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.
A Peek at Bathsheba: The David Chronicles, Book 2, is a literary gem. Ms. Poznansky has paired her luscious telling of the life of David with a narrator most worthy. Mr. Justin Harmer's voice is liquid gold, with intonations so deft and moving that it's hard to imagine anyone else telling this story.
The story of David continues from Book 1, Rise to Power, through the third of the series, Edge of Revolt, just released. I plan to listen to the last book and hope Mr. Harmer will narrate this one as well.
David, the powerful narcissist who can wipe out entire villages with not a shred of guilt, yet who adores his (many) wives and children with most surprising tenderness, grows from youth to old man within the series. We experience frequent flashbacks or references to his youth in this story as well, which ties his life together very nicely.
I love Ms. Poznansky's evocative writing, and here is just one of many poetic scenes that moved me, describing David watching Bathsheba when she first came to his chambers:
"I sit at the edge of the bed, utterly fascinated by her beauty. Her
lashes are long, they flutter over her cheeks, and her hair waves
around her face with the rhythm of her steps. It glows like copper
under the flaming sconces, but when she crosses in front of the
window it turns blue against the moonshine."
You can call me a romantic, but this scene came alive for me with these and all of the well-chosen words in this novel.
Thank you, Ms. Poznansky, for allowing us to continue to believe that America still has great writers who carefully construct each sentence, and who can tell a great story at the same time.
- Highly recommended by Aaron Lazar
Yes. When the narrator is as good as Phil Gagante, there's no question that the story comes alive in the audio book version. I'm certain I would have loved the read, too, but this was an outstanding production I highly recommend.
As a father, this book terrified and thrilled me. I related to Jack (main character, husband to Dee, father of Natalie and Cole) so well that I was tethered to this audio book night and day. My worst fears were developed in this story of terror, loss, and survival. I often imagine what I'd do if I couldn't care for my wife, daughters, or grandchildren. The idea of someone coming across the yard to kill them is horrifying, as is the idea of them starving to death or dying of thirst. How would I react? Would I become a killer to save my family? How clever would I be when it came to surviving with no tools, no access to a car, no money, no food...would I be able to do it as well as Jack did in RUN?
Again, the character of Jack was beautifully portrayed. Although this is a thriller/horror story, the deep love of a man for his wife and children shone through with the talent of the author and actor. Wow, so well done!
Yes. I won't mention the graphic parts, which grossed me out (I'm not a horror reader normally, but I fell for this author's style in PINES and had to read more!) I related so well to the father - I was tense and scared for him and his family the entire time. Of course I knew it was fiction, but it affected me on such a primal level, I couldn't sleep!
Kudos to Mr. Crouch for his tight, suspenseful writing, superb scene painting, and natural dialog. There is not one moment where Crouch dropped the tension. RUN was a phenomenal roller coaster ride!
Top one percent. I was completely and totally captivated by this story. I didn't want to go to work. I waited for the last possible minute in the parking lot at a doctor's appointment. Honestly, I just kept saying, "What the HECK is happening to this guy????" So many questions ran through my brain I could barely keep them in check. ;o)
There's no question - the hero of the story wins this honor. Ethan Burke gets my vote because of his incredible strength, resilience, and courage. I wanna be him when I grow up.
Mr. Garcia's performance was dependable, easy to listen to, and included just the right tough of emotion. Very well done.
It made me crazy with curiosity. There are few books I've read or listened to that have done this to me. One was The Bird Box - but I hated its "non" ending. This book had a very surprising and satisfying ending. The only parts I really disliked were when the townspeople turned crazy and were so violent. I didn't think that was necessary and it seemed a little over the top. (too much gore, etc) I also didn't quite believe that Theresa would sit back and let her husband be killed so easily - she was upset, but not enough. My humble opinion, of course!
As a writer of 22 books, I sat back in awe at Mr. Crouch's talent with words. Wow. Truly an amazing presentation with secrets cleverly revealed, little by little. Outstanding plot, wonderful characters, believable dialog, amazing scene setting..overall, superb writing - absolutely beautiful.
Intriguing, Fun, and Satisfying.
I've enjoyed all the characters in this series - and it's hard to chose a favorite. But it would be crazy not to choose Cassie, since she's the star, so to speak, and since we mostly see the world through her perspective. I enjoy her dry wit and blunt honesty, although sometimes she makes me want to shake her and say, "Wake up, for goodness sake!" She's not as honest with herself as she is with others - so there's a bit of self-delusion and denial always going on in the background. Fortunately, this is all resolved in this last book of the series, with a very satisfying result. ;o)
I loved the scene where Cassie and Evan finally put aside their anger and talk to each other. The bedroom scene was very well done. And the part where Cassie refused the item Evan was offering her was sweet and heartwrenching. (I'm being purposefully obtuse because I don't want to spoil the story for others who might not have read it yet.)
Again, I can't say specifically which scene I mean, but it's where someone we all love and care about is reportedly killed. I was actually quite angry when I listened to this scene, and planned to have some words with the author! But she redeemed herself beautifully, with a solution to this problem which caught me totally unaware - and which melted my heart. Well done, Ms. Amsden!
I was very disappointed in what happened to Cassie's cousin, Jason - but I know why he made the choice he did. I just hope in the future (I know this is the last book in the series, but in case there is ever a sequel...) that Caitlin really doesn't go with him and let him turn her - for the sake of her baby! That would be horrible. ;o(
Thank you, Ms. Amsden and Ms. Reizian Frank, for a wonderful, entertaining production.
A Scottish Romance
Well, of course I loved the two border collies! At risk of being predictable, Anna was a wonderful character, so strong, so real, so vulnerable. She was my favorite. ;o)
Ruth is an amazing narrator. She did a superb job with the Scottish and English accents. I wished I'd known her (because I am an American male who grew up near Cape Cod, much like the Luke character!) so I could have coached her on just one or two mispronounced American words. But heck, as a woman who is not from this country, she did an astounding job of getting it right. I could never hope to be that natural sounding in another land's accent! Her versatility was also amazing - from female to male voices - all were clear and really believable. She gets an A plus!
I loved the ending - which I will not spoil here. But it was beautiful and satisfying. ;o) Especially loved the description of the white/cream/sea green house. ;o)
My favorite part of this story was the setting. I've never been to Scotland, but now feel as if I have visited. The word paintings were beautiful and evocative. Brilliantly done. I also found the plot and dialog very believable and totally captivating. Thank you for a wonderful job, Ms. Howard and Ms. Urquhart!
This is not a book for James Patterson fans. It's for those who love poetry, love to think, love the power of words. To those types of readers, I would most definitely recommend TWISTED.
I loved the imagery of Ms. Poznansky's writing. She is a dreamer and an artist, and the wild flights that her mind takes are fascinating.
My favorite scene/story within this collection of four stories was the one told from a clay figure's point of view., FROM DUST. I loved how well Ms. Poznansky gets into the minds of even an "inanimate" object, bringing the statue to life with power and possibilities. Amazing.
Four women - their loves, lives, and anguish.
Heather Jane Hogan (the narrator) is truly outstanding. I found the first story, however, to be spoken to ponderously, too slowly. I had to speed up my playback to 1.25, which felt about "right." I never had to do that before. All of the other stories felt perfectly timed. I think perhaps it was done purposefully because of the storyline, so it's understandable. Another note: it was quite shocking to realize we were hearing the innermost thoughts of a dead woman! ;o)
The taut suspense had me hanging on by my fingernails. I loved the mysteries that were slowly unwrapped while the main character, Liz Daniels, desperately searched for her children. The emotions Liz experienced felt genuine and rang true - I can only imagine the horror of having your children disappear, and the entire sequence of events was spellbinding.
Aside from the riveting action and suspense, I loved the sense of place. The Adirondacks and "farm country" NY are places I'm very familiar with, and the descriptions resonated with me. Beautifully written, with "lifelike" dialog and inner thoughts, Ruin Fall sis one fine piece of fiction!
This narrator is so talented, it's really hard to pick a favorite. Of course the main character, Liz, was portrayed flawlessly. Even the children - six and eight year olds - sounded right. The male voices are well done, too. Cassandra has a talent for infusing emotion into her voice without overdoing it - I love her work.
Absolutely! It killed me when I couldn't continue listening, and the book kept "calling" to me!
I loved Ms. Milchman's first book, Cover of Snow. It totally grabbed me. But this book, I believe her second, is EVEN better. I will be recommending this to all my reader friends. Thank you for a truly professional production and a beautifully written story.
Uvi Poznansky's lyrical writing pulled me into this historic story with such power, realism, and poetry that I was immediately drawn into the scenes. I felt immersed in the battles and drenched in my enemies blood. I felt myself swagger over the battlefields in armor and helmet, carrying a spear, exultant in anticipated victory. But that was just one of the aspects of this tale. More than anything, I was deeply intrenched in David's mind and thought processes throughout the entire story. What a ride!
Frankly, I've never been interested in this type of story - historical, biblical, drama or epic tales. I am a passionate fan of mysteries and suspense, mostly in the current day. But when another book is written by this outstanding author, I would definitely read or listen again!
Interesting - absolutely! Insightful - almost frighteningly so. How this author puts herself in the mind of such a man astonishes me. Her ability to think and speak like a man -- and a man living many centuries ago -- was formidable. Ms. Poznansky portrayed David's inner thoughts better than most men of this generation could possibly have done. Kudos!
Nothing - this narrator was outstanding and on target. His voice changed and matured as the character aged. I loved his interpretation of each character, and his amazing range of voices was delightful. I'd listen to him read the newspaper, to tell the truth. Great job, Mr. George. I do wish, however, that my daughter (Melanie Lazar Carbonneau) had written the music for the song that was performed over and over again ("Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands..") I think she could have provided a more interesting musical theme!
I am often reluctant to read or listen outside of my normal, very predictable genre. But I'm glad I did. I can see this book (and others written by Ms. Poznansky) offered in the future as classic literature in future writing or reading classes. Truly, I think this book will become a global classic. Thank you, Ms. Poznansky, for taking such care with your writing and production. This was a stellar production.
I loved "coming home" to Cassie and her life after enjoying the first two books in the series narrated by the same actor, Melissa Reisian Frank. It's difficult to keep the second, third or fourth book in a series as fresh and interesting as the first book, but in this case, Ms. Amsden has done a wonderful job. It was fun to see Cassie's role in the community and politics expanding, to meet more community members, and to see that she is indeed, capable of being "almost" taken advantage of by a mind mage. Seeing her vulnerability made her more endearing. I do not know this imaginary world of magic except through Ms. Amsden's books (I read mysteries and thrillers aside from this) but she has made it a very real world. I find myself accepting the outlandish with a sage nod, because it is handled so well in this series. I also continue to want to "slap both main characters upside the head" as they say, because they drive me crazy with their blind focus. What is wrong with Evan? Why wouldn't he want to relinquish that which isn't his if he loves her? (no spoilers here) And why can't Cassie see he loves her? He has shown her in all but one way. She is really still very young, however, and that's the answer. They're both kids, in their early twenties, and this is not surprising behavior for this age group. So again, very realistic in that sense. My favorite part of the story was when Cassie discovered a big secret about her past and started brewing her own concoctions. Although I was a little confused that her mother could still infuse magic into them even though she was originally a "drained" woman who had lost all her magic. (It may have been because she was currently pregnant with magical twins.) I also loved the scene where she found her own strength and stood up to the horrible men who claimed to be Christian but who were veritable monsters in disguise. Great scene, perfect for the temperament of the series.
Both Cassie Scot books - Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective, and Secrets and Lies are great companion books. I do recommend reading/listening to them in order!
Ms. Frank's voices are consistent from book to book which is nice, again, like "coming home" to a world you know and have missed. I enjoy her unique voices for all of the characters.
When Cassie warned Evan of the upcoming danger, and where he told her he loved her in spite of the fact that she despised him.
The triangle of Matt, Cassie, and Evan was most interesting - great angles here. And I loved the "surprise" in the Sheriff's office staff - no spoilers, but it was a nice twist!
I loved the taut suspense and lush sense of place. I already adore The Adirondacks, and winter is one of my favorite seasons, so this book was a real pleasure to listen to. The characterizations were superb, the writing smooth and interesting, and the fast paced action never let me take a deep breath. Loved that.
This book was actually very unique, but perhaps it could be in the same category as Joan Hall Hovey's THE DEEPEST DARK.
Cassandra's voices were distinctive and consistently recognizable, and I felt the emotion of the character through her narration. Outstanding job!
When Nora Hamilton wakes to find her husband dead one winter morning, it's just the beginning as one secret after another is revealed during a wild roller coaster ride through the snowy mountains.
I listen to a lot of "good," books, but this really stood out as one of the best in a long, long time. I keep thinking of the story - days later - and that's always a good sign! Thanks for a wonderful listen. ;o)
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