I already have! Just wrote a blog piece about how incredibly wonderful these Simon Prebble narrations of Dick Francis's books are! I am so in love, or should I say, falling in love all over again with these stories. I have been totally entranced, and often want to prolong my morning walk so I can listen further. ;o)
I loved the whole background them of wine and whiskey, but what completely captivated me was Francis's well-drawn character of Tony Beech, who suffered deeply for many terrible reasons, but who put on a brave face in spite of his losses and insecurities. I found Prebble's interpretation of this character's most inner thoughts to be masterful. I'm still sad that it's all over...
Tony Beech - by far. Francis portrayed him subtly - yet it was so poignant, and so nicely meshed with the mystery that there was no distraction from suspense or feeling of "why are we going here?" The revelations - beautifully done - were spaced perfectly within the action/mystery.
When Tony Beech, British wine merchant, witnesses a tragic accident during a high-society garden party, he is drawn into a world of treachery and danger with enough twists and turns to satisfy the most gourmet mystery fan.
I wish I could shake Mr. Prebble's hand. He is simply brilliant.
I'm saving it in my library and will probably come back to listen to all of Ellis Vidler's book in the future. They are great books.
I really loved Ben Riley, a man's man. The guy was complex, strong as a bull, and smart. Claire was a good protagonist, but she kept making me mad at her. LOL. She seemed to want to run head long into trouble without thinking about her safety, and I could see why Riley would get frustrated with that. I also loved some of the minor characters like the old geezer who let them come into his cabin (and share his moonshine) after the swamp scene, and even the Senator in the end. All of the characters stood out as very unique and special - I never got confused as to who was who!
April did a good job differentiating the characters. I liked her male voices, but I felt her female voice was a little too "wobbly" in places. I mean that she made Claire sound afraid more than I would have liked - does that make sense? Overall, though, a great job. (there were several chapters in the end where the edits weren't done correctly - chairs scraping, etc. but I think this was probably an uploading error - wrong chapters? That's why I gave the performance a 4 instead of a 5)
I loved the tense action scenes - and the constant twists and turns. I couldn't wait to get back to the story, especially when things were heating up like crazy in the end of the story! That swamp scene will stay with me for a long time. Wonderful imagery!
I loved the step by step unraveling of Claire's past life - each revelation was more and more surprising, and I kept rooting for her to find her roots and family. It was a great mystery, great suspense, great thriller, and romance. All in one! Wonderful job, Ms. Vidler!
Definitely among the top and most entertaining!
I love the visions that Kate lived through - very realistic, yet spooky. The element of water/trees was revealed very nicely in the end when the body was found, in a unique and fascinating way. I also loved the scene when she broke into the villain's house, there were some very tense moments!
Jodie was outstanding - all of her voices were so unique. I think I particularly loved her Venice voice - that character was written beautifully and she played her well. Kudos to both author and narrator!
Absolutely! But then again, I wanted to savor it, to make it last. So that made it perfect to listen to on morning walks and driving to and from work. Delightful!
Ms. Vidler is a very talented writer, whose prose flows smoothly and whose dialog feels natural and real. I kept wanting the main character, Kate, to get "with it" and use digital photography, since she still developed film in the darkroom, but I thought perhaps the book was written before digital was widely available. I'll forgive Kate that! LOL. But I really enjoyed the tension, the suspense, the local color, the wonderful characters, and the satisfying ending. Thank you, Ms. Vidler, for another great listen!
I already have, several times actually. This book is totally out of my usual genre (mysteries/thrillers) and probably falls most squarely in the literary fiction category, but I was completely blown away by its beauty and pathos. The quality of the writing is absolutely top notch, and when that is coupled with two supremely talented narrators, the combination is riveting.
I loved the current tense in which the vignettes were told, alternating between Anita and Ben, and the immediacy of the sensations one experiences when listening. The voices are so authentic, the dialog just perfect. I am so in awe of David Kudler's ability to interpret the written word. He is astoundingly good. And Heather Jane Hogan is equally as talented - her Southern accent was impeccable! I've become instant fans of both narrators.
That's really tough, because I loved Anita, Ben, Lenny, and the three aunts. But I guess if I was forced to choose, I'd pick Anita. She was so honest and real, no pretenses. She'd been through so much. My heart broke for her in many scenes.
So many moments... but I think one of the most moving was when Ben went to visit his mother in the nursing home. So sad, so heartfelt...
I really loved this book, and I think it should win lots of literary fiction awards. It's just so powerful. But I didn't like the ending! Too much was left open, and I didn't get that warm, fuzzy feeling I crave. (Okay, so I'm a happy ending kind of guy). I think it could have ended shortly after Ben was kicked out of the house - this might have been a good point if there was not to be a happy ending! Aside from being disappointed that I didn't get to see the characters living happily at the end of the story, this book, its amazing narrators, and the beautiful scenes will stay with me for many years to come.
Yes, I would. In addition to the great action and suspense, I really loved some of these characters and would like to see them (listen to them) again! Of course I loved the main characters, Alex and Connor, and I was enamored with Isobel, but most of all I loved two minor characters, Jelly Biggs and Jax, the dog. They were just outstanding. Jelly reminded me of an innocent, gentle giant. I really loved him.
There were many nail-biting scenes, and all of the villains provided great fodder for lots of chasing and running and heart pounding action. But most of all I loved the scenes between Jelly and Alex - he was just so endearing, in spite of his bumbling ways. ;o) I liked the scene in the dark cottage when Connor and Alex were sitting under the blanket and eating shrimp. There is a very strong "sense of place" in this book, which I always enjoy. ;o) Excellent romantic tension, too.
I really liked Teri's performance's on the whole. A few of the voices seemed a tiny bit overplayed, but I sure could never do such a great job differentiating the voices. I loved her Southern accents, especially Isobel's.
The last scene where Alex sat beside Jelly's hospital bed and defended him to the lady detective - loved that. ;o)
I'm off to listen to more books by Ellis Vidler! Kudos on a job well done.
It's very hard for me to place this among my other audio books, which are all either mystery, suspense, or thriller. This is a totally different style of book, so it would have to be looked at as a standalone. That said, this is a superbly produced, high quality piece of work. The story is beautifully written and the narration is top notch.
Although this type of parable-style story set in distant desert lands was completely out of my usual genre, I found it fascinating, and was disappointed when it was over.
I loved the narrator's amazing array of voices. His accents were so well done, I was blown away by his interpretation and acting skills. I will be looking him up to see what else he does in "real life," for he sounded as though he could have done a one man show on Broadway, he was "that" good.
No, but it piqued my curiosity constantly. I loved the twists and turns and symbolic nature of the story and objects highlighted within.
A surprising gem among books - take a listen!
The scene painting was outstanding. I felt like I was "in" the scene at all times. I loved the suspense and page turning nature of the story, as well as the characters. Realistic, natural dialog!
The chase in the swamp really grabbed me. Jack and Grace were first driving, then running, through swampy land in a bad storm. Fantastic sense of place, heart-pounding suspense, and a very tender moment between the two.
Not only did I fall madly in love with Michelle Ford's voice (English accent), but I loved this poor woman who struggled so hard to believe that all she'd ever known to be truth was a ring of lies. (great title, by the way!) I wanted to protect her and help her, like FBI agent Jack West did!
Why, of course, Grace! Or maybe that wonderful couple who helped raise Jack when he was a boy, they ran an inn - I loved them, too. They were folksy and full of charm!
This book was an easy and enjoyable listen. I didn't want to stop once I started.
While the mystery and action scenes are most enjoyable in this second book of the series, Ms. Amsden has a unique talent for painting relationships, especially for describing those in turmoil. I must say, there was a great deal of arguing and so much misunderstanding, sometimes I just wanted to knock some sense into Cassie and her dark, mysterious love, Evan. In spite of my impatience with their constant friction and lack of communication, it probably reflects today's society more than I'd like to admit. After all, these are just kids (21). I yelled at them frequently, trying to get them to talk to each other.
And what's with the big family feud between their parents? What really happened in the hospital in that 24 hour period when Cassie and Even were born only one day apart? Could it be true? (no spoilers here)
I also loved the twists and turns and new mysteries that were revealed throughout the story and was VERY relieved with one outcome about two victims who I was really upset about initially, but then Ms. Amsden redeemed herself (just kidding about the redemption, but I'm trying not to spoil the story line here, and when you read or listen to it, you'll know exactly what I mean!).
The fire in the barn was too realistic, made me shudder! Very well done! And the scenes in the haunted cabin felt real/creepy to this listener. Great fun.
Most of all, I felt impatient with Cassie for not forgiving her mother when she was in the hospital. She should have dropped that darned attitude, forgotten about past problems, and just run to her mom's side! (See? I was totally pulled in and the story seemed so real, once again I was yelling at Cassie! LOL) Thankfully, she finally did the right thing and that was most satisfying, especially the scene where she learned more about her mom's history than we'd ever expected!
I was very unhappy with the ending, though, because I am a happy ending guy who wants everything resolved NOW. I guess we will just have to follow these two kids onto books three and four and see if they can finally get together! (can't wait for the next book, seriously)
All in all this was an enjoyable listen with great mysterious and romantic overtones - recommended as the second listen in the series. (best read/listened to in order of release date)
This book is the sequel to book one in the Cassie Scot series, and was a consistent, smooth follow-on story.
Ms. Reizian is a reliable, talented narrator who keeps voices consistent and does so from book to book, which is important. Her deeper tones allow her to do the male voices very believably and also to differentiate all characters.
Yes, when Cassie finally went to her family in the hospital and then to her mother's side.
Ms. Amsden's writing is polished and smooth, without a hitch. It takes years to develop such a skill, to be able to "write like you talk" so that the reader isn't pulled out of the story with artificial snobbery or words characters wouldn't use. I love reading/listening to a story that moves forward so effortlessly, yet tells such a compelling tale! Kudos!
Looking forward to the next in the series!
I would say this book sits comfortably within the top 15% of all books I've listened to this year. It's professionally done, with a lovely narrator who seems to really understand the main character and her complex personality. I really loved her voices and could distinctly tell the difference between Inola, Stephen, Elise, and all the others. Even the little four year old boy (Brandon) was wonderfully portrayed!
Absolutely! Even though I'd read the book last year, I was still completely captivated, rooting Inola Walela on, yelling at her or the others to look behind them or hurry up, and worried about that little boy and Inola's grandmother.
Now that is a very tough decision. I loved so many of them, even the minor characters like Stephen's mother and sister, and Cody, who died within the first few pages. Of course, Inola is wonderful (she's the star!), but I sometimes got mad at her for not telling Stephen what she needed to tell him - for not trusting him to love her no matter what happened, and for not sharing her activities with him! But that's Inola, she is so independent!
No - I wanted to savor it for a few hours each day. I didn't want it to end too soon!
Ms. Ledford has a smooth and engaging writing style that captivated me from her very first book. I'm glad to hear she is writing another book in this series!
Absolutely. I plan to re-listen to these books just like I listen over and over again to John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series. Jayne Entwistle brings the series alive; I absolutely adore her voices and characterizations.
I loved the first book, but I think this one was even better, if that's possible. I loved the strange and brilliantly described characters, such as Rupert, Mad Meg, the grieving mother, and the bizarre scenes in the dovecote (which I'd never heard of before!), the amazing details of the village, villagers, and times in history. The whole thing is just pure delight.
Mad Meg's voice was wonderful. Of course Flavia's got to be everyone's favorite, but these featured characters are tops. I love the accent she uses for both Meg and the cook!
Yes - when Flavia found the mother in the dovecote holding a vigil for her poor son... great scene.
I hope Mr. Bradley is writing fast. ;o)
A delightful mystery. (that's not fair, I have so much more to say, LOL)
There were so many great scenes, but I really loved the last scene where Goldy is running from her assailant and ends up jumping in the moat, then slogging through the snow to find help. Great action!
No, but I must say this woman has a great deal of talent! Her accents were outstanding, her voices all different, I absolutely loved her voice and interpretations. I loved the accent she used for Suki (sp?), the wife of the castle owner.
When Tom and Goldy finally talked about the elephant in the room - Tom's old girlfriend.
This was my first Goldy Schultz mystery, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't care for the recipes, however, since they seemed very unhealthy and fattening! Made me want to go off my diet, which is bad for a diabetic, LOL. But it was fun cooking alongside Goldy, regardless. ;o)
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