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dub

Ottawa, ON, Canada | Member Since 2005

ratings
34
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
40

  • Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 3

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Finnemore
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (242)

    Stephanie Cole, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Roger Allam star in the first series of the hit sitcom about the tiny charter airline for whom no job is too small, but many, many jobs are too difficult.

    KDB says: "Endless laughs"
    "Worth the credit just for a single episode."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd never heard of John Finnemore before listening to this series, but I was intrigued by a comedy starring Benedict Cumberbatch [who was astonishing at the National as both Frankenstein and his monster, although more known this side of the pond for playing a contemporary Sherlock Holmes], Stephanie Cole [Waiting for God, Tenko] and Anthony Stewart Head [Buffy, Little Britain, Free Agents]. To my surprise, they do a beautiful job together!

    Dame Cole has always played characters decades older than herself, and here she plays someone closer to her own age, owner of a struggling single-plane airline, and mother to the steward, the endearingly rattle-brained Arthur, played by Finnemore, the genius behind the entire series. Cumberbatch is the pilot [after seven goes at the pilot's exam] who works unpaid just to fly. His suave co-pilot is a demoted captain who knows all the tricks of the trade, but can't bear to tell his wife he's not #1 on the flight deck any more.
    Each episode is a new and alphabetic destination, with some word games for the bored cabin crew, trouble and hijinks.

    In Series 3, they veer from Paris to Ottery St Mary to Rotterdam, but the episode in St. Petersburg is worth the price of the whole set, with beautiful voice performances, wordplay, zaniess, and poking fun at the flight industry. Looking forward to Series 4!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (339)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (302)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    Marci says: "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
    "lovely passages contrast with dark chapters."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    (No spoilers). This began as a charming tale of two cities and their cookery, transplanted but traditional Mumbai Muslim food versus traditional French provincial cuisine.
    I was intrigued by the character to be played in the upcoming movie adaptation by Dame Mirren, the very unusual female chef; alas, there is all too little of her in the last half of the book, and the hero and his dad, and possibly the author, are traditional jerks through much of it.
    One of the few books I've read that will likely make a better movie than a novel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lost for Words: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Edward St. Aubyn
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (46)

    Edward St. Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels were some of the most celebrated works of fiction of the past decade. Now St. Aubyn returns with a hilariously smart send-up of a certain major British literary award. The judges on the panel of the Elysian Prize for Literature must get through hundreds of submissions to find the best book of the year. Meanwhile, a host of writers are desperate for Elysian attention: the brilliant writer and serial heartbreaker Katherine Burns; the lovelorn debut novelist Sam Black; and Bunjee, convinced that his magnum opus, The Mulberry Elephant, will take the literary world by storm.

    Debra B says: "Witty, and the narrator is perfect"
    "The Rise and Fall and Rise of Authors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    *no spoilers*Ever wondered how books are chosen for major literary prizes? Having a friend in publishing, I've heard plenty of real-life anecdotes which match these fictitious behind-the-scenes maneuvers to get your favourite book on the short-list: regional politics, sex, race, political correctness, and 'too long, didn't read' jostle titles on and off the list for a Commonwealth prize.
    The judges perfectly articulated some of my own prejudices when choosing a book: [ugh, child abuse narrative in regional dialect: next!]. But the ending is rushed; otherwise this would have received 4.5 stars.
    If you've ever been to a party and fibbed that you've read a 'hot' book and got called out on it: this one is for you!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3663)
    Performance
    (3502)
    Story
    (3480)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Dresden and Deus ex Machinations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    *no spoilers* Many of our old favourites and nemeses are back to help and hinder our troubled wizard, Harry Dresden, pull the ultimate bank-job for an evil alliance: stealing the Holy Grail from -- Hades? Santa, Celtic fae, the Greek god of Hell and knights Templar meet in this pantheon mashup [fingers crossed for Sedna, Innu goddess of seals, in the next volume!]: a Mission Impossible/Oceans Eleven for the magical set
    Great premise; although the first half is a too-long set-up for the quest/heist, it's still worth the journey.
    But Butcher has the stalker-nerd's-eye view for his female characters [all young and hot] and fails the Bechdel test of having two female characters talking about something other than men, and the torture scenes go on wayyyyy too long and take you out of the story.
    James Marsters is inspired casting as narrator, and probably with a new director since mispronunciations were minimal.
    The heist twists and turns and narrative on rewards and punishments, family and alliance, doubt and faith, are well worth the journey, and keep you looking forward to the next Dresden file.
    (almost) 4 stars

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Styx and Stones: Daisy Dalrymple, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Carola Dunn
    • Narrated By Mia Chiaromonte
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    In the 1920s, in post - World War I England, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple, newly engaged to Detective Inspector Alec Fletcher, is asked by her brother-in-law to discreetly investigate a series of poisoned pen letters that many of the local villagers have been receiving. When the pompous and unbearable brother of the local vicar is killed by a very large rock, dropped on his head from a great height, it seems clear to all that this campaign of gossip has escalated to murder.

    dub says: "Interesting premise; disappointing execution"
    "Interesting premise; disappointing execution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting premise of a writer with a Scotland Yard detective fianc/e happening upon murder mysteries in post-WWI England. However, the female characters are again either bitter ignorant virgins, useful fat chicks, loose women or dutiful wives. Disappointing!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hardcastle's Airmen: Hardcastle Series

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Graham Ison
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    In February 1915, the Great War is still raging on the Western Front, but in Westminster, at the centre of Hardcastle's bailiwick, a policeman is shot dead. At first, Hardcastle believes the murderer to have been a disturbed burglar. But as enquiries continue, attention focuses on an antiquarian bookseller, a struggling artist, a reporter, officers of the Royal Flying Corps, both in England and in France, and the activities of Isabel Plowman, the wife of one of them and the lover of others.

    JoAnn says: "Just OK"
    "Great setting and premise, missed opportunity."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great opportunity: it's early WWI in London: a murdered policeman, a murdered merry widow: alas, you know within the first chapter whodunnit, and it's plenty of 19th century class warfare and misogyny to follow, where women are mothers, whores or murder victims.
    The narrator does a great job with various classes of male voices, and he and the interesting military history save this from being a 1.5* review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Penguin Pool Murder: Hildegarde Withers, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stuart Palmer
    • Narrated By Julie McKay
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (37)

    Although the Stock Market had crashed recently, it was too early for most people to predict that the Great Depression was about to get underway. For 39-year-old spinster schoolteacher Hildegarde Withers, it’s business as usual. And part of her usual business is taking her class for an outing to the aquarium to see the penguins. Instead, she spots the floating corpse of Wall Street broker Gerald Lester and quickly realizes that Inspector Oscar Piper of NYPD Homicide isn’t up to solving this tricky case.

    Kathi says: "Absolutely delightful!"
    "Period mystery romp reads like a current headline"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A murder mystery set in the New York Public Aquarium and written shortly after the 1929 Stock Market Crash in New York has 21st century sensibilities; you could see the characters in any current reality show. (No spoilers)
    Like many, I was introduced to this series from the fun 30's movies starring Edna May Oliver and James Gleason as the spinster teacher/would-be sleuth and the New York Chief of Detectives Oliver Piper. I could buy the whole series, except for the terrible narrator; I found using my device to play at 2x speed made her bearable. It also irks me when neither the narrator nor the producer/director can be bothered to check pronunciations; a clang to hear sisal [as in the hemp rope for hanging] pronounced as 'sizzle'! It's also a bit rough to hear the sexism and prejudices of almost a century ago, going downhill from the big dumb strong Swede and slaloming through many minorities, but at least we've come quite a ways since.
    An above-average who-dunnit which will keep you guessing until the end, with a prickly but likeable heroine and hero. But try the sample to see if you can stand the narrator, and/or try listening at double-speed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blood of Tyrants: Temeraire, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (221)

    Shipwrecked and cast ashore in Japan with no memory of Temeraire or his own experiences as an English aviator, Laurence finds himself tangled in deadly political intrigues that threaten not only his own life but England's already precarious position in the Far East. Age-old enmities and suspicions have turned the entire region into a powder keg ready to erupt at the slightest spark.

    Tango says: "Setting Up for the Grand Finale"
    "What if you had a dragon, then didn't want it?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What if you were dangerously ill somewhere in Asia, and as you recover, someone told you you owned a dragon? Seeing what problems they cause, would you even want it?
    *no spoilers*
    Our hero, Captain Laurence, is lost overboard during a storm, and separated from his beloved Chinese Celestial dragon Temeraire. Even when reunited, Laurence can't recall or feel the once unbreakable bond they once shared. All he knows is his duty to do whatever it takes to stop Napoleon's sacking Moscow. And what is worse, the casual brutality of dragons, the machinations of men, or the epic brutality of war?

    Can this disjointed pair survive? Will Laurence return to his familiar life in the navy and give up Temeraire forever? Will Temeraire return to China and find another partner? Can Laurence regain his memory, or does he want to?

    Simon Vance is back again, a perfect narrator for this tale.
    The action is cut off mid-brutal-battle, when seems more of a cheat than hurtling us into the next book in the series.
    Still, can't wait!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Warbound: Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2782)
    Performance
    (2609)
    Story
    (2601)

    Only a handful of people in the world know that mankind's magic comes from a living creature, and it is a refugee from another universe. The Power showed up here in the 1850s because it was running from something. Now it is 1933, and the Power's hiding place has been discovered by a killer. It is a predator that eats magic and leaves destroyed worlds in its wake. Earth is next. Former private eye Jake Sullivan knows the score. The problem is, hardly anyone believes him.

    D says: "Started Strong-Finished Strong"
    "Ayn Rand meets Art of War of the Worlds: avoid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed Hard Magic, the first book in this trilogy and its intriguing alternate history; what if magic and steampunk meet WW I?
    But the second book Spellbound was a disappointment, and this last in the trilogy is worse [although contrary to buzz, I think there will be a tetralogy].
    Heavy-handed, dismissive, and repugnantly anti-New Deal, spend your credits on something else like the Dresden Files. Bronson Pinchott's strong narration if only for strong male characters rescues this from getting a 'one'.
    Avoid.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2980)
    Performance
    (2655)
    Story
    (2658)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "A touching & very human 21st century pilgrimage"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A plain and retiring retired man goes on a very spontaneous, very touching and very human 21st century pilgrimage northwest through England to visit a dying colleague he hasn't seen in 20 years.
    *no spoilers*
    Sometimes there were unexpected objects in the house windows: "a porcelain figure, or a vase, or even a tuba; the tender pieces of themselves that people stake as boundaries against the outside world."
    I love that humans are portrayed as basically good, but we all wish we had a re-wind button for the things we have said and done, and not said and not done, especially to our loved ones. This book describes us and the English summer countryside in equal parts funny, sharp, poignant and achingly beautiful observations.
    The first 2/3rds are fantastic; but details noted so carefully are missing in the last portion; otherwise, this would have rated 5 stars rather than 4.5
    Jim Broadbent is a perfect choice, with clear and compelling narration which seems to convey his sympathy for the characters.

    A must-read for 2013.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2837)
    Performance
    (2587)
    Story
    (2594)

    Number-one New York Times best-selling author Charlaine Harris has won numerous awards for her Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series, which has been adapted into the hit HBO show True Blood. In this 13th and final book, a murder rocks the town of Bon Temps and Sookie is arrested for the crime. After making bail, she sets out to clear her name - but her investigation only leads to more deaths.

    k says: "Bitter ending? Cleanse your palate."
    "An end to a guilty pleasure series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An end to a guilty-pleasure series: [no spoilers]
    Our part-fairy heroine Sookie is again at a crossroads in her life; her friends are growing up, moving away, getting married, having babies. After hearing her vampire boyfriend might be lost to a marriage of convenience, what's a telepath addicted to hot vampire sex to do?
    Thuds of foreshadowing, lack of canon (why doesn't she get out of her predicament by using her powers and being less passive and more alert is a frequent miff) and some mispronunciation prevent it from getting 4 stars, but I was pleased to see many old favourites were brought back for a curtain call in this, the last Sookie Stackhouse book.
    If you enjoyed any of her books, it's worth your credits. Thanks for the wild ride, Ms Harris: 3.5 stars.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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