I think the problem with The Year of Reading Dangerously is that it doesn't know what it wanted to be when it grows up. Does it want to be a memoir about someone's relationship with books or does it want to be a book of literary criticism or critic. The problem I had with the book is, that though the author performed his book in an entertaining manner, I found that there wasn't a coherent structure to bind the whole thing together. What I thought I was getting was a brief commentary on all the 52 books Mr. Miller had read in his year of reading, but that is not what I got--I got a hodge podge of personal reminiscences sprinkled with pompous intellectualism and peculiar assertions about men and reading and the role of a husband. He was good at blathering on about obscure, contemporary books and out of print biographies of a particular type of German rock music and didn't say a word about important books that he'd read like Jane Eyre and Frankenstein. On a whole I feel that Mr. Millers book was more an exercise of mental masturbation than something truly meaningful about the books he's read--what he said was meaningful to him--but he didn't seem particularly concerned about whether the reader, his audience got anything out of it, in fact he encouraged us to skip an entire chapter dealing with a scathing fan letter he never sent to some French author.
The bottom line is if you want to read about that says meaningful things about famous works of literature, this isn't for you. If you want and clouded, muddled, and somewhat infuriating book about the authors strange and unconventional life, then have at it and have fun. Now that I have completed it, in spite of Mr. Miller said I needed to read the book 2-3 times to really "get it" I have other books I'd rather read and get more out of. I am even contemplating hitting the delete button and depositing it in the recycle bin. Good luck, if you've already bought this title--you'll need it.
Thanks Audible for making this short story available. Fun and enjoyable short prequel to the Her Royal Spyness series. It was a simple and sweet story, but I don't want to give anything away. Excellent performance by the reader as usual and a must have for Royal Spyness fans and great intro for those new to the series.
I have had a love/hate relationship with Stephen Kings writings over the years; I either loved or hated many of his books and TV miniseries. In this case Mr. King takes us back to the 1970s in a mystery/horror tale about a young college student struggling to come to grips with the loss of his first love. Mr. King's 70s are a bit anachronistic as he mentions things that either were not prevalent or hadn't been heard of in 1973. Devon Jones, is a bit too sensitive and effeminate for my tastes as the big hero of the piece, and the carnival talk he learns as he works at the Joyland Amusement Park sounds a bit clichéd'. I really couldn't decide if this was supposed to be a mystery, a horror story, or a coming of age story. We have the usual King potboiler cast of characters, the sensitive youth, psychic handicapped child, a somewhat lack-luster psychic who goes around giving Devon dire warning that he doesn't heed, and the ghost of a murdered woman who lives in the haunted house of the park. The performance of the reader was very good and I certainly don't fault him for my mixed emotions about the story. If you are expecting big chills you're bound to be disappointed, but the mystery part of the tale is entertaining without the help from the paranormal part of it.
Final analysis: Joyland is somewhat of a hodge podge of the types of things you've come to expect in a King novel--if you like his usual stick, you'll like this, if you're kind of over the formula than skip it. It rather fails as a mystery novel or a supernatural one--it's a book that didn't know exactly what it wanted to be when it grew up.
I would reccomend this book to anyone who wanted to know the true history of Highclere Castle, although I wish that the family history had been followed through to the present day.
I discovery of King Tuts Tomb was probably the most memorable moments.
I've not listened to any other McCaddon's performances, but I felt this was a very good one.
A self determined woman makes a difference in her world.
If one is looking for a tintalating tale of family intrigues and scandals (like the TV Downton Abbey) this book is bound to dissapoint. At best the only resemblance between the Carnarvons and the fictional Downton Abbey family is that Lord Carnarvon married into money and the house played a part in rehabilitating soldiers during "The Great War"--but the resemblance ends there. Any provokative tales about life "below stairs" are effectively side stepped, probably owing to the fact that the ancestors are still employed at Highclere and people don't want their family scandals brought into public view. What this book is, is basically a time capsule of a period of time when the great families of England still held almost of fuedal rule over the common people, and people lived lives of opulence even against a changing world.
I would listen to these books again, Crooked House was a typical Christie of that time period--and it was comforting in that it was more familiar. Endless Night was very different, and one of her later novels. I think Christie gets more grim as she progressed towards the end of her life. She was daring in many ways the way she pushed the envelope from mid way through her writing career onwards. Endless Night would have made a perfect Hitchcock film as nothing is as it seems to be.
There was a lot of suspense in Endless Night, but it was more subtle than overt. Crooked House was suspenseful in that even though the story appeared to be wrapped up at one point, you knew that it just couldn't be over yet, it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
He is probably the best Christie reader I've ever heard and he really brings the characters to life.
Yes, the stories really kept my attention and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
Both books have a lot of misdirection to prevent the audience from being able to figure out who the actual killer is. Endless Night had much more than is typical in a Christie novel, it also took it's time for the plot line to unfold. This book isn't one filled with a lot of overt thrills, it's more subtle and psychological. It is sometimes difficult to figure out what Endless Night is actually about--is it a romance, a tale of supernatural terror, or a mystery? It's not clear who the bad guys are either. I find Endless Night difficult to characterize other than to say that it is a bit unsettling. Be forewarned, it is a bit creepy, and not what you'd typically expect from Christie.In contrast Crooked House was much more typical for Christie and rather reminded me of Hercule Poirot's Christmas and The Hallow. There was something comforting in that as I had listened to Endless Night first and was rather disturbed by it. Not that the ending of Crooked House does not it's shock value--but I think the shock was easier to bear.Sometimes I wish Agatha Christie had written a really good story of supernatural terror--but that wasn't her style. These two books seem to compliment each other well. I would, however, listen to Endless Night first and then Crooked House--first you'll get the shock and then the familiar comfort of the type of thing you'd expect from your favorite mystery writer.
I would reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys Brittish Mystery novels.
Georgie, the poor girl just couldn't get anything to work out right for her.
It has the quality of a fine radio drama.
Sometimes it's not good to be Royalty.
I loved this book and will purchase the other in the series.
Exciting, suspenseful, and entertaining.
The plot kept me on the edge of my seat in that it was really difficult to guess the identity of the murderer. There were many exciting plot twists.
Fraser always does a great job with Poirot himself, his performance of the master dective is always spot on.
At Christmas Time never take anything for granted.
A must for any Poirot fan, many unpredictable developments. This book tends to follow Christies formula less than others in the series.
I would listen to this book again because it was very well performed and I've always found that listening to Poe better than reading the printed work.
My favorite story by Poe is "Fall of the House of Usher" and Rathbone does a great job bringing the stories to life.
They read the stories at a rate of speed that made it possible for Poe's rather odd style and vocabulary to be better understood.
I would take the poor tormented soul from "The Raven" out to dinner to help him cope with the loss of fair Lenore.
The problem with this book is the lack of titles at the beginning of the stories and poems. The publisher should add a narrator to state the title of each segment so that the listener knows what story or poem is being performed--perhaps with some creepy background music to set the mood. The audio quality could also be improved.
Five Little Pigs ranks among some of the best audiobooks I've listened to.
The story was very suspenceful with a great twist at the end.
Mr. Fraser always does a good job with characterizations, listening to him read a book is like listening to an old time radio show, the book comes to life.
The ending was emotionally satisfying.
One of the best of the Piroit mysteries, Christie really grew as a writer as she developed the character. Piroit developed from a Sherlock Holmes knock off to a detective with a distinctive personality who ended up being quite unique in the annals of detective fiction.
I would reccomend this book to anyone interested in the life of Carole King and the pop music of the 20th Century.
Not only did it give details about King's life, but a snapshot of the music industry in a very turbulent time in our country's history.
I liked the way she would break out in song when discussing various musical pieces.
I was particularly moved by an explanation of domestic abuse that King described during a dark period of her life.
Although very long, this book kept my attention from beginning to end, anyone who love's King's music is sure to find it entertaining and informing. I will warn the reader though, if one is looking for a lot of detail regarding King's friendship with James Taylor, there seems to be pieces missing.
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