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.
Even if the Princess Bride isn't one of your favorite films, treat yourself to the pleasure of listening to the utterly charming Cary Elwes telling stories about the making of the film and the wonderful experience everyone involved with it had. A must for any fantasy OR film buffs. I just felt good after listening to this book- it will put a smile on your face and make you want to go and watch the movie all over again :)
A detailed coming of age story filled with complex court etiquette, politics, intrigue and a little action. If you are looking for a basic swords 'n sorcery fantasy this is not the book for you. But the author is so inventive- her elvish/goblin kingdom is full of dirigible airships, pneumatic tubes, burgeoning women's rights and the industrial revolution, among other things. It takes the basic tropes of elves and goblins and puts them into a completely new and believable setting. On top of it, her complex court rituals and the 'window dressing' of her worldbuilding is detailed and fascinating. It makes me eager to see what she writes next. The main character, Maya, who becomes emperor totally unexpectedly, is insecure and immature and has to quickly grow up and get wise to how things work. I found this process both touching and realistic. I am very impressed with the narrator, whose voices were distinctive but mostly because (having read the book) I enjoyed hearing the many complicated names of people, places and things pronounced correctly! I do think some of the names could be confusing if you have not read the book first, but either way, I think this is well worth the credit.
One of my favorite books. I'm not even going to try to recap the story, but I will say that Sissy Spacek's narration is absolutely perfect. She brings a total honesty and directness to the story that illuminates each chapter. This is a great way to experience this American classic.
I love all of Barbara Hambly's books, but I have to admit to an extra soft spot for this stand-alone. Mixing ancient Chinese magic with 1920s Hollywood, a kind and brave English war widow who becomes a companion to her Hollywood vamp movie star sister in law, some Pekingese dogs and too many more details to mention here, Bride of the Rat God is funny, clever and an entertaining read for people who like fantasy or for those who don't normally read it.
The main characters are all really engaging, the system of magic is interesting and most importantly, (as with all her other books, mystery,fantasy, whatever) Hambly's writing is very detail-oriented and her fascination with the early history of Hollywood, silent films and the time and places she writes about shine through. The book is filled with historical research inserted so seamlessly into the story that it adds verisimilitude and charm to every section.
The narration and accents were very well done and did not disappoint for a book which I had read many times. This is a fun trip through old Hollywood, Chinatown with some magic and honestly scary bits along the way as well. I recommend it highly!
A lot of this book takes place in Chicago in the 1990s and I was in my 20s then and there, so I really appreciate the author's absolute command of that scene. The world Claire and Henry inhabit there is totally congruent with my memories. The two narrators do a beautiful job of handling their strange co-existence and bring great charm and incredible sympathy to both characters and their unique situation. This is a beautifully realized version of the book and I recommend it highly, whether you have read the book or not.
This book is a story of unexpected love, a love that comes along gradually and later in life to Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali, a widow whose husband ran the local village shop. The way their friendship unfolds, the common interest in books, small kindnesses, and finally a blossoming attraction and romance is completely compelling. The viewpoints of those around them, ranging from awkward discomfort to absolute horror at the impropriety of it all can be both funny and sad, but is always believable. You will find yourself rooting for the prim and proper Major and the kind and brave Mrs. Ali. I enjoyed this book tremendously and the narration, both accents and just the attitude of different characters was excellent.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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