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Paula

ratings
119
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
14

  • The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robert Ludlum
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    He was dragged from the sea, his body riddled with bullets. There are a few clues: a frame of microfilm surgically implanted beneath the skin of his hip; evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face; strange things he says in his delirium, which could be code words. And a number on the film negative that leads to a bank account in Zurich, four million dollars, and a name for the amnesiac: Jason Bourne. Now he is running for his life.

    Paula says: "Histrionic performance ruined this book for me!"
    "Histrionic performance ruined this book for me!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read The Bourne Identity many times. It's a great thriller - full of excitement, well-paced and well-constructed. It's a little old-fashioned nowadays, I guess, but I was really excited when I saw it was available from Audible and bought it straightaway.

    What a disappointment!!! The reader, Scott Brick, who is billed as an outstanding performer, gave an over-the-top histrionic performance which completely ruined this talking book for me!

    "And he LOOKED over the BOAT'S RAILING and he SAW ...". Enough of that - you get the picture. Every noun and every verb was declaimed in a tone of almost complete hysteria.

    I was driving the car down a country lane while I listened to the start of the book and I had to pull off the road after about 20 minutes and stop the performance. I just couldn't stand any more!

    I'll never listen to The Bourne Identity now, sadly -- what a total waste of an excellent book. And why on earth did the reader feel the need to do this?? I'll be watching out for books read by Scott Brick in future -- to make sure I avoid them ...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated. Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey.

    Paula says: "Utterly satisfying!"
    "Utterly satisfying!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As one of Diana Gabaldon's huge fan base, I came to this eighth "big book" expecting it to be wonderful -- and I was not disappointed!

    Written in my own Heart's Blood weaves four separate story lines effortlessly together, resolving all the cliff-hangers from An Echo in the Bone (while introducing some tempting new questions), enlarging our understanding of the characters -- and providing heart-stopping thrills pretty well all the way through!

    When I get a new Outlander book, I find I have to read it very, very fast -- just to be sure everyone I care about will survive -- then I can go back and re-read it slowly, savouring all the delightful details, fascinating historical information and character development. And this is where the audio version really comes into its own: my first race through the book is always done on my Kindle, but enjoying all the details with Davina Porter's wonderful reading (she really is one of the very best readers around!) is utterly satisfying.

    No spoilers in this review, I'm afraid -- but I cannot recommend this book too highly!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Echo in the Bone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5789)
    Performance
    (3960)
    Story
    (3969)

    Jamie Fraser knows from his time-traveling wife Claire that, no matter how unlikely it seems, America will win the Revolutionary War. But that truth offers little solace, since Jamie realizes he might find himself pointing a weapon directly at his own son - a young officer in the British army. And Jamie isn't the only one with a tormented soul - for Claire may know who wins the conflict, but she certainly doesn't know whether or not her beloved Jamie survives.

    Charles says: "Read all of Gabaldon's stuff before this one"
    "Another brilliant part of the Outlander series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I probably don't need to tell anyone this is the seventh book in the Outland series - but if you're new to this series make sure you read this last! The book would almost certainly stand on its own, but you'll get far more enjoyment from reading it as the last in the series (to date - holding my breath for Book 8). I'd also recommend reading the Lord John books before you listen to this one, as he plays a significant role in this book and many of his earlier connections, friendships and adventures are referenced here.

    The book is ... huge, fascinating, mesmerising, breathtaking. Like all Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books, it's difficult to say anything about this saga without using hyperbole. The interweaving of story lines is a little more abrupt in this book: I've seen some reviews which are critical of this aproach,but I found it exciting. The story lines seemed to me to flow from one to another without difficulty:

    Jamie and Claire's long and infinitely touching relationship continues to evolve - Diana adds new layers, new secrets, new variations to their love and their lives. Lord John and William are, for the first time, significant characters in an Outlander book and the complex relationship between the Grays and the Frasers just gets more complex. Brianna and Roger and their family have a small but important role -- and it's clear this role is going to become still more important in book 8. Ian finally steps out of the shadows and becomes a characeter in his own right -- and the introduction of Denny and Rachel Hunter gives us two wonderful new characters to love.

    And, of course, Davina Porter's magnificent reading continues to be as good as ever! I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job of reading this books than she does ...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bellwether

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (749)
    Performance
    (458)
    Story
    (462)

    Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

    Charles says: "The Lone Naysayer..."
    "Utterly delightful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a huge Connie Willis fan so, of course, I'm biased about all her books. And Bellwether, a slightly older title, did not disappoint. It was well-researched, entertaining, and kept me wanting more -- all with that special Connie Willis lightness of touch.

    The characters are delightful, I learned more about fads than I would have believed possible - and the ending was totally satisfying.

    I heartily recommend Bellwether!

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • All Clear

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1614)
    Performance
    (1064)
    Story
    (1086)

    Three time-traveling historians are visiting World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler's bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Rescued by the second half"
    "Blackout and All Clear are magical books!"
    Overall

    Having read all the customer reviews available so far, it's clear the Blackout/All Clear double book is either loved or hated by its readers / listeners. I'm one of the former - as a long-time fan of Connie Willis' work I've been waiting for All Clear to come out before I listened to Blackout and boy, was it worth the wait!

    I can see why some readers found the characters' internal agonising over the impact their actions may have had on the space/time continuum too frequent or too long but, to me, the characters were incredibly three-dimensional and their fates something I really cared about. Yes, there were minor issues in historical accuracy - but the depth of Connie Willis' research into WWII England (and, especially, the Blitz) is incredibly impressive! And yes, there are minor inconsistencies in the books and, occasionally, Katherine Kellgren's somewhat unusual pronounciation of words was, er, surprising - but I was swept away by the story and the story-telling and the reading!

    I find myself thinking about the characters and wondering what happened to them - sometimes devising plots to resolve ends which weren't tucked up entirely neatly. I think these are truly wonderful books and recommend them to anyone who likes their SF to have a human face

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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