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Margot

Lewisburg, PA, United States | Member Since 2003

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 152 ratings
  • 321 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5250)
    Performance
    (4717)
    Story
    (4744)

    First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

    Michael says: "New to Neil"
    "The Soundtrack of Neil's Imagination........"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is focussed on the audio aspects only; the story is epic and widely regarded as Gaiman's best work. So let's just take that part as read and move on:
    I have both versions of American Gods as audiobook, and I must admit approached this version with trepidation. If you have listened to the BBC radio Hobbit or Hitchhikers Guide or Gaiman's own "Plays for Voices", you know there is a pretty stark division between excellent audiobook and excellent audio theatre. Multiple voices in a reading verge *close* to performance, but then have all the "he said" and "she admitted"s that you'd think would break up the flow. Which it did. But only for about the first 10 minutes and then it just WORKS. The voices are dead-on perfect, you'll find things in the story you didn't find your first time (two times... five times....) through. I highly recommend this version, even if you already have the other one! Definitely worth the listen.
    The coda at the end for the cut scene is also fun.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Angel's Kiss

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Melody Malone
    • Narrated By Alex Kingston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (159)

    On some days, New York is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. This was one of the other days... Melody Malone, owner and sole employee of the Angel Detective Agency, has an unexpected caller. It's movie star Rock Railton, and he thinks someone is out to kill him. When he mentions the 'kiss of the Angel', she takes the case. Angels are Melody's business...

    Tabitha says: "Loved it!"
    "Fun prequel to Angels of New York"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An important point to note is that this is, in fact, a Melody Malone story. Just like it says on the cover. It is NOT a Doctor Who story. It's connected, it stars River Song (sort of) as a pseudo-hard-boiled detective. It leads nearly seamlessly into the Angels of New York episode. But if you are waiting for the Doctor or Amy or Rory or anyone else.... you're out of luck.
    That being said, this is loads of fun and I could listen to Alex Kingston all day. So I recommend it for super-serious Whovians or anyone else with a River/Doctor crush.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 8 mins)
    • By Martin Day
    • Narrated By Matt Smith
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (129)

    Matt Smith reads this exclusive audio story featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond.Intercepting a distress call, the TARDIS is drawn to a Shinto shrine in medieval Japan, where the Doctor and Amy are met by village elder Shij├┤ Sada. He explains that the ogre-like mannequins surrounding the holy site are harmless guardians, called Otoroshi.At the heart of the temple is an ancient jade pyramid, so sacred that only the monks may look at it.

    Spencer says: "Poetic Elegance"
    "Meh."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hate to say it, but Matt Smith is not the vocal actor that David Tennant is. He doesn't do a terribly impressive job with his vocal characterizations, and it's hard to hear the difference between him as narrator and him as Doctor. And the story is just.... lame. Straightforward. Dependent on luck rather than any skill. And the surprise is kind of a so-what. Why is any of the important stuff here, in this time and place? Why's it important? How is it supposed to connect to the overall story or the distress signal that supposedly lead the Doctor and Amy here? This doesn't really tell us anything. Go get a different episode.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Stone Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Rayner
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (698)
    Performance
    (449)
    Story
    (442)

    Mickey is startled to find a statue of Rose in a museum; a statue that is 2,000 years old. The Doctor realises that this means the TARDIS will shortly take them to Ancient Rome, but when it does, he and Rose soon have more on their minds than sculpture.

    Vincent says: "Be Careful What You Wish For"
    "Great! Shoulda been filmed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First: David Tennant is an excellent verbal actor. Sure, you're getting this because you liked Doctor 10. But stay for the fact that his vocal characterizations are excellent (and, when they're characters with whom we're familiar like Rose or Mickey, dead on). Narrator David Tennant speaks in his natural Scottish accent, while the Tenth Doctor speaks in his BBC voice. This alone is worth your cash.

    Second: This is an excellent story. Complex while not overly contrived. Well described. Neat plot twists. Works in overall continuity well (later 1/2 of series 2, I think). It's got time and space, and some funky timey-wimey-ness that makes it fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (Dramatized)

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 54 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By full cast, Greg Wise, Miriam Margolyes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    Algernon Moncrieff has invented an invalid friend, Bunbur, to call him away from is family duties. His friend Jack Worthing has created an imaginary brother, Ernest, to disguise his own misdemeanors. When Algernon turns up at the home of Jack's ward Cecily, only the truth - no matter how extraordinary - can put matters right.

    Ting-Yee says: "Yummy, fast 'read'"
    "Leave off the Stage Directions!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You know the material is funny and biting enough to make you cry. But darn-it, the stage directions distract without adding value. There are maybe *two* places where we need to be told someone is entering or leaving. The rest is really obvious from what the characters say OR could be made obvious through a touch of audio staging (door or walking sounds, for example). The intrusion of the superfluous narrator just ruined this one for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • King Richard III

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh, Geraldine McEwan, Nicholas Farrell, and others
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Written in 1593, King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. This play differs from its predecessors, being amore structured piece, examining the development and motivations of a single character, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who will stop at nothing to gain control of the throne occupied by his brother Edward IV.

    Donald says: "Another NAXOS masterpiece!"
    "Sound quality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a marvelous (and relevant) political thriller and the cast are first rate. BUT it sounds like it was recorded with a cell phone. This is particularly challenging in scenes where many characters are present - the sound quality obscures who's speaking.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Confederacy of Dunces: Free Version

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John Kennedy Toole
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    The hero of John Kennedy Toole's incomparable, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic classic is one Ignatius J. Reilly, "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter". His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.

    Margot says: "Audio improves upon print"
    "Audio improves upon print"
    Overall

    For many books, the audio format is merely a convienience - I can listen while driving, while it would be a very bad idea to try for text while reading. THIS edition is a marvelous expansion of the original due to the narrator's attention to dialect, accent and nuance. Anyone who's spent time in NO will recognize the vocal work. Nicely done.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Larklight

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Philip Reeve
    • Narrated By Greg Steinburner
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In 1851 a mysterious visitor to Art Mumby's space home has plans for a calamity that will destroy not only the entire British Empire, but also the known universe. Can disaster be prevented with help from Art's irritating sister Myrtle, a few exotic space creatures, and an extraterrestrial pirate?

    Margot says: "Great fun!"
    "Great fun!"
    Overall

    This is a magnificent story; great for the whole family, particularly if you have little Star Wars addicts like we do. Excitement, adventure, and a richly imagined and researched alternative history. In brief, this is a "young-orphans (not really, but they think so) make-good in the British Empire" story, with the added twist that, in place of the usual sea adventures, we have space adventures. HRM Victoria's empire includes the moon, Mars, and various Jovian satellites. Wow. The author manages to capture the speech and manners of Victorian England while still communicating to a modern young audience - no small feat! Fans of "real" history, particularly the history of science, will find fun tidbits scattered throughout for their consumption. Reeve does his homework.
    In the words of the narrator: Huzzah!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Areas of My Expertise

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By John Hodgman
    • Narrated By John Hodgman
    Overall
    (1105)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (350)

    In the great tradition of the American almanac, The Areas of My Expertise is a brilliant and hilarious compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom on all topics large and small. Although best sellers such as Poor Richard's Almanack and The Book of Lists were certainly valuable, they also were largely true.

    Margot says: "Wow!"
    "Wow!"
    Overall

    I must admit that I was a little dubious about this one. If you've seen the actual book, you know it is full of tables and lists and lots of other things that would seem to make for a truly horrid audiobook. What a great surprise! The audio version of "Areas...." is *completely* reworked, absolutely hilarious, and an excellent example to anyone who would like to work in this medium. Hodgman adds examples, music, and stories to replace the most of the hopelessly complex tables. This obviously took more effort than the typical "sit down and read it" audiobook, and it was well worth it. This is very very funny.
    Don't play it for anyone under 13; there is some risque language, and they won't get it anyway.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Tree House: Books 9-10

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 25 mins)
    • By Mary Pope Osborne
    • Narrated By Mary Pope Osborne
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In Dolphins at Daybreak, it's sink or swim for Jack and Annie when the Magic Tree House whisks them off to the middle of the ocean. Luckily, they find a mini-submarine on a coral reef. Unluckily, they are about to meet a giant octopus and one very hungry shark. Will the dolphins save the day? Or are Jack and Annie doomed to be dinner?

    Margot says: "Ok for the 4yr old"
    "Ok for the 4yr old"
    Overall

    The Magic Treehouse series is aimed at early readers. As such, the audio version is best for kids just on the cusp of reading - four and five year olds who can't yet tackle these books on their own. Kids love these stories. The reading is pleasant.
    However, these books make an excellent argument for getting Junior his own iPod.... they're mind-numbingly formulaic and represent research in such a simplistic way that it makes my teeth itch. It's like *listening* to an episode of Barney. If you want something the kids AND mom and dad can all agree on, I'd suggest trading up to Dragon Rider.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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