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Cindy

Guilford, CT, United States | Member Since 2008

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 422 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • Whitethorn

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (243)

    From the author of The Power of One comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people fanatically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war, and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six-year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany.

    Karin says: "Whitethorn"
    "What can I say...it's Bryce Courtenay!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every time I begin to read a Bryce Courtenay story, I am thinking to myself, "How can this one be as good as the last one I read?", and every time I am quite surprised to find that the one I'm reading is just as fantastic as all the others! His stories are all different, but engaging and interesting all the same.
    In this story, which is, incidentally read by the INCOMPARABLE Humphrey Bower (so wonderful and easy to listen to and whose voice is perfect for Bryce's stories) there are characters who fall on hard times and through his/her life experiences, find a way to conquer his/her demons. Going along for the ride, learning for ourselves along the way, make this book, as all the others, great listens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew Flinder's Cat

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (168)

    The story of a drunk, a boy, and a cat. Billy O'Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a 10-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two form an unlikely bond.

    CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH says: "Extraordinary Story"
    "Another Great Read from Bryce"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am going to be so sad when I've read the last Bryce Courtenay book. All of his stories, as this one is, are so inspirational and thought provoking and oh, so interesting.

    This story centers around a derelict who befriends a young boy, who makes a profound difference in the older man's life and vice versa. Humphrey Bower is superb, as usual, and I always forget that it is him narrating and not the "real" character, which is the mark of a great narrator!

    I am not personally an addict(well, food/sugar I am guilty of!) but there were moments in the book where I was quite moved and realized things in my own life that were relative to the story. Now that's a bonus; a great read with a little therapy mixed in!

    The only reason I gave the story 4 stars is that the ending left me wanting a bit more; it seemed to come to a bit of a halt for me. But that may just be that I can't get enough of Bryce Courtenay's and Humphrey Bower's story telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2999)
    Performance
    (2064)
    Story
    (2062)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will miss Bryce Courtenay's work so very much. His writings are so uplifting, as his characters overcome their demons and at times, tragedies and somehow seem to rise above them and learn from them.

    This story was just as wonderful as the others. It is part 1 of a series of 2 (the next is Tommo and Hawk) and is about a woman who ventures out trying to find work in a man's world, suffers consequences as a result of this and spends a good part of her life rising above all of these misfortunes to a level that I found very uplifting. What a testiment to the human spirit!

    As always, Humphrey Bower is a joy to listen to; his voice fits Bryce's work so well, and he does different characters so convincingly that you forget that it's one person narrating!

    All in all, a wonderful read, I am greatly saddened by Mr. Courtenay's death and the stories that he had yet to tell. RIP Mr. Courtenay, and thank you for gracing us with your words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tommo and Hawk: The Australian Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1713)
    Performance
    (1108)
    Story
    (1110)

    Brutally kidnapped and separated in childhood, Tommo and Hawk are reunited at the age of 15 in Hobart Town. Together, they escape their troubled pasts and set off on a journey into manhood. From whale hunting in the Pacific to the Maori wars of New Zealand, from the Rocks in Sydney to the miners' riots at the goldfields, Tommo and Hawk must learn each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive.

    Angie says: "Brillant Narration"
    "Another fantastic read from Bryce!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read several of Bryce Courtenay's books and have enjoyed them all, and this one is no exception. Without telling you the story, it is a story about two twin brothers coming of age amidst great misfortune in their lives and of the powerful bond that siblings, especially twins, can have.

    It was a very interesting read which kept me engaged the entire time, Bryce makes you care about these characters and want to know what happens next in their lives. The only thing that could be a negative for me is that I felt that the story ended a bit abruptly for my taste.

    I must also mention Humphrey Bower, he was BORN to read Bryce Courtenay's books; so perfect and talented in every way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (467)
    Story
    (467)

    One of Jane Austen's most popular novels. Arrogant, self-willed, and egotistical, Emma is her most unusual heroine.

    H. CRODDICK says: "Wonderful listen"
    "Not as good as other Jane Austin books."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I did enjoy this book, it was not quite as good as some of the other Jane Austin books I've read. It was a bit slower moving and storyline not as strong.

    The narrator was wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Four Fires

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (972)
    Performance
    (642)
    Story
    (634)

    The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

    Robert says: "Hit in the solar plexus"
    "Love everything Bryce Courtenay does!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As with all of the other Courtenay books I've read, this one was also phenomenal. The storyline was very engaging, characters likable, and there is always a wonderful moral to his stories. This one had me engaged until the very end. What a wonderful writer Bryce Courtenay is, weaving a full, rich, colorful book every time!

    Humphrey Bower is a super narrator for these books, love his accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4301)
    Performance
    (2332)
    Story
    (2312)

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Bob says: "Compelling and difficult to put down"
    "I thought I was listening to a TV courtroom series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While trying to get through this book I couldn't help but feeling that I was listening to a either a Hardy Boy's mystery or an episode of Murder She Wrote. The storyline seemed quite juvenile and even laughable, from the exchanges between the characters to the description of the trial proceedings.

    As for the narrator, his steely, breathy and monotone voice really got under my skin, his character changes were nondescript.

    I wasn't interested in the story until Part 2, at which time it became a bit more interesting, but as I previously said, the story was pretty "hokey". But that's just my opinion! I have listened to many books, about half of them mysteries and this was NOT a good mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Eyre

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Charlotte Bronte
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (61)

    Initially published under the pseudonym Currer Bell in 1847, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre erupted onto the English literary scene, immediately winning the devotion of many of the world's most renowned writers, including William Makepeace Thackeray, who declared it a work "of great genius."

    Sylvia says: "Jane Eyre - The best!"
    "Great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very interesting read; the narration was superb and the story, although slow at times, was engaging and the characters well developed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1830)
    Performance
    (1031)
    Story
    (1030)

    Spanning 40 years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

    Ella says: "A "Prince" amongst novels"
    "Excellent Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story had me engaged from the very beginning; you quickly begin to care about its characters and their lives. The narrator was excellent and a pleasure to listen to. The story weaves in and out of the lives of a particular southern family with all of the trials and tribulations of a very dysfunctional family, the details of which are gradually revealed throughout the story, and the issues that the siblings of this family eventually have to deal with.
    There is much humor in the story, revealing all of the craziness of this family in a lighthearted way, for the most part.
    The only thing that I had to get used to was that the story goes back and forth between the young family and the grown-up family. I thought I was missing certain things until I realized that those things had not been divulged yet. And my questions were answered further on in the book.
    All in all, I loved this book and did not want it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Stina Nielsen, Davina Porter, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1369)
    Performance
    (606)
    Story
    (611)

    The child of a scheming father and ruthless mother, Lady Jane Grey is born during a time when ambition dictates action. Cousin to Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, she is merely a pawn in a political and religious game in which one false step means a certain demise. But Lady Jane has remarkable qualities that help her to withstand the constant pressures of the royal machinery far better than most expect.

    Jt says: "Superior listen!"
    "Great Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narration was great, and I just couldn't put it down. A great look into a time that we cannot imagine; talk about women's rights! I highly recommend this book, great historical fiction.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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