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.
I care a lot about readers. They bring a story to life or kill it. Most authors should NOT read their own books but it's no surprise that Alan Cumming is the exception. His narration couldn't be better. Secondly, I care a lot about NOT writing reviews that contain spoilers. Please people, don't be so selfish. The publisher's summary has already explained what the book is about. I want to know how you felt about it.
There was a day recently, when I was feeling particularly stressed from a certain personal situation. I wanted something to take my mind off of it for a little while but felt like Goldilocks. I needed a book that wasn't too deep (couldn't concentrate) and wasn't too silly (wrong mood). "Not my father's son" was just right. It is meaningful but not dreary, well told and well narrated, with a message that we can and do triumph over adversity. Alan Cummings is a real life example that there is always hope.
I felt touched by Alan's story. His descriptions of the places, events and feelings he lived through were so good, I could easily feel I was there too. This is not "To Kill A Mockingbird" but it doesn't pretend to be. It is a lovely story of a lovely man's life experience and I feel better for having experienced it.
I am anxious to spare anyone else from wasting their hard earned money so I am dictating this with my phone in transit. If I repeat myself, please forgive.
It is hard to review the book because the narration is so god awful so the audio portion is my focus. Don't waste a credit. If you need audio, get the eBook and let your iPhone or other smartphone read it to you. If you want an audiobook of Cixi's story, try Pearl Buck's “Imperial Woman”, read by Kirsten Potter (compare the audio samples to hear for yourself).
Cixi's story is an interesting one. It can be fascinating or confusing to a young, Western reader unfamiliar with Chinese history, depending on how it is told. If Jung Chang's goal was to correct Pearl Buck's version of events and set the record straight, based on newly uncovered records, she missed the mark. Pearl Buck's skills as a storyteller are legendary. Few authors can stand up to that comparison and shouldn't have to. I was eager to experience Jung Chang's version of Cixi's story. Unfortunately, the audiobook experience was so awful I didn't get to. Still interested in Chang's version of Cixi's life, I then purchased a printed copy of the book. That was a year ago and I still haven't had a chance to sit down and read it. Meanwhile, during all my hours driving, walking, cooking, scanning, organizing … living, I'm listening to and recommending other books by other authors - authors who respect the skill of reading and understand the value of what it brings to a book.
Although I prefer audio books, I sometimes choose printed. Nobody enjoys every reader. That doesn't mean they're not qualified, competent readers. This is a different case. Kim's reading is plain and simple - god awful. If this was your own kid's reading you'd have a hard time suffering through it. She not only ruins any storytelling enjoyment that might've been had but actually gets in the way of the listener's ability to even grasp the story. Kim's stiff, halted, insecure reading, combined with a clear lack of understanding for the material she is reading combine for a horrible experience. She brings no life to the material, even struggling at times. There are audible pauses before and after certain words (obviously corrections during post-editing) accentuating the already inept narration. It's like a 14 year old reading her book report, without the charm.
Whoever approved the narration of this audiobook should be ashamed. Kim is apparently a working actress but audiobook narration is a separate skill. Some have it naturally. Kim doesn't. She has no other reading credits and this is not the book to start with. With all the qualified, talented readers who've paid their dues and would have loved the chance to read this book, it boggles my mind that someone approved this reading. Was Kim given the job simply because she's Asian, disregarding her lack of qualifications or ability for it?
I've heard unknown, self published, self read books, classics read by Libra Vox volunteers that were better than this. How does a major publisher like Random House, that has spent gobs of money promoting a book not get a qualified reader?
It makes me wonder - if an author and publisher don't think her book is worth better reader than this, why should anyone else bother with it?
Audible should be ashamed to offer a reading this bad. It demeans the art of narration and is an insult to anyone who takes pride in the skill of reading an audio book.
Sometimes you just can't get enough of a good thing. I have to admit, that's what it is for me with "The Princess Bride". The book is like looking through the cast's scrapbook, reminiscing with them about the many little things that happened during and after filming. It is touching and a nice way to re-experience the movie, rich for me could never happen enough. There are a few movies as beloved as "The Princess Bride". Thank you Cary, for sharing your memories with us.
This is a beautiful little children story that every adult should also read. The narrator did a fine job. The story is so short that to give almost any review is to tell it myself, so I won't but I recommend it to everyone. It will make your day a little brighter.
The narration was so horrible it ruin the book. Luckily audibles app allows speed adjustment. Otherwise it could not have made it through. This woman talks so sad lonely and without personality you have to have a lobotomy to follow her. By the printed book or the e-book and that your computer read it to you. It will have more personality. I personally find it narcissistic for an author to assume she can do everything. Just because you can write a book does not mean you're a qualified reader. It's a skill.
This certainly was no Jane Austen novel. It's rather uneventful, and dreary but if you love language as I do, you may like just the sound of it and Divina Porter is the best
A few original ideas maybe. Not sure this book can be saved for anyone familiar with even basic philosophy or who hasn't been under a rock the past 5 years. It might be a good introduction for someone who does not read and is unfamiliar with the basic concept of cause and effect.
Spend less effort spent trying to be "hip" and 'cute". It doesn't work. It comes off, not someone who IS hip but someone desperately trying to sound hip.
articulate, intelligible, average
The FIRST thing I'd do is explain to Ms Sincero the concept of a double negative "could care less"?! HOW does this get past an editor?
Ironically, the fact that Ms. Sincero was able to get her book noticed and sold is proof of what she says, that anyone can do anything if they apply themselves to their dream. Good advice and as I said, it's ironic that getting a book which simply rehashes the best of what's already been said, is proof that what she says works. Ha!
Anita's story is compelling for two reasons.
1) Unlike most near death stories which generally seem to be sudden (i.e. a car accident etc) and flooded with white light and images of loved ones - Anita was ravaged with cancer. Her death had been long time coming. Her organs had shut down so there is no confusion as to the miracle of her recovery, whatever the source.
2) Unlike most accounts of near death experiences, which seem to be "it felt wonderful" or "everyone I loved who had passed away was there" - Anita was able to describe and articulate what she LEARNED as well as what she experienced - and how she put it into practice resulting in life changes.
Anita's message that once we go back to the spiritual world - we know everything - hence, we don't need to spend or time on earthy trying to gain spiritual knowledge. We will know everything the moment we leave our physical bodies. We are supposed to just "be" here and now - THIS is the "show" - not the afterlife where there is no judgement. The spiritual world takes care of itself. Worry about being in our physical bodies.
yes and did
Meh. It's a bit redundant if you've listened to Radical Acceptance.
Tara Brach's advice is helpful and practical, (which is why her choice of reader does not support that).
Oh! so condescending. It felt like she thought she was talking to idiots or tiny little children (I'd give children more respect, personally). Her sing songish way of saying things so slowly in a small (phony) voice as if she was fearful of breaking bad news to a meanie who might slap her - made the book hard to get through. I finally just bought the printed version.
Personally, I do not like how "guided meditations" are sprinkled throughout the book, right in the middle of telling the story. Put them at the end or beginning or on a separate tape. I had to fast forward many times to appreciate the message fully.
The facts were stated in a clearly biased manner
Tell the facts as they were without bias toward the church and a lecture in morality.
Absolutely painful to listen to. Singsong, emotionless delivery. He sounds like Leslie Howard in Gone with the wind, passionless and condescending to the reader.
There was no characterization but he could have given more credit to William Marshal's story and less to the manipulative Bishop
Horrible. I wish I had my money back.
Report Inappropriate Content