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AJ

Alexandria, VA, United States | Member Since 2005

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 122 ratings
  • 381 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Lion in the Valley

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Susan O'Malley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her Egyptologist husband, Emerson, and their precocious eight-year-old son, Ramses. The much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid is theirs for the digging. But there is a great evil in the wind sweeping through Cairo. The brazen moonlight abduction of Ramses and an expedition subsequently cursed by misfortune and death have alerted Amelia to the presence of a notorious looter of the living and the dead.

    AJ says: "Terrible narration"
    "Terrible narration"
    Overall

    I accidentally got this one instead of Barbara Rosenblat and was appalled. I couldn't even get through an hour of this monotonous American voice. It is so atonal that one cannot discern the difference between the characters--which makes getting through even a half-hour more frustrating than entertaining or relaxing. What a waste of a credit!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3102)
    Performance
    (2765)
    Story
    (2771)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Or, Caspar milquetoast takes a hike."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better book.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Adventure.


    What does Jim Broadbent bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Voices


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Protagonist was a loser when he started, couldn't take responsibility, couldn't finish what he started, and remained that way. Only reason he finished was someone else forcing him to. Fine, he accepted his memories but never seemed to learn anything and never made the sacrifice of another meaningful or worthwhile--if i were Queenie i tell you i would be regretting my selfless actions all the way into the afterlife. Why is this a best seller? Silly question, here I went and bought it myself...


    Any additional comments?

    The Guernsey Literary and Sweet Potato Pie Society was a better listen in this genre, though the narrator was truly talented in bringing you into that story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On Basilisk Station: Honor Harrington, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2356)
    Performance
    (1721)
    Story
    (1713)

    Honor Harrington has been exiled to Basilisk station and given an antique ship to police the system. The vindictive superior who sent her there wants her to fail. But he made one mistake: he's made her mad....

    gerry says: "Damn you Steve Gibson"
    "Narrator ruined it for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not particularly. The narrator read as if she was reading a book to a child; Honor came off as something of a goody-goody at times, and I would have enjoyed the ship's cat more if it actually did anything. That bit was shades of that gods-awful "catalyst." Barf. So, if the narrator hadn't been so--what, didactic? prissy? condescending? I would have enjoyed the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of On Basilisk Station?

    The narrator. Yeesh, I can't think of anything but that voice.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Narrator could sound like she was actually narrating, not just reading the book at a children's hour.


    Could you see On Basilisk Station being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No. It would have to stand in line behind Jack Campbell and Lois McMaster Bujold, just for starters.


    Any additional comments?

    Not bad if you're desperate and have run out of Scalzi, Bujold, Correia, sort of thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jungle

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler, Jack Du Brul
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1290)
    Performance
    (778)
    Story
    (792)

    Jungles come in many forms. There are the steamy rain forests of the Burmese highlands. There are the lies and betrayals of the world of covert operations. And there are the dark and twisted thoughts of a man bent on near-global domination. To pull off their latest mission, Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon must survive them all.

    Noreen says: "Another great story"
    "Engaging read"
    Overall

    Keeps your interest; better than the dirk pitt or the l'il pitts. Little slow in portions, but lots of action--typically miraculous at times--it is a classically cussler/dubrul adventure story where the worst of both authors gives way to the best of both. Definitely worth a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (126)

    Thomas's Duchess is no ordinary cat. She's a purebred Barque Cat, trained to patrol the ship on which she serves, sniffing out oxygen leaks and spotting other problems. But when a corrupt government announces it has found an epidemic that requires the impounding and possible destruction of animals across the galaxy - Barque Cats included - two young people, a kitten, and a mysterious, powerful cat with a hidden agenda, are all that stand between the galaxy's animals and total destruction.

    John says: "disappointing"
    "Who's impersonating McCaffrey?"
    Overall

    Very bad. The narrator sounds like an 8 year old reading a story to her baby sibling and the content/dialogue is about that level as well. This book might be great for kids who exchange pictures and anecdotes of their cats' cutesy antics AND dress them up in baby clothes with a little bonnet. Nauseating. It can't be McCaffrey unless she's been body-snatched by a prepubescent alien with a troubling cat fetish. Wholly agree that the thing was long on cat-thoughts (and not particularly intelligent ones, mind) and short on everything else.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2121)
    Performance
    (1101)
    Story
    (1122)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Waste of time."
    Overall

    Partial spoiler alert. Barbara Rosenblat's narration was the only thing that got me through this book. Regrettably, I didn't fully hearken to earlier reviews and bought this, but I fully agree with the review that classified the psychologic ruminations of the characters as "drivel," and also with the reviewer who pointed out that for all the investment of time listening, it is difficult or impossible to determine what the point of the book actually was. It had a disappointing ending too, not so much because it was tragic, but because it seemed almost too tackily predictable--perhaps the author bored herself to tears as well and had to end it all quickly.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kydd

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Julian Stockwin
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    It is 1793. Europe blazes with war, and, to keep the French bottled up, Britain sends a naval squad to patrol the Channel. Press gangs roam the streets and Thomas Paine Kydd, a young wig-maker from Guildford, is seized.

    Brian S. Dunkelberger says: "Kydd"
    "Excellent narrator and book"
    Overall

    After having listened to the Aubrey series, and read the Lord Ramage and Hornblowers, I can say this one is right up there. The narrator is excellent,and enhances the story line immeasurably. THis was a true pleasure to listen to and I am disappointed beyond words that there are no more audible books in this series, let alone by this narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Daniel M. Pinkwater
    • Narrated By Daniel M. Pinkwater
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Combine a crime, a criminal, a fat man in a fez, and a guy named "Chicken Man", and you get a zany sci-fi adventure that defies gravity to bring you a mind-boggling feast. As Wizard of Comedy Daniel M. Pinkwater transports the Snarkout Boys and the Rat through the tunnel under North Aufzoo Street to the warmth of Beanbenders, you'll meet some strange characters and learn much about the versatile avocado.

    Valerie says: "My All-Time Favorite!"
    "A nice children's book"
    Overall

    I was taken by prior reviews, thinking this might be akin to a Pratchett novel--amusing as a work of otherworld fiction, but tucking in some very satiric and witty adult observations. This is a book appropriate for the fourth or fifth grade. No more, no less. I hung on only by virtue of dogged determination and was unrewarded at the end by anything other than a sense of relief that it was over. By all means, tuck it onto your child's iPod, but don't go there yourself unless you need to put yourself to sleep on a transatlantic. Sound quality is not good; and the narrator sounded remarkably like he (as well as I) was nodding off from sheer boredom by Chapter 20, which was 20 chapters too long for any adult not seeking to rekindle a previous memory of "when this book was interesting." Be told.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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