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Jan

Calgary, AB, Canada

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 301 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Foundation Trilogy (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov, Maurice Denham, Prunella Scales
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Beevers, Lee Montague, Julian Glover, and others
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (224)

    The opening episode begins on Trantor, capital of the Galactic Empire, with the meeting of Seldon and Dornick, their trial, and their exile to Terminus. The action then jumps forward 50 years, to the first Seldon Crisis, where the repercussions of the recent independence of the Four Kingdoms of the Periphery are being felt on Terminus, and are handled by the first Mayor, Salvor Hardin....

    James says: "How can you go wrong with a must read book for $2"
    "Great Content, Uneven Mastering."
    Overall

    I'm a big enough fan of fan of the books that the negative reviews of the sound quality didn't deter me from buying this item, especially given the low price. Yes, the sound quality is pretty lousy at times: on a few occasions the speech is garbled and/or muted to near-unintelligibility, and the interstitial music levels are way too high throughout. But rather than characterize the effect as being ear-bleedingly awful, I would say that it's a mildly irritating nuisance to the listening experience.

    Apart from the lacklustre sound engineering, the adaptation and the performance are excellent. The amusingly futurismic musical effects are just as dated as the golden age SF motifs of the narrative, and so add subtext: the past imagining the future.

    On the basis of great content with poor audio quality, I was going to rate it three stars out of five (three and a half, if I could). However, today I found out that the show is also available free of charge from another site, and judging from the reviews over there (and a cursory random listen on my part), that version does not suffer the audio quality problems that this one does.

    Presumably somebody at ABN (the distributor) dropped the due diligence ball when acquiring the material from the BBC. If the series truly has been released to the public domain by the BBC (as claimed by the uploading party on archive), then it's ridiculous that a commercially distributed version should have inferior sound quality to the publically available one, $2 price-point or not. Even if the archive item is an illicit upload by a fan, the fact that a superior digital version exists at all should make Audible embarrassed to be hosting this one.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Map of Time: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Felix J. Palma
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (138)

    Set in Victorian London, with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H. G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence. What happens if we change history? FĂ©lix J. Palma explores this question, weaving a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting

    CRISTY says: "Langton couldn't have done a better job narrating"
    "Definitely not for the young 'uns"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have an eight-year-old who reads well beyond her age, so finding suitable books for her can be a bit of a challenge. Scott Westerfeld's "Leviathan" is one of her favourite series, so when I saw his endorsement on the cover of this book (and skimmed the synopsis on the back) I thought it might be one that she'd enjoy. To be safe, and thinking I might enjoy it too, I purchased the Audible version to have a listen before I bought her the physical book, and boy am I glad I did!

    The opening chapter is a lengthy monologue about committing suicide, delivered in a way that falls just short of glorifying the action. The character in question comes across as very rational but completely resigned that this is their best option.

    In the middle of the third chapter there's a rather vivid sex scene that I frankly wouldn't be comfortable with my daughter reading until she were at *least* twice her current age. Oh, and the sex scene involves a prostitute whose husband is sitting in the next room.

    At this point I had obviously decided not to get the book for my precocious tween, but having never before quit an Audible title partway through, I kept listening for my own sake.

    By the time (about an hour and a half in) that the narrative got into details of Jack the Ripper's particular acts of mutilation, I simply lost patience with the story myself, and the grandiloquent style of the audio performance was a major contributing factor to this.

    Mea culpa for not reading the synopsis more carefully and for not recognizing from the cover that this isn't a YA title (which is where it had been shelved by the vendor).

    Please take my three stars with a grain of salt, as I've listened to less than 10% of this title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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