To me the most important review for any Jane Austen novel is the reader. Most likely you are familiar with the author. Emma is however, one of Austen's lesser known novels so I'll simply say, if you enjoyed "Sense and Sensibility" or "Pride and Prejudice", you will enjoy Emma.
I was surprised to see how many audible versions of Emma are available. How to choose? Happily, I spent a bit more and went with this version. Even Emma would approve this marriage of Jane Austen's writing and Juliet Stevenson's narration.
If you love the beauty of the English language used to it's best advantage (as Jane would say) you don't get better than Jane Austen (Shakespeare is a given) but any reader can do the exquisite writing justice. Juliet Stevenson is such a reader. Her tone reminds me of the great Julie Andrews. Soothing, expressive, imparting emotion with every passage, inhabiting the various characters with subtle differences that make each one distinct. Jane Austen and Emma would both be proud of their story as told by Juliet Stevenson.
Narration is always a big factor for me and Katie Firth does not disappoint. I like how she quotes from accepted historical documents and then fills in the blanks using her research to paint a picture of life as it was then. I learn more about history than dates and times. I get a sense of the people, how they lived and what they lived through during those times. It helps understand and remember who's who during the complicated Viking/Saxon period of history
Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory only because both women seem to be cut from the same cloth. Practical yet sentimental, survivors ahead of their time in more ways than one. Women who went against convention, listened to their intuition,
Katie Firth is terrific. I'm fairly new to her narration but will certainly look for her books in the future.
The most memorable character was Queen Emma's eldest step-son. The only name I can remember is Queen Emma's. The others are too complicated to remember without the book in front of me. I need flash cards.
PLEASE HURRY with Books 2 and 3 ! I didn't realize it was a trilogy when I started and was so disappointed to be left hanging. My history books tell me how it turns out but your story is so compelling, I'm having withdrawal.
Sad and depressing but lovely story about a unique life.
No. The story is ruined by the narrator who reads so slowly I had to put the app on 1.5 just get a slow/normal pace and this distorted her voice (and as bad as that was, it was an improvement). Terrible experience.
Anyone able to speak normally would be better. It was as if she was speaking to a very dumb non English speaking (or half deaf) person. It's so bad, I wondered if there was something wrong with the soundtrack.
No. I don't care about the book or the characters because the reader made me feel nothing but irritation.
Ken Follett has taken historical fiction to a new level. If history was presented to school children with as much excitement and empathy, this world would literally be a better place.
You will find no Fictional story with more excitement, intrigue, heroism and depth than
Not if I can help it. The lovely sound of his voice is overshadowed (for me) by his William Shatner style delivery. I expounded on this in my first review of this trilogy so I won't repeat myself.
Grigori or Volodya Peshkov - Grigori would probably be my first choice but both me, for the same reason. I feel they are cut from the same cloth (no only by genetics) but born into different times, will obviously have different fates. Both are men of honor, without many options. Unlike the British and German families, their path was not as clear. Oppressed people, even in Nazi German often have the choice to submit or fight and die. Terrible choices but clear cut. Grigori's government, country and family was so disorganized, unreliable and inconsistent that his choices weren't as clear. Volodya's not as much but similar. Both also seem less resolute and sure that his experience is the only experience worth fighting for. Both seem smart, open minded and honorable. An evening with either one would probably be stimulating and enlightening for us both.
The wait for Book 3 is tough.
Orson Scott Card NO. Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison YES
NO! Unfortunately, I did not realize what a sexist bigot Orson Scott card is when I bought the book.
No. Excellent job.
For good or bad, in our country, money is power so I try not to help make stupid people rich, famous and powerful. There are enough other great authors I can give my money to.
Funny, Touching, Intriguing
How do you compare Charles Dickens? I'll say, if you liked
David Timson brings life to the book. The way he creates characters, down to the smallest idiosyncrasy - a stutter, the speech pattern is remarkable, painting a picture in your mind of the complete character. If you narrowed the world of readers down to the best of the best, David Timson would be one of them, along with Ron Dale and Juliet Stevenson.
YES! but I specifically looked for a book too long to listen in one or two sittings. Even so, Our Mutual Friend is one of those books I wish I could forget so I could listen all over again.
One of the best audiobooks I have enjoyed. This was a Dickens book I've meant to read for years but not had the time. Thanks to audible, I was able to enjoy this during a recent bout of the flue. Great characters, interesting story and funny. Many times I laughed out loud. David Timson gets most of the credit for this as his narration was big part of the enjoyment of this book. It's not fair perhaps but I expect Charles Dickens to be extra ordinary. Finding a reader equal to him is a surprise.
Mr. Toots is was, for me perhaps the loveliest character and best developed narration. Absolutely brilliant, funny, touching.
David Timson makes Charles Dickens come alive. His acting skills rank at the top of the A-list.
For classics, good narration isn't enough. David Timson is to reading what Charles Dickens is for writing.
I love "sagas" but found this very hard to follow. The jumping back and forth from one generation did not add add anything to the story and the author often repeats himself. To make it worse, the reader's monotone, sing-song style did not help. It's hard enough to tell when Lee switches between characters, as he does them all the same. Couple that with the confusing story line and this was not a winner for me. Perhaps this is one book that must be read to be appreciated. (or read by someone else)
I recently was on a Jane Austen kick. Once finished, I began looking for a similar author. Elizabeth Gaskell was a good choice. I can't say "North and South" was as good as any of Austen's works but I enjoyed it. Juliet Stevenson is a large reason but however it adds up, enjoyment was the total. Very Austen like story, lots of conversation and relationship confusion but there is also a bit (small bit) of historical value regarding changes brought on by the industrial revolution. Sounds worse than it is. Good story.
This book really transports you to the turn of the century (20th century) and gives a sense of what it was like. The reader is just right for it too. He brings the attitude of that time to the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would say, if you like Jane Austen "type" books with a lot of character interaction, you'll like this.
Ken Follett's earlier works aren't my cup of tea but since "Pillars of the Earth", I'm hooked. Trouble is, listening to John Lee to read these sagas is like water torture. His sing song delivery is so annoying it's hard to focus on the book. It's a shame because he has a beautiful sounding voice but literally delivers 5-6 syllables at a time, over and over and OVER in a repetitive pattern like a nursery rhyme. To make it worse, not only does he pause rhythmically but delivers each short phrase sing-song going up at the end of each Ken Follett's story (pause) is so wonderful (pause) I hate to listen (pause) to an abridged version (pause) but don't know (pause) if I can take (pause) Lee's reading (pause) anymore (pause). I have to keep stopping (pause) See how annoying. I suffered through "Pillars" and "WWE", eventually listening to the abridged versions afterward just to get the bad taste out of my ears. What a shame to ruin these wonderful books with less than equal reading.
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