Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 

You no longer follow BarnRat

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow BarnRat

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

BarnRat

50ish retired public radio news broadcaster, female, rancher. I love good writing from historical fiction and interesting, off beat mysteries to history of religions and interesting biography coupled with excellent voicing. I have no use for poorly delivered reading. I'll suffer though so-so writing if the content is engaging, but if the narrator is bad, I'll buy the book and read it myself.

Member Since 2012

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 129 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0

  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15462)
    Performance
    (9800)
    Story
    (9682)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Slow, Predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you want to read good period historic fiction, this is a rough way to do it. This is my first Gabaldon book, and I had high expectations. I kept thinking that any moment it would get complex and colorful. Nope. If you are a fan of Phillipa Gregory's work, this hardly even pales in comparison. My title says it all, slow and predictable. The narration is plodding as well. All in all, a waste of a credit.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Firebird

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (943)
    Performance
    (860)
    Story
    (863)

    Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird - the mythical creature from an old Russian fable. Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna who leads her into the past on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

    Sue says: "More heavy on the romance than the historical"
    "Good story and history, strident narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved learning about the early history of St. Petersberg, briefly the lives of the Czar and his wife, and the role St. Petersberg played in the Jacobite era of English history. The modern day romance was predictable, but the Jacobite era story was a satisfying continuation of the first book. The narrator was very loud and strident and didn't match the personality of the modern day heroine at all. Her accents were good, though, and I give her lots of credit for pulling off English, Scottish and Russian accents quite well. It is very hard to not compare this series to Diana Gabaldon's work. It pales next to that, but if you have finished all of Gabaldon and long for more, this is a reasonable replacement. Also, if you are interested in telepathic communication, you may find this interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8048)
    Performance
    (7377)
    Story
    (7385)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Overwraught message, tediously overwritten"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is probably entertaining to people who live and thrive in New York City. Lots of place names and iconic experiences, etc. But GAWD so much language, narrative, exposition and flat GOING ON AND ON AND ON. This story could have been told in a quarter the time with far more impact, not to mention far more entertaining. With 9 hours still to go - I was determined to finish because a friend liked it - I started fast forwarding through the mini chapters and found I only needed to hear the first minute of each to follow the thread of the story just fine. I wish I'd discovered that way earlier in the listen. And really, it is hard to care about someone who is such an unremittingly bleak and clueless character. I got so tired of his uttering "Huh?" and "Sorry?" when the most obvious thing in the world is going on. Good lord preserve me from this sort of droning on, existential, dark naval gazing. Run while you can.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3334)
    Performance
    (2363)
    Story
    (2367)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "Simply Outstanding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is by far the best fiction I've listened to or read in my lifetime. You cannot go wrong with this entire series, "The Australian Trilogy," of which this is the first book. Bryce Courtney is a genius storyteller, and this history of the founding of Australia is pin-you-to-your-chair riveting listening. Humphrey Bower is masterful in his narration. I understand he narrates all of Courtney's work, and I can see why. Get this book and enjoy!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9439)
    Performance
    (6945)
    Story
    (6987)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Tim says: "True Blood PG13"
    "Witches, Demons, Vampires are Dying Out!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What if witches, demons and vampires were all around us, leading day to day "normal" lives? What if they faced discrimination because of who they are and had to hide their true identities? What if witches fought among themselves for old secrets and lost power? What if vampires had a strong moral sense and a powerful sense of family? What if they were all dying out? That's the set up for this well told, beautifully read adventure in magic and time travel. Witches and vampires as scholars at Oxford and Yale, and demons as geeks, artists and sweet oddballs. Throw in the search for an ancient and spellbound alchemical text, and you have the first volume in Debra Harkness' "All Souls Trilogy." Great story that I never wanted to end - thank heavens for the "Shadow of Night" - and masterfully narrated by Jennifer Ikeda.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5786)
    Performance
    (5191)
    Story
    (5180)

    Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

    Hallie says: "Even better than A Discovery of Witches"
    "Witches, Demons and Vampires Are All Around Us"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What if witches, demons and vampires were all around us, leading day to day "normal" lives? What if they faced discrimination because of who they are and had to hide their true identities? What if witches fought among themselves for old secrets and lost power? What if vampires had a strong moral sense and a powerful sense of family? What if they were all dying out? That's the set up for this well told, beautifully read adventure in magic and time travel. Witches and vampires as scholars at Oxford and Yale, and demons as geeks, artists and sweet oddballs. Throw in the odd human as the Queen of England, the Duke of North Umberland and William Shakespere and you have Debra Harkness's "All Souls" trilogy of which this is the second book. Read "Discovery of Witches" first. It's a great read and makes this book even better. The narrator for both is outstanding!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady of the Rivers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (713)
    Performance
    (622)
    Story
    (615)

    Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream. Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy.

    Bonnie-Ann says: "Philippa back on track"
    "Outstanding story, beatifully read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, another great piece of historical fiction told by the incomparable Phillipa Gregory. She combines exhaustive historical research with masterful story telling.


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

    No, I wanted to make it last and last. I was sorry when it ended.


    Any additional comments?

    Gregory's inclusion of magic and intuition as legitimate expressions of female power during a time when women were all but stripped of any power is compelling and beautifully rendered. This story of Jaquetta Woodville, a little known character in the back story of the "War of the Roses" is simply stunning. Anyone interested in English history of the 15th century is in for a delicious adventure with this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Expected One

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kathleen McGowan
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (102)

    Two thousand years ago, Mary Magdalene hid a set of scrolls in the French Pyrenees: the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, her version of the life of Jesus and the events of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, these sacred scrolls could be uncovered only by a special seeker, one who fulfills the ancient prophecy of L'Attendu, the Expected One.

    Sheila says: "the Expected One (unabridged)"
    "Good Story, Painful Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kathleen McGowan and/or Linda Stephens?

    I read The Poet Prince, the third book in this series, first and enjoyed it immensely. That led me to want to read the preceding two. While this book provides interesting insight into the Mary Magdelene information, I didn't enjoy the writing as much as the third book. The characters are fairly shallow, and the emphasis on designer clothes and expensive malls and hotels is trite and boring. All that quickly became something to simply get through in order to get to the meat of the information regarding the Mary Magdelene cults, about which I think Ms. McGowan has done some great research. The Poet Prince is a more engaging story with the same characters more skillfully drawn as well as fascinating characters and information from Renaissance Florence. I will read the second book, The Book of Love, rather than listen to Linda Stephens again.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader was far to "prim" sounding in general while her tortured attempts at the various accents were just painful to listen to. In addition, her phrasing and tempo of McGowan's writing sounded completely off. She often split phrases meant to follow one and other as one thought, and most of the time she read the material far too slowly and affectedly. I will buy the next one as a book and read it myself.


    Was The Expected One worth the listening time?

    A much better read than a listen, I'm sure.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator for the third book in this series, The Poet Prince, is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4751)
    Performance
    (1637)
    Story
    (1646)

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "I never wanted it to end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already recommended this book to all of my "books on tape" friends who enjoy a good tale. The writing is fantastic, the story or I should say stories within the story are expertly told, and the narrators fantastic. The complex characters are wonderfully and believably developed, and the locations, a dim and crowded,antiquarian book shop in London ,and rambliing old manor houses in the North of England, are vividly brought to life. I found the story full of interesting plot surprises,not predictable at all, thank heavens. All very believable, though, and true to the time period.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Thirteenth Tale?

    I'd like to go back and listen again because now some of the early events will have so much more meaning. I love the image of Margaret climbing around in the old ruin of the Angelfield manor house and of her exploring the old, overgrown gardens. And then there's the image of the twins stealing the perambulator with the baby inside and Adeline sailing off down the hill!


    Have you listened to any of Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have only listened to short clips of Bianca Amato reading from the White Queen. She is really a pleasure to listen to. I've not listened to Jill Tanner in anything else. She was wonderful here, simply fantastic as Vida Winter. She WAS Vida Winter!


    If you could take any character from The Thirteenth Tale out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    It would be Vida Winter's doctor years after the events in the story. He would have so much background information about Miss Winter's later life and household, and he might feel freer to tell me all about it after years have passed. Or I might go have a pint with John the Dig, simply because he was such a very good and honest man who knew his way around a garden.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like an excellent story, you will not regret buying The Thirteenth Tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.