Jayne Entwistle is a super star among readers, but especially here where her talents are wonderfully showcased by the main character in this amazing, brilliant and entertaining series. Start at the beginning and read them all. I cannot wait for the next book by Mr. Bradley.
My expectations may have been too high for this sci-fi story because of the glowing recommendation it received from Richard Dawkins. I have read several of Professor Dawkins books and learned so much from them. He is a wonderful teacher and makes his points with clarity and wit. While "The Black Cloud" started off well, and certainly fulfilled the key points which Prof. Dawkins highlights in his introduction, the second half of the story really faltered. I found the stereotypically characters too predictable, even though there was much truth in the condemnation of politicians of all stripes and the praise of scientists in general. Two things really prevented me from being able to enjoy this listen. First, the reader was not my cup of tea, especially his portrayal of "Joe," which made listening to these sections almost unbearable. Second, any work of science fiction is liable to be limited by the time in which it was written. Some fare better than others, and this one fares poorly. One must willingly suspend all knowledge of the technical achievements in computing of the last 50 years to get through the second half of the book, especially the concluding 30 minutes. While I want to give this book the benefit of the doubt, if you do not think you will enjoy a book which seems a bit silly at the conclusion, given your understanding of the state of technology today, this may not be the book for you.
One of my favorite series of all times. Ms. Robertson has created some wonderful characters, especially that of the heroine, Harriet Westerman, a thoroughly modern woman living in the England of the 1780s. Her friend and partner in detection is also a great character who probably suffers from a mild form of Asberger's syndrome, or so it seems to me. Each succeeding novel is better than the last. Jenny Sterlin is very good as the narrator, with the exception of her Austrian accent! Highly recommended to listeners who like complicated plots, historical settings, fully developed characters, and a lot of local color. I only wish that Davina Porter will read her next book!
The book holds together pretty well and provides a few heart pounding moments. Suspects abound and the author keeps you somewhat guessing. But the heroine does whine a bit, especially about being fat. Some of the action seems very contrived and the hopeful ending is completely unbelievable. To be believable, the story should have taken place over a few months instead of over 10 years. The worst part is the narrator's attempt at a male Norwegian accent. Because of these problems, I hesitate to recommend the book.
This is not simply a talented reader bringing to life a great work of fiction. It is a fully cast performance, a highly dramatic work of theater. I never wanted the story to end. Like all great works of fiction, while it entertains, it also is a window on human nature. As a woman, I especially like that the main character is a heroine who has all the derring-do of any swashbuckling young hero in the many books I have read featuring a young man as the main character. Readers of both genders who enjoy fantasy fiction will fall head-over-heels for this classic tale of good against evil in a fully conceived and populated alternate reality which so closely mirrors our own.
I have enjoyed every previous novel in this series by Laurie R. King but this one really is a dud IMHO. The plot is as boring as it is preposterous. It is difficult to listen as the intelligent and resourceful Ms. Russell is reduced to a secretary and gal Friday for an annoying troupe of theatrical types. The worst of all is having to listen to our heroine whine and complain about the absurd and incomprehensible situation in which she finds herself. She has arrived at this low point in her career ostensibly to avoid spending time with Mycroft Holmes. I can only say that had she decided to hang out with her brother-in-law a much better novel may have been the result. No spoiler alert from me - I gave up after listening for only 2 hours.
Sherlock Holmes has proven to be a character for the ages. Here is another pastiche based on the brilliant consulting detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over 100 years ago. Laurie R. King has certainly come up with one of the most unusual versions of Sherlock Holmes' later years. Brought to life by the reader Jenny Sterlin, the young Mary Russell and Sherlock himself will keep the listener well entertained with many a wild and rollicking yarn as the series continues through at least 10 more books.
Of course, John Lee is one of the very best readers. I search for his books. The story is simply brilliant - keeps you riveted the entire time. And I discovered an India I had never imagined.
Informative, entertaining, clever
Van Gogh - for obvious reasons!
I am addicted to Van Gogh's work, not least because of the unusual life of the artist. I have been to Arles and Amsterdam to better understand his oeuvre. By listening to this book, I drew closer to the man who has eluded me all these years. I discovered our common love of Japanese prints and the paintings of Jean Millet which I first admired in Boston's MFA. It was a treat. The author brings the painter to life. I did not realize that Van Gogh could paint with words as well as with oils. This little book was a delight. I listened to it on the plane as I traveled to Ottawa to see the "Van Gogh Up Close" exhibit. I look forward to listening again now that I have seen so many more of his masterpieces "up close".
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