I've been a fan of David Sedaris since the late 90s and I love Barrel Fever, Holidays on Ice, Naked, and Me Talk Pretty One Day. I loved his outrageous humor and his eye for the grotesque and absurd. After that book I thought he started moving into more somber, earnest territory, and also started repeating himself. The only essays in this book that seem funny are the live readings where you hear audience laughter punctuating his remarks.
For a fan, this book was really repetitive. He's studying languages, reminiscing about his dad (who now sounds downright abusive rather than ridiculous), talking about Paris, making fun of homophobes, telling stories about book tours, etc etc.
Slowed down and subdued. It's been strange to hear his reading voice has gotten slower and calmer with each new audiobook.
It's disappointing -- I loved his manic, unmistakable voice in the earlier books. How did he describe it? "With its girlish timbre and high, excitable pitch". Voices do get deeper with age, but it sounds like he's working to "sound less gay". Sounds like the speech therapy he made fun of in "Go Carolina" has finally worked :-(
Not unless he finds some new things to write about.
Yes, it entertained me while I washed the dishes, made dinner, put on some laundry, and walked the dog. But it wasn't as funny, insightful, or surprising as I'd hoped - I won't listen to it again.
Her self-deprecating humor is similar to Anne Lamott's or David Sedaris', but she's not as genuinely vulnerable as Anne or as outrageous as David.
Strangely enough, she makes her path to super-celebrity seem pretty smooth and uneventful... she soft-pedals the life-changing landmark accomplishments, and omits some things altogether (there's nothing about "Mean Girls"). You can't actually tell from this book what a super-famous and powerful person Tina Fey is.
Her narration is witty and dry, and you recognize her as Liz Lemon (or a version of Liz Lemon). You also hear some "Jenna" tones.
Not under these circs ... but someday, after she's retired and doesn't have to be so nice and diplomatic, I'd love to hear a "no-hold-barred" memoir from Tina Fey where she would really dish dirt on the crazy obnoxious people she's worked with. I'd also like her to write about feminism and sexism in more than this glib one-liner way.
I've read all of French's book on paper and enjoyed them - but I'm disappointed by this as an audiobook. Read aloud, the descriptive and introspective passages seem wordy and overwritten, and the dialogue is surprisingly flat. The reader doesn't do much with vocal characterization - everyone has the same accent and similar timbres, though he does make the female detective sound a bit "girlish" high and breathy (which doesn't suit her smart, sardonic personality).
I'll stick to the print editions of French's books.
Better vocal characterization in dialogue, to convey individual personalities and make it easier to follow who's who
Droll, hilarious, British
The story of "Jeeves and the Old School Chum"
"young Bingo" Little
Martin Jarvis is still my absolute favorite narrator for Jeeves and Wooster stories -- he gives Bertie a more animated, varied tone -- but Jonathan Cecil's more subdued style grew on me as I listened.
I'm a fan of Lesley's writing, so I'd read another book by her. Heather Henderson's reading was too earnest and one-note for this material - she didn't convey Lesley's humor or sarcasm or her sense of absurdity and outrage, and the book was boring to listen to.
It's honest and incisive.
A woman with a more "edgy" voice to convey the author's sarcasm and indignation and sense of absurdity -- someone like Sarah Vowell.
I bought this after hearing the free first chapter and thought it was fabulous. The "sea monsters" theme works great for S & S (in which our beloved heroines are already "swimming with sharks" in the form of social-climbers, money-grubbers and hypocrites.) Secondary characters like the Middletons and the Palmers are more vivid and more logically motivated in this than in Austen!
I wish someone would make it into a movie. I loved the "Austen x Jules Verne" images in "Submarine Station Beta" and the "Austen x Lovecraft" themes.
A fantastic treat for someone who loves both Austen and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.
Wonderful performance by Tim Curry - brings out details and tone that no movie can capture and that a silent reading could miss!
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