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Sylvia

Armchair traveler

CULLMAN, AL, United States | Member Since 2012

77
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 143 ratings
  • 252 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Farahad Zama
    • Narrated By Tania Rodrigues
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (180)

    Farahad Zama's debut novel transports listeners to faraway India for a story brimming with endearing characters, homespun wisdom, and blossoming love. After Mr. Ali retires, he launches a matchmaking service that helps an array of clients arrange marriages. But he's unaware of his able assistant's dire need for his marriage bureau.

    Lorriee says: "The Marriage Bureau for Rich People"
    "We all need a feel-good story like this sometimes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is delightful! It is actually a love story, but you don't realize it until the last few chapters. In the meantime, there is all sorts of intriguing information about life in India as a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Christian. The narration is fantastic. It is so good that I felt as if I knew the characters personally. In fact, I wish I really did! I couldn't stop listening!
    I enjoyed learning about castes and marriage customs and family values, as well as "the changing India" with more modern times taking over. The progress of the story kept my interest totally. Throughout the entire book, I kept wanting to know what happened to each character. And each situation was resolved artfully by the author, and enhanced by the excellent narration! I actually listened to many sections several times because the turns of phrase were so expressive and interesting to hear!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Marriage Bureau for Rich People?

    The unexpected proposal! (Don't want to ruin it for you!)


    What about Tania Rodrigues’s performance did you like?

    Her accent and voice are nice to listen to. The pronunciations were interesting and charming. Good expression and emotion. I could easily tell which character was speaking.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I couldn't stop listening. I put it on my iPhone with the audible app and clipped it to me and listened whenever I could! I cried with compassion for Aruna and also for happiness. The excellent narration and the story itself got me really wound up into it. I wish it was 2 or 3 times as long as it is! The family values were so uplifting! And I did laugh at many points in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that will be delightful to listen to, extremely interesting, and will make you feel good! Sometimes we need just such a book in our lives.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (3631)
    Performance
    (3309)
    Story
    (3289)

    From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

    FanB14 says: "Devout Fan Disappointed"
    "Very funny but NOT if the kids are within range!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Sedaris has a very funny take on life. He shares a few hysterical stories in this book. However, there is quite a bit of scatological humor and numerous homosexual scenarios that some people might find offensive. I know it is just "not him" to do a funny book minus his "whole life", which necessarily includes the homosexual stuff. But I felt like it was just a bit overboard in some of the stories, at least for my taste. That's why I only gave it 3 stars overall and 3 for the story. The first 2 stories are very good. After that it kind of goes downhill.


    Would you be willing to try another book from David Sedaris? Why or why not?

    Since Sedaris uses so much humor that I find somewhat obscene and gross, I probably will stay away from his other books. I wish the "cleaner" stories could be gathered into one collection. THAT I would buy and happily listen to!


    What about David Sedaris’s performance did you like?

    Sedaris is very expressive conveying a great range of emotions and situations with his voice. You can easily imagine what he, or the people he is portraying, look like, and how they feel, just from how he expresses what they say. He is very good with descriptions too. There is interesting music between stories.


    Any additional comments?

    If you DO listen to this book, be sure to listen till the very end. There is a wonderful contribution from Pimsleur just before "Audible hopes you have enjoyed..."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pagan Spring: A Max Tudor Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By G. M. Malliet
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (113)

    Vicar Max Tudor, reveling in his new-found personal happiness with Awena Owen, feels that life at the moment holds no greater challenge than writing his Easter sermon. With Awena away, he looks forward to a dinner that includes newcomers to the village like West End dramatist Thaddeus Bottle and his downtrodden wife Melinda. But when one of the dinner guests is found dead in the pre-dawn hours, Max knows a poisonous atmosphere has once again enveloped his perfect village of Nether Monkslip.

    Ronna says: "Great book for Agatha Christie fans!"
    "A very complex story that is totally addictive!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Pagan Spring?

    Gabby's telling of her history was shocking and spell-binding (and happens in the last hour of the book).


    What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Michael Page's narration is melodious. He keeps the voices of the characters separate, so it is clear who is saying what. This is very important in a complex murder mystery. He is able to characterize each one so that it is not just a different voice, but it sounds like that character "ought to" sound based on personality, back story, etc.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    You bet! In fact, the past few days, I listened to the first, second, and now this, the third book in the series. Addictive!


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy this narrator so much, and the rhythm of the stories, that if I've found I did not fully hear or take in some of the story, I will run it back to hear it again. I do this frequently. Quite enjoyable with these stories and narrator.
    Also, the relationship between Max and Awena takes a shocking turn! I will not spoil it for you. But I CANNOT WAIT till my next month's credits so I can listen to the fourth book! (Sadly, I MUST wait...)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Fatal Winter: Max Tudor, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By G. M. Malliet
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (156)

    In A Fatal Winter, Max Tudor - Anglican priest, former MI5 agent, and village heartthrob - investigates two deaths at Chedrow Castle. But his growing attraction to Awena Owen complicates his case, as does the recent arrival at Chedrow Castle of a raucous group of long-lost, greedy relatives, any one of whom has a motive for murder. With a cozy setting, intricate puzzles, and a handsome (non-celibate) priest doing the sleuthing, the books in this series are destined to become instant classics in the mystery world.

    Ronna says: "Reincarnation Christie updated to 21st century!!"
    "Addictive! Charming! Wonderful narration!"
    Overall

    These murder mysteries are set in modern times but are narrated in a melodramatic fashion kind of like something from the 19th century. The narrator's voice quality and ability to play different characters is fantastic; his voice is also very melodious. Both the main storyline and the recurring cast of village characters are well developed and intriguing. This is the second Max Tudor book I have listened to and it continues to reveal, little by little, what his life was like as an agent and why he left and why he joined the priesthood. It all fits in and relates well with the things that go on in the main storyline. If you like cozy mysteries that take place in Great Britain, this is the cozier! I just hope the author can write some more and the same narrator can record them by time I finish the last book currently available! This series is one, in my opinion, that is better heard than silently read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death Before Wicket

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (167)

    It all sounds simple enough as Phryne sets new investigations into motion. But when greed and fear are the motivating factors, people become ruthless and Phyrne quickly finds herself enmeshed in blackmail, secrets, lies and the dangerous influences of deep magic.

    Genevieve says: "Howzat! Great storyline!"
    "As usual, another delightful Miss Fisher adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration and expression of accents and characters was at its usually excellent level.
    Phryne ventures to Sydney. Dot's sister is missing. The University has experienced a robbery and the goddess Isis may play a part in it. Phryne finds an unexpected lover in an unexpected situation. Good wine and good food. And everyone gets their just desserts! It was so good, I started in the morning and listened straight through till it was done! Highly recommended, though listening in order makes these books more enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (747)
    Performance
    (646)
    Story
    (647)

    Emily Pollifax is one of a precious few gray-haired female sleuths who solve their cases through unflagging determination, moral courage and wisdom that comes with age. In "The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax", Emily answers the call of that “nice Mr. Carstairs” to go to Istanbul as a courier and search for a missing agent.

    Coffee Lover says: "Wonderful story, perfect narration!"
    "One of the best mysteries I've ever heard!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story begins rather slowly, but soon, there is sooo much action, it's hard to take a break from it. There's a little romance, and intrigue, and murder, and spies, and gypsies, and secret agents, and Englishmen, and the Amazing Mrs. Pollifax! While you worry how everything can possibly turn out well, you somehow know it will, because Mrs. Pollifax is on the job! I can't wait to listen to the next book! By the way, even if you know nothing about the 1960s and the Cold War, which is the approximate setting, the you will still enjoy this book and have no trouble following the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Something Borrowed, Someone Dead: An Agatha Raisin Mystery, Book 24

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Penelope Keith
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (91)

    Gloria French was a jolly widow with dyed blonde hair, a raucous laugh, and rosy cheeks. When she first moved from London to the charming Cotswold hills, she was heartily welcomed. She seemed a do-gooder par-excellence, raising funds for the church and caring for the elderly. But she had a nasty habit of borrowing things and not giving them back. They're just small things - a teapot here, a set of silverware there - so it's quite the shock when she is found dead, murdered with a poisoned bottle of elderberry wine.

    Sylvia says: "Possibly the BEST Agatha Raisin yet!"
    "Possibly the BEST Agatha Raisin yet!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story has many curious twists and turns. Will Agatha even survive this case? Will Roy and James survive? Are there really practicing witches in the countryside? Will Wilkes finally tear his hair out over Agatha's continuing involvement in his cases? Will Carsely finally reject Agatha or fete her because of all the murder and mayhem that always surround her?
    In this book, many of the characters finally "grow up". As usual, Penelope Keith's narration is top notch. I spent the entire day enjoying this wonderful audiobook from beginning to end!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hiss and Hers: An Agatha Raisin Mystery, Book 23

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (109)

    Agatha has fallen head over heels in love - again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man - including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn't even show up. Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike.

    Maureen says: "Pity for the narration but story also lacking"
    "Good story-disappointing narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Unfortunately, the usually wonderful Davinia Porter narrated this book and she just does not have the range to encompass the wide variety of characters. It actually made the story confusing since her voices did not differ enough, one from another, to enable the listener to keep track of who was saying what. Penelope Keith is, in my opinion, THE narrator for Agatha Raisin stories.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Hiss and Hers?

    This story is unusual with its many twists and turns of plot. The whole snake thing made the story eerie.


    What didn’t you like about Davina Porter’s performance?

    I love Davinia Porter in the Poor Relations series. But she just doesn't have the oomph needed for Agatha's expressiveness (e.g. very wimpy "snakes and bastards!"). She is more of a genteel narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    More character development and relationship development happened in this book. I enjoyed that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • As the Pig Turns

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Penelope Keith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (226)

    The picturesque Cotwsold village of Winter Parva has decided to warm the post-Christmas season by roasting a pig in the town square. Agatha, always one for a good roasting, organizes an outing to enjoy the merriment. But as the rotary spit is placed over a bed of fiery charcoals and the pig is carried toward its final resting place, Agatha realizes that things are not as they seem... Stop!" she screams suddenly. The "pig," in fact, is Gary Beech, a policeman not exactly beloved by the good people of the village. Although Agatha has every intention of leaving matters to the police....

    G. Byrge says: "Beaton always delivers"
    "Agatha is acquiring some REAL friends..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But you have to hear the entire story before you will realize it!
    Another great murder mystery. And this one seems to have more substance when it comes to Agatha's relationships with her friends and associates.
    Very enjoyable and, as usual, marvelous narration!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mystery Mile

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Margery Allingham
    • Narrated By Francis Matthews
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (95)

    Judge Crowdy Lobbett has found evidence pointing to the identity of the criminal mastermind behind the deadly Simister gang. After four attempts on his life, he ends up seeking the help of the enigmatic and unorthodox amateur sleuth, Albert Campion. After Campion bundles Lobbett off to a country house in Mystery Mile deep in the Suffolk countryside, all manner of adventures ensue. It's a race against time for Campion to get the judge to safety and decipher the clue to their mysterious enemy's name.

    John says: "A Delightfully Different Kind of Mystery"
    "Unusual cozy mystery & BEST narrator ever!!!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mystery Mile to be better than the print version?

    The narrator is such a master of accents that this is almost more a performance than simply a narration! That makes this better than any print version!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot is a mystery that takes place in Great Britain in the 1920s or 30s, the same period as many P. G. Wodehouse Jeeves and Blandings stories. I like that! The characters are all very colorful and easy to keep sorted. The narrator's expertise with accents aids in that aspect. I have never identified with any of these characters, and that is just fine with me. What I enjoy is the feeling that I am looking in on an interesting little world where unpleasant things may happen, but, in the end, all will turn out well thanks to Albert Campion.


    Have you listened to any of Francis Matthews’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not, but I will make a point of so doing in the future. What a talented narrator! He does every accent beautifully. When the character is out of breath, he gasps convincingly. He expresses emotion. And whether doing male or female voices, the characterizations work without any distraction from the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wanted to, but could not. However, I often listened before going to bed. The narrator's voice has a comforting, assured quality. Also, this allowed me to backtrack the next day and listen to the last half from the night before to make sure I had missed nothing. Double enjoyment!


    Any additional comments?

    People who choose books about Albert Campion must understand that he is a brilliant detective posing as a rich and somewhat empty-headed young man. Some narrators bring this across by giving him a silly-sounding voice (which can be irritating). This narrator gets across Mr. Campion's persona without the silly voices, but in a way that loses none of the inanity with which he can behave. Some people decide they do not like these books because they do not understand the brilliance of Campion and, also, the dry, understated humor employed by the author. For instance, and briefly, she describes the smile of one of Mr. Campion's criminal proteges as "revealing an astonishing assortment of teeth". I should explain that Mr. Campion has friends and acquaintances from every station and walk of life, most of whom know him by other names. They are a great help along the way in solving his cases and add color to the stories with their unusual personalities, looks, back stories, and accents. One more thing is that Mr. Campion has a "valet"-assistant who is a past criminal. He adds interest and humor to the stories too. If you enjoy books like Jeeves and Wooster, Rumpole of the Bailey, Blandings, Her Royal Spyness, The Poor Relations series, and even Agatha Raisin, you will likely enjoy Margery Allingham's Campion series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Crime at Black Dudley: An Albert Campion Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Margery Allingham
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (125)

    When George Abbershaw is invited to Black Dudley Manor for the weekend, he has only one thing on his mind - proposing to Meggie Oliphant. Unfortunately for George, things don't quite go according to plan. A harmless game turns decidedly deadly and suspicions of murder take precedence over matrimony. Trapped in a remote country house with a murderer, George can see no way out. But Albert Campion can.

    Meep says: "I LIKE this narrator quite a lot!!!!"
    "If you like Bertie Wooster, you'll like this!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Crime at Black Dudley?

    This is a period story in the tradition of Jeeves and Wooster, Her Royal Spyness, Blandings, The Poor Relation Books, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, Anzac Girls, and other shows/stories set in the first half of the 20th century. I love books set during that period. The types of British Empire characters and the language expressions of the 20s and 30s are interesting and fun. I also like the bit of formality and melodrama offered by the style in which such stories are related.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Albert Campion's voice, at first, repelled me, but when I realized that he was a Bertie Wooster-type, but quite smart, that caused me to listen to it in a different light (is this a mixed metaphor?). Albert knows he appears an idiot ("vacuous" is the word oft-used in the books) and he knows that this helps him to get the information he requires to accomplish what he has set out to do.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Albert's recitations of anything that happens are gems! His slang from the 1920s & 30s is hysterically descriptive.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Like I said, at first Albert's voice almost made me stop listening. It was very irritating, as was his personality. But I kept listening and soon understood that there was a method to his madness! When I realized that he HAD to sound and act the way he did, I relaxed and enjoyed it as much as I enjoy Bertie Wooster or Freddie Threepwood.


    Any additional comments?

    THE REVIEWERS WHO PANNED THIS BOOK DO NOT APPRECIATE THE HUMOR OF IT. It's a good mystery, but the period story demands melodrama and exaggeration. I felt like I was listening to an old radio serial (without sound effects or music). If you like the stories I mentioned to begin with, you should give this a try, keeping in mind my cautions about Albert's voice and personality.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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