Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 

You no longer follow Bronwyn Soell

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Bronwyn Soell

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Bronwyn Soell

Illinois, United States | Member Since 2006

ratings
90
REVIEWS
32
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
20
HELPFUL VOTES
160

  • Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ellen Kushner
    • Narrated By Ellen Kushner, Dion Graham, Katherine Kellgren, and others
    Overall
    (737)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (660)

    On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless--until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

    Stacy says: "What a beautiful book..."
    "Splendid :) A real treat!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've loved this book for years for its elegant prose and detailed and interesting world and sense of honor, danger and romance. It is a great example of the 'show don't tell' theory of storytelling and really sets the standard for classic modern fantasy.

    I've never been a huge fan of full cast recordings of audiobooks. I find many of them to be sort of overdone- all the background noise, various voice actors, etc. can just turn the story into a mish mash that can ruin the prose you enjoyed in the book in the first place.

    So when I read that Swordspoint was being produced with a full cast, I was not enthused. Until I saw that it was being produced by Neil Gaiman and read by Ellen Kushner herself. I knew that if anyone could do it up right, it would be these two and my trust in them more than paid off.

    This is simply lovely- deliriously fun and witty and clever to listen to. The background noise and actors are unobtrusive and a perfect counterpoint to Ms. Kushner's reading as well as the other actors who also portray the main characters. If you love fantasy, just get it and let yourself fall into Riverside. You'll be glad you went.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Queens' Play

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Dorothy Dunnett
    • Narrated By Andrew Napier
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    This is the second book in the famous Lymond Chronicals by Dorothy Dunnett, exploring the intricacies of 16th century history through the exploits of the soldier Francis Crawford of Lymond. In Queens Play, Crawford is despatched to France and embarks on a nightmare game of hide and seek in the court of Henri II...

    Suzanne says: "A wonderfully complex, satisfying story"
    "Wonderful to finally have Dorothy Dunnett here!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is such a wonderful series to read and the audio version is superlative. Andrew Naiper's narration is authentic, his accents are excellent and his characterization is totally believable. I am thrilled to finally be able to get this author's work in audio form. Her understanding of history and ability to narrate historical events in a way that makes them exciting and relevant while including fictional characters that catch your imagination and keep you listening/reading through long series and then going back to read them again makes Dorothy Dunnett the greatest author of historical fiction, IMO. I was fortunate enough to meet her in person before she passed away, and she was personally gracious and charming as well as being a fascinating speaker.

    HOWEVER, I have to note that the first book in the series is NOT available on Audible. This is the second book of the series and although the quality of the writing, performance and production is so high that I think even a new listener could enjoy it, you will definitely not have the whole story of Lymond or the other characters in the book and their relationships to one another. I hope Audible will have the first book soon, because I would hate for anyone to get discouraged and not continue with this extraordinary series because they were a little lost from having to start with the second book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (17677)
    Performance
    (13535)
    Story
    (13480)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "Absolutely wonderful and entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not only is Tina Fey hilarious, but she is also really, really smart. Every bit of this book is filled with humor and intelligence. But she also comes across as kind, thoughtful, and I think she is probably a really good boss. Listen to this book and the hours will fly by!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Insurgent: Divergent, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (10903)
    Performance
    (9875)
    Story
    (9956)

    One choice can transform you - or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves - and herself - while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

    Lore says: "Decent but not as interesting as Divergent"
    "good writing and voice, but story is lacking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration is very good in the book and the appeal that the reader gave to the different characters kept my interest more than the story did. The author is not a bad writer- she does well with dialog and has some interesting ideas. But the actual story was lacking for me. Many things that were supposed to be big 'reveals' were so blatantly obvious from the beginning that it was just annoying to sit through. This book takes place immediately after the first one, but what I had hoped were just 'first novel' mistakes kept happening here. Tris continues to do things that are so just dumb, that I lost interest in her as a character. It isn't a terrible book, but I think it could have been a much better one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • How Green Was My Valley

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Richard Llewellyn
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (37)

    How Green Was My Valley is Richard Llewellyn’s best-selling - and timeless - classic, as well as the basis of a beloved film. As Huw Morgan is about to leave home forever, he reminisces about the golden days of his youth when South Wales still prospered, when coal dust had not yet blackened the valley. Drawn simply and lovingly, with a crisp Welsh humor, Llewellyn’s characters fight, love, laugh, and cry, creating an indelible portrait of a people. Richard Llewellyn (1906–1983), a Welsh novelist, was born in Hendon, England, in the county of Middlesex.

    Ronna says: "A classic that must be read---could take place now"
    "A beautiful and timeless story- very moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story of a Welsh coal mining family and the village they live in is lyrically written and beautifully narrated. It is not a fast book, it is a book you listen to carefully, for the sake of the language. It is an old-fashioned book, that allows you to listen to someone remembering a time long gone and a way of life that has disappeared. The Morgan family is loving and loyal and tries hard to stay true to themselves and the ideals they were raised with, even as the world is changing around them and their small village becomes a place that is filled with bitterness and poverty. But if you just listen to the melody of the language and let the story flow, I believe that this book will stay with you and move you more than you may realize at first. I loved reading it years ago and I loved listening to it as well. If you are looking for a slower-paced listen and want to savor the language and writing, give it a try!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    Overall
    (2956)
    Performance
    (2687)
    Story
    (2697)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Bonny says: "Will & Louisa - each has what the other one needs"
    "Excellent narration, moving and funny!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Me Before You the most enjoyable?

    I was afraid the book might be too much of a 'downer' but the nuance of the story is very balanced. A young woman who is bright and funny but without any formal education and who can't really seem to think of a future for herself becomes a caretaker and companion to a young man who is a quadriplegic. Although I felt great sympathy for Will (the young man) the character's personality is very well defined and forceful and I found myself really relating to the character as a person and not just as a 'disability character' set up for the purpose of the story. The voices are very well done, and a few chapters are briefly told from a different character's perspective- Will's mother, who appears cold and distant to the other characters, and also his male nurse. These glimpses into how the main characters and their situations are seen by others were enlightening to me and really rounded out my perception of the story as a whole. But mostly I just really enjoyed these people's lives and was completely drawn into what was happening to them and wanting to know how the book would end.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narration was excellent and made me feel as if I really knew the main characters. The descriptions of the just everyday difficulties of Will's life really made me examine my own life and how I react to people with disabilities, as well as just thinking about some issues I had not previously given much thought to.


    Any additional comments?

    I've seen some reviews here that complained that Will is made a 'token' character- the guy in the wheelchair- because none of the chapters are told from his point of view. I have to disagree completely with this. For me, this was a key part to the understanding of the story and Will's entire situation- the main crux of the book is can Will live- does he want to live- while having to largely participate only vicariously in what was once a very active life in every way. Sexually, physically, etc. he no longer has access to the things he once did. IMO, the author tells the story through other people's perceptions in order to school the reader somewhat- I found myself trying very hard to understand Will's perspective, in part BECAUSE he never speaks in first person. That said, the character of Will is very complete and his speech, personality, etc. shine through. I had no trouble at all coming to know him or realizing his charisma or frustration through the third person perspective. Just as Will, the character, ultimately keeps much of his illness and inner emotions private from his fellow book characters, those things are also private from the reader. I felt it added to my understanding and did not detract from the book or my involvement with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Therese Anne Fowler
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (370)

    Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening.... Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, 17-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match....

    L.W. says: "Great! From the first page to the last....."
    "A fascinating viewpoint of the 1920s"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald?

    The narrator seemed to get Zelda Fitzgerald's 'voice' spot-on. I am very familiar with many writers and artists from this time period, and Zelda Fitzgerald is often dismissed as a sort of appendage to her husband, or as someone who held him back. While both of these things are at least partially true, this book helps to give a much more nuanced portrait, not only of Zelda herself, but also of her husband and the world they lived in. It made Zelda not just sympathetic and likable, but also really gave me some insight into the qualities that made her so irresistible to her husband and the generation she came to help represent.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Zelda! Scott doesn't come off at his best here, I've always thought Hemmingway sounded like a jerk, and although all of these Jazz Age people are very well-drawn, it is a book about Zelda, after all, and her perspective is really interesting. There was a lot more to her than I had realized.


    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoy reading authors of the 1920s or that period in history, you may already be familiar with many of the characters here and I think you will find a fascinating interpretation here of their personalities. If you have only heard a little about Zelda Fitzgerald, as the famous flapper married to the brilliant and troubled Scott, you will find a much deeper portrait of her as a person. Either way, it is a charming and engrossing listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1437)
    Performance
    (1309)
    Story
    (1301)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Excellent non-biased military history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Drift?

    I felt that the author managed to convey a lot of information about how our military and our attitude to it as a nation and a government has changed- and that those changes have not been accidental. I felt that the book was mostly very non-partisan and feel that a person of any political opinion could read it and find the factual information fascinating. Also, it was pretty funny in some parts- definitely not a dry, dully recited history.


    Have you listened to any of Rachel Maddow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have seen her show on tv a few times, but have not heard her read before. She reads very clearly and with great humor and character. She is able to deliver facts and history in a lively way that really shows how they relate to current real world situations.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I believe that anyone, of any political persuasion, could not fail to be moved by her final chapter of how the lives of our soldiers have changed and the negative effects on they and their families. Her points about how much easier it is for us to go to war and how so many of the 'improvements' of the military complex have not really made things better for our serving military personal and their families was deeply touching and disturbing to me.


    Any additional comments?

    I think a lot of people might automatically not want to hear or read this book because of the author and pre-conceptions about her positions and political views. All I can say, is I encourage you to listen to this book, no matter what end of the political spectrum you sit on. I believe there is information here that is important for Americans especially to know, if you are interested in how your country is run and goes about the business of going to war. It is much more than black and white ideology and Maddow does a very good job of showing that with both humor and seriousness. I believe there is a lot to absorb and discuss here, and that people of all political beliefs will find a great deal of information that may be new to them and give them a broader perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4607)
    Performance
    (4144)
    Story
    (4227)

    The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

    Ellen says: "At last - The Definitive Recording!"
    "A classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Fellowship of the Ring to be better than the print version?

    Not better, but the closest thing to reading it that I have found.


    What other book might you compare The Fellowship of the Ring to and why?

    I think in many ways, you cannot compare Tolkien to other fantasy series, because so much of what has been written later is based, however loosely, upon his ideas, which have become fantasy 'standards. Listening to this book is almost more like hearing a work of history- Tolkien seems as concerned with the history and reality of his world as with the story.


    Have you listened to any of Rob Inglis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to him before, but his rich voice give this performance a gravitas that works very well with the material. You are at once both hearing a story and feel as though you are listening to something of great importance. His character voices are good and his descriptive reading is a pleasure to listen to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I have been listening to it in stages while driving, which has been perfect for me.


    Any additional comments?

    This brings back to me the importance of these books, both as literature and to me personally. It is a pleasure to hear someone else read a book that I am so familiar with. Not only because it is so well read, but also because of the little differences in how things are read, and to hear remembered phrases or sentences that come back to me. Overall, no Tolkien fans should deny themselves the pleasure of listening to this edition.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10682)
    Performance
    (9814)
    Story
    (9863)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "The best book- and audiobook- for 2012"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Fault in Our Stars in three words, what would they be?

    Incredibly moving without ever being maudlin or fake. Funny and tragic and wonderfully written.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The realism of the characters. I know a kid who fought cancer and is still with us, so I could appreciate the gallows humor of the Cancer Perks, the ruthless practicality of parents and doctors, the support of friends- and the ultimate futility of all of it. To term this as just a YA book is an insult. It is a fine, fine novel for anyone who wants to be moved and provoked to think about the world in a different way.


    What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

    Her voice was spot-on as Hazel Grace and as the other characters. Her inflections, which changed with characters' health or personal situations, her accents, everything was perfect. I can honestly say that I cannot imagine a better narration of this book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    “You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

    This is a quote from the book. Hazel, who has terminal cancer has pushed away Agustus, because she sees herself as an emotional grenade- a time bomb that can only, in the end, bring pain to her parents and anyone who cares for her. The quote above is Gus's reply.


    Any additional comments?

    I read a lot of books and many of them are very good. But I continue to be moved and provoked to think about one that I finally feel I have to designate as the best book I read in 2012. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is not only as good as all the reviews have said, but better. If you've ever known someone who is terminally ill, read it. If you have a teenager, read it. If you've loved someone and lost it, read it. And- if you've already read it, listen to the audio version, read by Kate Rudd. It has just wrecked me all over again, in the best possible way that a book can suck you in and spit you back out. There is so much painful and beautiful truth, as well as teenage characters written with honesty and great warmth and humor. Don't deny yourself the experience- read and listen to The Fault In Our Stars today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.