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Allan Cumming

Auckland, New Zealand | Member Since 2009

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 62 ratings
  • 555 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Sometimes a Great Notion

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ken Kesey
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (141)

    A literary icon sometimes seen as a bridge between the Beat Generation and the hippies, Ken Kesey scored an unexpected hit with his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. His successful follow-up, Sometimes a Great Notion, was also transformed into a major motion picture, directed by and starring Paul Newman. Here, Oregon’s Stamper family does what it can to survive a bitter strike dividing their tiny logging community. And as tensions rise, delicate family bonds begin to fray and unravel.

    Forrest says: "My Favorite Book"
    "Still a classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This used to be one of my favorites many years ago, and I purchased the audiobook on a whim. I wasn't sure what to expect. Firstly, I was unsure that the book would have survived the test of time. Second, the multiple first person narrative might be impossible to render off he printed page.

    I was shocked on both counts. The story, almost an historical novel fifty odd years on, was as gripping as it was then. The narrator had just enough subtly in intonation that I rarely lost track for more than a moment, in fact less so than I remember from reading the book.

    I cannot recommend this enough. It is truly a classic, and the pace of an audio presentation is perfectly suited to the atmosphere of the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Luminaries

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eleanor Catton
    • Narrated By Mark Meadows
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1117)
    Performance
    (971)
    Story
    (988)

    It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

    Melinda says: "Not So Luminous"
    "Sometimes you need to have a book read to you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Luminaries the most enjoyable?

    The pacing of this book is such that reading it myself, I found that I was skipping. One of the things I enjoy the most about audio books is being forced to slow down and enjoy the language. Maybe the complex structural devices do not come through in this experience, but the language is enhanced.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The outstanding character was none of the individuals, but rather the environment. Obviously I have no direct experience of gold mining on the West Coast in the 1800s, but I came away with a vivid picture in my mind.


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

    Recently I listened to an interview by Orson Scott Card where he stated that some books are made to be read out loud. The Luminaries is one of those books. The range of characters, accents and the language make listening far more enjoyable than reading.Sometimes I read for plot, and sometimes for the rhythm and language, and while the plot is good, it is not the primary value of this book.


    34 of 41 people found this review helpful
  • Faceless Killers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (32)

    One frozen January morning at 5am, Inspector Wallander responds to what he believes is a routine call out. When he reaches the isolated farmhouse he discovers a bloodbath. An old man has been tortured and beaten to death, his wife lies barely alive beside his shattered body, both victims of a violence beyond reason. Wallander's life is a shambles. His wife has left him, his daughter refuses to speak to him, and even his ageing father barely tolerates him.

    Jefferson says: "“What kind of world are we living in?”"
    "Solid police procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the problems with this title is the unavoidable comparison with Nesbo, especially given Sean Barrett's excellent narration of both authors. Wallander is, for me, a less interesting and less well developed character than Harry Hole, but this is the first in the Wallander series (apart from the more recent "prequel") so maybe he will develop over the subsequent books. The story is solid, and sufficiently complex to maintain interest, so I will be giving the rest of the series a go. I just have yet to develop an empathy for the characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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