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Katy

United States | Member Since 2010

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 321 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Thomas Paine's Rights of Man: A Biography: Books That Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    Thomas Paine was one of the greatest political propagandists in history. The Rights of Man, first published in 1791, is the key to his reputation. Inspired by his outrage at Edmund Burke's attack on the uprising of the French people, Paine's text is a passionate defense of the rights of man. Paine argued against monarchy and outlined the elements of a successful republic, including public education, pensions, and relief of the poor and unemployed, all financed by income tax.

    Mimi says: "Exciting July Fourth Listening! Wow!"
    "Good, but not exactly what I expected."
    Overall

    I picked this up after hearing Thomas Paine's unwavering irreligious convictions referred to by Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins in their atheist literature. Unfortunately there was not as much information in this vein as I'd hoped, though the last chapter(s?) did recount his later life when his religious views came into sharper focus. Mostly this was interesting in terms of American/British history, and the history of philosophy about human rights.

    As others have noted, it is occasionally difficult to tell where a quotation ends and the main text resumes; but genterally the narration is expemplary with some very nice Scottish brogue thrown in for spice.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (4652)
    Performance
    (3994)
    Story
    (3971)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Alice says: "Happy addition to a difficult genre"
    "Passably Likable Mystery, Performed to Perfection!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The overall premise and plot of this lady-detective novel are entertaining and even endearing and not-entirely-predictable. It is actually mostly predictable, but in that enjoyable way that you sing along to a new verse of and old favorite song. The aspect in which this audiobook shines, however, is in the narration. Katherine Kellgren gives an amazing performance, delivering the roles of the plucky main character, society matrons, posh gents, policemen, an old gaffer, and a host of other characters; she displays a delightful range of expression. Kellgren performs the climactic scene in which the mystery is solved in such a gripping manner that I seriously stopped what I was doing and just listened. Her performance throughout is phenomenal. I would love to hear more of her, and will probably continue listening to this series almost entirely because of her superior narration. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Relic: Pendergast, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4234)
    Performance
    (2665)
    Story
    (2693)

    Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders. Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who - or what - is doing the killing.

    Snoodely says: "Non-Perishable"
    "Good Story, Annoying Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is a good solid science (biology) fiction lark, with just enough detail to seem plausible-ish, and enough suspense and sympathetic characters to fill in the gap. One drawback ... Since this is set in New York, I suppose the narrator really couldn't avoid using various New York accents to portray, and enliven, certain characters. But he didn't have to make them the most over-the-top caricatured accents for the "hard boiled" New York detectives. A minor complaint. This book is a good start to a solidly enjoyable series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death in the Devil's Acre

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (89)

    Acclaimed author Anne Perry delivers another installment of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery series. Two dead bodies have been discovered, both similarly mutilated. As Inspector Thomas Pitt examines one body, he recognizes the man from a previous case. With the help of his perceptive wife Charlotte, Thomas intends to solve this gruesome crime.

    Nina says: "DEFINITELY worth listening to"
    "Action!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The mysteries and pacing are usually a little sedate in the Pitt novels, but this one really takes a turn for the thrilling in a number of scenes. Thomas and Charlotte (and Charlotte's sister) all venture into the scary back alleys of a rough-and-tumble London slum called The Devil's Acre. The characters are a little more colorful than usual, since the plot takes us outside the neat and tidy upper class society of Victorian London. As usual, Perry addresses a tangential issue within the novel, and this time it is the question of prostitution and exploitation of women in the lower classes, as well as the intersection of the lower and upper classes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bluegate Fields: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (102)

    When the body of a boy is found in the filthy sewers of Bluegate Fields, Inspector Pitt is called to investigate. The boy was clearly upper class, so what was he doing in one of London's most dangerous slums? The boy's parents refuse to answer police queries. What are these proper, prosperous people hiding? With the help of his wife and helpmate, Charlotte, Inspector Pitt intends to find out.

    Brenda says: "Bluegate Fields"
    "Good Plot, Interesting Corollary Issues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel was more interesting to me for the side issues that it brought up, than for the main plot itself. The mystery of a young boy's death and sexual abuse is at question, and Inspector Pitt meets resistance on all sides in finding the uncomfortable answers. As the author sometimes does, comments on social issues are made including homosexuality and equality in the justice system. It is an important message to remember today, that everyone deserves an unbiased investigation and a fair trial, whatever their social class, employment, or personal habits. The question of homosexuality was more indelicately treated, and it seemed to me that more often than not "homosexuality" was taken as a synonym for "homosexual abuse of children". I believe this was written in the 1970's, so maybe we should forgive the author this clumsy oversight as an artifact of the times; but it stood out to me as a mischaracterization, and ironic in a book whose secondary message was unbiased treatment and fairness. Overall, the plot was good and a little more who-dunnit than some of her other novels ... the evidence and all the characters and motivations are there from early in the story, and it is only for the reader to unravel them. Often Perry's novels rely on last minute plot twists that would be impossible for the reader to have known or understood, making it impossible to guess the outcome of the mystery before the crucial information comes to light. The narration was, as always, excellent. Davina Porter is a master, and brings a very human touch to all of the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rutland Place

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (84)

    When Charlotte Pitt, well-born wife of Thomas Pitt, the police investigator, learned of her mother's distress in losing a locket with a compromising picture, she did not know it was the beginning of several bizarre events that would end in sudden death. For hidden behind the sumptuous elegance of Ruthland Place were terrible secrets. Secrets so horrifying that only murder could conceal them. And only the dogged persistence of Charlotte and Thomas could reveal them.

    Nina says: "Anne Perry NOT at her best"
    "Strong Storyline, Pleasant Plot Twists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rutland Place is one of the stronger books in the early part of this series. The characters are sympathetic and believable, but also compelling without being over-the-top or just plain dastardly. It's not as action packed and some of the other novels about Inspector and Mrs. Pitt, but I was never bored. The plot centers on Charlotte Pitt's mother and deals with the general theme of woman's dependence on the men in her life, including marital dissatisfaction, a widow who doesn't wish to remarry, and the intricacies of a sibling relationship. As usual, the mystery is solved by an 11th-hour revelation; so if you enjoy sleuthing and sifting through various clues doled out by the author, this mayb not exactly be the book for you. But if you like character-heavy detection and being carried along the current of the story to see where it leads you, then you will enjoy Anne Perry's style. As always, Davina Porter does a masterful job narrating.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wyrd Sisters: Discworld, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Celia Imrie
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (77)

    In Wyrd Sisters, the enchanting world of Discworld is turned upside down by 3 meddling witches: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick. Their interference in royal politics causes kingdoms to wobble, crowns to topple, knives to flash, and citizens to shudder in fear.

    Katy says: "Happy I gave it a chance, despite other reviews"
    "Happy I gave it a chance, despite other reviews"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a little worried after reading the other reviews here on Audible that found fault with the dramatization provided by the narrator and also one review that found fault with the audio quality itself. I am glad that I am a completist and gave it a try anyway. If you are familiar with the other witch-centric books narrated by Celia Imrie, you will not be surprised by the style of dramatization here. I found that it gave life to the book and greatly prefer this to a flat reading. The audio quality was just fine, too, with no static or background noises that I noticed. I am sad that some people might pass over listening to this book, based on the negative reviews here, since I think this is one of the best Discworld novels so far in the series in terms of plot and characters.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Grave Peril: The Dresden Files, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6936)
    Performance
    (5148)
    Story
    (5143)

    Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden has had a rough couple of weeks. As the only openly practicing professional wizard in the Chicago area, he has squared off against a multitude of supernatural bad guys. Harry has won the day against demons, poltergeists, sorcerers, trolls, vampires, werewolves, and even an evil faerie godmother. You might think nothing could spook him. You would be wrong.

    Lakejewel says: "Spike makes good"
    "Better Performance From Narrator"
    Overall

    This was a better experience all-around, compared to my listen of the first novel in this series. I fully admit I listened to the first only because James Marsters was the narrator, and was disappointed. I gave this one a chance only because it was on promotion at a very low price. Being his first effort as an audiobook narrator, he still had kinks to work out in his narration style; I think he was going for a sort of noir-blasé vibe, but he ended up sounding bored. His style for this book (and possibly the second book in the series, I haven't listened to that one) was much more dynamic and engaging. Aside from narration, I felt that the novel itself was also much better than the first in the series and I really appreciated the more modern approach -- still invoking noir-style detective but with a self-awareness of the slightly ridiculous nature of the material. Overall, much stronger narration and more solid material. I think the series has come into its own, and I will be listening to more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Crowning Mercy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell, Susannah Kells
    • Narrated By Anna Bentick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    A young girl fell in love with a passing stranger. Her parents called her Dorcas, but he called her Campion, and that's what she longed to be, then and forever. So when an unbearable suitor is forced on her, she flees to seek her lover, taking with her the one gift left to her by her unknown father: a pendant of gold. There are four of these jewels, each the key to a secret, each owned by a stranger. When one person has them all, the holder will have great wealth and power.

    Wilma says: "Disappointing"
    "Unexpected"
    Overall

    I read somewhere that this novel was written as a bet. Like Ravel's Bolero, this is not an entirely bad thing. It was originally published under a female pseudonym, and for Bernard Cornwell fans this novel will be a recognized as a sharp departure from Cornwell's other works. Cornwell, whose love scenes are usually about one sentence, stretches his wings a little here. Unfortunately Cornwell also departs from his usually intricately sketched characters and strong women. I couldn't help longing for the resilience and self-reliance of Teresa Moreno when the main character of this book could only recite the Lord's Prayer as her sole defense during a witch trial. Cornwell employs his usual gritty descriptions and preserves his loyalty to historical detail, so overall I do not regret reading this. However, I'm not rushing out to get the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Murder in Montparnasse

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (133)

    The divine Phryne Fisher returns to lead another dance of intrigue. Seven Australian soldiers, carousing in Paris in 1918, unknowingly witness a murder and their presence has devastating consequences. Ten years later, two are dead ... under very suspicious circumstances. Phryne's wharfie mates, Bert and Cec, appeal to her for help. They were part of this group of soldiers in 1918 and they fear for their lives and for those of the other three men.

    Margaret says: "C'est tres bon"
    "Solid Lady-Detective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a rather run-of-the-mill lady-detective who-dunnit with a predictably twisty plot (predictable that the plot twists, but not the direction... that was a surprise), and the main character is agreeably spunky without being annoying.

    I do have to say, though, this is not exactly what I was expecting, based on the title. I was hoping it would take place in Montparnasse! I was preparing for a vacation in Paris, and was looking to get in the mood. So, if there's anyone else who is whacky like me, hoping to take Paris-vacation-listening with an appropriate theme... this is not it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (610)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
    "Thouroughly Enjoyable!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read this play many years ago, but never seen it performed. I admit, at the time, that I was not very impressed. This performance has changed my mind! This a truly funny play that had me laughing out loud at times, and Oscar Wilde has a wonderful sense for the absurd. The performance was very good, I can't resist James Marsters in a British accent (oh, and the others were good, too.)

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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