If you only read one of Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Aurthurian" series then make it the "Mists of Avalon". I started with "Mistress of Magic" and "High Queen" then read "Mists..." and was dissappointed. "Mists of Avalon" is a good read, Richardson's performance is excellent, but the story is like an artists pencil sketch compared to a more complete portrait. I wish I had read "Mists of Avalon" first.
I am a great fan of Asimov's Robot & Foundation series, I've read all of the books and want to listen to all of them also. My problem with this dramatization wasn't the performance, but the lack of audio editing. The voices were fine, however the sounds effects were so loud compared to the vocals that it actually hurt my ears.
Let me start by saying that I love this series. The world that Jean M. Auel has developed with the landscape, plant and animal life, the peoples living at the time demands a story of this scope. Having made that statement I found myself becoming quite annoyed with the repetition of background information that was well established in the first two books and reinforced in the third. I think that the time in between books made the author feel that she needed to create that following books as standalone books. However, I felt that if someone was starting with the fourth book in a series of six that they deserve to be confused instead of boring the rest of us to tears.
Sandra Burr once again gives an outstanding performance.
I waited until Ms. Auel completed the series of six books before I started listening to them. Her handling of the story line continues to be strong as she continues Ayla’s quest to find the Others, along with Jondalar and their four-legged entourage. However it soon became tedious listening to the rehashing of Ayla’s history every time they met new people. Maybe I should have read them as they were published so there would be some memory gap which may have kept it less annoying. Having two strong character’s from different backgrounds means that there will be misunderstandings and for all the adapting and compromising that takes place in this story the hardest to overcome is that of Pride, something that hasn’t changed through the eons. Through all if it, I couldn't wait to start listening to the continueing adventures and wanting to find out what happend next.
First reading The Clan of the Cave Bear is not required in order to start The Valley of the Horses. Jean M. Auel introduces all the information necessary to bring you up to date on Ayla’s past history and starts the parallel story of two men starting their journey from the other side of the continent. You will be introduced into the landscape of the geography, animal life and cultures of other peoples existing in this period. Ms. Auel once again, shares her detailed research into all these aspects as well as the strong character development she created in Clan of the Cave Bear. Sandra Burr continues her excellent narration of the story with her rich voice ranging the scope of all the characters.
I loved the research and character development that went into recreating the world of the Clan Bear for our understanding. The full portrait of the world at that time, how the people in that world interacted with their environment and with each other.
The strongest moments in the story are the two times that Ayla was banished from the Clan. Her strength of spirit to survive what was paramount to a death sentence when she did the only thing she could do to insure that her son would survive, the first time when he was born and the second when she was permanently sent away from the Clan when the leadership of the Clan changes and a devastating earthquake hits the land.
I had not heard Sandra Burr before this book and was pleased to see that she narrates the rest of the series.
This is a story of survival, the ability to adapt to a changing world.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Clan of the Cave Bear and being reminded of how special it still is after reading it so many years ago.
With the “Harry Potter”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “Narnia” phenomenon from the last decade, I was skeptical about another wizard story. I was glad to hear that the author incorporates these influences as tongue in cheek references instead of trying to claim any originality with the concepts.
This is a coming of age story which starts with The Magicians and continues to completion in The Magician King. A typical group of young people, trying to find their place in life, the kicker is that they possess magical skills. The main group is formally trained with one exception, a witch who was excluded from acceptance to the school, but whose innate abilities cannot be stifled and pursues her magical drive as an outsider.
The characters in the story have their own strong characters and aren’t lost behind the main personality of Quentin Coldwater. In fact I liked that the secondary characters find their own paths independently of Quentin’s, who is the last person to put the pieces of his life puzzle together.
All in all, it is a good read with a story that is contemporized enough to stand on its own.
I love period literature, American, European, British, especially when it incorporates historical events for the backdrop of the story line. Bernard Cornwell’s story is wonderful, I wanted the character of Nick to overcome the natural barriers of his station and circumstances presented in his life, and it was refreshing to see his “betters” recognize his abilities and give him opportunities to shine. I will include the story of Agincourt in my list of favorites but with a big caveat. I was disappointed in the narration.
Charles Keating’s presentation was flat, two dimensional when compared to the action and emotion that the story presents. I was never sure where the peaks or valleys were when I listened to the story. I felt at the end that my experience with Agincourt will not end until I actually read the book.
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