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