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dub

Ottawa, ON, Canada | Member Since 2005

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 3

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Finnemore
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (195)

    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.

    Petra says: "Still lots of fun"
    "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 Penguin Pool Murder: Hildegarde Withers, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stuart Palmer
    • Narrated By Julie McKay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    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 47 mins)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (166)

    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
    (2210)
    Performance
    (2078)
    Story
    (2069)

    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 5 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
    Overall
    (2661)
    Performance
    (2364)
    Story
    (2366)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (2472)
    Performance
    (2260)
    Story
    (2262)

    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
  • Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell: An Agatha Raisin Mystery, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Penelope Keith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Recently married to James Lacey, Agatha quickly finds out that it’s not all "happy ever after" - before long the newlyweds are living in separate cottages and accusing each other of infidelity. After a fight down the local pub James vanishes completely, leaving a bloodstain as the only clue to his fate. Naturally, Agatha is Prime Suspect. Determined to clear her name and find her husband, Agatha begins her investigation - and promptly finds a murdered mistress....

    dub says: "Love Penelope Keith and series, but not this one"
    "Love Penelope Keith and series, but not this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy the Agatha Raisin franchise and think the choice of Penelope Keith as narrator is inspired, but this one is a disappointment. Is MC Beaton really a male who doesn't like his female characters, or females in general? And the deux ex machina of getting James out of his predicament was quite loathsome.
    I hope the next one won't disappoint on either account.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
    • Narrated By Michael Fenton Stevens
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (90)

    The Western Front, 1916. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of No Man's Land gone? Madison, Wisconsin, 2015. Cop Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some said mad, others dangerous - scientist when she finds a curious gadget: a box containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a potato. It is the prototype of a life-changing invention....

    Amy W says: "World and not Character Building"
    "Bits of Pratchett like chocolate chip on cardboard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I adore the prose of Pratchett, which is the only thing keeping the review from being 'one star'. It's sprinkled through this mess like curls of dark chocolate throughout a tall stack of cardboard.
    It's almost painful to hear Sir Terry's voice in this dreadful book; he does have a dark side, and I much prefer his Discworld series to his juvenilia, but this simply can't have had much of his input.
    An amazing concept of endless parallel worlds in which some humans can just step somehow devolved into this depressing mess, and concur completely with previous reviewers that the entire first half is redundant.
    One of the many wonderful things about Sir T is his basic love of humanity, that no matter how far down we dig ourselves, there is always a hero, a Vimes or Sybil or Librarian with a handy ladder, but there is little such joy in this book; although there are glimpses with the cannonball bird and the frisbee octopus which alas are catalogued and listed instead of joyfully embraced and described, and instead of the possibility of freedom, we have female victims, HAL and 2001, weed addicts, and terra-ism.
    In my hope for a happy ending, I could hardly wait for it to be over; how sad, and in so many senses and worlds.
    If you're looking for a truly Pratchettesque take on evolution, buy 'The Lost Continent'.
    Looking forward to Dodger, and won't read the sequel to The Long Earth.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Crucible of Gold: Temeraire, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (266)

    Naomi Novik’s beloved series returns, with Capt. Will Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire once again taking to the air against the broadsides of Napoleon’s forces and the friendly—and sometimes not-so-friendly—fire of British soldiers and politicians who continue to suspect them of divided loyalties, if not outright treason.

    A User says: "Back to Basics"
    "Better than the previous two in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Better than the previous couple of books in the series; how's that for praise?
    This time Laurence and his beloved Chinese Celestial dragon Temeraire are freed from transportation in Australia and reinstated for a diplomatic mission to Brazil, to intercept Napoleon's envoys .
    Are they too late? Will England now stand alone in the world against Napoleon? Will the supercilious dragon squabbling defeat their own mission?

    Novik nicely adds some Incan history and geography, as well as a Patrick O'Brien-esque sailor flavour to their long voyage to South America and overland. According to the author's blog, there will be two more in the series; perhaps north to Captain Vancouver's Island next?

    Simon Vance is an excellent narrator, and a joy to listen to: hopefully he can also complete the complete/unabridged O'Brian series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Blood of the Prodigal: An Amish-Country Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By P. L. Gaus
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (138)

    In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or "English", who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed. When an Amish boy is kidnapped, a bishop, fearful for the safety of his followers, plunges three outsiders into the traditionally closed society of the "Plain Ones".

    Greg says: "A Solid 4 for kids"
    "A Mystery for the Hard-of-Thinking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I grew up in Mennonite country, so I was very interested to see a whole series devoted to the Amish, and on sale for $5!
    An interesting premise, but plot holes aplenty, female characters are sexless servants and passive victims, and the prose is so grey, dusty and redundant that I counted ten repetitions for a single plot point. This is a tale that could have been told in 30 minutes, so if you're listening to this audiobook over a lot of ambient noise or fall asleep, don't worry, you haven't missed much, it'll be hammered back in your skull in the next three chapters or twelve.
    The narrator is earnest and articulate, but there's not much to be done with the material or characters. There's no beauty here.
    So don't bother. Read the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths or 'Plain Girl' instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Audiobook Blunders: The Books In Motion 'Gag Reel'

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Books In Motion
    • Narrated By Kris Faulkner, Cameron Beierle, Jerry Sciarrio, and others
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes during an audiobook recording session? Here is your opportunity to find out! Sometimes the words don't flow quite as easily as you would think, and when the performers run into a tongue twister, the results can be hilarious and bring out the true personalities of our readers.

    dub says: "Ever wondered how great narrators remain suave?"
    "Ever wondered how great narrators remain suave?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ever wondered how great narrators remain suave? I'm happy to report they don't.
    I adore having audiobooks, which I credit keeping me from road-, air- and queue-rage many a time. Most audiobooks in my library are really good, some are great, and there have been a few stinkers. How can narrators say some of those lines and keep a straight face? Well, they can't.
    It also made me think of authors from previous centuries who designed their works to be read aloud, and how few of the recent ones have. Or are they sadists, writing lines like 'slicked back into a sleek chignon' to bedevil our heroes and turn narrators into mere humans, who can trip over tongue-twisters.
    And how can they narrate goopy or ungrammatical or gross lines, without vocalising 'eurgh'!?
    Well, they can't.
    Nice to know!
    A charming little diversion which I have yet to finish, but I needed to refute the previous review ASAP, and this is made to dip into for a laugh. Some snippets made me wish for a menu and who's who of both authors and narrators, but I understand how some may wish to remain anonymous.
    And now I'll never be able to say the word 'phenomena' without singing the Muppets 'Mah-na-ma-na' refrain after it. Sing it with me: 'Phenomena. Do doo do doo!'
    Thanks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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