Fortunately the author and her agent have negotiated a change in her copyright contract to allow the sale of the unabridged version. Part of the agreement is that the abridged must remain available but that hopefully won't tempt anyone with a modest amount of good sense. After all how can you modify a book so large into such a small recording? (not without mangling it bad) The author is well known to dislike the abridged versions of her novels and is anxious that the remaining one, The Fiery Cross, be available in unabridged form around Nov. of 2011. As always I recommend reading the novels in order to get full benefit of the story of Claire and Jamie: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and Echo in the Bone. Each is technically self standing but each builds on its predecessors and you will be very happy to discover older characters and evens. So if you haven't read any of the Outlander series yet do start with the first, Outlander. You'll be glad you did. A Breath of Snow and Ashes is worth waiting for anyway. :)
This is the fourth novel in the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon. It's one of my favorites and like other novels in the series is a stand alone. I strongly recommend, however, that these novels be read in order as each contains spoilers of previous books. What Gabaldon does, if you can imagine, is paint a large historical tapestry but does so in books that can stand alone. This one contains romance and adventure, tragedy and comedy, and any fan of Gabaldon's will be greatly pleased.
This is the second novel in the series, presently at seven, of the "Outlander" series by
Diana Gabaldon. I read it first and regretted it. While it is self sufficient (self supporting without need for other books) it contains a good deal of material which will ruin the first novel, simply titled "Outlander," (hence this name for the series of novels) in my opinion. Since I am a great fan of Gabaldon and this series I'll strongly suggest you read all seven novels, although two, The Fiery Cross and Breath of Snow and Ashes, are not available as unabridged books. You'll need to purchase the actual hard back or paperback book for these two (books five and six of the series). DO NOT buy the abridged form. They lack far too much detail and too much of the actual stories themselves IMHO. In many ways Dragonfly in Amber is my favorite of the series, possibly because it was first and provided the motivation to read (and listen to) all of the novels in the series. This is a grand book, Dragonfly in Amber, but I hope you will heed my caution and read/listen to "Outlander" first.
This sixth novel of Sara Donati comes as something of a reward to those who have enjoyed the first five novels in the "wilderness" series. This doesn't mean that it isn't a stand alone novel, because it is. But readers of the first five will be rewarded by this story that ties up so many loose ends. It doesn't have the high drama of the earlier novels. That has no place in this novel which contains the expectations and hopes and fears of those who have come to like the series. Highly recommended, although I would recommend the other five be read in order first. And make no mistake. This is the last novel in the series.
This is the second novel in the series of six "wilderness" novels written by the author. In order, for your reference: Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore, Lake in the Clouds, Fire Along the Sky, Queen of Swords, and The Endless Forest.
These novels should be read in order although each is self-contained. They do, however, refer to previous novels and its most helpful to read them in order. I strongly suggest you read them in order as that will definitely enhance your interest. It's also easier to keep track of the many characters in each novel if this is done.
All of these novels are quite lengthy, hence the cost of two credits. They're worth it. All contain highly original and fascinating stories about the Bonner family, set in rural New York during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Set on the edge of the wilderness they represent a fascinating story of the history of that period although I wouldn't limit their impact by merely thinking of them as historical novels. They should be considered literature of the highest kind.
I read all of the stories in hard copy form then purchased each of the six in unabridged form from audible.com. Long gone junkies of this series will read and listen to them again and again. I had some trouble with my iPod in listening to them and was careful to manually start or restart each of the three parts of this and the other novels at Chapter 1 of each Part. If you don't do this the audible.com recording will sometimes drop the first paragraph or two when each new part is played. This is not true simply of this series. Be careful when listening to all novels that have two or more parts. This novel has three parts of approximately 8 hours each.
I've listened to more than 200 audible.com books, primarily classic literature as that's my background. This series represents one of the best I've found in a lifetime of reading. Highly recommended. Definitely five stars.
Sara Donati is the pen name for Rosina Lippi who has also written books under her own name. This is the first of six novels in the "wilderness" series and I warn you, you may not be happy until you've read them all. This tale of the Bonner Family is a rich one and written from an accurate historical perspective. For fans of Diana Gabaldon it will be a happy surprise to find a reference to the principal characters of Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, also a best seller and what led me to Donati in the first place, as I'm a very big Gabaldon fan and she recommends Donati's "wilderness" series. This reference to another author's works is unique in my experience and Gabaldon fans will hang on every word that refers to the "outlander" series. You won't want to save to your iPod if you get started with this story, but it's so long you won't be able to hear all of it in one setting. And it's because of this length that the cost is two credits. It's well worth it! But speaking of iPods, mine had a tough time playing this in correct order. In moving from Part to Part the story wasn't picked up properly but skipped the beginning at each Part's start. But to avoid this all you have to do is manually move from Part to Part and indicate you want to start at (the iPod's) Chapter One. This is an easy novel to rate a five. It's that good.
My iPod really struggled with this unabridged edition. There is a gap between Parts I and II which I never could repair and found myself not "catching up" with the actual novel until Part III. Yes. I read this novel at the same time as I listened to it. This is my third rereading as I'm a great Gabaldon fan and have read all her novels. And clearly this novel is the precursor of the 8th novel in the Outlander series, all of which are great reads. But to return to the problem....my iPod really struggled to link all six parts. There was another problem between Parts 5 and 6 and it is important to keep track of which Part you're on so that you can restart it at the correct chapter of the iPod. Approximately 1 1/2 paragraphs is lost between three and four and another paragraph between five and six. Clearly there's a good deal missing between Parts 1 and 2 and I never did find the connection.
Narration, BTW, is excellent. Do NOT make the mistake of trying to listen to Gabaldon in abridged format. There's a long story behind this but Book 5 should be available unabridged later this year but Book 6 won't follow until 2015 due to the copyright and licensing. An Echo in the Bone is the seventh book in the series and clearly is a harbinger of Book 8, still in progress and not due until 2012.
So listen with caution and consider manually changing between Parts by clicking on Chapter 1 of each part to make certain you don't miss anything or get lost in the content. I still rated this as a five even with all the iPod frustrations. I should also mention that I'm fairly certain some of this is audible.com's fault in how the book was originally split into parts.
This book has an incredibly high rating from more than 2000 Audible.com listeners. There's a very good reason for this. Buy it and you will not be disappointed.
The University of Kansas, located 30 miles from the state capitol, did not have a single member of the faculty even attend any of these meetings. This university has a student population of over 30,000, is ranked among the top 10 land grant universities in the country, has graduated more Rhodes Scholars than ANY university west of the Mississippi River (incluuding podunk schools like Stanford, UCLA, CalTech, etc.). It was one of the original "backbone" universities of what became the Internet. It ranks in the top 10 of all universities in the number of incoming freshman with national honors scholarships.
The biology faculty at KU likely doesn't tolerate fools and has no interest, nor does any other academic or high school teacher in the state, in attending the school boaard's meetings which are open to the public and required to allow anyone in attendance to state their opinion. Is it not coincidental that not a single one bothered to even attend?
Listen to all four days of meetings. Try to find a professional who testifies other than some weirdo PhD from Kansas City who runs some sort of pharmaceutical comp;any and who states that his wife converted him into being a "born again Christian" (a phrase I suspect former President Carter would not appreciate). I've forgotten who the other niut is but the other guy actually sounds like he's making a reasonable argument and has been "featured" at all such gatherings in the past.
Don't believe everything you read.
Don't believe everything you hear.
Google this. Articles in the Harvard student newspaper are probably the most humorous.
Notice that this was "provided by the Kansas Board of Education." I hadn't seen that before and only guessed in my review of Day 2 that they were the source.
It's yet another part of their attempt at publicity and/or make the rest of the residents of our state look like complete fools. Further "education" of our biology teachers would cost a fortune. There are no text books for them to use at our universities and colleges. And there are no text books available to students considering the first two to actually be possible.
I suspect every biology teacher in the state, if forced to comply with their "recommendation," would quit teaching and find some honest profession like selling used cars. (My apologies to any lurking used car sales personnel.) One suggestion has been made that each biology teacher be provided with five clown costumes, one for each day of the week, if something like this ever passed. That's not especially clever but is representative of the views of Kansas citizens. I daresay that this collection of political loose wing nuts hoodwinked Audible.com because of their title. In a state like California the State Board of Education has some serious responsibilitiies.
I forgot. They board does have the authority to hire or fire the secretary who takes the minuutes of their meetings. Please understand that Johnson County, KS,, where these fools largelhy come from, is one of wealthiest counties in the country. Quite a few crackpot ideas that are well financed originate in that county as a consequence. Few, if any, other candidates run any election or have any funds to be used in the election. The group of nuts that support these idiot ideas are reasonably well financed and I can count on getting a post card from at least two of them every election.
The catch phrase is: "I don't support either side and plan to keep an open mind."
What kind of fool would even say that? To gain votes? Give me a break.
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