Member Since 2009
Well, first I would recommend reading the first three books or at least the first one. It is ble to be read as a stand alone book but seeing the characters develop across four decades of American history is really great and Arthur Morey really hits the nail on the head as narrator. His flat, Philadelphia accent isn't too far off from Updike's own (having listened to the John Updike Audio Collection I have had the joy of hearing the author's own voice) and the steady,unhurried way he narrates makes all of the deadpan comedy really come home. I'm also a native of Pennsylvania but from the Pittsburgh side and I can identify with so much of the places and characters.
Obviously the first three books are comparable but despite its length, it is much better paced that either the second or third novels (the latter of which I thought to be too long for its own good). I truly liked how the series came full circle at the end bringing in elements of the first novel back for good measure. A great finish to the series (with Rabbit living in any case. The extra novella is a bit unnecessary although it ends nicely).
His Philadelphia accent and the perfect deadpan comedy.
The basketball game at the end was moving in that it showed the series coming full circle.
Aside from Nelson's character for the first two thirds of the novel, this is the best book in the series. Rabbit finally can do all that he couldn't do in the first book. We have the feeling that he was finally able to run away for good and there was a safe place waiting for him unlike his run away into the scary unknown in the first book. I like how Nelson reforms however at the expense of everything and even Janice smartens up a bit. The adventures in Florida in the beginning are perfectly wonderful. It was nice not to have to put up with Ronnie until later in the book. The main problem is Nelson and even that is nicely handled.
It's a nice retelling of Dracula but I just wished it could have made more of its full ensemble cast a la The Historian and His Dark Materials Trilogy i.e. each character's voice being performed by a different actor.
Jonathan Harker's account of Castle Dracula in the beginning. I was expecting MUCH MORE from Tim Curry as Van Helsing. He seemed to be a bit bored with the role. He read it quite slowly with none of the energy I have associated with the role.
Professional, Variety, but Limited
It is a movie and I have seen it. Coppola's was the best if not for the unnecessary love story.
If only each letter had assistance from each characters voice when they had a line, it would be better. Also, I thought Mina and Lucy's voices should have been switched.
It's harmlessly comfortable. It's predictable but also very warmhearted with contrived plot lines all aimed at a warm and happy end. But I didn't care. I wanted something Christmasy and I got it.
Its characters and description of small town 1960s Ireland.
All the characters, with the exception of the rival Doctor had pleasant accents.
The name really suits the story. You get what you pay for.
As usual, Neville has action and well written, suspenseful passages but without Gerry Fagan, the series has really lost its steam.
If this is the last book of the series, I'm really going to be disappointed. However, I'm not sure if I'd want to continue the series unless something really unexpected happens.
He's always awesome in whatever he does. I've never had a complaint about him and I probably never will. His accents, inflections, and voice ranges are all magnificent.
Not really. It's a bit of a downer especially with the Christmas setting and all.
Neville should break free of his series and write something new and cool and original like Ghosts of Belfast.
The use of different voices for the reading of different letters. Each character is voiced by a separate actor or actress performing with a different accent. As I am a fan of all accents, it made the story very pleasant to listen to.
Rossi's missing letters meant to be sent from Romania. They reveal SO much about the historical Dracula as well as the story's plot.
As mentioned before, the accents. The best was the guy who did the man with a mixed Scottish/Romanian accent. It was superb and an excellent example of hard work and top-notch voice acting.
Perhaps Rossi himself but each plot line has its own quirks. The unnamed narrator's recounting of her trip to Italy and Slovenia has its own charms too.
I've listened to this recording many times. It is fitting when the Autumn chill fills the air and you want something intellectually satisfying yet a bit dark.
Yes but with guarded words. Prepare to commit to over 40 hours of intense mathematical and historical discourse told with a lot of wit but seemingly without any direction until the last 3 hours or so.
Not really. It's not that kind of book. In Stephenson's first two SciFi masterpieces he makes use of his creativity for imagining a possible technological dystopia but as the two time periods in this novel are the (then) present of the late 90's and WWII era America, The Philipines, Japan, China, Europe and all the seas in between, he has to rely on actual math and while some of it is over the head of most (or at least this) listener(s), he also makes use of his remarkable wit of which we have only heard snatches of up to this point. There's no real suspense although there are a few suspenseful situations. Stephenson's unique outlook on the world and his remarkably well-realized characters reminds me of John Updike for some reason, perhaps for the fact that they seem like real people who think about real things rather than just some made-up characters.I found myself laughing like crazy for seemingly no reason just for the "oh so ordinary but so true" way some of the characters talk. Stephenson is certainly one of the most versatile writers out there. There is so much here and , as someone who majored in East Asian Studies and lives in Japan, he hit the nail on the head at least as far as Japan is concerned but he steers away from just idolization/damnation of other cultures but sees them from a basic human standpoint without being either cynical or preachy. You don't really realize he is toeing this line but he is. I think the expression "Nips" was used a bit much but it gave a sense of period and albeit it a terrible slanderous word, it is marginally less grating on the ear than the more common slur "Japs." Interestingly enough, I don't think the German equivalents were used even once. Fancy that.
Probably Randy although his German accents are pretty interesting as he demonstrated in another book "The Murder of the Century." His Japanese accents sound strangely Native American and his Filipino accents sound Mexican but his basic dry wit narrator's voice is probably my favorite. The narrators for the audiobooks must be handpicked by Stephenson himself because after listening to each I couldn't imagine a better reader for either one. He has decent variations and his Douglas MacArthur and Ronald Reagan voices had me laughing with incredulity. His Shaftoe voice took a while to get used to because he sounds just like a mindless grunt which, although his behavior over most of the novel reflects as much, it cheapens him a bit.
I laughed at some of the asides such as General Mills calculation of making Cap'n Crunch nuggets the same size as teeth so as to be ergonomically eaten and Randy's ex-girlfriend's research on "shaving pornography" as a sort of indirect hint to get him to shave off his beard not to mention the absolutely batsh*t ridiculous handling of the furniture-to-be-bequeathed using an interactive x y graph in which hopeful relatives of Randy (all genius IQ mathematicians and scientists) lug the items they want all over the parking lot comparing monetary and emotional value with the x and y values. Basically, half the time, you're thinking, "Where the heck is he going with this?" It's a fun and geeky ride but a long one and there is a payoff but it doesn't come until about the 37 hour mark. For me, it was worth it but I can see how some might see it as a "too little, too late" sort of deal. On the bright side, without revealing any spoilers, the ending is the most clear cut of all the Stephenson SciFI novels so far.
Sure! You'll either love the narrator or not. He's probably not the best guy to read The Night Before Christmas but for all of the other stories, he does a pretty nice job. Especially in the L. Frank Baum and Wilder stories, his range of voice and the devious nature of his tone come to full bloom.
Maybe the Holiday Classics Collection that Audible gave away for free a couple of years ago. Each story fit, was short and left you in wonder at the end.
I liked the bite in his voice for the demons in Santa Claus Kidnapped and the childish snobbery of the little girl in the Christmas Dream Come True story.
The little Match girl's story was sad but really sweet.
He could have read the Night Before Christmas with a lighter tone but the other stories were great.
More solidly written stories without the irksome need for feel-good endings. I really liked the Pearl Buck story and the one that took place at the outbreak of WWII but most of them had predictable outcomes or hammy lines.
No, I got it for cheap. I just wanted something to get me in the mood for Christmas. usually nothing does that like a good story but most of these were just too cheesy for me. It's just a matter of taste, I guess.
I prefer stories that emphasize the joy of giving and the surprise in the recipient not corny Christmas Miracles. There is but one Christmas Miracle and that's good enough for me. Stories like Christmas Day in the Morning (renamed here something corny like A Gift to Last a Lifetime) which show the simple but true way we can all make Christmas special by doing something just as ordinary as someone else's chores.
God gave us something much more beautiful just by letting a young girl give birth in a stable. The man getting locked in a safe and having no one notice was a nice wake-up call and the citizens who had come to a cheap California apartment all chipping together to help a young pregnant woman was a nice affirmation of American as well as true Christian values.
The father's reaction when his son had fed and milked the cows for him pm Christmas Day.
Unfortunately, most of the
The biggest turnoff was the
The creative and well written story matched with the all-out performance by the narrator made this novel a truly great listening experience! I felt I could taste that first Root Beer that Jake drank and felt his pain and joy at all of his experiences. No needless repeating present in most time traveler's tales.
Jake's first 1958 root beer, the unbearable suspense leading up to the Derry massacre, the high school performance in Jodie, the ripping suspense leading up to the assassination date.
Hate to be repetitive, but Jake's first experience of drinking that full bodied root beer for a dime in the friendly Maine town of the late 1950s really got me. I could really taste it! What a great bit of writing!
If you could change the past, how far would you go?
The post-apocalyptic 2011 was a bit overdone I thought. I mean, REALLY? The past is obdurate, the past harmonizes mantra was a bit annoying towards the end much like Philip K. Dick's
The hard, direct and informative narration about the treacherous road that Africans took from challenging yet satisfying life in their native homeland through the hell that was the Middle Passage and then being stripped of all of their culture, language and even their names to work the dejected role of the slave. Listening to Avery Brooks' many accents and voices to bring the story to life was truly a wonderful experience.
I might compare it to Slavery by Another Name in its severe depiction of the hardships of slave life although that book was geared more to the hardships of post-Civil War slavery.
His voices and accents were well done and calculated. Some voices sound the same but you always know who is speaking at any given time. His pronunciation of important African places and names gave a real authenticity to the work.
Generally, the moments when main characters were ripped away from their family members or when a
I felt that the very detailed early half of the book was wonderful but after Tom's story, when there would normally have been greater detail as it was historically speaking more recent events was lightly skated over, I thought. He could have gone into more detail about the challenges of Reconstruction and the failure of the American Government to make African Americans truly
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