but the concept is creative and the writing is quite lyrical. Even though not all of the characters are quite as well developed as their fantasy world, Dreamhunter is worth your time if you are willing to commit to Dreamquake, the second in the duet. I listened to Dreamhunter last year before Dreamquake was available on audio so I had to actually read it to finish the story and I enjoyed the reading much more than the listening. Maybe they picked up the pace and adjusted the mike for Dreamquake.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    Overall
    (26956)
    Performance
    (13587)
    Story
    (13635)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Worth listening to again and again"
    Overall

    I read this book in print when it first came out and loved it so I bought the audio to do a re-read when it was chosen by our book club some months later. If you loved reading the book then you'll love listening to it even more. The voices are wonderful and bring the characters to life. One of my all time favorites on audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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