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  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 155 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jane Dunn
    • Narrated By Isla Blair

    In a rich and riveting narrative, Jane Dunn reveals the extraordinary rivalry between the regal cousins. It is the story of two queens ruling on one island, each with a claim to the throne of England, each embodying dramatically opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness (and views of sexuality), and divinely ordained kingship.

    Charles says: "Repetitive and boring"
    "Repetitive and boring"

    What a pity that publishing houses have abolished editors, those anonymous people with a red pen who interceded on behalf of the reader's. If an editor had read this book, one third of it should have been deleted. Every second chapter focused on why Elizabeth didn't want to marry.
    It almost became hilarious when the narrator switches between three "voices." A fairly decent Queens English, a Scotish brogue and "Yesterday I arrived here from Bulgaria." This third "continental" dialect is then used for ambassadors and suitors from Spain, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden and the Vatican. Even the desperate "Mary" suddenly alternates between Scotish and Bulgarian. Money and time wasted.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • That Old Ace in the Hole

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Annie Proulx
    • Narrated By Arliss Howard

    Strikingly original and intimate, That Old Ace in the Hole tracks the vast waves of change that have shaped the American landscape and character in the past century. In Bob Dollar, Proulx (The Shipping News) has created one of the most irresistible characters in contemporary fiction. "It's like seeing a painting up close and magnified," says Publishers Weekly, "with each tiny brush stroke lovingly emphasized."

    Mark says: "Wonderful characters and a Message, too"
    "Slow and fragmented"

    Some novels are intended to be epic. This means that they wind on an on for ever while you keep waiting for the story to take off. Maybe the next chapter will be a little more interesting?
    Annie Proulx excels at writing epic novels where the tide of events runs slower than the Don. Her characters are like butterflies, slowly finding their way across a meadow by turning this way and that way. Introducing yet another queer character into That Old Ace in the Hole does not help very much, because the story still remains fragmented.
    I get the feeling that even Annie got fed up on this one before she reached the finishing line. Question is - does anyone bother to read a novel, intent on unearthing any gems, before it goes off to the publisher?
    Four stars goes to Arliss Howard, who is a magnificent reader. I'll probably end up listening to the whole novel once again, simply because listening to his voice is such a pleasure.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor's General

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By James Webb
    • Narrated By David Dukes

    1997. Jay Marsh, Wall Street millionaire and grand old man of the diplomatic corps, takes a sentimental journey to the scene of his first triumphs and agonies, Manila, where as a brash young captain during World War II he served as aide-de-camp and confidant to General Douglas MacArthur. Marsh sees beyond the glittery capital of today to the horrifying days of 1945. The retreating Japanese army had devastated everything in its wake. The city was set ablaze and one hundred thousand innocents were slaughtered. Marsh was forced to leave behind his Filipino fiance and accompany MacArthur to Japan. Now, as the senior statesman stands in the serene garden of the ambassador's residence, his mind reels back in time...In the final days of the war in the Pacific, the Philippines are retaken by the Allies under the command of General MacArthur, paving the way for Japan's surrender. But for MacArthur, victory over Japan is only a stepping stone to greater glory: supreme rule over the conquered country. MacArthur enlists Captain Marsh to be his emissary to the imperial government, a mission that takes the junior officer into the shadow world of postwar Tokyo, and into a web of deceit as he discovers shocking truths about MacArthur the world was never meant to know.

    Charles says: "Boring and pathetic"
    "Boring and pathetic"

    James Webb wrote a great book - "Fields of Fire" - about the Vietnam war. The Emperor's General is pathetic. The author must have become bored with his subject halfway through the book, and then decided to try to end it gracefully. There were no engaging twists or dramatic turns, interesting dilemmas or real personal conflicts. Everything sounded contrived, as if this was the first manuscript by an aspiring writer. The narrator was horrible! He tries to impersonate a young Japanese girl by lisping softly and an aged Japanese general by simply lisping. I regret wasting my time listening to this.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Da Vinci Code

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Jonas says: "Overall Good"

    The premise of this pulp is really conspirational. Large chunks are rehashed straight from "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln (1982). They claimed that Jesus survived the Crucifixion, and together with Mary Magdalene founded a bloodline that became the Merovingians in France (protected by the Knights Templar and the fake secret society Prieure de Sion). It's soft-headed and hardly even entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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