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Sarah J. Frey

Illini fan and bibliophile

Chicago, IL USA | Member Since 2009

  • 5 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 260 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
    "Classic Story Brought to New Life"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to be better than the print version?

    The first book in L. Frank Baum's Oz series is a masterpiece, and Anne Hathaway's narration only makes it better. She doesn't just read the book - she performs the book. I could listen to this book over and over. I wish that she would narrate all of the books in the series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz

    In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable, but not my favorite"
    "Excellent Story/Narration Marred by Technicalities"

    Preston & Child do an excellent job of crafting a story that keeps the reader on the edge of the seat. The narration by Marosz does an equally compelling job of bringing life to the words and enveloping the listener in the world of this mysterious thriller. However, at least a half dozen times, I was ripped out of the hunt for the historical serial killer Leng and his modern day copy cat, the Surgeon, by substandard production. In each instance, the story would repeat itself - a sentence or two would be read, and then the same sentence or two would be immediately repeated. Even more jarring, at times it came at the height of suspense. It's not frequent enough to skip this excellent entry into the Pendergast series, but it was just frequent enough to disappoint and substract from what would otherwise be a five-star review. Similar to how books are edited, I'm also disappointed with audio publishers, who fail to do this simple quality control.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Classic Story, Good Narration, Overproduced"

    A classic science fiction epic that is only marred because it is more of an audioperformance than an audiobook. The primary narrator has a rich magical voice, and I believe he could have easily voiced the entire book himself. I also found the addition of sound effects and occasional segue music unnecessary. It was more distracting. Frank Herbert wrote a masterpiece that can stand by itself. However, the overproduction didn't horribly detract fromt he story, and some individuals would probably enjoy it as it makes the book much more cinematic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flyte: Septimus Heap, Book Two

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Angie Sage
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It's been a year since Septimus Heap discovered his real family and true calling to be a wizard. As apprentice to Extra Ordinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, he is learning the arts of Conjurations, Charms, and other Magyk, while Jenna is adapting to life as the princess and enjoying the castle. But there is something sinister at work. Marcia is constantly trailed by a menacing Darke Shadow, and Septimus's brother Simon seems bent on a revenge no one understands. Why is the Darke Magyk still lingering?

    Lisa says: "Still good, but a letdown from book one"
    "Actually Abridged"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    There is one huge thing I would change about the book - I would include the narration for "What Happened Before . . . "! The Afterwords, for lack of a better term, are one of the more creative elements in Angie Sage's Septimus Heap series. I was looking forward to listening to it.

    What other book might you compare Flyte to and why?

    In some ways, Septimus Heap is a battle of magical good and evil in the vein of Harry Potter. However, where J.K. Rowling's novels become increasingly more mature as her characters and her readers aged, Septimus Heap remains age appropriate for younger readers throughout the series. Additionally, Angie Sage injects her books with more humor that helps keep the books from becoming too scary for most 8-year olds.

    What about Gerard Doyle’s performance did you like?

    I loved how Gerard Doyle was able to create numerous, distinct voices, and I never was confused over who was actually speaking.

    Was Flyte worth the listening time?

    Yes. My only disappointment was the failure of the book to include the content after the final chapter. It definitely cast a pall on the remainder of my drive to work.

    Any additional comments?

    As you can tell from the rest of my review, I loved this book, loved the narrator, and my only disappointment is classifying the book as Unabridged. Shame on the publisher and the author for not noticing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Winter's Heart: Wheel of Time, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Millions of Robert Jordan fans will rejoice at the release of the ninth book in the phenomenally best-selling series The Wheel of Time. The sequel to the number-one New York Times best seller The Path of Daggers, which swept the nation like a firestorm, Winter's Heart continues a remarkable tale that is mesmerizing an entire generation of readers.

    Benjamin says: "Good book, bad audio"
    "Great Performance, Good Story, HORRIBLE Production"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This could have easily been a 4 or 5 star review if the production value wasn't so bad. In this 9th entry to to Jordan's Wheel of Time, a new company took over production. This resulted in multiple times where the narration would repeat the previous 2 or 3 sentences. Additionally, there were numerous extended pauses that were just long enough that you wondered if the recording had stopped. Both of these production errors truly hampered the ability to get lost in the moment. Seeing as neither of these problems arose in the previous eight entries, also narrated by Reading and Kramer, the fault lies solely with the publisher.

    Have you listened to any of Kate Reading and Michael Kramer ???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Once again Kate Reading and Michael Kramer made Robert Jordan's world come alive. Despite the numerous voices and characters throughout the book, I always know who is speaking as their ability to bring life to each character is truly inspiring.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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