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Douglas

Brookline, MA, United States | Member Since 2010

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 24 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • David Copperfield

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1166)
    Performance
    (732)
    Story
    (741)

    Based in part on Dickens's own life, it is the story of a young man's journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among its gloriously vivid cast of characters, he e.ncounters his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; the frivolous, enchanting Dora; and one of literature's great comic creations, the magnificently impecunious Mr. Micawber.

    Darwin8u says: "More saints per capita than any book by Butler"
    "great reading of a great book"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and this reading and was sad when it was over. I like Dickens but reading his novels (or even listening to them being read) can sometimes be a chore. Not so here. Vance's reading of the first-person narrative--an adult David recounting his youth--strikes just the right note. His performance of all the many characters and their various dialects is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Trials of Oscar Wilde

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Gyles Brandreth
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    On 18th February 1895, the Marquess of Queensberry left a visiting card at the Albemarle Club on which he had written: "To Oscar Wilde posing as a sodomite." The accusation led to a series of three trials and the imprisonment of Wilde. This compelling dramatic recreation has been carefully compiled from the original trial transcripts.

    Gwynne says: "Wow! What a performance!"
    "Not the book by Michael S. Foldy as advertised."
    Overall

    This is NOT the book of that title by Foldy, which I have in hard copy. The recording itself proclaims (after "This is Audible"): "The Trials of Oscar Wilde. Performed by Martin Jarvis. Compiled by Gyles Brandreth from the transcripts of the three trials heard at the Central Criminal Courts in London in April and May, 1895." This is interesting and useful but not what I ordered.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Ambassadors

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Walter Zimmerman
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    When Chadwick Newsome lingers too long in Paris, his mother, a wealthy New England widow, sends her fiancé, Lambert Strether, to fetch him home. Newsome refuses, extending his stay, while Strether finds himself lured by the intrigue of Parisian life. Published in 1903, The Ambassadors is regarded as a masterpiece of American fiction for its exceptional structure, its moral significance, and its depiction of the contrasting New and Old World cultures. Henry James considered this his finest novel.

    Donna says: "Worst narration ever"
    "servicable recording of James's greatest book"
    Overall

    If you're prepared for a book written in James's late style, with its labyrinthine sentence structures etc., and plan to read it as well as listen to it, this could be a useful recording to you. The reader is pretty good, but the audio quality is often poor, as it is apparently transferred from old tapes. At times it even speeds up and slows down! Still, it was helpful to me in a first reading of the book, which I enjoyed immensely. Now I understand why many including James himself consider it his best novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Awkward Age

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The interwoven relationships of a close circle of friends involved in the launching of two young ladies into society and marriage are examined through repartee.

    Julia says: "Not worth it"
    "oh dear"
    Overall

    The best thing that can be said about this recording of a great though difficult novel is that it exists, thanks to that great pioneer of audio books Flo Gibson. It is an old recording transferred from tapes and the quality is sometimes poor. The big problem, though, is that this is a difficult novel to begin with and Gibson's monotonous style doesn't help. She doesn't have much range for differentiating characters' voices and that is crucial here because the book is play-like, written almost entirely in dialogue. Having already read this novel once, I listened to this recording in the car strictly as a supplement to a careful re-reading at home, and to that limited extent it was useful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Maisie Knew

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Shunted between warring and neglectful divorced parents and caring governesses and step-parents, little Maisie lives in a bewildering world in this heart-rending novel.

    Alain says: "Fine late James"
    "enjoyable second reading"
    Overall

    Having struggled once through Henry James's late prose style in What Maisie Knew, I appreciated it a lot more the second time with the help of Flo Gibson's recording. This is the only audio of this book that I have been able to find, and Gibson's style works pretty well here, although it is sing-songy and monotonous at times. I often went back to read sections I had heard to better pick up the humor and nuances. The sound quality is not great; a few words here and there are inaudible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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