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Rebecca J. Leamon

Ellsworth, ME United States | Member Since 2013

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 76 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Beowulf

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Seamus Heaney (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Written a thousand years ago, this long poem is the very first surviving piece of English literature. Join Beowulf, a young warrior, as he achieves glory by fighting and killing three fantastic monsters. This new translation, by the Nobel laureate poet Seamus Heaney, offers modern listeners an accessible, intensely dramatic text. It amply demonstrates why this epic has spread its influence over more than a millennium of literature.

    Tad Davis says: "Almost perfect"
    "Beowulf as it should be enjoyed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great way to review (or meet!) Beowulf! Heaney's translation is fantastic, and while I'd love to hear a Irishman, a Dane, or a Scotsman read it, Guidall is skilled if neutral. The inclusion of the introduction at the end is surprising (why not include it at the start?) but fantastic, and helps enrich the whole experience. I've read and taught Beowulf before, but I never really enjoyed its story fully until I listened to it. HIGHLY recommended. Yup, even the middle section while they're all boasting and trading loot. Listen to this and skip the terrible cartoony version with Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mom!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (1383)
    Performance
    (1331)
    Story
    (1330)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

    S.F. says: "Listen to this book for sure"
    "Hmmm: Still Deciding."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed listening to this audio book, and I can't imagine how it is as a print book, because various people come in and read parts of it (Amy's parents are wonderful!) and she bursts out laughing or uses funny accents in other parts. It's thought-provoking and interesting, but a little weird for me because though I know of Amy's work with Parks and Rec and a little of it with SNL, I don't know it well, and I mostly picked up this book because of her website "Amy Poehler's Smart Girls" on Facebook. It is funny in places, serious in others, and interesting overall, bringing me into a life I neither knew much about nor wanted to live.

    So, I highly enjoyed it, but I'm not really sure what its overall effect was. I WILL say that I didn't like having the last chapter read aloud to an audience, because the laugh track/audience was wayyyyyy too intrusive and annoying: a few people laughed at everything: she cleared her throat (gales of laughter). . etc. But, overall, interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Overture to Death

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ngaio Marsh
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    Who in the quiet village of Chipping would kill wealthy spinster Idris Campanula? Plenty of people, among them her fellow cast members from a troubled charity production. Miss Campanula was a spiteful gossip, gleefully destroying others' lives merely for her own excitement. But once Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives, he quickly realizes that the murderer might have killed the wrong woman, and may soon stage a repeat performance.

    Robert Mahowald says: "Great characterizations..."
    "Entertaining and creepy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Classic "cozy", and another strong narration job by Nadia May. Always a pleasure, even when I figure out the answers early and we don't get any Troy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Quiet Gentleman

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Cornelius Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (230)

    When Gervase Frant, 7th Earl of St Erth, returns at last from Waterloo to his family seat at Stanyon, he enjoys a less than welcome homecoming.

    Anne says: "Delightful relaxing reading"
    "Entertaining, but not her best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hard to find a likable character in this one, I felt, and it ended with a whimper, not a bang, but overall, I enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Interestings

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Jen Tullock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1272)
    Performance
    (1127)
    Story
    (1130)

    The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

    Tango says: "Needs a better title, but a good read (listen)"
    "Terrific writing, delivery and story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Interestings, especially as presented by Jen Tullock, is an intriguing, absorbing, funny, poignant story. Avoiding cliches and focusing intently on questions of belonging, class, creativity, and money, it tells the story of four main young people (two peripherals) who meet at a summer camp and stay in contact as they mature. Wolitzer's observations of our expectations of ourselves, parents' dreams for their children, how wealth cushions or complicates our lives, are all trenchant and thought-provoking. A bonus is the storyline following Ethan, the oddball cartoonist who creates the "Figland Empire," a media creation that bears close parallels to "The Simpsons." Highly, highly recommended--and hats off to Jen Tullock, for her amazing narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Clare Morrall
    • Narrated By Julia Franklin
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    When Felix Kendall vanishes, his wife Kate is left in turmoil. As she and their children adjust to a hand-to-mouth existence, she looks back on their marriage and Felix's orphaned upbringing in search of clues, confronting the possibility that she has badly misread him. And as Kate gradually discovers strengths she never knew she had, Felix is coming to terms with just what he has lost.

    Rebecca J. Leamon says: "interesting idea; a good listen!"
    "interesting idea; a good listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Morrall did a nice job with the plot; I kept imagining what I might've felt in the various people's places. There were a few spots where I thought, "If he'd just explain, it might all smooth out," but overall it seemed realistic and interesting. The only glitches were an odd section towards the end where the recording seemed to be jumping back and forth--not a narrative device, but a cut-and-paste where one didn't belong, and then a weird use of dance metaphor that was supposed to tie up the ending. Otherwise, an interesting story. Good work all around, except that I hope Audible checks on the technical side of the recording on this one!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jeeves and the Wedding Bells

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Sebastian Faulks
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (65)

    P.G. Wodehouse documented the lives of the inimitable Jeeves and Wooster for nearly 60 years, from their first appearance, in 1915, (“Extricating Young Gussie”) to his final completed novel (Aunts Aren't Gentlemen), in 1974. These two were the finest creations of a novelist widely proclaimed to be the finest comic English writer by critics and fans alike. Now, 40 years later, Bertie and Jeeves return in a hilarious affair of mix-ups and mishaps.

    DCinMI says: "Excellent!"
    "Not Quite Wodehouse, but Close!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A pleasurable romp in the Wodehouse manner. Recommended! Narrator and story are great fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Kirsty Wark
    • Narrated By Siobhan Redmond
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Born just before the First World War, Elizabeth Pringle has been a familiar yet solitary figure on the Scottish island of Arran. A dutiful daughter, an inspirational teacher, a gardener. But did anyone really know her? When Elizabeth dies, her will contains a surprise. She has left her home and her belongings to someone who is all but a stranger, a young mother she watched pushing a pram down the road more than thirty years ago. Now it falls to Martha, the baby in that pram, to find out how her mother inherited the house in such strange circumstances, and in doing so, perhaps leave her own past behind.

    Rebecca J. Leamon says: "Uneven and Ultimately Annoying"
    "Uneven and Ultimately Annoying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this audiobook from Audible on the rec. of Karen of Cornflower Books, whose taste I generally appreciate. In the long run, however, I found it uneven: in the beginning, it's too sad, with two parallel stories of women who are dealing with the inevitable losses of old age; then it becomes too predictable, with WWi and WWII stories that we've all heard before and miraculously "I knew he was The One" relationships; it winds up with a big helping of "spooky-wooky" "I could feel her spirit near me" intimations and that revelation of the hidden secret that we had no idea had existed from the very beginning of the tale. So. I guess I'd say that there are some interesting/lovely aspects of the story, and the narration is beautifully done. However, my "okay" rating remains. Overall, it became an annoying book.
    *Reader was great, though Saul's "American accent" grated a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (979)
    Performance
    (668)
    Story
    (674)

    One of Jane Austen's most popular novels. Arrogant, self-willed, and egotistical, Emma is her most unusual heroine.

    H. CRODDICK says: "Wonderful listen"
    "The perfect delivery of one of Austen's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Juliet Stevenson does an amazing job of presenting Emma: each character is distinct, and the infamous "Mrs. E." and the sweetly overwhelming Miss Bates are topnotch. I've read, seen, and listened to this work probably 6 times, and Stevenson's version does a fantastic job of highlighting the wit, insight, and satire of Austen's novel. Highly, highly, highly recommended on all fronts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (782)
    Performance
    (706)
    Story
    (712)

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    B. Sorensen says: "A Tale for Booksellers"
    "Thought-provoking and enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this novel despite the reader: Scott Brick's delivery and voice personified the "bad" AJ Fikry, the pedantic and patronizing, lonely and isolated man who appears in the start of the book. It's a novel about growth, and it's a novel about reading as well, and eventually I could ignore Brick's voice and fall into the depths of the story itself. It's a little fluffy, but it raises great ideas about human relationships, reading, the role of books, and, finally, the role of our brains in this amazing world we've (at least partially) created. Zevin has a line that captures what I've thought about often. . . . I don't have the exact text since I listened to this book as opposed to reading it, but when AJ goes to see his doctor, he marvels about having to use his brain to understand what is happening to his brain. I remember that same sense of wonder when I was taking AP Bio and learning neuroscience (BABY neuroscience, but still!).

    This is a delicate and enjoyable book. I wish I had a list of all the short stories AJ recommends: perhaps I'll stop into the library and copy them down!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Raising Steam: The Discworld Series, Book 40

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (911)
    Performance
    (836)
    Story
    (835)

    The new Discworld novel, the 40th in the series, sees the Disc's first train come steaming into town. Change is afoot in Ankh-Morpork. Discworld's first steam engine has arrived, and once again Moist von Lipwig finds himself with a new and challenging job.

    Kara Coryell says: "little bit heartbreaking"
    "Not his best, but still a great time!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen Briggs could read the phone book and I'd listen. . . His skills shine in this, the third (?) Moist Von Lipwig book by Pratchett. The plot of RS is the weakest of the three, with a long, slow decline to the end--even one of the characters asks, essentially, "Is that all there is?"--but Pratchett still made me laugh out loud in various places. I recommend it, but it's not his best, so don't start with it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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