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Laura

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2011

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 104 ratings
  • 251 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • The Cider House Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (776)
    Performance
    (450)
    Story
    (449)

    From one of America's most beloved and respected writers comes the classic story of Homer Wells, an orphan, and Wilbur Larch, a doctor without children of his own, who develop an extraordinary bond with one another.

    Patti says: "Wonderful"
    "Very good, but could be great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think Cider House is one of Irving's best books. This recording is quite good, but I'd like to hear it redone by one of the top narrators. As is, it's still a perfectly fine recording and you'll probably still enjoy it. However, I think that if they chose to have someone redo it, it has the potential to be one of the best listens out there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ben-Hur

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Lew Wallace
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (98)

    An American classic, Ben-Hur is both a vivid historical epic and the powerful story of one man's spiritual journey from slavery to vengeance to redemption. Born the son of a Jewish nobleman, Ben-Hur is condemned to the galleys for life for accidentally dislodging a piece of tile that falls on the Roman procurator. He is betrayed by his best friend, manages to escape his imprisonment, and gains revenge and glory before the cheering multitudes in the chariot races at the Roman circus in Antioch.

    Stephanie says: "Beautiful & Thought-Provoking"
    "Very poor narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately, I bought this one without listening to a narration sample. I was eager to try out Ben Hur, having never read it, but the narration was so poor I couldn't listen to more than the first half hour.

    The narrator's rhythm felt unnatural, and hindered the understanding of the story. A good narrator should make the story come clear and alive, not baffling and unpleasant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chosen

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Chaim Potok
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (434)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (206)

    Though they've lived their entire lives less than five blocks from each other, Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders exist in very different worlds. Reuven blends easily into both his secular Jewish faith and his typical American teen life, while Danny's conservative Hasidic clothes and appearance make him stick out in any crowd. Their improbable friendship teaches them that the differences separating people through cultures and generations are never as great as they seem.

    connie says: "truly rates overused "classic" label"
    "Top notch audio book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellently written and narrated, one of my favorites out there. Definitely worth your time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Murders of Richard III: A Jacqueline Kirby Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Grace Conlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    When attractive American Jacqueline Kirby is invited to an English country mansion for a weekend costume affair, she expects only one mystery. Since the hosts and guests are all fanatic devotees of King Richard III, they hope to clear his name of the 500-year-old accusation that he killed the little princes in the Tower of London. Jacqueline is amused by the group's eccentricities until history begins to repeat itself.

    James says: "Good for driving"
    "Good Author, Mediocre Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible needs to get the Barbara Rosenblat version of this book -- she is a wonderful narrator and would make this audiobook so much better. Naked Once More, the last in this series is available with Rosenblat's narration -- you can listen to it and understand what I mean!

    Elizabeth Peters' books are probably my favorite guilty pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Die for Love: A Jacqueline Kirby Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Grace Conlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    The annual Historical Romance Writers of the World convention in New York City is calling to Jacqueline Kirby, a Nebraska librarian who desperately desires some excitement. But all is not love and kisses at this august gathering of starry-eyed eccentrics and sentimental scribes. As far as Jacqueline is concerned, the sudden "natural" death of a gossip columnist seems anything but.

    Laura says: "The Perfect Package - Great book, great narration."
    "Audible, please get the Rosenblat version"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elizabeth Peters is at her funny, charming best -- but the narration is terribly disappointing, especially when so many of Peter's books are read by Barbara Rosenblat!

    Audible needs to get the whole Kirby series with Barbara Rosenblat as narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Naked Once More

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    Elizabeth Peters has attracted a huge following of listeners with her ability to deliver snappy stories, witty dialogue, and appealing characters. In Naked Once More, Peters creates a heroine you won't soon forget, the flamboyant Jacqueline Kirby, popular author and outspoken ex-librarian.

    KatJD says: "A real hoot!!"
    "Narrator + Author = Great Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elizabeth Peters writes delightful, funny mystery stories. Naked Once More is solid Peters and quite enjoyable. But what makes it a great listen is the wonderful talent of Barbara Rosenblat. She is one of the top narrators out there, and what a difference she makes!

    The other narration option is not nearly as good as this one. Even if you've listened to the rest of the Kirby series with the other narrator -- by all means switch to Rosenblat for this one! I can't recommend Barbara Rosenblat enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bel Canto

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1665)
    Performance
    (838)
    Story
    (845)

    Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening, until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.

    Brian says: "Surprisingly engrossing"
    "Exceptional, not to be missed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook was my first introduction to Patchett, and my favorite so far. The writing is lyrical, the characters captivating, and the narration fits it well. Some other reviewers have criticized the ending. I agree that it's pretty sudden and I would have liked a few more chapters there at the end, but it's nothing to greatly diminish the overall quality of the book.

    This is one of the few audiobooks that will go on my best-of-the-best list!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magician's Assistant

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Karen Ziemba
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (627)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (352)

    When Parsifal, a handsome and charming magician, dies suddenly, his widow Sabine - who was also his faithful assistant for 20 years - learns that the family he claimed to have lost in a tragic accident is very much alive and well.

    glamazon says: "Patchett Has It"
    "Poignant and lovely"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to several Ann Patchett books, and this is one of my favorites. Great writing, great narration, it is worth your time and book credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Patron Saint of Liars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (111)

    St. Elizabeth's is a home for unwed mothers in the 1960s. Life there is not unpleasant, and for most, it is temporary. Not so for Rose, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed. She plans to give up her baby because she knows she cannot be the mother it needs.

    But St. Elizabeth's is near a healing spring, and when Rose's time draws near, she cannot go through with her plans, not all of them.

    Deborah says: "Incomplete"
    "Not her best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to a few other Patchett books--Bel Canto was my favorite, I also liked State of Wonder and The Magician's Assistant. I found The Patron Saint of Liars rather disappointing. Patchett still has a beautiful flow to her writing, but I found the character arcs unsatisfying and the ending was baffling and inconclusive.

    Still, it could be your cup of tea, and it's worth a try if you're a Patchett fan. Solid narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Grave Mistake

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ngaio Marsh
    • Narrated By Jane Asher
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (46)

    Despite two husbands being dead and a daughter marrying the wrong man, no one believed Sybil Foster would commit suicide, especially Roderick Alleyn. For the field was ripe with unfortunate engagements - one of them a very grave mistake.

    Charleen says: "what can you say about Ngaio Marsh"
    "Decent listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a pretty good story with pretty good narration -- but Ngaio Marsh can't hold a candle to Dorothy Sayers. I tried this out because I adore Sayers, and I don't regret the purchase, but it didn't get me hooked on the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • War and Peace, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (259)

    War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

    Mark says: "Definitely worth a listen..."
    "Excellent listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read War and Peace four years ago, decided to revisit it in audio format, and it did not disappoint! Neville Jason is by far the best narrator currently available (try out the others and you will see, I remember at least one of them being downright painful). Neville Jason does quite a good job.

    But I have been asking myself -- why don't we have someone as good as Neville Jason reading with an American accent? This is Russian literature. There is no reason that the English translation should only be in a British accent. My favorite audio version of Anna Karenina is also in a British accent. Believe me, I adore listening to British lit in British accents. But like I said, this is Russian lit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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