This book, very well-narrated by its author, helped me to reduce the stress in my life. Through its overview of many philosophies of life ranging from the ancient Greeks and Romans on up through today, I came to understand that I was always looking for things to be okay, secure, positive. By this thinking, I was also always aware of how much things were not, in fact, okay, secure, positive. This generated a good deal of anxiety for me. I came to realize that many things happened in life and it was not so much what happened, but my judgment of it that had the power to make me feel good or badly about it. Basically, I learned that it is okay to take life moment by moment and take the bad with the good. When I write this, it sounds so insipid. You just have to listen to this book.
Let me tell you that one major thing I enjoyed about it is that the author is not trying to convince you of anything. He is presenting what he has learned, so you can make your own choices and decisions. I think any individual hearing this book will be struck by totally different things than another individual. The information in the book was very enlightening. The only fault I found with it is that a great deal of emphasis was put on current popularized evangelical Christian philosophy and very little upon Catholic philosophy which today, as for the past 2000 years, has remained constant. Catholic philosophy actually melds well with many of the premises in this book (about accepting the negative in life and allowing life to remain a mystery and to appreciate that). But the author pretty much ignored it. Nonetheless, the book is definitely worthwhile for anyone with stress or anxiety, uncertainty or insecurity in his/her life. I think those of us who were teens or in our 20s during the 1960s would particularly enjoy it.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Albert's recitations of anything that happens are gems! His slang from the 1920s & 30s is hysterically descriptive.
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.
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.
I loved the accent of the narrator. But I enjoyed having the Kindle edition to look up some words unfamiliar to me (an American). The narrator tends to do male voices by lowering and slowing her normal voice. While I did not care for this at first, I got used to it and even enjoyed it after awhile.
Can't say without spoiling it for other readers. But there are several nice surprises in the story!
All I can say is that I wish I knew a "Daniel" in real life, haha!
I have read several reviews online that unfavorably compared this series to the Phryne Fisher books. No, this is not Phryne. But I would classify it as one might a "chick flick", but in audiobook form. It starts very slowly and I wondered where the story might be going. But soon, my curiosity was piqued as several mysterious situations began to develop, as well as a romance. The story should not be compared to Phryne Fisher. It is a totally different thing. I actually ended up liking it as an "easy listening" sort of book and will probably buy more. I will admit that there were a few parts during which I stopped everything I was doing so I would not miss a word! I doubt men would like this, but I think women who like cozy mysteries will like it. There's also interesting details about baking and bakeries in the story. One last thing is that "new age" philosophies and lifestyles seem to dominate the lives of most of the characters.While I did not really care so much for this, preferring a Christian consensus type of atmosphere, it WAS interesting and not too overboard.
If you don't mind unsophisticated situations with lots of cussing, you won't mind this book. Unfortunately, it is what a lot of the 1960s in New York City and environs was all about. There IS some fascinating information about how painters and art forgers do their work. But you have to slog through a lot of other unsavory stuff to get to it.
The ending made me wonder whether our society is correct in making celebrity writers and speakers out of criminals.
Caveat Emptor is a stand-alone story needing no follow-up.
The lifestyle of the main character and many of his friends and acquaintances was amoral and rather reprehensible. The details about painting and forgeries was quite interesting. I had been hoping for something like the TV show "White Collar". I went into this book with the totally wrong idea. It is nothing like the TV show and the depths to which the characters often sink is rather depressing. It IS an interesting story, narrated by the author who is the main character. And it gives one much to think about. But I would not read anything else by him or about him (this said after perusing his website on the Internet). He's obviously a very talented painter, but not a nice person.
I would listen again because I know I failed to hear some parts due to laughing so much.
Horkman was my favorite character. I could relate to everything about him. And Peckerman was my least favorite. But without him, there could have been no story.
This is a great Dave Barry performance and Alan Zweibel is fantastic!!! They sounded like all this had actually personally happened to them!
I listened to this every chance I got till I finally finished it. It was spellbinding. Really, this book is so, so zany, which I loved, and the whole crazy storyline makes sense. It was great the way it poked well-deserved fun at many current world situations and the media's coverage of them. Some people say about a difficult situation, "I could laugh or I could cry. I chose to laugh." This is the book's take on some major problems in today's world. It will make you laugh. And if you are in a better mood, you will be better able to deal with whatever life throws at you. And that is why I like funny books, and the more funny books, the better!
Lunatics is like a very calm and subdued version of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson and Narrated by Steven Crossley, but with a lot more action and cussing. If you don't mind rude language (and normally I DO mind, but in Lunatics it was okay- it was appropriate and integral to the storyline...I know, I know...but take my word for it, if you can) and if you like funny books, you will like this. Just don't play it while the children are within earshot. Other authors I have read (listened to) who write stories like this are P.G. Wodehouse, Dave Barry (of course), Janet Evanovich, M.C. Beaton, Rhys Bowen, Jerome K. Jerome, and Woody Allen. But their stories dilute out or distribute out the zaniness much more so than does Lunatics which is "chock full of nuts"!
Woo hoo, Nick!
This story was an excellent prologue to The Heist, a full-length story with the same characters. I wish it had been listed as such on Audible.com. I listened to The Heist first. But it was okay to hear them in opposite order.
For a man, Scott Brick is not a bad reader! He has a good voice for this sort of stuff! Adds more interest to the characters!
Kate, the main character, is easily related to by anyone. Though she has a very specialized job, she also can be clumsy, messy, and has self-image issues...just like us! So the listener can relate when she falls over her own two feet, but also rejoice when her intuition is right on the money!
In a short amount of time, the listener gets a good idea of the main character and her "nemesis" and what each wants out of life. The story is interesting and exciting and ends just the way you would want it to (though not the way the main character seems to want it to end).
I began listening to this story while I was swimming laps. It made me laugh out loud in the pool! Yes, this is an Audio Kids book BUT I really think anyone born in the 50s or 60s would just love it! I know that my kids (born in the 80s and 90s) would love it too! It is read by Dave Barry and sounds like a reminisce. With the sorts of incidents that happen to all kids nearing adolescence, it's genuinely funny. It is also thoroughly heart-warming and quite appropriate for the Christmas season. I might even listen to it every Christmas from now on! If you are a dog-lover or if you have ever been in a Christmas pageant, you will also enjoy this story.
My favorite character was Frank. You will have to listen to the story to discover who he is.
The narrator, who is the main character, was excellently performed by Dave Barry.
I laughed a lot and I nearly cried. But I MADE myself NOT cry. (This story was touching in both sad ways and happy ways.) Then, the ending was so nice that I didn't feel I had to cry anymore!
This should be listed for adults as well as kids! I am glad that I like Dave Barry and that it was Christmastime, so I took a chance on the story. Otherwise, I would have missed out on what will likely become a Christmas tradition for me in future holiday seasons!
This is one of the best audio books I have listened to. I love MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin, Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness, and Alexander McCall Smith's Number One Ladies Detective Agency books. This is better than all of those! Of course, it is a bit different in that while it is also a period novel, it is more "adult" in its content than the others. But it is by no means "scandalous" and has only very mild language.The listener will still laugh aloud from time to time. Like the other books, I wish I knew some of the characters in real life!
The characters and places are described so colorfully! The story is sufficiently complex without being confusing. There is a suitable ending for each character.
I usually swim a half mile each morning. Yesterday, I swam an entire mile because I was listening to this on my underwater iPod and didn't want to interrupt the story to shower and get dressed. Finally, I had to get out of the pool, but I kept the earphones in the rest of the day in order to finish the novel. Couldn't put it down! I loved it!!!! Just bought the next one!
Last night I finished the first Agatha Raisin audiobook. This morning in the car on my way to work I thought, "I will start the second book!" And then, panic!! I realized that I had not downloaded another Agatha Raisin book.
These books are dangerous to the consumer! They are good for audible.com but for us listeners they present a dilemma. You see, I bought the first Agatha Raisin novel outside of my regular monthly credits. Today, I know that I will buy several more before I get any more credits for the month. At first, I thought that I might not like the stories. But then I was drawn in by the variety of interesting characters, the beautiful descriptions of the old English countryside, and the intriguing situations in which Agatha Raisin found herself involved.
Many times during the book I laughed out loud. Many times I was so worried about how in the world Agatha Raisin would get out of the difficult situation she had gotten into. Some of Agatha's difficult situations were the kind that you and I would struggle with, for example embarrassment, regret at having been prideful front of other people, or things like that. Some of the situations were ones with which few of us would ever find ourselves having to deal. Some of them were horrifying. Others were zany. In addition to the oddball characters in the book, there were also several very comforting characters who I was always happy to have come on scene.
If you have read and enjoyed other books by MC Beaton and, also, if you have enjoyed books like the Number One Ladies Detective Agency, the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich, and the Poor Relations series, and even the free Whodunnit books available on Audible, I believe you will enjoy Agatha Raisin.
I recently listened to the audible.com Dave Barry book Insane City. Insane City is kind of "way out there" with some of the characters and situations and the language. But if you enjoyed that one, and don't mind something a little more tame, I think you would also enjoy Agatha Raisin.
This morning, as I dictate this review into my iPhone, my only regret is that instead of doing this review I could have been listening to the second Agatha Raisin book had I only thought last night to buy and download it. Next time I will plan better!
P.S. These books seem to be best read in order. I hope Audible can soon get a hold of the several in the series that are "not currently available for purchase"!
One of the funniest stories I have ever had the pleasure to hear! Laugh outloud-funny!
You never know what is going to happen next- and likely, you could never even guess. Certainly, there is some crudeness and a good bit of cussing (not gratuitous-it all is appropriate for the characters and to what is happening in the story), but, in typical Dave Barry style, it's all worth it! The reading is just fine. If you have heard Dave Barry speak or read his own material, it is no different. He reads matter-of-factly, letting the humor of the phrasing and the insane storyline make you laugh. The characters, their names and personalities, the situations in which they get involved and embroiled and entangled, are the usual wonderful products of Dave Barry's creative comedic mind. And, best of all, this funny and suspenseful, zany book is full of happy endings.
Dave Barry did a very good job. The storyline worked well with his rather matter-of-fact style. (The Gza? Never heard him on here.)
When Megan kissed Trevor and Trevor, though seriously wounded, followed her.
If you like Dave Barry, you will like this book. It is Barry - it is Florida - it is INSANE!!!!!
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