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reader and collector especially of vintage crime fiction and historiography - with an additional penchant for Umberto Eco

SYDNEY, Australia | Member Since 2011

  • 4 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 298 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2014

  • Jurgen

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By James Branch Cabell
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    James Branch Cabell's career was short-lived - his works fit neatly within the 1920s literary escapist culture and then quickly declined in popularity as the author veered away from the fantasy niche. In his heyday, Cabell garnered praise from several of his contemporaries such as H. L. Mencken and Sinclair Lewis. Lewis even acknowledged Cabell's successful Jurgen in his 1930 Nobel Prize address.

    Thomas says: "I think a must read..."
    "whimsical prose and a perfect performer"
    Would you listen to Jurgen again? Why?

    this is a book which repays rereading. The language, the plotting and the mischievous double entendre may have been compromising in 1910, but today it is refreshing and amusing with a delicate and wicked sense of humour - his name was Jurgen but what his wife called him "was often much worse than that"

    What other book might you compare Jurgen to and why?

    None, unless by Cabell. His Storisende series continually offers the sense of humour and mischief found here. Jurgen is the most accessible of the stories and perhaps the wittiest. after all, noone knows what happens in the dark.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    the very first - his meeting with the devil and the commentary on the place of devil and religion as necessary counterparts is superbly done and as funny a scene as is to be found in literature

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?


    Any additional comments?

    too good to miss, it is to be hoped that the rest of these wonderful books will be available on Audible, and with the same narrator.l especially look forward to the Cream of the Jest.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By G. M. Malliet
    • Narrated By Michael Page

    Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play.

    Madge says: "Burnt out antiterrorist/priest deals with murder"
    "NO Michael Innes - pretentious and banal"

    This book is not for everyone - indeed it is not for anyone. The author and narrator combine -one to misuse words, the other to mispronounce them. The story line is banal, trite and unattractive. So is the writing. It is to be hoped that the author is not a native English speaker - that would in part excuse the clumsy and inconsistent "style". The narrator too is like a ham actor in a B-grade company, so insistent on clear articulation that all sense and continuity of the narrative is sacrificed to this imperative. Neither are the characters developed in any engaging way. Overall, my chief response to this offering is one of surprise - surprise that it was ever published, even more that it was found suitable for inclusion in the otherwise excellent audible catalogue

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Ethan Hawke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

    W. Seligman says: "What more can be said?"
    "A superb production of a great american novel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade to be better than the print version?

    THE great anti war novel brilliantly read and convincingly performed

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade?

    ...and so it goes..
    the refrain of death

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    absolutely - and I wanted everyone i know to listen to it in one sitting

    Any additional comments?

    the reader and the book complemented each other to perfection. this is a great experience all should share - anti war but not anti soldier, not anti army - not anti patriotic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lord Mullion's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Michael Innes
    • Narrated By Hugh Laurie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At Mullion Castle, sumptuous stately home, we meet the Earl and his family, who include his delightful daughters Patty and Boosie, and dotty Great-aunt Camilla. Old school chum, Charles Honeybath, who has been commissioned to paint a portrait of the Earl's wife, finds himself at the helm of a complex investigation involving ancestral works of art and a young under gardener, Swithin, who seems to possess the family features somewhat strikingly...

    connie says: "a real treat!"
    "an actor but not a narrator"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Hugh laurie may be versatile as enactor but he lacks finesse and charm as a narrator. Michael Innes [J.I.M. Stewart] deserves better - and gets it in, for example, in Hamlet. Revenge. NOT RECOMMENDED.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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